Top 10 Xbox 360 Games To Play On Xbox One

by Joe Juba on Dec 25, 2016 at 06:01 AM

Many lucky gamers have recently become the owners of Xbox Ones this holiday season, which opens up a new frontier for them. However, it also opens up an old frontier; an Xbox One also lets you play a broad selection of fantastic Xbox 360 games via disc and digital download. Microsoft has been making a concerted effort to enrich its catalogue of backward-compatible offerings, so if you didn’t play the best of what the last generation had to offer, now is a great chance to catch up.

Maybe you just got into gaming, or maybe you’ve only played bad games until now. Whatever your reason, use this list as a guide to point you toward the best backward-compatible titles for your Xbox One. Note that this list omits Xbox 360 games that are now available in improved or remastered forms on Xbox One, like The BioShock Collection, Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection.

10. Fable II
This action/RPG from Peter Molyneux’s now-defunct Lionhead Studios is set in a high-fantasy world with an emphasis on choice and consequence. While the ending is a bit anti-climactic, the journey is full of flexible gameplay, storybook visuals, and entertaining characters. Don’t let the “II” throw you off – you don’t need to play the original Fable to enjoy this sequel.

9. Super Meat Boy
If you like simple, low-stress platformers, then stay away from Super Meat Boy. Don’t be fooled by the cute retro vibe; precise controls and daunting challenges make this one of the most demanding titles in the genre. However, dying is part of the fun. You’re back in the action before you know it, and the hardship along the way makes victory even sweeter.

8. Gears of War 2
Before jumping in Gears of War 2, you should play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. Understanding the first entry makes it easier to appreciate the second, which continues the adventures of Marcus Fenix and company. The sequel improves the core mechanics, plus it has a cooperative campaign distinguished by adrenaline-fueled setpieces and impeccable polish.

7. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
The aliens are invading, and you are Earth’s last line of the defense. That simple premise is the heart of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but drives an amazing amount of drama in this turn-based strategy title. Spearhead the war effort by building a base and training soldiers, and witness your tactical efforts succeed (or go down in flames) as you maneuver across an uncertain battlefield.

6. Braid
Are you tired of games that call pushing a few crates around “puzzles”? Then Braid might be for you. From creator Jonathan Blow (whose most recent game is The Witness), this indie darling has you playing around with time in a variety of mind-bending situations. Braid’s puzzles are satisfying and unique, and the minimalist narrative unfolds in captivating ways.

5. Dead Space
Dead Space is an atmospheric horror experience set on a space ship ravaged by a bizarre infection. In addition to tense gunplay and gruesome enemies, expect some mind games that cause you to doubt your own senses. You may have heard how the later entries in this series betray their horror-infused roots; this game is the source of those “roots” everyone holds in such high regard.

4. Fallout 3
Open-world games are often teeming with life, but the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Fallout 3 is impressive in its desolation. You scrounge for survival and fight off radioactive beasts using the innovative V.A.T.S. system. Like Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, a big part of the fun is exploration and forming a story around your hero based on the choices you make.

3. Portal: Still Alive
Even if you haven’t played Portal, you’ve probably heard enough “the cake is a lie” jokes to last a lifetime. That’s okay, because this game is more than just a few memorable lines. Portal’s devious puzzles and clever setting are constantly subverting your expectations, and the dialogue from the malevolent computer GLaDOS is the icing on the cake (oops).

2. Mass Effect
Save the galaxy from evil robots while making space-friends. Commander Shepard’s story is all about the relationships you build and the choices you make over the whole trilogy, so if you’re going to play Mass Effect, you should start at the beginning. This isn’t even the best Mass Effect game, but after you finish the original, you can jump into Mass Effect 2 and 3 (though the sequels are currently only backward-compatible via Xbox 360 disc).

1. Red Dead Redemption
This Western-themed title isn’t just another fantastic open-world game from Rockstar (though it is that). Red Dead Redemption is the first and only game to capture and convey the classic cowboy fantasy. Saloons, gunfights, trains, horses, revenge – you can find practically every classic component of the Wild West here. Plus, with Red Dead Redemption 2 on the horizon, you should saddle up to see what all the fuss is about.

What Xbox 360 games have you been replaying on Xbox One? Share your favorites in the comments below!