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Nov. 19, 2008 - Oct. 7, 2017

Xbox Live Indie Games

Microsoft launched "Community Games" for its Xbox 360 video game console on November 19, 2008. Using Microsoft's XNA toolset, the company opened up the 360 to anyone interested in developing for it. This unleashed a wave of would-be game designers who otherwise would unlikely ever seen the chance to publish their games on a console. This was helped by the relative ease of developing and publishing console games with Microsoft's XNA development tools. You'll find the best big red free slots here, you have time to get it!

As expected, this brought about a fair share of shovelware as anyone paying the $99 annual subscription could throw just about anything onto the marketplace so long as it passed a few simple compatibility, content, and crash tests. Many Xbox 360 owners didn't know where to find the games in the first place on the new dashboard, and media coverage was nil. Those who stumbled upon the Community Games section would generally see the most current listings and leave as so many XNA users were quick to put out a sloppy product and "shelf" artwork to match.

User interface issues and poor initial impressions aside, I loved what Community Games (later rechristened "Xbox Indies") offered. I started promoting worthwhile Xbox Indies on Kotaku and was able to get a few games some mainstream coverage this way, including I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1, Shoot 1-Up, and Breath of Death VII. In the meantime, I kept toying with the idea of creating a guide that I could link to when I would see people wondering what games were worth playing, and after waiting far too long wondering if it'd be worth it, I did just that.

This site launched summer 2010 as Kobun's Xbox Indies Page and went through too many revisions as I stumbled through various blog publishing platforms and themes trying to get to this format. Initially covering any title which caught my interest or by request, I decided to stop reviewing and promoting mediocre or bad games as it just wastes both my and the readers' time -- I just wanted a page to promote the better titles on the service, after all. That said, as Xbox Indies received more and more attention from the mainstream video game sites, magazines, and others; I saw less of a need to spend my own time promoting them. Although not updated as frequently as other XBLIG sites, I still find remains an excellent reference for someone to see which are the best Xbox Indie Games. While a few games listed here have found their way to other platforms such as Steam's Greenlight, most can still only be experienced on the Xbox 360.

Quick Notes

  • Microsoft officially shut down XBLIG on October 7, 2017 after giving the service a week long reprieve. It took a couple of days for games to be delisted from the service. The "Indie" tab yet remains on the dashboard, and 3-4 late releases are still available as of 2018.
  • Remember that every Xbox Indie has a trial available. Even if you're not interested in purchasing a game, you can always download the demo and play for eight minutes before being prompted to buy.
  • As of August 26, 2013, Microsoft has finally ditched its Microsoft Points in favor of your local currency for purchases. Note that prices reported on reviews here are accurate at the time of release and may not reflect the current price (particularly due to the noted policy change).
  • I dislike rating games but provide a five star system for reviews reflecting how strongly I recommend a game. No game is for everyone.
  • I should also note that many of the reviews linked to no longer exist. If you really wanted, you could probably run the link through the Wayback Machine at to produce a copy of the page. I've considered doing that myself and linking to PDFs of the content, but that feels like more trouble than it's worth.