Xbox 360 owners: check out the Ultimate Game Sale. Plus get Defense Grid for free!

Remember the Xbox 360 Ultimate Game Sale from back in February? Microsoft slashed the prices on more than 20 Games on Demand (downloadable versions of full retail titles) throughout the week, with a different selection of games on sale every day. And now that sale is back again just 4-5 months later. Could it have something to do with Microsoft wanting to sell as many Xbox 360 games as possible before the Xbox One shows up later this year? Does a frog bump its butt when it hops?

On top of that, today happens to be the first day of the month. And that means Xbox Live Gold members get a new free game! Last month it was Fable III, and this month everyone expected Assassin’s Creed II or Halo 3 (both Games on Demand titles) to go free. But life would be boring if everything went to plan, and so Microsoft has made an XBLA game called Defense Grid: The Awakening from Hidden Path Entertainment free instead.

Quick impressions and a full list of sale games after the break!

Ultimate Game Sale: Persistent Offers July 1-8

Mass Effect (Image credit: EA)

Mass Effect

These games will be discounted for the duration of the sale, which lasts through Monday the 8th. Remember that Games on Demand prices (including sale prices) vary by region, so your country’s prices will likely differ from the US prices listed here. Also, you CAN purchase Games on Demand titles with Microsoft Points if you like. Just press the X button on the first checkout screen to switch between real currency and Microsoft Points.

  • Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway  – Download Size: 5.03 GB – Regular price: $30 – Sale Price: $5
  • Bulletstorm  – Download Size: 4.85 GB – Regular price: $20 MSP – Sale Price: $5
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3  – Download Size: 6.06 GB – Regular price: $15 – Sale Price: $5
  • Crysis  – Download Size: 4.09 GB – Regular price: $20 – Sale Price: $5 – The original Crysis is available ONLY via Games on Demand. There is no retail version for Xbox 360.
  • Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga  – Download Size: 6.47 GB – Regular price: $30 – Sale Price: $5
  • Dragon Age: Origins  – Download Size: 6.44 GB – Regular price: $15 – Sale Price: $5
  • Far Cry Instincts: Predator – Download Size: 4.51 GB – Regular price: $20 – Sale Price: $5
  • Mass Effect  – Download Size: 6.83 GB – Regular price: $15 – Sale Price: $5
  • Prey  – Download Size: 4.27 GB – Regular price: $20 – Sale Price: $3
  • Perfect Dark Zero – Download Size: 5.22 GB – Regular price: $15 – Sale Price: $3
  • WWE ’13 – Download Size: 7.69 GB – Regular price: $60 (!) – Sale Price: $15

Ultimate Game Sale: Daily Offers Tuesday, July 2

Borderlands 2

Every day from Tuesday the 1st through Friday, July 5th, a new selection of games will go on sale for 24 hours only.

  • Assassins Creed III – Download Size: 7.63 GB – Regular price: $40 – Sale Price: $15
  • Borderlands 2 – Download Size: 5.54 GB – Regular price: $40 – Sale Price: $10
  • Far Cry 3 – Download Size: 5.71 GB – Regular price: $60 – Sale Price: $20
  • Max Payne 3 – Download Size: 7.76 GB – Regular price: $40 – Sale Price: $10

Can anyone possibly resist Borderlands 2's first-person shooter/RPG awesomeness at that price? Not me!

Future Daily Deals (July 3-5)

The Witcher 2

We don’t know how much these will cost when they become daily deals, but Major Nelson did at least announce the remaining games that will go on sale between now and Friday.

  • Bioshock Infinite – Download Size: 6.49 GB – Regular price: $60
  • Crysis 3 – Download Size: 4.97 GB – Regular price: $60
  • Forza Horizon – Download Size: 6.76 GB – Regular price: $40
  • Gears of War: Judgment – Download Size: ? GB – Regular price: $40
  • Hasbro Family Game Night 3 – Download Size: 1.36 GB – Regular price: $30 – Contains The Game of Life, Clue, Twister, Mouse Trap, and Yahtzee Hands Down. None are very accurate to the actual board games.
  • Hitman Absolution – Download Size: 7.01 GB – Regular price: $30
  • Kinect Sports Season 2 – Download Size: 5.61 GB – Regular price: $30
  • Left 4 Dead 2 – Download Size: 4.36 GB – Regular price: $30
  • LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes – Download Size: 4.11 GB – Regular price: $20
  • LEGO Lord of the Rings – Download Size: 5.87 GB – Regular price: $30
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – Download Size: 7.34 GB – Regular price: $50
  • Monopoly Streets – Download Size: 1.22 GB – Regular price: $30
  • Rockstar Table Tennis – Download Size: 3.28 GB – Regular price: $15
  • The Orange Box – Download Size: 3.92 GB – Regular price: $20 – Contains Half Life 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2
  • Tomb Raider – Download Size: 6.57 GB – Regular price: $30
  • The Witcher 2 – Download Size: 7.04 GB – Regular price: $40
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Download Size: 7.08 GB – Regular price: $40

Deal of the Week for July 2-8: Borderlands 2 DLC

If you picked up Borderlands 2 for cheap, you might as well get some of its impressive DLC on sale too. Unlike the Games on Demand sale, the Deal of the Week is restricted to Xbox Live Gold members.

  • 'Mr. Torque's Campaign of Carnage'  – Regular price: 800 MS Points – Sale price: 400 MS Points ($5)
  • 'Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt'  – Regular price: 800 MS Points – Sale price: 400 MS Points ($5)
  • 'Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack' – Regular price: 400 MS Points – Sale price: 240 MS Points ($3)

Free Game: Defense Grid (July 1-15)

As of June this year, Xbox Live Gold members get two free games every month; one during the month’s first half and another during the latter half. These games are yours to keep forever, even if your Gold subscription lapses.

Defense Grid takes place on a ruined world where an alien invasion causes an AI defense program to reawaken and attempt to protect the remnants of his homeland. The invaders strive to steal pieces of each level’s power core. As long as you can stop them from leaving the map with a core piece, the piece will slowly return to the power station.

Other than being able to recover lost cores, Defense Grid hews closely to genre traditions. Levels generally contain just one or two paths to defend, which you’ll do with a small arsenal of upgradable towers. Some levels do allow players to construct paths which to divert the invaders however, giving players a greater degree of freedom in formulating a defense.

If you like the genre, download Defense Grid without hesitation. And even if you haven’t enjoyed previous tower defense games, this could be the one to change your mind. Defense Grid is a much longer, deeper, and overall superior game to the popular geoDefense tower defense games for Windows Phone, though it can’t compete with Plants vs. Zombies for sheer variety and casual appeal.

Defense Grid – Xbox 360 – 297 MB – Regular Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10) – Sale Price: Free (Gold membership required) – Store Link

Shopping time

What do you think of the new Ultimate Game Sale selection and free Defense Grid, super cool readers? Leave a comment and let us know what games you’ll be buying.

Thanks to EasyPeasyJD for the tip!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!