Happy one-year anniversary to the Xbox siblings, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S! Breaking from the console tradition of launching one major console at a time, Microsoft launched two consoles, one to give players a top-tier experience and the other meant to get you into the Xbox ecosystem. And here we are, a year later, with a catalog of great games available to purchase. Here are 10 Xbox Series X/S games to play (when you inevitably snag one!).
Work to join the Psychonauts in this Double Fine classic.
The original Psychonauts launched in 2005 and has since become a cult-classic tale of the young acrobatic Raz trying to gain the rank of Psychonaut. Fun platforming and psychic powers combined with a hilarious story made for a memorable experience.
And making a sequel 16 years is a bold decision. Would it live up to the original? Have we moved past the world of a psychic organization? Well, developer Double Fine proved it was well worth the wait. Platforming is at its greatest, the powers are great and the writing is better than ever. Optimization for the Xbox Series X makes playing Psychonauts 2 a phenomenal Xbox experience.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Take the adorable Ori on the journey of a lifetime.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of those games that you might turn away from at first glance. A Metroid-inspired, 2D platformer with a beautiful art style, Ori isn’t a fast-paced action game like many of the titles you’ll see on this list. But it more than makes up for it with ultra-precise platforming, fantastic exploration and a beautiful story. Oh, and did we mention it runs at 120 FPS with HDR on Xbox Series X? Don’t miss out on this multi-award-winning title on your new console.
MLB The Show 21
MLB The Show 21 is the first time this series has been released on Xbox. Why? Sony-owned San Diego Studio develops it.
MLB The Show has been one of the highest-rated franchises of all time and has amassed a legion of fans that pick up the game each year. A baseball simulator, The Show isn’t a pick-up and play kind of game; just like the actual sport, you’ve got to earn each hit. But it’s the satisfaction of learning baseball and taking your favorite team to the World Series where this game shines. Don’t miss out on your chance to play a high-quality baseball game on Xbox.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Finish the fight.
Like many games on this list, Halo: The Master Chief Collection isn’t an Xbox Series X/S exclusive, but it’s been made all the better on the new consoles. Frame rate increases and a new shine makes this collection of the first four Halo titles a must-play for any long-time fan of the series or a newcomer.
Plus, with the release of Halo Infinite right around the corner (like next month from writing), this is the best way to experience Master Chief’s 20-year history.
Forza Horizon 5
Race around the beautiful Mexican vistas.
The Forza series stands tall as one of the marquee Xbox franchises and that’s partly thanks to the arcade racing-focused of the Horizon spin-off. Each iteration takes place in a new location from the mountains of Colorado to the Australian Outback and the latest entry, Forza Horizon 5, has you racing around Mexico.
The latest entry was just released, but it’s already making waves as one of the greatest racing games of all time. From the high fidelity details of the cars to the gorgeous Mexican vistas, Forza Horizon 5 is not only a blast to play but beautiful to look at. It’s a must-play for any racing fans and any Xbox owner.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
An incredible journey that doesn't always take itself seriously.
The Yakuza franchise is historically associated with PlayStation platforms with releases on every PlayStation console since the PlayStation 2. But with Like a Dragon, publisher Sega not only took the franchise in a new direction, a turn-based RPG rather than an action game, but Microsoft worked hard to make sure this entry played best of Xbox.
High frame rates and beautiful graphics make Japan pop with life following the story of Ichiban Kasuga as he seeks revenge after being betrayed by a former boss. The series’ trademark quirk and charm run through Like a Dragon making this entry easy to love and a must-play for RPG fans.
Chainsaws and 120 FPS.
Another Xbox One game that received an incredible boost thanks to the power of the Xbox Series X, Gears 5 took the franchise in a bold direction with open-world sections. Peel back the layers of a gripping story revealing more about the main character Kait and her connection to the Locusts as you chainsaw through the Locust.
Developers The Coalition added 60 FPS minimum with up to 120 FPS to great fanfare, making Gears 5 buttery smooth to play.
Back 4 Blood
If you love Left 4 Dead, check out Back 4 Blood.
Who here remembers Left 4 Dead? Say hello to the spiritual successor, Back 4 Blood. Developed by the original team, Turtle Rock Studios, Back 4 Blood brings all the four-player co-op madness that made Left 4 Dead a massive hit back in 2008 but freshening gameplay up with a new card-based system.
Available day one on Xbox Game Pass, it’s hard to pass Back 4 Blood up when you can play with friends as you take down hordes of zombies.
Raise some hell.
Hell is on Earth, and it’s up to Doomguy to stop them. That’s right; Doom Eternal is absolutely a game every Xbox owner should play.
Fast-paced action rewards players for getting up close and personal with demons as you use every weapon in your arsenal. Doom Eternal never lets up and with the game optimized for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, that means you can play up 120 FPS to make the action smoother. Or play with ray tracing if you want your demon-slaying to be bloody beautiful. The choice is yours.
Xbox Game Pass
You'll never be bored with Game Pass.
We’re cheating here. Xbox Game Pass isn’t just one game; it’s hundreds of games! What is Xbox Game Pass? The elevator pitch is basically “the Netflix of games.” For a low monthly subscription price ($9.99 or $14.99 a month depending on the additional features), you can download hundreds of games to your console. Games rotate in and out every month, so it’s always best to check often because you never know your next game.
From older titles to indie releases and day-and-date releases (including ALL Microsoft first-party games), the value of Game Pass is evident. In fact, you can play many of the games on this list, thanks to Game Pass. You’ll never be bored and find yourself asking the question of what to play next.
We’ve had a great time playing the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S over the last year. There’s been a lot of games to play and experiences to be had that made it difficult to nail it down to just 10! Here’s to the first year, and we can’t wait to see what games we’ll be playing in the future!
- Tags: Gaming