Issues playing Xbox Original games

What do I need to play Xbox Originals?
It’s pretty simple to get your Original games working. Here’s what you need:

Hard drive (HDD)
Any first-party Microsoft brand HDD will work, from the 20gb to the 320gb.

NOTE: The 4gb S model console does NOT have a HDD included. The 4gb memory is internal flash memory and will not allow you to play Xbox Originals.

System Update
Your console software must be up-to-date. If you are connected to LIVE at all times, you will be prompted whenever a system update is available. If you have no LIVE connection, you can visit this page for instructions and files to update your console manually.

Compatible Xbox Original Game
Not all Xbox Original games are supported on the Xbox 360 console. We have a newly update page with a list of compatible titles

I have all that and it still won’t play!
If you have all the requirements met and still can’t play your Xbox Original, try some of these troubleshooting steps:

Test the game
If you have a physical game disc, try it in another console to see if it works there. If not, it is probably a faulty disc, or maybe just “well loved”.

If you have purchased a downloadable version from the marketplace, try to delete and redownload it using the following steps:

Delete the content
Settings > System > Storage > [select storage device] > [select content type] > [select content] > Delete

If the content is not in the above location, try looking in the Games folder for “Unknown Game”. Delete this and continue with the steps.

Clear system cache
Settings > System > Storage > Highlight HDD, Press (Y) > Clear System Cache > Yes

Restart the system

Redownload from purchase history
Settings > Account > Download History > [select content] > Download Again

Re-update your console
Because playing Xbox Original games requires the emulation software found in the system update, it might help to re-update the console manually. This process can take as little as five minutes to complete. Here are the steps:

Delete system update
Settings > System > Storage > Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X, Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X > Yes

Reinstall Update
When the console restarts, if it is connected to LIVE, it should automatically update.

If you have any issue updating this way, or if you do not have an internet connection, you can update via a USB device or burned CD/DVD.

Instructions and downloadable files for this process can be found here.

Test the HDD
You may have an issue with your HDD. The simplest way to test this is to simply replace your HDD with another you might have, either an older one or borrow one from a friend. If your game still doesn’t work, it is most likely an issue with the game itself (possibly unsupported).

If this swap does make the game work, then you can try to reformat your HDD to see if that fixes the issue. To do this, you should first back up any personal files to another HDD or USB storage device. Make sure you transfer your profile, save files, etc. Once the files are backed up, you can reformat your HDD. This process should only take a few minutes. Settings > System > Storage > Highlight HDD, press (Y) for Device Options > Format

If after formatting your HDD your game still will not work, you might be in need of a replacement. All accessories bought WITH a system share the 1-year warranty. Accessories bought separately have a 90-day warranty. You can contact support to set up a repair/replacement.

None of that worked, what else can I do?
If you have tried all the above suggestions and are still having issues playing your Xbox Original game, please create a post in this forum with the following information:

What game are you trying to play?
Is it a disc or downloaded version?
What type of console are you using?
What size HDD are you using?
What error code or message are you receiving?


Question Info

Last updated October 15, 2018 Views 5,549 Applies to:


Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for marking this as the answer.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this response?

Thanks for your feedback.