games / Columns

The Top 8 Single Console Exclusive Games

February 13, 2024 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Lost Odyssey Image Credit: Microsoft Game Studios

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about games that sadly only exist on one console. No ports, or remasters or remakes, these are all games that are exclusive on a single platform, which makes going back to try and play some of them a real challenge. I’ll skip saying “Metal Gear Solid 4” because it goes without saying at this point. Let’s begin:

#8: Otogi 1 & 2

Both Otogi games are locked to the original Xbox and that is a bit of a shame. Both games are pretty great action-platformer games, in the guise of Ninja Gaiden, as you go through various levels, hacking and slashing away at demons. The real reason people might like to play the game now is that it was made by FromSoftware and given their larger prestige over the past few years, letting people playing some of their prior, but still great, work would be pretty nice.

#7: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Now, there have been a few Buffy games, but I’m primarily talking about the first original Xbox game. The sequel, Chaos Bleeds, was multiplatform but a lesser quality game. The original Buffy game was, at the time, a pretty standout title when it came to licensed property game. While it didn’t have Sarah Michelle Gellar voicing Buffy, all the rest of the cast voiced their respective characters and there was a lot of great gameplay in the title, having to whittle down vampires health then stake them with a wooden weapon to cause them to disintegrate. It was also a very focused game and just felt like another episode of the TV show, which is what you would want in a title like this.

#6: Jet Set Radio Future

Now, original Jet Set/Grind Radio has been ported to the Xbox 360, PC, Vita, even Android/iOS devices have it. JSRF? Xbox. That’s the only console it is on. It’s a bummer to, since while JSRF has a slightly weaker soundtrack than the original Jet Set Radio, it has vastly, VASTLY better gameplay. You have a second analog stick for camera control! What will they think of next? You can also use a few cans of spray paint to do a quick boost move, which is helpful, since getting up to speed can take some time. They also removed the spray controller input stuff, and just made everything a nice button press.

#5: Kenka Bancho Badass Rumble

Near as I can tell, there have been six “mainline” Kenka Bancho titles, about 5 or 6 spin-off titles and only one of them has ever come out in America, specifically Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble on the PSP, which is actually the third in the franchise. The actual game is a bit of a brawler RPG, where you go around the city trying to become the most bancho of banchos (strongest/toughest delinquent) by beating all the rest of them up. You start fights by doing a laser-eye stare down then insulting them to gain the first hit. Considering the huge fan base that Yakuza/Like a Dragon has these days, Kenka Bancho is a game series that deserves to be on new consoles, or at least port over the old games and translate them.

#4: Rival Schools/Project Justice

I’m putting both games on here because they suffer the same issue. Both games were arcade fighting games that got ported to their respective system, PS1 for Rival Schools, and Dreamcast for Project Justice and then just got left to languish there. Also, both games had severely reduced ports compared to the Japanese version, which I’m sure didn’t help sales either. Both games feature a really interesting story/characters, good battle systems, dynamic action and so on. Heck, Capcom even mentioned Rival Schools in their recent “What should we bring back?” survey from a week or two ago, so just putting both these games out in a collection would be appreciated. If Power Stone could at least get a PSP collection, why can’t Rival Schools at least get a port to modern consoles, or the PC?

#3: Tokyo Jungle

I’ll always champion Tokyo Jungle and the fact that it is locked to the aging, and somewhat failing, PS3 hardware is a travesty. This is a franchise that should be like Katamari Damacy and be on the current hardware with a fresh coat of paint. Tokyo Jungle has you either being an herbivore or a carnivore as you traverse a decaying Tokyo where humanity has been mysteriously displaced. The city itself is full of poisoned air, some time-displaced animals, and other animals that are bent on trying to take you down, since it’s largely a survival world out there. Sony published this game themselves, so a quick port would be obvious but they don’t seem to care.

#2: Lost Odyssey

Everyone wants Lost Odyssey on modern consoles, or even just a Steam release, and it still hasn’t come to pass. If Microsoft wanted to generate some good will, since they published the game, they would try to get it out there as much as possible. It was the second to last “real” JRPG that Sakaguchi made, right before The Last Story, and then he got exiled to making mobile games from which there is no escape. The battle system was fun, the skill linking was unique, and just the whole concept of the game is really special.

#1: Deathrow

Imagine a game of Rocket League where instead of cars that drive a bit squirrely, you were just a person that ran around the level, got the disc (ball) tried to shoot it into the goal, and also beat up the other team to prevent them from scoring. This is the crux of Deathrow and is still one of my favorite original Xbox games. There was challenging levels, so teamwork was a must to score, or like I said above, you can just tell your team to beat up the opposing team and you can actually win that way. If the other team gets so injured and if they don’t have reserve players they forfeit the match and you win by default. Ubisoft published this game, so now, they would likely try to make it some GaaS monstrosity, but if I could just get this game on a console that still had functional internet play, to team up with some friends, it would be such a good time.

For comments, list which games you wish were on other consoles and why.

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