Classics

Xbox Series X gets 70+ original Xbox and 360 classics for its 20th anniversary

What’s old is new.

Xbox’s biggest advantage over PlayStation is its outstanding backward compatibility. Being able to play titles from older systems is a valuable feature to hardcore gamers. While the PS5 is only backward compatible with the PS4, the Xbox Series X and S can play games from every Xbox console. And to celebrate Xbox’s twentieth anniversary, that service is expanding.

What happened — As part of the Xbox anniversary livestream on November 15, 2021, Microsoft revealed that 76 new games, including every game from the Max Payne and F.E.A.R series, are coming to the Xbox Backward Compatibility Program today. Players will be able to access the games both digitally and physically. On Xbox Series X and S, many of these titles will receive further enhancements.

All games will get Auto HDR and an improved resolution to make them look better. Quick Resume will save your place in the game, even if you close the app, take out the disc, or unplug the system. 11 of these games will also support the FPS Boost feature that lets players increase a game’s frame rate.

The entire Max Payne series coming to the backward compatibility program. Rockstar Games

What games are being added to the service — 76 titles came to the service today. Here’s the full list:

  1. Max Payne
  2. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
  3. Max Payne 3
  4. F.E.A.R.
  5. F.E.A.R. Files
  6. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
  7. F.E.A.R. 3
  8. Skate 2
  9. Binary Domain
  10. Nier
  11. Dead or Alive Ultimate
  12. Dead or Alive 3
  13. Dead or Alive 4
  14. Star Wars: Jedi Knight II
  15. Star Wars: Starfighter: Special Edition
  16. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  17. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  18. Otogi: Myth of Demons
  19. Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors
  20. Darwinia+
  21. Aces of the Galaxy
  22. Switchball
  23. Warlords
  24. Rock of Ages
  25. Quake Arena Arcade
  26. RAW - Realms of Ancient War
  27. Scramble
  28. Time Pilot
  29. Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment
  30. Bankshot Billiards 2
  31. Cloning Clyde
  32. Islands of Wakfu
  33. Novadrome
  34. Outpost Kaloki X
  35. Death by Cube
  36. Elements of Destruction
  37. Screwjumper!
  38. SpongeBob SquarePants Underpants Slam!
  39. BCFx
  40. Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City
  41. Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
  42. Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad
  43. Risen
  44. Risen 2: Dark Waters
  45. Disney Universe
  46. Thrillville
  47. Thrillville: Off the Rails
  48. Toy Story Mania!
  49. The Frist Templar
  50. Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
  51. Advent Rising
  52. Viva Pinata: Party Animals
  53. Mortal Kombat
  54. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Unvierse
  55. Beautiful Katamari
  56. Ridge Racer 6
  57. Mini Ninjas
  58. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
  59. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
  60. Conan
  61. MX vs. ATV Alive
  62. MX vs. ATV Untamed
  63. Rio
  64. SpongeBob’s Truth or Square
  65. The Outfit
  66. Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Burning Earth
  67. LEGO The Lord of the Rings
  68. Disney’s Chicken Little
  69. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
  70. TimeSplitters 2
  71. Gladius
  72. Secret Weapons Over Normandy
  73. Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
  74. Manhunt
  75. Red Dead Revolver
  76. Gunvalkyrie

The History of Xbox Backward Compatibility — When the Xbox One launched, it did not feature any backward compatibility feature with the original Xbox or Xbox 360. Responding to negative feedback over its absence, Microsoft started to make some Xbox 360 games backward compatible in 2015. In 2017, some games from the original Xbox began to become backward compatible as well.

That said, all titles are individually checked and improved by Microsoft’s Backward Compatibility team, so not every game from those systems is supported. In 2019, new games stopped being added so that the development team could focus on making the games work on Xbox Series X and S and with new features like Auto HDR and FPS boost.

In total, there were 38 original Xbox games, 471 Xbox 360 games, and 3,914 Xbox One games supported on Xbox Series X and S before today.

Thousands of Xbox games are available via backward compatibility. Microsoft

The Inverse Analysis — This is the biggest day for Xbox’s backward compatibility program since original Xbox games were added in 2017. Lots of great new games are on the service, and the increased resolution and frame rates many of these titles now sport makes them look a play even better than you remember them.

Though licensing issues mean that some of my childhood favorites like Justice League Heroes and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions will never be added, tons of fantastic games that weren’t available before can now be played on a next-gen system.

I can’t wait to revisit the Max Payne series and try FromSoftwares’ Otogi games for the first time. Many of these games could come to Xbox Game Pass in the future as well!

There’s no denying that backward compatibility is one key area where Xbox is significantly better than PlayStation, and that gap will only continue to grow as more games are added. If you’ve owned an Xbox system at any point in your life, Microsoft is making sure you can get some use out of your older digital titles on Xbox Series X|S.

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