Microsoft has a very hit or miss past with the PC platform. Some of their franchises never hit PC in the first place, while others released one or two titles on the platform and no more. With Microsoft’s newfound commitment to the PC platform and bringing all future exclusives to it, long running series are finally being released on the platform, but all the entries that came before them are still stuck on their original platforms or with outdated releases that no longer properly function. This will not be a long list, and will primarily focus on series that I enjoy and that have singleplayer campaigns, so this extremely short list will not be to everyone’s liking.
Available on PC: Yes, but only Gears of War 1, 4, and soon 5. Gears 2, 3, and Judgment are absent.
Way back in the early years of the Xbox 360 and the Windows Vista platform, Microsoft did attempt to port some of their titles to PC. Gears of War was one of their choices. The PC port of the original has largely been forgotten to time, but thankfully the remaster, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, updated the original release making it available once again. Thanks to Microsoft’s Play Anywhere initiative, Gears of War 4 launched on PC simultaneously with the Xbox One version and Gears 5 will soon follow suit. However, for those PC players who never owned an Xbox 360, two critical entries in the story are still missing as well as one side game. As an ongoing series, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to finally fill in that narrative gap for PC players.
Availability on PC: Yes, Fable: The Lost Chapters & Fable III, not counting spin-offs. Fable II is oddly absent.
Once upon a time, Fable was one of Microsoft’s tentpole franchises. The original Fable and its definitive edition came to both the original Xbox, Windows PC’s, and oddly Mac. The Anniversary remake of Fable: The Lost Chapters was also released on Windows in addition to Xbox 360. The sequel, Fable II, released exclusively on Xbox 360 and has never seen a PC release of any kind. The second sequel however, Fable III, did in fact get a PC release alongside the Xbox 360 version. This leaves an odd gap in the middle of the trilogy. Worse yet, Fable III’s release is tied to the Games for Windows Live service, and while you can get it working, that’s extra work that most would prefer not to have to deal with. With rumors, and hints from Phil Spencer himself, of a Fable 4/Fable reboot currently in development, like with Gears of War, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to re-port Fable III and finally bring Fable II to PC.
Availability on PC: Yes, Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 were both ported to PC after their respective releases on the original Xbox. However, starting with Halo 3, no more Halo games were released on PC until just a few years ago, but those weren’t mainline Halo titles. Almost all will soon be available once the Master Chief Collection has been ported to PC.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the Master Chief Collection was announced to be coming to PC and bringing with it the games that were never originally released on PC. But that’s also why it gets a mention here. Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Halo 4 were never originally released on PC. And on top of that, the original ports of Halo: Combat Evolved, and Halo 2 Vista, were ridiculously botched. Bringing the Master Chief Collection to PC ensures that these games will see the light of day on the platform, and the original two games are being fixed to bring them in line with the original Xbox releases. In addition to that, the Xbox One exclusive Halo 2 Anniversary is also being brought to PC since it was originally part of the collection and the whole reason for its existence in the first place. So that’s all well and good, and Halo 6 aka Halo Infinite is already confirmed for a release on PC. What has not yet been confirmed for PC, however, is Halo 5: Guardians. While it is largely considered one of the worse entries, it’s still a part of the overarching Halo story, and Halo Infinite does not retcon Halo 5's existence. So while players will get most of the Halo story thanks to the MCC, they’ll still be missing Halo 5, arguably the largest piece of the narrative puzzle going into Halo Infinite. It would be a smart idea to fully port Halo 5 to PC at some point, as a portion of the multiplayer already exists on PC.
And that’s it for my list. While I was a big Xbox gamer growing up, I was only ever interested in these three exclusive series. But now I wanna know, is there any Microsoft owned IP that you would like to see brought to PC in the future?