Free Xbox 360 Games and DLC

Rocky May 1, 2014

  1. Ro

    Rocky Guest

    It's a good time to be a penniless Xbox owner. Microsoft has a number of free-to-play games in the works for Xbox Live, including World of Tanks: Xbox 360 and Project Spark, which doesn't even require a Gold subscription. Under the Games with Gold scheme, the firm will also hand out two free Xbox 360 games to Gold subscribers every month - one game on the 1st, the next on the 16th.

    You'll read about each free game as it arrives right here, on this continually updated page, which is definitely worth a bookmark. By all means drop us a comment about a freebie we've missed, or a suggestion as to what Microsoft should give away next, or to let us know how you're making use of the cash you've saved. The Games with Gold scheme will also launch on Xbox One at some point in the future.

    Update: 30/04/2014 - The first free Xbox game of May will be Dust: An Elysian Tail, followed by Saints Row 3 from the 16th.

    Free Xbox games of the month

    Dust: An Elysian Tail

    A wonderful side-scrolling action platformer that should entertain you whether you're young or just young at heart. The titular Dust is a spectacularly nimble swordsman who's lost his memory - he's accompanied by a magical talking sword and Fidget, a flying orange thing who sounds like something Pikachu threw up. Slightly grating voicework aside, it's a charming tale - and the combat and puzzling are very decent. Read our review for more.


    Free Xbox games for all time

    Warface Xbox 360 (beta)

    A Gold-exclusive free-to-play FPS featuring four classes, co-op and competitive mission types, four maps (at the time of writing) and some ruddy great robots. Warface is the work of Crytek, developer of the Crysis series, so you can expect a fairly fast-paced experience with a fat tactical underbelly. The full version is slated for release this spring.


    Ascend: Hand of Kul

    An ambitious, if muddled online RPG brawler in which you fight for territory on behalf of one of three fantasy gods. Everything in the game can be unlocked for free, by either slaying foes or looting treasure chests, but you can buy advanced weapons, gear, spells and the like from the in-game inventory. There's a levelling system, but you can also "Ascend" your character to start from scratch with a few weapons or abilities - the earlier version of your character then becomes an AI minion, who will invade the worlds of rival players. There's a lot of online functionality going on beneath the surface - you can teleport enemies into other game sessions using Crusade spells.

    World Series Poker: Full House Pro

    An online poker sim starring player Avatars, obviously enough. You'll get free chips every day, so you don't have to invest any of your own cash, which can be spent on "flashy" accessories, "amazing" chip tricks, and real world casino venues.

    Spartacus Legends

    A free-to-play fighting game from Ubisoft, modelled on the Spartacus TV series, which proffers "multiple fighting styles and thousands of different weapon combinations". It's supported by micro-transactions, which mostly apply to new gear and weapons, though you can also unlock many of the latter by winning matches and earning in-game currency. There's online and local multiplayer, and Ubisoft plans to hold weekly tournaments.


    Harm's Way

    A startlingly high-polish, pleasantly aggressive kart racer from the Doritos brand (lately the cause of some upset of the woe-unto-games-journalism variety). There's a twist, and it's this: if you'd rather not race, you might take command of the turrets around each course and do your best to make life difficult for the drivers. Spawning track power-ups are available to both drivers and turret commanders, which makes for an engaging back-and-forth, and there's lots of playful randomness to be had in the shape of destructible track furniture and dynamic weather conditions (e.g. sandstorms). A genuine surprise.

    Happy Wars

    The first true free-to-play title on Xbox Live Arcade, a moderately entertaining class-based MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) for up to 30 players a match. The basics are just that, swiftly degenerating into mashsville, but there's a respectable amount to customise for both cosmetic and tactical advantage, and the maps are fat, gaudy platters of fortifications and siege weapons. Additional gear and the like can be bought at the in-game store and the developer will remind you of this relentlessly, but from what we've played/heard, Happy Wars steers clear of "pay to win" territory. The aesthetic is rather charming, almost as though somebody had weaponised the cast of Disney's "It's a small world" attraction.

    Air Band

    So devoid of imagination that you can't actually picture the thing you're pretending to play, for the amusement and instruction of loved ones? Get ahold of Air Band, a Kinect Fun Labs sim which recognises musical gestures and teleports in an appropriate instrument. Well, most of the time. Our efforts to conjure up a harpsichord haven't met with great success.


    4. TotemBall

    "The Ptolmec tribe needs your help", lazy good-for-nothings that they are. In particular, they need you to "guide Pterry the Pturtle through his jungle home", using your Xbox Live Vision camera to "navigate across islands, over bridges, and through ancient ruins". Don't have an Xbox Live Vision camera? Guess you won't be helping no caricatured aborigines, then. There's a fun collection element which layers up the soundtrack as you add tribesmen to your rolling stack - the soundtrack itself isn't particularly listenable, however. In short: it's a cheap, cheerful, peripheral-exclusive and motion-guided platformer that probably won't make your arms fall off immediately, like certain Kinect games, but probably isn't worth even the incredibly low price of an obsolete gaming peripheral. TotemBall doesn't work with Kinect, bizarrely.

    Doritos Crash Course

    For a game that owes its existence to somebody's burning desire to sell crisps, this is rather a hoot - 15 levels of platformer "mayhem" starring your very own Xbox Live Avatar, who must contend with both a selection of gladiatorial hazards and the leaderboards. There's splitscreen support, the controls are sharp and the branding is thankfully low-key.

    Doritos Crash Course 2

    The illustrious sequel, proffering four new worlds and the opportunity to race against ghosts. You'll have to be connected to Live to play it, however, and there's now a micro-transaction system which is thankfully limited to cosmetic options. The basic controls and play objectives are more or less the same.


    Aegis Wing (US only)

    A side-scrolling space blaster for up to four players, offering ugly but diverting 3D backdrops and an actual orchestral score. Triple-A confirmed? It's not a patch on the likes of Sine Mora, but if you are thinking of buying Sine Mora in light of Log's ravings, but you're not sure the prospect of weaving through bullet patterns really appeals, consider this a useful reintroduction to the schmup in general. Shame the weapon effects aren't a bit sparkier.

    Mars Rover Landing

    A celebratory Kinect effort in which you use gestures to steer a probe through the Red Planet's atmosphere - the more precise the gestures, the better condition your rover will be in when it lands, though you'll get a "well done" either way. This one's definitely more of a novelty than a game, but perhaps there's a kid in your household who dreams of becoming an astronaut. Incidentally, Kinect latency makes a lot more sense when there's a million, million miles of interplanetary void to account for, doesn't it? Look, here's somebody who's related to somebody who was in space to demonstrate the thing.

    Kinect Party

    A wonderful mini-game compilation from Double Fine, which shows how much Kinect has to offer given considerate design (pro tip: just say "hey television" to bring up the menu), an emphasis on having fun rather than winning, and a reluctance to just transplant ideas from genres that grew up on controllers. The free base download comes with five "channels" - you'll need to pay for the rest, but what's here is worth the non-price of admission alone.


    Battle Stuff

    Step 1: hold nearby household object in front of Kinect. Step 2: force virtual representation of household object to smash one of its brethren around using Kinect commands, while a crowd of domestic paraphernalia bays for blood. Step 3: realise inner comic potential, swap household object for your own, engorged genitalia. Step 4: invite friends to see the results. Step 5: look for new friends.

    Hexic HD

    This comes pre-installed on most Xbox 360s, but perhaps you've deleted your copy. It's an easy to pick up, hard to master match-3 puzzler - group hexagons into clusters of three or more to clear them away. Arrange tiles to form a flower shape, and you'll reap additional bonuses when they evaporate. Good, clean fun.

    Free DLC


    1. Halo 4 Forge Island

    A new Halo 4 map that's tailor-made for Forge Mode customisation. That's to say, it's huge and flat with lots of ceiling space. You may wish to refer to this Forge Mode masterclass, which contains extensive tips and insights from Halo map veterans Certain Affinity.


    2. Gears of War: Judgment - Haven

    Maxim aren't just good for objectifying women and filling your eyes with multi-page advertorials, you know - they're also rock-solid at sponsoring multiplayer map packs for popular shooters. Haven includes the titular map plus returning Gears of War mode Execution. No excuses for missing either.


    3. Gunstringer - The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles

    Log terms this whopping add-on campaign "ridiculous", and "like somebody tried to make a game out of those old CD-ROM films". As the official rundown puts it, "this completely live-action interactive shooter features Wavy Tube Man Jr., who has stolen a time machine to prevent his father's death at the hands of the Gunstringer. Shot on location with classic western and futuristic sets, this DLC pack features quick-drawing cowboys, heavily armed future warriors, and a final showdown against Wavy Tube Man Jr. himself." You'll need a Kinect sensor, and a flexible imagination.


    4. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine - assorted multiplayer modes

    If outside impressions are worth anything, THQ was in such a rush to get shot of Relic's solid, unremarkable Warhammer shooter that it lopped off a brace of online modes, which have thankfully been released separately for no additional charge. Those modes are Capture & Control, Capture The Flag and Exterminatus, which is Horde Mode but shoutier and with spikier kneecaps.


    5. Fable 2 - Knothole Island

    This one's a little bit cheeky - when last we checked, the only way to actually visit the island in question, converse with/slay its denizens and avail yourself of its new quests, outfits, appearance-altering potions and augments was to shack up with somebody who's bought the 800 MP Premium Version. Still, you could always split the cost with that somebody.


    6. Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition - Tournament Mode

    Host four to eight player tournaments, record the experience and replay it later, for shizzles, gizzles and other slangular emotions. Blanka will be thrilled.

    7. Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay - Commentary Mode

    An unusual specimen, this - rather than adding new content, it introduces director's cut-style commentary from Starbreeze, a mixture of gameplay hints and insight on development lasting four and a half hours in total. "Fans of the original version will be excited to learn new revelations about the game that they never knew," reads the blurb. "Gamers who have never had the opportunity to play the original will gain new insight on a cult classic." Watch out for commentary symbols as you explore Butcher Bay.

    8. Left 4 Dead: Survival Pack

    The product listing for this one suggests that it adds "two complete campaigns" to Versus Mode, which isn't really true - what you're getting, rather, is the opportunity to play already-existing campaigns in Versus Mode. But that's nothing to sneeze at, and nor is the new Survival Mode and bespoke lighthouse map, where the idea is to hold out against waves of the infected, placing explosive traps and the like between waves.

    9. Portal 2 - Peer Review

    A brand new set of co-op campaign levels starring Atlas and Peabody, plus single and multiplayer Challenge mode functionality (fewer portals per puzzle = win) and online leaderboards. The premise is that GLADOS has taken an interest in Art Therapy, an interest that's (of course) manifest in the form of hideous death chambers.

    10. Red Dead Redemption - Outlaws to the End

    Very much king of the free Red Dead Redemption DLC packs, despite launching with more bugs on-board than a planeload of zoological samples. Outlaws to the End includes six new co-op missions (the co-op isn't mandatory, but strongly advised in light of the number of enemies). CVG's former staff writer Tom Pakinkis - who we greatly miss on account of his habit of insulting/being insulted by former editor Tim Ingham, who we also greatly miss - has a review. Might want to download The Myths and Mavericks pack while you're at it - there are 11 new maps on offer, which rather takes Call of Duty to school.


    11. Battlefield 3 - Physical Warfare

    A Type 88 LMG, the DAO-12 revolver shotgun, flechette ammo for the DAO-12, and a flash suppressor for the SKS sniper rifle. Why on earth would you say no? It's only 108 KB in size, though that's probably in addition to a "compatibility update" of some kind.

    12. R.U.S.E. - The Manhattan Project

    Ubisoft and Eugen's brilliant real-time tactics effort didn't get nearly enough love, and nor did this chunky free add-on, which alters the base "Ground Control with poker-style global powers" formula to accommodate nuclear warfare. Besides the two new modes in question, there are three new maps to be had.

    13. Mass Effect 3 - various multiplayer content

    Roll the Reckoning, Earth, Resurgence and Rebellion packs into one, thunderous, swollen mass, and you're looking at six new maps, 16 new guns, 24 new character classes plus masses of mods and assorted bric-a-brac. There's also the Retaliation pack, which introduces environmental hazards on certain maps plus new breeds of foe. That'll do, EA. That'll do.

    14. Battlefield: Bad Company - Community Choice Pack

    You may struggle to get a game going in Bad Company, given that it came out in 2008, but should you manage it, consider sampling this four-map add-on comprising DICE favourites and single player levels chosen by fans for a multiplayer makeover.


    Source - OXM
     
  2. Goth

    Goth GTA V King! Lifetime Gold
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    Totem Ball Requires Xbox Cam :p
     
  3. BANWAVE

    BANWAVE Gold Member Gold Subscriber
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    an its crap
     
  4. AllanBitz

    AllanBitz Rookie
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    I haven't played/downloaded totemball but i have downloaded most of the free games, some of them are a lot of fun like Doritos Crash Course....
     
  5. raisinbrand

    raisinbrand Member
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    great post, thanks for that!
     
  6. weedkilla

    weedkilla XPG Weedkilla
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    Totemball only works on vision cam not even with kinect lol
     

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