TA Top Five: Backwards Compatibility Wishlist

By Mark Delaney, 1 year ago
When the Xbox team let their huge backwards compatible cat out of the bag a month ago, gamers all over started speculating as to which 360 titles would be resurrected on the One. It's a win-win, potentially. Xbox One owners can revisit some past gems that they may no longer have access to, while 360 devotees might finally jump ship to the One if their favorite games do the same. With so many games to choose from, and to avoid this becoming a simple 'best of 360' list we narrowed down the pool with a few parameters. We excluded any games that have already received or will soon receive new generation sequels or remasterings, disqualifying games like Dead Rising and Dishonored. We were also going to exclude games with heavily rumored sequels, but the state of the industry is that most games reaching even moderate success levels will get a sequel and thus the original list was inconsistent. Therefore, we decided at the last moment to revise the list and include more games than we originally planned. Twist ending!

Honorable Mentions

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist
Co-op screen 2

Blacklist, surprisingly, has not yet received any Xbox One port. I say surprisingly because it released at the tip of the tail-end of the 360's reign as the latest Microsoft console. Just a few weeks after release, the One hit stores and gamers shifted focus to the next generation. It's the best Splinter Cell game in years, though, and it deserves more attention than it received thanks to its strong story and the return of fan favorite multiplayer modes.


We didn't want to leave out the now defunct XBLA platform, so when we looked at which games never got ported to the One, because several did, arguably no omission was more glaring than Supergiant's debut. It hurts that this unique experience isn't on the newest console. It's hurts even more that its similarly unavailable spiritual successor, Transistor, was released as a free PlayStation Plus game a few months ago. Hopefully something is in the works to get one or both of these on the One eventually.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Starkiller and Juno

It's basically the official year of Star Wars and somehow core gamers aren't getting any story content on the gaming side of Lucas' space opera. Kids and families will get new characters in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition and of course there's Star Wars Battlefront which is one of the most anticipated 2015 releases, but what about gamers who want to watch a narrative unfold in Lucas' universe? The Force Unleashed scratches that itch, and with over 100 backwards compatible titles promised by year's end, you know, the same time Episode VII comes out, it would be a shame to not see this one among them.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Modern Warefare

The one that started it all, so to speak. It obviously wasn't the first Call of Duty, and there have been so many more since then. Have any lived up to the reputation of this one though? It was simpler and less spastic yet more enjoyable than anything the series has put out since. It would've been higher on this list too, if it weren't for the fact that the game's current online offerings are taken over by hackers. The whole game is a mess. In a perfect world, it would release as a backwards compatible title, the servers would get cleaned up, and players all over could see, maybe for the first time, the early years of what is now a household name.

Dead Space

Dead Space borrows heavily and pays homage to films like Alien and Event Horizon and at the time of release saved survival horror fans disappointed with what Resident Evil had become. To this day there are few games I have replayed more, and you can ask anyone who has played it to hear how beloved the atmosphere of the Ishimura is. Its first sequel took very few risks while the third game strayed too far. Hopefully an eventual return to the series finds the sweet spot. In the mean time, revisiting the original feels almost mandatory.

Top Five

5. Alan Wake
September 7th

Remedy took players to the Twin Peaks-y town of Bright Falls five years ago, and ever since, rather steadily, more and more gamers have been exposed to the unique title. Not quite a horror game, not quite a shooter, and with obvious influences from Stephen King and serialized dramas, Wake struck a chord with gamers worn out by the multiplayer dominance of its time. Someday, if the Video Game Gods are gracious, the game will get the true sequel it deserves. What better way to promote a first-party cult hit than to make it available to eyes old and new on your exciting new platform?

4. Red Dead Redemption
September 7th

We wouldn't blame you if you're sick of seeing RDR in these lists every week, but you can't blame us for including it so often. In so many ways, it is deserving of praise. It seems no matter what the subject is, Rockstar's western is a shining example of excellence. No doubt this one belongs at the top for many of you, and depending on our moods it sits atop our own lists too. It has aged tremendously well. As much as we all want a sequel, the original is still worth dozens of more hours if it resurfaces on Xbox One.

3. BioShock & BioShock Infinite
January 2

Is it cheating if we include both here? We'll take either! Personally I prefer Infinite, but it seems the majority likes their dystopias under the sea rather than above the clouds. Both games are testaments to what game developers are capable of as storytellers. They're more than games, they're critical sociopolitical commentaries attacking the zealots of science and religion alike. It's one thing to deliver excellent first-person shooters, it's a whole other thing to do it with the maturity of the BioShock series.

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Dragonborn 11/15/12 4

The accolades seemed to never stop coming in for Bethesda's fantasy quest-forever RPG. Some active players still haven't seen the end, instead taking the game up on its promise of a limitless world of things to do and people to rob/kill/marry/defend/shoot off of a mountain with dragonspeak. If they aren't too busy preparing for the fallout of Fallout 4, it would be great if Bethesda made it so we could return to this region of Tamriel.

1. Left 4 Dead 2

This one time, my buddy Keith was going to buy an Xbox One and -- Oh, sorry, almost got carried away for a moment. Poor Valve still hasn't found a remedy for their threequel allergy. Because of that, we might never see another Left 4 Dead game. In my opinion, that wouldn't be the worst thing as long as this one gets Xbox One support. Every game you play is different thanks to the AI Director, and the DLC packages ultimately included the entire original game. What might be the perfect multiplayer game deserves -- no, demands -- life beyond the 360. A decade from now, people will still be playing this game on PC. That could be true on Xbox One as well if Valve and Microsoft work to make it so.

This list is likely to stir up a lot of debate and conversation. If you want your voice heard beyond our comments section, make sure to head to Xbox Feedback where you can vote for which games you most want to see reborn on the Xbox One.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a lifelong gamer and current Assistant (to the) News Manager on TA. When not playing games, he can be found cheering for a bad football team, playing Batman action figures with his son, or going to concerts with his lover. Days where he does all of those things are his favorite.