It's no secret that the last few years haven't been kind to Microsoft. Whilst the big green behemoth used to perch atop the pile of last generation consoles, the Xbox One's infamously misjudged E3 announcement saw it slide to the bottom of the pack, almost overnight. Microsoft was left face down in the dirt, and although they've managed to somewhat pick themselves up, Xbox as a brand has never really dusted itself off.
Big releases in the form of Halo 5 and Gears Of War 4 didn't innovate enough to entertain hardcore franchise devotees, while more original titles such as Recore or Sunset Overdrive failed to make waves. Indeed, unlike the PS4 and especially the Nintendo Switch, this newest generation system simply hasn't been able to connect with fans.
Without a system seller, Microsoft finds itself in big trouble. The console race is rapidly slipping out of their grasp, though they may still have a few cards left to play.
With a number of great years behind them, Xbox's future may fare better if it were to spend a little time retracing some past steps.
9. Castle Crashers
2008 saw the release of numerous great games (Grand Theft Auto 4, Fallout 3 and Dead Space just to name a few). So how did an independent, side-scrolling beat em' up with jokes about farting deer manage to trump some of the best of that year?
Castle Crashers was simply a tremendous amount of fun to play. The combat was simple but crunchy, the world, eccentric and colourful, yet what shone most was the cheeky sense of humour that dev team The Behemoth had in spades. It was a world that felt lovably charming and wholly original, as Microsoft's dedication to smaller titles shone throughout its delightful campaign.
With other indie darlings like Cuphead dominating the marketplace as of late, maybe it's time to release Castle Crashers for a second outing. It boasts some of the best four player co-op of the last decade, as well as a lovable art style that would go down a treat with players. This sequel could be Xbox's chance to show they're supporting even the smallest franchises on their platform.