Since its reveal, the Xbox One has been touted as an “all-in-one entertainment device.” It’s a DVR. It’s a web browser. It’s a Big Brother surveillance device, listening to your every word and watching your every movement (sort of). And, of course, it plays games.
While the multimedia capabilities are impressive, gamers have been left with a burning, unanswered question: “What about the games?” Here are 10 franchises that, if revived, could save the Xbox One from itself.
1. Beyond Good & Evil 2
Beyond Good & Evil 2 is among the most delayed and rumored games of all time. The original BG&E, an action-adventure game, hit stores in 2003 for PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, and PC, and slowly became a cult classic. Despite poor sales of the original, Ubisoft announced Beyond Good & Evil 2 in 2008. Five years later, little has been seen of this game aside from a single trailer and a leaked gameplay video.
At a private dinner this year, Ubisoft confirmed BG&E2 is far along in development and targeted for release on next-gen consoles. We’ll believe it when we see it, but the Xbox One would certainly benefit from this hotly anticipated title.
2. Jade Empire 2
You may know Bioware for the impressive Mass Effect series, but few gamers remember Jade Empire, an RPG for the original Xbox inspired by ancient China and martial arts. Players inhabit a massive world and make moral choices on a journey fairly expansive for its time — clocking in at an average of over 27 hours for 100% completion.
With the Xbox One offering a dramatic leap in processing horsepower, the Jade Empire universe could finally reach its true potential — after all, the game could finally facilitate a near-endless world with its own language fully realized.
3. Alan Wake 2
Alan Wake is one of the few original IPs to hit the Xbox 360 and was generall well received. The game, developed by Remedy, is a Stephen King-esque episodic thriller which chronicles novelist Alan Wake’s rapid descent into his worst nightmares: ones which he wrote but can’t recall writing.
The premise is fascinating, and though a sequel was in the works, it was put on hiatus so resources could be allocated to Remedy’s upcoming One title, Quantum Break. Let’s hope Remedy revisits the engrossing Alan Wake universe on Xbox One. It’s a nightmare that should become recurring.
4. Half-Life 3 (or Half-Life 2: Episode 3)
The immense success of The Orange Box, the five game compilation from renowned developer Valve, should serve as evidence for how much gamers love the Half-Life universe. It’s been nearly 6 years since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and gamers are getting restless, some even resorting to protests in an attempt to squeeze some news out of Valve.
While the status of the game is subject to wild speculation, Half-Life 3 (or Half-Life 2: Episode 3) is the game that could get hesitant gamers on board with the XBox One.
5. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Series
Yes, another Bioware game, but for good reason. Like Jade Empire, the much beloved Knights of the Old Republic series was ahead of its time. Though it packed hours upon hours of content into its game discs, the original Xbox’s hardware limited the scope and graphical fidelity of the franchise.
In 2011, Bioware introduced Star Wars: The Old Republic, a PC-only MMORPG very similar to Knights of the Old Republic. It’s an enormously long shot, but with the Xbox One’s (almost) always online requirement, a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic could easily thrive… provided you have a fast internet connection, such as the plans offered by CenturyLink Internet Bundles.
6. Conker Sequel
Remember this obscene, violent, womanizing squirrel? Conker: Live &Reloaded, a remake of the N64 game Conker’s Bad Fur Day, is a 2005 game developed by Rare for the original Xbox and was an Xbox Live mainstay for years. Rare has since abandoned the franchise. A reboot of this edgy squirrel’s gory misadventures could give core gamers a humorous break from the increasingly bleak FPS games.
7. Crackdown 3
Most gamers likely remember Crackdown as being “that game that had the Halo 3 demo.” While it was somewhat overshadowed by its bundled counterpart, the open-world shooting game showed serious potential. Enough to spawn a sequel, in fact. Perhaps this Xbox exclusive could find its way on the One.
The game developer, RealtimeWorlds, closed shop in 2010. Let’s hope Microsoft owns the rights to the franchise.
8. Jet Set Radio Sequel
Jet Set Radio Future is an original Xbox title, a sequel to the Sega Dreamcast game Jet Grind Radio. The game received praise for its defining cel-shaded art style and compelling gameplay. Set in a futuristic Tokyo, players join a team of rollerblading graffiti artists who attempt to reclaim their city from its totalitarian rulers.
The franchise hasn’t been revisited since 2002, aside from an HD remake of JSRF. It’d be great to see this franchise revisited and brought into the modern age of gaming.
9. Viva Piñata Sequel
I know, I know, but hear us out. Viva Piñata may not exactly spell “next-gen gaming experience,” but with a few tweaks this quirky life simulator could become a deep experience for the casual gamer. With the upgraded Kinect, players could interact with their piñata garden using their body instead of controllers, making it easier for children and non-gaming adults to play.
Perhaps the One needs its own Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon.
10. Brand New (Exclusive) IP
The original Xbox had its killer app: Halo. The Xbox 360 milked the franchise further with Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Wars, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. It’s time for another original IP to define the upcoming console cycle. Perhaps it’ll be Bungie’s Destiny. Perhaps it’s something yet to be revealed. In any case, a new IP would breathe life into an industry that’s beginning to feel a little stale.
The biggest deciding factor in this next iteration of consoles will be the gaming experience. Tell us: what franchises do you think should be revived for the Xbox One?