With the Xbox Series X|S life cycle in full swing, we'd love to see the return of the Xbox backwards compatibility program. Over the years in the Xbox One's lifespan, we've seen many classic games returning, giving us the ability to play numerous Xbox 360 games again - and later, even original Xbox titles.
As we're struck with numerous delays on many upcoming games, this year would mark the perfect time to revisit some old Xbox gems, especially many of those that are yet to be added to the program. From fan favourites such as The Simpsons: Hit & Run, to the much requested Max Payne 3, we've highlighted just a select few we'd love to see added to the program in the near future below.
This is one of the most requested games, constantly doing the rounds amongst the community. While its future may be up in the air due to licensing concerns, it's definitely a game we would love to see. Even revisiting it all these years on, it still holds up, retaining the humour and spirit of the show. Being so much more than a GTA clone, the colourful world of Springfield feels alive and would look absolutely gorgeous on the Xbox Series X with Auto HDR. Fingers crossed it happens one day!
This is a big one amongst JRPG circles and it's a shame it's still yet to find a new lease of life through backwards compatibility. Its cult following has campaigned for it over the years, as its charming gameplay and use of music has enticed players since its release. Despite being an Xbox 360 title, it also still boasts a beautiful art style, which delivers a wonderful, colourful anime style world, reminiscent of games such as Dragon Quest. If it ever returns, it's certainly one not to be missed.
Who doesn't want to see the TimeSplitters trilogy make an appearance on Xbox again? The first-person shooter bared numerous resemblances to games such as Perfect Dark, but combined it with a personality of its own. It was cartoony and had a lot more tongue-in-cheek humour than the games it was based on. Over the years it became a staple for local co-op and it's something many players would love to see return to the Xbox family - particularly the second one in our opinion!
Max Payne 3's release on the Xbox 360 was a departure from the sleuth of open-world titles Rockstar had put out at the time, but concluded the trilogy near flawlessly. Since then, it's been a massive omission from Xbox's backwards compatible library as it was a well regarded shooter at the time of its release and has only risen in appreciation over the years. Its gunplay and formula may go against modern Rockstar Games standards, but it still holds up as a fantastic shooter that we'd love to get our hands (back) on.
Oddworld Stranger's Wrath was a huge departure for the series, moving away from the side-scrolling nature of previous entries and placing players in the shoes of a bounty hunter in a 3D adventure game. In a unique premise, the player controls a character known as The Stranger, who must hunt down numerous targets dead or alive. Having a mixture of first-person shooter elements with third-person platforming made for a truly bizarre game, but one that captured the hearts of many. The game has since been re-released on both PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, so surely Xbox's time is coming?
Project Gotham Racing was the premiere racing series on the Xbox back in the early 2000s, published by Microsoft and developed by the excellent Bizarre Creations. Even so, none of the four titles released in the series have made their way to Xbox's backwards compatibility program (again, most likely due to soundtrack issues), and it'd be great to see them make a return in the 2020s. Bizarre Creations has unfortunately long since closed down, with PGR 4 marking the studio's final game under the Microsoft banner.
Visit any forum asking what backwards compatible titles players wish to see and Jet Set Radio Future is always a big one. The futuristic skater gained a cult following over the years with its art style that leaps off the screen and addictive gameplay. What sets it apart is the spray painting mechanic, tasking players to traverse to hard to reach areas and tag the environment. Its punchy gameplay is aggressive and thrilling, something we would definitely love to see in the future.
While we got a Goldeneye remake on the Xbox 360, it never quite captured the same feeling as the N64 classic. James Bond 007 Nightfire is probably the closest we've got since then on Xbox, and was arguably one of the best things to come out of the Pierce Brosnan era of Bond movies. The game has an excellent single player campaign and fantastic multiplayer modes, reminiscent of Goldeneye. Areas had to be explored to complete missions, and rankings were achieved based on performance. Given a new Bond film is on the horizon, this has been playing in our minds and we couldn't think of a better time to see the game’s life reignited.