MS boasts a strong 2008 for XBLA

Promises an even better 2009.

Microsoft reckons 2008 was a pretty good year for Xbox Live Arcade thanks to some of the highest-rated games ever on the service.

These enticed people to earn some 1250000000 Gamerpoints over the year by unlocking nearly 100000000 Achievements, according to the Gamerscore blog. Plus, around 110000000 trial versions have been downloaded. [Is this in binary or something? Use some bloody commas - Ed].

Of the games, Braid took most headlines, claiming near top honours in respected publications such as TIME and on newswires like Associated Press. We've not done our list yet. The world waits.

Metacritic puts Braid as the highest-rated game ever on Xbox Live Arcade, which sits well with our 10/10 score.

But 2008 saw plenty of other overachievers on the service: Rez HD (10/10), Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 (9/10) and Portal: Still Alive (9/10), for example.

Not to mention Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (8/10), Galaga Legions (8/10), Castle Crashers (8/10) and Bionic Commando Rearmed (8/10).

The majority of those were released during that strong August period, which saw unique purchaser numbers climb by 58 per cent and revenue rocket by 67 per cent. But look further afield and there are even more top titles: Duke Nukem 3D (8/10), Soulcalibur (8/10), N+ (8/10) and Mr Driller Online (8/10).

And Microsoft has plenty planned for a strong 2009, including the Lode Runner revamp, that mysterious South Park game, the new Puzzle Quest: Galactrix and R-Type Dimensions.

There's also The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai; the gory and stylised XNA platformer that was publicly trialled following GDC back in March.

However, Microsoft may be the console leader for this sort of thing, but both Nintendo and Sony have their respective champions.

LostWinds (9/10) stands out on WiiWare, while WipEout HD (9/10), PixelJunk Monsters (8/10) and Siren: Blood Curse (8/10) catch the eye on the PlayStation Network - not to mention the various multiformat releases.

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