Many mech games, like Steel Battalion and its confusing-as-hell dashboard-sized controller, focus on what it would be like to actually pilot a mech. MechAssault, on the other hand, is an arcade-y shooter that happens to take place in a mech. It's exhilarating to run around, stomping on buildings and infantry while turning larger enemies into smoking metal chunks with homing rockets. Basically, it's a mech game without the faff.
Given that most people seemed to prefer Titanfall for its heavier half, I'd say there's a market for some knockabout fun in a walking tank, even if it's as the kind of free-to-play diversion that you find yourself coming back to in between longer stints on other games.
There was a time when Microsoft published a whole bunch of sports titles under its XSN (Xbox Sports Network) banner, but that day has long passed - probably because it was easier for them to promote EA and 2K's games without having to make their own. It's unfortunate, because many of Microsoft's first-party sports titles were actually really good - and their golf series Links was among the best.
It's a tricky time - The Golf Club sunk without a trace, and EA's own return to the PGA series is around the corner - but competition is always welcome. Bring a modern take on the royal and ancient game and you could be onto a winner.
Otogi and its sequel have a number of things going for them: For one, they were developed by the never-more-fashionable From Software (the creator of Dark Souls); they have exciting, well-tuned character-action gameplay (think Devil May Cry); and they have excellent, dark stories that fans appreciate for their incorporation of Japanese mythology.
There's been an uncharacteristic lack of new character-action games on Xbox One - let alone any stylish, fast-paced, Japanese (by which I mean "good") ones. A franchise like this - with an established style and devoted following - could potentially be a hit. Bring it to the table alongside Scalebound and Xbox One could become the place for Platinum-grade action material.
The second mech game on this list earns its place by having a very different focus from others of its kind. Phantom Crash is a mech game that's all about stealth. It's also a mech game about a sport. Your vehicle is both fragile and equipped with a handful of stealthy tools, like active camo, which lets you duck into a corner and stay out of sight while recharging your weapons.
But, this being a sport, your opponents have the same abilities, lending this a more tactical aspect. You're not outgunning them, you're outmaneuvering them. It fits into the more-or-less level playing fields of the MOBA revolution - not a bad place to be if you're looking for immediate success these days.
Quantum Redshift is effectively Microsoft's version of Wipeout: an insanely fast-paced, futuristic racer with anti-gravity "cars" that still looks suspiciously good for an original Xbox title. Its developers tried to spin it with a little bit of its own flavor, adding some humanity to proceedings with actual characters to get to know.
Considering neither Sony or Nintendo seem to have any particular interest in bringing their future-racers to their latest consoles, this is exactly the time to steal a march on them and release what fans are clamouring for.
Blast from the past
Those are the most obscure franchises that Microsoft definitely needs to dust off for next-gen upgrades. What would you like to see resurrected? Let me know in the comments!