On November 15, 2001, the Xbox was released to the world. Microsoft’s entrance into the console market would turn out to be a great choice as they’re now right next to Sony and Nintendo as one of the exclusive major console developers. For 20 years they’ve been releasing games that many of us fell in love with. The only challenge these days is the accessibility when it comes to playing those games.
That accessibility became a little easier on Monday when Xbox announced, as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the console’s release, 76 games would be coming to their backward compatibility program. That’s a huge chunk of games that can suddenly be played on new hardware! Some of these games and current ones even received upgrades to make them run a little better on current generation hardware. Ever wanted to see Sonic Unleased played at 60 FPS? Well, now you can.
— Alexander (@itsHelias94) November 15, 2021
At Xbox, we believe in celebrating gaming and preserving its legacy. No other art form offers the opportunity to be immersed in expansive universes through the combination of stunning visuals, evocative music, emotion-driven storytelling and interactive, living worlds. Since 2015, the backward compatibility program for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S has made it possible for gamers around the globe to discover and replay thousands of games spanning our 20-year history.
Today, we’re excited to add 70+ Xbox 360 and original Xbox games to our backward compatibility catalog in celebration of our 20th anniversary. This includes many of your top requested favorites including:
- The entire Max Payne series and the F.E.A.R. franchise are now playable on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles for the very first time.
- The entire Skate franchise is now complete with the addition of Skate 2 and playable on both Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles.
- We also heard the desire for more original Xbox titles to be added to the catalog. We are pleased to announce we were able to bring more than 20+ original Xbox titles to an entire new generation of gamers, including Dead or Alive Ultimate, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II, Star Wars: Starfighter, and Otogi franchises.
While the official Xbox blog gave everyone a pretty good starting off point for where they can begin their backward compatibility experience there is a few other games that are getting an entry into this list that we think you should check out.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
This game has no business being this good. 50 Cent had a video game come out before Blood on the Sand and it was horrifically bad. So when he had another game coming out the expectations for it weren’t very high. So it surprised everyone when they booted up the game and found a competent third-person shooter with a really fun combo mechanic. It’s a fantastic co-op experience and the dialogue is right in the sweet spot between ridiculous but not bad. We’re thrilled to see this on the backward compatibility list.
Red Dead Revolver
Two of the most influential games of the last two consoles generations were Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2. These two western hits from Rockstar saw many people fall in love with the characters, story and setting that the Grand Theft Auto developer created. It was not their first experience making western games, however. Red Dead Revolver was actually the first game in what would go on to be the Red Dead series. Ever wanted to see how it all began? Now you can do so on current hardware!
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, also known as the team at SEGA behind Yakuza, made a third-person shooter called Binary Domain for the Xbox 360. It got mediocre reviews, didn’t sell particularly well, and was eventually forgotten to time. However, as more people have gotten their hands on it the game has become something of a cult classic. It’s a cover-based third-person shooter from a time where everyone was trying to be the next Gears of War and that may have pushed everyone away from a game that fans love. Want to experience it yourself on modern hardware? Go find a copy and you can!