How to Make Old Xbox Games Compatible With the Xbox 360

By Todd Bowerman

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Xbox 360

  • Xbox LIVE account

  • USB flash drive

  • Blank, writeable DVD or CD

  • Windows-based PC with DVD or CD burner

  • Ethernet cable

If you don't own a flash drive and your 360 isn't hooked up to the Internet, you'll need to burn your updates to a disc.
i cd-r image by matteo NATALE from

Microsoft's Xbox 360 system is more powerful than the first Xbox, but that doesn't mean all of the original console's games have been rendered obsolete. There are over 200 old Xbox titles that can be played on the 360, as long as you have installed the correct update.

Update with Xbox LIVE

Connect your Xbox 360 to your router or modem with the Ethernet cable. This will allow the console to access the Internet.

Sign in to Xbox LIVE on your Xbox 360 dashboard. If you do not have a LIVE profile (also known as "Gamertags"), you will be prompted to create one.

Load an original Xbox game into the disc tray of your Xbox 360. The system update will begin automatically.

Restart your system after the update completes. Your 360 will now play all supported original Xbox titles.

Update with a USB Flash Drive

Connect the USB flash drive to your computer by plugging it into an open USB port.

Download the console update file from Microsoft (for link, see Resources below). Unzip the archive file after saving it to your computer.

Copy the update files to your USB flash drive, then disconnect it from your computer.

Plug the flash drive into an open USB port on your Xbox 360 (they can be found just below the power button). Restart the system. When the system asks you if you wish to install new software select "Yes, update now." Your original Xbox games will be playable when the update completes.

Update Using a CD or DVD

Download and unzip the system update from Microsoft (for link, see Resources).

Insert your blank DVD or CD into the disk drive on your computer.

Copy the Xbox 360 update files from your computer to the disc using your CD/DVD burner's software package. When the disc is complete, remove it from your computer.

Place the CD/DVD in the disc tray on the Xbox 360 and restart the system. When prompted to install software updates, choose "Yes, update now." Once the disc installs, you'll be able to play your original Xbox games.


Connecting your Xbox 360 to Xbox LIVE is the easiest way to keep your console updated, as new updates are released on a regular basis.


Many original Xbox games will not play on the Xbox 360. Be sure to check the official list of supported titles in the link under Resources.