Applies to: Player 4.x on ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro

ArcMap 10.4 to 10.8 and ArcGIS Pro require an additional Microsoft library to open Excel XLSX files. The download is available from the GIS-PAX Helpdesk:

 2007 Office System Driver: Data Connectivity Components.

Newer versions of ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro may still require some version of the database access drivers. 

Alternative versions to the 2007 driver are available for download from Microsoft. Microsoft refers to them by different names but they will all address your issue.:

ESRI relate support articles:

NOTE: Player 5.x onwards is does NOT require XLSX support. You may still wish to install the drivers to access XLSX files in ArcGIS Pro but this is not required for Player 5.x to work.