On the lookout for the best Xbox Series X games you can play in 2023? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve picked our favourites for the Xbox Series X console, from shooting games to indie darlings. Although the Xbox Series X doesn’t have the greatest exclusive games compared to the PlayStation 5, it’s a good console with plenty to offer.
The Xbox Series X has been Microsoft’s reply to Sony’s PlayStation 5. It features similar internal components and capabilities. Recent sales figures show that the Xbox Series X did not perform as well as expected, with the PlayStation 5 sales doubling in numbers. However, with the PlayStation 5 in short supply, the Xbox Series X could make a remarkable comeback. Regardless, the console has some exceptional games in its library worth checking out.
Without further ado, let’s check the best Xbox Series X games you can play today!
The Coalition‘s Gears 5 is the latest entry in the Gears of War franchise. To put it bluntly, Gears 5 is the best Xbox Series X game you can play right now. It takes advantage of the console’s impressive internal components to provide a stunning game. In fact, it’s been optimised keeping the Xbox Series X in mind. For players, this means that you’ll be able to play the game at a fluid 60FPS at 4K resolutions. When you boot up the game for the first time and play its opening level, you can see how visually stunning the game looks.
As is the case with the Gears of War series, Gears 5 offers brutal action and slick gameplay. Moreover, with the ray tracing and global illumination benefits, each gameplay element feels natural – even in a world that’s as absurd as the one represented in Gears 5. You can play the Gears 5 multiplayer mode if you’re into multiplayer gaming. It plays the game at a steady 120FPS at 4K resolutions for some superior fast-paced online gameplay.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
This indie adventure game will take you on a veritable journey. It was initially released for the Xbox One. However, since the Xbox Series X has backwards compatibility, you can enjoy this indie darling at a stunning 4K resolution and 120FPS. To add the cherry on the icing, it even includes an HDR mode that renders the game like an experience in itself.
The game contains elements of platforming and adventure. There are also subtle story elements to the game that you’ll have to figure out while playing. If you’ve played any metroidvania games, this should make you feel right at home.
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We can’t possibly make a list of the best Xbox Series X games without including a Halo game on this list. Halo has been the biggest draw for Xbox owners in recent memory. With the most recent addition, Halo Infinite, you get everything that you could’ve asked for in a Halo game. This iconic franchise offers a multiplayer mode that’s free to play.
If you want to play the campaign, you’ll have to pay separately for the storyline. Our take? It’s worth the extra bucks. Halo Infinite‘s storyline is possibly one of the best you’ll find in any shooter game, let alone a Halo game. The gameplay has been improved on all fronts. The developers took the core elements from the previous game and bettered them in every way possible. Pair this game with the Dolby Atmos audio, and you’re going to have an experience that you won’t forget for a long time.
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Fans were divided when the Hitman series was rebooted into an episodic game. However, the reboot offered an exceptional amount of freedom in terms of gameplay and an intriguing story. With the third instalment in the franchise, Hitman fans received a worthwhile conclusion for their patience and creativity (in killing enemies).
The game looks fantastic on next-gen platforms. The Xbox Series X’s excellent hardware lets you ogle at the beautiful locales presented in-game at 4K resolutions. Agent 47 has never looked better. The game shines on the console, and its gameplay has been tweaked since previous entries to make it more accessible. Even then, it doesn’t take anything away from the challenging difficulties. This might not be the first game on your playlist, but it’s definitely worth playing!
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Even though you may not have heard of Psychonauts 2, it’s one of the best Xbox Series X games you can play today. In fact, it’s one of the best Xbox games you can play, period. The original Psychonauts was released in 2005 and became a cult classic. Despite multiple development issues, the game finally hit the shelves in 2021 and has been a massive hit for fans.
This is a platforming game that will challenge you but cut through the difficulty with its weird humour and absurd situations. It’s a delightful game that requires suspension of disbelief. Once you let go and start enjoying the outrageous antics of the game, you’ll find yourself lost in its colourful world for hours at an end. This game is highly addictive and deserves your attention.
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Mass Effect Legendary Edition
If you haven’t played any of the Mass Effect games, we highly recommend that you start the trilogy this instant. This franchise from BioWare is legendary in the RPG genre. It was one of the first games that implemented the system so well that there was no looking back. Almost every RPG that came forth after Mass Effect tried to replicate its mechanics and story elements in some way. While Mass Effect 3 wasn’t seen as the great ending that the franchise deserved, the entire trilogy is still worth playing.
With Mass Effect Legendary Edition, you get all three games in one compilation. All the games have been remastered with enhancements from technical aspects to visuals. If you haven’t played the trilogy yet, this is where you start. The storyline is excellent, the level of freedom almost unforgiving in nature, and the gameplay is solid.
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The Medium was the first Xbox Series X exclusive game. To this date, it’s one of the best Xbox Series X games you can play, especially in the horror genre. It has an interesting storyline and unique gameplay elements that will instantly call for attention. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about jump scares here. This game relies more on a slow burn horror – psychological horror.
The game has a fixed-camera perspective. You can control the protagonist Marianne and take her along any movable path within the camera’s perspective. Furthermore, the split-screen feature is significant in this game as it allows Marianne to move between her reality and the spirit world. When you’re solving mysteries that blur the line between the real and unreal, you’ll need an ambience to set the correct tone. Thanks to the 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos support of the Xbox Series X, that’s precisely what you get here.
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Forza Horizon 5
The Forza Horizon series has been renowned for producing some of the best looking games. With Forza Horizon 5, this rendition of Mexico is absolutely stunning. The devil’s in the details, and Forza Horizon 5 ensures that it captures all the details beautifully. While it is a racing game at heart, there’s a vast open world to explore with your vehicle.
Moreover, the customisation options for the vehicles are insane. You can customise almost every part of the car to your heart’s content. Mexico has been rendered with gorgeous visuals in this game, and if you can’t visit the country, you can always speed through its highways in this game. With the Xbox Series X hardware, you can run the game at a smooth 30FPS on 4K resolution. There’s little reason for you to not try out one of the best Xbox Series X games!
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Yakuza: Like a Dragon
If you haven’t played any of the Yakuza games yet, the best start to the franchise for you would be Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The game takes a different point from the rest of the franchise and expands on it. The combat mechanics have been changed as well, with more focus on turn-based combat. While it was a surprise, the combat system turned out pretty well.
In addition, you get to explore the neon excess that pervades the streets of Kamurocho. Considering the crime and corruption rampant in the game’s location, you’d expect a more Mafia-esque seriousness to the game. However, it surprises you with its sense of humour and the deep RPG mechanics. Finally, with the powerful specs of the Xbox Series X, the game looks better than ever, running at 60FPS!
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Resident Evil Village
The Resident Evil franchise has faced its ups and downs. With a few entries in the series coming up with less than stellar performances in the market, the developers returned to the horror roots with the later entries. Resident Evil 7 marked the return of the old-school horror, memorable action sequences, and inventory management thanks to the scarce items. Resident Evil Village improves on all these mechanics to deliver a well-paced main storyline and a worthwhile playthrough.
You take on the role of Ethan, searching for his daughter in the midst of a village in Eastern Europe. The game takes place a few years after the events of Resident Evil 7. Since the villagers aren’t very welcoming to a stranger, you’ll have your work cut out for you. Of course, since it’s Resident Evil, you can’t expect some monster or beast to not be a part of the game. Thankfully, the game delivers on both fronts, and you’re left with an enriching horror game experience.
So, these are our picks for the best Xbox Series X games you can play today. Even though most people prefer the PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X is a good console that comes with a different form factor and multiple Microsoft exclusives. If you’re running out of patience waiting for the PlayStation 5, you could go for this console. If you already own the console, we hope you try a few of the games on this list!
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Writer, researcher, and avid gamer. Geeks out over postmodern novels and the latest PC games. Usually intends all his puns.