Xbox One backward compatibility: The first wave has some glaring omissions

Players will have to wait a little longer to dust off their copies of Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops for Xbox 360.


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You won’t find much Halo among the first Xbox 360 games that will work on the Xbox One, but Microsoft says it’s working to change that.

On November 12, Microsoft will launch its long-awaited Xbox One interface overhaul, which will also bring backwards compatibility with some Xbox 360 games. The first wave includes 104 titles (full list below), and Microsoft aims to add more on a regular basis.

Gears of War fans should be happy to see compatibility for the entire series. Other big hits on the list include Assassin’s Creed II, Mass Effect, Fable II, Borderlands, and Fallout 3. Much of the list, however, comprises smaller indie games and 90s-era re-releases. The only Halo game at present is Halo: Spartan Assault, a top-down shooter that Microsoft ported over from mobile devices.

More games are coming in December, including Halo Reach, Halo Wars, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Skate 3, and the entire Bioshock series. Microsoft says it will eventually have a “long list” of compatible games, and any free games the company offers through its Games With Gold program will be backward compatible as well.

Backwards compatibility works with both retail discs and downloads, and any cloud saves through Xbox Live will transfer to the new console. Xbox One features such as game DVR, broadcasting on Twitch, and console-to-PC streaming will all work with Xbox 360 titles. Multiplayer should also remain intact for as long as publishers keep their servers up and running.

Why this matters: All evidence points to Microsoft falling far behind Sony in the console wars, with some estimates showing PlayStation 4 sales nearly doubling the Xbox One worldwide. Backwards compatibility could help Microsoft regain some ground among people who haven’t upgraded, and might not want to lose access to a decade’s worth of games.

Backward-compatible Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One

Here’s the full list:

  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Asteroids & Deluxe
  • Banjo Kazooie®: Nuts & Bolts
  • Banjo-Kazooie®
  • Banjo-Tooie®
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Bejeweled 2
  • Bellator: MMA Onslaught
  • Beyond Good & Evil HD
  • Blood of the Werewolf
  • BloodRayne: Betrayal
  • Borderlands
  • Call of Juarez® Gunslinger
  • Castle Crashers
  • CastleStorm
  • Centipede & Millipede
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins
  • Crazy Taxi™
  • Deadliest Warrior: Legends
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening
  • DiRT 3
  • DiRT Showdown
  • Discs of Tron
  • Doom
  • Doom II
  • Dungeon Siege III
  • Earthworm Jim HD
  • Fable II
  • Fallout 3
  • Feeding Frenzy
  • Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears of War: Judgment
  • Golden Axe™
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Hardwood Backgammon®
  • Hardwood Hearts®
  • Hardwood Spades®
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Hexic HD
  • Ikaruga
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Joy Ride Turbo
  • Just Cause 2
  • Kameo™: Elements of Power
  • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Lode Runner™
  • Mass Effect™
  • Metal Slug 3
  • Metal Slug XX
  • Might & Magic Clash of Heroes™
  • Mirror’s Edge™
  • Missile Command
  • Monday Night Combat
  • Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
  • Ms. Splosion Man™
  • Mutant Blobs Attack!!!
  • N+
  • NBA JAM: On Fire Edition
  • NiGHTS into dreams…
  • Operation Flashpoint™: Dragon Rising
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition™
  • Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Phantom Breaker:Battle Grounds
  • Pinball FX™
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Prince of Persia
  • Putty Squad
  • Rayman 3 HD
  • R-Type Dimensions™
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
  • Shadow Complex
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 3
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Supreme Commander 2
  • Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix Vegas
  • Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix Vegas 2
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth™
  • Torchlight
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Tron: Evolution
  • Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Zuma
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