By Ockman 51 Comments
A few days ago I was browsing a used book store, and while I should be looking at the books available, they have a small video game section that I'm often drawn to. I was looking for some old school games to play on my PS2, and while I was there, I spotted a copy of Dark Alliance 2 for $15 on original Xbox. I was thinking, "man, I would love to have that game, and it's kinda hard to find a PS2 version" However, I didn't own an original Xbox anymore, so I went and looked at their used systems, and I saw they had an original Xbox for $22. I was surprised at the cheap price honestly, and I really felt like I could justify it the price with the game. While I was picking up the Xbox, I grabbed the Dark Alliance 2 and a copy of Guilty Gear X2 Reload which they had for $5 as well.
Since then I have been going to many stores that sell retro video games and been browsing the Xbox section, picking up multiple titles for the system on the cheap. I feel kinda bad that I did actually end up spending close to $200, but considering all the titles I got for it, I feel happy knowing I have a lot of great game time ahead of me.
During my search for old Xbox games, I was just really starting to notice and realize recently how little love the original Xbox gets. Not only from Microsoft, who seem to keep trying to ignore it ever existed by calling their latest system Xbox One when this system was always the Xbox 1 to me. However, it seems like a lot of gamers have either forgotten, or don't care how awesome this system really was.
I admit, I kinda forgot myself until I recently picked up another Xbox again for real cheap, but a part of me always remembered how much fun I had with the system. Looking at these retro game stores recently, and seeing all the titles for the original Xbox, it's flooding back to me just how great the system was. It was like the successor to the Dreamcast for me, because a lot of obscure games that I would have gotten on Dreamcast, ended up showing up on the original Xbox. Microsoft took a lot of chances with developers, especially Japanese developers back in this era, and I actually think it is still the best system they ever put out. The games that were cross gen at the time were a significant step ahead from their previous generation counterparts, and the new games for the platform were impressive from the very start. Something I feel like this current gen of consoles has yet to do for me.
Unlike the Xbox 360, who's identity got lost thanks becoming a Netflix box, or way to push Kinect, the original Xbox was all about the games. It had beefy hardware for the time came out, and because of that I think some of the games on the system still look great today. Microsoft actively pursued relations with developers to get games on their system. They knew they had to because they were the new kid on the block with their hardware, but this was healthy for the industry, and great for the gamers.
What I find disappointing, is how it doesn't seem to go appreciated by many gamers even today. I've been going on youtube trying to find game reviews or footage of some classic Xbox games, but there is little to nothing out there by gamers. Even here on Giantbomb, there have been little to no old Xbox games played on streams (with the exception of that unarchived stream that Ryan and Dave did when Xbox Live shut down) On youtube though, you'll find some old reviews by gamespot for some, and a very few by CGR, but no one is even reviewing Xbox games, when classic game reviews is a pretty hot thing to do these days.
You can also usually tell how serious a fanbase based on prices for old games, and what the demand is, but I find that a lot of old Xbox games don't even approach the high prices that some other classic systems have. I admit that's a weird thing to complain about, I love having cheap price games to pick up now that I'm starting to collect Xbox games, but it's weird to see so many great games for so cheap. The same games will sometimes go for higher on PS2, or Gamecube, when the original Xbox often had the superior version of multi-platform games.
Maybe this is just the down period in which people are forgetting about the Xbox, and it'll have a resurgence in the coming years, I can never predict that stuff well. It just seems that that generation of consoles has already seen a steady increase in value for certain games on PS2 and Gamecube. Many games I would like to still own on the Gamecube have gotten too expensive to justify a purchase for, and some rare games on PS2 are steadily going up. I just felt like discussing this topic, because I have always felt like this system was great since it came out. It shouldn't be forgotten, and be remembered for the great platform it was.