The collection comes on two discs. The first Legacy collection has the first four games on it while the second Legacy Collection has the latter four. Ironically this also splits the series by its highest and lowest points. In Legacy Collection Vol. 1 players get to experience the first four Mega Man X games and these are all a treat. What separated Mega Man X from the classic series were the number of gameplay elements included. X has a wall jump that allows him to scale walls and in each game he can also find four different capsules that will enhance his legs, helmet, arm canon and armor. Each game of the original four slowly builds upon the foundation of the previous. In the first X game, for example, X gets boots that simply let him dash, but in the second game they allow him to dash in mid-air, while in the third game they allow him to dash upwards and fourth game they allow him to hover temporarily. Playing the original four games shows how dedicated they were to building up on new ideas throughout. And while X2 and X3 are great sequels, they don't quite have the same magic as the first one.
Mega Man X4 however, allows the player to fully play as Zero for the very first time, introducing a whole new experience to the entire design. Playing as Zero encourages players to think differently about how they play Mega Man X as he uses his Z-Sabre which means he needs to be more up close and personal with enemies. And in Mega Man X4 every stage is designed for X and Zero to be able to do collecting everything. The game favors no one hunter over the other, which is something that cannot be said once we move onto Legacy Collection 2.
Mega Man X5 is when the series begins a slight decline. Instead of building on what the first four games establish it tries for more things to add to the formula that feel more gimmicky than actually building upon a foundation. The next couple of games to follow do the same thing. In X5's case it's adding a countdown timer to increase the sense of urgency and a Sigma Virus that when infected enough will sap away your health (unless you're Zero then you recover health). If anything, Mega Man X5 is certainly the most plot heavy of all the Mega Man X games, but where as X4 went for a more balanced approach in Level Design, X5 tends to leave things to be desired. Mega Man X5 is the game which begins to introduce aspects that feel more trial and error than skill based. In particular getting all of the capsules for X is very different this time. While the addition to switch between X and Zero between stages is welcome that's about the only change to X5 that seemed to be great. The biggest and most annoying change are the capsules. X now has two armors he can use but in order to equip them the armor has to be complete first. So you can find the leg upgrade, but it means nothing without completing the armor. Mega Man X5 feels ambitious but it's also where the series begins to stumble.
And depending on who you ask, Mega Man X6 or X7 is the absolute worst. For me personally X7 is the lowest point, but this doesn't mean X6 is without problems. In fact X6 has the biggest issues of the side scrolling games. The level designs here are horrible. And much like Mega Man X5, a lot of the levels are designed more with X in mind than Zero. The gimmick in Mega Man X6 is that stages can change based on "nightmares." So one moment you enter and the stage might be normal but you could enter one stage and suddenly all the lighting goes out except for specific lighting that tends to move giving you brief glimpses of your situation. You might also get bugs that block your shot or big hulking metal blocks that suddenly come in your way. The bombardment of enemies doesn't help the situation. And it's worth special mention that Mega Man X6 is often known as the game rushed through development and it shows. The localization is absolutely awful and painful to read and this is one of the Mega Man games where there are spikes. Everywhere. It's easy to suffer cheap deaths in Mega Man X6, but even worse is that they bring back the capsule gimmick from X5. The sixth installment feels like a mess. It's even a steep drop from Mega Man X5.
And then there's Mega Man X7 which is probably the steepest drop of them all. Going into 3D for the first time the stages are painfully slow going and nothing seemed designed around the 3D in these stages. Many enemies you can just run around, but more than that there just isn't much going on in these stages. The seventh installment also introduced Axl who quickly annoyed fans in the initial 2003 release. Mega Man X7 is more boring than anything else. It's perfectly reasonable why some fans find X6 so blistering to the series, but X7 not only has poor level design and is boring, but it takes a while before the player actually gets to play as X. For the longest time you're using Axl and Zero and while they're fine in and of themselves it's strange that you have to rescue a certain number of repolids just to use X and by the time you can use him he'll be severely under powered. This was a problem in Mega Man X5 and X6 as well... that it was easy for your characters to become unbalanced and to quickly favor one over the other.
Yet the problems of Mega Man X6 and X7 are.. mostly washed away by the time we get to X8. X8 still does the capsule thing but now you can equip armor pieces without having to have the whole armor. You can play as X, Axl and Zero and send two into any level and tag team. The game is side scroller in 2.5D so no more awkward 3D stages where you can simply run around enemies. The growth system is now an item shop so that you don't get haphazard imbalances with characters. X8 was overall a fitting recovery for the series, although some of its level design still relies heavily on trial and error and an overuse of spikes for challenge. At the very least it's the point where the series begins looking up. Nevertheless a lot of what Mega Man X8 does would, ideally, be the place to take the series next. The story is more focused, the voice acting isn't even bad (it's still not great, but it's leagues above what came before) and Axl is a lot more improved that you're not going to hate him so much and he transitions very well to the 2D stylings.
Needless to say the first four games are better games overall and while the series loses steam in the middle it does regain quite a bit of ground by the time it's all over. While X6 and X7 are probably not really the best games in the series, they hardly take away from how good the other games in the series are. However, because of some of the design in these games there are some curious omissions to this collection that are worth addressing. In particular, the Legacy Collections for the classic series allowed players to have save states (or checkpoint saves in Legacy Collection 2) to ease some of the pain of playing through the classic installments. They were welcome. The X Legacy Collection doesn't do this. And for games like Mega Man X6 where difficulty is so imbalanced it would've definitely been helpful to have some kind of save state feature. Instead the games offer a rookie mode where you are almost invincible during your playthrough. This rookie mode is far more pronounced past X3 where from X4 and onward you can fall in pits without penalty and where stepping on spikes will do an enormous amount of damage rather than kill you instantly. It's great for newcomers, but doesn't always help with some of the problems faced with level design. Particularly level designed that hasn't aged well (such as the level design in X6).
While playing you can also change the aspect ratio to the original or have it stretched to fit wide screen displays (though the games look awful when stretched out). You can also filter the games to imitate older televisions or to let you have pixilation if you so choose. Personally the games actually looking really good when they're smoothed out. Mega Man X7 and X8 in particular actually look a whole lot better now than they did in the original releases on Playstation 2.
At the very least, though, both collections do include an extensive art gallery and you can listen to all kinds of music across all eight games. The art gallery is far more rewarding, however, because not only do you get to see a lot of behind the scenes stuff, but you also get some information on the story, characters and the like. And there is a lot of art to look at and by completing each game you can unlock a little more. There's also "The Day of Sigma," which was originally included in the remake of the first Mega Man X on PSP. This story serves as a prologue to the events of Mega Man X and it's an amazing short to watch. As far as bonus content is concerned, there's a bit here for you to look at.
Lastly there is the X-Challenge which puts you up against two Mavericks at the same time from any of the first six Mega Man X games. Each "stage" consists of three battles and prior to each stage you can select three weapons. You then go into battle and it's not over until both Mavericks are defeated. The idea of X-Challenge seems cool, but this is mostly something worth spending a small amount of time in. While it can be interesting to