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June 13, 2017

How Xbox One backward compatibility works: The Xbox 360 and Xbox games list and more

by John_A

For a considerable while now, you have been able to play Xbox 360 games on an Xbox One or Xbox One S (reviewed here). Not all of your old library of games are playable, but there are several hundred titles now available. And Xbox is adding to this list regularly as new titles are checked and cleared for release.

Now it has announced that it will be bringing original, classic first-gen Xbox games to the platform too. And the service will be available on the new, 4K-capable Xbox One X after its launch in November.

But do you have to do anything different to get it to work? Exactly how will Xbox 360 and/or Xbox games play on an Xbox One? And can you buy Xbox backward compatible games on an Xbox One? Here’s our handy guide to the feature.

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How does Xbox One backward compatibility work?

Microsoft first announced that it would be adding backward compatibility to its current generation console during E3 2015, and the initial wave of 104 games arrived in November that year.

The Xbox One is able to play Xbox 360 games through emulation software that makes the console think it’s a last generation machine for the purposes of playing older games. Compatibility with original Xbox games will soon be added to the emulator too.

When a supported game is started on the machine, the Xbox One opens the emulator and, in all regards, the game works as if it was running on an Xbox 360 or original Xbox console. The opening screen appears first then the game will load.

All other aspects and features that would normally be available on an Xbox 360 or Xbox are available on the Xbox One too, including the hub on the former (which can be opened through a simultaneous press of the menu and view buttons on the Xbox One controller). In addition, all new features of the Xbox One work, including the ability to take screen grabs and record and share video of gameplay.

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Does Xbox One backward compatibility cost me anything?

Although Sony opted for a paid route to play PS3 games on a PS4, through the PlayStation Now cloud gaming platform, Microsoft decided to offer its backward compatibility for free as part of the November update at the end of 2015.

If you own a supported game already, you do not have to pay anything to play it on Xbox One.

Obviously, it costs to purchase new Xbox 360 or Xbox games that work on the machine.

Many of the games with backward compatibility are also available as part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription. For £7.99 a month, you get access to more than 100 games to download and play on your console, made up of a mix of classic Xbox 360 games and Xbox One titles. Hopefully, original Xbox games will be part of the mix when they launch later this year.

  • Xbox Game Pass: Release date, price and all the games you can play

Does Xbox One backward compatibility work with Xbox games I bought through Xbox Live?

Xbox One backward compatibility works with digital content as well as disc games. In fact, if you enter a supported disc into your Xbox One, the machine will download the game from Xbox Live first – although you will need the disc to be in the machine each time you play.

If you own a digital copy of a supported game it appears in your games list ready for download. Check your Games and Apps hub to see if any are listed among the games yet to be installed.

Can I buy Xbox 360 and Xbox games on my Xbox One?

Since the March 2016 update compatible Xbox 360 games have been listed for purchase on the Xbox One game store. If you are an Xbox Live Gold member, you now also see free Xbox 360 games to download each month alongside Xbox One titles as part of the Games for Gold scheme.

That means you get two free Xbox One games and two free Xbox One games a month.

Prices for the Xbox 360 games on the online store vary, but start at around £3.

Original Xbox games will be added in the coming months. One of those announced is Crimson Skies.

Can I carry on with my previous Xbox 360 game saves on Xbox One?

If you originally set your Xbox 360 to save games to the cloud you will be able to download the save files to the Xbox One version and carry on. The cloud files are permanently associated with your gamertag so the Xbox One should do this automatically.

If you only saved your in-game progress locally, to the hard drive, you will need to restart your Xbox 360 and save them to the cloud instead. If you no longer have your Xbox 360, sadly you won’t be able to access the files.

Considering the first-gen Xbox didn’t save games to the cloud in the same way, it is unlikely you’ll be able to carry on with old save games.

What games are available with Xbox One backward compatibility?

There are now more than 300 Xbox 360 titles available as part of the backward compatibility scheme.

The company’s plan is to eventually support every game it feasibly can bar a few that cannot be made compatible due to requiring additional accessories to run. These include games like the original Guitar Hero and Rock Band series, plus any that worked with the original Kinect. Even if you have the Xbox One Kinect, it will not be compatible with previous Xbox 360 Kinect games.

Xbox games will be added later this year and we’ll update this list when they they are available.

Here’s a full list of the Xbox 360 games that are currently available with backward compatibility for Xbox One (as of 7 June 2017):

  • 3D Ultra Minigolf
  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • Aegis Wing
  • Age of Booty
  • Alan Wake
  • Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
  • Alaskan Adventures
  • Alice: Madness Returns
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Altered Beast
  • Anomaly Warzone Earth
  • Aqua
  • Arkanoid Live!
  • Army of Two
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations
  • Assault Heroes 2
  • Asteroids & Deluxe
  • Astropop
  • Babel Rising
  • Band of Bugs
  • Banjo Kazooie
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Battlefield 3
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Battlestations: Midway
  • Bayonetta
  • Beat’n Groovy
  • Bejeweled 2
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Bellator: MMA Onslaught
  • Beyond Good & Evil HD
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
  • Bioshock
  • Bioshock 2
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Blood Knights
  • Blood of the Werewolf
  • Bloodforge
  • BloodRayne: Betrayal
  • Blue Dragon
  • Bomberman Battlefest
  • Boom Boom Rocket
  • Borderlands
  • Borderlands 2
  • Bound by Flame
  • Braid
  • Brain Challenge
  • Bullet Soul
  • Bullet Soul -Infinite Burst-
  • Bully Scholarship Edition
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
  • Cabela’s Hunting Expeditions
  • Cabela’s Survival: SoK
  • Call of Duty 2
  • Call of Duty 3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • Call of Duty: World at War
  • Call of Juarez Gunslinger
  • Capcom Arcade Cabinet
  • Carcassonne
  • Cars 2: The Video Game
  • Castle Crashers
  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • CastleStorm
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Catherine
  • Centipede & Millipede
  • Clannad
  • Comic Jumper
  • Comix Zone
  • Commanders: Attack
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins
  • Contra
  • Counter-Strike: Go
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Crystal Defenders
  • Dark Souls
  • Dark Void
  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders II
  • Daytona USA
  • De Blob 2
  • Dead Rising 2: Case West
  • Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
  • Dead Space
  • Dead Space 2
  • Dead Space 3
  • Dead Space Ignition
  • Deadliest Warrior: Legends
  • Deathspank T.O.V.
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut
  • Dig Dug
  • DiRT 3
  • DiRT Showdown
  • Discs of Tron
  • Domino Master
  • Doom
  • Doom II
  • Doom 3: BFG Edition
  • Doritos Crash Course
  • Double Dragon: Neon
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Duck Tales: Remastered
  • Dungeon Siege III
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara
  • E4
  • Earthworm Jim HD
  • Eat Lead
  • EnclevermentExperiment
  • Escape Dead Island
  • Fable II
  • Fable III
  • Faery: Legends of Avalon
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
  • Feeding Frenzy
  • Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown
  • Final Fight: Double Impact
  • Flashback
  • Flock!
  • Forza Horizon
  • Foul Play
  • Fret Nice
  • Frogger
  • Frogger 2
  • FunTown Mahjong
  • Galaga
  • Galaga Legions
  • Galaga Legions DX
  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  • Gatling Gears
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears of War: Judgment
  • Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved
  • Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
  • Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
  • Ghostbusters
  • Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
  • Gin Rummy
  • Go! Go! Break Steady
  • Golden Axe
  • Golf: Tee it Up!
  • Grand Theft Auto IV + Episodes from Liberty City
  • Grid 2
  • Gripshift
  • Guardian Heroes
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Gyromancer
  • Half-Minute Hero -Super Mega Neo Climax-
  • Halo: Reach
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Halo Wars
  • Hard Corps: Uprising
  • Hardwood Backgammon
  • Hardwood Hearts
  • Hardwood Spades
  • Harms Way
  • Haunted House
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Hexic 2
  • Hexic HD
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Hydro Thunder
  • I Am Alive
  • Ikaruga
  • ilomilo
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
  • Interpol
  • Iron Brigade
  • Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad
  • Jet Set Radio
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Joe Danger 2: The Movie
  • Joe Danger Special Edition
  • Joust
  • Joy Ride Turbo
  • Juju
  • Jurassic Park: The Game
  • Just Cause 2
  • Kameo: Elements of Power
  • Kane & Lynch 2
  • Killer is Dead
  • Lazy Raiders
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Lego Batman
  • Lego Indiana Jones
  • Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
  • Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Limbo
  • Lode Runner
  • Lost Odyssey
  • Lumines Live!
  • Luxor 2
  • Mad Tracks
  • Madballs Babo: Invasion
  • Magic 2012
  • Mars: War Logs
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Matt Hazard: BBB
  • Medal of Honor Airborne
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • Mega Man 9
  • Mega Man 10
  • Metal Slug 3
  • Metal Slug XX
  • Midway Arcade Origins
  • Might & Magic Clash of Heroes
  • Military Madness
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Missile Command
  • Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine
  • Monday Night Combat
  • Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
  • Monopoly PlusMoon Diver
  • Motocross Madness
  • Mr Driller Online
  • Ms Pac-Man
  • Ms. Splosion Man
  • Mutant Blobs Attack!!!
  • Mutant Storm Empire
  • MX vs. ATV Reflex
  • N+
  • NBA Jam: On Fire Edition
  • NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
  • New Rally-X
  • Nights into Dreams…
  • Nin2-Jump
  • Of Orcs and Men
  • OFP: Red River
  • Omega Five
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Outland
  • Pac-Man
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+
  • Pac-Man Museum
  • Peggle
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds
  • Pinball FX
  • Planets Under Attack
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Poker Smash
  • Portal 2
  • Portal: Still Alive
  • Prince of Persia
  • Pure
  • Putty Squad
  • Puzzle Quest
  • Puzzle Quest 2
  • Puzzle Quest Galactrix
  • Puzzlegeddon
  • Qix++
  • R-Type Dimensions
  • Rage
  • Raskulls
  • Rayman 3 HD
  • Rayman Legends
  • Rayman Origins
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Red Faction: Battlegrounds
  • RoboBlitz
  • Rocket Knight
  • Runner2
  • Sacred 3
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Saints Row IV
  • Sam & Max Save the World
  • Sam & Max Beyond Time & Space
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Scarygirl
  • Scrap Metal
  • Sega Bass Fishing
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
  • Shadow Assault/Tenchu
  • Shadow Complex
  • Shadowrun
  • Shadows of the Damned
  • Shank 2
  • Shinobi
  • Shotest Shogi
  • Shred Nebula
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
  • Silent Hill: Downpour
  • Skate 3
  • Skydive
  • Skullgirls
  • Small Arms
  • Soltrio Solitaire
  • Sonic 4 Episode II
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Sonic & Knuckles
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic The Fighters
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 3
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I
  • Soulcalibur
  • Soulcalibur II HD
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Space Ark
  • Space Giraffe
  • Space Invaders Infinity Gene
  • Spelunky
  • Splosion Man
  • SSX
  • Stacking
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  • Steins; Gate Hiroin’s Love of Love
  • Steins; Gate Linear Restraint Fenogram
  • Steins; Gate (original version)
  • Strania
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Stuntman: Ignition
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Supreme Commander 2
  • Syberia
  • Tekken 6
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Texas Hold ‘Em
  • The Cave
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
  • The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match
  • The Maw
  • The Orange Box
  • The Splatters
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  • Ticket to Ride
  • TimeShift
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
  • Torchlight
  • Tour de France 2009
  • Tour de France 2011
  • Tower Bloxx Deluxe
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Trials HD
  • Triggerheart Exelica
  • Trine 2
  • Tron: Evolution
  • Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
  • Unbound Saga
  • Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Word Puzzle
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • XCOM: Enemy Within
  • Zuma
  • Zuma’s Revenge
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