Denki News

August 8, 2006

List of region-free Xbox 360 games

Filed under: Japan, Video Games — icruise @ 3:50 am

Xbox 360 games are unusual in that they do not necessarily have region coding. It is up to the publisher to decide whether or not to include the region coding in their games. This means that for some games, it is possible to buy the cheaper Asian versions and still use them on your Xbox 360 no matter what region it is (US, Japan, etc). Since the Asian versions of these games are identical to the versions sold in the US (all in English, etc) and they usually cost about $40 instead of $50-$60 like the US versions, this can be a good deal for people living in the US. It’s also good for people who have an Xbox 360 from a different region than the country they are living in (I have a Japanese Xbox but live in the US, for example, so buying Asian versions is the only way to get some games for me). A list of these region-free games follows. (More after the jump.)

Remember that not all Asian region games are region free; a list like the one below is needed to see which ones will work on a US or European Xbox 360. And just because a game is region-free does not necessarily mean that it is PAL compatible, so if you live in a region where they use PAL TVs instead of NTSC (which is used in the US and Japan) you should be careful that the games you buy are compatible. Below, I’ve linked to the product pages for (probably the best importer of games around) and they usually will mention on the page if the game is PAL compatible or not. You might also try looking on the web for more information, such as this thread on I also discovered this page on the Play-Asia site that has a handy reference to which games are region free and which are not.

Just so everyone understands me, the games on this region-free list are the Asian versions (“Asia” being a region that is separate from “Japan”). I don’t think the Japanese versions of these games would play on anything but a Japanese Xbox 360, and I can’t guarantee that the European versions of the games are region free either. However, in every case that I have been able to test them out, the US versions of these games were region-free and worked fine on my Japanese Xbox 360.

List of Region-Free Asian Games:

Assassin’s Creed (from early reports)
Blazing Angels
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 3
Condemned: Criminal Origins (out of stock at Play Asia)
Chromehounds (out of stock at Play Asia)
Dead Rising (out of stock at Play Asia)
Full Auto (out of stock at Play Asia)
Just Cause
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Moto GP 2006
Open Season

Quake 4
Rumble Roses XX
Saints Row
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (GRAW)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Tomb Raider: Legend
X-men: The Official Game

Note: I saw some mention on the web that Viva Pinata was region free, but I can say from experience that the US version does not work on a Japanese Xbox 360. I can’t be sure about other versions or regions, but I would approach this title with caution.



  1. GRAW doesn’t play on my Japanese machine. I got ripped off on eBay and have been trying to “get along” ever since. Anyone talked to MS re: fixing or exchanging such a machine?

    Comment by Gilbert D. — September 2, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  2. It won’t play because of the region coding, or because the disc is scratched or defective?

    Comment by icruise — September 2, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

  3. when i went on hoilday to hong kong i brought my xbox360 for a really cheap price. when i got home i brought call of duty 2, hitman blood money and ghost recon 2 and they all work prectful. not long ago i went and brought dead rising. when i got home my 360 keep saying that the disc regional code was different to the coding on 360.

    how come your dead rising works.

    Comment by Alexander5 — October 24, 2006 @ 5:46 am

  4. Are you from England by any chance? It could be a PAL/NTSC issue. As far as I know, Dead Rising is region free, but the Asian/US versions might not be PAL compatible. Just a guess.

    Comment by icruise — October 24, 2006 @ 5:52 am

  5. I have a korean xbox 360 and i live in america….it makes me so mad that i cant play NFL games or anything..and the only way to play one is to download the demo…which takes about like 2 danthing about Halo 3 and its regays…so could u possibly email me if you know halo 3’s region code or any American sport games.. i kno halo 2 is region free… but u never know what bungie is ever gonna do.

    Comment by Sean Huber — October 29, 2006 @ 1:52 pm

  6. Dead Rising isn’t region free, the version selling in Europe and the states is different from that selling in Japan. Japan has much stricter rules regarding gore in games and Dead Rising had to be changed before it was able to be released in Japan. I also don’t think Assassin’s Creed will be region free either going by what I’ve heard.

    All Asian 360’s are not the same region. Even though they all print NTSC/J on the game packaging there are a lot of cases where games that will play on a Chinese or Korean machine will not work on a Japanese machine.

    The Xbox 360 is region locked. The only way to be 100% safe is to buy the system and games in your own country. If you don’t, it’s a gamble on your part, no matter what the packaging says.

    Comment by Gobsmakker — November 7, 2006 @ 7:00 pm

  7. This is a bit of a complicated issue and I didn’t address all of the aspects of it. The games that I am referring to here are the Asian versions. The term “Asian” as I am using it refers to games that are in the “Asian” region. While Japan may be in Asia, it is in a region all by itself when it comes to region coding. It can be a little confusing because Japanese Xbox 360s can play “Asian” region games, but they are technically different regions.

    As for Dead Rising, I have a Japanese Xbox 360 and I was able to buy Dead Rising in the US. I know of many people who bought the Asian version to play on their US Xbox 360s. So the Asian and US versions are definitely region free, and that’s what’s important for the purposes of this article.

    As long as you are careful and check before you buy, it’s perfectly possible to buy region free games. I’ve bought quite a number myself and have never run into any problems.

    I’ll add a few notes to clarify in the article itself.

    Comment by icruise — November 7, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

  8. i buy on ebay college hoops 2k6 and i saw in a site that works in a PAL xbox360 i am from portugal!the game came and don’t work!why?
    i was thinking buy gears of war that i saw in a site that ntsc/j works on pal!but play-asia say that is not true!should i buy it?

    Comment by João — November 13, 2006 @ 6:49 am

  9. why would a developper want to exclude a particular region from his sales territory no matter which way you look at it it will mean that you will have less sales if you exclude the state / europe or japan / asia

    are there any people that can shed a light on that?

    Comment by Terence — November 22, 2006 @ 5:58 am

  10. I just bought Gears of War. It works on Japanese 360….

    Comment by Dana — November 27, 2006 @ 11:37 pm

  11. I just bought gears of war, it works on 360.

    Comment by Dana — November 27, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

  12. I have a mexican xbox (dont be surprised please)

    And i recently bought KAMEO in South Korea, it says that the region is not the same as the one of my xbox 360.

    I suppose that I´ll just have to live with that… or is there some way around this???

    Comment by HURKAN — December 1, 2006 @ 6:49 pm

  13. Kameo is not a region-gree game (you’ll see it’s not on the list) so I’m afraid your only choice is to get a copy of the game that is compatible with your region.

    Comment by icruise — December 1, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  14. What about Blue Dragon, has anyone tried NTSC-J on American xbox 360 for this, I’m leary to spend 60 bucks to test it.

    Comment by Todd — December 15, 2006 @ 11:37 am

  15. As far as I know, all games made in Japan are region-locked, so there’s very little chance that Blue Dragon would work.

    Comment by icruise — December 15, 2006 @ 11:40 am

  16. i just got oblivion and EA fight night round 3 for my 360 from Australia and i cant play them at all. it says the region code doesnt match up, im in canada. i was wondering if there was any way possible to get passed these restriction?

    Comment by Doug — January 16, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

  17. i just got oblivion and EA fight night round 3 for my 360 from Australia and i cant play them at all. it says the region code doesnt match up, im in canada. i was wondering if there was any way possible to get passed these restriction? sry about the second post but if anyone has an answer to this feel free to contact me through email

    Comment by Doug — January 16, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

  18. Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to make a game from another region work with an Xbox 360. That’s why lists like these are important — you’ll notice that neither of those games are on the list of region-free games.

    Comment by icruise — January 17, 2007 @ 7:51 am

  19. is there any sports games that are region free. I have a japan xbox and live in the us.

    Comment by jackie — January 23, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

  20. I have a japanese XBOX 360. Will it play the Call of duty 3 available in India?

    Comment by Nik — February 22, 2007 @ 7:31 am

  21. ok…I got my 360 from australia though i moved back to Hong Kong a month ago…what kind of games can my 360 play??? Can it play NTSC or NTSC J?? there are only a few PAL games available in Hong Kong…

    Comment by William — March 4, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

  22. I live in India and have a XBox 360 which is a PAL version and region 5. If I buy these games from US (which are NTSC) work in mine? FYI, my TV can support NTSC along with PAL.

    Comment by Sounak — March 14, 2007 @ 9:18 pm

  23. Does any 1 know if CandC Teberium wars on the box will be region free or not?

    Comment by kabster — March 22, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  24. I bought my 360 in australia and went to malaysia and pciked up ultimate alliance and it wont work with my aussie 360? in your list it said it would work.. any tips

    Comment by jaz — April 15, 2007 @ 2:52 am

  25. I tried Rumble Roses XX on my US console and it doesnt work… Wrong Region Code error is all I get :s

    Comment by Istiaq — May 3, 2007 @ 1:34 am

  26. What region is the game from? Remember that these games are not universally region free. The *Asian versions* are region free (and the US versions in my experience also follow suit). As I mention above, the Japanese versions of the games ARE NOT region free.

    Comment by icruise — May 3, 2007 @ 1:39 am

  27. I guess my one was japanese version. The market here in bangladesh brings 360 consoles most probably brings them from there and da games too. thanks for your reply.

    Comment by Istiaq — May 3, 2007 @ 5:05 am

  28. Sounds like you’ve managed to accomplish what I’m trying to do. I’m moving to Japan in June but I won’t really have space to carry a console with me, so I want to pick one up when I arrive. If I buy some American games before I leave, do you think they will work on a Japanese xbox360 console? Games I’m looking at are Halo 2, Gears of War, Ninja Gaiden, Viva Pinata, and maybe some others. What I’m gathering from your post is that bigger budget/production games tend to be region free?

    I’m also worried a bit about backwards compatibility, i.e. playing an American Halo 2 on a Japanese xbox360. Any thoughts?

    Last question: I know you can change the language setting on the console from Japanese to English, but does that affect just the firmware or will in-game writing go to English as well if I’m playing a Japan-region game?

    Thanks for your time.

    Comment by Special K — May 5, 2007 @ 10:02 am

  29. My first advice to you is to check the Play Asia site (above) to see which games are listed as region free. The list here is not complete and I’m not really actively updating it. You should never buy anything without checking first, since there’s no surefire way of knowing that something will be region free.

    Of the ones you mentioned, I have personally tested Halo 2 and Viva Pinata. The American version of Viva Pinata does NOT work on a Japanese Xbox 360. I had to get the Asian version (and of course the Japanese version will also work). For some reason the US version of Halo 2 DOES work, but the other original Xbox games that I’ve tried do not (they say the region is not correct). So I’m guessing that the situation for original Xbox games is much the same as that for Xbox 360 games — it varies from game to game.

    Japanese games are almost always more expensive than the Asian versions, so I only have a few (and they are ones that don’t have English translations available yet). But I do know that Asian games display the proper language for you depending on what you have your system language set to, so my guess is that if there is English available for a particular Japanese game, it will automatically display in English. But if it’s a Japanese-only game, it’ll of course be in Japanese.

    Comment by icruise — May 5, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

  30. One last game: do you know if Oblivion (US) would work on a Japanese 360? Play Asia only mentions the Asian version. Anyone tested this one?

    Comment by Special K — May 8, 2007 @ 10:47 am

  31. Not sure about that one, sorry. There’s really no reason not to just get the Asian version, when you’re in doubt, though, since they’re all in English (assuming they were American to begin with) and they’re priced relatively well.

    Comment by icruise — May 9, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

  32. i bought my 360 here in the Philippines and it says region 3. I bought import tuner in play-asia and it says not compatible with the region? How can I tell if a game is compatible with my 360?

    Comment by Jun — May 30, 2007 @ 6:29 pm

  33. I’m not sure what region 360s bought in the Phillippines would be, but the only Import Tuner Challenge listed on Play Asia appears to be the US version. It’s not a region-free game, as far as I can tell, so you can’t expect it to work on anythin but a US 360.

    Comment by icruise — May 30, 2007 @ 6:36 pm

  34. Thanks. But I meant the 360 i bought it indicated in the box “region 3”. Correct me if im wrong but games in play-asia dont have specific regions. It only indicates Asia, Japan, US etc..

    Any idea where I can sell the game i bought?

    Comment by Jun — May 30, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

  35. I just got a Tiberium Wars 3 COmmand And Conquer from the US.IT is NTSE.But my xbox is india ANd PAL.
    So am getting the region code error.Is there any way i can make the Game work?
    I so badly wanna play it 😦

    Comment by Adi — June 2, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

  36. Good piece on game compatilibity. I have a question for you though – does your NTSC-J xbox work with a NTSC (US) TV?

    Comment by Arvind — July 6, 2007 @ 1:43 am

  37. Sure it does. They’re both NTSC after all.

    Comment by icruise — July 6, 2007 @ 4:13 am

  38. i bought a german game it has german writing all over it i have not played as i want to keep it in packaging will be able to convert the langauge to english

    Comment by brian — July 6, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

  39. Hi
    i’m in australia and was wondering if it was worth buying a japanese xbox 360 and saving a few hundred dollars.
    will it be able to play the majority of games sold here in australia along with halo 3 etc.
    also will it play original xbox games?
    thanks in advance

    Comment by Mark — July 10, 2007 @ 8:27 am

  40. Hi, I’m going to malaysia in a few weeks time, can I buy games to play on my uk xbox 360? and how much are games out there?

    Comment by Colin — July 24, 2007 @ 4:37 pm

  41. hi, is it possible for me too buy games from an american website say like ( etc.) and they willl still work on my xbox 360 which is in the uk?? please write back i really want too get gta VI!!

    Comment by chuft42 — August 13, 2007 @ 6:03 am

  42. i bought my xbox in england and im goin florida next week and im thinking of buying some games because they are cheaper. could anyone tell me if they would work?

    Comment by andy — September 2, 2007 @ 5:06 am

  43. i bought my xbox in england and im goin florida next week and im thinking of buying some games because they are cheaper. could anyone tell me if they would work? im getting really confused by all this

    Comment by andy — September 2, 2007 @ 5:12 am

  44. Hey icruise, been a while. I’ve been using my Japanese xbox360 pretty successfully so far and I’m excited for the fall line-up. Here’s a quandary the internet hasn’t otherwise been to help me with: how can I get a compatible copy of The Orange Box? The issue of Japanese compatibility isn’t addressed anywhere on the internet that I can find, even in Japanese. Any thoughts? Thanks again.

    Comment by Special K — September 22, 2007 @ 7:29 am

  45. Hi Guys

    I am thinking of getting a xbox 360 from UK. I am getting console along with a extra wireless controller plus 2 games Forza 2 and halo, costing me 275 pounds (approx 22k INR).

    I am not sure though that the console purchased here will be compatabile with games purchased in india(Console here are PAL formatted) and also is the price good enough.

    Please reply asap. can even mail me the comments on

    Your help is much appereciated

    Comment by Abhi — October 14, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

  46. i bought def jam but it was japanese version which i couldnt play,can any one help me ? i want to play it anyway

    Comment by nathan — November 8, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

  47. A Bunch of new region free games are out and should be added

    Call of Duty 4 – Region Free
    Soldier of Fortune: Payback
    Half Life 2: Orange Box

    Check for the latest XBOX 360 Region Free releases

    Comment by Tight Wad — November 22, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

  48. Eh….systems should just all be region free

    Comment by Cody — December 3, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

  49. hey, i was wondering if theres any wa f finding out what region your console was manufactured bcoz myn was a present and therefore have no clue as to which games i can play an which games i cant


    Comment by James H — December 6, 2007 @ 6:24 am

  50. hi im bought a xbox 360 in hongkong and i live in england.when i came bck to england i bought halo 3 and it works on the hongkong 360 whys that? is it becuase xbox updated somthing??? reply asap

    Comment by simon — December 11, 2007 @ 12:15 pm

  51. i have a uk pal format xbox 360 and am getting an american halo 3 will the game work on my console

    Comment by justin — February 21, 2008 @ 7:44 pm

  52. Xbox 360


    Will both these games work on a AN XBOX 360 NTSC Console??????????

    I mean to say will NTSC Games work on an NTSC Console no matter if the Console is J or UC.

    Thankyou and Please Reply.

    Comment by Jaxx — March 19, 2008 @ 5:04 am

  53. Ok for those wondering.
    If you have an American XBOX 360 I have found these Pal games do work.
    **Halo 3
    ****Don’t Work on NTSC:
    COD 4 PAL
    Perfect Dark PAL
    Fear PAL
    Oblivion PAL

    Comment by Derek — April 1, 2008 @ 1:44 am

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