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FAQ: How to play Xbox games on the new Xbox 360

Before you try to play an original Xbox game in the new Xbox 360, make sure your read this list of frequently asked questions.

The Xbox 360 may be fun and all, but sometimes you just feel like having a good ol' Covenant bashing session playing Halo 2. Maybe you're keen on visiting the land of Faerun again by spinning your Fable disc. Or perhaps you're keen to test your skills (and patience) by playing Ninja Gaiden. Thankfully, the 360 can play many Xbox 1 titles.

But before you stick your copy of Forza Motorsport into the 360, there are a few things you need to know. Check our list of frequently asked questions below for hassle-free gaming!

1. Can the Xbox 360 play all Xbox 1 games?
The simple answer, sadly, is no. Only about 200 Xbox 1 titles are able to be played on the new console, although Microsoft says more games will be continually added. For a full list of compatible games, click here.

2. What's the big deal? I thought the 360 was supposed to be backwards compatible. Why can't it play all Xbox 1 games?
The Xbox 360 is a powerful machine, but to be able to play Xbox 1 games it needs software emulators for each individual title. What that essentially means is the 360 needs a little software program to tell it how to play that old Xbox 1 game, and that's something Microsoft's programmers are still in the process of doing for all Xbox games. Expect more updates from the big M on this in the coming months.

Halo 2

3. What do I need to make the 360 play compatible Xbox 1 games?
First and foremost, you'll need the hard disc drive accessory plugged into your Xbox 360 to play old Xbox games. If you've bought the 360 Core System - which doesn't come bundled with the 20GB hard drive - then you're out of luck (unless you buy the drive as an extra, of course).

You'll also need to download and install an update to your 360. This can be done either by updating through Xbox Live, burning the required file onto a CD or ordering the update disc from Microsoft direct.

4. I'm on Xbox Live. Where do I find the update?
To get the update, all you need is to have your 360 connected online and logged into Live. Insert an original Xbox game into the 360's disc drive, close it, and the update should begin automatically. Being on Xbox Live is the most hassle-free way to make sure you can play Xbox 1 games, as the system should automatically update each time support for new games come out.

5. I'm not online with Live. How do I get the update?
You have two options - either order an update disc from (which will be sent by mail and incur a small fee) or, if you have access to an Internet connection and a CD burner, you can download the update yourself.

To download the update yourself, visit this Xbox support page. The download itself is roughly 2.5MB. Simply unzip the downloaded file, burn it onto a blank CD or DVD (it must be the only file on the disc), and insert it into your 360. The process should begin automatically.

Click here for's comprehensive Xbox 360 Launch Centre.