Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Could One Day Work With Original Xbox Games

"I ask the backwards compatibility team this question a lot."


Maybe don't throw away your original Xbox discs just yet. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said today that the Xbox One's existing backwards compatibility functionality could one day be extended to original Xbox titles.

Spencer made the tease in an exchange on Twitter. Here's how the conversation transpired:

Question: "Very silly question, but if Xbox One essentially has Xbox 360 emulator, how much work would go into making original Xbox titles backwards compatibility?"

Spencer: "I don't think it's silly. I ask the backwards compatibility team this question a lot. Need to finish 360 backwards compatibility for now."

No Caption Provided

Spencer's comments shouldn't be taken as confirmation that the Xbox One will add original Xbox backwards compatibility support soon, or ever. Clearly, nothing is set in stone at this time.

Backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games is currently available on Xbox One for Preview Program members only. It will roll out to everyone in November, at which time there will be more than one hundred available games. In addition, all future Xbox 360 Games With Gold titles (starting in November) will be backwards-compatible.

Microsoft has not yet announced the full lineup of supported titles, but you can check out this list to see all of the confirmed games so far. The list may grow later this week, as Microsoft says it will announce the next wave of backwards-compatible games in the next couple of days.

If the Xbox One were to add backwards compatibility support for original Xbox games, which titles would you like to see made playable? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 400 comments about this story
400 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for lrdfancypants

Why stop there?

Emulate the vic20, commodore64, intellivision. Thank you.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58

@lrdfancypants: Commodore still owns the rights to their systems, and are putting out a smartphone with these games loaded on it. You can get one of those Intellivision throwback consoles preloaded with games for about $30.

Avatar image for jj2112

@dlCHIEF58: Really? I was sure Commodore had disappeared after the CD32 debacle. I was one of the few idiots who bought it.

Avatar image for lrdfancypants


I wasn't being completely serious but it would be cool.

It's not like they own the rights to all the 360 or Xbox games. Still comes down to publisher consent doesn't it?

Avatar image for suicidesn0wman

@lrdfancypants: That's why they have to have permission from the publisher to add a game to the X1 BC. If they were to allow the game to be played off the disc for OG Xbox games, they would only need to emulate the OG Xbox hardware itself, which they own the rights to. Considering a large part of why the X360 emulator was handled how it was is because of digital titles, I do not think it would be necessary for OG Xbox since they didn't have a large source of digital content.

Avatar image for 40mdf0

@dlCHIEF58: All of those games are already available for $0.

Avatar image for henchman216

YES!!!!! Jet Set Radio Future!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

@henchman216: You and me... we are friends now lol

Avatar image for deactivated-5938196c2bbcb

The original Forza Motorsport would be awesome!

Avatar image for suicidesn0wman

@LauriAJ: If only this would come with the OG Xbox Live servers being turned back on, I have fond memories of PGR 2 and TOCA 3 back in those days.

Avatar image for sonofdark18

Oh dear sweet lord if Microsoft can make Vice city, San Andreas, Sonic Mega Collection Plus, Ninja Gaiden, Morrowind, Spider man 2/Ultimate spider man and Fucking Jet Set Radio Future Backwards compatible on the Xbone then I will be very happy. Because those games defined the Original Xbox for me.

How the bloody hell did I forget this next game?


Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

@sonofdark18: JSRF makes you my friend

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58

@sonofdark18: Multiplatform games defined the original Xbox for you?

Avatar image for sonofdark18

@dlCHIEF58: yeah but that was back when I was a wee lad who bought into the whole "console war smackdown" bs. Back then all I had to play was Sega Genesis/Dreamcast and Xbox. I've gotten much older and wiser enough to not give a **** about which console is better than the other. I didn't start playing PlayStation 2 until around the time I got my 1st Xbox 360 (which was in 2008) I did play some PSX but I didn't PERSONALLY own a PlayStation console until I got the PS2 in 2008

As far as best xbox exclusives that I played are concerned: Jet Set Radio Future, Fable-Lost Chapters and Ninja Gaiden

Avatar image for mtm2490

@sonofdark18: I mostly just want to play advent rising again. I know its on steam but controls are broken for using controller :/.

AAAAAAAANNNNNNNDDDD conker's live and reloaded

Avatar image for suicidesn0wman

@mtm2490: It's too bad they never finished that trilogy, would love to see how OSC ended the story.

Avatar image for huerito323



Avatar image for groves26

I would love to replay SSX tricky again. this game was fantastic (the newer SSX game was only the same in name only and had none of the 'SSX Spark/fun', IMO).

Avatar image for Johnenewt1

Halo 2 and MechAssault 2, baby!!! (Screw 343's remakes... they ruined Halo).

Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

@Johnenewt1: lol Halo was already ruined, except for splitscreen... the only GOOD thing about it... now that doesn't even exist.

Avatar image for neowarrior793

theres like one game i would play and thats phantom crash, other then halo (i have mcc for that) theres very few games that i would even care about. theres like, what morrowind and fallout and a few mech games that were even interesting back then.

Avatar image for russy

Hey Phil, when will you get backwards compatibility for PS4 games?

Avatar image for sonofdark18

@russy: LOL

Avatar image for epobirs

From a techncal standpoint, this is a fairly trivial target to emulate. The host platform has no problem running Pentium-III code as is and the GPU, start of the art at the Xbox's launch is downright primitive compared to current low-end IGA. They could probably get away with emulating the GPU in software but that would be more of a stunt than anything else.

The real issue is whether there is enough value in putting the original Xbox library on the XBL Store for purchase. Just supporting old game discs wouldn't offer much payoff. The value would be in making the Xbox One more enticing to those who never had an original Xbox. The problem is after you eliminated games that have had remakes on the 360 or X1, have ownership issues, etc., the list of titles worth offering isn't all that long. Psychonauts comes to mind, though it would also be a good remake candidate. Jade Empire. Disney won't allow the KOTORs to be revived, as they're no longer canon. So many of the gems are obscure and might be frowned upon in terms of value add.

Avatar image for suicidesn0wman

@epobirs: It wouldn't really matter who owns the rights to any specific game if all MS does is emulate the hardware to run off the original disc. They wouldn't actually be distributing any games.

They can always add an Xbox iso loader that publishers can use to distribute older titles digitally, but that would be on each individual publisher to decide.

Avatar image for theKSMM

@epobirs: I agree with you, but I think that backwards compatibility is great for those who (a) have never played certain titles or (b) loved them so much that they want to replay them. It's not unlike the value-add that Sony's endless re-releases and updates of classic franchises offer, except it's done in one shot and without the HD graphics.

Actually, I think backwards compatibility is a good thing if only for the hype it generates around a console. It effectively doubles/triples the size of a console's game library (especially early in the cycle) by flooding it with lots of cheap games, many of which were classics. It's a huge engineering challenge to be sure, but I think Microsoft needs a win to keep up with Sony in this generation.

Avatar image for allever

Why would anyone want to play original xbox games? This is a waste of resources.

Avatar image for jj2112

@allever: Ninja Gaiden was great.

Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

@allever: One Acronym, Four Words.


Avatar image for dlCHIEF58

@allever: Why would anyone want to play NES games now? Why do people want to play a remake of FF VII? BECAUSE THEY ENJOY GOOD GAMES!

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico

@allever: Its an added feature, maybe you wont use it, from the comments I'm guessing others would !! And as there are Gamers that would want that feature its not a waste of anything !! Don't complain about getting more things added I MS aren't going to charge you extra for it.

We are Gamers !! Together we are Stronger !!

Avatar image for mtm2490

@ltjohnnyrico: ya this dude cray

Avatar image for spiddyman007

So the Xbox one could play Xbox 1 games. Meh. Déjà vu. HELLO.

Avatar image for realgamer25

The Warriors for Xbox one

Avatar image for draign


Avatar image for Darth_Raww

This would push me to buy an XB1.

Avatar image for iammcgruber

@Darth_Raww: do you have a lot of original Xbox games you'd like to revisit?

Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

@iammcgruber: I for one have an extensive backlog of them. But I am a collector.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Could?? They don't know!?

Avatar image for Reap3r_X17

That'd be a sight to see. KOTOR 2 on Xbox One ya? Hahah

Avatar image for hystavito

Bring back Dreamcast compatibility too :).

Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

@hystavito: That would be excellent. I always felt like the Xbox was the unofficial successor to the Sega Dreamcast as it is.

It WAS the last 6 button controller, after all.

Avatar image for dookie_213

I want to play Scarface on Xbox One

Avatar image for Sevenizz

@dookie_213: Ugh, should I get it? I can get a sealed copy at my flea market for 6 bucks - but I thought it got bad reviews as a poor man's GTA.

Avatar image for hystavito

@dookie_213: I always say about that game, it was the best in terms of making you feel like you're progressing from small to big time criminal.

Avatar image for prstyles27

Could some one please invite me to the Preview program? I would love to Play some 360 games on my Xbox one. My gamer tag is prstyles29

Avatar image for blackace

if they add original XBox B/C i'll be able to play all those great SEGA games. I'd also get to play all those old sports games like NFL Fever. That would be awesome. Original games like Mad Dash, Panzer Dragoon Orta and MechAssault again.

Avatar image for sonofdark18

@blackace: JET SET RADIO FUTURE and SHENMUE 2!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

@sonofdark18: Can you imagine if they did an HD remake of JSRF? I'd pay a full 60$ for it, that's for sure.

Avatar image for iammcgruber

@blackace: NFL fever, I played the shit outta that one.

Avatar image for cfscorpio

I'd love to play my copy of Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee on my Xbox One. Also the more people can play Jade Empire the better. I want a sequel.

Avatar image for Bowser05

@cfscorpio: YES! I never got to finish it on the original and I would really like to play through it. Still have my disc. For Jade Empire, I mean. Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee I have on my GCN. :)

Avatar image for tehtacoguy