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How to play regular XBox games on an XBox 360

Updated July 19, 2017

Backward compatibility continues to be an issue for video game console makers, since with advancing technology the cost of maintaining legacy becomes higher. The Xbox 360, much like the PlayStation 3, doesn't have full compatibility with the preceding model. Instead, there are two options available to gamers who want to play original Xbox games on the newer console: a compatibility shortlist of titles guaranteed to work and straight-to-hard-drive downloads via Xbox Live.

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  1. Check out the list of compatible games on Xbox.com. Simply type in "original Xbox games" in the search box for results. These games have been certified for the Xbox 360; the original discs work and there's no need to repurchase anything.

  2. Load any of the games on the compatibility list as you would any other title. However, this requires both a hard drive and a high-speed Internet connection to make sure you have all the needed system updates.

  3. Power up your Xbox 360 and log in to your account. From the dashboard, go to Xbox Originals. Press "green/A."

  4. Browse available titles by new arrivals, most popular and name. Or, choose one of the box shots Microsoft puts up on display.

  5. Download any of the titles on the Marketplace--this requires a hard drive due to the size of these games and the need to have drivers updated in the operating system.

  6. Go to My Xbox, then Game Library from the dashboard. Scroll one step to the right and three down to Xbox Originals. Click "green/A" for a list of originals on your hard drive. Choose the one you want to play.

  7. Warning

    Make sure you have at least 1,200 Microsoft points on your Xbox Live account, that's the normal price for non-discounted Xbox Original downloads. Keep in mind that both supported original Xbox games and downloadable Xbox Originals may not be 100 per cent compatible. Games often display very minor visual artefacts and sound issues. These do not affect playability. Microsoft has stated its intention to discontinue Xbox Originals in favour of a more integrated Marketplace. Stay tuned to Xbox.com and Majornelson.com for details. While playing an original Xbox game, the full Xbox 360 dashboard isn't available. Exiting the game session requires shutting the console down altogether, as soft resets are not possible while in emulation.

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