What is the Xbox Live Arcade?

XBLA logo
XBLA logo. Microsoft

Question: What is the Xbox Live Arcade?

Answer: The Xbox Live Arcade on the Xbox 360 allows you to download smaller, specially designed games to your Xbox 360. The games include puzzle games, action games, board games, classic arcade games, ports of retro games, and much more. New games are still being added all of the time and there have been hundreds and hundreds of games released for the service over the last 10 years.

You can see our reviews of Xbox Live Arcade titles right here

To use the Xbox Live Arcade you have to have a broadband internet connection and an Xbox Live account (at least Silver). These games aren't free, unfortunately, and you have to spend money to get them. They range from as low as $5 on up to $20.  The best part of the Xbox Live Arcade is that you can download demo versions of the games for free so you can try them out before you decide to buy them.

One major advantage of buying them (besides having them forever and being able to play the full game) is that each arcade game has achievements and points that add to your gamerscore. Originally, XBLA games only had 200GS, but they have had a maximum of 400GS (before DLC) for several years now.  This gives you a little bit of extra incentive to keep playing and working at your high scores.

If your Xbox ever breaks down or you need to transfer games to a memory card or different hard drive, don't worry because you won't have to pay for them again.

All of the downloads in the Xbox Live Marketplace and Xbox Live Arcade are tied to your gamertag so you just need to sign onto Xbox Live and you'll be able to download them again if you need to.

The Xbox Live Arcade has provided a lot of the Xbox 360's best games.  Such as Minecraft, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Soul Calibur II HD, Trials Fusion, and many, many more.

 You could easily justify owning an Xbox 360 just to play XBLA games.  

On Xbox One, there is no special "Xbox Live Arcade" anymore, and instead all games are treated pretty much equally.  This means that all games have 1000GS, but have also been increasing in price and most don't have demos.  Honestly, we kind of miss the XBLA.  

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