To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Xbox console, Microsoft added more than 70 beloved Xbox and Xbox 360 titles to its backward compatibility catalog. This massive update has been a long-time coming since the Xbox One backward compatibility program began in 2015, and the timing couldn’t be much better — the pandemic-induced retro gaming craze has generated tons of interest in revisiting classic games, but original copies of old games have become prohibitively expensive and difficult to find.
This latest supplement to the backward compatibility catalog doubles as a thorough history of the Xbox canon, featuring a diverse spread of first-party Xbox favorites like Beautiful Katamari and Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, multi-platform hits including Red Dead Revolver and the TimeSplitters series plus cult classic titles like 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand which would cost you a pretty penny on the resale market.
Be sure to savor this unexpected nostalgia deluge while you have it – Microsoft emphasized that this will be the final update to the backward compatibility library. While there are plenty of Xbox mainstays that undoubtedly deserve a new life on the Xbox Series X|S, technical feasibility and copyright law are the main forces that determine which games get the backward compatible renewal treatment.
Experience Your Old Favorites in High Definition
Instead of fully re-releasing and remastering its old library, Microsoft aimed to preserve the original look and feel of these games without disrupting their natural polygonal charm. Backward compatible games will work on any Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S console, but certain improvements and updated features are specifically optimized for the latest Xbox generation.
Here’s what you can expect to see when you load up your old Xbox discs:
- The Xbox Series X|S automatically adds Auto HDR visual enhancements to original Xbox and Xbox 360 games.
- Every original Xbox game has an improved resolution, regardless of which console you’re using. The Xbox Series X and Xbox One X receive a 4x resolution increase, the Xbox Series S receives a 3x increase and the Xbox One S and Xbox One receive a 2x increase.
- Over 30 titles have gotten the FPS Boost treatment, allowing smoother gameplay with a higher framerate. Some titles such as NIER and the F.E.A.R. series boast a framerate of up to 60 FPS.
- FPS Boost capability is rolling out to 33 Xbox Cloud titles.
If you don’t care about these visual enhancements, you can toggle Auto HDR and FPS Boost on and off under each game’s “Manage Game” section on your console.
New (Old) Games from the Xbox Backward Compatibility Update
Microsoft’s latest backward compatibility update comes packed with 76 games from the original Xbox and Xbox 360 libraries. If you already own physical or digital copies of these fan-favorite titles, you can start playing the Auto HDR-enabled version on your Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S right away. Otherwise, many new additions are currently available for purchase in the Microsoft Store (or will be in the near future).
Here is the full list of available backward compatible titles:
- 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand
- Aces of the Galaxy
- Advent Rising
- Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom
- Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Make the Grade
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth
- Bankshot Billiards 2
- Beautiful Katamari
- Binary Domain
- Black College Football Xperience: Doug Williams Ed
- Cloning Clyde
- Dead or Alive Ultimate
- Dead or Alive 3
- Dead or Alive 4
- Death by Cube
- Disney Universe
- Disney’s Chicken Little
- Elements of Destruction
- F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
- F.E.A.R. 3
- F.E.A.R. Files
- The First Templar
- Islands of Wakfu
- Lego The Lord of the Rings
- Max Payne
- Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
- Max Payne 3
- Mini Ninjas
- Mortal Kombat
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
- MX vs. ATV Alive
- MX vs. ATV Untamed
- Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
- Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad
- Otogi: Myth of Demons
- Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors
- The Outfit
- Outpost Kaloki X
- Quake Arena Arcade
- R.A.W. – Realms of Ancient War
- Red Dead Revolver
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
- Ridge Racer 6
- Risen 2: Dark Waters
- Rock of Ages
- Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
- Secret Weapons Over Normandy
- Skate 2
- SpongeBob SquarePants Underpants Slam!
- SpongeBob’s Truth or Square
- Star Wars Starfighter: Special Edition
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- Thrillville: Off the Rails
- Time Pilot
- TimeSplitters 2
- TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
- Toy Story Mania!
- Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment
- Viva Piñata: Party Animals
Don’t miss out on any Xbox deals this holiday season — nabbing a big sale is as easy as setting a Deal Alert. Once you’ve set an alert for the game or console you’re hoping to buy, we’ll let you know when a good deal pops up.
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