Xbox boss Phil Spencer dropped a bombshell on Xbox fans when he announced that the team at Microsoft is bringing backward compatibility to Xbox One, allowing gamers to play Xbox 360 games on their current-gen system.
Xbox One Preview Program members can begin playing a handful of Xbox 360 games now on their Xbox One consoles, while the he rest of the Xbox One community will have access to around 100 backward compatible games when the program officially launches this fall.
In the meantime, Xbox gamers can vote on the Xbox 360 games they want to play on Xbox One. While not every title is guaranteed to be available, there’s a good chance the highest voted games will become backward compatible.
We polled our writers to see which games they most want to be approved. Below is our list, and we invite our readers to share their most desired backward compatible games in the comments.
Red Dead Redemption
As of this writing, Red Dead Redemption has the most votes for backward compatibility by a comfortable margin. It’s safe to say this game will soon be available to play on Xbox One, and for good reason. Red Dead Redemption is touted as one of Rockstar Games’ most successful titles, which is saying something considering the developer’s impressive track record.
Many gamers were hoping Rockstar Games would announce the next Red Dead title at this year’s E3, but it seems the developer is still focusing heavily on its most recent release, Grand Theft Auto 5. So allowing Red Dead Redemption to become backward compatible would surely help keep most gamers content until the next game is officially announced and released.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most loved and played games in last-gen history. Bethesda’s open-world game is still wildly popular even today, and was instrumental in helping Bethesda launch The Elder Scrolls Online.
With The Elder Scrolls Online only a couple weeks into its console life, one would think Bethesda prefers not to spend time prepping Skyrim for Xbox One. Fortunately, the good news about Xbox One’s backward compatibility is that the game developers don’t need to do anything except give their approval. Xbox will handle all the work needed to make the games playable.
Mass Effect 2
The Mass Effect universe is beloved by many gamers, despite the small disappointment generated by Mass Effect 3‘s original ending.
While we’re hoping the rest of the games on this list make the cut, it’s almost guaranteed that Mass Effect 2 will, since the first Mass Effect is already approved and playable for Xbox One Preview Program members.
It’s also possible that since BioWare is an Electronic Arts developer, many other much-loved EA games will be approved for backward compatibility.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Gamers absolutely loved the 2014 role-playing game South Park: The Stick of Truth. In fact, many gamers were understandably disappointed when the developer didn’t bring the game to current-gen consoles, despite their growing popularity and first-year success.
Bringing The Stick of Truth to Xbox One via backward compatibility would be a great way for Obsidian Entertainment and Ubisoft to increase sales from the game without having to put in any additional work, and give Xbox One gamers access to the wonderfully immature title.
Left 4 Dead 2
The strength of Left 4 Dead 2 is definitely in its online co-op play, which fortunately is a part of Xbox’s backward compatibility plans. Fortunately, Xbox One owners should be able to play not only with each other, but also with Xbox 360 owners online.
Such access may be the revival Left 4 Dead 2 needs, and may help push Valve to release Left 4 Dead 3. The Left 4 Dead 2 backward compatibility would also feed fans’ need for zombie-killing while they wait for the third installment in the series.
Gears of War 3
Gears of War is one of the most popular Xbox 360 series, with the third installment in the franchise being one of the most highly rated games on the console. Epic Games was able to not only create a fun, fast-paced shooter, but also a compelling story that plucked at the heart strings of players. With Gears of War: Ultimate Edition already set to bring the first game to the Xbox One, albeit with revamped graphics, that leaves the third, and arguably the most robust, iteration as the next prime candidate.
BioShock is without a doubt one of the most influential and beloved last-gen games ever. With thousands of games released for Xbox 360 during its lifetime, only a few were as appreciated and highly-favored as BioShock.
So it goes without saying that this game needs to be backward compatible with the Xbox One. Doing so will not only give fans of the game another opportunity to explore the depths of Rapture, but will also open the game to a whole new generation of gamers who deserve to experience its majestic story and emotional gameplay.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare revolutionized the first-person shooter genre, and can be considered one of the most influential games of the last generation. Where Call of Duty had been a fun and engaging historical war game prior to Modern Warfare‘s release, the game’s focus on fast-paced multiplayer helped grow the series to a yearly-release franchise, and is the standard for all other shooter games.
Despite the fact that six Call of Duty games have released since Modern Warfare, the 2007 shooter is still considered one of the best FPS titles ever, and should definitely be backward compatible on Xbox One.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV built upon what gamers loved most about the GTA franchise, and added enough extras to make the game one of the most successful and loved to this day. In fact, it’s safe to say that Grand Theft Auto 5 was so successful because Rockstar Games incorporated what they learned from Grand Theft Auto IV into the most recent game.
With so much to do in Grand Theft Auto IV, gamers would benefit greatly from another playthrough on a current-gen console. Without a doubt, this game must be approved for backward compatibility.
After the success of the original Portal in the Orange Box Collection, developing a sequel was a no-brainer for Valve. Portal 2 has managed to draw a massive following, and has become a staple for most Valve fans.
In fact, it would be surprising if this game didn’t become backward compatible. Portal 2‘s unique design and gameplay are enough to compete with any newly released puzzle game on Xbox One.
With how simple Microsoft is making backward compatibility on Xbox One, there’s no doubt hundreds, and eventually thousands, of Xbox 360 games will be approved and played on Xbox One. That is a big deal, and one that will most definitely help the Xbox One as it continues to strive for console domination.
What do you think about our list? What games do you want to see become backward compatible on the Xbox One? Sound off your picks in the comments.