XBLA Fans (a division of Gorilla Networks, LLC) was created by John Laster and Ben Fisher to cover indie games on Xbox One; at the time that meant XBLA games. The game industry has evolved and continued to change through the years, but our main purpose has never changed. We’re passionate about what we do, which is providing the most accurate coverage possible for these downloadable gems. We’re also about quality — each of our articles is peer-reviewed by other writers for factual accuracy, grammar and overall readability. We tag each article appropriately. If it’s merely a rumor, we tag it as such, meaning that you’ll never wonder whether something is fact or fiction.

We take a unique approach in our reviews as well. We believe that defined numbers don’t really tell you what you need to know. If a friend asked you to rate a game how would you do it? Would you really sit back and say “It’s an 8.5/10”? No of course not, no one would. The description of the game would develop into what was good and what was bad; hitting mostly on the highlights and lowlights. And in the end, they would want to know if it’s worth buying. Should they try it instead, or just skip it?

That is what our editorial staff at XBLA Fans tries to accomplish with our reviews. We want them to feel like a friend was writing to them in a way that actually gives them what they would want from a review. Unlike a lot of sites, we’ll answer questions in the comments; prompting the creation of a dialog about the game. We do our reviews for our readers benefit, not ours.

XBLA Fans Xbox One Review Scores:

Must Buy – These are the best games on the system and likely highlight some of the best aspects of their respective genres. Unless you know you absolutely hate the genre, you can pick this up without worrying about its quality level.

Highly Recommended — This game is really good, but it has some flaws. If our concerns don’t apply to you, then you should genuinely enjoy this game.

Readers Choice – These games won’t appeal for everyone. If you enjoy the genre and think the game still sounds interesting even after reading the negative parts, you should definitely give it a look. These games will be highly subjective and require you to do some additional research to decide if they are a wise purchase. Opinions will vary widely between people on these titles.

Limited Appeal – This game has significant flaws. It may appeal to some but multiple areas are significantly deficient and we wouldn’t recommend purchasing the game.

No Appeal – This game has serious issues. These are the games we play so you don’t have to waste you time or money. We highly recommend avoiding them in almost all circumstances

We highly suggest stopping by our Twitch streams for each ID@Xbox game if you can’t make up your mind. You can ask us questions about the game and get feedback directly from our stream team as they play the game. It’s about as close to a demo as you can get.

Metacritic Score Conversions:

For Metacritic scores will be treated as following:

Must Buy: 5/5 100

Highly Recommended: 4/5 80

Readers Choice: 3/5 60

Limited Appeal: 2/5 40

No Appeal: 1/5 20

These scores will not be changed after publication for any reason.

Legacy Review Scores:

Buy It: In general, everyone can find something to enjoy from this game. Unless you know ahead of time you absolutely hate the genre, you can pick this up without any concern for its quality or level of fun.

Try It: The game  won’t appeal to everyone. If you enjoy the genre of the game or notice it still sounds interesting after we have detailed all the negative parts, you should definitely give it a look. Every XBLA game comes with a trial version–use them to your advantage.

Skip It: Honestly, these are the games we play so that no one else has to waste their time or money. We highly recommend avoiding them.

Ethics Disclosure: 

We often use referral links from Microsoft or Amazon when we would otherwise be linking to a product anyway. We do receive a small amount for each purchase. These links in no way, shape, or form affect our editorial decisions.