The top 20 Xbox Series X/S games you should play right now

The top 20 Xbox Series X/S games you should play right now

Many of Xbox Series X games (and Series S games) are cross-generation versions. But the new ones are beginning to trickle through, and thanks to that full backwards compatibility - and the vast range of next-gen-optimised games Xbox has assembled - there''s plenty of choice.

If you want that whole backlog to be considered, here''s a look at our best Xbox One games list, which includes some fantastic picks, from major classics to hidden gems, and the latest Xbox Game Pass games.

We''ve defined this as Xbox Series X/S games that are either exclusive to the consoles (of which there are currently only two pairs), new cross-gen games that have been added on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S simultaneously, or earlier Xbox One games that have been markedly improved as "optimised for Xbox Series X/S."


''It''s difficult to complain about what Obsidian has done here,'' says one commentator. Grounded''s stunning, ant-eye view of the natural world and a plethora of personalisation settings make me feel surprisingly welcomed even if that welcome involves the occasional hissing spider.


''Deathloop,'' a freeform, first-person murder mix, combines with assassination, hacking, and sorcery, according to a newcomer and old hands. ''Deathloop,'' a game based on Arkane''s gritty sims, is a powerful addition to the Dishonored style.


''Immortality is, like Her Story and Telling Lies before it, a game about trawling through reams of video footage to solve a mystery,'' says Marissa Marcel, an actress who star in two films in the late 1960s at about 20 years old, then disappears, then reappears in 1999, and looks exactly as she does in 1968.

''Your task is to mix events and scrubbing back and forth in different clips at different speeds, but crucially, navigating through them via Immortality''s main invention - effectively a hyperlink - to scroll through them from one-screen element to a different clip. ''The result is messy, maze-like, and uncertain, but by dint of that much more organic than a linear mystery that drags you through it by the nose.''

Metal: Hellsinger

In our opinion, "Hellsinger is a light-feeling game compared to most, although it is extended somewhat by side challenges and indefinitely by its leaderboards. But all of this takes form into a sort of unsettling sense of complete, shameless, self-doubt, as well as a sense of complete, unassuming humor. "What you think about it in Metal: Hellsinger''s review"


''I believe that the success of a game like Tunic, particularly one that follows in the footsteps of Zelda and Dark Souls, depends on the correct deployment of what I will briefly have to call the pleasures of Distant Supermarket Thinking. In the best of these games, we are perpetually wide-eyed, perpetually alert for delights that we cannot anticipate. Old ideas delivered in unfamiliar ways, but they initially appear to be.''

Elden Ring

What we said in our Elden Ring review: ''Elden Ring remains a fantastic game for some time to come, and one that may just welcome new supporters into the FromSoft fold. Massive visual design, dark and detailed lore, and a vast-but-intricate open world are reasons enough to venture out into the Lands Between. This is something truly special.

OlliOlli World

What we said in our OlliOlli World review: ''OlliOlli World is the most recent and wildest entry in a stunning series of 2D skateboarding games. For obvious reasons, Roll7 devised a stick-flicking system that semblaged to capture skateboarding in the very joints, including in the knees and ankles, and in the moment at which the human body becomes a lively species of car jack or shock absorber.

''You hold and then release the stick in order to trick: pick a direction and see what happens. Can you include a grab? ''I love this game because it is about learning and working out.'' Perhaps learning never must come to an end, and maybe we can try new things out forever.''

Halo Infinite

''On a few occasions, during the hoovering up of map icons, I found unmarked areas of interest: caves and Forerunner rooms that warranted a closer look. ''It''s what Silent Cartographer was all about,'' says the author. Being on an alien planet, without knowing the whys or the hows or the whos. Working things out while finishing the battle.

This is why ''Halo Infinite, under it all, is about just that. If anything else, you may always trust Master Chief and his gun, grenade, and Gravity Hammer, this time on your own terms, the best it''s been in a decade.''

Forza Horizon 5

''Forza Horizon has experienced rapid expansion and complication over the past nine years, but this is because Playground Games has finally completed the process on its first visit. It''s now a company, which is restoring some semblance of order on this sweeping celebration of freedom. It should not surprise or even disappoint you that Forza Horizon 5 can''t offer the perfection of 3 or the bold new emphasis of 4. It''s a genuine pleasure.

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Death''''s Door

''The two Miyazakis are everywhere, as long as it''s painful to keep referencing them in games, subtly in the plinky plonk keystrokes of sad pianos and worlds in mourning transition (Hayao) and hands-off, unseen guidance through challenge (Hidetaka). ''They are also a crotchety old grandma witches in their enchanted castles with mechanical bowels, and sharp-t

''What a pair to reference, though,'' says Acid Nerve''s greatest potential, not just from their own impressive debut, but from Zelda, via 16-bit adventure, to this. ''What a fantastic, measured, measured, exacting, deliberate thing Death''s Door is. ''It''s absolutely absolutely unmissable,'' says the author.

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Hitman 3

"Hitman 3 is the culmination of Agent 47''s battle against his nemeses at Providence, the illuminati-style collective of crooked politicians, crimelords, and corpos that was introduced at the start of the World of Assassination trilogy back in 2016. However, I don''t care much about that story, given its paint-by-numbers betrayals and toneless briefing sequences. Much to my surprise, I don''t care much about Agent 47,

Tetris Effect: Connected

''It''s almost unfair, really, to take a game that was already so fearsome and sort of find a lot of ways to make it even more interesting and dynamic and stunning,'' I think. Whenever I think of Tetris Effect - and Tetris Effect: Connected, which again, I should reiterate, includes the original game as well as the multiplayer stuff - I think of Laniakea, which serves as a map to the campaign screen and the vast array of glittering marvels

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Tony Hawk''''s Pro Skater 1 + 2

Cor and Tony Hawk have always felt like a tech-pusher to me. Back then I couldn''t believe that a game could feel this human and have so much gravity on its back. With the remakes/remodels, there''s an all-time wonderful in animation and texture, environment, and surface detail, as well as the simple pleasures of your work.

Play this because it is one of the best moves ever made - an absolute pleasure in the process of getting from A to B and what you choose to do in between. Its progression system stimulates curiosity and experimentation, and its tricks are absolutely fantastic. What an absolute treat: in 2021, the sheer design of the thing still feels like it has stuff to teach us.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator

''I can''t say that many people will be drawn to this most attractive of games, nor that I am in the airplane simulation.'' But Microsoft Flight Simulator is a type of program that can make an enthusiast of you, or refinancing a passion that''s been lying dormant. I''ve now started to work over my own checklists and patterns. I now can''t bring myself to spawn on a runway, and instead enjoy being lost in the rhythm of duties as you descend on your

Control: Ultimate Edition

''When everything comes together, Control''''s hallways and board rooms echo with wreaking happiness. There is also a special halo in nailing someone with a humidor a distant railing, watching the bars go skewiff and the body crumble. Pillars shed their concrete under gunfire, filling the environment with dust and grit. This game, which is known for its thick-air appearance, is taken pride in depicting the way that things fall apart.

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Sea of Thieves

''And what keeps me going once I''m drunk on gold and shaken by the undead is the splinter of defiance in the heart - that area of Sea of Thieves that is unwilling to devolve into helpful shorthand and UI tricks. ''The map you hold in your hands as you wade ashore is an actual map, and it is not a complete solution. I have been waking up at times when I haven''t received a compass.

Destiny 2

It has become a shooter of incredible scope like Destiny 2''s predecessor, and it''s as easy as it is for its competitors to shoot. Like its predecessor, Destiny 2 is also a shooter with excellent shooting, as you''d probably expect from Halo, and the next-gen update also helps in this regard.

Bungie''s console past is quite similar, but I''m sure most of us are cautious about it at 60fps, but after a period of adjustment, there''s no denying the safety and potential of these firearms has only been improved. Oh, and the best skyboxes in all video games have never shown the same effect.

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Fortnite is a touchstone on Series X/S, smooth and tangible with stunning lighting effects. In truth, Fortnite is a touchstone on anything, a game that looked decent running on a phone and has still a certain appeal on the Switch.

Fortnite is a series X standard for me, but it''s quite striking. A shooter and Battle Royale, yes, but it''s also a weird blend of RPG and make-your-own game software. It''s surprisingly deep, endlessly generous, and far more charming than a mega-hit of this size should be. Maybe give it a cheeky go right now.

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Rainbow Six Siege

''History suggests that game like Rainbow Six Siege don''t last particularly long. This is a tactical shooter that modders used to make out of bits of Quake or Half-Life, a paean to depth for depth''s sake, which appears to be worthy of hindsight from the worldwide elite. Despite Ubisoft''s reputation for games, Siege is one of the world''s most well-known shooters. In some ways, it can, in some ways, be

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

''The Collection is an instantaneous embrace of past and present that combines gaming''''s vast sense of nostalgia with its perpetual arms race of processing and graphic power. It is part of a growing appreciation of the past in a medium which until recently was resolutely forward-looking. Proust would bloody love it.''

For more curated best-of lists, please feel free to respond in the comments section of the following:

  • The best PS5 games
  • The best PS4 games
  • The best Xbox One games
  • The best Nintendo Switch games
  • The best VR games
  • The best racing games

If you''re still looking for a next-gen upgrade, we''ve got the most recent updates on Xbox Series X stock and where to buy it!

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