Not everyone has a big budget for games these days. Despite retailers holding constant sales on hit titles and Microsoft offering bargains every week, there just comes a time when you need to save your money for something else, like bills, food and other things.
But that shouldn't stop your Achievement progression on your Xbox 360. In this week's edition of Achievement Hunter, we've tracked down some of the best awards you can unlock from free games – and there are a good number of them.
From the multiplayer romp Happy Wars to Double Fine's recently released Kinect Party, we've found some of the better Achievements to add to your collection. And relax, we didn't even consider Yaris.
Here we go with our favorite free Achievements!
This side-scrolling shooter, released back in 2007, is still available on Xbox Live Arcade, and most of its 12 Achievements revolve around meeting certain criteria in the game, such as earning 30,000 ("Rookie", 5 points), 100,000 ("Veteran", 10 points) or 185,000 points ("Ace", 20 points).
It also provides gifts for destroying all enemies in a level ("Exterminator", 15 points), completing a stage without taking any damage ("Untouchable, 15 points) and getting through without dying or losing any allies ("Immortal", 15 points). The big one revolves around finishing the whole thing on Insane difficulty ("Legend", 50 points), while you can also earn some points just getting through Normal ("Hero", 25 points).
This free-to-play multiplayer combat game offers 400 Achievement points in all, not too shabby for something that won't deliver a ding to your wallet. Some are based on basics, like getting a victory in any game session ("First Victory", 10 points) and launching a Team Skill to earn a kill in a match ("Gang Up", 10 points). Others require a bit of use with items, whether it's collecting 30 of them ("Rich Man", 10 points), modifying and adding a buff to one ("The Blacksmith", 10 points) or leveling it up properly ("MOD 0", 10 points).
The big ones come with making progress in your fights, whether it's completing all the tutorials ("Nobody Calls Me Noob", 20 points), reaching rank 20 ("Standing On My Own", 20 points) or unlocking the MVP quest ("MVP", 20 points). The highest ones rank at 60 points each, either by playing 100 non-tutorial games ("Happy War-lord") and completing more than 40 quests ("You Rock!"). They take some time, but those points are as good as yours.
The Achievements that come from this Double Fine-produced party game (which uses the Kinect) are among the best you'll find, because most of them stem from simply completing each of the mini-game activities. Get a gaggle of people together and spare a couple of hours, and you'll have 400 Achievement points in no time flat! The list is as follows, with each of the Achievements racking up at 20 points each.
Six Pack- You've got a big living room!
Let Me Pick- You picked a channel to watch!
Social Butterfly- You shared a photo!
I'm Your Huckleberry- You shared the wanted poster with gold blocks!
One Hour Photo- You used the darkroom!
Channel Surfer- You played through every channel!
Shutterbug- You filled up the camera roll!
We Were So Young- You watched a photo recap!
Fowl Ball- You watched Fowl Ball!
Enter Your Initials- You defeated every enemy in Hyperspace!
Way of the Fist- You broke every object in the bonus round!
Dragon's Breath- You breathed fire!
I'm a Little Teacup- You created the teacup constellation!
Special Order!- You prepared extra awful popcorn for the scoop!
Abracadabra- You cast fairy magic!
ARRRRRR!- You found a treasure chest filled with gold!
What Are the Odds?- You got struck by lightning twice!
It's ALIVE!!!- You powered up the Tesla Device while shooting lightning!
Outfoxed- You caught the desert fox!
Crowd Funding- You got at least 2 players to throw money!
As we mentioned, with a good group of people, these are easy to get. Happy hunting!
Doritos Crash Course
This side-scrolling game, which bears a familiar resemblance to the Wipeout games, is filled with challenges galore, but it comes at no cost to you. And it comes with a fairly good amount of Achievements to unlock as well!
Most of them come with completing certain tasks in the game, such as swinging from rope to rope 10 times in a row ("Tarzan", 10 points), bouncing from trampoline to trampoline 12 times in a row ("Hopscotch", 20 points) and getting smashed by three hammers in a row ("That's Gotta Hurt", 10 points).
Others come with finishing levels, like getting through all the Europe stages ("Euro Star", 20 points), Japan stages ("I'm Big In Japan", 20 points), and the U.S. stages ("American Hero", 20 points), as well as finishing every level through Xbox Live ("Social Climber", 15 points). The biggest one of the "Going For Gold" (40 points) Achievement, awarded for, obviously, earning a gold medal across every level. Good luck!
Finally, there's Crimson Alliance, the fun co-op adventure game that bears a resemblance to the cool Torchlight series, but with its own character classes and enemies to face. It also comes to 250 Achievement points to earn, and at zero charge to you (unless you buy the DLC, obviously).
Most of the Achievements are progress based, so you'll earn them as you get through the game. These include maxing out your character statistics ("Maxed Out", 20 points), finding all 33 of the Soul Anchors ("Soul Hoarder", 20 points) and defeating certain bosses in the game, like Gashadokuro, the Death Knight ("Horny Devil", 20 points), the Requiem ("Bring Out Your Dead!", 20 points) and the Soul Siren ("Soul Survivor", 20 points).
Others come by doing certain things in the game, like unleashing an Ultimate attack ("I Have the Power!", 10 points), killing 25 enemies in one shot with an explosive barrel ("Big Bang Theory", 10 points) and managing to revive yourself while playing alone ("I'm Not Dead Yet!", 20 points). There are no "big" ones here, just a scattering of 10 and 20 point Achievements that come by getting through the game.
There's plenty to unlock, even when you have just a little chump change to spend. Download and enjoy!