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10 Awesome Original Xbox Games You Can Download For Xbox X/S

As supply shortages continue to become less and less of an issue, sales of the newest Xbox consoles – the Series X and S – have boomed, becoming one of the fastest-selling Xbox consoles ever. Recently, the Xbox X/S even overtook the PS5 in sales, proving that the two consoles are true contenders in the gaming world.

One of the coolest aspects of the X/S is Microsoft’s commitment to backward compatibility, giving gamers the option to download numerous titles from the Xbox One, 360, and even the company’s original 2001 console. And some of those original Xbox games are fantastic hits that have withstood the test of time and remain fun and addictive to this day.


10 Destroy All Humans!

An alien charges at civilians in Destroy All Humans

Wacky, campy, wild, and outrageous, Destroy All Humans! was like if Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! met Grand Theft Auto. It’s an open-world adventure game that let players take control of Crypto-136, an alien who is running amok on Earth.

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Set in the 1950s, the game parodies how people interpreted sci-fi during that time period and pokes fun at the era’s Cold War tensions. Thanks to your humour, Destroy All Humans! was an incredibly popular game when it was released in 2005 and remains hilarious and endearing to this day.

9 manhunt

A player electrocutes a man in the grizzly Manhunt game

manhunt was an extremely controversial game centering around a death row inmate who has been given a strange deal: if he murders people on camera, he can earn his own survival. Dark, gritty, and macabre, the game was a horror masterpiece that critics praised for its use of stealth tactics and its thick atmosphere.

RELATED: 10 Great Horror Games You Can Play On Xbox X/S Right Now

However, manhunt was also heavily controversial and was even briefly blamed for a teen’s murder in 2004, causing its sequel, man hunt 2, to initially be given the rare AO rating by the ESRB. However, in the years since, it’s become known as an atmospheric stealth game that was both terrifying, yet compelling, with a unique and gripping concept.

8 Fusion Frenzy

Two players duke it out in Fusion Frenzy's famous ball cages

Fusion Frenzy was a popular party game that started off as an Xbox launch title and eventually became a pack-in game for the console. In Fusion Frenzygamers duke it out through various challenges that include rhythm games, bumper cars, tank battles, and more.

But most notable are the challenges that place players inside giant metal ball cages. Gamers must complete various tasks and fight each other, all while inside a formidable steel orb. It was a great way to make the game unique and give it a more adult feel compared to similar games like mario party.

7 dead or alive 3

Ayane punches Batman inside a steel cage in DOA 3

dead or alive 2 was a raging success and really helped showcase the SEGA Dreamcast’s graphical power. Its follow-up, dead or alive 3was a launch title for the Xbox and utilized the console’s next-gen technology to produce even better graphics (especially when it came to the arena and backgrounds) and even added new characters.

Thanks to the improved graphics and DOA‘s trademark tight and reliable controls, DOA 3 proved to be an instant hit and remains a great fighting game to this day.

6 Panzer Dragoon Orta

Orta flies on her dragon through the cliffside to stop the empire in Panzer Dragoon Orta

SEGA’s 32-bit console, the Saturn, was marred with issues. For starters, after the cancellation of Sonic X Treme, the Saturn was left without a powerhouse franchise to sell units. However, a few games managed to rise above the rest and hold their own as instant classics. One of those was panzer dragoon.

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The game was a rail shooter that let players fly atop a giant dragon. After SEGA left the console market, the game’s 4th installment, Panzer Dragoon Orta, became an Xbox exclusive. Not only was it praised for its improved graphics, but also for its new, modern controls (thanks to dual joysticks, which the Saturn never had).

5 Psychonauts

Razputin Aquato readies for his mission under the moonlight in Psychonauts

In 2005, Psychonauts was released. It was a new take on the 3D platformer genre and saw gamers take control of Raz, a teen gifted with psychic abilities. After running away to a camp for the gifted, he uncovers a sinister plot that must be stopped.

With wild, imaginative levels, and an arsenal of psychic abilities to use, Psychonauts was a fresh take on an already-crowded genre and managed to become a cult classic. The fanbase grew so large that in 2021, more than 15 years after the initial release, the game got a sequel, Psychonauts 2which received universal acclaim.

4 red dead revolver

A shootout takes place in a western town in Red Dead Revolver

Before Red Dead Redemption changed open-world gaming forever in 2010, and long before Red Dead Redemption 2 revolutionized the industry with its incredibly beautiful graphics in 2018, the franchise started all the way back in 2004 with red dead revolver. It was a third-person shooter/adventure game set in the wild wild west.

For the time, the graphics were impressive and the large, open-world western world was truly stunning. Though the game isn’t as highly-reviewed as its spiritual sequels, it’s a fascinating look into gaming history and how it all began.

3 SSX 3

Elize skis down a mountain in SSX 3

SSX is known as the best snowboarding franchise ever made. Almost every single game holds an 90% or above on Metacritic, but one title in particular really pushed the series into the next generation: SSX 3.

RELATED: The 10 Best Snowboarding Games, According To Metacritic

The game kept the series’ bold colors and upbeat music, but also added in some new features, like the fact that all the courses in SSX 3 are connected, technically making it an early version of an open-world sports game. SSX 3 also has tons of variety, with certain challenges involving racing, while others involve trick competitions and even halfpipe events.

two Star Wars: Battlefront II

A rebel races into battle on Hoth in Battlefront II

Despite two newer battle front games coming out during the Xbox One era, the original Xbox versions remain incredibly popular, especially 2005’s Battlefront II. The series allows players to pick their side – Empire or Rebel, Separatists or Clones – and then battle it out using Jedi heroes like Luke Skywalker and armored walkers like the AT-AT.

The game was so successful because it gave fans what they always wanted…the ability to literally be transported into the middle of an epic Star Wars battle. Even better, the online multiplayer mode is still available for the Xbox version.

one Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

A group of Jedi enter battle in Knights of the Old Republic

With a 93% and 94% ranking on Metacritic, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is considered one of the best starwars games ever made, with many saying it is the best. The story follows a Jedi some 4,000 years before the events of the first starwars film.

As an RPG, the game allows players to specialize their characters and ultimately choose if they align with the light or dark side of the force. Aside from its captivating story and gameplay, Knight of the Old Republic was praised for its immense size, graphics, and incredible audio quality and soundtrack.

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