The original Xbox may not have had the longest life when you compare it to other consoles, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have its fair share of amazing games. Microsoft knew that it had to impress quickly and that it would take more than just pretty graphics (which were truly amazing for their time) to do so. What players ended up with was a solid lineup of exclusive and multiplatform games that showed off the Xbox’s capabilities and paved the way for a bright future.
With Sony offering some of their biggest PS2 classics on the PS4 (leading us to hope for many more), we’ve gotten to thinking about whether or not the Xbox should do the same thing. It turns out that there is a strong library that Microsoft can dip into in order to make it happen, and many would be amazing to revisit with some DVR and achievement support.
Blinx: The Time Sweeper
One of the first exclusives for the Xbox, Blinx: The Time Sweeper put players into the shoes of a cat with the ability to control time in order to save different dimensions. Yup, pretty great.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is an action RPG that puts players in control of their own ship as Captain Nathaniel Hawk. It was a sprawling Action RPG complete with fun gameplay and huge naval battles (even though they were a bit slow). This would be a perfect game to settle in with as we wait for Rare’s Sea of Thieves.
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
True, there’s no shortage of shooters set during the World Wars, but not many allowed you to develop a closeness with your brothers in arms in quite the same way as this Xbox game.
Def Jam: Fight for NY
Licensed games aren’t usually very good, but Def Jam: Fight for NY let you create your own rap superstar and duke it out with some of the biggest names in the business in brutal street fights. The awesome soundtrack and deep customization made this game a stand out.
Survival horror games may be struggling to find their identity in the current industry, but there was a time when they could still scare the life out of you. With nothing but a camera to defend you against the horrors that await, this first entry is a must play. If only the current entries were just as good.
Futurama was a great series with some seriously hilarious characters, and an ability to play as them should not be passed up on. This action game may have received mixed reviews back in the day, but if you’re a fan in any way you should definitely give this a try.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Grand Theft Auto III led to many copycats, but none were as fun during the original Xbox era as The Simpsons: Hit & Run. With the full cast making an appearance, hilarious writing, and a lot of fun to be had while driving some of the cartoons signature vehicles, this was one of the premier license games of the generation.
Gauntlet Dark Legacy
Yeah, there’s the new Guantlet available on current gen at the moment, but nothing can compare to the classics. The humor is still there, as is the frenetic action of having up to four players decimate hordes of enemies while trying to get just enough gold to get a great item. Let the nostalgia wash over you.
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto III is a game that helped to define both a generation and a genre. Its original form should be playable on everything. The original Xbox release improved visuals, custom soundtrack support, and smoother gameplay. It is definitely the definitive edition of this instant classic.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GTA: San Andreas built on the incredible base left by its predecessors and threw in a bunch of much needed customization into the fold. You could train, change your appearance, and really move up in the world in ways never before seen. Having this on the Xbox One will show all of those new fans just where GTA V got all of its great ideas from.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Amazing fashion? Check. Great Soundtrack? Check. Sick dance moves in the club? Double check. GTA: Vice City took everything great about GTA III and added class to the whole affair. Rockstar’s seedy version of Miami is sure classic and should definitely receive new life on the Xbox One.
One of the best games on the original Xbox, Splinter Cell tasked players with infiltrating in true stealth gameplay. No running and gunning, no major explosions, just you the shadows, and lots of deadly situations. It was a great contrast to Metal Gear Solid before the gameplay was changed in sequels.
The Lord of the Rings Games
It’s pretty amazing how some of the best games of the Xbox/PS2/GameCube era were licensed titles. While the term “license” tends to go hand in hand with “please don’t play me” nowadays, games based on The Lord of the Rings were incredible. Multiplayer action, being able to play as your favorite characters, beautiful visuals, and the same amazing stories you already love were impossible to pass up on. Bringing the greatness back for a whole new generation of fans to enjoy would be a great move from Microsoft.
Kingdom Under Fire
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Developers missed the mark on Hulk games for a while, but once Radical Entertainment came along they proved that you can have an amazing game starring the bulky green superhero.
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
An open world racer with tons of customization, lots of vehicles, and pretty visuals, and three cities ready for you to make your mark. Xbox could take us back to a time when these racers were truly open.
NBA Street V3
NBA games have taken a strong turn for the realistic in recent years both graphically and mechanically. But there was a time when EA Big delivered some really fun, over-the-top sports titles for gamers to enjoy. NBA Street V3 was the best with its insane tricks, funny commentary, and solid soundtrack. There’s no new one anywhere on the horizon so Xbox could definitely make a lot of people happy by throwing this classic on the Xbox One.
Red Dead Revolver
Ah the Wild West. A time when arguments were solved with a six-shooter, and your horse was your best friend. Red Dead Revolver is the spiritual predecessor of Red Dead Redemption and it should be played by everyone. Microsoft can help make that a reality by throwing it on the Xbox One.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Yet another licensed game that proved to be absolutely incredible. Developed by Starbreeze Studios (with help from the star, Vin Diesel), this game lets you escape from Butcher Bay in first-person using shooting, adventure, and stealth mechanics. The absence of a HUD made it a truly cinematic experience with amazing action.
Ninja Gaiden taught us all that being a ninja is incredibly difficult. The game’s beautiful visuals, intense action, and amazing enemy designs made for an instant classic. The need for timing and strategy made for a challenge that players just haven’t received in a long time. Bring this back, please.
Okay, so this may be a bit difficult to play properly without the full 40+ input controller, but this Xbox exclusive was very fun to play. They tried to remake the magic using the Kinect and failed miserably, so let’s just bring the original back so a new generation can see how insanely fun it was to truly pilot a mech.
Jet Set Radio Future
Graffiti, rocket powered skates, slick moves, a fun soundtrack, and stunning cel-shaded visuals made for one of the greatest launch window games of any console.
Once upon a time, extreme sports were all the rage in video gaming. Tony Hawk paved the way for every single sport ranging from BMX to snow boarding to have a solid, fully featured, video game. The Xbox excluisve Amped was one of the best out there. With the top pros of the time, tons of tricks, tournaments, and a full career, there was nothing better than hitting the slopes on the Xbox.
Kung Fu Chaos
Outside of Nintendo, it’s difficult to find a really fun party game. The Xbox had one that kept players in stitches with all of its silly parody, and fourth wall breaking hijinks. Kung Fu Chaos was a blast to play as you helped these ninjas make the best kung fu film ever.
Crazy Taxi 3
Crazy Taxi 3 is one of those games that you just can’t put down. Short bursts of insane driving, mini games, crisp visuals, and three maps for you to explore and memorize made this arcade game a blast. It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a new one, so having this on the Xbox One would be a real treat.
Serious Sam 2
Sometimes you don’t want a shooter that wants to tell you some deep, involving story. Maybe you just want to let thousands of bullets fly as enemies explode into bloody bits. There’s no better place to have that experience than in Serious Sam 2 on the Xbox.
OutRun was a classic arcade game that ate tons of our quarters as we mashed the pedal and chose our routes. Having that fun on your own screen without having to take out a small loan in coins is definitely preferable. OutRun 2 brought the arcade fun to our homes with pretty visuals and some officially licensed Ferraris.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
With Star Wars being all the rage right now, it would be perfect timing for Microsoft to bring the amazing RPG Knights of the Old Republic to the Xbox One Marketplace as a classic. New fans will get to experience one of the best Star Wars games ever made, and old fans will get to revisit memory lane.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Speaking of Star Wars games, Jedi Academy let you play as a Jedi in training as you wielded different firearms, lightsabers, and even Force powers. It’s hard to turn down the offer as playing as a badass, Force-wielding knight.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls games are some of the best open world RPGs out there. Morrowind was the game that kicked off the series being on home video game consoles. It was an amazingly expansive RPG for its time and introduced a whole new generation of gamers to a stunning series. Time to put it back in the spotlight.
Another entry from Starbreeze Studios, Enclave was a stunning third-person Action RPG filled with demons, and knights, and magic. It was a solid offering on a platform that was pushing the boundaries in what console games could do. It would fit perfectly on the Xbox One as a testament to their ongoing commitment to provide great experiences.
BioWare has been providing stellar RPG experiences for the Xbox platform since the beginning and Jade Empire is one of the best early examples of this. With branching storylines, multiple endings, deep character building, and amazing lore, this is one game that definitely deserves a spot on the Xbox One.
Armed and Dangerous
Armed and Dangerous was a fun little third-person shooter that kept to the usual elements of most other games in the genre. It managed to differentiate itself with some fun to use weaponry. A Land Shark Gun which fires baby sharks into the ground that then grow and eat enemies from beneath, and a device that messes with gravity.
Myst IV: Revelation
Adventure games have been making a strong comeback on consoles in recent years, so why not have a classic enjoy the resurgence? Beautiful imagery and challenging puzzles along with a deep story make Myst IV: Revelation an excellent prospect.
Easily one of the best Spider-Man (if not the best) games ever made. Developers have been struggling to deliver something as amazing as this licensed classic for a long time. While fans wait patiently for that to happen, why not let them play the game that hooked so many on the Xbox One?
Ultimate Spider-Man expanded out of Manhattan and let players swing through the suburbs of Queens where Peter Parker is from. But even better was the fact that you can play as one of his arch nemeses, Venom, complete with a unique move-set, and interesting (and somewhat evil) abilities. Amazing artwork gave the game a unique look when compared to other Spider-Man games and it showed a side of the city never seen in the games so far.
With Quantum Break on the way it would be good to see where the time manipulating shooters originated for developer Remedy Entertainment. Max Payne helped transform how shooters and story existed together. Plus, looking at that weird grimace Max has every time he dives into action is something new gamers need to experience.
It’s Psychonauts. Do you really need an excuse to have this available on the Xbox One?
Are there any other games from the OG Xbox days that you would love to see made available on the Xbox One? Share your thoughts in the comments below.