Xbox 360 Countdown to 2014 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 box

Every year since time immemorial, Microsoft has put a ton of downloadable Xbox 360 content on sale around Christmastime. The sale returns once again this year as the Countdown to 2014. Running from today through December 31, the Countdown consists both of daily and weekly sales. The first batch of weekly deals runs through the 23rd. 

Head past the break for a full list of today’s Countdown sales and the weekly deals.

Of special note this year is the inclusion of the Marvel vs. Capcom titles in the Countdown. You see, Capcom’s license to the Marvel vs. Capcom brand expires this year. As a result, all downloadable Marvel vs. Capcom games and content will be delisted on December 26. Unlike Windows Phone and Windows 8 games, they can be redownloaded after the delisting.  The good news is Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, its DLC, and the previous XBLA installments are all on sale for super cheap until December 23rd. Get them now before they’re gone forever!

First up: the two sales that will last all week long. Then we get to the daily deals for today and tomorrow. All prices listed are for the United States. Prices will vary in other regions.

Marvel vs. Capcom Sale – December 17-23

Open to all Xbox Live users. Games and downloadable content will be delisted on Thursday, December 26.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 XBLA
Marvel vs. Capcom 2

DLC for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3:

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is considered by many to be one of the best fighting games ever made. It first appeared in arcades and then the Sega Dreamcast console back in 2000. The XBLA version adds online multiplayer but is otherwise a low-frills port.

Players battle each other with a team of two characters. The game features a whopping 56 fighters, with 28 coming from Capcom games and 28 from Marvel comics. The graphics are made up of 2D sprites and 3D backgrounds. The music is utterly horrible, but on the Xbox 360 you can listen to a custom soundtrack instead! We miss that feature on the Xbox One.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an improved version of Marvel vs. Capcom. It launched as a retail title and is now available via Games on Demand.

In this game, players select a team of three characters and then fight in 1-on-1 battles. As with the second game, you can “tag out” characters during the match. The graphics are entirely 3D, but the gameplay remains 2D and relatively similar (but more complex) to Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

The Ultimate version adds 12 new characters that weren’t present in the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3, for a total of 48 characters (50 if you buy the two additional DLC characters). The new characters are: Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova, and Rocket Raccoon on the Marvel side; and Firebrand, Frank West, Nemesis T-Type, Phoenix Wright, Strider Hiryu, and Virgil on the Capcom side.

Ultimate is the final version of Marvel vs. Capcom unless Capcom ever renews the license and produces a new game. Get it via Games on Demand for a ridiculously low price – even with both DLC characters and the full costume pack it only rings up at $12.56!

Even after the game gets delisted, you’ll still be able to buy existing copies of the retail version. However, the DLC will be gone for good. If you love Marvel or fighting games, don’t miss the chance to own this massive crossover fighter.

Countdown to 2014 Sales: Week of December 17-23

Open to all Xbox Live members.

Castle of Illusion XBLA
Castle of Illusion

Xbox Live Arcade

Games on Demand

Xbox Live Deal of the Week – December 17-23

Open to Xbox Live Gold members only.

The Walking Dead Episode I

Countdown to 2014 Daily Deal: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Open to all Xbox Live members.

Borderlands 2

If you play Borderlands 2, you definitely need the second Vault Hunter Upgrade. It raises the level cap and adds other nice bonuses.

Countdown to 2014 Daily Deal: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One of Wednesday’s sales has been revealed in advance; there could be more. Open to all Xbox Live members.

Terraria XBLA

Terraria is still due out on Windows Phone 8 at some point. Why not enjoy the XBLA version while you wait? Fans of Minecraft will enjoy its mixture of exploration, survival, and building – all in a 2D world.

More sales every day!

That’s all the sales we know of for now. There will be new daily deals each day from now until the end of the year. A new batch of weekly sales should come along on December 24 as well.

See any games you’ll be buying, dear readers? Or have you moved on to the Xbox One with no plans to look back? Let us know in the comments below.