There are a few topics that come up whenever there’s a new generation of video game consoles on their way to store shelves. There are always controller changes to consider and aesthetics to argue about. Next comes discussions of online connectivity and raw power. After launch is when people start to ask the most obvious question: “Do these new consoles work with the games that I already own?” The new Xbox One Backwards Compatibility programmed marked a sharp change in that conversation this year.
Both the Xbox One and PS4 launched without the ability to play games for their older counterparts, even though that was something that Nintendo did with its Wii U console. Sony eventually found a rough balance by introducing its PlayStation Now video game rental service. It’s the only way for PS4 owners to play their PS3 games. Trouble is, PlayStation Now requires either a monthly free or a repeating fee.
The Xbox One Backwards Compatibility program is a better attempt at bringing games made for past systems to Microsoft’s latest console. Microsoft has partnered up with publishers, to make their games for Xbox 360 available to Xbox One owners at no additional charge. Games for Xbox One upgraders that were purchased digitally simply surface in their collection as they’re added to the program. Disc owners simply insert their Xbox 360 game into their Xbox One to unlock a digital download for their game.
Microsoft plans to add new games to the more than 100 titles that are available through the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility program on a monthly basis. With more titles coming and the list of publishers participating in the program vast, many are wondering what new games will arrive from the program next.
Alan Wake wasn’t exactly a best-seller for Microsoft. In fact, it’s generally believed that the game under-performed in sales. Lukewarm sales didn’t necessarily make it a bad game though. The titular character is a writer stuck in the middle of what’s quickly becoming an out of control horror novel in its own right.
It also seems unlikely that we’ll ever get a true follow-up to Rockstar’s L.A. Noire. The game itself was developed by Team Bondi, a now defunct game studio. In the game, you played as Cole Phelps, a rookie cop on the streets of Los Angeles. Drugs, car chases, bribery and detective work or all core parts of the game.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham Asylum did the unthinkable. For years, it was just considered standard practice to avoid buying video games based on super heroes. Decades of bad titles made by developers on contract had ruined the genre’s reputation with console owners. Then Batman Arkham Asylum came along with its fluid combat system, decent graphics and menacing cast of villains.
Mass Effect 3
Video game developer Bioware wanted to create a space adventure that felt as if players were determining their own destiny, not just going through the motions. It succeeded with Mass Effect 3, a game that some would describe as the previous generation’s best role-playing game. The first Mass Effect is already in the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility program, there’s no reason why the series’ conclusion shouldn’t be coming soon.
Halo 3: ODST
One of only two standalone first-person Halo shooters for the Xbox 360. Halo 3: ODST had great music, refined mechanics and didn’t include Master Chief John 117. Stranded in the city of New Mombasa, this game had the tightest, most relatable story of any Halo game. Microsoft offered it up as downloadable content through Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It should be available through the program on its own along with Halo Reach.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Some have described Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood as the last great game in the series. Certainly it went in a different direction than the modern games do, introducing multiplayer modes unique to Assassin’s Creed for the first time. Players felt more like they were building a movement than just hunting for powerful Templars in the shadows.
Red Dead Redemption
Another of Rockstar’s one-off titles between editions of Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption is perhaps the second most popular game to come out of the studio. Picture GTA, but set in American Frontier and you’ve got the right idea. It was a huge boon for the Xbox 360 when it launched, spawning cowboy jokes and big sales for months. It’d be an amazing game to show off Xbox One Backwards Compatibility.
Hopefully a few of these Xbox 360 titles make their way to the Xbox One soon. Microsoft doesn’t have a set date each month for announcing new titles. If they do arrive and you own any of them, your game saves from the Xbox 360 and stored on Microsoft’s servers will transfer over.