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Microsoft reveals top Xbox LIVE games of 2011

2011 was a great year for Microsoft’s Xbox. The platform saw the release of massive new titles such as Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which broke Xbox LIVE records; the Xbox 360 continued to outsell its console rivals; and a major dashboard update, inspired by Microsoft’s Metro user experience, was successfully rolled out, bringing new apps and content to the platform.

Later in 2012, we’ll see Xbox LIVE deployed as an integrated component of Windows 8, while there are indications that we may even see Xbox gaming on rival platforms, such as iOS and Android. But last year, the Xbox LIVE platform still thrived on the 360 console, on Windows Phones, and through Games for Windows LIVE titles on PCs, and Microsoft has now released an overview of the most popular titles across its gaming platforms throughout 2011.

Although Microsoft hasn’t revealed the numbers behind these league tables, the company’s Major Nelson (aka Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for Xbox LIVE) explains that they have been assembled based on the numbers of unique users around the world connecting to the Xbox LIVE service to play the games or, where appropriate, on the number of full versions of a game purchased, across the full 2011 calendar year.

A couple of highlights: first up, it's worth noting the dominance of the Call Of Duty series on the 360, with five of the top twenty games coming from that franchise. Black Ops, which was released in late 2010 proved to be the top game of the year on the console, but it's perhaps even more impressive that Modern Warfare 3, which was released just two months ago, hit the number 2 spot in such a short space of time. Beyond the CoD series, it's similarly impressive that Skyrim, which was also released just a few weeks ago, found its way to number 6 on the list.

It should probably come as no surprise that Angry Birds topped the Windows Phone list, given the game's incredible popularity and addictive playability; perhaps this will encourage Rovio to finally deliver an update or a new version of the game to the platform, which hasn't seen any of the spin-off versions like 'Seasons' and 'Rio' that have appeared on other platforms.

Anyway, have a browse through the top-20s below, and let us know your thoughts - were you surprised to see any of these titles in the lists? Did you expect to see any games here that are missing? And which games do you think might be most popular this year?

1. Call Of Duty: Black Ops
2. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
3. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
4. Halo: Reach
5. Battlefield 3
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
7. Gears Of War 3
8. FIFA 12
9. FIFA Soccer 11
10. Madden NFL 12
11. GTA IV
12. NBA 2K11
13. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
14. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
15. Battlefield 3 Beta
16. Halo 3
17. Gears Of War 2
18. Forza Motorsport 4
19. Red Dead Redemption
20. Call Of Duty: World At War

1. Angry Birds
2. Fruit Ninja
3. Plants vs Zombies
4. Need For Speed Undercover
5. Full House Poker
7. Doodle Jump
8. Bejeweled LIVE
9. Rise Of Glory
10. geoDefense
11. ilomilo
12. Assassin's Creed - Altaïr's Chronicles HD
13. Sonic 4: Episode I
14. Tetris
15. Fable: Coin Golf
16. Hydro Thunder GO
17. The Harvest
18. Uno
19. Tentacles
20. The Sims 3

1. Pinball FX2
2. Full House Poker
3. Castle Crashers
4. Fruit Ninja Kinect
5. From Dust
6. Trials HD
7. Magic: The Gathering - Duels Of The Planeswalkers 2012
8. Dead Rising 2: Case West
9. Torchlight
10. Toy Soldiers: Cold War
11. Plants vs Zombies
12. Portal: Still Alive
13. Bastion
14. Limbo
15. Game Room
16. Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
17. Peggle
18. Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale
19. Battlefield 1943
20. Beyond Good & Evil HD

1. FortressCraft Chapter 1
2. Total Miner: Forge
3. The Impossible Game
4. Avatar Paintball
5. Toy Stunt Bike
6. CastleMiner Z
8. Avatar Legends
9. CastleMiner
10. Miner Dig Deep
11. Avatar Laser Wars
12. Bird Assassin
13. Voice Changer 360
14. Nuclear Wasteland
15. Avatar Karting
16. Zombie Estate
17. Avatar Drop
18. Baby Maker Extreme 2
19. College Lacrosse 2011
20. The $1 Zombie Game

1. Age Of Empires Online
3. Batman: Arkham City
4. Super Street Fighter IV - Arcade Edition
5. F1 2011
6. DiRT 3
7. F1 2010
8. Fable III
9. Street Fighter IV
10. Resident Evil 5
11. Age Of Empires Online Beta
12. Fallout 3
13. Colin McRae: Dirt 2
14. Batman: Arkham Asylum
15. Bioshock 2
16. Bulletstorm
17. Section 8: Prejudice
18. Red Faction Guerilla
19. Dead Rising 2
20. Operation Flashpoint: Red River

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