Microsoft got it right with this generation with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. The former is the more premium choice offering 4K gaming and a larger SSD, while the latter is a more affordable digital-only option that is perfect as an Xbox Game Pass machine.
Even the infamous exclusive drought is coming to an end, with the imminent release of titles like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5. Not to mention titles like Perfect Dark, Fable, Everwild and more to come next year and beyond. .
Yet one of this generation’s greatest Xbox triumphs, continuing on from the previous one, is its dedication to backward compatibility. Tons of Xbox 360 and select original Xbox games are available to play on Xbox One and Series X / S, playable through original disc, buyable from Microsoft Store, or download from Xbox Game Pass or Games with Gold monthly rotation.
Yet while an admirable effort has been made to preserve many of the best games of the 360 era, the original Xbox still feels somewhat under-represented. Here are five OG Xbox titles that we would absolutely love to see get the green light in the future.
Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 (2003)
Arguably one of the most important games ever made, Phantasy Star Online pioneered online console gaming when it was first released on Dreamcast, and has continued to be so with its Gamecube and Xbox ports. .
While we certainly didn’t expect the “Online” portion of Phantasy Star Online to make a return, the game is still fully playable in offline and local split-screen modes on the original Xbox. The online multiplayer aspect of PSO is certainly what made it stand out the most from the crowd, but it’s an incredibly fun game to date, both online and offline.
Your player-created character can belong to one of three different races, each with their own stats and class assignments. Hunters can wield swords and spears, while Rangers fight from a distance with guns and launchers, for example.
Higher difficulty modes and a wealth of content have kept PSO insanely fresh. Each difficulty level offers bonus experience and access to rarer enemies and loot. It’s quite similar to Western raiders like Diablo in that sense, which PSO took direct inspiration from.
Now, are we waiting for Sega to grant backward compatibility to PSO on Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One? No chance. The company is currently backing the wildly popular Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, and likely won’t want to devote any resources to the original game, let alone a game with a re-established online connection. Still, we would like nothing more than to be wrong here, as Sega and Microsoft have always been on good terms since the days of Dreamcast.
Marvel vs Capcom 2 arguably did for fighting games what Phantasy Star Online did for online games. The game’s influence on its genre cannot be underestimated, and it is an extremely popular spectator game to this day, regularly staged at large-scale tournaments like EVO.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has one of the biggest fighting game lists of all time. Players fought with teams of three heroes and were able to switch between them on the fly. In expert hands, this could lead to some incredibly long combos that string together special moves and character aids.
Of course, a big draw to fighting games is in its characters, and MvC2 hardly disappoints in this area. So many of Capcom’s mainstays are present and represented, including Mega Man, Jill Valentine, Strider Hiryu and Chun-Li. The Marvel side is equally impressive, with Avengers like Captain America, Thor, and Hulk mixed in with X-Men including Wolverine, Rogue, and Storm.
The great tragedy here is that there is currently no contemporary way to buy Marvel vs Capcom 2 without spitting out a fortune for a used copy on eBay. An HD remaster was released for Xbox 360 in 2009, with support for online play and achievements, but that version has since been discontinued.
So what are the chances of MvC2 being a backward compatible version? Thin, but certainly not impossible. Licensing on the Marvel side is of course very complicated, but an ongoing campaign to register interest in the game, dubbed # FreeMvC2, has paid off. The legends of the Digital Eclipse port are reportedly in talks with Marvel to get a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 illuminated in green.
Jet Set Radio Future (2002)
Arguably one of the best games on the original Xbox, Sega took a look at the cult classic of Dreamcast, ironed out the glitches, and created a game that was in many ways quite ahead of its time.
Jet Set Radio Future kept the inline skating, graffiti tagging, and cop gameplay from the original, but just made it a lot more polished and accessible. The original’s hard time limit is gone, replaced with a fully explorable open world loaded with secrets, great design levels, unlockable characters, and challenges to complete.
Of course, you can’t mention Jet Set Radio Future without also talking about its legendary soundtrack. Composer Hideki Naganuma has returned to offer some of his best work, alongside several underground artists whose music remains far better than the vast majority of mainstream hits today and then.
But what are the odds that we’ll get a version of Jet Set Radio Future via Xbox backward compatibility? It is certainly not impossible. As mentioned, Sega has maintained a friendly relationship with Microsoft over the years. Several Sega exclusives have appeared on Xbox platforms, and more recently the entire main Yakuza franchise has been made available for download on Xbox Game Pass.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003)
Back then, it was easy to be cynical about the release of The Simpsons: Hit & Run. As a licensed title based on an extremely popular franchise, Hit & Run had absolutely no right to be as good as it was.
Aside from a few shady mission designs, Hit & Run largely let Simpsons fans do what they’ve wanted to do for ages – explore an open-world Springfield with their favorite dysfunctional characters from the show. And while the game wasn’t really an open world, it was a fantastic effort to bring a level of cohesion to Springfield, featuring several of its iconic locations such as the Powerhouse, Kwik-E-Mart and ( naturally) the Simpsons’ house on Evergreen Terrace.
While you could explore freely on foot, the gameplay of Hit & Run relied mainly on the wheel. So it’s a good thing the game has tons of unlockable vehicles for you to try out, many of which were recognizable on the show, including Mr. Plow and the Duff Truck.
So are The Simpsons: Hit & Run likely to see a backward compatible version on Xbox? It’s hard to say. No other Simpsons games are currently present on Xbox One or Xbox Series X / S, so there is no precedent for their re-release at this time. Now that the franchise is owned by Disney, which is generally more open to video game releases, whether with Marvel or Star Wars projects, or more original concepts like the Kingdom Hearts series.
Project Gotham Racing (2001)
While Gran Turismo 3 first left the booth on PS2 a few months ago, Xbox was able to respond quickly that same year with Project Gotham Racing, and developer Bizarre Creations was able to deliver something really different – and arguably more fun. – than Sony’s flagship product. runner.
The ancestor of the Forza Motorsport series, Project Gotham Racing was one of the first killer apps on Xbox alongside Halo: Combat Evolved. Liverpool-based Bizarre Creations had previously worked on the Dreamcast cult classic Metropolis Street Racer, and many of the game’s mechanics were picked up in the PGR series for Xbox.
Chief among them was the Kudos system, which dynamically rewards the player based on your actions during a race. It’s insignificant now, but back then, being consistently rewarded for drifts, overtaking and more during a race was thrilling and made you want to drive boldly.
Project Gotham Racing would benefit from a long run on Microsoft consoles before giving way to the Forza Motorsport series of Turn 10. Many of the staff who had worked on PGR moved to Forza, and as such, they did. is pretty safe to say that PGR worked for Forza to work.
But what are the chances of a backward compatible version? You’d think this would be a prime candidate for backward compatibility, given that Project Gotham Racing is a pretty big part of Xbox history. Hoping that Xbox agrees with us here, and gives PGR not only a fresh look, but the wider Xbox library in general as well. There are tons of fantastic games that are exclusive to the original Xbox, and they’re just waiting to be reintroduced to modern audiences.