Top 20 XBLA titles purchased in 2006

Xbox Live's Major Nelson posted some interesting year-end numbers, including this ranking of 2006's top Xbox Live Arcade titles ranked in order of sales:

2 Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting
3 Geometry Wars Evolved
4 Marble Blast Ultra
7 Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
9 Gauntlet
10 Frogger
11 Bankshot Billiards 2
12 SmashTV
13 Contra
14 Zuma
15 Texas Hold 'em
16 Bejeweled 2
17 Feeding Frenzy
18 Small Arms
19 Cloning Clyde

A few comments:

1. Who the heck is purchasing Gauntlet? That game is broken! (Hitting "Y" on the controller is the same as inserting a quarter into the original arcade game, but it can be hit an unlimited number of times, making it equivalent to an "invincibility" button.) Gauntlet's place on this list demonstrates the power of nostalgia over gameplay when it comes to arcade titles. We suspect that Nintendo's virtual console is benefiting from the same misguided gamer nostalgia. Some old games just don't hold up.

2. Most (all?) annual Xbox Live Gold subscriptions sold in the retail box (the one with the cheapo headset) included a free game code to redeem Bankshot Billiards 2, making that $15 game's rank on this list suspect.

3. Feeding Frenzy would be higher on this list if there were a reason to pay for it. It feels like the demo mode lasts forever. It's quite satisfying to play without ever purchasing it.

4. Street Fighter II would have been number one on this list if a solid arcade joystiq had been released simultaneously with the game. First- and third-party peripheral manufacturers really blew an opportunity there.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.