10 Xbox 360 games that aren't Xbox One backwards compatible, but should be
The New Xbox Experience update for Xbox One has turned Microsoft's console into something almost entirely different to the original console that launched in 2013.
In addition to a new UI powered by Windows 10 and a revamped media hub, the big draw of the Xbox One's latest update is that it makes the console backwards compatible with 104 Xbox 360 games.
While it may be tempting to toss out your Xbox 360 now that its successor can work with your game library, the catch is that the list of compatible games isn't without a few notable omissions.
Thankfully, Xbox plans to roll out additions on a regular basis, with titles like Halo Reach, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and the entire BioShock series (including the criminally-overlooked BioShock 2) making their way to the One in December.
Since publishers get a say in what games can work with the Xbox One, several games that have recently been remastered for new consoles, such as Dishonored, DmC: Devil May Cry and Saints Row IV are unlikely to make a comeback.
However, we've found a list of games that, barring some unknown legal hassle, should join the ranks of backwards compatible titles on Xbox One as soon as possible. Most if not all will likely make it to the One at some point, but we just can't bear to wait that long.
Red Dead Redemption
Why it should be on Xbox One Rockstar's open-world Western blew us away when it debuted in 2010, and ever since, news on the series' return has been as elusive and mysterious as protagonist John Marston himself. While it may be a while before we can get back in the saddle, our memories of our first ride into Mexico, as José Gonazalez's Far Away kept us company, will remain a defining moment of the past generation of consoles.
Where is it available? Red Dead Redemption only made it onto the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, much to the chagrin of PC owners who are still waiting to walk a mile in Marston's spurred boots. Thankfully, a Game of the Year version for both consoles is available, which collects all the downloadable content for Red Dead Redemption, including the standalone Undead Nightmare expansion.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Why it should be on Xbox One Because it's Skyrim! Bethesda's fantasy adventure stole the acclaim, awards and free time of millions of players when it debuted in 2011, and, thanks to a vibrant modding community on PC and a steady release of expansions, stayed in public consciousness well past the lifespan of your average video game. Heck, Skyrim's popularity managed to even outlast its own silly meme about knees and arrows.
Where is it available? Skyrim came out on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, the latter of which is consistently available (often at a discount, even) on Steam. The 'Legendary' version of the game also includes all three major expansions, if you're looking to spend the rest of the holidays slaying dragons and shoplifting cheese.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Why it should be on Xbox One Let's face it, Call of Duty is a cultural force of nature. The latest release, Black Ops III, made near-Dethlokian amounts of money last week, for cryin' out loud. While it seems redundant to demand more Call of Duty make its way to the Xbox One, there's a reason Treyarch's own Black Ops series sticks around: the public demands it!
Xbox's own polls for what games should become backwards compatible show 'BlOps 2' as the crowd favorite, pulling ahead of Red Dead Redemption AND Skyrim by a good 10,000 votes as of this writing.
Where is it available? Black Ops II made its rounds on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and even the Wii U, making it not terribly difficult to get your hands on it. Considering the clear popularity of the series, we wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a copy in every secondhand video game store in the country right now.
Ninja Gaiden II
Why it should be on Xbox One 2008 was a different time for video games. Ninja Gaiden II was a direct representation of this, bringing ridiculous amounts of blood, dismemberment, tight leather outfits, and every other ninja action trope you could want. It was also tough as nails, requiring actual skill and old-fashioned trial and error to get past even the earlier levels. It made 'hard' games cool well before Bloodborne or even Demon's Souls.
Where is it available? Ninja Gaiden II was originally an Xbox 360 exclusive, but a re-release titled Ninja Gaiden Σ2 (yes, that's a sigma) exists for the PS3 and PlayStation Vita. Even though we just made a dig at Bloodborne and the Souls series, those are entirely different and awesome games that are way-easy to get on both this gen and the last.
Why it should be on Xbox One To this day, Alan Wake remains an enigma that should be played more than talked about. It's pretty much if Max Payne (a series created by the same developer) was set in Twin Peaks (or Gravity Falls, for the millennials in the audience) and was structured like a television show featuring paranormal activity, oddball characters, and demonic creatures with an aversion to light. The shooting was pretty awesome, too.
Where is it available? In addition to the Xbox 360, Alan Wake made its way to the PC in 2012. If you're looking for something a little more 'out-there', the standalone spinoff, Alan Wake's American Nightmare is also available for download on PC and Xbox 360, and is as pulpier and action-oriented as its brooding older brother.
Batman: Arkham City
Why it should be on Xbox One As much as we loved Batman: Arkham Origins in 2009, the follow-up in 2011 opened up a giant world for the Dark Knight to explore, filled with criminal scum to stop, classic villains to tangle with and ample secrets to collect. Considering the success of the sequels (even the somewhat disappointing Arkham Origins), it's curious how Arkham City didn't make its way onto Xbox's list of backwards-compatible g... oh, that's why.
Where is it available? You can be the Bat on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U and even OS X. There's also the sequel, Batman: Arkham Knight, which came out this summer for Xbox One and PS4, but if you're looking at getting the PC port you're in for a gamble.
Left 4 Dead 2
Why it should be on Xbox One Left 4 Dead 2, simply put, is about cooperating under pressure. It's just you, three trusted friends, and a mad dash to the safe house amidst a 28 Days Later-style zombie apocalypse. The game's 'Director' system, which throws you a bone when your team's hurting but will just as easily throw a wrench in the works if you're doing too well, makes sure every game is tense, and impossible to complete without teamwork.
It's probably a long shot, but if developer Valve decides to bring L4D2 over to Xbox One, that could open the gate for The Orange Box and Portal 2, two greats that didn't quite make the list.
Where is it available? Left 4 Dead 2 is available for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Linux and OS X. This was back when Valve gave consoles a chance, but if you're looking for the best version out there, head to Steam.
Why it should be on Xbox One Before moving on to work on the Need for Speed franchise, Criterion Games was the developer behind the 'racing-meets-demolition-derby' Burnout series. The arcade-style racer went open-world in 2008, enabling players to rip across an entire city to race, crash, and break speed laws to their heart's content. Honestly, we forget if this game had a button for the brake - if it ever did, we certainly never used it.
Where is it available? Burnout Paradise can be played on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. There is also 'The Ultimate Box' edition for purchase and digital download that will ensure you have plenty of cars, motorcycles and missions to keep you busy. And thanks to a shout-out from our comments section, the wait for Burnout Paradise to come to Xbox One won't be long. Criterion has confirmed the transition, though it hasn't specified a date yet.
Why it should be on Xbox One Also known as 'That Game That Had The Halo 3 Beta', Crackdown's brand of over-the-top comic book justice had us jumping over buildings, blowing up gang members by the dozens, and picking up entire cars in the name of showing criminals that 'The Agency' meant business. With a new entry in the series making its way to Xbox One soon, now would be a perfect time to revisit the original.
Where is it available? Crackdown is one of the few games on this list that remained faithful to the Xbox 360, though it's available as both a disc and download from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Unfortunately, the Halo 3 Beta has since expired.
Why it should be on Xbox One A throwback to classic role-playing games, Blue Dragon brought Final Fantasy's own Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu together with Dragon Quest artist Akira Toriyama (also of Chrono Trigger and Dragon Ball fame). It was an old-school game with modern production values. While RPGs of all makes and models were found on the Xbox 360, Blue Dragon had a unique charm of its own that we think should make a comeback on the Xbox One.
Where is it available? The original Blue Dragon was a 360 exclusive, but the series has found its way to a variety of media, including a manga and anime series, along with a couple of spinoffs on the Nintendo DS to boot.
Red Dead Redemption
Really? This again? Yes, really. We want Red Dead Redemption on Xbox One.
Can't you think of something else? Actually, it's peculiar that none of Rockstar's games made it onto Xbox's list of backwards-compatible games. No Max Payne 3, no Midnight Club, no Grand Theft Auto IV, no Bully, no Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, no L.A. Noire, not even Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis.
It's more than likely that Rockstar wants to give Microsoft the okay to make its old games work on the Xbox One, but the sheer amount of licensing for actors, music and other deals Rockstar works with must mean that it takes a lot of time and legal consulting before it can approve anything for release on current-gen.
While we understand there might be forces in play that we don't know about, we want Red Dead Redemption. Seriously.