Just last week during Microsoft’s E3 press conference in Los Angeles, the head of Xbox Phil Spencer took the stage to announce the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility program would be expanding once again. Instead of adding a dozen or so new titles from the Xbox 360’s library, the latest update is going to bring games from your original Xbox console to the Xbox One.
As you might expect, Xbox games added through the program will run better on Xbox One by taking advantage of the additional power offered by Microsoft’s latest console, and all your digital licenses will carry over if use original Xbox discs in your Xbox One. What’s most impressive, however, is that you’ll be able to system-link play across all generations — meaning that an original Xbox console and Xbox One S can both be playing Crimson Skies together with no strings attached. Not too bad, right?
Unfortunately, there are a few caveats worth noting about the Xbox’s integration into the compatibility program, with the main one being a cautionary tale about managing expectations. On Giant Bomb’s E3 show, Spencer admitted that the original Xbox game library wouldn’t be as large at the Xbox 360’s within the program because rights are tougher to lock down on their end and the technical process of bringing them to Xbox One is much more extensive, which explains why only Crimson Skies and Fusion Frenzy are currently scheduled for release.
But no matter how tedious the process might be, Xbox owners can certainly have hopes and dreams, which is why we’ve gone through the original Xbox catalogue to pick out 10 games we would like to see on Xbox One as the library continues to expand.
10. Ninja Gaiden
Widely known as one of the most difficult games before the release of Dark Souls, Ninja Gaiden introduced players to challenging action complete with a series of great game modes which is still considered one of the best action experiences to this day.
9. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
Developed by Oddworld Inhabitants, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath put you in the shoes of a bounty hunter collecting moolah (the game’s currency) to pay for a life-saving operation. Using an arsenal of live ammunition like fictional insects and animals is something we didn’t expect to be so much fun, and thus is an experience we’d gladly go through again on Xbox One.
Unlike dozens of other mech-focused video games available at the time, MechAssault took a simple approach to combat that was fast, fun, and entertaining without the need for extensive customization. This made the game a perfect candidate for one of Xbox Live’s first online multiplayer games, one which would be great to see again on Xbox One.
7. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory
Widely respected as one of the best games in the Splinter Cell series, Chaos Theory offered a fantastic gameplay experience with tight controls, great equipment, and beautiful graphics. Thanks to its online cooperative play the game was received well across the board, and would be a classic online experience provided it was brought to the Xbox One.
The role-playing game that helped define a generation of console titles just like it, Fable is an infamous Xbox experience which didn’t deliver the huge world it promised, but managed to capture our hearts with memorable moments packed into the game’s short campaign.
5. Jade Empire
Now best known for creating both Mass Effect and Dragon Age, BioWare’s Jade Empire was the studios first attempt at creating a universe of its own. There was a great story, massive open world, and excellent combat — all of which made Jade Empire a must-play title for everyone on the Xbox back in 2005, even if you didn’t enjoy role-playing experiences in the first place.
4. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
There are few ways one can summarize the experience BioWare brought to the Xbox in 2003 with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This Star Wars adventure proved just how good a licensed game could be while delivering a story which rivaled George Lucas’s original trilogy, making it one of the most respected Star Wars video games of all time — one which we’d like to see come back in the next couple of months on our Xbox One.
3. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Although role-playing games like Morrowind had previously been available on PC, Bethesda’s decision to bring the massive open world of Vvardenfell to the Xbox opened a door to a whole new world for console players. Despite dozens of bugs, Morrowind offered a seemingly endless journey for those on the Xbox, and paved the way for legends like Oblivion and Skyrim on future Xbox consoles.
When most people think of Microsoft or Xbox, they also immediately think of Halo: Combat Evolved, which was the first-person shooter that proved consoles could be the home of something great. Halo kick started an entire sub culture within video games still loved to this day, encouraging players to group up for LAN parties and endless hours of cooperative play.
1. Halo 2
While there’s no questioning the profound impact Halo: Combat Evolved had on the gaming industry, Bungie’s integration of Xbox Live with Halo 2 turned the already stellar offline experience into an online entertainment phenomenon. With quality matchmaking, hundreds of customization options, and full clan support, Halo 2 evolved into the first major online console community within a matter of weeks — which could easily be brought back by integrating the original title into the backwards compatibility program. It’s true there’s a remaster out there, but nothing is quite like the OG.