When Microsoft announced that original Xbox games were coming to the Xbox One’s backward compatibility program, the reception was fairly positive. Microsoft brought the PC idea of games lasting forever to consoles, with improved versions of old games that run better than they ever did on original hardware. Over the course of its life, Microsoft covered the vast majority of truly significant 360 releases. If there’s a game that you want to play in 2019, chances are it is available on Xbox One. However, with the back compat team now hard at work on Project Scarlett support, there are a few stragglers. We’ve already laid out what we want from the original Xbox so here are a few backward compatible Xbox 360 games on Project Scarlett that we would like to see in addition to the big stuff like Halo or Gears of War.
Backward compatible Xbox 360 games on Project Scarlett | X-Men Origins: Wolverine
From the moment that Wolverine impales a guy out of a 500-foot drop in the opening, you know this one is going to be good. One of the few licensed games to surpass its own source material, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a hack and slash action game that perfectly adapts Logan’s adventures. It’s more comics-accurate than the 2009 film, including the yellow spandex, an appropriate level of dismemberment, and a lack of Deadpool.
The plot weaves in events from the film into a more complete comics narrative. Raven Software did an amazing job bringing this story to life in a way that the filmmakers couldn’t. The gameplay may seem basic to those who are on the Souls train, but it’s a perfectly enjoyable game to zone out to on the couch over the weekend. We need more games like that nowadays. After this, Raven would produce a few more amazing Xbox 360 titles before being transitioned into the Call of Duty mines. Speaking of…
Backward compatible Xbox 360 games on Project Scarlett | Singularity
What happens when you take Bioshock and add in some Soviet flavor and a whole lot of time travel? The answer is Singularity, an interesting iteration on Irrational Games’ magnum opus that adds a few new spins on the concept. Weaponry highlights include a time-altering explosive sniper rifle that lets you control the path of your bullets and a railgun that shoots red hot explosive spikes.
It’s hard to blame you if you’ve never heard of Singularity. The game went through a troubled development, and publisher Activision didn’t give it much push when it did finally see release. It’s on sale on Steam for less than $10, but without the modern conveniences that a PC port nowadays would offer. Just because of that, it’s a prime candidate for a console upgrade on Project Scarlett. If nothing else, a re-release might remind Activision that their developers are capable of more than its two big franchises.
Backward compatible Xbox 360 games on Project Scarlett | Blur
We’re not picking on Activision here, but it’s just that it is the one publisher who didn’t really take advantage of Microsoft’s backwards compatibility to its fullest potential. One of the last games created by Project Gotham Racing developer Bizarre Creations, Blur is a more realistic version of Mario Kart. It uses lifelike cars that shoot fireballs and shields at opponents. A bizarre concept to be sure, but one that seems to fit in more now than it did back in 2010.
The colorful tracks and neon lighting are reminiscent of this summer’s Rocket League event, and an online racing game of this type structured as a similar service could have possibly made it big. Alas, the game (and its spiritual brother-in-arms Split/Second) failed to spark an arcade racing revolution and Activision quickly dissolved the developer. A real shame, especially considering that teams of former Bizzare employees have tried and failed again to make this type of game work.
Backward compatible Xbox 360 games on Project Scarlett | Mini Ninjas
Developed by the Hitman people (also known as IO Interactive) and published by Square Enix, Mini Ninjas is a constantly overlooked but still highly enjoyable 2009 ninja action adventure. You control six of the titular warriors, each with special abilities and weapons at their disposal. Their opponents are animals under an evil spell, which is sort of a Far East take on Sonic the Hedgehog.
The fact that Mini Ninjas is one of the few genuinely good kid-friendly single player experiences outside of Nintendo in the last decade or so should make it a priority for playability on Project Scarlett. Sadly, it’s up to Square Enix to pull the trigger, as it retained the rights to the franchise after spinning IO off into their own company. While it’s a shame that the original developers aren’t open to making another iteration, it’d be fun to introduce this original work to a new generation.
Backward compatible Xbox 360 games on Project Scarlett | Lollipop Chainsaw
Another game from the glory days of hack and slash action, Suda51’s Lollipop Chainsaw is as Japanese as you’d expect from developer Grasshopper Manufacture. Juliet Starling runs into a zombie apocalypse on her 18th birthday. Her boyfriend Nick is now a disembodied head she carries on her hip. What’s a girl to do but rev up a chainsaw and defeat the undead tearing up her school? Featuring everything from head bowling to chainsaw projectiles, it’s an action game you won’t soon forget.
It’s a unique game with equally unique controls, and there’s nothing quite like it on the Xbox 360. It’s a shame that gamers will have to plug in an old console to see it again in the lead up to Suda’s next work, the upcoming No More Heroes 3. While it’s certainly a product of its time, letting current owners relive this Grindhouse game would be a great move.