Braid (Xbox 360)
Some of you may think we’re being needlessly mean by including Braid on this list. After all, it’s just a cheap little XBLA download by a tiny independent developer — surely it deserves a (love) bone or two?
While we appreciate the Herculean effort it took to get Braid made (developer Jonathan Blow reportedly sunk his lifesavings into the project), we still feel that some critics went a little overboard in their praise. “Beautiful, entertaining and inspiring”, gushed Eurogamer.com. “Among the best games of the generation”, squealed Xbox World 360 magazine. “Erases videogame norms and re-imagines the way we look at the medium,” concluded Gamervision.com (all of whom incidentally gave the game 100 per cent).
Based on the above commendations, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Braid is a timeless masterpiece of interactive art — instead of a quaint 2D puzzle game built on the creaky backbone of nostalgia. We think the universal acclaim Braid received says more about the gaming press than the game itself: namely, that it comprises almost solely of pompous, bearded Gen-X nerds who never got over their 16-bit consoles.
As the game’s official website
proudly points out, Braid is currently the highest-rated Xbox Live Arcade title of all time, and the 10th highest-rated Xbox 360 game. This puts it on equal footing with Halo 3
, Gears of War 2
and Fallout 3
. (Personally, we prefer the hack n’ slash tomfoolery of Castle Crashers… which apparently means we have no soul.)