Those who were able to get their hands on the Xbox Series X can really appreciate Microsoft’s efforts to correct its past mistakes from the Xbox One era. As well as being as good as the PlayStation 5 when it comes to performance, the Series X boasts a great first-party lineup further enhanced thanks to Xbox Game Pass, a host of essential third-party titles, and the ability to play games dating back to the OG. Xbox from 2001.
With so many amazing titles available, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve picked out the best Xbox Series X and Series S games available right now, from blockbuster action experiences to family-friendly rigs.
$14.65 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
Released a year before Xbox Series X, Gears 5 is considered another great entry in the Gears of War franchise. The single-player campaign adds interesting elements to the series’ satisfying cover shooter through Jack, an upgradable robot companion, as well as light open-world exploration. Meanwhile, multiplayer is better than ever, with the tense three-player mode Escape joining the established co-op Horde and competitive deathmatch varieties. When run on Xbox Series X, Gears 5 has enough visual enhancements to rival the PC version running on ultra-level graphics settings, including higher resolution textures and particle count as well as framerates. super smooth images.
$59.95 on Amazon
The highly anticipated collaboration between FromSoftware and “Game of Thrones” writer George RR Martin brings the insanely challenging action role-playing game of Dark Souls to an open-world structure. Having a huge world to explore allows for new additions to the formula, including better stealth gameplay and mounted combat. If things get too tough, players can summon collectible spirits or friends via multiplayer. Equally important, Elden Ring looks amazing and performs phenomenally on Xbox Series X.
$59.99 $53.99 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
The latest Forza Horizon entry from Playground Games is set in the beautiful country of Mexico. In addition to letting you drive through an open world 50% larger than the previous entry, Forza Horizon 5 has a localized weather system in various biomes that reflects weekly seasonal changes. An experience that still feels player-driven (no pun intended), the gameplay is truly personal, thanks to extensive car customization and the ability to tweak mechanical options. Between single-player story missions and a ridiculous amount of multiplayer offerings seeing frequent updates, there’s enough content in this arcade-leaning racer to last quite a while.
$59.99 $40.18 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
One of our picks for the best video games of 2021, Halo Infinite finally brings the franchise back to its pioneering first-person shooter glory. The single-player campaign featuring series protagonist Master Chief moves into the open world, providing more options for engaging in combat while allowing for the introduction of new combat tools, including the mega-satisfying Clawshot. The free-to-play multiplayer portion of the game balances the features fans love about Halo while adding modern touches like ability pickups and a season pass filled with unlockables to customize your Spartan.
$59.99 $44.90 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
The latest entry in one of Microsoft’s oldest franchises, Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the best ways to show off the graphics capabilities of your Xbox Series X. In addition to utilizing nearly all of the graphics tricks in the book, Flight Simulator simulates the world using Microsoft Azure cloud data and Bing Maps. Outside of the recreational activity of flying anywhere on Earth, modes like Landing Challenges are a true test of flight ability. Just note that there is a bit of a learning curve in controlling an aircraft via the Xbox Series X controller; it’s best to use a flight stick for a more immersive experience.
$59.99 $29.99 on Amazon
The eighth mainline entry in Capcom’s Resident Evil series takes Ethan Winters, protagonist of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, from the bayous of Louisiana to an equally terrifying Eastern European village. This time, Ethan must find his kidnapped daughter taken by the mysterious Mother Miranda. Although the latest entry still uses the same first-person view introduced in RE7, Resident Evil Village is much more action-oriented and plays a lot like Resident Evil 4 in terms of combat. Don’t worry, though, there are still some truly terrifying moments. Taking the action even further, the game also sees the return of the arcade-style Mercenaries mode, which is available once players have completed the single-player story.
$39.99 $28.69 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
Rare’s first-person pirate simulator Sea of Thieves didn’t receive the warmest reception when it was released in 2018, but thanks to constant updates and revisions, the game has improved noticeably while maintaining a strong player base. Best played with friends, Sea of Thieves works due to its unpredictability on the high seas, finding an island, and finding buried treasure while battling various enemies. Xbox Series X owners can play the game in full 4K resolution at 60 frames per second in addition to enjoying reduced loading times.
$37 $27.94 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
Last game released by Codemasters before being acquired by Electronic Arts, Dirt 5 is currently one of the few triple-A arcade racers available for Xbox Series X. Focusing on various off-road vehicle disciplines, from rally to truck, this entry in the Dirt series features dynamic weather during races. As far as current-gen visuals go, the runner is a joy to play in extra-smooth 120Hz mode for those whose TVs support that feature. Those who like to hop on the couch with friends will also appreciate Dirt 5’s four-player split-screen multiplayer.
$33.12 on Amazon
With Control, Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment manages to reinvent itself once again as the premier third-person shooter maker. Players take the place of Jesse Faden, who searches for his missing brother by exploring the Oldest House, a building run by the Federal Bureau of Control paranormal agency. Battling a mysterious enemy called the Hiss, Jesse wields a transforming gun called the Service Weapon and various upgradeable powers as players try to figure out exactly what’s going on. Control Ultimate Edition features visual enhancements for Xbox Series X (including ray tracing for extra-realistic reflections) alongside The Foundation and AWE expansion packs.
$59.99 $53.99 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
Tim Schafer and the fine team at Double Fine Productions took a while to get going, but Psychonauts 2 managed to make it worth it. The writing is as strong and comedic as ever, with series protagonist Raz battling against mysterious new foes, the Deluginists seeking to resurrect the mysterious villain Maligula. Although the 3D platformer gameplay based on psychic abilities doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s still a pleasure to play and watch the story unfold.
$32.57 $29.99 on Amazon
Capcom’s Devil May Cry series has earned a reputation as one of the sleekest action games available today. For the fifth entry in the series, series hero Dante joins Devil May Cry 4 protagonist Nero and the mysterious V for even more fun. The Current-Gen Special Edition adds Dante’s brother, Virgil, as a playable character while also including visual enhancements such as ray tracing, higher resolution textures, and higher frame rates.
$59.99 $19.99 on Amazon
The most recent entry in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, is set during the Vikings’ expansion into the British Isles around 872 AD. Players take on the role of Eivor Varinsdottir (available in male and female variants) as he or she takes on the Templar Order using brutal dual-wielding ax combat or the series’ stealth abilities. Like previous entries in the series, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla lets players take guided tours of the British Isles to learn more about the time period.
$29.88 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
The original Ori and the Blind Forest was a Metroidvania-style platformer with a beautiful 2D look and clever gameplay that made it a critical darling in 2015. Ori and the Will of the Wisps takes everything great about the game. original on another level as it follows Ori to the new region of Niwen. Not only does it deliver even more visual splendor, but it also adds some much-loved gameplay enhancements, including auto-save and a “shard” system to enhance your abilities.
$39.99 $16.48 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
Co-developed by Splash Damage and The Coalition, Gears Tactics does a magnificent job of adapting the cover-based shooter of Gears of War into a turn-based tactics game. Similar to other games in the genre like XCOM, there are a handful of customizable classes to take on the Horde – from retro Lancer Vanguards to Gnasher-wielding Scouts. Players will need to use these classes carefully in various combat scenarios that will test both wit and foresight.
$19.99 $17.99 on Amazon (also on Xbox Game Pass)
Encompassing the 30-year history of acclaimed UK developer Rare, Rare Replay isn’t just a great collection of games, it’s also a lesson in gaming history. Nintendo-era classics like Battletoads and Banjo- Kazooie to modern titles like Viva Piñata and Kameo, there’s so much to enjoy with this pack. Players looking to really dive into Rare’s history will also appreciate the Rare Revealed bonus section which gives a behind-the-scenes look at the developer’s classic games alongside projects that may never see the light of day.