Xbox 360 Game Demo FAQ

Hundreds of game demos are available for free download to Xbox 360

The availability of free demos of games is a popular feature of the Xbox 360. It gives you the opportunity to read about and download demos to see if you like a game before you buy it. Most demos are single-player only, but some offer Xbox Network Multiplayer. You can tell what each demo offers on its expanded information screen. The demos are available only in the U.S.

Availability of Demos for Xbox 360 Games

Every Xbox Live Arcade game and every Xbox Indie Game on the 360 must have a demo per Microsoft's requirements. However, not every retail game is required to provide a demo, and these days many don't.

There are far fewer retail game demos today than there were when the Xbox 360 launched in 2005. A bad demo — and there have been quite a few bad ones — can sour gamers on an otherwise good game, so many publishers stopped offering demos entirely. Producing demos also put extra strain on developers, so not doing demos anymore freed them up to put more work into the game itself. 

There are more than 300 demos listed on the Xbox 360 Game Demo page. That doesn't include every demo that has ever been on the service, of course, just the ones available now. Some have been deleted over the years.

How to Filter Game Demos

When you arrive at the Xbox 360 Game Demo page, you'll see a thumbnail of each game demo along with its release date and star rating. Use the drop-down menu at the top of the page next to SORT BY to sort the hundreds of games by one of five options:

  • Best selling today
  • Release Date
  • Best selling all-time
  • Top rated
  • Title (in alphabetical order)

In the left column, you can select all genres or filter the demos by a specific game genre. They include:

  • Fighting
  • Action & Adventure
  • Shooter
  • Puzzle & Trivia
  • Racing and Flying
  • Avatar
  • Classics
  • Educational
  • Family
  • Music
  • Platformer
  • Role Playing
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Strategy & Simulation

You can also filter by game ratings. The options include:

  • E - Everyone
  • E10 - Everyone 10+
  • T - Teen
  • M - Mature
  • RP - Rating Pending

How to Try out a Demo Game on Xbox 360

When you locate a game demo that interests you, click on its thumbnail image to open and view an expanded overview of the game along with other information about it in the Xbox Marketplace. You'll be able to see the game rating, release date, star rating, images from the game, download size and an overview description of the game. 

If the demo interests you, click the Download to Xbox 360 button. Sign in to your Microsoft account to download the demo. If you don't have an account, follow the on-screen directions to create one.

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