The Xbox One runs Xbox 360 games via emulation, and as a result of the Xbox One's superior hardware, the games often run far better as well. When backwards compatible games launch, they usually do with all of their DLC, with online services intact. The full list of available games can always be found here.

Here's a comprehensive list of our picks for the best games that you must play available on Xbox One's backwards compatibility, in no particular order!

Update January 13th, 2017: We added Dragon Age Origins from BioWare to our favorite backwards compatible games!

Alan Wake

Alan Wake is a psychological thriller that edges into horror territory. The game launched as an Xbox 360 exclusive, eventually making its way to PC. It was developed by Remedy, famed for Max Payne and the more recent time-bending shooter Quantum Break.

Alan Wake captures Remedy's affinity for slick, shooter action and throws the player into a creepy, mystery-laden narrative. Alan Wake and his wife travel to a fictional town in rural America, only to discover that things are certainly not what they seem in Bright Falls. It's up to Alan Wake to find out why a horror novel he can't remember writing appears to be coming to life, threatening everything he holds dear.

Alan Wake is highly recommended gaming for fans of both horror and shooters, and it holds up well despite being launched all the way back in 2010.

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Dead Space

Dead Space is arguably the best survival horror game launched for the Xbox 360, and I was ecstatic to learn EA brought it to Xbox One via backwards compatibility.

Dead Space takes cues from the likes of Resident Evil 4, with claustrophobic over-the-shoulder shooting in dark, winding mazes. The difference, of course, is that Dead Space is set in the distant future on board the mining ship USG Ishimura. The game's protagonist Isaac Clarke responds to the ship's distress beacon, only to find that an evil presence has inhabited the Ishimura and its decaying, mutated crew. Dead Space is a beloved survival horror title with satisfyingly gory shooter gameplay and paranoid atmospherics. This is a must play title for horror fans everywhere.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex Human Revolution starts a prequel arc to the classic tactical first-person RPG-hybrid Deus Ex. Its unique blend of stealth, RPG mechanics, first-person shooting and story-driven branching narrative makes Deus Ex Human Revolution a must-play title.

Deus Ex Human Revolution follows the exploits of Adam Jensen, who is an augmented cyborg operative tasked with unraveling a global corporate conspiracy. The game takes place in several wide-open gameplay hubs, which support alternate routes and many different styles of play. Deus Ex Human Revolution packs in dozens of hours of gameplay, and must be experienced by sci-fi fans everywhere.

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Fallout 3 / Fallout New Vegas

Slightly cheating with this double entry, but it's hard to mention one game without the other! Both Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas are based on the same engine and play very similarly. Both games have strengths and weaknesses, but Bethesda's brand of massive open-world RPG is hard to put down once you get going.

If you didn't already know, the Fallout games are set in an alternative universe where nuclear war wiped out civilization. Fallout 3 and New Vegas take place in different locations in the US, bringing a blend of first person shooting, open-ended RPG mechanics, complete with a branching narrative. New Vegas is notoriously buggier than Fallout 3, but its abundance of choice-driven quests make the game a little more rewarding. Both titles are excellent overall and remain two major highlights of the Xbox 360 generation.

Dragon Age Origins

Dragon Age Inquisition is one of the best RPGs on Xbox One, but the game that started it all launched on Xbox 360. Dragon Age Origins introduces the franchise's universe in an explosive, bloody way. The dreaded Darkspawn are invading, and it's up to you as one of the few remaining Wardens, to beat the Darkspawn back and save the continent from destruction.

Dragon Age Origins is one of the most rewarding RPG stories, with story decisions that truly matter. While it's a little rough around the edges, if you're an RPG fan, this should be a treat.

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Mass Effect (Series)

Mass Effect

Mass Effect is one of the greatest sci-fi RPGs of all time, and it's available now for backwards compatibility. Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3 comprise an epic trilogy that follows the exploits of Commander Shepard and his eclectic team of human and alien heroes. The game is set in a future where humanity has mastered space travel and joined a galactic federation of alien races. Answering a distress call from a human colony, Commander Shepard begins to discover a deadly and subversive alien force which threatens the entire galaxy.

Mass Effect is an RPG shooter developed by BioWare, famed for Knights of the Old Republic and Dragon Age. Mass Effect's ambitious gameplay and tremendous branching narrative make it an addictive, highly rewarding series. The first game is available to purchase, and Mass Effect 2 and 3 are available as part of an EA Access subscription.

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Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is the quintessential video game based in the Wild West. Join former gang member John Marston as he tries to find his place in an increasingly federalized America. The game has since been wildly influential on open-world game development, from Far Cry all the way to The Witcher 3, due to Red Dead Redemption's painstakingly vibrant virtual ecosystem.

Enjoy satisfying slow-motion gunslinging, dozens of side-activities, all manner of humorous, moving and exciting quests, and epic Wild West scenery in one handy package while we wait, patiently for the next entry in the Red Dead series.

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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

The Witcher 3 is one of the most acclaimed titles of this generation so far, and it's all the more rewarding if you dive into the previous titles in the series. While The Witcher 1 hasn't aged particularly well (and is available only on PC), The Witcher 2 remains a hallmark of excellence.

The Witcher 2 sets the stage for the events of The Witcher 3, with the Northern Kingdoms besieged by war and civil disobedience. Geralt of Rivia finds himself caught up in the violence, as he hunts a rogue witcher to clear his name for the assassination of King Foltest. Throughout, you'll grow in strength, defeat giant monsters and unravel a medieval-fantasy conspiracy that threatens the entire nation.

The Witcher 2 is an action RPG with brutal combat, dialogue choices and, for its time, gorgeous visuals. It also enjoys some excellent dialogue writing and voice acting, proving that games can be as cinematic as they can be interactive. The Witcher 2 is highly recommended gaming for any RPG fan, and if you're considering picking up The Witcher 3, the second game provides a wealth of extra context.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown / Enemy Within

In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you take charge of XCOM, an elite task force set up to defeat an encroaching global alien invasion. In combat, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a turn-based strategy game, taking place on grid-based maps spanning various types of terrain across the world. When you're not battling increasingly dangerous and complex aliens, you're developing XCOM's underground base of operations, building new facilities and researching all sorts of new technology.

XCOM is as addictive as it is rewarding, and whether you pick up Enemy Unknown or the Enemy Within enhanced expansion version, with additional maps, units, and missions, you're going to have a total blast. Just make sure you build those satellites!

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Gears of War (Series)

Cheating again with this entry, but it's hard to select a single game in this stand-out series. Gears of War follows the exploits of Delta Squad as they battle to defend the remnants of humanity from a subterranean threat. The deadly Locust have emerged from underground to capture the surface of Sera, slaughtering humanity to the brink of extinction.

Gears of War is a third-person cover based shooter which is perfect for bloody couch co-op gaming. The first game got a major facelift for Xbox One in the form of the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, but each game in the series is available for backward compatibility as well.

Your turn

Microsoft announced Xbox backwards compatibility at their E3 press conference in 2015. At the time, it was the most requested feature on the Xbox UserVoice feedback site, but it never seemed particularly likely to become a reality. Xbox head Phil Spencer announced backwards compatibility, not only stating that the Xbox One would gain hundreds of titles as part of the system but also that currently owned licenses and discs would "just work," thanks to the emulation.

Since then, every major publisher has contributed games to backwards compatibility, from Activision to EA, to Bethesda and beyond. Microsoft is working hard to resolve the licensing issues surrounding getting more Xbox 360 games onto the Xbox One emulator, but until then, check out our picks for the best titles.

What's your favorite backwards compatible title? Are there any you think should be included on this list? Let us know in the comments.

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