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Top 10 Xbox Live Arcade Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Xbox Live Arcade proved to be a revolution in digital distribution, allowing for budget and less demanding games to be downloaded at a cheap price and played almost straight away. Since then both Sony and Nintendo have followed Microsoft's structure though it had its biggest influence on Valve's Steam distribution platform, which is now the definitive PC distribution platform. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Xbox Live Arcade Games. Special thanks to our users "Daniel John" & "MultiMurge" for suggesting this topic on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest.
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Top 10 Xbox Live Arcade Games

Some of the best games can’t be found on discs. Welcome to Watchmojo.com and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 Xbox Live Arcade games.
For this list, we focused on games that were either first released on Xbox live or alongside a port such as on PSN or Steam. We excluded direct graphical remakes and remasters, as those are for another list. We're also excluding games released in episodic content, because combined they can be considered retail games.

#10: “Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2” (2008)

Blasting off our list is an addictive dual-stick shooter sequel of the already impressive original that’s sure to keep your thumbs busy for hours. In each of the game’s six modes, you control a small ship. Your goal is to rack up as many points as possible by destroying enemy shapes while surviving in the classic video game fashion of not letting anything touch you. The multiplayer options give Retro Evolved 2 nice replay value, plus colorful visuals and catchy music don’t hurt, either.

#9: “Bastion” (2011)

This action RPG will make you wish you had a gruff sounding narrator in your head all day. You play as the Kid, a white-haired boy who awakens one day to find that his world has quite literally come apart. As you progress, you attempt to reconstruct what once was in between bashing enemies with your comically large hammer. The gorgeous 2D animation and haunting soundtrack help to make the game a mesmerizing experience.

#8: “Pac-Man Championship Edition DX” (2010)

Next up is a flawless update of the classic arcade game. Like the original, you control Pac-Man as he collects dots and avoids ghosts. However, Championship Edition also includes some welcome additions, like time attack and challenge modes, some of which involve dozens of ghosts onscreen at once. That's when the power pellets really comes in handy.

#7: “Super Meat Boy” (2010)

This indie platformer is notorious for being one of the hardest games in recent years, but its difficulty doesn’t take away from the fun. You control Meat, a small cube of blood and tissue who wants to save his beloved Bandage Girl from the evil Dr. Fetus. The levels are short, but there are more than 300 of them, so you won’t get bored too quickly. Even if the controls are airtight, dying happens so frequently that completing a level results in a replay that shows you just how many times you failed.

#6: “Fez” (2012)

If you thought that 2D and 3D couldn’t be combined, think again. In this colorful puzzle platformer, you control Gomez, a fez-wearing character who lives a quiet life until a giant shape tears the dimensional fabric and gives his world a new look. You jump around the levels in the hopes of acquiring shards to form golden cubes, but you’ll have to use your head because you have to shift the perspective and change your environment to succeed.

#5: “Mark of the Ninja” (2012)

If you ever wanted to be a ninja, this game will be right up your alley. You sneak around the different environments trying to avoid being seen by guards before you silently assassinate them. When you’re successful, you’ll get rewarded with a closeup of your kill. The unique 2D animation gives “Ninja” buckloads of style.

#4: “Shadow Complex” (2009)

Remember the early Metroid-Vania games? This title takes large swaths of inspiration from that genre and updates it with a modern look and setting. You play as Jason, a spelunker who winds up on the bad side of an organization known as the Restoration. As you get deeper into the game, the weapons get bigger to match the increasing difficulty of your enemies.

#3: “Limbo” (2010)

A chilling 2D horror game with a simple art style, Limbo is nothing short of nightmarish. You play as a boy in search of his missing sister. A puzzle platformer that melds it’s style with its substance almost seamlessly, many of the puzzles rely on you deciphering the strange silhouettes that populate the world. Treadly light, as most of them turn out to be deadly. It’s pretty short, but the game’s design will stick with you for a long while.

#2: “Castle Crashers” (2008) We all love a good brawler, and this game fits the bill perfectly. It combines side-scrolling gameplay with beat-em up craziness for a unique experience, as the RPG elements give it a surprising depth. The clever character design and witty humour keep it consistently entertaining, while the four player cooperative multiplayer mode makes for hours of silly fun.

Before we get to the #1 spot, here are a few honorable mentions.

#1: “Braid” (2008)

We’ve talked about a lot of great games, but what else could really take the top spot? This puzzle platformer is considered by many to be one of the best arguments for video games as art. With its canvas style artwork, and it’s now legendary time control mechanism that changes in each world, you'd be hard pressed to find a more simple yet complex experience than this artistic masterpiece.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Xbox Live Arcade game? For more addictive Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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