The top 20 download-only games bought from Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service have been revealed in a blog posting by the company's Director of Programming, Larry Hryb. The critically acclaimed Battlefield 1943, Castle Crashers, Trials HD and Shadow Complex found Top 5 status, as did the Hasbro Family Game Night compendium of online boardgames.
Battlefield 1943 took top spot, released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in July 2009, and was recieved enthusiastically by players. It used updates of three maps from the Battlefield series' first game, 2002's Battlefield 1942, and destructable buildings from 2008's Battlefield: Bad Company, with the historical shooter novelty of blue skies and bright surroundings. 1943, despite being a cut-down version of its predecessors, succeeded at tiding over fans and whetting appetites for March 2010's Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
Trials HD grabbed third place and was for many the surprise XBLA hit of 2009. Reminiscent of Motocross Maniacs on the Gameboy and Elasto Mania on the PC, players must overcome a series of devious motorcycle obstacle courses without falling foul of the traps and tricks strewn throughout. Not only did it have excellently difficult gameplay to start with, but the developers RedLynx made sure that players could quickly compare their scores with that of their friends, leading to much encouragement and friendly rivalry.
Other notable inclusions are Xbox Live Arcade's Best Game of the Year for 2008, Castle Crashers, Giant Bomb's Xbox 360 Game Of The Year Shadow Complex, addictive puzzle game Peggle, whose PC predecessor was only just outside Eurogamer's Top 10 Games of 2007, and IGN's Best Platform Game of 2009, 'Splosion Man.
Top 20 Xbox Live Arcade Games, 2009
1. Battlefield 1943
2. Castle Crashers
3. Trials HD
4. Hasbro Family Game Night series
5. Shadow Complex
6. Marvel vs. Capcom 2
7. Magic: The Gathering
11. Worms 2: Armageddon
12. Turtles in Time Re-Shelled
13. 'Splosion Man
14. A Kingdom for Keflings
15. 3 on 3 NHL Arcade
16. The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
17. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade
18. Marble Blast Ultra
19. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
20. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix