15 Original Xbox Games We Wish Were Backwards Compatible with Series X|S
Microsoft released the original Xbox in 2001 featuring many of incredible original titles, started the online-gaming craze and solidified the computer company in the gaming world. Today, Xbox has released four generations of consoles all reaching different levels of success. The company has done a great job at preserving game titles by making them backwards compatible on their latest consoles.
While there are many incredible titles on the backwards compatibility list for the original Xbox, there are tons of games that have been left absent and forgotten. For many of these titles, no one can relive them unless they still have an original Xbox. We decided to come up with a list of Xbox games that deserve to be added the backwards compatibility list for the Xbox Series X|S. This was a hard list to narrow down but we did it. Check out what games made the list below:
15. WWE Raw 2
Release Date: September 16th, 2003
We consider WWE Raw 2 to be one of the best wrestling games to drop on the original Xbox. After the first game in the series being complete garbage, THQ improved nearly everything in the follow up. The title had memorable game play, an up to date roster and an overall better story mode. WWE Raw 2 is one of those games that never gets old and is fun by yourself and with other people. We believe it deserves to be on the list!
14. Toejam and Earl 3: Mission to Earth
Release Date: October 23rd, 2002
Oh yes, the beloved Toejam and Earl franchise. After Sega decided to stop making video game hardware, the company decided to help create games for the brand new Xbox along with porting over games from the Sega Dreamcast. One of those games ported over was Toejam and Earl 3: Mission To Earth. While it did not review the best compared to other games from the series, it still is a really fun game and think it should become backwards compatible due to its historical value. This was the last game in the franchise to be developed by Sega and wouldn’t see another release until 2019. Toejam and Earl were known for incredible platformer gaming and this game shows signs of that. It was also an important release because it was one of those games that helped solidify Xbox as a serious competitor in the video game industry.
13. Kill Switch
In 2003, Kill Switch dropped out of nowhere blowing shooter fans’ minds. The game was released across all platforms at the time is noted for creating the shooting blindly over or around an obstacle mechanic. This mechanic has been copied by many shooters throughout the years since Kill Switch‘s release. This includes the Gears of War franchise whichs heavily relys on the mechanic for combat. Kill Switch is simple, fun and easy to play. We feel like it deserves to become backwards compatible due to its impact on the shooter genre and its fun/simplistic gameplay and levels.
Release Date: October 28th, 2003
12. Scarface: The World is Yours
Release Date: October 10th, 2006
Scarface: The World is Yours was a sandbox style game that played very similar to the Grand Theft Auto franchise which played well and honored the iconic movie in true fashion. The game didn’t try to copy Rockstar’s mega franchise and separated itself with unique game modes. The game featured voice over work from Al Pacino for Scarface‘s character adding to the authenticity of it all. We hope this game doesn’t get forgotten over time and is properly preserved by making it backwards compatible. Scarface: The World is Yours was one of the best sand-box style games on the original Xbox and is equally on the same level as games like The Godfather: The Game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Mafia.
11. Need For Speed: Underground 2
Release Date: November 15th, 2004
Ah yes, finally a racing game. There were many Need For Speed games to drop on the original Xbox but we feel that Need For Speed: Underground 2 takes the cake. This game improved on the original Underground in every way and also took the sandbox style approach allowing you to cruise around in it’s open world instead of taking you out of the game to pick another race to do. After a race was compeleted, players could pick which race they wanted to do next by just driving to the location on the map. It had a memorable soundtrack and laid the ground for the best game to ever be released by the franchise, Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Yes Most Wanted is an original Xbox title too but the game was also released on the Xbox 360 and was the better of the two versions. Xbox, do us a favor and make Need For Speed: Underground 2 backwards compatible.
10. ESPN NFL 2K5
Release Date: July 20th, 2004
ESPN NFL 2K5 was not only the first American football game to rival the Madden franchise, it is also still considered to be one of the best football games to ever be released. The game shocked the industry by being released at only 20 dollars with all other new games being released at 50 dollars at the time. We would have to say that the game was even better than Madden 2005 due to its refreshing game play. It truly felt like you were in a real broadcast as each game started off with Sportscenter style pre-coverage for the game and half-time coverage. It was also the first title to feature first-person style game play for a football game.
The franchise was canned after the NFL signed an exclusive deal with Electronic Arts making it the only publisher allowed to release official games for the league. Since then, fans have been left hungry and are still talking about in present times. A spiritual successor was released in 2008 called All Pro Football 2k8, but since it didn’t have the NFL license, fell short on the nostalgia. With all the success and praise, we beleive this ESPN NFL 2K5 deserves a proper re-boot. With Madden becoming more stale by the day, there needs to be a breath of fresh air in the genre. Let’s hope we at least see this title available one day on the Xbox Series X|S.
Release Date: September 9th, 2003
In a time where platformers were getting to become stale, games like I-Ninja breathed life back into the genre with refreshing game mechanics. While not on the same level as Super Mario 64 or Banjo Kazooie, it still stands out as one of the better platformers to drop in the mid-2000’s. At the time, Xbox was lacking quality platformers and was known for being the shooter console. Games like I-Ninja helped round out Xbox’s catalogue attracting younger types of gamers. The re-play value for this game is high and the story is memorable. We suggest checking out I-Ninja regardless if it is backwards compatible!
Release Date: October 8th, 2002
Whacked! took game shows to a whole different level by making them extreme with the sole purpose of taking out your enemies with weapons. This Xbox exclusive allowed you to join in with up to 4 of your friends via co-op or online to compete in events such as King of the hill, death match, elimination style dodgeball and more. Whacked! was another one of those games that helped shape Xbox’s library giving a reason to buy the brand new console. It would also be cool to see a remake of this franchise since it was shortly lived.
7. NFL Street Franchise
Release Date: January 13th, 2004
After receiving much praise for the NBA Street franchise, Electronic Arts brought football to the streets with NFL Street. In this fun take on what are usually pretty serious/straight forward games, this series was aggressive, there were no penalties and it was very reminiscent of the NFL Blitz series. What made this game better was the gameplay mechanics. Football teams players could build up style points to perform a Game Breaker which basically made a football player invincible making it easy to score a touchdown. The replay value for NFL Street was high and with all the critical success, there should be no reason why this title isn’t backwards compatible, let alone brought back to life!
6. Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding
Release Date: November 19th, 2001
Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding was a ridiculously fun freestyle snowboarding game developed by Microsoft Studios as part of the original Xbox launch lineup in 2001. The game play felt really good and was a long the lines of the Tony Hawk‘s Pro Skater franchise. The goals were fun each level felt immersive allowing you to do tricks on obstacles not meant for performing tricks on. There was no time limit to complete the missions either. While the Amped series was followed up with multiple sequels, none of capture the essence of the first game in the series. With Xbox needing to more first party games, this would be a great series to bring back, but in the meantime, add it to the backwards compatible list!
5. Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller
Release Date: July 24th, 2002
In 2002, the smash arcade game Crazy Taxi made its way to Xbox as an exclusive for its third installment Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller. This game was easy to pick up and play for all ages with the simple goal of picking up and dropping off as many customers before time runs out. Crazy Taxi 3 also has a memorable soundtrack. The game didn’t receive much prasie from publications but is another one of those games that deserves to be added to the backwards compatibility list for preserving gaming history. After Sega stopped making consoles, they started to develop games for Xbox with this being one of them which ultimatley helped bring Sega’s fanbase to Xbox in some ways.
4. Tony Hawk Franchise
Release Date: November 2001-2006
There is no excuse for Xbox not to make these games backwards compatible. The Tony Hawk franchise was one of the most dominating gaming franchise in the early to mid 2000’s. The franchise turned non-skaters in to skaters and improved upon nearly every entry within the series. The golden era of the Tony Hawk series took place from 2000-2004 with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2X being the first to release on the Xbox. The game took the first two Tony Hawk games in the series and combined them along with remastering the games to get Microsoft’s new system caught up with the hype. Some great games from the series you should check out are Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, Tony Hawk’s Underground and Tony Hawk’s Underground 2. There is lack of quality skateboarding games available on modern hardware and since this series stands the test of time, it should be made backwards compatible on the Xbox Series X|S
3. Kung Fu Chaos
Release Date: February 24th, 2003
Kung Fu Chaos was another original Xbox game which was a 3D action/fighting game. The game puts you in a kung fu film where you fight through different movie scenes through the progression of the movies completion. The game was creative and took inspiration from many classing kung-fu films. Kung Fu Chaos made for a great co-op game and even today has a cult following. Since this is an Original Xbox title, it deserves to live on at least through backwards compatibility.
2. The Simpsons: Hit and Run
Release Date: September 16th, 2003
The Simpsons: Hit and Run took the formula that Grand Theft Auto created and brought into Home Simpsons world to complete objective and roam around freely. It is considered one of the best Simpsons games to date receiving tons of success across its multi-platform release. Where in the previous game Road Rage, players were not allowed to leave their car but in Hit and Run, you could get out of the car walk around and interact with the world of Springfield. Since this game is considered one of the greats, why isn’t it backwards compatible or even remastered? The world may never know.
1. Jet Set Radio Future
Release Date: February 25th, 2002
For the number one game we had to give to to Jet Set Radio Future. This game has inspired many other games that have been released since its time and never received a proper follow up or put on the backwards compatibility list. The game allowed you to ride around on rollerblades to spray paint graffiti and challenge other street gangs rivaled to yours. Jet Set Radio future was a cel-shaded style game and received tons of awards. Aside from Halo, this was one of the better games to come out on the Xbox up until its release. The game is pricey on the used market due to its legendary level of praise and is a no-brainer for being number one on our list.