I’ve had the chance to play some great Xbox Series X games, and I can say that they make gaming an unforgettable experience. These games are not only fun to play, but they also have stories that keep you interested for hours. The Series X stands out because it has top-notch hardware, which makes it the best game console on the market right now.
Although the system still has a long way to go, the audience has been lured in by Xbox Game Pass and all the studios the company has recently purchased. Of course, a cheap and easy way to access games doesn’t mean much if there’s nothing worth playing. The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s PlayStation 5, with similar internal components and capabilities. Of course, it will be a while before the best Xbox Series X games to play are actually developed by a team within Xbox Game Studios.
Best Xbox Series X Games
Psychonauts 2 developer Double Fine was bought out by Microsoft in 2019, and there was speculation that the game might lose its quirky character. This was not the case. Thanks to the additional support, Double Fine has managed the impossible to develop a great sequel to a niche platformer from the early noughties. The protagonist Raz returns and embarks on more escapades through the minds of his fellow players, uncovering not only emotional stories but also playing hilarious pranks. Studio head Tim Schafer’s DNA is all over this game.
He’s also developed games like Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, and Full Throttle, so expect this kind of cartoon fun for adults. Each ghost you explore is unique, which means a lot of gameplay variations, as well as a visual direction that manages to jump all over the place and stay consistent thanks to a strong art direction reminiscent of Tim Burton. Whether you’re exploring the creepy striped lighthouses of a barbershop nightmare or a trippy, psychedelic version of Woodstock with a gang of facial features, every moment in Psychonauts 2 is a joy.
Hitman 3 gives you the opportunity to secretly turn your target into a pile of meat by pushing him into a giant grape mill. Oh yes! Between the blood and the red wine, the nearby NPCs (the spies who turn you in when they discover your evil deed) have no idea. Muhahaha! Hitman 3 takes you to picturesque cities like Berlin, Dubai and Mendoza. The folks at IO Interactive rarely disappoint when it comes to the locations where Agent 47 carries out his killing sprees.
The game continues to offer what many players love about this series of assassin video games: the ability to use one’s creativity to kill targets by stealth. Although Agent 47 carries a gun, you will be encouraged to find strategic ways to make your killings look like “freak accidents.” There are indeed some memorable and sensational missions in the Hitman series that captured my heart.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the latest installment in Ubisoft’s long-running historical action/stealth series. This time you take control of Eivor: a Viking warrior who must build a new home for his clan in the wilderness of medieval England. All the usual Assassin’s Creed activities are there scouring the land for quests and treasures, hunting Templar agents, expanding your arsenal of sneaking and fighting tools, and so on. But this time you’ll also build a settlement, travel by longship and raid monasteries, as a good Viking should.
When Gears of War 4 came out, you might have thought that the Gears franchise had run out of steam a bit, at least as far as the single-player mode was concerned. But Gears 5 is a triumphant return to form for the series. Sure, it comes with flashy cutscenes full of bombast, as you’d expect from a Gears game. But it also delves into the realms of horror, evoking a creeping dread in between the frenetic action interludes. The basics of a Gears game are still there, and the satisfaction of catching a quick reload still tickles the action glands.
Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 follows in the footsteps of Forza Horizon 4 and has pretty much perfected the series’ open-world driving and racing formula. The game is now set in Mexico and uses the power of the Xbox Series X. Not only does it look exceptional, but it plays like a dream.
There’s a huge amount of content to tackle, with a variety of Mexican environments and locals. And the car handling works better than ever, offering a dose of realism without being too over the top. Whether for car lovers or people who don’t care about cars, Forza Horizon 5 is still a top game for the Xbox Series X that you should definitely try out.
Sea of Thieves
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step into the shoes of a half-pirate, sail the high seas with four companions, plunder islands and sink other ships, just for fun? If so, Rare’s Sea of Thieves is the game for you.
What started out as a somewhat thin experience on Xbox One and PC has evolved into a much deeper game full of secrets, including a giant Kraken for you to take on. The optimized version for Xbox Series X runs at 4K and smooth 60 fps, making the whole experience a breeze on Microsoft’s new flagship console.
Enemy Unknown would have a child, it would be Gears Tactics. The game combines the characters, antagonists and weapons of the Gears series with a turn-based top-down strategy game. That sounds like a difficult feat, but Gears Tactics manages to deftly translate third-person action into a strategy game.
However, Gears 5 isn’t about subtle moves, it’s about maximizing your kills to extend your “move” as far as possible, which gives the game that Gears action feel, even if it lacks a third-person perspective. On the Xbox Series X, the textures, performance and load times are better, which in turn makes the new console the best place to play a Gears game.
Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil may be a franchise more associated with PlayStation, but for some time now it has been a cross-platform series, and the latest installment in the series, Resident Evil Village, is best on Xbox Series X. On the Microsoft console, you have access to ray tracing and the Smart Delivery system, which means that if you bought it on Xbox One, you will receive a free upgrade for the Series X and Series S versions.
As for Resident Evil Village, it is an excellent adventure and horror game. In our review of Resident Evil Village, Henty T. Casey said, “Resident Evil Village is the most immersive game we have played in a long time, with a twisted, labyrinthine story that hooks you and pulls you down one rabbit hole after another.”
Alan Wake Remastered
Alan Wake Remastered is, as the name suggests, a refreshed version of the original Alan Wake, with modern graphics and optimizations for the latest game consoles. The remastered version of the cult classic Alan Wake not only includes all of the game’s DLC, but also makes it run better than ever.
While the original game hasn’t been overhauled, there are welcome improvements to the graphics, and being able to visit Bright Falls for the first time or return as a veteran of Remedy’s scary game is a treat. Therefore, Alan Wake Remastered is a clear recommendation for those who have never experienced how nice it is to take out nightmarish enemies with a flashlight.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Following the critically acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is another fantastic installment of the richly detailed 2D platformer. This is not a generic platformer, but an open world set in a forest with several regions, which comes to life in 2D. The game is rich in attention to detail, from the way the background changes as you move through the world with Ori to the eerie movements of enemies. All of this is accompanied by immersive music that almost tells its own story.
The Xbox Series X hardware will not disappoint you. It’s powerful, sleek and modern, and games that are optimized to use the new hardware will really shine. The Xbox Series X is a good console with a different form factor and several Microsoft exclusive titles. If you are running out of patience waiting for the PlayStation 5, you might want to consider this console. If you already own the console, we hope you’ll check out a few of the games on this list.