Xbox’s increased focus on games preservation has been great for retro enthusiasts. Though the platform’s backward compatibility program includes titles from every generation of Xbox consoles, the majority of the games are from the Xbox 360 era.
Fortunately, countless must-play 360 titles are available on the service but there are less than fifty titles from the Original Xbox’s game library. Phil Spencer has discussed how the biggest barrier for older titles coming to the program is licensing, and this is especially true for games released for the first Xbox.
Still, there a few games out there that feel within the realm of possibility that I’d love to see make their way to Series X|S and beyond.
Classic Xbox Originals That Deserve Backward Compatibility
Brute Force feels like it has the biggest chance at coming back, but it’s also probably not at the top of most people’s lists.
It was originally set to be a squad-based third-person shooter before it ultimately became a first-person shooter. Released in 2003, Brute Force remains a curious experience. It ultimately probably fell short of Microsoft’s sales expectations but it did some neat stuff underneath the flaws.
Brute Force features four different squad members that each have different strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. The science-fiction setting was interesting and the open-world style battles were impressive at the time.
If nothing else, Microsoft owns the publishing rights and could at least make it available in Xbox Game Pass, not that the service really needs any help.
Phantom Dust is an action/strategy game with some card-collecting elements tossed in for good measure. Taking place on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Phantom Dust featured missions scattered throughout the few remaining outposts to help other characters and try to piece together what happened.
Phantom Dust received a multiplayer-focused remake on Xbox One but the series deserves a full return and future games. The best way to promote the series would be an enhanced port of the title on Series X|S. Microsoft has nothing to lose and could simply toss it onto Game Pass and wait.
At the very least, the original game should be preserved and live on, which is part of what Xbox’s backward compatibility program is all about.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2X
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 released on other platforms originally, and it’s one of the greatest games of all time for a lot of reasons.
The enhanced Xbox port, known as 2X, brought five new levels, slick and improved menus, the ability to create female skaters, and a customized soundtrack, which was a new feature, exclusive to the Xbox console.
The enhanced port also brought a "balance meter" feature and four-player multiplayer. and LAN compatibility in the multiplayer mode.
The game's graphics were improved off of the already sharp graphics from PC/Dreamcast version; textures were update to include and display more detail, especially on character models and surfaces. I know we just got a remaster but I would absolutely throw twenty bucks at the best version of one of the greatest games of all time.
Sneak King is one of the greatest games ever made and it’s not even close. You purchased by asking for it in the drive-thru. How many other games can you buy in a drive-thru. Okay, look it was 2006 and Sneak King rules.
It’s a stealth game where players control The King, delivering Burger King to unsuspecting, hungry people. Burger King should hit up Xbox and bring it back. They should also bring back satis-fries because those also ruled.