With the recent news that Microsoft is working on backwards compatibility with Original Xbox games, KJ and Sully have decided to put together their top ten favorites of all time. The following titles should definitely be made available on Xbox One X. Immediately!
Panzer Dragoon Orta
One of the greatest on-rails shooters ever made. Period.
The only console capable at the time of running this beast of a sequel.
Martial Arts fantasy combined with Deep RPG Elements.
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Possibly the best movie-tie in ever.
Star Wars: Republic Commando
Squad-based gameplay made this Star Wars feel completely different from the pack.
10. Jet Set Radio Future
Jet Set Radio shined on Dreamcast. Being one of the first to really utilize cell-shaded graphics. When making a sequel, all you really would have to do is up the playable character count, make the graphics even better, and provide crazier challenges to put in front of the player. That’s exactly what JSRF did. This version would even bring multiplayer into the mix. A much bigger world, and the removal of timed missions made this a more relaxing jet set. There isn’t too many Hip Hop focused titles out there, but this is one of the best. Go out of your way to listen to the soundtrack. Bonus info: Many versions of the game were bundled with SEGA GT 2002.
9. Burnout 3: Takedown
This might be one of the best, if not the greatest arcade racing game of all time. Developed by Criterion and published by EA, Burnout 3: Takedown took things to a whole other level with it’s fast-paced gameplay and addicting gameplay modes. Performing a takedown on another car, was so satisfying that you could be lost in this game for hours. Let us not forget “Crash Mode”, where you scored depending on how much destruction caused from your vehicle. Even though this game came out on the PS2, it is still one of the most memorable and best experiences you could have on the original Xbox. Xbox Magazine even ranked it their “Game of the Year” over Halo 2. Now that’s saying something!
8. Dead or Alive 3
Still the hottest DOA, in my opinion. A Great lineup of characters. Each with fluid animations that still hold up fine. DOA 3 has some of the most awesome stages in one title. This is what had me more interested in destructible environments. Starting off in an awesome area, busting to another place of the same quality. The graphics at the time were unrivaled on console. A strong game to have at launch, and odd that it is in-fact still exclusive to Xbox OG. Completing character story arcs would leave you with quality ending videos. Jann Lee’s is still etched in my mind. DOA Ultimate would admittedly offer more content, but I felt 3 had more to offer in-terms of control and gameplay. This era belonged to Team Ninja.
7. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
With Graphics that could pass as an Xbox 360/PS3 Launch title, and game-changing online coop, Chaos Theory on the original box was a sensational looking title. CT featured tough missions, and a great story. Let’s not forget the superb voice work from Michael Ironside. Sam Fisher is a character held in high regard, and one primarily connected with the Xbox Brand. This was the console home to fully experience these Tom Clancy games. Stealth fans rejoice.
6. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge was an arcade style adventure, that would deliver on satisfying dogfights, and a reason for fans to jump on Xbox Live. The fun was truly online with Capture The Flag standing out to me. Other expected multiplayer modes were made more enjoyable with the style this game provided. An alternate timeline, and a 1930’s presentation made this really standout from the pack. We know that it’s returning to the Xbox Modern lineup through backwards compatibility. Since Crimson Skies was the game used to market the big news, this gives me confidence. Perhaps renewed live support?
Before there was Titanfall, we had Mechassault. It’s hard not to include MA as one of the greatest games for the original Xbox. A lot of people feel nostalgic for this one. One of the first entries into the world of Xbox Live. With its fierce online gameplay and challenging campaign, Mechassault is a powerhouse. The level of destruction in this game is very satisfying. Watching mechs explode after laying down some heat seaking missiles is one of the most enjoyable parts. Since it’s published by Microsoft Studios, we hope this will be one they make backwards compatible.
4. Shenmue II
Dreamcast owners in the US would never receive part 2 of Shenmue. Oddly enough, It would make its way to Xbox instead as an exclusive. This was a game designed to please many. While titles with the jack-of-all trades approach often fall flat, Shenmue II rises above. You’re tasked with finding the bastard who murdered your father right in front of you. Getting this crook would take players to some unique areas. Side missions involving odd jobs, Fun QTE events, and a very satisfying fighting engine. It was made with the Virtual Fighter Code. With the fluidity of that engine, fighting hordes of enemies, and enjoying a spectrum of voice acting from hilarious to exceptional. Shenmue II was a melting pot of awesome. It came with a DVD that would recap the events of part one for newcomers.
3. Ninja Gaiden Black
Ryu Hayabusa would return after a lengthy hiatus. Usually modern games transitioning from classic 2D to full 3D, lose a lot of their challenge along the way. I can report that both Ninja Gaiden on the NES and the Xbox version, both made me toss my controller across the room. The difference NG has versus similar games, enemies are tough but it isn’t because of cheapness. It’s just a well designed action experience. Engage in truly memorable showdowns. Unlock useful weapons. Ninja Gaiden looked as smooth as it played. Easily a Top 3 choice, and the argument can be made for the number one spot. Possibly the greatest return in gaming. To match the old school challenge, yet offer an experience pushing the genre further, we applaud Team Ninja.
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
It’s hard not to make a top ten list for the Xbox and not include this Star Wars masterpiece. Considered one of the best games ever made, Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic allows the player to choose their own path between the light and dark side. This role-playing game takes place in 4,000 years before the rise of the Empire. It hard to forget such memorable moments with characters like the murderous droid HK-47 and traveling to the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk. The story, character interaction, gameplay, sound and design makes this one of the most superior games on the original Xbox console. It’s one of the best things to ever happen to Star Wars and Xbox.
Tie: Halo: Combat Evolved & Halo 2
What else would you expect? One of the greatest first person shooters of all time is Halo: Combat Evolved. You could even put Halo on the Mt. Rushmore of FPS with Doom, Half-Life 2, and Goldeneye. This 2001 shooter has impacted the gaming culture since its release. Then Halo 2 came out and knocked it out of the park again. We love them both so much that it had to be a tie. Halo: Combat Evolved introduced us to the world we fell in love with, as well as how much fun it was to play split screen against your friends on unforgettable maps such as Hang em High. Then, Halo 2 came out and improved on the first game by allowing us to duel wield weapons and taking our talents online in matchmaking mode. Thus, creating one of the largest competitive online gaming communities in the world. Whether it was running over grunts in the Warthog, or pistol-whipping an online opponent, the combat mechanics were on point in the immersive world it offered. Plus, a soundtrack with a guitar riff that could be recognized for miles. Halo is still the face of Xbox till this day, and rightfully so.