Microsoft has an amazing catalogue of exclusive titles that would fit perfectly on other consoles.
With heavy rumors circulating that Microsoft will be turning many of its exclusive titles over to Sony and Nintendo, Xbox fans have been in a tizzy. With flagship series such as Halo, Gears of War, and Forza having helped establish the Xbox as Microsoft’s premiere gaming console, it’s understandable how shocking it would be to see Master Chief popping up on the PS5 (and if that sounds absurd, imagine how Sega fans felt when Sonic popped up on Nintendo’s hardware back in the day.) As the classic console wars of yesteryear have proven, exclusivity is a fickle mistress.
Even Sony’s former heavy hitters like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon – two IP’s that helped define the original Playstation – have long since expanded onto virtually every platform available. As much as it may sting to see beloved IP’s jump ship and sail off to distant shores, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, these games are being played and enjoyed by people all over the world.
That being said, it’s time to take a gander at some of Microsoft’s exclusive titles that would benefit wonderfully from appearing on Sony and Nintendo’s consoles. Unlike Nintendo, Sega, and Sony, Microsoft hopped into the console pool a tad later than most, with the original Xbox debuting November 15th, 2001. Microsoft has had roughly half the time to establish iconic console IP’s as Nintendo and Sega have had (their presence in the PC market notwithstanding.) In the 20+ years the Xbox has existed, these are some of the exclusive titles that Microsoft should share with the rest of the gaming world should the chance ever arise.
Halo: Combat Evolved
It’s impossible to discuss the Xbox without also discussing Halo, the console’s most famous and definitive franchise. A launch title for the original Xbox, 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved (developed by Bungie) proved itself not to be just a fantastic launch title, but also one of the best game’s of its generation. While FPSs had grown substantially since the days of Doom, Quake, and Heretic, Halo helped push the genre even further. Just as the N64’s legendary Goldeneye 007 had before it, Halo brought a sense of cinematic scope and quality to the genre. As the Halo series continued to expand across the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and beyond, fans have stayed by Master Chief’s side in his endless battle against the Covenant.
Bringing Halo to the PS5, and the legacy titles to the Switch, is a no-brainer. Even people who don’t own an Xbox know what Halo is and have probably spent a fair amount of time playing it with their friends who do. Online play has evolved quite a bit since the early days of Xbox Live, meaning the halcyon days of Halo LAN parties can be shared across the board nowadays. Bringing Halo to the PS5 would ensure that an entire new generation of fans could become ardent fans of the series, and really, isn’t that what Master Chief would want?
Gears of War
Released one year after the launch of the Xbox 360, 2006’s Gears of War (developed by Epic Games) put the Xbox 360 on the map. Launch titles such as Kameo: Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero were good candidates to showcase the capabilities of Microsoft’s follow-up console, but Gears of War not only helped showcase the power of the Xbox 360, it helped redefine the entire action genre. While the term “cover shooter” may elicit eyerolls today, it’s undeniable how influential Gears of War truly was. While it wasn’t the first shooter to base itself around cover shooting (looking at you, Kill Switch), Gears of War perfected it.
As Gears of War received three more sequels on the Xbox 360 before hopping over to the Xbox One with Gears of War 4 and Gears 5, it became apparent the series was becoming as synonymous with the Xbox as Halo was. It might break a few hearts to see Marcus Phenix and company blasting away on a Sony console, but considering we haven’t had a new Gears of War title in five years, it might not be a bad thing.
Microsoft’s darling racing franchise roared onto the original Xbox in 2005 and hasn’t let off the gas since. With eight entries to its core series, and five entries to its Horizon spin-off series, Forza Motorsport (developed by Turn 10 Studios) has proven itself to be both a viable racing simulation series and an arcade-charged racing series. Considering the steep amount of competition it’s faced against other behemoths in the racing genre like Gran Turismo and Need For Speed, it’s commendable how well Forza has done for itself all these years.
Bringing Forza over to Sony or Nintendo consoles would give many more players the ability to discover the intricacies of the series, both in Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon. Having one more great racing series to dive into is never a bad thing, and having that many more players to race against only adds that much more competition. Time to rev up or shut up.
The true definition of kinetic color and sound, Hi-Fi Rush (developed by Tango Gameworks) took gamers by storm when it released in 2023. Playing as Chai, a young man on a mission to become a rockstar, Hi-Fi Rush fused action and rhythm together in a bold and exhilarating new way. Nominated for a ton of awards (and even winning a few), Hi-Fi Rush was an instant hit with critics and players alike.
Bringing Hi-Fi Rush to Sony and Nintendo consoles would be an obvious move, straight up. Sony’s legacy of PaRappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy proves that rhythm games have a good home on the Playstation, and with Splatoon’s undeniable style and attitude rocking the Switch, Hi-Fi Rush would have an instant friend with the ink-blasting squids. More people need to play Hi-Fi Rush and this is the path to stardom it deserves.
2014’s Sunset Overdrive (developed by Insomniac Games) was proof positive that the Spyro and Ratchet & Clank veterans could craft a solid action game for the Xbox One. Ridiculous and irreverent, Sunset Overdrive tasked players with surviving the hordes of energy drink-soaked mutants that overran Sunset City. Tweaking the classic third-person shooter formula by emphasizing aerial shooting and tons of rail-grinding, Sunset Overdrive was a consistently funny and frenetic shooting experience.
It’s been ten years since Sunset Overdrive was released and it’s high time it made a comeback. A remaster for the PS5 and Switch would be just the way to recharge players excitement in returning to Sunset City, and with plenty of DLC content to tack on, as well, a Sunset Overdrive port would finally give the Xbox exclusive its due. You just might want to lay off the energy drinks for a bit after playing it, though.
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