Shooters are entwined with the very history of gaming – whether they’re third-person, first-person or arranged in any other way, we’ve been shooting things on home games consoles for decades at this point.
The Xbox Series X and S continue that proud tradition, in offering a wide range of top-class shooters, many of them next-gen ready but also with a huge library of backward compatible older games to explore. Here are the very best options.
1. Best Buy
Halo is back on top form thanks to the superb campaign offered up by Infinite.
- Huge map
- Great freedom
- Simple story
The latest Halo game brings it right into the modern world with a far more free-form design and an open-world map for you to explore at your own pace while moving through its campaign. Things are back to the series’ basics, in a good way.
With the multiplayer portion of the game also available to play completely for free, Infinite is the best package that the series has been able to offer in quite a while, and definitely a must-play for Xbox Series X or S owners.
Resident Evil Village
2. Runner Up
A terrifying game that’s also totally thrilling and has action set-pieces to spare.
- Looks great
- Amazing action
- Properly scary sequences
Resident Evil might be a horror franchise, but it’s also historically featured a fair bit of shooting action, and that’s no different in Village. While you’ll spend a lot of your time running away from scary monstrosities of many varieties, you’ll also often be able to shoot back.
There are sequences in this game that we will remember for a very, very long time, and that’s testament to how deranged it gets in places. The action comes in peaks and throughs, and we think it’s a superb new step for the series.
High on Life
3. A Top Pick
A hilarious alien shooter that has a totally distinctive brand of humor going on.
- Consistently funny
- Doesn’t demand much of you
- Inventive characters and enemies
- Humor isn’t for everyone
- Not graphically the wildest
This hilarious shooter will be perfect for anyone who enjoys Rick and Morty – it’s from the mind of Justin Roiland, with uproarious humor and some crazy weapons to find and talk to.
Yeah, the guns talk – it’s no gimmick, though, but rather a way to crowbar in a seriously funny script at basically all moments. It’s not a serious shooter, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t loads of fun.
A stealth shooter that will have you marveling at just how complicated its levels are.
- Amazing levels
- Superb replayability
- Looks brilliant
- Requires a bit of self-drive
The reborn Hitman series has been a total treat over the last few years, concluding with the superb third title. It offers up more intricate levels for you to work your way through, finding and eliminating your targets as seamlessly and secretively as possible.
With some truly devilish methods to discover and locations that are eye-wateringly beautiful at times, it’s a playground that rewards inventiveness and new ideas. Hitman 3 is the perfect pick for anyone who wants a more cerebral shooter.
Sniper Elite 5
The best Sniper Elite yet is brilliant on Xbox.
- Amazing sniping
- Huge levels
- Fun emerging options
If you want a little more shooting to go with your stealth, then Sniper Elite 5 is a perfect accompaniment to Hitman 3, with similarly intricate levels that unfold as you move around them, completing clandestine objectives. The real core of it all, though, is the sniping, and it’s glorious again – with long-range killshots and the most in-depth X-ray camera yet for those who like some gore while they play.
It isn’t necessarily the most glamorous game on this list, but Sniper Elite 5 is testament to how a series can evolve over time when a studio takes the care to slowly upgrade it iteration by iteration.
6. Worth Considering
A great shooter that also blends in some crazy action options.
- Great sense of tone
- So many powers to gain
- Taut shooting
- Might be too weird for some
A shooter that comes to offer up far more than just guns by the end of its runtime, Control is a brilliant thrill-ride that sees you exploring an otherworldly government office building that’s in the grips of a paranormal emergency.
You’ll get a shapeshifting weapon to fight back against encroaching foes with, but the real star of the show are the powers you’ll rack up over time, from telekinesis to eventually full-on flight.
7. A Good Choice
A quick and brutal shooter that will have you learning some complex skills.
- So quick and smooth
- Looks great
- Loads of variety in encounters
- Hard as nails
- Very gory (unsurprisingly)
When Bethesda rebooted Doom in 2016, we didn’t know just how huge a success it would have brought about. The sequel to that reboot confirms the series’ place as one of the best shooter options on the market right now.
Doom Eternal is insanely fast and brutal, and iterates on the amazing base laid down by the first game with new combat options and enemies that are genuinely really challenging if you don’t adapt to their weaknesses and strengths.
8. A Decent Option
A superb, completely fresh rhythm shooter that is competely unique to play.
- Looks and sounds amazing
- Ripping soundtracks
- Replayability through score chasing
- Not the longest game
- If you hate metal music it’s not ideal
A shooter with a difference, Metal: Hellsinger has you trying to stay on beat while you shoot, all to a lung-busting soundtrack of metal anthems. It’s absolutely loads of fun, and great for leaderboard-chasers.
Plus, it’s unlike anything else on this list thanks to its focus on timing and rhythm, something that feels really fresh. The story might be hard to follow, but you’re not really playing it for that anyway. Best of all, it’s on Game Pass!
9. One To Check
A tense game that builds on the Metro formula with some smart changes.
- Gorgeous locations
- Great shooting
- Involved story
The third Metro game is a thoughtful, interesting departure for the series, letting you loose in far more open areas than before so that you can take things on in your own fashion to a solid degree. You’ll see some different sights, too, in this railroad trip of a game.
The shooting is still tense and punchy, and the sound design is still really taut, so it’s a tense experience, but one that shooter fans are likely to find a lot of joy with.
10.Not To Be Missed
The cover-shooter star is back with a great fifth entry that reboots things a little.
- Great multiplayer
- Fun story
- Still a bit slow in places
Gears is a classic Xbox franchise, and while the last full game was released a little while before the Series X and Series S came out, it’s been nicely enhanced for the new hardware. This means you can enjoy better resolutions and 120Hz gameplay if your display supports it.
For a game with a vibrant multiplayer offering, that’s a great option that fans will appreciate, and it helps that the game’s core campaign and DLC packs are also a bundle of fun to play through. Once again, they let you loose in larger open areas, proving that design trend is here to stay.
How to choose your next shooter on Xbox Series X or S
There are almost too many shooters available on Xbox Series X and S to count, so here are some questions to help you narrow things down a little.
Have you checked out Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass is a membership scheme Microsoft offers that gives you instant access to a huge library of games, including many shooters like Halo Infinite. It’s a great way to try out some shooters at a lower up-front cost, although you won’t own the games you play.
We highly recommend checking out the roster of titles it offers, as you might well find the game you want to play can be accessed through it at a lower cost.
How hard is too hard?
Some of the games on our list are harder than others, so it’s worth considering how experienced you are at shooters before you commit to one. If you’re a bit new to the genre, read reviews to make sure you don’t end up committing to something uncompromising and unforgiving.
What sort of shooter do you prefer?
There are plenty of shooter types, not least in the form of first-person shooters and those in the third person, so if you know you have a preference for one over the other that should be at the forefront of your mind as you browse for your next game.