Microsoft Ends Xbox Backward Compatibility Efforts With A Final Batch Of Games

Asura’s Wrath. (Screenshot: Microsoft)

Some bittersweet news this E3: Microsoft has announced another batch of games from the original Xbox and Xbox 360 that it will bring to the Xbox One via backward compatibility—but it’ll be the final batch.

“After this week, we have no plans to add additional Original Xbox or Xbox 360 titles to the catalogue on Xbox One,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post today. Microsoft said at its media briefing yesterday that the next Xbox console, codenamed Project Scarlett, will maintain the line’s backward compatibility going back to the original Xbox.

The backward compatibility team will now “help make the games you love playing on Xbox One compatible with future Xbox hardware,” it said in the post.

If this has to be the final update, it’s a pretty good one. On the Xbox 360, there’s Asura’s Wrath, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Infinite Undiscovery, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and more. For original Xbox, there’s four Splinter Cell games and more.

In all, Microsoft’s efforts put over 600 Xbox and Xbox 360 games onto the One, which is no small feat. Sorry to those of you who were holding out hope for Barbie Horse Adventures: Wild Horse Rescue. 

Here’s the full list.


  • Armed and Dangerous

  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb

  • Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy

  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow

  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent

  • Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict

Xbox 360

  • Asura’s Wrath

  • Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

  • Enchanted Arms

  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

  • Far Cry Classic

  • Far Cry Instincts Predator

  • Infinite Undiscovery

  • Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie

  • Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands

  • Skate

  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope

  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

  • Syndicate

  • Too Human

  • Unreal Tournament III

Most of the games are available now; it seems that Too Human will be added shortly and be free to download.


    Really have to hand it to MS on the BC. They really showed dedication to it. Really wish Playstation hadn't gone batsh*t crazy with their cell processor n the PS3 so we could play some of those titles BC on PS4 /PS5.

      I wouldn't be surprised if we see PS3 titles becoming available with the PS5, RPCS3 has shown its doable with decent specced hardware, which the next PS with its 8 Core Zen CPU, fast memory and storage, and a chunky GPU, should be able to accomplish.

      Last edited 11/06/19 9:09 pm

      Both Xbox360 and PS3 were PowerPC
      They weren't that crazy they just implemented it differently.

    The wording is interesting.

    On xbox one ~ does this imply that this might start back up once we have Scarlett?

      Sounds to me like they'll be optimising xbox one titles for Scarlett now instead.

      As Charlie said, it sounds more like their focus will be on bringing this generations games to the next.

    Would the Scarlett architecture be such that it would be fast enough to employ a purely emulation-based solution? Like MAME is for arcade games?

      It will most likely be able to play Xbox One titles without emulation (including those recompiled through the backwards compatibility program).

      It would probably be possible to handle original Xbox titles through simple virtualisation (if they wanted to), but I doubt they could emulate the 360. The 360 had a 3 GHz POWER architecture CPU, so there isn't much overhead in modern x86 chips to emulate that. Most improvements have come in the form of parallelism rather than better performance from individual cores.

    So much for the vaunted 'full backwards compatibility' given that most of my collection aren't in the list of games. Oh well. Thats a hard pass for a Xbone, and likely a Scarlett for me.

      If your only interest in the new systems is to play old games that aren’t apart of the 600 games they have made compatible then they probably aren’t the right console for you.

      Last edited 12/06/19 7:15 am

        Having one modern place to have all my old Xbox and 360 titles without having to go back to the old hardware was the positive spin. Having bought a second hand Xbox a couple of years back to play the old have it immediately die was more than a little disheartening. They haven’t announced a single game since the late 360 era that I’ve wanted to but I couldn’t get on PC or PS4 so that literally was the only selling point for me.

      So you're going to stay in the 360 era only, or your alternative options for backwards compatability "friendliness" are to buy on retros on the Sony Store or Nintendo Store ????

      Admittedly the PS3 is a nice ps2 and ps1 machine. But not the ps4... and the wii is a nice virtual machine with GC compatability but not the switch...

      Xbox is literally doing the best of all parties and your misinterpretation of their efforts is pushing you away from their platform. You'll be missed?

        Doing their ‘best’ means absolutely nothing if the titles I’d be interested in playing aren’t in their compatibility list. They don’t have anything upcoming I’m interested in that I can’t get for PC instead, and haven’t had anything for years.

        Bringing up the other systems is irrelevant since the article and my response is on Xbox backwards compatibility.

          They can only make it backwards compatible if the rightsholder/publisher lets them - i think they did a pretty damn good job all things considered

            And it’s awesome for the people who do have the games that they want be backwards compatible. I mean, one of the titles in this list, Enchanted Arms, was the first game I played on the 360.

            I’m just disappointed that the titles that I would have picked up a system to play aren’t going to be supported. That other titles by the same publishers / developers are in the list just makes it doubly so.

            So yeah, I still live in the OG Xbox / 360 era since that’s where some of my fave games of all time are.

      Clearly you didn't read the article

        I read the article where they announced they’re abandoned new OG and 360 compatibility and I’ve checked the current backwards compatibility list on Not a single Dead or Alive title, either main or spin off, neither of the enhanced Fatal Frame games, no Lord of the Rings or Baldur’s Gate Deadly Alliance titles. I’ve got binders of Xbox and 360 games and the list only has a few of them. With no upcoming games I can’t get on PC or Switch instead, the hope of not having to play my games on an OG Xbox or 360 was their single selling point.

          No, they have not abandoned it, they have gotten the team to start working on backwards compatibility for the next xbox system instead.

            I read that as they’ve started focusing on Scarlett / Xbox One compatibility, and had that impression across multiple articles I’d read on it.

            If I’m wrong, then I’ll be pleasantly surprised if any of the games on my list beside Hunter happen. It means the One is still off my list but Scarlett might be.

      To be fair, I don't think it was ever realistically going to happen and the writing has been on the wall for a few years now.
      The batches got smaller, got further apart and Spencer quietly alluded to the issues that made full BC impossible quite some time ago.
      It was always an expensive and time consuming project that had zero return and I've long suspected they knew it wouldn't lead to a turn around in sales either since the concept has long been put to rest.

      These last few years have been purely about positive spin for themselves, negative spin for Sony and getting back as much goodwill as possible with gamers and investors before the next gen.
      Its been pretty aggressive but aside from that it seems they've focused on the core factors that had led to Sonys and Nintendos success this run.
      (The Fable rumours are quite exciting I admit)

        I’d actually been considering the purchase of an Xbox One, with the BC news and how games sites had been pushing it as being this Big Deal and how much better it was than Sony. Then I found the list of actual titles and realised how little of what I had was actually supported. Out of a dozen titles I came up with, there was only one that actually was on the listed. Kind of blew my mind that it was Hunter: The Reckoning which was in my ‘no way’ list since the other titles missing from the list were mainly KT and EA. And even then it’s inconsistent since they have all the Ninja Gaiden games.

        Man, Fable was a game I was totally psyched about when it was in Development but then I never really played much of once it finally came out. Peter Molyneaux had some of the coolest ideas.

          The 360 had over 2k games - they did over 560 of them in the space of 3.5 years, which is more than a quarter of the entire library and more than 15 titles a month. Not a bad effort I reckon.

            I guess in the end it’s a case where you can’t make everyone happy. :)

      Given that you're some kind of freak who can only play old extremely obscure games which aren't included that six goddamn hundred, I really don't think they care about the 0.0001% of customers like you.

        Yep. Extremely old and obscure games like looking forward to playing Cyberpunk 2077 on PC, and currently enjoying DoA6, but thanks for the personal attack and name calling.

    576 games is not a bad run for this gen (granted unfortunately a bunch of these are arcade games), it will be interesting to see what games with gold will have to work with now as all games with gold need to be backwards compatible.

    Man, I wish they'd remaster it on PC (Asura's Wrath) or put it on every modern console. Asura's Wrath is one of my favourite games and one of the best quick time designs I've seen so it would be nice to get it touched up. I still have the PS3 version of course but it's not the same.

    Armed and Dangerous! I urge anyone who hasn't played it to give it a go. I re-played it on PC only a few years ago and it still holds up, and is actually one of the funniest games I've ever played.

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