Must Buy XBLA Classics (Part One)

As time slowly passes by and everyone waits patiently for the winter of sequels coming this November (Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2) many gamers are scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to play. “What can last me until November that isn’t too expensive?” This is the question I was asked by some buddies of mine who were looking for a video game to spend some time on that’s worth the ticket price. “Well!” I said with a reassuring smile, “The best thing to do while waiting for new games is to play old ones!” And there’s no better place to do this than from the comfort of your own home on your very own Xbox 360. That’s right! Play classic video games (for a small fee, of course) on your current generation console! This is a perfect way to catch up on some famous titles you may have missed while passing the time until November. Now, some people may not like the idea of the money sucking Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) but there are some good deals on there that are sure to please. Here is Part One of the must buy classics on the XBLA.

Altered Beast


An amazing beat ‘em up that grants you the power to hulk out and then transform into a crazy beast as you take out countless enemies. Whether you’re a wolf or a dragon you’ll be taking names as you bust these creatures in the face with a super punch and introduce their groin to your beefed up shin. The game is a lot of fun and features a co-op mode so you can bring a friend along on your journey. The price is only $5, but this can be a short adventure depending on how skilled a gamer you are. Still, if you like beating the snot out of zombies and other ludicrous beings, this is one beast you’ll want to become.

Bionic Commando: Rearmed


Yes, GRIN is finished but you can still find their enhanced remake of the 1988 classic shining on XBLA. GRIN showed everyone how a remake should be with this gem. Not only does this game contain everything the original Bionic Commando had, it comes with so much more! Featuring co-op play, a four player versus mode, new weapons and a time attack mode, this is one classic that should be on everyone’s hard drive.

Bomberman Live


Do you want crazy, party fun with explosions and some strategic thinking in a arcade-style hit? Then look no further than Bomberman Live. An original version of the classic, it features four player arcade action at its best. You can even play as your avatar! With tons of power ups and several different versus modes, you’ll be sure to start taking out friends constantly… with a bomb and the prideful laughter of sweet victory.



Do I need to say more? If you’ve never played this staple in video game history you should think again before calling yourself a gamer. But even if you’ve never experienced this cathartic first-person shooter (FPS), your chance has arrived. Available for download on the XBLA, the game not only features four player co-op and versus, it also has online play. And the best part is that it’s only $5! What are you waiting for? Get this game now!

Duke Nukem 3D


It’s time to kick… Yeah, you probably know the rest, but if don’t and you have never heard of this video game protagonist then you have missed out on one of the greatest moments in PC history. An amazing shooter for its time, this game has all the guns, monsters and babes a geek needs. With a multitude of levels, gamers will be blasting away alien scum for days. Featuring online versus and system link co-op and one of the most bada** characters (stereotypical, but bada**) in video games, this is one game you’ll want to be able to say you experienced.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2


One of the greatest—No, probably the greatest fighter ever created. Featuring an enormous cast of characters, some you probably have never even heard of, this game has got something for everyone. I can’t even begin to count the amount of quarters I spent on this sucker at the arcade and now, I can enjoy it from the comfort of my own couch.  Don’t worry if you’re not big on fighters because the game is user friendly and everyone will be able to enjoy it. The price may seem a little steep at 1200 Microsoft Points but the fun factor will cover it. Now, please excuse me as I go teach Ryu how Spider-Man does it in the hood.

Mega Man 9


Ok, so it’s not a classic released on the Nintendo Entertainment System or any other vintage console but it deserves to be on this list because CAPCOM went back to the original roots of their beloved franchise and created a new entry. With the good ol’ 8 bit graphics and sound, this game will bring back fond memories as you bust up enemies with, well, your Mega Buster. While not as great the original three entries this one stacks up there with the best. Just beware; this is one toughie that won’t take it easy on you.

Sonic Games (Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic and Knuckles)


This group of games starring the blue hedgehog were some of the greatest games ever conceived rivaling even the famous Italian plumber, Mario. The nostalgia gained by playing them will remind you of the past years days of gaming. Each of these platforming games are fast paced and exciting and each one introduces new elements that elevated Sonic’s status to video game stardom. Now, if you are a huge fan of the fuzzy blue hedgehog you probably will want all of them (heck, you probably already own all of them). Each of these is worth its ticket price but if you need to just pick one, I’d advise Sonic the Hedgehog 3. This entry was the epitome of Sonic’s tremendous run on the Genesis. It contained amazing gameplay, enjoyable levels, great graphics and excellent music. And this was all because Genesis does (well, Genesis did).

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix


The fighter that gamers still play today and the one that so many try to imitate… Now in HD. With a new crisp look, this rebalanced fighter will seem absolutely stunning on your HD television. The game doesn’t have anything wildly new but it does feature a single player mode, training, and multiplayer (both online and offline). What makes this game a must is how amazing it looks and how precise the movement is compared to previous versions. If you haven’t played it, you simply must try it out as soon as possible. If you’ve bought every other edition of Street Fighter II you really aren’t missing out on anything but if you are a hardcore devoted Street Fighter fan then this game, most definitely, should be in your collection.

Wolfenstein 3D


Sure, DOOM might be the staple of the FPS genre but Wolfenstein 3D paved the way for many famous games today. It doesn’t have any other modes besides the single player and the graphics are definitely outdated but this game can deliver a lot of fun. However, some may grow tired of the labyrinth style levels and the intense difficulty so think before you buy. The repetitious gameplay can also drive some to boredom but hardcore FPS fans will enjoy every second. And besides, you get to kill Nazis for $5! What a deal!

Well, That’s it for the first part of this line up. Tune in next time for Part 2 of Must buy XBLA Classics. Same Gamer Syndrome time, same Gamer Syndrome channel.

Agree or disagree with any of the ones listed above? Let it be known by commenting below.

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  1. Eh, not Altered Beast, it is a genuine classic, I’ll admit that, but its not really that great of a game. The Sonic games though, yeah, get them. Sonic 3 and Knuckles is simply the pinnacle of the Sonic games, no contest.

  2. I was more of a Golden Axe kid back in the day. Never did complete the first one back then, but the second? I was a master at it. The last-last boss in the Genesis version of Golden Axe was a genuine monster.

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