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How to play Red Dead Redemption 1

Want to play the first Red Dead Redemption before the release of Red Dead Redemption 2? Here are the options you currently have.

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Want to play the first Red Dead Redemption before the release of Red Dead Redemption 2? Here are the options you currently have.

With only a few months to go until Red Dead Redemption 2 rides on to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, you might be enticed by the prospect of playing – or replaying – Rockstar’s first Wild West opus.

The original Red Dead Redemption holds up remarkably well in both design and execution. Its depiction of the Western United States and Mexico remains one of the most fully formed and coherent game worlds, perhaps only surpassed by Grand Theft Auto V‘s Los Santos, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild’s Hyrule.

The next question is where can you play the game? Here are the current options:

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3

The obvious place to start is the disc version of the original release, or the Game of the Year edition which includes Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare DLC and various other add-ons. You can still pick up both versions easily via eBay or Amazon.

The game can also be downloaded from the Xbox and PlayStation stores. In terms of performance, the Xbox 360 version has the advantage, with a slightly better frame rate, and a higher screen resolution.

PlayStation 4

It’s not possible to play the PlayStation 3 disc version of the game on a PlayStation 4, but there is a solution of sorts. Red Dead Redemption is now available via the wonder of Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service. Although the service is reliable it’s worth noting that your internet connection speed will impact the quality of your experience. Sony recommends a 5Mbps or greater internet connection when using PlayStation Now. To be honest, we’d probably recommend finding another way to play such an amazing game.

Red Dead Redemption

Xbox One

Hopes for a ground-up remaster of Red Dead Redemption were dashed when the game was added to the Xbox One’s list of backwards compatible Xbox 360 titles in 2016. If you bought the game from either the Xbox One or Xbox 360 store, or Xbox.com, you’re good to go.

If you have a disc copy of the Xbox 360 game, you can also pop it into your Xbox One. This will download the game code from the Xbox One store. You’ll need to keep the disc in the tray while playing, and have approximately 7.5GB of hard drive space free for the download.

Playing Red Dead Redemption on a standard Xbox One also brings a few performance enhancements such as an improved frame rate and the elimination of screen tearing.

However, the best way to play the game – assuming you have a 4K display – is on an Xbox One X. The game receives a crisp native 4K boost, with a knock on effect of improved lighting and various environmental effects.

If you are an Xbox Live subscriber you can also transfer Xbox 360 game saves to Xbox One via the cloud.

PC

If you want to play Red Dead Redemption natively on PC, you’re out of luck. No-one really knows why the game was never ported but reports suggest that Rockstar were just unable to get it running effectively. Grand Theft Auto V’s continued success on Steam indicates that a PC port would be popular so we’ll just have to assume that was a case of technical limitation rather than a lack of desire.

However, if you are so inclined, you can play the game on PC via the PlayStation Now.

PlayStation Now recommended PC specs.

  • Windows 7 (SP 1), 8.1 or 10
  • 3.5 GHz Intel Core i3 or 3.8 GHz AMD A10 or faster
  • 300 MB or more of available storage
  • 2 GB or more of RAM

And , of course…

It would be remiss of us to completely ignore Red Dead Revolver, which came to PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox in 2004. This over-the-top take on the old west was acquired from Capcom and developed by Rockstar San Diego. Although the game doesn’t really feel like part of the current Red Dead universe it’s not without its charms.


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Thumbsticks editor, and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Pinball FX3, and Red Dead Redemption 2.