Every month, the Hawk gives you the good, the bad and the ugly of the whole Xbox Live Marketplace content. This time we’ll delve into making the best of our bucks with some good games selection.

Currently neither Xbox.com nor the dashboard marketplace have a way to sort its content by price. We do get the weekly deals from different publishers, or based on themes (like the recent speed content for Forza, Joe Danger and other related content), and there’s also the X MSP or less App on the Dashboard, but that’s all. If you want to check everything for 400 MSP or less (including the free content), well my son, you’re in for some checkup time on Wikipedia or other sites (just like trying to get free themes for your dashboard and wanting to check out how they look). Of course, the table currently available in Wikipedia shows all the arcade titles, and can be sorted by prize (ignore the fact on how the group of amounts get organized, please!), but how do you select the best from the crap? No way to help you there unless you also check out Metacritic or see the user ratings per game on Xbox.com (or the dashboard).

Never fear, my friend! The Hawk has investigated profusely on the matter and brings you a great tool for making the best selection. Using Metacritic as a guide, I have designed a spreadsheet (attached here) that includes all the best arcade titles with their prices (163 games in total). I also checked the best games (as rated by the Xbox community) that have received 4+ stars on the Marketplace (attached here). The amount of games considered on the latter goes to 84 right now.

You’ll have to consider which source to trust. If you think the critics are a reliable source, the first list is the one to follow, and you should download Hexic HD RIGHT AWAY! If you prefer trusting the community, then it’s Doritos Crash Course and Harm’s Way (trust the Hawk; get them all!).

How do you use any of the spreadsheets included? Check the latest news about games to receive discounts and get them, especially if they’re on the 1200-1600 MSP range . For example, using one of the recent SNK deal of the week, the best game you could get from the offers included was Metal Slug 3 at 400 MSP (using the Metacritic source) and both the King of Fighters 98 and 2002 titles (using the Community ratings).

There’s something to please everyone, from the classics-fan to the fighting-games follower. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from getting Rocky & Bullwinkle if you’re a diehard fan of the old TV series (but don’t tell your friends about it!).

P.S. Yours truly has already asked Microsoft to include the “sort by price” option and to visualize the price on the main screen for all of the marketplace content. This would help everyone make the best selection. In the meantime, I’ll keep these spreadsheets updated as much as possible.


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