You Can’t Play Skyrim 360 on Xbox One & Here’s Why

Can You Play Skyrim 360 on Xbox One

Skyrim has been released in numerous versions and on many platforms. It’s sometimes hard to navigate through them all, with newer versions being released players are often wondering whether their older versions are backward compatible. Such is the case with Skyrim released for Xbox 360 and Skyrim: Special Edition released for Xbox One. In today’s post, we’re going to be dealing with the backward compatibility of Skyrim and we’re going to bring you the answers to all relevant questions, let’s start with the basics, can you play Skyrim 360 on Xbox One?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • You can’t play Skyrim released for Xbox 360 on Xbox One because it’s not backward compatible.
  • Skyrim which was released back in 2011 for Xbox 360 cannot be run on newer consoles due to different coding.
  • The only way to play Skyrim on Xbox One is to buy Skyrim: Special Edition released in 2016.

How many versions of Skyrim are there?

Six versions of Skyrim have been released over the years not counting the original released back in 2011. Skyrim Legendary edition was released back in 2013 it included all additional released content. After that first major release was Skyrim: Special Edition released in 2016. This version brought major changes to the game’s engine and the game functionalities as well. Skyrim: Special Edition was ported to PS4 and Xbox One.

After that Skyrim for Switch followed in 2017. Skyrim VR was released in 2018 and Skyrim: Very Special Edition for Amazon Alexa followed soon after that. The latest compilation of Skyrim was released in 2021 named The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Anniversary Edition which brought the game to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S as well.

Skyrim versions

As you can see navigating so many versions and compilations can be hard, and an additional guide can be written covering only the differences and additions to each version of Skyrim, however, today, we’re going to focus on Xbox only.

What Version of Skyrim is on Xbox 360 and on Xbox One?

On Xbox 360 you can play the original version of Skyrim released in 2011 and Skyrim: Legendary Edition released in 2013. On Xbox One, you can play Skyrim: Special Edition released in 2016, and Skyrim: Anniversary Edition released in 2021. Skyrim: Special Edition and Skyrim: Anniversary Edition versions of the game included numerous overhauls, engine updates as well as all additional expansions.


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What is the difference between Skyrim and Skyrim: Legendary Edition

The only difference between Skyrim and Skyrim: Legendary Edition is additional content. Skyrim: Legendary Edition comes bundled with Hearthfire, Dawnguard, and Dragonborn. It was technically not a “newer” version of the game as no significant changes were made to the original game. It simply had more content than the base game. If you’ve bought Skyrim and all three DLCs separately that’s like buying Skyrim: Legendary Edition.

Can You Play Skyrim 360 on Xbox One?

You can’t play Skyrim 360 on Xbox One, the game is not backward compatible and it will simply not run. To play Skyrim on Xbox One you will have to buy a separate copy of the game intended for that game system. This might seem like just another money grab in a row but it’s far from that.

We’ve covered differences between the original Skyrim and Skyrim: Special Edition quite extensively in the past, and the reason why you can’t run the original version on Xbox One is due to differences in coding. A newer console simply won’t run older code. The same goes for attempting to play Skyrim: Special Edition on Xbox 360.

If you were planning on purchasing a new copy of the game and continuing your old saves left over from Xbox 360, that won’t work as well. You cannot continue the progress you made on an older version of the game on a newer console you will be forced to play from the start.

What version of Skyrim is on Xbox Series X/S

Both Skyrim: Special Edition and Skyrim: Anniversary Edition can be played on Xbox Series X/S. Both versions are based on the same overhauled engine with one major difference, Skyrim: Anniversary Edition includes Special Edition and a total of 74 Creations which contain over 500 new individual elements such as quests, items, armor, houses, and more. While you can still purchase Skyrim: Special Edition, your best bet is Anniversary Edition due to all the additional content you can receive.


If you plan on playing Skyrim on newer consoles it’s best to investigate beforehand what version you will actually be able to run. With so many versions in circulation, it can be hard to figure out what you need. If you plan on playing Skyrim on Xbox One, the original release of the game won’t do, you will have to purchase Skyrim: Special Edition or Skyrim: Anniversary Edition. The same goes for Xbox Series X/S, as the game based on an older version of the engine simply won’t run.

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