There’s an OG Xbox Backwards Compatibility announcement on the way and here’s some excellent games that deserve to find a new home on the Xbox One.
Last week, Microsoft announced that during the next episode of Inside Xbox (their monthly new show that talks about all things Xbox. Episode 2 will air on Tuesday, April 10 at 3:30 p.m. PDT / 6:30) we’d be getting an update on the OG Xbox Backwards Compatibility that was announced at E3 last year. “One of our most common requests is for Original Xbox Backward Compatibility news,” Microsoft reported in an Xbox Wire news post, “and we’ll be starting off the show with a big update on just that.”. Since the feature was announced last year, only 13 original Xbox titles have made the leap to the Xbox One (Black, BloodRayne 2, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Dead to Rights, Ninja Gaiden Black, Fuzion Frenzy, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, The King of Fighters Neowave, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Psychonauts, Red Faction 2, Sid Meier’s Pirates! and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) via backwards compatibility and many fans are speculating that this new announcement could drastically expand that catalogue. Of course, this set our hype phasers to “Squeee” at the mere possibility of replaying some of the other greats from the Generation 1 Xbox so we decided to pull together a wish list of sorts. Without further ado, here are 12 OG Xbox games we hope get the backwards compatibility treatment..
Panzer Dragoon Orta
The fourth and final Panzer Dragoon game, Orta was one of the finest but most overlooked Xbox exclusives of the generation, earning a 90/100 metacritic rating back in 2003. While it was often described as “just a rail shooter”, Orta had a tonne of really subtle game play elements that made it a really refreshing entry into the genre 15 years ago and it’s ripe for a comeback with backwards compatibility.
While the Xbox version of Shenmue II was considered inferior to the Dreamcast version, Shenmue II is still Shenmue II, regardless of which console you played it on. While Yu Suzuki is busy making Shenmue III and SEGA are “actively pursuing” the possibility of a HD remake of Shenmue I & II, it’d make sense for Microsoft to allow their players to experience in an accessible way before 2019.
This Xbox exclusive set in the BattleTech universe was one of the first games to offer online Multiplayer through Xbox Live. It’s fondly remembered, not just because it was a ground breaking experience for Xbox gamers but because it was actually really well designed and forward thinking – for example, the Grinder mode was a trailblazer for the co-op PvE multiplayer Hordes modes of today.
Otogi 1 & 2
Before FromSoftware became an international house hold name with the likes of Demon Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne, the Japanese developers where plying their trade on Japanese cult classics like Tenchu, Armoured Core and of, course, Otogi: Myth of Demons. This pair of hack and slash games were pretty ground breaking for their time, offering a large amount of content with incredible detail and destructible environments. As good as these games were, they sold relatively poorly (being Japanese Xbox exclusives didn’t help) so certainly deserve another lease of life via Backwards Compatibility.
Blinx: The Time Sweeper
Rossko, the man who doesn’t like Spyro, would have raked me over the coals if Blinx hadn’t made it to this list. Go figure. Despite it getting fairly varied review scores back in 2002 and never reaching the heights it needed to become the furry faced mascot to rival Sony’s Crash Bandicoot as was intended, Blinx has his fans and they still talk about the vacuum cleaning cat to this day. Microsoft could make their long term fans happy with a backwards compatible version of The Time Sweeper on Xbox One (Blinx can vacuum up Spyro and send his overrated ass straight into the vortex of nothingness. Cheers. – Rossko).
Jet Set Radio Future
If there’s one thing about games that ages really well, it’s cel-shading. Games still use it today, 20 years after the height of its popularity, and while the amount of detail might have increased, the art style still looks superb. That’s the case with Jet Set Radio Future, the sequel which was much more accessible that its predecessors. An Xbox exclusive, this skating great deserves backwards compatibility.
Similar to Jet Set Radio Future, XIII used a cel-shaded art style but leaned into it being a moving comic book more than it’s contemporary. We’re big fans of XIII at FingerGuns. The story. The vocal performance by David Duchovny. The clever ways the game incorporated comic book elements. It’s a real classic from 2003 and would certainly raise the profile of the Xbox One if it was the only modern day console to allow you to play it.
Timesplitters Future Perfect
The fan made PS4 remake of Timesplitters notwithstanding, this is a series which is being criminally under utilised by the IP owners Crytech. When previously asked about a new game or a remake, Crytech said “there’s no real interest for Timesplitters” but there are plenty of fans out there that would love to see the return of gun toting monkeys and time hopping shooting. Maybe backwards compatibility is a way to prove there’s life in this old dog yet…
Thief: Deadly Shadows
Thief: Deadly Shadows was a very good game. The third Thief game was called “excellent” by GameSpot and the title won a number of GOTY awards back in 2004 and came runner up in plenty of others. Unfortunately, not many people got to experience the excellence of Thief 3 because it didn’t sell well. At all. It’d be great if this title could get another lease of life on Xbox One with backwards compatibility.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
Okay. Give me this one. I was young. I was naive. I double dipped on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds on PS2 and Xbox because I enjoyed it that much. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, it probably wasn’t as great as I remember. With a metacritic of 72-73 across all platforms, it wasn’t one of the widely loved games of the generation but it’s one of the best 7/10 games I’ve ever played. I’d love to see it get another go via backwards compatibility and it appears I’m not the only one.
Jade Empire really is BioWare firing on all of their RPG crafting cylinders. IGN gave it a 9.9/10. GameSpy called it “the best RPG to hit the Xbox”. It really was a masterpiece. Unfortunately, it just didn’t sell any where near the numbers that it deserved and it was the end of a fledgling RPG series that could have been as big as Mass Effect given the right audience. If Microsoft are looking for a world class OG Xbox game to bring to the Xbox One, they needn’t look any further than Jade Empire.
Got another game you want to see make the backwards compatible leap from the Xbox one to the Xbox One? Shout out in the comments section.