One of Microsoft’s strengths when it comes to Xbox One is its commitment to backwards compatibility. New backwards compatible games are being added all the time. As with the latest bunch–GRID, Sensible World of Soccer, and Fable Heroes–these are routinely announced by Major Nelson on Twitter at 9 AM PT on Twitter, although there’s no particular schedule for how many are released (if any) on a given day.
Even in lieu of any specific schedule for new additions, the past few years have seen the list of backwards compatible games grow quite long, and it can be extremely difficult to find those that are worthwhile. Not only are there 400+ Xbox 360 games that can be played on Xbox One, but more than 30+ original Xbox titles are also supported.
Beyond the consistent rollout of games, Microsoft has publicly made it clear that backwards compatibility is a real priority for the company. “I see games as an art form,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said last year. “Console games can get lost when hardware generations go away. It can become more challenging to play the games of our past … There’s something to be learned from experiencing what I played as a kid. There’s good business there for the content owners, but as players, it’s nice to be able to understand how our art form has progressed.”
Spencer subsequently made it clear that backwards compatibility is–despite reports suggesting it’s ignored–a feature that people do use. He wrote off data that said otherwise and pointed to an example of strong sales for an old Call of Duty game when it was added to the service: “I think the best signal we had so far is when Black Ops II landed and that month it hit NPD’s Top 10 that month for game sales. An Xbox 360 game that’s years old, that shows that people care.”
The feature has only gotten better with the release of the Xbox One X, as it offers much sharper visuals in these old games; some even have specific enhancements on top of a resolution increase. But whether you play on an X, an Xbox One S, or even the standard Xbox One, you’re treated to a feature that is currently unmatched by both PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
While not providing access to everything available on Xbox 360 and the original Xbox, the supported backwards compatible games from the two include classics ranging from expansive RPGs and thrilling adventures to XBLA gems and old arcade games refined for the big screen. Among these are all-time greats like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Mass Effect Trilogy, and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to name a few. But if you want a challenge that’s faster to jump into, the likes of Ikaruga or Super Meat Boy will do the trick.
To help you parse through the giant list of supported games, we’ve compiled a list of our personal favorites to highlight which backwards compatible titles are worth your time. If you want to pick something out yourself, you can peruse the entire list of Xbox One backwards compatible games. Which Xbox One backwards compatible games do you love the most? Are there any games would you like to be added in the future? Let us know in the comments below.