One of the biggest announcements to come from Microsoft’s E3 conference related to the Xbox One being made backwards compatible with the Xbox 360, but rumours are already floating around that the company is already considering offering the same service for the original Xbox. If that is indeed the case, then there are a number of classic titles you need to play from Microsoft’s first foray into the console world. For the sake of fairness, we’ll be emitting Halo because it’s probably already at the top of everybody’s list.
Jet Set Radio Future
The original Jet Set Radio was everything that was both right and wrong with the Dreamcast all in one bundle. It was bold, brilliant and inventive, yet at the same time it was never going to appeal to mainstream gamers. The sequel is more of the same great skating and tagging action, only the gameplay is streamlined and some of the more frustrating aspects are toned down. A definite must-play if you can get a copy.
When people think of the Oddworld series, the adventures of Abe are usually what come to mind. However, it could be argued that this underappreciated gem is the true star of the series. Taking on a western theme and being played predominantly in first-person, unlike the rest of the series, this is a truly remarkable game that deserved so much more attention than it got. Once you start getting used to the live ammo aspect you’ll adore it.
The Ninja Gaiden series has built a solid reputation as one of the most difficult hack ‘n’ slash titles out there, which is no mean feat given how difficult games in that genre tend to be. The Xbox original – assuming you discount the older Ninja Gaiden games – is still rock solid and is also a blast to play and master. Just be prepared for the occasional bout of frustration potentially leading to a little bit of pad smashing.
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Few would have expected a game based on the Chronicles of Riddick to be quite as good as this turned out to be, especially given how the films after Pitch Black have been a little bit hit and miss. However, Escape is one of the best stealth games on the Xbox and a title that really deserves to be played. It’s another great game that is as hard as nails though, so you’ll need to persevere to get the most out of it. Still, it stands as proof that great movie licences are possible.
Fans of BioWare’s output who have yet to experience the brilliance of Jade Empire would do well that give the game a chance, as it easily stands alongside the best that the company has ever produced. Based around a mystical world of martial arts, the game offers everything that you would expect from a BioWare-produced WRPG and definitely stands as one of the greatest games ever created for the original Xbox. With a range of different styles to learn and a superb story steeped intrigue and betrayal, you will lose hours to Jade Empire without even noticing.
Lee Price is a freelance writer and general miscreant who enjoys video games, movies and making dreary situations better by adding copious amounts of alcohol. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Lee2112 to read his random musings.