- Microsoft took a chance with the original Xbox, which wasn’t as successful as the PS2 but still had a hit.
A few Xbox exclusives eventually came to other consoles, like
The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
The Last Remnant.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
were originally Xbox exclusives but eventually were released on other platforms.
It has to be nerve-wracking for companies to jump into the console market or gaming market in general. For every successful console like the PlayStation, there is a dud like the Ouya. In 2001, Microsoft took a chance and released the original Xbox, which didn’t do as well as the PS2, but it was still a hit.
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This led Microsoft to produce three successors in the console market which were filled with exclusives. A lot of these individual games and franchises remain console-exclusive, like Halo, but a lot of them eventually came to other consoles too. Let’s take a look at some old and recent exclusives that were eventually released on PlayStation hardware.
Highest Metacritic Score: 94
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, like the previous entry, was an Xbox exclusive. It was released on the Xbox 360 in 2006, along with the PC, and PS3 owners couldn’t play it until 2007. After this, Bethesda RPGs would launch simultaneously across multiple platforms such as Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim.
Getting back to The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, though, it played like all entries before it as it was an action-based first-person RPG set in an open-world. It may not be as famous as The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim as it never received as many ports, but it’s still a fun RPG to go back to when that nostalgia itch strikes.
6 Enchanted Arms
Highest Metacritic Score: 69
- August 29, 2006
Enchanted Arms was an RPG developed by FromSoftware, and no, it was not action-based. This was before they solely started making Soulslike games, as this one was a bit more accessible, although it had plenty of grinding as well. It was released for the Xbox 360 in 2006, and then it hit the PS3 in 2007.
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The game feels like a hodgepodge of other RPGs crammed into a single game that somewhat resenbles Final Fantasy 8, because of the school setting, and the Tales of games, because of the goofy anime influences. Battles were turn-based, but characters could move around a grid and their attacks would hit a certain part of that grid.
5 The Last Remnant
Highest Metacritic Score: 70
The Last Remnant
- November 20, 2008
- Square Enix
The Last Remnant had one of the longest exclusivity runs for the Xbox family. It was released in 2008 for the Xbox 360, and then it got a PC port in 2009. This Square Enix game would not land on another console until it was remastered for the PS4 in 2018, and then that version went to the Switch in 2019 which is where its story ends.
The review scores weren’t amazing in 2008 due to the high learning curve and the abundance of glitches. The remaster helped a lot though, and eased up on the curve, which is great, because there was always an interesting RPG beneath those early bugs.
Highest Metacritic Score: 65
Metal Wolf Chaos
- December 22, 2004
Metal Wolf Chaos is another game that took a while to get off Xbox hardware, but it also took a while to come to North America in the first place. It was released in Japan for the original Xbox in 2004 which is odd considering the entire story was in English. Eventually, it got remastered for PS4, Xbox One, and PC under the new title, Metal Wolf Chaos XD.
It was developed by FromSoftware who were well versed in mech games thanks to their Armored Core series. The story was a wild one, as it saw the President of the United States fight against the Vice President who overthrew his office. The kicker is that he controls a giant robot which, again, is such a weird but fun concept that is cheesy beyond all reason.
3 Ninja Gaiden (2004)
Highest Metacritic Score: 94
Ninja Gaiden Black
- September 20, 2005
Microsoft scooped up this brand, which was associated with Nintendo for the longest time thanks to the NES trilogy. This reboot began in 2004 under the simple title of Ninja Gaiden and it was an exclusive for the original Xbox. It got a PS3 enhanced version in 2007 called Ninja Gaiden Sigma which is wild because it didn’t come to the Xbox 360 first.
Like the NES games, all versions of the original title gained a reputation for being a brutal action game. Even the lowliest of enemies put up a fight, and it was easy to die if players didn’t master the mechanics fast.
2 Stubbs The Zombie In Rebel Without A Pulse
Highest Metacritic Score: 75
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse is undoubtedly a zombie game, but one that put humor above all other things. It was a late release for the original Xbox in 2005, which was the same year as the Xbox 360’s launch. Beyond a smattering of good to fair reviews, it kind of got forgotten quickly.
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Someone within the development or publisher team remembered it enough to help get it a remaster though in 2021. This version hit PlayStation hardware along with the Switch and received about the same response from critics, which was not terrible.
1 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
Highest Metacritic Score: 93
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell had a short time on the original Xbox before Ubisoft decided to milk it across PlayStation and Nintendo hardware too. It was released in 2002 originally, and then it hit the PS2 and GameCube in 2003. Xbox would sort of have exclusivity with sequels moving forward, but it was complicated.
For example, the next game, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, was released in March 2004 for the original Xbox and Game Boy Advance of all platforms before hitting the PS2 and GameCube that summer. Another curious tidbit about this series is that the first two games were rated T for Teen, and it wasn’t until Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory that the series would go full M-rated.
- Original Release Date
- November 15, 2001
- Original MSRP (USD)
- $299, £299, €479