Can I Play Xbox Games on Xbox 360?

Backward Compatibility

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 9: The Microsoft XBOX 360 is seen at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 9, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada
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Question:

Can I Play OG Xbox Games on Xbox 360?

Answer:

The Xbox 360 is backward compatible with certain games that were released for the original Xbox. The BC list has not been updated for quite some time, but there are more than 400 titles on the list which covers most of the big name titles. Halo, Halo 2, Splinter Cell: ​Chaos Theory, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Psychonauts, and Ninja Gaiden Black are just some of the Xbox games you can play on Xbox 360.

(Check out the full list.)

There is a requirement for backward compatibility and that is you have to have a hard drive for your Xbox 360. The 4GB Xbox 360 slim won't work for BC unless you put a hard drive in it. It also needs to be mentioned that you must use an official Microsoft-brand Xbox 360 hard drive. Third-party drives you may find for cheaper on eBay do not have the necessary partitions to allow for backward compatibility, so it will not work.

The way the backward compatibility software is updated on your system is as simple as putting a backward compatible Xbox game into your Xbox 360, and the update will download from Xbox Live automatically.

Besides it being really convenient to be able to play both Xbox and Xbox 360 games on one system, playing Xbox games on your 360 has other benefits. Each and every compatible Xbox game will be upped to 720p/1080i resolution (assuming you have an HDTV) and will take advantage of full-screen anti-aliasing.

It has to be noted that backward compatible OG Xbox games don't always work or look appreciably better when played on Xbox 360. Some have new glitches, or graphical problems, or framerate issues, or other things that mean they don't play as well on 360 as they did on the OG Xbox. For this reason, I recommend you buy an OG Xbox console if you really want to play older Xbox games.

The performance will be a lot more consistent. The OG Xbox controller is also laid out quite a bit differently from the X360 controller, so playing the games with the controller they were actually designed for will be a lot easier and more enjoyable. Backward compatibility is a nice consumer friendly bullet point, but when it doesn't work natively (like on Wii U with Wii games) the results aren't always as good as you'd hope.

Xbox One Backward Compatibility Note

Please note that this article is about original 2001-2005 Xbox console games that work on the Xbox 360, NOT about Xbox 360 games working on Xbox One. Sorry for the confusion, but blame Microsoft for using the name "Xbox One" in the first place.

More: Xbox 360 game Backward Compatibility on Xbox One