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10 games that still need to come to Xbox backward compatibility

Xbox back compat
Xbox back compat (Image credit: Microsoft)

Ever since the launch of the backward compatibility program two years ago, Xbox users have enjoyed the ability to play many of their old Xbox titles on the Xbox One. Microsoft recently expanded the program to include OG Xbox titles too, including classics like Knights of the Old Republic and Ninja Gaiden Black.

Here are a few of my own personal picks for Xbox 360 and Xbox titles I'd love to see hit Xbox One!

Star Wars Battlefront

The original Star Wars Battlefront from 2004 is widely regarded as a classic that brought large-scale Star Wars battles to the screens of players for the first time. Whether you chose to take part in battle as an infantry trooper, a vehicle driver, or a starfighter pilot, Battlefront was, in many ways, an authentic Star Wars sandbox that was a treat to enjoy.

With the modern Star Wars Battlefront II only weeks away, wouldn't it be amazing if we could experience the game that started it all once more on our Xbox Ones?

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Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom

What many assumed would be a cheesy and bare-bones experience based on the kid-friendly nature of the popular TV show were surprised to find that Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom was actually an incredibly competent 3D platformer with a large amount of content. Featuring creative environments, a plethora of enemies to battle, and a funny, entertaining plot, Battle for Bikini Bottom is the perfect example of what a Spongebob game should be.

The game was so well received by fans that the developer, Heavy Iron Studios, decided to use its engine and make another game based on the first Spongebob movie. Though no more games like it have released since Battle for Bikini Bottom remains for many as an excellent family-friendly joyride.

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Midtown Madness 3

Unlike most racing games, which focus on utilizing actual race tracks, Midtown Madness 3 opts to have you race on the streets of either Paris or Washington D.C. instead. There are dozens of racing challenges to complete, and by doing so, you can unlock new types of cars to drive. In the game's free mode, you have complete jurisdiction over where you drive and how, allowing you to create intense police chases by driving recklessly or just allowing you to take a relaxing cruise throughout the cities.

Multiple paint job cans are found around both settings too, encouraging exploration. Lastly, the title's multiplayer allowed for you to play with your friends and compete with one another. Overall, Midtown Madness 3 was a racing game that opened the possibilities up to much more than simply doing races.

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Star Wars: Republic Commando

If Battlefront was the first game to bring large-scale Star Wars to gaming, then Republic Commando was the first to bring a tactical, gritty, boots-on-the-ground Star Wars experience to the table. Star Wars: Republic Commando follows the story of Delta Squad, an elite unit of highly trained clone troopers, as they thwart various Separatist operations and massively contribute to the Republic war effort.

Heralded to this day as one of the best squad shooters ever created, Republic Commando is a timeless masterpiece that has aged phenomenally, despite being over a decade old.

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MechAssault

Very few Xbox titles offer quite the experience that MechAssault does. While robots fighting each other isn't exactly a foreign concept, few games adopt the idea better than this one. Featuring deep gameplay with several mech classes, weapons, and abilities, MechAssault is the perfect game for those who want to blow stuff up with giant machines in creative ways. What's better, you can even duel your friend in split-screen. 1v1 MechAssault me, bro.

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind marks Bethesda's first shift with the series towards true open world RPGs. While The Elder Scrolls I and II were technically open world, they were overall more linear and plot-focused. Morrowind, however, aims to give the player freedom to explore the game world as they see fit and complete the story at their own pace.

This new style was met with mixed reception at first, but over time, the RPG community grew to love it. As a result, The Elder Scrolls games that came after ended up becoming what they are now: best-selling, fan favorites. Without Morrowind's ambition, The Elder Scrolls may have looked like a completely different franchise today.

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

KOTOR II

KOTOR II (Image credit: Obsidian Interactive)

Considering that the first game became backward compatible recently, it would be sad if the sequel, Knights of the Old Republic II, wasn't made compatible as well. The game sports numerous improvements over the original title, such as better graphics, new powers and the addition of a dynamic influence system with characters and dialogue. Also, it offers an interesting philosophical take on the Force that remains unique even today.

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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The first in a long line of successful Modern Warfare titles, Call of Duty 4 was one of the Xbox 360's biggest hits. Often remembered for the fact it was one of the only games on the system that challenged Halo 3 in terms of popularity, Call of Duty 4 offered a fresh and faithful CoD experience that impressed both veterans of the series and newcomers alike.

While the game was remastered recently, numerous changes were made in the modernized version, such as altered movement speed and the addition of supply drops. Making Call of Duty 4 backward compatible would allow the game's following to experience the title exactly like they did a decade ago.

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Silent Hill: HD Collection

Originally exclusive to PlayStation 2, both Silent Hill 2 and 3 became playable on the Xbox 360 when the Silent Hill: HD Collection was released. Xbox users could finally experience the critically acclaimed horror titles, with upgraded visuals as an added bonus.

Silent Hill HD Collection isn't perfect, known for bugs and graphical problems, but since the development of new Silent Hill projects has been rather rocky and worrying over the last few years, it would be great to bring the HD Collection to the Xbox One. This might be the only way that fans of the series can continue playing through and enjoying some of the best games the horror genre has to offer into the future.

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars was a game that utilized the prequel era's vast array of vehicles and aircraft to its fullest potential. Throughout the game, you battle the Separatists using a variety of iconic vehicles, such as the TX-130 fighter tank, the LAAT/i gunship, and the AT-XT heavy walker, among others. Also, there are also a few segments where you can battle droid forces on the ground as Jedi characters like Anakin Skywalker or Mace Windu.

In the split-screen multiplayer mode, players can go head-to-head as either the Republic or the Separatists, each player gaining access to various craft as they battle to destroy the enemy HQ. Player controlled bases automatically build laser turrets around them, and will even create convoys of AI-controlled vehicles if left uncontested for long enough.

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Your thoughts

What Xbox or Xbox 360 titles do you think should come to the backward compatibility program next? Are there any games in my list that you agree or disagree with me on? Do you think I like Star Wars a little too much? Let me know down below in the comments.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

49 Comments
  • Far Cry 2
  • Entire splinter cell franchise. Have the original on disc and chaos theory digitally. Wouldn't mind playing blacklist again either.
  • Yes please!
  • They forgot to mention that they should also add the original star wars battlefront 2 as well as the first star wars battlefront.
  • Agreed!
  • Silent Hill 2, 3 and 4 were available on the original Xbox and PC, they were not exclusive to PlayStation 2.
  • They were brought to those systems later on, not at launch.
  • Actualy, only SH2 (launched 1 year after) and 4 (launched at the same day) were on Xbox, SH3 was not (only PS2 and PC), my mistake. But the best one was playable before the HD Collection, and now with OG Xbox BC, maybe that is the version we should be hoping to get. Of course, the best scenario is we getting everything (OG Xbox SH2 and 4) and the HD Remaster! And right now, I don't think that's impossible to happen!
  • The remaining 360 Legos not on X1: Harry Potter 1-4 and 5-7. Indiana Jones 2. Lord of the Rings. Batman 2. Might as well throw in Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and Star Wars I from the Original Xbox. I've got some easy backlog games I'd like added too, like NCIS and Prince Caspian. I'd love to see Kinect games, but I know that's not going to happen. I was told by the Director of BC that the two Kinects are just too different. I imagine it's not literally impossible, but it would take a lot more resources than MS wants to spend on Kinect nowadays. I can't really blame them, given the apparently small Kinect fan base.
  • Perhaps they could make Kinect compatible by pluging the accessory in using usb.
  • Good idea. I suggested that awhile ago to the Director of BC, but he didn't respond to that comment. After your comment, I thought of a problem though. The 360 Kinect can't connect to a normal USB port without an adapter. The 360S and 360E had a special port for Kinect. The Kinect came with an adapter to use with the original 360, so that might work with an Xbox One. However, I imagine many people lost their adapter, seeing as the 360 Kinect came out 6 years ago.
  • Castlevania Lords of Shadow 1 and 2.  I don't know why every hated 2 so much.  If they let me play those I will finally upgrade from a 360.
  • I haven't played those in so long.  As I recall I liked them.  Would be a good addition
  • You're absolutely right. Castelvania LoS1 and LoS2 are amazind games. There is no equvalent game in Xbox One, none!  Hack and Slash games not coming to Xbox, only PS gets new ones now, and we are still waiting for old ones to become BC. Also we need Crysis series. Actually it must be remake for Xbox One X. Imagine a crysis game on Xbox One X with all that hardware power.
  • Tomb Raider Legend and Anniversary
  • "MechAssault 2" Is better, because you are able to escape from your mech and try to highjack another, if you were lucky to do so without being gunned down
  • bro apparently really likes star wars games
  • Just give me Burnout 3 Takedown, and I'll be happy. None of the games on that list interests me at all.
  • I would love to see The Urbz or The Sims 2 running on the Xbox One.
  • Gun and time splitters 2
  • Yes please for the timesplitters games!
  • Big fan of Midtown Madness 3.  Also Star Wars Battlefront 2 would be killer.   I would add NCAA 2014 Football (Never gonna happen),  and Test Drive Unlimited.  
  • any of the original xbox rally autocross games...
  • yes, morrowind
  • Prince of Persia (the water color one with the box art in the article title image).  That game is stupidly gorgeous, is totally underappreciated, and has a fantastic ending.  It really deserves it.  And Kingdoms of Amalur which was also underrated.
  • Blurr...I used to play it PS 3 on game parlour and I have now purchased Xbox One S last month. Blurr is still a XBox 360 game so need it on XBox One now. 
  • I know we'll never get it but for us Kinect holdouts, I'd love to get Kinect Party. 
  • Conflict: Desert Storm, Desert Storm II, Vietnam, and Global Terror!
  • The Original Splinter Cell! One of the greatest stealth games of all time!
  • The rest of the ninja gaiden series
  • Mortal Kombat 9
    Castlevania LOS 1&2
    Sonic Generations
  • OG Xbox games that need porting besides the ones already listed - Jade Empire - Grand Theft Auto Double Pack - Grand Theft Auto San Addreas - Splinter Cell 1-4 - Oddworld Munch's Oddyssey - Max Payne 1 and 2 - Genma Onimusha - Shenmue 2 - Deus Ex Invisible War - Panzer Dragoon Orta - Otogi 1 and 2 - X-Men Legens 1 and 2 - Jet Set Radio Future   X360 games - Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
  • WHERE'S RIDDICK?!? 😵 #YESMORROWIND 😅💖🗽
  • Tales of Vesperia, Final Fantasy XIII series, LA Noire, Brutal Legend, Test Drive Unlimited
  • It definitely seems like I'm the only one that cares about Need for Speed :/
  • Haha, not really a racing fan :P
  • Underground 2 is my favorite in the franchise, wish they made more like it. Not all their racing games need police chances.
  • Woah Woah Woah. The only games I'm left waiting on is the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy. I need Lightning Returns 😎
  • Starwars the clone wars and republic commandos are my favorite SW games of my childhood, the latter needs a sequel and it better come sooner rather than later, been waiting a long time.
  • Original Xbox:
    * Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
    * Crash Nitro Kart
    * Crash Twinsanity
    * Crash Tag Team Racing
    * Spyro: A Hero's Tail
    * The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
  • Metal gear solid collection and the dmc collection
  • Am I the only one who wants the F.E.A.R. franchise to come to the backwards compatibility catalog? I know it isn't an OG Xbox title, but I remember playing countless hours of F.E.A.R. 3. The story was solid, great mix of shoot 'em up and paranormal sci-fi, and the main antagonist, was The Ring meets Carrie, how can you not love that game!? I really want to be able to play it again without having to take out the old system everytime.
  • That game still rattles me a bit. Thankfully, it doesn't give me nightmares like an old 32-bit game called Enemy Zero.
  • Project Gotham Racing!
  • Hitman HD Pack and Hitman: Blood Money
  • +1 for Midtown Madness 3. Such a fun game. Many other racing games that just won't happen with their soundtracks, Burnout 3, PGR, Split/Second, etc, but would love to see them. Same with Kinect games but a guy could dream.
  • I have been waiting for Persona 4: Arena Ultimax to become BC. It is the only reason I still have an Xbox 360 in my room.
  • Steel Battalion. Make that happen Microsoft and I will solder together a USB adapter for the controller. Whatever it takes.
  • Vanquish