For the month of February, the scribes of Lords of Gaming have been tasked with writing about something they love in gaming. While there are many things I love about gaming, the Backwards Compatibility Program (BC) deserves some shine. This program allows players to play the three previous generations of Xbox games on their Xbox Series X|S along with current-generation titles. Having the ability to play thousands of titles, across four generations of Xbox, is a truly incredible feature that really sets Xbox apart from the rest.
Backwards Compatibility Utilizes Turbocharged Tech
BC allows fans to revisit beloved classics, which have been enhanced to look and run better than ever before. OG Xbox titles such as Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire make the most of this quantum leap in processing power. They look astronomically better than what was possible with their original hardware (circa the early 2000s).
Xbox 360 titles, such as the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy, can harness this upgraded technology even further, making some games look like remasters. The upgrades to Xbox One games such as Gears 5, are truly a wonder to behold. They take the already impressive benchmarks in visuals and performance and stretches them to the limit. No matter what generation of game you play, the Series X|S will bring the absolute best possible vision of that title to life.
Much like how the US Library of Congress preserves meaningful films, the BC Program preserves past games. This is not only beneficial to players, but is a service to gaming itself. It allows players to revisit classic titles and carry their library across generations. By preserving these titles, Xbox has ensured that lasting legacies will not be forgotten as we move further into the cutting-edge future. To make the most of upcoming tech, we must not forget our past.
Experiencing the Entire Story
Much like when fans want to revisit their favorite films, backwards compatibility allows players to experience entire sagas without difficulty. For example, the entire Gears of War, Halo, and Splinter Cell series are all playable on Series X|S. Now, any new or veteran gamer can experience the full stories of these legendary franchises.
With the newly announced reboots to Fable and Perfect Dark, many players will go back and revisit the original games from these iconic franchises. All of this is made possible by the BC Team.
Discovering Hidden Gems
The library of games playable through BC is truly impressive. Everything from indie titles to AAA blockbusters can be found in the catalog. Throughout gaming generations, there are always some excellent games that fall through the cracks and miss the spotlight.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Lost Odyssey, Alan Wake, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and Alice: Madness Returns, are just a few examples of overlooked titles. There are also cult classic titles such as Deadly Premonition. While it may not have garnered critical acclaim, it did earn a passionate and loyal following.
Introducing to a New Generation
Lastly, the BC program allows younger audiences to experience these games for the first time. Backwards compatibility has been wonderful in this regard to me personally. I have been able to introduce people to Halo and Gears of War. It is awesome to be able to play these sagas again, but sharing them makes it even better. Making new fans of iconic Xbox franchises is just another reason why BC is such an excellent feature.