6 Cheap, Downloadable Xbox 360 Games for Families

Posted by | April 21, 2015 | Feature, News | No Comments
downloadable xbox 360 games

When the Xbox 360 launched, Xbox Live Arcade made digital downloads a reality. And nearly a decade later, the Xbox 360 remains an excellent destination for cheap, family-friendly games that you can download in an instant. There are hundreds of Xbox Live Arcade games available to purchase, but we’ve gone through and picked six that are perfect for your family to play together. And they’re all less than $20 apiece, so they won’t break the bank.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane

hydro thunder hurricane downloadable xbox 360 games

ESRB Rating: E
Content Descriptor(s): Alcohol Reference, Mild Fantasy Violence
Publisher: Microsoft
Price: $14.99

Older players have fond memories of the old-school Hydro Thunder arcade cabinets. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a newer, Xbox-exclusive entry that brings the boat-racing favorite to your TV. In addition to a wide array of new tracks, boats, and play modes, Hurricane features extensive multiplayer options.

Best of all is the ability to split your display into four smaller screens. The whole family can battle for aquatic supremacy. Hydro Thunder Hurricane’s simple controls and straightforward racing make it easy to learn and enjoy. Speed and arcade-style shenanigans abound as you bump your opponents into rocks and vault off of ramps.

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition

minecraftexplainedheader-600x300 downloadable xbox 360 games

ESRB Rating: E10+
Content Descriptor(s): Fantasy Violence
Publisher: Mojang, Microsoft
Price: $19.99

The Xbox 360 Edition of Minecraft was the first to hit a game console. It’s still a great experience for families who want to play the block-based sensation together. Like other versions, Minecraft builds a randomized new world to explore, but there aren’t any stated objectives. You’ll need to dig into the earth, find minerals, and survive the creepy monsters that appear at night. And you do all this while relying on your wits and discovering helpful combinations of items.

What makes the Xbox 360 experience so perfect for families is the ability to sync up or plug in four controllers and play together in a split-screen mode. Whether you’re working together to sustain yourselves or collaborating on extensive building projects, there’s plenty to discover in Minecraft.

Raskulls

raskulls downloadable xbox 360 games

ESRB Rating: E10+
Content Descriptor(s): Crude Humor, Mild Animated Violence
Publisher: Halfbrick
Price: $9.99

Fast, frenzied, and a lot of fun, Raskulls is a raucous romp. You run through cartoonish, side-scrolling environments, smashing through blocks as quickly as possible on the way to the finish line. It’s part Super Mario-platformer and part racing game. The best part is that you can play with up to four players at once.

With each player commanding a quarter of the screen, you’ll zip through the various environments, bashing opponents out of the way while snagging essential items and boosts. It has the cuteness and approachability of a casual game, but the battles can become pretty frantic and heated.

Carcassonne

downloadable xbox 360 games

ESRB Rating: E
Content Descriptor(s): None
Publisher: Microsoft
Price: $9.99

Carcassonne is one of the key drivers of the modern indie board-game renaissance. Believe it or not, a lot of that has to do with this excellent 2007 Xbox Live Arcade recreation. It brings the tile-based, land-grabbing game to life on your TV and lets up to four local players take part in the action.

This colorful adaptation finds you drawing a terrain tile with each new turn and then aligning it with those already on the board. Based on where you place the tiles, you can quickly command large sections of the board. Carcassonne is a slower-paced game that has an early learning curve. But if you prefer to play games that are smart and strategic, it’s one of the best for families.

NFL Blitz

downloadable xbox 360 games

ESRB Rating: E10+
Content Descriptor(s): Comic Mischief, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Violence
Publisher: EA Sports
Price: $14.99

NFL Blitz is not like other realistic football simulations. Blitz features short, fast-paced games with 7-on-7 showdowns. It also features previous big football stars. You can have up to four local players battle at once. The gameplay includes throwing deep passes and landing big hits on receivers. As the descriptors note, NFL Blitz does have some lightly risqué elements—like toilet humor and moderately salty language—so it’s probably better for older kids.

Kinect Party

downloadable xbox 360 games

ESRB Rating: E
Content Descriptor(s): Comic Mischief, Mild Fantasy Violence
Publisher: Microsoft
Price: Free

If you have a Kinect sensor and want to play something freeform and zany, Kinect Party will definitely do the job. It’s not a heavily structured game with rules or objectives. Rather, it’s a motion-based playground that serves up an array of scenarios for you to mess around with. And it’ll recognize up to six players at once.

Kinect Party manipulates the sensor’s camera to transform players and even the room. It can make a river of lava seem to flow in your living room. It can turn your kids into skeletons or enable them to shoot fireworks from their hands. It’s just a silly, fun assortment of group-friendly visual gags, and it’s especially perfect for younger kids. The initial download is free, with activities sold within for $1 apiece or $10 for the whole set.

Andrew Hayward

About Andrew Hayward

Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor, and his work has appeared in more than 50 publications around the world. He’s also a work-at-home dad to a wild toddler.