Six of the best: 360 games enhanced for Xbox One
Six of the best
More than 500 Xbox 360 games are now backwards compatible with your Xbox One, and the list keeps growing. A select few have received Xbox One X enhancements, here’s six of the best.
Gears of War 3
One of the biggest 360 titles in 4K looks absolutely amazing. Ironically, the game loses a little bit of its grittiness as a result, but the trade-off is sharper textures and buttery smooth performance. No HDR and locked at 30FPS (presumably to maintain cross play with 360 users) but the leap in quality from original launch will jump out at you as soon as you boot it up. Don’t take my word for it though; here’s a handy comparison video which showcases the difference – Gears of War 3 Xbox One X enhancements.
Enjoying zipping around the UK in Forza Horizon 4? Once you’ve seen everything Britain has to offer, you can go back to where it all began. The original Forza holds up remarkably well, and the Xhancements only sweeten the deal. It looks great for a six year old game but lacks the polish and panache of the latest in the series. However, it’s also a lot smaller – completion is possible in a few long sessions and can you really call yourself a Forza fanatic if you haven’t played the first one? Grab those cheevos and see the original Forza in all of its 2018 enhanced glory.
Available as part of November 2018s Games with Gold package, add this one to your library and go back to the series’ roots. I personally prefer the new, RPG feel of Origins and Odyssey, but the impact of this first game shouldn’t be underestimated. Proper assassinations and the Holy Land circa 1191 AD setting give this one a very distinctive feel, and the enhanced textures, lighting and visuals improve the game immeasurably (you can now actually see all those wires strewn between buildings without squinting!). Try it for the enhancements, stick around because doing swallow dives from tall buildings just never gets old.
The Orange Box
One of the best value bundles in gaming, the Orange Box includes Half-Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode 1 and Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal. That’s a phenomenal package in its own right. Even if this one wasn’t delivering improvements and plenty of new pixels, it would be a must have addition to your library. Puzzles, team multiplayer and the complete version of one of the most highly rated first person shooters of all time, now looking better than ever on Xbox One X.
The Witcher 2
Seen everything this generations classic Witcher 3 has to offer? Jump back in to this beauty, fully enhanced for 2018 with all of the glorious combat and immersive storylines you expect from the series. A little more linear than its successor, this enhanced title looks and feels great and has one of the most cinematic intros of all time (seriously, if nothing else, check out the intro, it’s amazing). Here’s another Digital Foundry video which compares the original PC game on maxed settings with the enhanced Xbox One X edition – Witcher 2 Xbox enhanced edition.
Red Dead Redemption
Once you’ve finished the prequel, you might still have a John Marston itch to scratch. The original title and its spin-off, Undead Nightmare, will be ready and waiting for you in true, native 4K. This one looked great at the time of original release, but the enhancements raised the bar for backwards compatibility on Xbox One. Again, here’s analysis from the excellent and thorough Digital Foundry team – Red Dead Redemption Xbox One 4K.
The full list of enhanced 360 games is frequently updated, and can be found right here. Don’t forget that although Xbox One X is the best showcase for enhanced titles, they’ll still benefit from significant improvements on your OG or S console. And even those titles which haven’t been enhanced for Xbox One X typically play and run better than they did on Xbox 360. Plus, there’s bargains and freebies to be had if you keep your eye on sales and special offers. The backwards compatibility program has been one of the saving graces of this Xbox generation, and there’s a ton of titles to discover and revisit. Have fun!