Whether you like them or hate them, it seems that remasters, definitive editions, and last-gen ports will continue travelling over to the Xbox One for some time to come. We'll admit that we're not entirely fond of the idea if it means that potential sequels get the shaft, but we do welcome the remaster treatment as long as it doesn't tie up a talented team that could be working on something new and exciting. With the release of DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition just weeks away and rumblings of Darksiders 2 making the leap to new gen, we've been contemplating which Xbox 360 games we'd shell out money for a second time if they surfaced on Xbox One. Coming up with contenders was an easy task, but narrowing the list down to ten games wasn't.
So what kind of criteria did we take into consideration when compiling this list? First and foremost, it's important to establish that these are personal selections that have in no way been influenced by the popular opinion. That means, even though we're well aware that a Gears of War Collection is in high demand, we felt no obligation to include it below if we didn't naturally feel compelled to do so. And instead of merely shouting out our favorite Xbox 360 games and calling it a day, we explored the idea of which games would truly benefit from a re-release and why. Doing this, we quickly realized that there are about four obvious reasons that a remaster (or whatever you prefer to call it) makes sense to us.
Those reasons are:
- If a game didn't receive the kind of exposure it deserved the first time around.
- If a game suffered technical problems due to obvious hardware limitations.
- If we want to be playing a particular game for years to come, especially because of an engrossing and robust multiplayer mode.
- If we think a game deserves a second chance to correct gameplay issues that kept it from true greatness.
Once we took that criteria into account, that's when our list fell into order almost effortlessly. Did we have to make some sacrifices for the sake of a welcoming and well-organized article? We sure did. But rest assured that what's been included is a combination that simply felt right to us. So let's have a look at the 10-ish Xbox 360 games that we really want to see made available for Xbox One sometime in the near future, shall we?
We don’t toss the word around lightly, but Red Dead Redemption is a bona fide masterpiece. For many of our staff members, it’s not only regarded as one of the finest games to ride onto last-generation hardware, it’s even lassoed itself a position on a few of our lists of all-time greats — yeah, we dig it that much. While of course we’d prefer to get a sequel (we’ve been dying for one since we seen John Marston's story to a close), we’d be smitten with a gorgeous remaster in the interim.
Outside of a small graphical overhaul and a few gameplay tweaks, there wouldn’t be too much that would require updating. What would be really cool, though, is if Rockstar San Diego took notes from Grand Theft Auto Online (the ambitious open-world multiplayer mode in GTAV) and applied some new features and functions to the online mode in Redemption. Saddled up with a few rowdy friends, we had a blast wrangling horses, clearing hideouts of dangerous outlaws, and collecting herbs, but other than those activities, there wasn’t all that much for a band of amigos to do in the wild west without repeating the same tasks over and over again. Spruce up the landscape with more activities and another layer of character leveling, and you'd have yourself a remaster that would sell itself.
South Park fans had been waiting a long, long time for a truly great game based on one of TV’s most consistent comedies, but back in March of last year, they got something that made up for the excruciating wait. Coming in the form of a turn-based RPG, The Stick of Truth was both a critical and commercial success, and rightfully so. It’s crazy to think that the project was nearly dead in the water when publisher THQ went out of business; but, thankfully, Ubisoft stepped in and ensured Obsidian’s long-in-the-works project would see the light of day. And man are we happy that they did. What’s really special is that, somehow, a fantastic piece of fan service is also a damn good game. The only real shortcoming that we felt detracted from its overall high-quality was the presence of many prominent technical issues. We aren’t sure whether they were the result of cut corners during development or if the aged Xbox 360 was just buckling under the pressure of the engine, but we suspect that the current hardware could produce a much smoother experience. That — and the hope of some DLC — is the reason we want to see The Stick of Truth on the Xbox One.
If there’s one type of game that the elder members of the Pure Xbox team dearly miss, it’s the over-the-top, destruction-laced, arcade-style racer. From Burnout to San Francisco Rush, Hydro Thunder to Daytona USA, we’ve grown up to the sounds and sights of purring engines, massive air, and twisted metal. Even though FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage was more or less a repackaging of FlatOut 2, we think it should be granted a second life on Xbox One in an attempt to reel in a larger fan base. This is the type of ridiculous game that's responsible for water-cooler stories and laughs so deep they can lead to profuse vomiting. Well, actually, that last part is a tad hyperbolic, but we think it helps drive home the point.
Whether it be the actual demolition racing or the hilarious stunt mode, Ultimate Carnage is committed to offering a mindless, adrenaline-filled time, and we need more games like it this generation. If you think that sending a ragdoll driver through a windshield and toward a giant set of bowling pins sounds rad, then it’s safe to assume you agree with us. We know we agree with us.
What happened to the extreme sports genre? We’re entirely aware that its popularity isn’t quite what it was during the dawn of the 21st century, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a massive audience of gamers itching to mount a board and grind harder than Steve and Doug Butabi on a Friday night (that's a Nighty at the Roxbury reference, if you didn't realize). While we’re impatiently awaiting details on the Tony Hawk game that is currently in the works, and praying nightly that it’s not another gimmicky peripheral outing, we’d settle for a serving of Skate on Xbox One. Now, we’re reasonable people with an understanding of the amount of work that goes into developing video games, so we're well aware that the likelihood of the entire Skate trilogy getting a bundled remaster is highly improbable – but does that mean we can’t dream? We just want to skateboard. That’s all. Is that a crime? Is skateboarding a crime? Several hundred thousand bumper stickers would suggest that it's not.
Platinum Games are the undisputed champions when it comes to consistently spitting out top-tier action games. Bayonetta 1 & 2, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, The Wonderful 101, and Vanquish (we'll ignore the disappointing Legend of Korra for now) have each earned an esteemed status with gamers and critics alike. The topic of this chunk of text, Vanquish, is possibly the most underappreciated of the bunch, mixing the hyperactive combat intensity of Bayonetta with the cover-shooting of Gears of Wars. The result is a frenetic action experience that deserves a second chance to reach a wider audience than it was able to on the Xbox 360 and PS3. In comes a remaster with a bit of added DLC. With minimal effort, Platinum could clean this one up and release it as a budget download on the Xbox One Games Store. At a $15 price tag, we suspect it could have the bearings to have broad appeal, raising awareness of its existence and potentially leading to that sequel that fans have been hoping for.
We won't hide the fact that Pure Xbox harbors more than a few diehard fans of the work SEGA did in their golden days. That's why, when Sonic Racing Transformed was announced, we kind of lost our minds. Taking everything that worked well in the original Sonic Racing and ramping it up to 11, developer Sumo Digital crafted what is arguably the most ambitious kart racer of all time. What's more, it's jammed packed with more fan service than anyone would have ever expected. Franchises like Shinobi, Nights, Golden Axe, and Alex Kidd, along with the usual faces, make appearances in the form of characters and courses, making us long for the day that SEGA was constantly creating fresh and highly-regarded properties.
But what makes Transformed so ambitious, you might ask? It's the nature of the racing, which allows your vehicle to morph from a kart, to a boat, and to a plane, often within the same course. Not only that, but the environments are dynamic and adjust to accommodate whichever vehicle is currently in use. The result is a racer so good that we want to play it on the shiny new hardware currently dominant in our game spaces, and we want to revisit it for years and years to come. If we can't do that, let's hope that a follow-up is currently in the works behind the scenes. This is the best Sonic has been in years, and it would be nice to see him continue to do something — anything — well.
The original Dead Rising was a huge hit for the Xbox 360 back when it launched in 2006, but it wasn't without its problems. We recall utter frustration when dealing with the controls and weapon accuracy during some of the intense boss fights, and, if we remember correctly, the save system was an archaic pain in the butt. Luckily the campy and comical zombie-slaughtering action allowed fans of classic horror flicks to not just watch an undead apocalypse, but actually live it. Even if Dead Rising Remastered was only to make it to the Xbox One as a digital release, we'd be ecstatic. That is, as long as a better save system and improved controls were in tow. We'll admit that we're as sick of zombie movies, TV shows, and games as the next guy, but, when it comes to Dead Rising's signature brand of chaos, we just can't get enough.
"An Earth Defense Force game is the best you could come up with?! Really, Pure Xbox?!!" Yes, really, offended reader. We're not afraid to acknowledge that there are some people that don't find this series to be as charming as others do, but those that are fond of it know what type of absurdly-satisfying time can be found within. The reason we've included 2025 on this list is because, with all of the bug killing and building crumbling at the core of the game, the Xbox 360 wasn't entirely up to the task of smoothly processing all of that chaotic on-screen action. Sometimes it's only a minor stutter during an intimate shootout; other times, like when a massive explosion wipes out a swarm of insects, the frame rate drops to a jarring degree. That's why we want to see Earth Defense Force 2025 brought over to the Xbox One. Harnessing the horsepower behind the latest hardware would hopefully allow things to run at 60fps on a consistent basis, and we could worry about ridding the Earth of creepy-crawling invaders with our friends without any performance distractions. That's the way wing diving was meant to be.
Oh, and it should be said that if you've attempted to play Earth Defense Force by your lonesome, you're doing it wrong.
You might have noticed that Trials Evolution has made a few of our staff lists over the past couple years. If it wasn't already obvious, the truth is that we're madly in love with this installment in the critically-acclaimed physics-based platforming series. Even though we've been very satisfied with the way Trials Fusion has shaped up from recent updates and DLC packages, it's Evolution that we think brought the most compelling course designs, environments, and overall vibe to the table. We'd be ecstatic if the same old version was ported over to the Xbox One so we could continue to play it for years to come, but it would be even better if the developer RedLynx rebuilt the game with the Trials Fusion engine, which offers the tightest physics and controls that the series has seen. We tried to keep this list focused on retail releases, but we couldn't resist the awesomeness that is Evolution.
Even if the writer of these words has never set foot in the land of Skyrim, would it be wrong of him to assume that the announcement of an Xbox One version of one of the Xbox 360's most critically-acclaimed games would be well received? We know that we've been in contact with folks who've expressed their desire to revisit this masterpiece on more capable hardware, especially if they could transfer over the save files they spent so much time writing to. So those of you looking to jump back into Skyrim would have your reason, and the couple people that never took the opportunity back in 2011 (waves hand) would have the opportunity to right a wrong that's been eating away at them for far too long. Plus, we simply need more "next-gen" dragons.
Which Xbox 360 game on our list would you most like to see remastered? (30 votes)
Red Dead Redemption
South Park: The Stick of Truth
FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage
The Skate Trilogy
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Earth Defense Force 2025
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Duke Nukem Forever
None. You guys have terrible taste.
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Now that we've put our emotions on the line by publicly exposing our questionable taste in video games, we'd appreciate it if you would do the same. So take yourself a couple scrolls down — to the comments section, to be more specific — and let us know which Xbox 360 games you, personally, would like to see resurrected on the Xbox One. Even if it's Aliens: Colonial Marines or Bomberman: Act Zero, we want to hear about it. Just don't be upset if we decide to judge you in secret.