Back at E3 2015 Microsoft announced that they were bringing the number one requested feature by fans to the Xbox One, that of course was the ability to play your old 360 games on the One. Flash forward 16 months or so to today and the Backwards Compatible list of titles on the Xbox One is now approaching around the 250 mark. This feature has been a huge success for Microsoft and it remains the biggest advantage that the Xbox One has over the PS4. Over the last year or so we have seen many great games getting the backwards compatible treatment and today I'm going to talk about my 3 favourite games that I got to enjoy all over again thanks to this brilliant feature. Lets begin.
First up is this absolutely stunning collection of games that all arrived on one disc way back in October 2007. The Orange Box was developed and published by the good folks over at Valve and contains some of their biggest games ever made. We have Half Life 2, this has gone down in gaming history as one of the finest FPS of all time, Half Life 2: Episode 1 and Half Life 2: Episode 2. Episode 1 and 2 are not as big as the main game but they just as brilliant to play. The only problem with Half Life is that the story does not finish with Episode 2, not a problem in its self but the world is still waiting for Valve to release Half Life 3, actually the world is still waiting for Valve to admit that they are making it at all.
Next up is Team Fortress 2, a brilliant multiplayer only game with stunning map design and very well thought out class systems. There are 9 classes in total, all with their own different strengths and weaknesses. It's bright cartoon graphics suit it down to the ground and the varied game types will keep you coming back for more. The last game contained in The Orange Box is the utterly amazing and mind bending puzzler Portal. The game is short enough, it will take you about 2 hours or so the first time you go through it but my god it will blow you away. Using your portal guns to solve puzzles and navigate the levels is tricky at first but once you get your head around how it works this game becomes a pure delight. The game is filled with great humour throughout, the evil AI GlaDOS that has you "testing" is the perfect blend of crazy and funny. Portal has received tonnes of praise and awards down through the years, it even got a sequel back in 2011. The Orange Box is IMO the greatest collection of games ever put on a disc.
Video By IGN
Developed by Rockstar and released back in May 2010, Red Dead Redemption is a modern day classic. The Western epic has sold around 14 million copies to date and has won numerous awards from all parts of the Internet for it's cracking story and rock solid gameplay. While Rockstar's other open world franchise is probably better known, for me I have always preferred Red Dead over GTA, don't get me wrong, I love GTA too but the world of Red Dead has always held my interest more thanks to its incredible setting and slower pace.
Red Dead was one of the highest requested games that Xbox One owners wanted to get the Backwards Compatible treatment, set in the last days of the American Frontier, the game offers up a world that for the most part is baron but at the same time very very beautiful. You can see for miles in every direction from some parts of the map and even today if you go back and play it, the graphics still look awesome. The pace is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of GTA, you traverse the world on horse back, on foot or you can catch a lift on the train or on one of the many Stage Coaches dotted throughout the world. I'm a big fan of the gun play in Red Dead too, all guns pack a satisfying kick, enemies will go down depending on where they are shot. The game also has some very well written characters, the story moves along at a good pace, taking you to every corner of the map in the process. With a year to wait till Red Dead 2, you still have time to go back and play this masterpiece all over again.
Video By IGN
Now Red Dead Redemption and The Orange Box might seem to most to be obvious choices to be on any list of best Backward Compatible games, I really don't think that the same could be said for Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. This game went under the radar when it came out back in October 2009. Dragon Rising was fully developed by Codemasters after they and Bohemia Interactive, the company behind the original game, Operation Flashpoint:Cold War Crisis, had a huge falling out. The game has been classed as a military simulator by many, it is rock hard to play, completely unforgiven but my god is it satisfying when it all comes together.
Dragon Rising is set on the fictional Island of Skira, the world has suffered an economic collapse and both China and Russia are claiming ownership of Skira after massive reservoirs of oil have been found there. You play as an American Army Unit, Russia have asked for the US to retake Skira as they are busy fighting the Chinese on their own border. The game can be played with up to 4 players, if you are using the AI as team mates you get to issue orders to direct them as to what to do, IMO its better played with friends, the AI does a decent job but having your buddies on board is when Dragon Rising really comes alive.
As I said at the start, Dragon Rising is a very difficult game, one bullet will kill you and most of the time you will have no idea where it came from due to the size and scope of the map. You have to take care when you move from A to B, scanning the area and careful planning is required, this is not COD, you will need to spend a good bit of time getting used to everything but for me, this is the best FPS I have ever played. It is so rewarding, it will completely suck you in, a masterpiece, there is a lot of people out there that have never ever played this, you are missing out folks, if realism is your thing then you just have to play this.
Video By GameSpot