Home / Opinions / Xbox One Backwards Compatibility List: All the Xbox 360 games you can play on Xbox One

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility – All the Xbox 360 games you can play on Xbox One

by

Xbox One backwards compatibility

Xbox One backwards compatibility – How to play Xbox 360 games on Xbox One

Backwards compatibility is an incredibly popular feature on Microsoft's console, with a growing list of titles well worth checking out. The Xbox 360 had a wonderful library of games, and it's awesome to see them running our our shiny new Xbox Ones.

Phil Spencer recently tweeted that Xbox One now supports over 300 Xbox 360 games, with nearly 50 percent of users taking advantage of the feature.

Playing Xbox 360 titles on Xbox One is free and simple All you need to do is insert a Xbox 360 disc into your system or download it directly from the online marketplace. Much like Xbox One games, everything is installed straight to your hard drive, so make sure you've got enough space.

Related: Xbox Scorpio latest news

All of the digital downloads linked to your account will be available straight away, so long as the game is supported by Microsoft. Your achievements, cloud saves and whatnot also carry over.

If you're an Xbox Live Gold member, many of the games found in Microsoft's Games with Gold service are backwards compatible, giving you a handful of new games to play around with each and every month.

Buy Now: Xbox One at Amazon.com from $252

It’s interesting to note that the PS4 is still not backwards compatible, with Sony instead throwing its eggs into the Playstation Now service basket. This lets you rent PS3 titles and stream them to your PS4 along with select Sony Bravia Smart TVs and Sony Blu-ray players. But, this comes at a cost. Two-day rentals on PlayStation Now start at £2.99, with the majority of high-profile titles actually costing a steep £4.99 to rent for two-days going up to £7.99 for a 30-day rental period.

See also: PS4 backwards compatibility - Can I play PS3 games on my PS4?

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility

Xbox One backwards compatibility – How does it work?

“One of the features that we’ve had a lot of requests for — and very vocals requests for — is the ability to run Xbox 360 apps on Xbox One, which is quite difficult to do,” explained Microsoft’s Product Evangelist for Windows 10, Ian Moulster. “It is easy to conceptualise, but actually quite difficult to achieve.”

To turn the Xbox One into a backwards compatible machine, Microsoft has built an Xbox 360 emulator that will run on the new console. This basically means that Microsoft has essentially built an Xbox 360 in software, which then runs within the Xbox One. This emulator does all the same things as the Xbox 360, but it just sits inside the newer console.

The emulator springs into life when you insert a compatible Xbox 360 disc and lets you download and install the title right to your HDD. You’ll notice that any Xbox 360 game you have installed on your Xbox One will be shown with an Xbox 360 logo strip down the left hand side, so you can quickly distinguish between your old and new games at a glance.

As you had to with the Xbox 360, you’ll need to keep the game disc in the tray while you play, but you won’t need to be connected to the internet unless you want to access any of the game’s online components.

We’ve tried it with Mass Effect and all you need to do is insert the disc and wait for it to boot up. Then you’re ready to play.

See also: PS4 Pro vs PS4: Which is better?

Xbox One

If you’ve previously purchased any compatible Xbox 360 titles from the Store, these will automatically show up in the right-hand panel of your “My Games” section of your Xbox One, where it lists games that are “Ready to Install”.

You can then pick and choose which games out of your Xbox 360 collection you wish to install on your Xbox One — after all you might not have space for all of them.

We tried out Super Meat Boy in this way, and again, all you need to do is download it and you’re off.

What’s great about the Xbox One backwards compatibility service is that even though it’s running your Xbox 360 games within an emulator, you can still take advantage of the Xbox One features while you play. That includes Game DVR, the ability to snap an application to your game and broadcast your gameplay.

Well, we say that, but the recent announcement that Borderlands is one of the games coming to the Xbox One backwards compatibility service was surrounded by some concern.

While we were certainly delighted we could play our old Borderlands game on the Xbox One, it quickly came to light that the game's backwards compatibility is limited. You can't utilise all the Xbox One features when you play Borderlands it seems, with screenshots and gameplay capture inaccessible.

"This is expected. Unfortunately, recording/screenshots are turned off for Borderlands," explained a Microsoft representative.

When pressed for more details, Microsoft said that this was down to a "licensing" issue.

This could well be an issue that you'll find with future Xbox One backwards compatible titles, but it's defintiely something we can put up with for the ease of use with the upcoming service.

Backwards Compatibility and multi-disc games

Xbox's Major Nelson recently confirmed in a Reddit post that Xbox One's backwards compatibility now works for games with multiple discs.

"I can confirm that the BC [backwards compatibility] team has done work to support multi disc scenarios. Be sure to thank the BC engineers," Major Nelson wrote.

So now it seems the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to backwards compatibility on Xbox One. For those looking for a bit of nostalgia amongst all their new and shiny gaming goodness, we could be seeing plenty more available.

Xbox One

Xbox One backwards compatibility – How much does it cost?

Unlike Playstation’s Now streaming service, which charges for all games even if you previously owned them, this Xbox 360 emulation on Xbox One will be completely free for all supported games. That’s definitely a nice touch.

“It is free. You don’t have to pay for the emulator. You don’t have to pay again for the games or anything. They’re your games. It just works,” added Moulster.

See also: Upcoming Xbox One Games 2017

Xbox One solo bundle

Xbox One backwards compatibility – When’s it coming?

Xbox One backwards compatibility is available now for all users.

Buy Now: Xbox One at Amazon.com from $252

Xbox One backwards compatibility – What games are supported?

Xbox One currently has over 200 games supported via backwards compatibility. We've provided the full list of them below, or you can head to Xbox.com/BackCompat to keep abreast of any additions Microsoft makes.

Here's the list so far:

A Kingdom for Keflings

A World of Keflings

Age of Booty

Alan Wake

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

Alice: Madness Returns

Alien Hominid HD

Altered Beast

Anomaly Warzone Earth

Aqua

ARKANOID Live!

Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's Creed II

Assassin's Creed Rogue

Asteroids & Deluxe

Astropop

Babel Rising

Banjo Kazooie

Banjo Kazooie: N n B

Banjo Tooie

BattleBlock Theater

Battlefield 3™

Battlefield: Bad Co. 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™

Bully: Scholarship Ed

Burnout Paradise

Call of Duty® 2

Call of Duty® 3

Call of Duty®: Black Ops

Call of Duty®: World at War

Call of Juarez® Gunslinger

CAPCOM ARCADE CABINET

Carcassonne

Castle Crashers

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Castlestorm

Castlevania: SOTN

Catherine

Centipede & Millipede

Comic Jumper

Comix Zone

Condemned

Counter-Strike: GO

Crazy Taxi

CRYSTAL DEFENDERS™

Crystal Quest

Dark Souls

Dark Void

de Blob 2

Dead Space

Dead Space™ Ignition

Deadliest Warrior: Legends

Deathspank T.O.V.

Defense Grid

DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION

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

Duke Nukem Manhattan Project

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

Dungeon Siege III

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® Blood Dragon

Feeding Frenzy

Feeding Frenzy 2

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 WOLV

Gatling Gears

Gears of War

Gears of War 2

Gears of War 3

Gears of War: Judgment

Geometry Wars Evolved

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime

Golden Axe

Go! Go! Break Steady

Grid 2

Gripshift

Guardian Heroes (TM)

Gunstar Heroes

Guwange

Gyromancer

HALF-MINUTE HERO -Super Mega Neo-

Halo: Reach

Halo: Spartan Assault

Halo Wars

Hardwood Backgammon

Hardwood Hearts

Hardwood Spades

Haunted House

Heavy Weapon

Hexic 2

Hexic HD

Hitman Absolution

Hydro Thunder

I am Alive™

Ikaruga

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Interpol

Iron Brigade

Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad

Jet Set Radio

Jetpac Refuelled

Joe Danger Special Edition

Joe Danger 2: The Movie

Joust

Joy Ride Turbo

Just Cause 2

Kameo

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

King of Fighters 2002

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: TCS

Limbo

Lode Runner

LUMINES LIVE!

Magic 2012

Mars: War Logs

Mass Effect

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 3

Medal of Honor: Airborne

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

Moon Diver

Monday Night Combat

Monkey Island: SE

Monkey Island 2: SE

MONOPOLY PLUS

Motocross Madness

Mr. DRILLER Online

Ms. Splosion Man

MS.PAC-MAN

Mutant Blobs Attack

Mutant Storm Empire

MX vs. ATV Reflex

N+

NEOGEO BATTLE COLISEUM

NBA JAM: On Fire Edition

NEW RALLY-X

NiGHTS into dream…

NIN2-Jump

Oblivion

OF: Dragon Rising

Omega Five

Operation Flashpoint: Red River

Of Orcs and Men

Outland

Pac-Man

Pac-Man C.E

PAC-MAN CE 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

Portal 2

Portal: Still Alive

Prince of Persia

Pure

Putty Squad

Puzzlegeddon

Puzzle Quest

Puzzle Quest 2

Puzzle Quest Galactrix

QIX ++

Rage

Rainbow Six® Vegas

Rainbow Six® Vegas 2

Raskulls

Rayman 3 HD

Rayman® Legends

Rayman® Origins

Red Dead Redemption

Red Faction: Battlegrounds

R-Type Dimensions

Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Sacred 3

Sacred Citadel

Saints Row IV

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space

Sam & Max Save the World

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

Shadowrun

Shadow Complex

Shadows of the Damned

Shank™ 2

Shotest Shogi

Shred Nebula

Silent Hill: Downpour

Skate 3

Skullgirls

Skydive

Small Arms

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

Sonic The Hedgehog™ 4 Episode II

SOULCALIBUR

SoulCalibur II HD

South Park™: The Stick of Truth™

Space Ark

Space Giraffe

Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Spelunky

Splosion Man

SSX

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Strania

Super Meat Boy

Supreme Commander 2

Syberia

The Splatters™

TEKKEN 6

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Texas Hold’em

The Cave

The King of Fighters 98

The Maw

The Orange Box

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Ticket to Ride

Torchlight

Tour de France 2009

Tour de France

Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers Cold War

Trials HD

Toy Story 3

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!

No doubt those numbers will continue to grow as developers and Microsoft work together to get the entire Xbox 360 catalogue supported.

Xbox 360 games

All the developers need to do is to approve Microsoft's access and then Microsoft itself does a bit of work to make it compatible. And, so far, developers have been keen to get on board.

“Certainly no-one has said no, and you can understand why. I mean why wouldn’t you. The choice of which games we pick are based on how popular the game is, what ratings it’s got and what the fans vote for,” explained Moulster.

The only restrictions to the full Xbox 360 games catalogue being ported over is peripherals. Sadly, you won’t ever be able to play Xbox 360 Kinect games on the Xbox One, because you can’t connect your old Kinect to the new machine. And the new Kinect isn’t compatible with the older titles due to its advanced technology.

General performance with backwards compatible games has proven to be quite divisive. Some games are a notable improvement over Xbox 360, while others fail to maintain a solid framerate due to the emulation. With any luck this will improve over time as Microsoft refines and updates the feature.

Also, the same can be said for games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band due to the same hardware issues.

See also: Xbox One vs Xbox 360

Xbox One Kinect

Why wasn’t the Xbox One initially backwards compatible?

The Xbox One is fundamentally different to the Xbox 360. It uses a x86-64 processor architecture processor, just like most current PCs and laptops, as opposed to the Xbox 360’s PowerPC (PPC) chip. Why did Microsoft choose to shift to this architecture? The reasons are simple – it wanted to keep costs low and make game developers' lives easier.

It’s arguable that the PowerPC architecture is better than the x86 one – it’s newer for a start, PPC was created by Motorola, IBM and Apple to compete with Intel in the 90s. However since then the PPC architecture has lost favour, primarily because it was a lot cheaper to manufacture x86 processors. This is down to scale – practically every PC and laptop uses one. There's more to it though. AMD and Intel aggressively invested in the technology and advanced x86 at a faster rate than the PPC backers could cope with. In the end even Apple dumped PPC in 2006 and switched to Intel x86 processors for their iMac and Macbook ranges.

More power at a lower cost means a cheaper console to produce. Some of those savings are even passed onto the consumer. Win-win, sort of.

The second aspect is, perhaps, more interesting. Having the same x86 architecture as the PC means that games can be ported much more easily from the Xbox One to PC, and vice-versa. This means less complexity, shorter development times and fewer dodgy ports – the bane of many a gamer. In addition the PS4 also uses a very similar x86 AMD Jaguar processor, which will further help developers when creating cross-platform games.

See also: Xbox One Elite Controller vs Regular Wireless Controller

xbox one controller

Xbox One backwards compatibility – Can I use my Xbox 360 controller?

The Xbox 360 controller won’t work with the new Xbox One. That means that you will need to purchase extra controllers for same screen multiplayer action.

An Xbox One controller with with play and charge kit will set you back £59.99 or £44.99 for it without the extra battery. In the US that's $75 and $60 respectively. Microsoft has also just announced a rather fantastic looking ‘Elite’ controller. This lets you customise your game with replaceable triggers, a new stainless steel d-pad and a host of other improvements. It’s available now for £129.99. Yes, that much.

Related: Best Xbox One Deals

Xbox One backwards compatibility – Can I use my Xbox 360 Kinect?

Once again the answer is no, but it’s less of a problem than the controller incompatibility. Some Xbox One bundles still come bundled with the new Kinect but you can also pick them up separately.

comments powered by Disqus