How to Play Xbox 360 Games on Your Xbox One with Backwards Compatibility

xbox 360 xbox one backwards compatibility

One of the best parts about the Xbox One is the fact that it has the ability to play Xbox 360 game, however, not everyone is aware as to how this whole system works, so we wanted to run through it really quickly so that there isn’t any confusion.

First of all, not all Xbox 360 games can be played on the Xbox One. There are specific games that developers have allowed to be backwards compatible, and have gone through the testing process to ensure that they run properly on the Xbox One. You can find an up to date list of all of the Xbox 360 games that can be played on your Xbox One, here.

Installing Xbox 360 Games on an Xbox One

The games on this list can be played from their original Xbox 360 disc or from a digital download, and it’s extremely simple to do.

  • Original Xbox 360 Disc – Put the disc in the Xbox One console, as you would with any other game, and the game will start installing. It may prompt you to install it, but it should just install as any other game would. You can then find the game in your My Games & Apps section of the Dashboard.
  • Digital Xbox 360 Games – If you purchase a digital Xbox 360 game in the past, on your Xbox 360, and the game is backward compatible, it will automatically show up in your “Ready to Install” section of My Games & Apps. You can click on it and install it, just as you would any other game. You can also now purchase these games directly from your Xbox One or and they will appear ready for installation.

Backward Compatibility Tips and Tricks

  • When playing an Xbox 360 game on your Xbox One, to get to the Xbox 360 dashboard, press the “Menu” and “View” buttons at the same time (“Start” and “Select” for those of us still living in the past).
  • You can do everything you could do with an Xbox One game: screenshots, video clips, stream to Twitch, share content, get achievements, snap, etc. However, the one thing that I find a bit wonky is switching between a 360 game and an application and then going back, it doesn’t always save the state of your 360 game properly, so beware.
  • If a friend only has an Xbox 360, you can still play games against him using your Xbox One and backward compatibility.
  • You should probably buy an external hard drive for your Xbox One, since your game library just grew exponentially!

That’s basically it. It’s extremely simple and straight forward to play your Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One since Microsoft has enabled backward compatibility. This is definitely one of those things that makes the Xbox stand out against the Playstation 4. And not that there’s anything wrong with the PS4, it’s just nice to be able to play some of your old games without having to keep the old system around. Of course you could always just setup a raspberry pi to play your old games instead.

Update 6/12/17: Starting this year, you will also be able to play your original Xbox games on the Xbox One consoles. No word yet on which games will be first, or when, but backwards compatibility for the original Xbox is coming in 2017.


About the author


35 years old, married with children (1). My gaming is done exclusively on the Xbox One these days, but my gaming history goes all the way back to the Atari 2600. FPS and racing games mostly, but I dive into other genres on occasion.

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