The Top Xbox 360 games we want to play on Xbox One

Microsoft has finally announced the first 104 Xbox 360 games that will be backwards compatible on Xbox One. While that sounds like a lot of games, it's really only a drop in the bucket compared to the Xbox 360's overall library of over 1,700 titles. As such, many popular and fan-requested titles naturally won't be backwards compatible when the feature launches on November 12th. In fact, many of the top 20 most-requested games are not on the launch list!

Don't despair, though, Xbox One owners. We know that Microsoft will make more games backwards compatible in the future. Still, the uncertainty of which Xbox 360 titles will be playable on the Xbox One haunts some of us to our very cores. So read on to find out which games each member of the Windows Central staff most wants to become backwards compatible!

Paul Acevedo


Catherine from Atlus:

The Xbox 360 has its fair share of quirky Japanese games, something almost entirely absent from the Xbox One lineup so far. Of those wacky but interesting titles, Catherine is the one I'd most like to play. Catherine's art, premise, and even gameplay are highly unique.

The game stars Vincent, a man who becomes involved with two women: his girlfriend Katherine and the mysterious Catherine. Vincent soon begins to have nightmares that threaten to kill him if he can't uncover their source. The gameplay mixes adventure elements and extensive character conversations with challenging puzzle-platforming segments that take place in the nightmare realm.

Intriguing nature aside, Catherine also went on sale for quite cheap recently. I'm sure many gamers who picked it up would like to play it on their Xbox Ones.

Earth Defense Force 2025

Earth Defense Force 2025 from Sandlot and D3 Publisher:

The second game in the EDF series was easily the best, at least until an enhanced version came along for PlayStation 4. This series enjoys a simple but fun premise: armies of giant insects, monsters, and robots threaten the earth. Only the heroic Earth Defense Force can stop them.

Players will select from four distinct characters (the all-around Ranger, the support-oriented Air Raider, the flying Wing Diver, and the slow but powerful Fencer) and battle the alien menace across more than 80 levels. Not only do hordes of enemies swarm the screen, but nearly every building is completely destructible. Half the fun comes from leveling the cities you're sent to save.

EDF 2025 is also a grinding fan's dream game. Each character has dozens of weapons to collect via random drops, and you're encouraged to beat every level on five difficulty levels to build up and find more stuff. With 2-player split-screen and 4-player online co-op, EDF 2025 is still one of my favorite Xbox 360 games. Plus it's cheap on Amazon!

See our EDF 2025 review for more details.

Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII (and sequels) from Square-Enix:

FFXIII made headlines when it launched on Xbox 360 in addition to PlayStation 3. The 360 version had to come on three DVD-ROMs due to its massive size and abundance of FMV movie sequences. Unfortunately, the Xbox version's FMV, graphics, and sound suffered a slight downgrade due to the smaller storage capacity of DVDs compared to Blu-rays. But I'm here to tell you that stuff doesn't matter; it still looks and sounds great, even today.

The thirteenth Final Fantasy is somewhat maligned for its story, area design, and battle system. I have to admit, the story is incomprehensible at times. Characters seem to talk a_t each other instead of _to each other, lessening the drama. And the map designs really are very simplistic compared to other RPGs. But the combat system actually makes battles speedy and fun, with players switching each character's roles on the fly as battle conditions change. The upgrade system is creative and fun too.

It might not be the best Final Fantasy game, but FFXIII is still a huge and beautiful game. Patient gamers who stick around past the slow opening hours will find a lot to enjoy. Plus the Xbox One needs all the JRPGs it can get!

Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon from Microsoft:

Xbox One already has Forza Horizon 2, one of my all-time favorite racing games. But once you beat Horizon 2 and all of its DLC, you're likely going to long for more of that racing goodness. The first Horizon would fill that gap nicely. It shares much of the same DNA as Horizon 2, but both games differ in several key ways.

For starters, the first Horizon takes place in Colorado, USA rather than Europe. Neither location is better than the other, but they complement each other nicely. Horizon also has a much more street racing vibe than its successor, complete with underground-themed races that pay out handsomely in credits. And the first Horizon offers five car-specific challenges for every single car in the game. These mini-objectives give you lots of fun things to do between races.

Forza Horizon also looks pretty good despite its age. My one complaint is that the in-game radio DJs are total nobs. But I still play Horizon to this day, and hopefully Xbox One owners will eventually get that same opportunity as well.

The Witcher 2

The Witcher 2 from CD Projekt Red:

The Witcher 3 is here, and it's one of the best action-role-playing games of all time. It completely crushes the first two games in the series, not to mention most other RPGs. But I can see a lot of gamers who become enthralled with protagonist Geralt and his exploits wanting to learn more about the events preceding Witcher 3.

Luckily Witcher 2 still holds up fairly well, even if it lacks the massive open world of the third game. The story of Geralt and his friends is just as fascinating in Witcher 2 as in part 3, with lots of interesting sidequests, drama, and mature moments. And players will make meaningful choices that affect the outcome of the game, just as in Witcher 3.

The Witcher 2 sets Geralt on a much narrower course than an open-world game would, with the areas that he can visit limited by the current chapter of the story. And the combat is a bit clunky. But anyone who has spent time with Witcher 3 should be able to ease into this one without much trouble.

Hopefully fans of the Witcher will get a chance to explore this portion of Geralt's life on their Xbox Ones sooner rather than later.

More Windows Central staff picks

Left 4 Dead 2

L4D (Image credit: Valve)

Left 4 Dead 2

John Callaham

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 from Activision
  • Grand Theft Auto IV from Rockstar and 2K
  • Left 4 Dead 2 from Valve
  • Portal 2 from Valve
  • Red Dead Redemption from Rockstar and 2K

Jez Corden

  • The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim from Bethesda
  • Fallout New Vegas from Obsidian and Bethesda
  • Mass Effect 2 from Bioware and Electronic Arts
  • Mass Effect 3 from Bioware and Electronic Arts
  • XCOM from Firaxis and 2K

Richard Devine

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum from Rocksteady and Warner Bros
  • Grand Theft Auto IV from Rockstar and 2K
  • Homefront from THQ (now owned by Deep Silver)
  • Project Gotham Racing 4 from Bizarre Creations and Microsoft
  • Red Dead Redemption (and Undead Nightmare) from Rockstar and 2K

Jonathan Dollison

  • Alan Wake from Remedy and Microsoft
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2 from Electronic Arts
  • Dead Space from Visceral and Electronic Arts
  • Portal 2 from Valve
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction from Ubisoft

Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Mark Guim

  • Hitman series from Square-Enix

George Ponder

  • NCAA Football series from Electronic Arts


Honorable mention

It didn't make it into our lists, but one early XBLA title maintains a small but loyal following that simply can't be denied. That game is UNO from Carbonated Games and Microsoft.

The original UNO offered a simple and accurate recreation of the classic card game that is totally not boring to play in real life. It only cost five bucks, and it even supported the Xbox 360's short-lived camera peripheral. Many gamers got their first looks at other nude people thanks to UNO, making it an important part of their life development.

When you get right down to it, UNO was great for relaxing with friends in party chat, and it only cost five bucks. Although Microsoft might not have the UNO license anymore, I know for a fact that loyal reader Sgt Torrente and many others would love to play it again on Xbox One.

Read Dead Redemption

Read Dead Redemption

What 360 games do you wish were backwards compatible?

How do you like our backwards compatibility, picks, guys, gals, and pals? Be sure to share your top five Xbox 360 games that you'd like to play on Xbox One as well!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!