The Xbox Gameplay Chart is full of surprises. One of the biggest surprises of the latest chart was the appearance of Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, an Xbox Original title that is available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One through Backwards Compatibility. The game made its debut in the chart at #28, a whole 15 years after its original release.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy was originally developed by Raven Software for PC, before being ported to Xbox by Vicarious Visions. The Xbox version was released a couple of months later in November 2003 to positive reviews. Like all previous generation titles, it was left behind with the introduction of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, or at least it was until April 2018 when it was made available on the Microsoft Store for both of those consoles.
On February 16th, the game became one of this month's Games With Gold titles. Much like the Game Pass effect we talked about yesterday, Games with Gold often propels older or smaller titles into the top 40 most played games of the week. Jedi Academy just happens to be the oldest of them all so far. The effect wasn't immediate and the first two days of being in the programme weren't enough for the game to chart for the week ending February 17th, but thousands of gamers decided to try out in the following days.
Games with Gold encourages players to try titles they wouldn't usually consider playing and the game has been brought to the attention of many who won't have played it before. While older gamers may have played the title when it was originally released, there is a whole generation of gamers who are too young to have appreciated the game back then. There are others who may have missed out because they didn't have an Xbox, as the console war very much favoured PlayStation 2, a platform on which the game wasn't available.
There's also the feelings of nostalgia invoked in those who do remember the game's first outing on Xbox. As someone who grew up with older consoles, I can still happily play older titles for hours. They may not stand up to the graphics and gameplay of modern titles, but there are still decent stories to be told and challenges to overcome that just aren't present in more recent games. The appearance of the game on Games with Gold gave players a chance to revisit their youth, to a time when many would argue that Star Wars games were of a better quality.
With next month's Games with Gold confirmed to have another Xbox Original game in the list, and another Star Wars title to boot, will we see another older title get a second wind? Make sure to tune in to next week's Xbox Gameplay Chart to find out.
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