Xbox Backwards Compatibility Updates Are Over

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By Billy Givens on November 16th, 2021


Monday’s huge Xbox backwards compatibility update will be the final one that Microsoft will ever push out. The company cites a mixture of licensing, legal, and technical issues as the reason why they won’t bring further compatibility for classic games.

The announcement comes from an Xbox Wire post, which reads:

While we continue to stay focused on preserving and enhancing the art form of games, we have reached the limit of our ability to bring new games to the catalog from the past due to licensing, legal and technical constraints. Thank you for being part of this journey with us.


As disappointing as the news may be, Xbox has had quite a successful history of bolstering its backwards compatibility. Yesterday alone brought with it an exceptional drop of 76 older titles that can now be played across Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X. The massive update included notable entries like the full F.E.A.R. series, all three Max Payne games, Skate 2, and Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth โ€“ the last of which is well-known for being one of the easiest games of all time for achieving 1000/1000 gamerscore.

Alongside the fresh games added, Microsoft’s final update has enabled FPS Boost in 37 previously-released backward compatible titles, such as Alan Wake, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and the full slate of Xbox 360 Gears of War entries. FPS Boost, of course, does precisely what it sounds like โ€“ it improves the framerate in some older games on Xbox Series S and X without requiring developers to do any of the work. It’s not exclusive to extremely old games, either, as it’s been used in somewhat more recent releases like Super Lucky’s Tale, Watch Dogs 2, and Sniper Elite 4, showing great promise for normalizing performance boosts at the system level. It’s impressive stuff, to say the least.

You can see the final complete list of backward compatible games here.

Billy will always claim he didn't intentionally get the platinum trophy in Snoopy's Grand Adventure, but he's lying.


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