The best original xbox exclusives now available on Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility

The best original xbox exclusives now available on Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility

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There are many selling points to the new-gen of Xbox consoles. Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S give users plenty to get excited about, however, one of the things that Microsoft have done really well with, is their 'backwards compatibility'. We recently reviewed this in full in our Xbox Series X|S: We look at the backwards compatibility of Microsoft's new-gen consoles article. 

However, we figured why not take a deeper look at some of the more nostalgic titles originally available on the first Xbox console from way back in 2001. 


Here's our picks for the best original Xbox exclusives;

Forza Motorsport


Many of you may be more familiar with the Forza Horizon series of these games, however Playground Games studio's iconic title began life on the original Xbox. It was seen as Microsoft's response to Gran Turismo which had been Playstation's 'flagship' racing game for years.

The game received rave-reviews for it's realistic physics and extensive career mode, allowing users to explore the game whilst driving more than 200 different cars.

As the series has continued to grow over the years, it has become one of the 'mainstays' on the Microsoft platform - November 2021 saw the release Forza's 12th game - Forza Horizon 5, which was a day-one release on Xbox Game Pass.

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath


Without doubt, one of the most bizarre games you could ever play. The games' alternative twist on the first-person shooters that had previously (and even since) dominated Xbox's catalog - was both strange & inventive in equal measure. The game featured a sprawling 3D world allowing the main protagonist to engage in quirky combat adventures.

The game was so popular that it has since received a HD upgrade as well as two sequels, the latest came in 2021 with Oddworld: Soulstorm.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell & Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory


The arrival of the Playstation 2 and original Xbox consoles saw a shift in Ubisoft's approach, that's a fact. The developer dropped previous-gen successes like Rayman in favour of moving towards the realistic action titles - enter Splinter Cell. 

Without doubt, one of the biggest success' of the original Xbox generation - Splinter Cell ushered in the era of the 'stealth' games. Ubisoft followed up the original game with a couple of sequels - Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is generally regarded as one of, if not the greatest stealth game of all time, rather high praise considering the titles in that category. 

You can buy all of the original games directly from Xbox: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora TomorrowTom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas


Iconic. That's pretty much all that needs to be said about the GTA games, even casual gamers know & play the series. For the original Xbox and Playstation 2 console, it was lightyear's ahead of its counterparts.

Prior to 2013 and the release of Grand Theft Auto V - many, myself included would have listed GTA: San Andreas as both our favourite and simply the best game in Rockstars' catalog. Much of the excitement and anticipation for that 2013 release was due to how great the previous GTA was.

The good news? Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is now playable on Xbox Series X|S as part of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - Definitive Edition remastered re-release. The even better news? It is available for FREE - as part of Xbox Game Pass via monthly subscription.

Halo: Combat Evolved & Halo 2


The release of the Xbox on 15th November 2001 coincided with the release of its flagship game franchise Halo. With the release of the Halo: Combat Evolved Microsoft announced itself to the gaming world. The game received hugely positive responses and thus the legacy began. Its follow on Halo 2 was regarded as equally successful. 

Both of these Halo classic's can be played via the Halo: Master Chief Collection or in original version through the backwards compatibility feature on the Xbox Series X|S.

Let us know in the comments down below if you decide to grab any of these or what others you think should have made our list.

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