Xbox 360 Games on Xbox One

xbox 360 games on xbox one

When the Xbox One was first announced, fans were extremely disappointed. Not only was the console an unimpressive television DVR with outrageous DRM protections in place, but it also was completely incapable of playing games designed for its outdated cousin, the Xbox 360. When a new console launches, a hefty catalogue of games is imperative if a company wishes to outcompete the other options on the market, and a common way of accomplishing this is by allowing backwards compatability of older video games. So when players found out that they couldn’t play their Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, they cried fowl.

Until lately, the only way to enjoy classic Xbox 360 games was to either hook up your old console and play them from there or hope that the game is remastered for the Xbox One. However, recently, Microsoft has taken notice to the market potential for backwards compatability, and so they have been working on a way for the old games to work on the new console despite the differences in architecture. Their solution is sure to make many gamers very happy.

In order to get Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, there needs to be an emulator of sorts that can convert the Xbox 360’s PowerPC processor instructions into x86 architecture instructions. This is by no means an easy task, nor is it efficient. The code needs to be recompiled in real time, which is something that can cause massive slowdowns if not implemented properly. Luckily, Microsoft has some of the world’s best engineers working on it, and the hard work has paid off. The Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops now runs on Xbox One, and the console manages to outperform its older cousin. On average, it runs nearly 10% faster than the Xbox 360!

Of course, Black Ops isn’t the only game to receive VIP treatment. Microsoft has announced their plan to release an extensive catalog of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. In the near future, the entire Bioshock trilogy along with Skate 3 will be released on the Xbox One. There is a whole list of confirmed games at the bottom of this post. Be sure to check it out!

Of course, while the technology allows the playing of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, it is technically illegal for Microsoft to allow every single game to be played right off the bat. When publishers reached an agreement to release their games, it did not include the Xbox One. In turn, publishers will beed to approve their games running on an Xbox One console before it can be released. Of course, bugs will likely need to be ironed out before the releases as well, delaying the process of adding games to the backwards compatible list.

How to Play Xbox 360 Games on Xbox One

The process behind playing Xbox 360 Games on Xbox One is actually super straightforward, and works pretty much the same way that the Xbox 360 handled original Xbox games. You simply pop in your Xbox 360 game (assuming that the game is currently supported and working on the Xbox One), download an update, and seconds later the game is ready to be played. Additionally, gamers can choose to buy the supported games directly off the Xbox Marketplace. Microsoft is advertising the heck out of Black Ops’s release on the Xbox One, so they will likely announce future compatible games via the news section of the dashboard.

The cool thing about it though is, it works just like an Xbox 360. The interface is the same, the the notifications are the same; it’s essentially like owning a regular Xbox 360, except now you have two consoles in one. Microsoft has really outdone themselves with the way it handles Xbox 360 games on Xbox One.

How it Works

Earlier we mentioned the fact that Xbox One backwards compatibility required PowerPC emulation on x86 processors. This in and of itself is very exciting news, as most personal computers also run on the x86 processor architecture. Bundled with the fact that the Xbox One essentially runs a modified Windows 8 kernel, this means that Xbox 360 emulators for PC are more than likely in the near future! How does Halo 3 on PC sound? And we mean the full, official Halo 3, not the Russian Halo: Online that has been modded and turned into a community project.

There already exists an Xbox 360 emulator for PC, but it is still in early development, as it can barely run any games. Codenamed Xenia, the program is capable of reaching a few in-game menus and loading a few levels of select games, but overall the experience is currently non-playable. With the ability to play Xbox 360 Games on Xbox One, however, we know that the technology is possible, and Xenia is without a doubt on the right track to bringing Xbox 360 games to Windows.

Regardless, the addition of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One will add a powerful arsenal of titles to the Xbox One’s library. It will be awesome to see where it goes from here.

Backwards Compatible Xbox 360 Games on Xbox One (5/23/16)

  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • Aegis Wing
  • Age of Booty
  • Alan Wake
  • Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Altered Beast
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Asteroids & Deluxe
  • Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Bejeweled 2
  • Bellator: MMA Onslaught
  • Beyond Good & Evil HD
  • Blood of the Werewolf
  • BloodRayne: Betrayal
  • Borderlands
  • Braid
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Call of Juarez Gunslinger
  • Carcassonne
  • Castle Crashers
  • CastleStorm
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Centipede & Millipede
  • Comix Zone
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins
  • Counter-Strike: GO
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Dark Souls
  • Dark Void
  • Deadliest Warrior: Legends
  • Dead Space
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut
  • Dig Dug
  • DiRT 3
  • DiRT Showdown
  • Discs of Tron
  • Doom
  • Doom II
  • Doom 3 BFG Edition (disc version)
  • Doritos Crash Course
  • Double Dragon Neon
  • Duke Nukem Manhattan Project
  • Dungeon Siege III
  • Earthworm Jim HD
  • Fable II
  • Fable III
  • Faery: Legends of Avalon
  • Fallout 3
  • Feeding Frenzy
  • Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown
  • Final Fight: Double Impact
  • Frogger
  • Frogger 2
  • Galaga
  • Galaga Legions DX
  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears of War: Judgment
  • Geometry Wars Evolved
  • Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
  • Golden Axe
  • Grid 2
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Halo: Reach
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Halo Wars
  • Hardwood Backgammon
  • Hardwood Hearts
  • Hardwood Spades
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Hexic HD
  • Hydro Thunder
  • Ikaruga
  • Iron Brigade
  • Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Jet Set Radio
  • Joy Ride Turbo
  • Just Cause 2
  • Kameo: Elements of Power
  • Kane & Lynch 2
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • LEGO Batman
  • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Lode Runner
  • LUMINES LIVE!
  • Mass Effect
  • Metal Slug 3
  • Metal Slug XX
  • Might & Magic Clash of Heroes
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Missile Command
  • Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine
  • Monday Night Combat
  • Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
  • Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Motocross Madness
  • MS. PAC-MAN
  • Ms. Splosion Man
  • Mutant Blobs Attack!!!
  • MX vs. ATV Reflex
  • N+
  • NBA JAM: On Fire Edition
  • NiGHTS into dreams…
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Pac-Man
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+
  • Peggle
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Phantasy Star 2
  • Phantom Breaker:Battle Grounds
  • Pinball FX
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Portal: Still Alive
  • Prince of Persia
  • Putty Squad
  • Puzzlegeddon
  • R-Type Dimensions
  • Rayman 3 HD
  • Rayman Origins
  • Runner2
  • sacred 3
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Saints Row 4
  • Sam and Max Beyond Space and Time
  • Sam and Max Save the World
  • Samurai Shodown 2
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
  • Shadow Complex
  • Skullgirls
  • Small Arms
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonci & Knuckles
  • Sonic The Fighters
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 3
  • Soul Calibur
  • SoulCalibur 2 HD
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth
  • Space Giraffe
  • Spelunky
  • Splosion Man
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Supreme Commander 2
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Texas Hold’Em
  • The Cave
  • The King of Fighters 98 UM
  • The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
  • Ticket To Ride
  • Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix Vegas
  • Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix Vegas 2
  • Torchlight
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Trials HD
  • Tron: Evolution
  • Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Zuma
  • Zuma’s Revenge!

Additional Games can be found here.

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