The original Xbox (formally known as the Xbox 1 before 2014-era Microsoft had its way) has an eclectic library. To those of us who were in the thick of it, the early days of Xbox were a thrilling time filled with unique experiences you couldn’t get anywhere else. Even with a very limited selection, Microsoft has already converted a good chunk of those games over to Xbox One, giving retro gamers a chance to wind back the clock and check out some hits from yesteryear. However, with the backward compatibility team now working exclusively on Project Scarlett, there will be no more additions on current hardware. Knowing that, here are a few backward compatible Xbox games for Project Scarlett that we want to see when the program kicks back into gear next generation.
Backward Compatible Xbox Games for Project Scarlett | MechAssault
Whether we’re talking about the 2002 original or 2004’s more expansive sequel, MechAssault is an Xbox original franchise than many fans miss. Both games perfectly translated the PC-centric MechWarrior to console controllers without losing the unique appeal of the universe. The original MechAssault was one of the signature games on early Xbox Live, arriving two years before Halo 2 took the service by storm.
Lone Wolf was more of a sleeper hit. The Xbox 360 was already on the horizon at release after all. Many were less than eager to jump into a new multiplayer experience on old hardware. Those that did take the plunge found a more refined and complicated game that arguably took things a bit too far. Requiring a player to man a VTOL and act as a healer is great in theory. In practice, it never worked out well when playing with random teammates online. Then, there’s the single-player campaign, which features a boss fight with a spider mech set to a Disturbed song. To this day, it’s one of the most hilariously incongruous music choices ever heard in a video game.
Sadly, the legal red tape of the BattleTech license ties up both MechAssault games. Currently in use for MechWarrior Online, Microsoft would have to shell out to ever make the games appear on its consoles again. If the company can ever find a way to make it happen, it’d be great to play these classics in higher fidelity. Even with the end of Xbox Live support for Original Xbox games, there’s plenty of content here to warrant a nostalgic look back.
Backward Compatible Xbox Games for Project Scarlett | Otogi
From Software is known for redefining action games with their Dark Souls games, but that wasn’t their first crack at the genre. Back in the Xbox days, From produced two iterations of Otogi, a series where you hack and/or slash your way through a whole mess of Japanese demons. The company was a long way from their measured and difficult combat, focusing on fun and frantic slashes that were common among other games of the time. Still, there are definitely a few small hints at what was to come with the amazing environments and enemy design.
Both Otogi: Myth of Demons and Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors are exclusive to the original Xbox. Both received critical acclaim in their time only to become obscure due to their exclusive nature. Whether it’s at the hands of original publisher Sega or From Software themselves, these games deserve another shot in the spotlight. An update for next-gen consoles (or an updated PC port) would give fans of Souls a better view at where their favorite franchise originated.
Backward Compatible Xbox Games for Project Scarlett | Kung Fu Chaos
Here’s a story you probably haven’t heard before. Kung Fu Chaos was a 2003 first-party Microsoft release developed by Just Add Monsters. The party game went through several publishers before landing at Microsoft and didn’t receive a lot of attention at the marketplace despite critical praise. The developers behind the game couldn’t continue work on their sequel, but they still wanted to work in a Kung Fu environment. So, they started work on Kung Fu Story, a game that eventually morphed into Heavenly Sword. Along the way, Just Add Monsters morphed into Ninja Theory.
Years and years later, the developer would reunite with their first IP under the same corporate umbrella. While the passage of time has probably made a sequel less than desirable, restoring Kung Fu Chaos to its place among the early Xbox originals via backward compatibility seems like a great way to celebrate Ninja Theory joining Microsoft Game Studios. While limited in scope, the game is still fun today with some like-minded friends on the couch. Plus, you can definitely tell where the team was headed from their its project.
Backward Compatible Xbox Games for Project Scarlett | Sudeki
A late Xbox exclusive released in 2004, Climax’s Sudeki is an action role-playing game that brings a lot of old tropes beyond where you think they’d go. Noted at the time for its “short length” at only 20 hours, playing it today could be a breath of fresh air for busy gamers who don’t want to dive into a hundreds of hours long online RPG experience. The game is available on Steam as of now (and for a pretty cheap price even when it’s not on sale), but it’s an older port with shaky controller support. Bringing forward the original Xbox release to new hardware would make that version the definitive way to play this classic game.