It’s January, which means it’s time for XBLA Fans to take a look back at the best and brightest games of the last year.
2014 was a transitional year for the Xbox brand. It was Xbox One’s first full year on the market, and it bore witness to Microsoft going all-in on its complete reversal of the console’s strategy and public image. Redmond distanced its next-gen console from being some sort of multimedia wonderbox as much as possible and did its best to focus on the games. Despite a litany of exciting ID@Xbox game announcements, the program got off to a bit of a slow start, though. Ports and re-releases dominated much of 2014’s ID@Xbox release calendar, and last-gen Xbox Live Arcade releases on Xbox 360 were used to buoy Microsoft’s greater indie library.
If you paid as much attention to ID@Xbox as as XBLA Fans did, though, then you know there were some standout stars even if there was not a terribly high quantity of them. We’ve played the games and cast our votes, and how we present you with our 2014 Game of the Year awards. Don’t like our picks? Fair enough. Head to the comments and make your case for why yours are better.
The year 2013 has come and gone, and you know what that means: XBLA Fans dropped the ball on getting our Game of the Year awards out during the same calendar year the games released. Apologies for our tardiness, but we’re here today to make it up to you with our awards for the very best XBLA games to release in 2013.
After eight long and (mostly) wonderful years on the market, the Xbox 360 saw the beginning of its end in 2013 when its successor, the Xbox One, launched in November. Of course, Microsoft’s last-gen console and Xbox Live Arcade platform weren’t about to go quietly into that good night. No, major releases continued throughout the year for Xbox 360 XBLA, and that trend looks to continue well into 2014 and possibly even beyond. That meant that picking out the best of the best XBLA games released last year was every bit as difficult for us as it’s been any other year. Games like Charlie Murder and Skulls of the Shogun were strong competitors that just missed landing on our list of 2013’s best.
But enough about the games that didn’t make the cut. Let’s get down to what you came here for: the best XBLA games of 2013. Read on for XBLA Fans’ picks and let us know what your favorites were and which 2014 game you think will be worthy of being named Game of the Year at the end of next December.
Another year is in the books, and, as expected, XBLA has continued to grow and reach milestones that one would not have imagined possible seven years ago when the first few XBLA games released. In 2012, XBLA games set many records only to break those same records again and again in the ensuing weeks. From Fez to Trials Evolution to Minecraft, the downloads just kept queuing up all over the world. The success of XBLA in 2012 was impressive to say the least.
That meant that we had quite the task in front of us when coming together as a staff to try to decide which game to pick for each Game of the Year category below. The nominee list for each category offered so many great choices, but at the end of the day, only one game could win each award and as a staff of passionate XBLA gamers, we think we did a pretty good job of presenting the highlights of Xbox Live Arcade in 2012. Hope you like what we picked, but if not, let us know in the comments what you would have voted for. Without further delay, here are the 2012 XBLA Fans Game of the Year awards as chosen by the XBLA Fans staff.
2010 was a pretty great year for XBLA games. It’s hard to think it could be topped. Yet here we are at the end of 2011 with a crop of games that are arguably even better than last year. XBLA has continued to grow throughout 2011 and the diversity of games continues to rise.
We saw the year kick off with unique games like ilomilo, zeit2, and Stacking and it ends with impressive titles like Dungeon Defenders, Joe Danger: Special Edition and Trine 2. We’ve come a long way since the days of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved.
As a result this year’s XBLAFans Game of the Year awards were even more hotly contested than last year, with a few of the categories coming down to just a couple of votes. The list of nominees for the grand prize was almost excessive and could easily have gone into double digits. So without further ado, we are proud to present the second annual XBLAFans Game of the Year awards.
On behalf of the XBLAFans staff, welcome to the first annual XBLAFans 2010 Game of Year Awards!
2010 was a fantastic year for the Xbox Live Arcade, filled with surprises, letdowns, and, of course, great releases that will be remembered for years to come, like Limbo, Super Meat Boy and Monday Night Combat.
We even saw the triumphant return of some classic franchises, with games like Perfect Dark, Casltevania: Harmony of Despair, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Hydro Thunder Hurricane lighting up friend lists everywhere.
Yes, it was a fine year for the XBLA indeed.
We at XBLAFans.com have spent countless hours playing, discussing and writing about our favorite games to come out on Microsoft’s digital store. We know you love the XBLA as much as we do, and nominating five titles for each of the categories below was difficult. Deciding the winners was even more difficult, as many great titles sadly did not make the cut.
In the end, only a few winners received our highest accolades, with an honorable mention given to the runner-up. Here are the winners for the 2010 Game of the Year Awards: