Xbox backward compatibility sale: 10 hidden classics to buy right now

Xbox 360
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Microsoft is currently running a massive sale on classic Xbox and Xbox 360 games, with over 100 of them going for cheap and playable on your Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.

Consumers are spoilt for choice, with some major releases like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution going for as little as $2.24 in the US and £1.79 in the UK.

Rather than focus on the obvious picks, we scoured the full list and narrowed down 10 top quality titles that risk being overlooked. If you want to check the full list yourself, you can do so via the US Xbox website or the UK Xbox website.

Asura's Wrath

Asura's Wrath gameplay screaming Capcom Xbox sale

(Image credit: Capcom)

This Capcom action brawler has a reputation for being more movie than video game, with a heavy emphasis on QTEs that would make even the original God of War games blush.

While it garnered an average response from some critics and players, Asura's Wrath has resonated with enough people to form a dedicated fanbase. As the fallen god Asura aka the angriest man in all of video games, you embark on a one-warrior mission to rescue your daughter from your former allies.

If you can live with style over substance, you'll probably fall in love with Asura's Wrath's flashy presentation, larger than life characters, and over-the-top action set-pieces. It's biggest flaw, unfortunately, is that its true ending and final boss are locked behind paid DLC.

Price: $3.99 / £2.99

Binary Domain

Binary Domain shooting giant robot Xbox sale Sega

(Image credit: Sega)

Ryu Ga Gotoku are best known for the Yakuza and Judgment games. But, in its infancy, it released third-person shooter Binary Domain. While it didn't sell particularly well, it received mostly positive reviews and arguably has something of a cult classic status.

Directed by Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi (who has since departed RGG and Sega), Binary Domain puts you in control of the leader of a strike team sent to stop a machine uprising.

It featured, at the time of its release, innovative AI and a consequences system where your teammates behave differently in story and gameplay depending on the player's performance and how they're treated by the player.

Binary Domain holds a soft spot in many fans' hearts, including producer Daisuke Sato who has said in the past he'd love to either make a sequel (via Gematsu) or remaster (via VGC).

Price: $8.99 / £5.99

Bully: Scholarship Edition


(Image credit: Rockstar)

Compared to Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, Bully feels like it has been thoroughly neglected by Rockstar Games. There have been demands for a sequel for years and, if rumors are true, it could finally be happening.

This makes Bully's inclusion in this Xbox sale the perfect opportunity for newcomers to see what all the fuss is about. Instead of a modern-day gangster or grizzled cowboy, this action-adventure game has you play as teenager Jimmy Hopkins who has been sent to boarding school.

Despite what the game's title may suggest, Jimmy's mission is to rise in popularity at the school so he can end bullying. To do this, you spend the school year completing missions both in and outside the school to take over the various cliques.

Since this is the Scholarship Edition, you'll get to enjoy all the additional content not present in the original version, including some two player minigames.

Price: $5.99 / £4.79

Burnout Revenge

Burnout Revenge cars crashing Xbox sale EA

(Image credit: EA)

If you found yourself really enjoying 2018's remaster of Burnout Paradise, it might be worth going back to its predecessor, also developed by Criterion Games, since it's going for less than a fiver.

Released in 2005, Burnout Revenge isn't your typical racing game as all its different game types take place in rush-hour traffic. It also has more of an emphasis on vehicular combat, encouraging players to crash into each other if it means coming out on top.

It not only makes for great online multiplayer sessions, but it offers a pretty meaty single-player mode with over 150 events to complete. The version on offer is the Xbox 360 version too so it comes with improved visuals and better online functionality.

Price: $4.99 / £4.99

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light co-op gameplay Square Enix Xbox sale

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Before the gritty Crystal Dynamics reboot of the Tomb Raider series came along, the same studio released an arcade-like co-op shooter titled Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light in 2010.

While you can play solo as just Lara, you can also rope in a friend to join you on the adventure as the ancient Mayan warrior Totec. Together, you use their unique abilities and weapons to battle enemies and solve puzzles.

It received mostly positive reviews at launch and its lack of gravitas and character focus in the story department may be perfect for those that could never get on board with the more realistic approach the newer games took.

If you fancy a more traditional Tomb Raider adventure, Tomb Raider: Legend, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, and Tomb Raider: Underworld are all discounted as well.

Price: $2.99 / £2.39

Rayman Origins

Rayman Origins four players gameplay Xbox sale Ubisoft

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

After the Rabbids debuted as Rayman's newest foes, Ubisoft quickly realized they were far more popular than the limbless mascot and they pretty much took over, eventually supplanting Rayman as the closest thing to a company mascot.

Rayman Origins was an attempt to bring the character back into relevancy and while he has once again fallen down behind Ubisoft's cabinet and can't get out, this 2D platformer is one of the best there is.

It was lauded upon releasing for its creative and challenging platforming, as well as its delightful art style and presentation. It also offers up to four player co-op if you want to make things even more hectic.

Its sequel, Rayman Legends, is arguably even better, but it's not included in the sale sadly.

Price: $4.94 / £3.95

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed boat gameplay Sega Xbox sale

(Image credit: Sega)

If you've somehow grown tired of Mario Kart, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is a more than worthy alternative. It's not just a simple Mario Kart clone with Sega characters, as it boasts a pretty nifty gimmick where your kart can change into a boat or plane throughout the course of a race.

Even the racetracks themselves will change from lap to lap, keeping things fresh and exciting, and the whole game is drowning in Sega nostalgia. Characters and locations hail from the likes of Jet Set Radio, Skies of Arcadia, and Panzer Dragoon, and there are even a couple of non-Sega guest stars: Wreck-It Ralph and real-life professional racer Danica Patrick.

The single-player mode is chock full of different racing challenges to attempt, which can unlock different mods that change a vehicle's stats. And, of course, there's online multiplayer. Did you like Team Sonic Racing? Then you'll love its predecessor.

Price: $4.99 / £3.74

Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line desert city horizon 2K Games Xbox sale

(Image credit: 2K Games)

Ever wanted to play a shooter that makes you feel like a bad person? You may weirdly enjoy Spec Ops: The Line, a 2012 title that immediately made an impact for how it subverts the usual trends seen in similar games.

We obviously won't spoil anything since its narrative is such a major part of the game, but Spec Ops: The Line starts off as your typical covert recon mission and proceeds to escalate as it tackles the true horrors of war and the kind of effect they can have on a man's psyche.

The narrative received near universal praise at the time, with the gameplay itself generating a more mixed response. It's still arguably a game worth experiencing at least once, especially if you're tired of the usual militaristic glorification seen in games like Call of Duty.

Price: $5.99 / £3.99

TimeSplitters 2 & TimeSplitters: Future Perfect


(Image credit: Free Radical Design)

Since they're both from the same series, we're going to bundle our last two picks together. The absence of the first game is a bit annoying since it was never released for Xbox, but it's still worth picking up its two sequels if you've never played them before.

The Timesplitters games see you travel through various levels across different points in history to stop the titular alien race from changing the timeline and conquering Earth.

Both games feature a campaign mode that can be played solo or in co-op, multiplayer modes for groups of friends, and challenge modes to obtain various unlockables. Future Perfect even comes with a map maker.

The series is meant to be making a return in the future, with the original developer Free Radical Design coming back too. If the next game is anywhere near as good as its predecessors, then fans should have nothing to worry about.

Price (TimeSplitters 2): $2.49 / £2.09

Price (TimeSplitters: Future Perfect): $2.49 / £2.09

If you'd like to know more about Xbox's backward compatibly journey, we spoke to Xbox’s director of program management Jason Ronald about the team’s backward compatibility journey, the challenges they faced along the way, and the importance of game preservation in the future.

Michael Beckwith

Michael is a freelance writer with bylines at the Metro, TechRaptor, and Game Rant. A Computer Games Design and Creative Writing graduate, he's been passionate about video games since the Game Boy Color, particularly Nintendo games, with Xenoblade Chronicles being his favorite game ever. Despite everything, he's still a Sonic the Hedgehog fan.