The original Xbox, the real Xbox One, launched on November 15, 2001. This was right off the heels of Sega throwing in the towel in the console market, thus making room for a new competitor for Sony and Nintendo. It was a bold move, but one with value.
After all, they were a huge PC company and wanted to make as much headway into the console market as they did with computers. The results ultimately speak for themselves. While the system did not sell as many units as the PS2, primarily due to fewer games and also a lack of established franchises, the titles it did get were pretty killer. So let’s rank the ten best exclusive games for the original Xbox.
10 Steel Battalion
Steel Battalion was a costly investment back in the early 2000s and not a lot of copies exist in the wild anymore. Let’s not talk about the cost, but what Capcom was trying to achieve with this game. We may never, in our lifetimes, pilot a mech.
Technology is getting close to offering some truly visceral VR experiences, but the feeling isn’t the same. What made Steel Battalion great was its gimmick controller that mirrored that of the player’s cockpit. The dang thing even had an eject button! It was hard, but it felt good when victory was clenched at the last second.
9 Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Yes, believe it or not, we believe Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball should be on this list. Look, it may be a product of its generation when developers were trying to create risqué games for younger males. It is a spectacle for them and maybe even a bit embarrassing, but it was still a legit volleyball game.
Of all the fighting game spinoffs that exist, Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball is right up there with the best of them. At the end of the day, if there is a market for this type of game, then there is nothing wrong with answering that demand.
8 Jet Set Radio Future
After Sega failed with the Saturn and Dreamcast back to back, the company decided to call it quits on consoles and instead focus on being a 3rd party publisher. After the quick turnaround, a lot of their properties planned for the Dreamcast made their way onto the Xbox as exclusives.
Along with stuff like Crazy Taxi and Panzer Dragoon, the stylish Jet Set Radio Future also made its way into Microsoft's grateful hands. Unlike the first game, it has sadly never been re-released with an HD upgrade. What’s the deal? We want to grind rails and jam out to some sick tunes again!
7 Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
The Oddworld series, up to this point, had been Sony-based puzzle platformers. They were fun, but not necessarily groundbreaking. What the franchise did offer were imaginative worlds filled with nightmarish imagery that complimented the slower gameplay.
See where we are going with this? Stranger’s Wrath is Oddworld meets Clint Eastwood westerns with the fun gadgetry of Ratchet & Clank. It’s a bizarre twist for the series, but one for the better. It did get an HD upgrade, but the world deserves a true sequel. Can Microsoft help make that happen?
6 Ninja Gaiden
Yes, Ninja Gaiden was later ported to the PS3; however, in its original run, the game was an Xbox exclusive. Strange too considering this was once a big Nintendo franchise. Microsoft was taking every exclusive it could get and this was one of the better deals.
Ninja Gaiden is brutally and sometimes unfairly hard, but it was an excellent example of how to reboot a franchise the right way. If only the sequels kept this nostalgia train going.
5 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Nowadays, The Elder Scrolls is most heavily associated with Skyrim. Before 2011's beloved entry or even Oblivion, Bethesda broke into the console market with Morrowind. Even at the time, the RPG had a rough quality to it, with the loads being incredibly slow.
However, this was because they created a vast open RPG the likes of which had never really been seen on a console. Skyrim is arguably the best entry in the series, but it wouldn’t be where it is today without Morrowind.
4 Jade Empire
When people think of BioWare, they probably get sad because of how far the studio has fallen. That being said, the developer's history is filled with masterpieces like Baldur’s Gate, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Mass Effect, just to name a few.
Jade Empire tends to be forgotten though, despite having that classic BioWare charm and gameplay. Plus, Jade Empire is like a Hong Kong kung fu movie in game form! Why aren’t more people clamoring for a sequel? It is not BioWare's best achievement, but Jade Empire is still really good.
Morrowind was great and all, but the best fantasy game on the original Xbox was Fable. It also had a vast scope. Some of which it lived up to while other things it did not. The game’s visionary, Peter Molyneux, has always made incredible promises with his games.
Even though the RPG did not quite deliver on all the hype surrounding it, Big Blue Box Studios' Fable is still nothing short of a brilliant game. Regardless of its faults, Fable delivers an incredible journey and proves not all great RPGs come from Japan.
2 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
After teasing it earlier, let’s finally talk about Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Prior to this title, most Star Wars video games ranged from okay to bad. There were a few gems in there like Jedi Outcast, but no one could have guessed a prequel set four-thousand-years prior to the events of the movies could have been this good!
BioWare's epic RPG can be played on the Xbox One with improved load times and smoother textures; at some points, Knights of the Old Republic legitimately feels like a current game. That is to say, it holds up extremely well.
Wow! Halo is number one? Who could have seen that coming? Jokes aside, Bungie's shooter is an obvious pick, but it would be impossible not to put Halo at the top. Microsoft had a lot to prove by jumping into the console market. Along with Bungie, the Xbox aimed to change what people thought about first-person shooters on consoles.
Halo greatly improved the genre while also creating a multiplayer sensation. It even spawned a fan cartoon called Red vs Blue, which paved the way for its creators, Rooster Teeth, to become a media giant. So yeah, Halo is very important.