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This includes full games, add-ons for games you may already own, themes and other Xbox Live content. If you’re particularly keen on improving your GamerScore you’ll be delighted to know that some of these freebies come with achievements you can grind away at.
Fire up your 360 and clear some download space if you’ve not got this lot already!
Regions & Downloading Options
Unfortunately Microsoft choose to restrict which regions receive some of this free content, especially the games. Much of this content will be available in US NTSC regions, and I’ve tested its availability in the UK (that’s the European PAL region).
Gamers down under might encounter some issues, as I’ve read on multiple forums that some of this content isn’t available in their region.
On the plus side you’ve got two options when you want to download Xbox 360 games. You can either choose to navigate your way through the Game Marketplace on your Xbox 360 console (you’ll need to be logged in to a Live-enabled account), or sign in with your Xbox Live credentials at Xbox.com to add each download to your queue.
Once you power your console up and login, your downloads will automatically start. This is generally a lot quicker than navigating your way around the Xbox dashboard with a controller.
Do you like racing? Good. How about shooting? Ok, well grab yourself a friend and prepare to do plenty of both with this free co-op “I race, you shoot” Xbox Live Arcade game. Featuring full online play (though you might have to persist at more social hours to get a game) and offline local carnage too, there’s very little reason not to download Harms Way.
Created by three Microsoft interns and Carbonated Games, Aegis Wing is a side-scrolling shooter that rewards co-op play. Up to four friends can join in either locally or via Xbox Live to battle through hordes of enemy aliens.
It is possible to combine ships in order to boost firepower and there are some pretty spectacular power-ups to collect along your way. If you enjoy this kind of arcade experience download Aegis Wing now!
Note: Even though the game displays for me within a browser on Xbox.com US, I’ve not been able to download this one in the UK on my console.
Easily one of the most infuriating yet addictive games to date, Doritos Crash Course is essentially a spicier, crispier video game homage to the hit TV show Total Wipeout. The aim is to finish the course, avoid the obstacles, duck and jump your way to the end in order to place better than your friends and the rest of the world.
With online leaderboards, a frantic local multiplayer experience and achievements to boot, Doritos Crash Course should keep you busy, at least for a while.
Accessible via an Xbox 360 and the Microsoft Windows operating system, Games Room is a collection of genuine arcade classics all wrapped up in a 3D environment. The best part is you don’t necessarily need to spend any money to enjoy classics like Centipede on your 360 console.
Anything you do happen to purchase will also then be available on PC, so you can do your gaming from anywhere. There’s a handful of cabinets that are free to play, though you’ll be invited to make a couple of purchases on your way.
You’ll need to own the original games for these to work, but here are some of the best free DLC downloads released for the Xbox 360 to date.
If you spent all your money on Rockband controllers way back when, then chances are you’ve got a copy of the game too. There are a few great free songs available for download completely free of charge, and you might even find yourself playing these more than ones you’ve actually paid for.
Personal favourites include Still Alive, released by Valve Software, which is the song played at the end of the popular FPS Portal. Another quality free track is Promised Land by Vesuvius, which featured in the film The Rocker and is an absolute blast for the drummer and vocalist.
For a better way to peruse the whole catalogue (with previews) try the Rockband Music Store.
Rarely do free add-ons get as good as this (unless they’re free mods, of course). Despite Valve’s Left 4 Dead being a bit short and well, a bit repetitive, the addition of two completely new levels and a new game mode pretty much makes up for it.
Considering you can waltz into any good games reseller and by a nice, cheap, sub-$10 copy of Left 4 Dead; this DLC makes it all the more enticing (and essentially gives you another third of a game, completely free).
Hopefully some of the titles mentioned here will tickle your fancy, and more importantly are available for download in your region. Don’t forget Microsoft regularly update the Xbox 360 online game catalog each Wednesday, with new Arcade games, DLC, game demos and games on demand.
Do you have an Xbox 360? Any favorite titles or addons? Discovered any nice freebies recently? Let us know in the comments.