Backwards compatibility is very important in today’s gaming market. AAA haven’t quite lived up to expectations as of late, so many gamers turn to previous generations of games, especially games that existed before season passes and microtransactions. Microsoft has been busy compiling an ever-growing library of Xbox 360 games that can be played on the Xbox One, but now the company has set its sights even earlier and is porting Xbox games over to the Xbox One via backwards compatibility. Starting tomorrow, October 24th, gamers can play the following Xbox games on their Xbox One (all thanks goes to IGN):
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
It’s the Xbox game that put BioWare on the map and made the company what it is today. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic popularized the concept of a Star Wars RPG and demonstrated that expanded universes don’t always have to tie in with the characters and events of the source material.
Ninja Gaiden Black
A reworked version of the original Ninja Gaiden game for the Xbox that came with the free Hurricane Pack DLC, Ninja Gaiden Black includes extra modes, enemies, and costumes not available in the original release. The most important change, though, is the difficulty setting changes: an extra easy mode was included after the game’s creator Tomonobu Itagaki received complaints about the difficulty, but he also made all the other difficulty settings harder in response. Many gamers consider Ninja Gaiden Black to be the definitive Ninja Gaiden experience.
Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
Flight-based combat games are a dying breed, and Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge is one of the better examples of the genre. Xbox’s remake of the PC game Crimson Skies, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, improves on the original’s gameplay and delivers a more cinematic and streamlined experience. The game might not have sold well, but it deserves its position as a cult classic.
These days, most Xbox One games have limited multiplayer. If gamers are lucky, they can play a game with a friend via splitscreen co-op, and if not, they can only play the game with friends if everyone owns a copy of the same online multiplayer game. Fuzion Frenzy, as a four-player party mini-game collection, will finally give Xbox One owners an excuse to huddle with their friends on the couch while playing games together. And, given the recent resurgence of platformer collectathons, Fuzion Frenzy might be the prelude to a slew of new party mini-game collections.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The quintessential video game reboot, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time takes the slow and methodical race against time that was Prince of Persia and turns it into an acrobatic masterpiece that tells an engrossing story and works in well-implemented time manipulation powers. While its sequels were considerably less impressive, the original Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for the Xbox is widely considered a critical success.
Tim Schafer’s magnum opus, Psychonauts, is the tale of a young psychic who runs away from home (which is also a circus) to join a summer camp for psychics and gets tangled in a web of conspiracies and betrayal. The game’s graphics hold up even today, and the platforming is some of the best in the platformer genre. Psychonauts is yet another game that, despite its critical praise, wasn’t a commercial success, but that has not stopped gamers from enjoying this game.
Dead to Rights
Dead to Rights was a timed exclusive for the Xbox and a product of the times, as it makes heavy use of bullet time and gun-fu. But, the game is not just nonstop action, and it knows when to take it slow. Dead to Rights is essentially a crime-thriller in video game form, complete with gunfights, plot twists, and kung-fu. The game is a lost gem whose genre has fallen by the wayside and deserves a comeback.
Black might look like a generic grey-brown military shooter game, but it sets itself apart with destructible environments, a feature that seems to be missing from a lot of modern FPS games, and plenty of carnage. Black is caught haflway between 90s FPS games and modern first person shooters, but that works to the game’s advantage and makes it arguably superior to games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Grabbed by the Ghoulies
A lost Rare classic, Grabbed by the Ghoulies was the first game the company made for the Xbox after being bought by Microsoft (although, Rare originally developed for game the Gamecube prior to the company’s acquisition). Unlike most Rare games, Grabbed by the Ghoulies is a beat ’em up game, but it maintains the studio’s trademark humor and Grant Kirkhope’s musical flair. The game was previously included in the Rare Replay compilation, but now gamers will have a chance to play this underrated look into what Rare used to be a la carte.
Sid Meier’s Pirates!
Another remake of an existing game, Sid Meier’s Pirates! is a simulator designed to put gamers in the shoes of a pirate. Players have to manage their crew, ship, and loot stores, and ship and sword battles are a mix of action and RPG mechanics. Sid Meier’s Pirates! is a unique experience that will no doubt please many gamers.
Red Faction II
Red Faction II is a sci-fi shooter that balances the serious with the silly, all while telling a decent (albeit ridiculous) story. The game doesn’t look as visually impressive as the other games coming to the Xbox One, but it makes up for that with solid gameplay and a unique tone missing from most FPS games.
Just in time for Halloween, Bloodrayne 2 is a hack and slash game that stars vampires as both the protagonist and antagonists. As a vampire, the main character Rayne can feed on her opponents to regain her health, which keeps the action going at a nonstop pace. Not much else to be said except that Bloodrayne 2 is one of the few games being released for the Xbox One this month that are thematically appropriate.
The King of Fighters Neowave
While Capcom’s Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom might be the current reigning champion of 2D fighting games, SNK’s The King of Fighters franchise was a very close second. Unlike other The King of Fighers entries, The King of Fighters Neowave is primarily an excuse to gather popular characters throughout the franchise and have them duke it out to see who is the King of Fighters, but that doesn’t detract from the game at all.
Each Xbox game will come with enhanced 1080p resolution, better framerates, and better loading times. Also, gamers don’t have to buy them on the Xbox Store for $9.99 each; anyone lucky enough to still own the physical game disks can just pop them into their Xbox One. I look forward to the other Xbox games Microsoft has plans to make playable on the Xbox One. Personally, I’m hoping for Panzer Dragoon Orta.