The 16 best Xbox 360 games you can play on Xbox One and Xbox One S

Microsoft's new console is out - here are the best old games to play on it

Red Dead Redemption

Today might be fairly heavily focused on the future of gaming, what with the launch of the Xbox One S and all that.

But while Microsoft's new console is 4K-capable, it doesn't quite deliver on native 4K gaming, and those lovely HDR-ready games are still a little way off. So what to play in the meantime?

Obviously there are lots of great Xbox One games around, but there are even more Xbox 360 classics out there that you can now play on the Xbox One or Xbox One S thanks to the beauty of backwards compatibility.

More than 150 games are compatible as of this writing, with more regularly trickling on to the list. While that's a small fraction of the grand total, it's a very solid start – and there are a lot of amazing games worth revisiting already.

If you've already got these games on disc, just pop them (one at a time please) into your Xbox One or One S to play them. If you bought them digitally, they should already be in the "Ready to Install" section of your dashboard.

And if you want to play one of our favourites but haven't previously bought it, fear not - we've supplied links to download directly from the Xbox Marketplace or buy a physical copy from Amazon. You're welcome!

Alan Wake

Before Remedy pushed storytelling boundaries with Quantum Break on Xbox One, it did much the same with the gripping Alan Wake. Playing as a novelist who finds himself trapped in a storyline of his own creation, the game blends intense psychological horror with frantic action as you use light to battle back shadowy forces.

It's easily one of the most atmospheric games on the Xbox 360 – and maybe if more people play it, we'll finally get that long-awaited sequel.

Download Alan Wake from Xbox Live

Buy Alan Wake from Amazon

Assassin's Creed II

We're fond of the new Assassin's Creed Syndicate, but Assassin's Creed II is still perhaps the best of the bunch – way back from when the series still bothered using numerals.

While the first game was rough around the edges, Assassin's Creed II refined the concept into a brilliantly fun romp through ancient Italy, starring easily the series' most compelling lead, Ezio Auditore. Let's hope the great follow-up, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, is added to the backwards-compatible list next.

Download Assassin's Creed II from Xbox Live

Buy Assassin's Creed II from Amazon


Braid more or less ignited the modern indie game boom, showing that you could make an amazing, meaningful game with a modest budget – but it's more than just a symbol for that revolution. It's also a legitimately incredible game, using a Super Mario-like world to deliver brain-bending time-manipulation puzzles while telling a surprisingly heartbreaking story along the way.

There's never been anything quite like it, even today, and it remains essential.

Download Braid from Xbox Live

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Following in the footsteps of a legendary and influential game is no small feat, but Deus Ex: Human Revolution absolutely nailed the task.

Serving as a prequel to the original Deus Ex, Human Revolution finds your cyborg hero Adam Jensen utilising stealth, melee combat, and various cybernetic abilities in stunning action sequences, all within a campaign that not only tells a great story but lasts for a long time. Sequel Mankind Divided, so now is the perfect time to loop back on it.

Download Deus Ex: Human Revolution from Xbox Live

Buy Deus Ex: Human Revolution from Amazon

Dirt 3

Few games have captured the sense of driving really, really fast as effectively as the Dirt series.

While this third game in the series slows things down too often by putting unnecessary emphasis on the tedious showboating of its gymkhana obstacle courses, the seat-of-your-pants rally stages more than make up for it.

Download Dirt 3 from Xbox Live

Buy Dirt 3 from Amazon

Fallout 3

We know, we know: Fallout 4 is out, and if you have an Xbox One and you're remotely interested in the franchise, chances are you've got dozens more hours to sink into that world. Fair enough. But when you're done, why not loop back to Fallout 3?

Bethesda's first take on the post-apocalyptic franchise delivered an unparalleled open-world experience in the wasteland that once was Washington D.C. – and it's still captivating now.

Download Fallout 3 from Xbox Live

Buy Fallout 3 from Amazon

Gears of War 3

You can play the original Gears of War remastered on Xbox One with slightly improved graphics, but there's much more to dig into now that backwards compatibility is live.

Gears of War 3 was arguably the apex of the cover-based shooter series, bumping the campaign co-op tally up to four players along with myriad other enhancements. And if you played the Ultimate Edition of Gears last autumn, you should have Gears 3 free with the rest of the games. Enjoy!

Download Gears of War 3 from Xbox Live

Buy Gears of War 3 from Amazon

Left 4 Dead 2

We've seen a lot of great co-op games over the years, but there's still nothing quite as satisfying as Valve's Left 4 Dead games. As in the original, Left 4 Dead 2 puts you in the worn-down shoes of one of four survivors who must work together to outrun and outlast waves and waves of zombies.

Teamwork is essential if you're to survive the intense barrage of undead attackers, and the first-person shooter sequel also offers nearly all of the original game's content as DLC – so there's loads to play here.

Download Left 4 Dead 2 from Xbox Live

Buy Left 4 Dead 2 from Amazon

Lumines Live

If you like puzzlers but somehow haven't soaked in the wonder that is Lumines, then drop everything and grab Lumines Live on your Xbox One.

It's nearly a decade old at this point, but the gameplay remains gripping: you'll rotate and position chunks of squares on the board, and every couple minutes you get a new look, song, and sound effects – oh, and the beat of the music plays a role in the gameplay.

Download Lumines Live from Xbox Live

Mass Effect

The Mass Effect trilogy is arguably BioWare's crowning achievement, delivering an original sci-fi role-playing epic with a universe as rich as any we've seen and experienced - and you can now enjoy the 2007 original on Xbox One.

As Commander Shepard, you'll fight to save the galaxy from Reapers, all while making decisions that can dramatically shape your interactions and the storyline ahead. They had better make the sequels compatible too, and soon.

Download Mass Effect from Xbox Live

Buy Mass Effect from Amazon

Mirror's Edge

The Mirror's Edge reboot may have turned into a bit of a damp squib, but that doesn't dimish the awesomeness of the original game.

The first-person running affair, which ends up feeling like a frantic mix of platforming and puzzle-solving, is paired with jaw-dropping design, as the vivid future city springs to life while you bound between rooftops.

Short, sharp brilliance that demands a replay.

Download Mirror's Edge from Xbox Live

Buy Mirror's Edge from Amazon

Portal: Still Alive

If you haven't played Portal on any device, you ought to stop reading right now (but come back later!), grab it, and carve out 2-3 hours for amazing, hilarious fun.

Portal: Still Alive is the standalone Xbox 360 version of Valve's utterly brilliant first-person puzzler, and it includes the compact-but-iconic main game along with various bonus challenges. Hopefully we'll also get the larger and also-wonderful sequel at some point, but Portal is always worth savouring again.

Download Portal: Still Alive from Xbox Live

Rainbow Six: Vegas

This is really delving into the early days of the 360, but behind the slightly wonky graphics lies a really brilliant game.

Smarter than your average FPS, but not too tough for more casual frag fans, R6: Vegas strikes an almost perfect balance between tactics and getting to shoot terrorists in the privates.

Download Rainbow Six: Vegas from Xbox Live

Buy Rainbow Six: Vegas from Amazon

Red Dead Redemption

Amid persistent rumours of an imminent Red Dead Redemption sequel, Rockstar’s original is now playable on Xbox One – and it hasn’t lost anything over the past six years.

Even in a post-GTA V world the sprawling, wild west setting of the American Frontier in the early 20th century still feels alive with travellers, bandits and wildlife, plus its storyline offers some of the most affecting moments in gaming’s recent past. There’s stacks to do on top of that too, from hunting bears up in the woods to practising your poker face at the tables in one of the many saloons.

Besides, riding a horse around, drinking whiskey and lassoing ne’er-do-wells in the American wilderness never really gets old, does it?

Download Red Dead Redemption from Xbox Live

Buy Red Dead Redemption from Amazon

Super Meat Boy

Like your games old-school in design and tough as nails? Cool. Like games where the hero is an anthropomorphic hunk of beef? Perfect: then you'll love Super Meat Boy. In fact, you should love it no matter what, since this badass platformer is undeniably addictive even as it repeatedly kicks your teeth in with its brutal stages.

Persevere through the challenge and you'll find 300+ levels of precision-focussed bliss.

Download Super Meat Boy from Xbox Live

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Considering it came out four years ago, The Witcher 2 is a seriously good-looking game.

Don’t go expecting the same free-roaming freedom as TW3: Wild Hunt: Assassins of Kings isn’t a full open world, but each chapter does give you a new area to explore at your leisure. It's also a tougher game than the new one, which means careful preparation before each beast battle.

Download The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings from Xbox Live

Buy The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings from Amazon


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