You recently spent a good chunk of money on buying a new console and now you are asking yourself, which games to actually play on Xbox Series X/S? We got you covered, as we will present you some of the best games you can currently try on this high-end machine. Before we start though, let me mention this. Any AAA console exclusives are NOT going to be included here, as these are a no-brainer for anyone who owns an Xbox Series X or S. Gear of War 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Horizon 4 to name a few. We are going to focus more on games that deserve to be removed from your backlog, as they are excellent choices to test out the power of your new toy, providing a totally new experience compared to Xbox One.
Also, let me also add that it is of course by no means a ‘best of’ list, since there are hundreds of titles out there that could fit better such a list. In fact, these games here have a place in this article for different reasons, which I will of course mention below. Additionally, I’m only including games that are already released and titles like the upcoming ‘The Medium’ are automatically excluded. While they may be great games to play, we simply don’t have enough info yet to recommend them.
With all that said, let us proceed with the list.
1. Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition
An RPG that we also included in our “Top 5 RPGs to [Re]Play in 2021” article, Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition on Xbox Series X/S is simply an experience you need to see for yourself. When it was first released, it was obvious that it was too much for the previous gen of consoles to handle, and it is now clear why. 60 FPS and miniscule loading times are only some of the key reasons the game feels now as a remastered version, and anyone who has already tried it can agree to this. I first checked the game on PS4 and while it was okay-ish, I couldn’t help thinking that everything felt too clunky and sluggish. Even after multiple patches and updates and with the new ‘Royal Edition’ available, the game was still feeling a little off in my eyes. Xbox Series X/S fixes every single one of those troubles, and it now looks and plays exceptionally well. For anyone who still hasn’t tried it, or even for people who want to relive what Final Fantasy XV had to offer, but better, now it is the best time do so.
2. Immortals Fenyx Rising
Ubisoft went off and grabbed some of the on-going hype for open world experiences like the one you can find in ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ and created a new IP, called Immortals Fenyx Rising. They slapped some Greek Mythology theme in there, and there you have it, an exceptional adventure which runs and plays equally great. While it is undoubtedly clear that the game is influenced from the already mentioned Zelda title, it has a lot more to offer to its audience, with a good amount of features that make it differ from Nintendo’s title. Since Breath of the Wild is not available on Xbox Series X/S, Immortals Fenyx Rising is the closest you can get for an open-ended adventure.
3. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The latest entry in the ‘Yakuza’ series, but so much more different than the rest. While the previous titles were a mix of action/adventure/minigames and more, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a full fledged RPG. It doesn’t totally neglect all the features the previous installments had, so don’t worry about that. The usual humor and great story telling that made the series famous, is still there, implemented very well too. A great amount of extra content other than your main campaign are also present, so rest assured you are in for a good time playing this game. Xbox Series X/S further expand this, by making the title looking bright and vivid with barely any hiccups. A solid experience.
4. Devil May Cry Special Edition
Our hack ‘n slash title of this list, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is a fever dream for anyone who wants fast paced combat, disgustingly satisfying combos and most importantly, looking cool while doing so. This Special Edition takes the main game and further enhances it, to a great degree, performance wise and with additional content. Being able to play as Vergil too now, there is no reason to not jump in to a world full of demons, in 4k and 60 fps, due to Xbox Series X/S’s power. The game looks amazingly, it has a great story, fantastic gameplay and ton of replayability. A must play for fans of the series and not.
5. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
This lovely adventure received a major patch very recently, optimizing it for Xbox Series X/S. Being able now to truly experience the beautiful and magical universe this title offers us, is purely the reason to revisit this game. While it had its ups and down, and some opinions are mixed about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, we can’t deny how good it looks now. For anyone looking for a light souls-like journey, it is highly suggested trying out the game.
6. Destiny 2
Similarly to the previous title, Destiny 2 received a huge patch, optimizing it for next gen consoles. 60 FPS, shorter loading times and smoother gameplay overall, the game runs like butter now. For veterans and new players alike, Bungie’s IP provides a great amount of content to tackle, alongside its PvP mode which runs now better than ever. One of the biggest shooters in the market right now, even though a little controversial, Destiny 2 is a great entry to jump into.
7. Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis
Alright, we are kind of cheating on this one, since New Genesis is still not released. However, Phantasy Star Online 2, which is the core of the new entry and one of the biggest MMOs of the eastern market, is actually available to anyone playing through Xbox and PC. New Genesis is going to run on PSO2’s already installed assets, and players will be able to jump into this and PSO2 anytime they want. They will be 2 ‘different’ universes and will run in parallel to each other. Yes I know, this sounds confusing, but it really isn’t when you are trying it for yourself. We will be able to provide more details when it finally launches, but PSO2: New Genesis is preparing to be a grand MMO experience and everyone who owns the console, needs to try out.
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps – again, cheating again a little bit here, mentioning an Xbox exclusive, but here’s why. People more often than not, forget that Ori and the Will of The Wisps is actually an Xbox exclusive, since it is overshadowed by other juggernauts like Gears of War and Halo franchises. Therefore, it is unfair not to mention it as a must play for the console, as it is one of the most beautiful games out there, especially since it is also optimized for Xbox Series X/S.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – straying away from its roots, once more, the latest Assassin’s Creed game may not be that ‘assassin’ like, but for sure is a great experience which looks great to the new console.
- Call of Duty franchise – literally any of them you like the most, pick your poison. They may have ended up us meme/mainstream games, but no one can deny how good they are for FPS fans, with solid performance to each entry.
- Borderlands 3 – an already good game, further enhanced and optimized for Xbox Series X/S. An overall great experience.
- Hitman 3 – the conclusion of a popular IP, which was recently launched. It takes everything from its predecessors and further expands on those features. Dozens of hours of good ‘ol killing. With style and finesse.
- Battle Royale games – not for everyone, but undeniably the most popular genre at the moment. If you are into this kind of games, all of them never looked better with Xbox Series X/S taking charge of their performance. Choose one, either that being Fortnite, Spellbreak, you name it, and enjoy thousands of hours with it.
There are dozens of other games you can play right now on the new console, however the ones mentioned above can be benefited a lot from Xbox’s newly given powers. More and more are being enhanced for next gen, with additional exclusives and third party IPs on their way, so it is certain that our roster will slowly and steadily increase. Until then, pick one of the titles mentioned here and you will have a good time for sure.