Xbox Play Anywhere needs these games
Xbox Play Anywhere is arguably the biggest Windows Anniversary Update feature gamers are looking forward to. The new service essentially allows you to buy a game once and then own it across both Windows 10 and Xbox One – all while transferring your saves, achievements, any DLC purchases and supporting cross-platform multiplayer to boot.
While that might sound like a simple concept, Microsoft has been dragging its feet to bring major console franchises to its PC audience. Thankfully, the Redmond, Wash. company has recently been turning things around by simultaneously releasing Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Quantum Break on both the Windows Store and Xbox One.
Later this autumn, the family of Xbox Play Anywhere titles will grow a lot bigger, with games like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3. While that's great and all, here are some of the unannounced games we would love to see on the service.
This article is part of TechRadar's Windows 10 week. Microsoft's latest operating system turns from a free to a paid upgrade on July 29, and we're looking to answer the question of whether it's good for you.
The Mafia series has been criminally underappreciated compared competing crime franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Saint's Row. While most games in the subgenre place you into the shoes of a modern criminal, the Mafia I and Mafia II explored the 1930s and '40s, respectively. Now, Mafia III takes you into 1968, a flashpoint in history marking the end of the Civil Rights Movement and just after the Vietnam War.
While the Mafia series has classically tackled more complex themes and uncommon backdrops, it has only really achieved cult status so far. And so, Xbox Play Anywhere could be the last extra step to get a larger group of gamers interested in this underrated series.
While Microsoft lost the console exclusivity rights to Titanfall II, adding this mech-busting game to its Play Anywhere network could spur a few more gamers to jump for the Xbox One version. The first Titanfall game was already widely enjoyed on both the Xbox One and PC, so we imagine it would be simple for Microsoft to set up a deal with publisher EA to make it happen again.
With a new single-player campaign, swanky grappling hooks, and rock'em-sock'em, sword-wielding mechs, Titanfall 2 could be just the game to put the Xbox One back on the map for first-person shooter fans.
Although Battlefield has been available to consoles since its second installment, the series still primarily lives on PC and that could easily be a win-win for you. If Microsoft can work out the Xbox Play Anywhere deal for Battlefield 1, users could simply buy the Xbox One version and have the PC version at the same time.
On top of owning a copy across both platforms, your rank and all unlocks should carry over, making it so you're constantly leveling up the same profile no matter what system you're playing on.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
By now, just about everyone has played Skyrim, but that's no reason to skip out on the remastered version. It has enhanced graphics and all the DLC included, but the only problem is paying $60 for a game you probably already finished is a bitter pill to swallow.
However, if you were to pay for one copy and get it across two systems, that makes things sweeter. Plus while you're Dovahkiin-ing it across Skyrim, the cross-platform saves will save you the trouble of playing two characters on different devices, or finding some way of transferring your saves across PC and Xbox One all the time.
Dead Rising 4
Considering all of Microsoft's other mainstay franchise (including Crackdown, Gears of War, Halo and Forza) are making their way over to PCs, it's not a stretch to think that Dead Rising 4 will follow suit. None the less, Microsoft has yet to announce whether Dead Rising 4 will indeed be an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so it's high on our wish list.
Rendering all those zombies is a little easier on PC as Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse has shown and, of course, you get better graphics to boot. With Xbox Play Anywhere's cross-platform features, it should be easier for users to get a zombie-killing competition going with your computer friends who don't have an Xbox One.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Digital trading cards are all the rage, as Hearthstone as proven, and now our favorite mini-game in The Witcher 3 is being spun out into its own full-fledged experience. Unfortunately, the Hearthstone phenomenon pretty much bypassed consoles completely, opting for mobile and PC platforms instead. But that doesn't mean Gwent won't be a huge console hit.
CD Projeckt Red has a steady track record of bringing its games to consoles, and we're hoping it does the same with Gwent. As with other titles, the ability to pick up and play with the same save could come in handy for building up your deck across systems.
Madden NFL 17
Madden NFL games haven't been seen on PCs since 2008 due to a lack of interest on the gaming PC platform. While it's been a challenge to develop games for both consoles and PCs, the two platforms are extremely similar now, thanks to similar AMD APUs ticking in both the Xbox One and PS4.
Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform should theoretically make developing games for both the PC and Xbox One even more seamless. Add in the added features of Xbox Play Anywhere, and Madden could – and hopefully will – make it back onto desktops with its 2017 iteration.
Mass Effect Andromeda
So far, we've only gotten brief glimpses of the next Mass Effect game, but by the time it releases, Xbox Play Anywhere could be a fully established platform. The space-faring RPG seems like the perfect title to join Microsoft's growing family of cross-platform supported games. Imagine being able to take on missions from a home console and then taking to the stars while you're at a café with a gaming laptop.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Speaking of long awaited sequels, Kingdom Hearts 3 is another game we're hoping will come out with Xbox Play Anywhere support. Considering its predecessors took hundreds of hours to complete, we're betting the third installment will take just as long – if not longer.
That's great if you're looking for a chunky game to sink your teeth into and annoying for any potential life partners or siblings. Whether you're being batted away from the living room TV or the computer, you would have a spare device to run to and pick up the game from your last save.
Who says Xbox Play Anywhere should only be for AAA titles? Smaller indie games could stand to gain the most from Microsoft's new mission to bridge PCs and the Xbox One. Not everyone has a badass gaming PC or laptop, but almost everyone has a notebook of some sort.
While a Dell XPS 13 or Surface Pro 4 aren't the most impressive gaming machines, they can hold their own while playing less-demanding indie titles. Pair the ability to play games anywhere and on your home Xbox, and indie games could be an even bigger hit.
There's a good share of upcoming indie titles with a lot of chatter about them, like Cuphead and We Happy Few, already on board the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative. But, we're hoping the Tacoma, the sci-fi exploration game from the developer of Gone Home, will be added soon.
This article is part of TechRadar's Windows 10 Week. Microsoft's latest operating system turns from a free to a paid upgrade on July 29, and we're looking to answer the question of whether it's good for you.
Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.