Here we are once again at the start of what’s sure to be another fantastic year of XBLA releases. Each day this week XBLAFans will be rolling out a list of eight of our most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade releases of 2013. While we can’t possibly cover every single XBLA game planned for this year, we’ll be giving you a varied list of 40 of the most promising titles we expect to release on XBLA this calendar year. Once it’s all done, be sure to check back in next Monday when each staff member makes his/her picks for the game he/she is most looking forward to.
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds
Developer: Division2[springboard type=”video” id=”628937″ player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
A spinoff of 2011’s (Japan only) Phantom Breaker, Battle Groundsis a 2D brawling side-scroller that ditches the original’s look but keeps the attitude. Up to four player can go on this 8-bit adventure using four members of the original cast, or they can fight each other in an online versus mode.
Developer: Gaijin Games[springboard type=”video” id=”639345″ player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
After having many cameos in XBLA games, Commander Video finally gets to be an XBLA star in Runner 2. This sequel will expand on the original’s beat-driven side-scrolling by adding new moves, new worlds, new playable characters and a fancy new HD look.
Developer: SouthEnd[springboard type=”video” id=”639347″ player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
Sacred Citadel is a co-op beat-em-up side-scroller from the minds that brought you XBLA’s cutest puzzle game, ilomilo. While not as cute, an evolving combat system, comic book style graphics and constant loot drops sure make this game sound promising.
Developer: Coffee Stain Studios
A hybrid first-person shooter and tower defense game, Sanctum 2 is the sequel to its successful PC-exclusive predecessor. Details are slim at this point, but this is a game you should keep your eye on.
Developer: Tragnarion Studios[springboard type=”video” id=”639351″ player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
Taking place sometime in the future, Scourge: Outbreak follows the Echo Squad as they fight for their life while stranded on an island full of alien life. Up to four player can work together as these elite mercenaries in this shooter.
Serious Sam Double D: XXL
Developer: Mommy’s Best Games[springboard type=”video” id=”646239″ player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
Serious Sam is back, this time ditching his FPS roots for a side-scrolling shoot-em-up adventure. Returning once again is Sam’s ability to stack multiple guns together to make one super weapon to blast his foes. Fist kick!
Skulls of the Shogun
Developer: 17-bit[springboard type=”video” id=”639353″ player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
It’s 2013, and we still don’t have Skulls of the Shogun –- yet. But that’s set to change with game recently receiving a rock-solid release date of January 30. We already know plenty about this turn-based strategy: it stars a dead samurai general fighting the afterlife; there’s cross-platform multiplayer; and we have a number of glowing previews of it. The wait is almost over, and the anticipation is killing us!
Developer: Kung Fu Legends[springboard type=”video” id=”639355″ player=”xbla001″ width=”640″ height=”400″ ]
Based on the popular TV show, Spartacus Legends throws you into the arena as your own customizable gladiator. Fight head-to-head with online or offline multiplayer, earning fame to unlock new weapons and armor. There’s no reason to miss this game –- it will be free-to-play for all Xbox Live Gold members!
Still want more XBLA titles to look forward to in 2013? Check out Part V of our most anticipated games of the year!