The next generation of video games is now upon us with the release of the Xbox Series X and Series S. But even if you are still playing on your […]
The next generation of video games is now upon us with the release of the Xbox Series X and Series S. But even if you are still playing on your Xbox One console, there are still things to be excited about, as EA Play has now been incorporated into Xbox Game Pass. This opens Game Pass members to nearly 100 games from the Xbox One generation to all the way back on the original Xbox.
Now, if you’ve been paying attention to gaming conversations of the last few years, including the ones we have on this site, then you know the classic EA titles you should definitely be checking out. But here, I don’t wanna be the 254th person to recommend Burnout Paradise, the 468th person to recommend Dead Space, the 69th person to recommend Titanfall 2, or the 985th person to recommend Mass Effect 2.
Here, I wanna shed a light on some titles, both new and old, that you might have forgotten from the neglected corners of the Electronic Arts catalog. And after that, why not bring up a few EA titles that are not a part of this service, and discuss why they are still worth adding to the service in the future. So, without further ado, let’s get to the first game!
5. Dante’s Inferno
I played this game years ago, but it’s existence still feels like an esoteric SNL skit. A hack-n-slash action title with heavy influence from God of War that is based on the Divine Comedy? It sounds absurd, even blasphemous if you’re a fan of the source material. But the game manages to be fun in its own right, even if it doesn’t do the original text justice much at all.
At the time, it was one of few titles that prioritized a 60 FPS framerate, and because of that, the game still feels smooth to play to this day. Combat, while certainly derivative of its contemporaries, manages to be a bit unique with the choice to absolve or punish enemies for different kinds of XP. And you can use this XP to upgrade different abilities to give yourself a stronger and more diverse move-set. Sometimes, you don’t want a deep story and original mechanics, you just want something instantly satisfying to play and pretty to look at. And if you turn your brain off to some of its sillier aspects, Dante’s Inferno can be that game for you.
Hey, remember Criterion? Before they were assigned to Star Wars DLC and Need for Speed support, they actually made some consistently great action games. Well, despite being known for their racing titles, they did actually dabble in first-person shooting with the only original Xbox title on this list, Black.
Despite my love for Burnout, I didn’t even get to play it back when it first released. Thanks to Xbox’s impressive backwords compatibility efforts, I was able to play it on Xbox One X and it hasn’t aged much at all. Outside of enhancements through the new hardware, the shower of effects when shooting up environments cover the screen in an impressive amount of debris. And thanks to great sound design and animations, guns feel powerful to shoot over its many levels. Now, it definitely doesn’t have much of a story to write home about, but damn, if it isn’t satisfying to play. So, yea, I’d say you should play it, too.
3. Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
Between Apex Legends, a new Call of Duty every year, and new favorites like Rogue Company, there is no shortage of online shooters to try out right now. But even if I don’t play them as much as I should, the Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare titles always have a soft spot in my heart. The ways in which Pop Cap transformed the characters, mechanics, and aesthetics of a casual strategy game into the 3rd person shooter that is Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville never ceases to amaze me.
All of the different classes of plant and zombie from the main game show up here and they all harbor unique playstyles. This alongside numerous cooperative and competitive modes, means the game is accessible, even if you are new to shooters. And good God, the vibrancy of this game makes it stand out from nearly every other game in the genre. Even if you don’t play online shooters, or even if already have dozens of hours in another title, you should give PvZ: Battle for Neighborville a try, because it truly is a delight.
With the recent release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, many have rediscovered their love for the action sports genre. But skateboarding games didn’t rule the gaming throne alone back in the 2000s. Wakeboarding, motocross, and snowboarding all were just as popular, and in the case of the latter, SSX was the one to beat. But it made it’s come back much earlier than 2020, and this 2013 reboot is damn solid.
The over-the-top tone and vibe of SSX Tricky has been shaved down somewhat here, with much of the more ridiculous moves being harder to pull off and the menus feeling more sterile. But the gameplay is still rock solid as it’s ever been, and gliding down mountains and doing dozens of flips and grinds on the way down is still a uniquely fun time. If you’re itching for a more arcadey snowboarding experience and something like Steep isn’t quite doing it, then maybe SSX is worth checking out.
1. Battlefield 1943
Fun Fact: Battlefield 1943 is one of my favorite multiplayer games of the PS3/360 generation. Yes, it’s a much smaller scale title, and it lacks loads of weapons and unlocks of its bigger brothers. But none of that mattered to me back then, because the purity of the multiplayer combat in this game was good enough to stand alone.
If you played a Battlefield game before, then you know what you are getting here: large scare warfare with multiple vehicles to pilot and miles of land to traverse. But what makes 1943 special is how it feels both old and new at the same time. It is a remake of the original Battlefield 1942, but it was remade in the Bad Company engine. This meant the fairly simple battlefield design of 2002 is modernized with destructible buildings and structures. Plus, since this is more transparently an arcade game, time to kill is way more forgiving. So, if you manage to find anyone on the servers, Battlefield 1943 is certainly worth a few matches worth of your time.