Xbox Backwards Compatibility List 2021: From 'Skate 2' to 'Max Payne' and 'Revenge of the Sith'

The Xbox backwards compatibility program has been one of the most alluring selling points of Microsoft's console lineup over the past few years, especially when compared to PlayStation.

First unveiled at the E3 2015 conference, this feature (which lets you enjoy games from older generations on modern hardware) was seen as a massive win for consumers and preservationists alike.

Until the program launched, there was simply no way of playing certain titles from the original Xbox or Xbox 360 eras, without holding on to those respective platforms. It meant that some games were sadly destined for obscurity and would be lost in time, due to a lack of mainstream accessibility. The only vintage titles that were protected from this grim fate were those that had specific re-releases to get them up and running on newer systems.

With backwards compatibility, this stopped being so much of an issue (at least for Xbox owners). Of course, the entire library wasn't made available overnight and Microsoft has instead been adding to it gradually in dribs and drabs.

However, this catalogue hasn't been updated much since 2019, when the likes of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X and Skate were added.

Over 70 New Games Added to Backwards Compatibility

During yesterday's Xbox 20th Anniversary livestream, there were plenty of nostalgic montages that showcased various highlights from the console's illustrious history.

We saw clips of era-defining hits that helped make the Xbox what it is today, including the original Halo, Forza, Mass Effect and Gears of War. Alongside these, there were also some deeper cuts that you might have forgotten about, like Kinectimals and Kameo: Elements of Power.

Given that so much of this broadcast was focused on celebrating the past and reminiscing over classic titles, it only made sense for Microsoft to take this opportunity to expand its backwards compatibility library.

Peggy Lo, the compatibility program lead for Xbox, took to the stage to do just this, revealing that over 70 original Xbox and Xbox 360 games were coming to the service, immediately after her announcement.

The results are a mixed bag, with some stone-cold classics (such as the Max Payne trilogy, TimeSplitters 2, the F.E.A.R franchise, Skate 2 and Manhunt) sharing the list with titles that are less fondly remembered. In terms of those weaker outings, you've got the likes of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and the party game Rio, which tied into the 2011 movie of the same name. Remember Rio?

Regardless of the inconsistent quality, it's important to have all of these works made available again for posterity. Those who have fond memories of the Star Wars prequels are especially pleased to learn that they can now flashback to 2005 with the Revenge of the Sith adaptation, which is a prospect that was once impossible.

Xbox has added the Revenge of the Sith to the backwards compatible catalogue! This game was so freaking good definitely picking it up! 🎮#StarWars #RevengeOfTheSith

— The Book of Iain 📚 (@starwarsiain) November 16, 2021

Not only are all these games available to play right now on modern consoles, but they have undergone some next-gen enhancements as well. Each of them benefits from auto HDR technology, the Xbox quick resume functionality, and faster loading times, while some have even been given a frame rate boost as well.

Full List of New Xbox Backwards Compatible Games

Here is an alphabetical list of every title that was added to the Xbox Backwards Compatibility library on November 15 (courtesy of the official Major Nelson blog). There are 76 in total.

  • 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
  • Conan
  • Darwinia+
  • 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.
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
  • F.E.A.R. 3
  • F.E.A.R. Files
  • The First Templar
  • Gladius
  • Gunvalkyrie
  • Islands of Wakfu
  • Lego The Lord of the Rings
  • Manhunt
  • 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
  • NieR
  • Novadrome
  • 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
  • Rio
  • Risen
  • Risen 2: Dark Waters
  • Rock of Ages
  • Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
  • Scramble
  • Screwjumper!
  • 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
  • Switchball
  • Thrillville
  • Thrillville: Off the Rails
  • Time Pilot
  • TimeSplitters 2
  • TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment
  • Viva Piñata: Party Animals
  • Warlords

You can now play any of these games on Xbox One, Xbox Series S, or Xbox Series X. To do so, you just need to own either the corresponding disc or a digital copy.

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