The in-form Gwent Dragons lock has been called up by Wales coach Steve Hansen as one of four changes following last month's 36-15 drubbing by Ireland in Dublin.
Owen, centre Mark Taylor, prop Gethin Jenkins and flanker Colin Charvis all feature in Hansen's Millennium Stadium starting XV.
Taylor takes over from broken thumb victim Sonny Parker, with Jenkins replacing Adam Jones, who has an ankle injury.
Owen, meanwhile, is preferred to Robert Sidoli, and Charvis has recovered from a finger injury. Charvis replaces Martyn Williams, both in the back-row and as captain.
There are three switches on the bench, with Williams, prop Ben Evans and lock Gareth Llewellyn all involved.
Owen was a late withdrawal from Wales' World Cup squad due to a bulging disc in his back, but he has returned in spectacular fashion, producing a series of top-class displays for Celtic League leaders the Dragons.
"Missing the World Cup was a massive disappointment," said Owen.
"I had worked really hard to get into the squad, and it was taken away at the last minute.
"It was definitely the lowest point in my rugby career, but you just have to move on.
"It's great to be back. I am chuffed to be involved again. It took me a week or so to get over the World Cup disappointment with the help of my family, but then I sat down and watched it on television and really enjoyed it, although I was envious of the people playing there.
"I was pleased that the boys played so well against New Zealand and England, and it made me want to get into the squad even more."
While Owen ponders a return to the Test arena, Sidoli will play for his regional team - the Celtic Warriors - this weekend.
"'Sid' will turn out for his region because he needs more match play," said Wales coach Steve Hansen.
"He has only played two games in the last eight weeks because of his pelvis problem, and in Michael Owen we have someone who is in excellent current form.
"Mark Taylor comes in at centre and offers a valuable level of experience and, of the options available to us to replace Sonny, Tom Shanklin is able to cover wing, centre and full-back for us from the bench.
"Jamie Robinson is unlucky to miss out after showing some good form for the Blues, but that just shows the competition for places we have in his position.
"We had a tough decision in the back-row, and we've gone for size to combat a big French pack.
"The decision is no reflection on Martyn Williams' performance last time out, and he will no doubt come on and play a part later in the game, as he has done so effectively in the past.
"In the front-row, Duncan Jones has a slight wrist injury, so we decided it was too risky to consider him for selection, and in Iestyn (Thomas) we have a top quality player who made the decision easy, and he keeps his place.
"Gethin Jenkins, meanwhile, was the obvious replacement at tighthead for Adam (Jones), and Ben Evans joins the bench to cover for that specialist position."
Wales are anxious to get their Six Nations campaign back on track following Dublin, but they have not beaten Grand Slam-chasing France at home in the championship since 1996.