The Xbox One's backwards compatible catalog of original Xbox games doesn't seem to get a great deal of fanfare. While the titles tend to be added at a snail's pace, they're slowly but surely amassing a fine collection of old-school gems that are in serious need of recognition.
The charm of the original disc on the original system is something to be appreciated, but so is having an effectively immortal digital copy working on a current console. Listed below are ten of the heaviest nostalgia bombs to be found within the Xbox One's backwards compatible catalog as of the time of writing. Good luck getting through it without a rose-tinted visit to the Microsoft Store!
10 Star Wars: Battlefront II
For those wishing to relive Battlefront's glory days, from an era long before EA managed to sink their claws into the franchise and tried to bleed it dry, this is the way to do it.
This, of course, comes with the unfortunate caveat of being unable to actually play the game online on Xbox, as the servers have been shut down. That's a major blow to players yearning for a rekindling of their youthful all-nighters spent plugged into the original Xbox Live, but it certainly beats the alternative in practically every other way.
9 Conker: Live and Reloaded
As might be expected, one of the big draws of Live and Reloaded was its multiplayer component, which prospective players on the Xbox One won't be able to take online for old times' sake.
Nevertheless, playing it offline is still a definite blast, with the campaign being a remade version of Conker's original Nintendo 64 adventure. What can be said? Toilet humor is ageless, and toilet humor being delivered by an adorable cartoon squirrel with a case of deeply rooted alcoholism is immortal. There may or may not actually be something a little sad about that last bit, in hindsight.
8 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The Prince of Persia franchise carries the weight of a lengthy legacy that recent entries have struggled to uphold, but The Sands of Time was easily one of the series' strongest titles, releasing to great critical acclaim after the preceding Prince of Persia 3D had failed to make meaningful waves.
The Prince's smoothly acrobatic movement and the engaging combat sequences would later contribute to the development of Assassin's Creed, which was actually born out of ideas for a sequel to The Sands of Time.
7 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
BioWare's seminal RPG foray into the Star Wars universe is widely hailed as a timeless classic, being one of the most popular and well-received Star Wars video game adaptations to have ever been released. Most fans will find it entirely worth installing, if only to hear HK-47 call them a meatbag one more time.
Granted, BioWare hasn't exactly been on the ball with some of its more recent titles. Still, a fond look back at their golden years might convince players to delay entirely giving up hope on the developer that gave us this masterpiece once upon a time.
6 Ninja Gaiden Black
Before Dark Souls was infuriating gamers to the point of controller abuse, Ninja Gaiden was fulfilling the role admirably. Black is mentioned as the "definitive" edition of Ninja Gaiden by the developer, and as such, is probably the best way to experience Ryu Hayabusa's legacy.
This Xbox exclusive version of Ninja Gaiden also featured a new, "easier" difficulty labeled Ninja Dog, allowing those with qualms concerning the game's unforgiving level of challenge to experience the critically-acclaimed ninja action.
5 Fuzion Frenzy
Fuzion Frenzy didn't exactly take home any awards for its less than innovative mini-game party mash-up idea. As an original Xbox launch title and commonly circulated demo that allowed up to four players to get in on the action, though, it still managed to win its way into quite a few hearts.
It actually plays pretty well on the Xbox One. Since the system is thoroughly lacking in the niche of casual party games, Fuzion Frenzy is definitely worth having installed when players find themselves with a full couch and time to kill.
4 Star Wars: Republic Commando
Republic Commando is also a solid entry for "games that desperately need a sequel," but fans of this cult classic first person shooter will have to settle for its fairly recent arrival on the Xbox One's backwards compatibility catalog.
Garnering high praise for its incredibly well-written campaign, entertaining banter between squad-mates, and thrilling combat, Republic Commando doesn't suffer too much for the lack of multiplayer functionality since the offline content is what really made it shine.
3 Sid Meier's Pirates!
This outstanding remake of the original pirate simulator is a total must-have, for both the familiar and unfamiliar alike. Its initial release in 2004 brought home several well-deserved awards, even with it going toe-to-toe with a then-young World of Warcraft.
The open-ended campaign is built around some of the most solid action ever seen in gaming as a whole. It really does have it all, from sailing and swashbuckling to exploration and economic intrigue. Hard drive space devoted to keeping this classic installed is space well spent.
2 Jade Empire
Another well-loved classic spawned from a time when BioWare seemed untouchable, Jade Empire is a rare gem of an action RPG that revolves around martial arts and Chinese mythology.
It hosts a lot of the familiar BioWare elements the fans came to love, such as a deep, richly detailed setting, a morality system that impacts gameplay based on player decisions, and of course, a spread of NPC romance options that can get needlessly complicated. For players embittered by the Anthem experience, it's a wonderful reminder of the innovative spirit the developer's known for.
1 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Morrowind is the game that really put the Elder Scrolls franchise on the map, and, for many, is still a superior game to all of its descendants. Well, assuming graphical fidelity isn't taken into consideration, at least.
Surprisingly, the game holds up remarkably well. The bizarre, almost alien expanse of Vvardenfell is still fun to explore, and the amount of player agency is almost stunning when compared to Oblivion or Skyrim. Revisiting Morrowind is highly recommended, and exploring it for the first time? Even more so.