The Xbox One, as of today, can now play Xbox 360 games. Whether it’s arcade games tied to your account that are up for re-download and play or disc-based games that you already own, the Xbox One is set to dive into a huge library of old yet new content.
While the Xbox team has made it very easy to get old games working on their newest console, not all games are supported yet. It’s not so much a matter of coding as it is licensing.
The basic gist is that the Xbox One is sort of a 360 emulator. Games work on the platform with little or no modification, and all that’s installed when you download a new patch is a shell for the game so that the Xbox One recognizes it.
Microsoft is working with publishers and licencors to gets games working. That takes time.
Therefore, the full Xbox 360 library isn’t available yet. We have 104 games to choose from.
So, what’s missing? We’ve compiled a list of the best Xbox 360 games that can’t be purchased on current consoles or the PC. Some of these games are in the pipeline, others haven’t been heard from.
We’re starting in alphabetical order with a really nice multiplayer title that I personally sunk a lot of time in. Battlefield 1943 featured only online combat, no story, no setup. Just a menu, a few maps and a whole lot of fighting. The game looked fantastic, played wonderfully and enjoyed a strong community.
What’s holding it back? I really doubt EA wants to fire up the ol’ servers for this one.
Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2
The Xbox 360 had its share of iconic games, but few are as high on the list as the Geometry Wars games. The original is emblematic of the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade, the beginning of downloadable console games, back when games had to be 50 megabytes or less to be eligible. The sequel cranked up the volume on everything and quickly became a fan favorite and one I’d love to replay.
We totally recognize that Microsoft is probably saving Crackdown for when they get a bit closer to the release of the new one. That’s fine. I just know that I have some orbs to collect, some buildings to jump over and some stuff to smash. This game was originally nothing more than a way to get into a Halo beta. It wound up being so much better.
The Forza Games
Forza 4? Forza 3? Forza Horizon? They’re all missing from the backwards compatibility list. I’m partial to Forza Horizon on this one, but I’d really like to sink back into these games once more to see how they hold up. Such a great series, honestly.
Now, we know Halo: Reach is coming. This is one of the Halo games that was left out of the Master Chief Collection, even though it’s definitely a fan-favorite. While not the best in the series, this entry features some unique features and interesting storytelling. It also has some great firefights.
Like Halo: Reach, we know Halo Wars is coming. When? Not sure, but Microsoft is making it happen. This RTS was something most Halo fans didn’t see coming. Those who gave it a shot tended to like it (it’s one of my favorites), but it was always seen as the odd child for the franchise. I love this game, and I can’t wait for the recently announced sequel.
Mega Man 9
The perfect revival Mega Man fans wanted? No. Mega Man 9 was tough and fun, but it didn’t have that exact magic the older games did. Maybe that was nostalgia? Well, this revival is sort of old now, so maybe it has that going for it. I actually enjoyed Mega Man 9 for what it was, and I’d love to roll back through and try to get some of those tougher Achievements.
Project Gotham Racing 3 & 4
When the Project Gotham Racing games hit, we’d had two kinds of racing games up until that point – bananas arcade-style racers like Crusin’ USA and Ridge Racer that barely adhered to reality, and Gran Turismo. That was about it. Project Gotham really came into its own on the Xbox 360, and, aside from spawning Geometry Wars, it introduced the idea of style and semi-realistic racing. Kudos, points won for style, was the game’s big pillar, and anytime you pulled off a trick you were awarded points. This was evident nowhere more than it was during an epic drift. When your tires lost grip and you maintained control, the click-click-click of points racking up was addictive. It was an awesome feeling of coolness and competence that I hadn’t quite gotten from a game before that.
Red Dead Redemption
Of course we’d include this game on our list. It’s one of our favorites, it constantly appears in our “best of” collections and it’s strangely nowhere in sight for the backwards compatibility list. Rockstar games made a classic with Red Dead Redemption. I played through it a few months back, and it still holds up. I wanna go again.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Aside from having a ridiculously long title, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is a wonderful gem blasting puzzle game that features characters from the Street Fighter universe. Watch Ryu battle Ken in chibi form as you blast your way through gems and absolutely destroy your opponents. The game is fun, fast and very addictive. Get going on multiplayer and you’ll have a ball.
Here’s probably one of the lesser-known titles on our list of missing games. Vanquish comes from Platinum Games, the same studio behind the likes of Bayonetta and the upcoming Scalebound. Vanquish is hilariously campy, incredibly over the top and features a glorious sliding and shooting mechanics. It’s a blast to play, and we want to reminisce while we wait for Platinum to do more awesome things.