How to Update an XBox 360 to Play Original XBox Games

Updated July 20, 2017

The Xbox 360, Microsoft's latest gaming console, offers high-definition playback, Xbox LIVE and hundreds of games in an eclectic library. Even with all of the new features, gamers can still go back and play their original Xbox games on their 360s. But you'll have to download an update for the console and an additional update for every original Xbox game you want to play.

Go to and see if the desired game is on the backward compatibility list. If not, you can't play the game on your Xbox 360.

Insert the original Xbox game into the console and turn it on.

Navigate to the dashboard instead of booting the game by pressing the Guide menu button on the controller and selecting "Dashboard."

Sign into Xbox LIVE by pressing the Guide menu button again, choosing "Profiles," then selecting your desired Xbox LIVE profile from the list.

Update your console by selecting "Update now" when your Xbox 360 automatically prompts you. If it does not automatically prompt you, then you already have the required system update to play original Xbox games. When the update finishes, your Xbox 360 will restart.

Boot up the original Xbox game by pressing the Guide menu button and choosing "Play" at the bottom of the list.

Select "Update now" to begin downloading the required update to play the original Xbox game. The "Update now" prompt automatically appears when the game starts. A progress bar will appear on screen and when the update installation is completed the game will reboot playable.

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About the Author

Aaron Wein is a copy editor for Skagit Valley Publishing. He has been a writer and editor since 2004, contributing to Washington-based publications and clients such as the "Bellingham Herald," "Western Athletics," "GNAC Sports" and Microsoft. Wein obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Washington University.