The Xbox Series X and Series S are now familiar sights, a couple of years on from their launch – Microsoft’s two answers to the next-gen question, bringing 4K gaming in the case of the bigger box and lower-res value from the smaller option .
They’re both great in their own ways but, of course, a games console isn’t anything without games to play on it. We’ve gathered together the very best titles for the latest Xboxes right here, in a tight and carefully-curated list, of your best options.
1. Best Buy
An unbelievable experience from start to finish.
- Amazing sense of discovery
- Reward learning curve
- Superb weird mythic story
- Can be obscure
- Super hard combat
FromSoftware has managed a heck of a feat in the form of Elden Ring, perfectly blending its more linear design philosophies with the freedom of an open world to create a huge environment that you can explore in the order you prefer.
Wherever you turn, though, you’ll encounter amazing enemies to overcome in tense and complex combat, with myriad weapons to try out and combinations to explore. Elden Ring will be a phenomenon for a long time.
2. Runner Up
A game that lets you approach conversations from a truly crazy point of view.
- Amazing writing
- Superb freedom
- So many endings
An RPG so inventive that it has to be played to be believed, Disco Elysium rips up your expectations by letting you truly go off the rails in conversations and in your decisions. You play as a deadbeat cop who’s struggling to close a complicated case, and how you approach things is up to you.
It looks great but the writing is the real star here, with great voice acting bringing it to life and a frighteningly believable dystopian world to explore. If every major RPG let you take this much control, the world would be an interesting place indeed.
Forza Horizon 5
3. A Top Pick
Quite possibly the most beautiful and enjoyable driving game ever.
- Gorgeous visuals
- Exciting map
- Countless cars
Forza Horizon 5 might not be the bravest of new directions, but this is a franchise that knows what it does well. It’s a brilliant open-world racing game that looks simply brilliant on Series X, with gorgeous visuals that beat pretty much every other driving game.
This time the action has moved to Mexico, and that makes for really varied and beautiful environments, with a great soundtrack and absolutely oodles of racing to get through.
Xboxs biggest franchise delivers a beautiful new game.
- Great new open areas
- Same old Halo chaos
- Simple story
- Could look more revolutionary
Of course, when you think Xbox you think Halo, and while Infinite took a while to arrive, it’s now here in the form of a masterful new campaign and terrific free-to-play multiplayer offering.
This really is Halo back to its best, with a freeform and open-world design that lets you tackle things in your own order and plenty of sandbox fun that rewards you for experimenting with the tools afforded to you.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns
An excellent strategy game wrapped up in a fun superhero social simulator, this is a real treat to play.
- Excellent strategy
- Fun characters
- Zippy scripts
- Takes a while to get going
A brilliant strategy game from the minds at Firaxis, you take charge of an expansive group of superheroes, some incredibly famous and others you might know less well.
Battles are strategic card-playing puzzles, while you also get plenty of time to develop friendships and loyalty with your new crew in downtime. It’s a really satisfying, inventive time-sink to snuggle up with.
6. Worth Considering
An amazing puzzler of a murder simulator that makes repeated attempts to be super fresh.
- Brilliant puzzle levels
- Great replayability
- Looks great
- Could be baffling to newcomers
The final game in the World of Assassination trilogy, Hitman 3 is a fitting conclusion to a hugely impressive modern update of the Hitman series. Once again you’ll play as Agent 47, stalking through intricate and immaculately-designed levels to off your targets one by one.
It’s amazing fun, and the perfect way to scratch that itch for some stealth. It looks beautiful on next-gen, as well, making it the perfect pairing with a new Xbox.
Resident Evil Village
7. A Good Choice
A rip-roaring good time wrapped up in a few really scary sequences.
- Great schlocky horror
- Good gunplay
- Looks sumptuous
- At times completely gross
The latest game in the Resident Evil series is an unhinged thing of beauty, with a story that’s close to the point of being baffling but super-fun gameplay throughout its twists and turns.
Plus, it looks incredible on Microsoft’s next-gen boxes, with ray tracing and high frame rates making for a beautiful, smooth experience that will stay with you for ages.
The Forgotten City
8. A Decent Option
A brilliant mystery game to explore and enjoy.
- Fun mysteries
- Good voice acting
- Nice and succinct
This inventive mystery game drops you into a frozen Roman compound in time, leaving you to figure out why everyone gets violently turned to gold anytime a sin is committed.
It’s got some great twists and turns up its sleeve, and the ability to tackle it however you want was something we found really rewarding.
9. One To Check
An incredibly impressive update to a hugely popular game, Dead Space feels like a new benchmark for modern horror titles.
- Amazing atmosphere
- Such incredible sound and lighting
- Crunchy combat
- Remades are not totally new
Dead Space gets a remake right out of the top drawer, with incredible work done by EA’s Motive Studios to ensure that the original game’s spirit and structure is maintained while being expanded and polished to a modern sheen.
It looks and sounds simply amazing, with lighting that makes for simply incredible scenes as you make your way through the ruined USG Ishimura.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
10.Not To Be Missed
Valhalla has a massive map to explore and so much to do while you’re at it.
- Huge, beautiful world
- Fun, long story
- Smoother combat than ever
Valhalla is finally here – the latest big Assassin’s Creed game plays absolutely stunningly on Series X and S, with smooth frame rates and gorgeous visuals. The game’s sprawling map is superb fun to explore, while the SSDs in the Series S and X make for much-improved loading times.
You play as the Viking Eivor, coming from Norway to stake a claim to England, and fighting off the perennial threat of evil Templars the whole way, with a great cast of characters to meet while you do so.
How to choose your next Xbox Series X or S game
If you’re on the hunt for a new game for your Xbox Series X or S, it won’t have taken long for you to realize how many there are to pick from. Here are some questions to help you figure out what the best pick for you is.
Are you looking for something to chill?
Some of the games on this list are pretty active and require a lot of attention and even some skill to do well, and while that’s perfect for many of us, there are alternatives if you want something more laid back and relaxing. The likes of Forza Horizon 5 and Flight Simulator both let you cruise around under your own steam, exploring and seeing sights without needing to necessarily tick off loads of challenging objectives to have a good time.
Will you be playing with friends?
Of course, so many of us now enjoy playing online games with our mates that it’s worth checking before you buy a game whether it’s got an online component or mode that you can enjoy with your pals, whether that’s in the form of co-op or competitive action.
Have you checked out Game Pass?
Perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to buying games for your Series X or Series S is Microsoft’s own package – Xbox Game Pass. This membership gets you a huge library of games to play for a monthly cost, and some of the best games on the platform are included, like Halo Infinite. While we still like owning our favorite games so we know we’ll always have access to them, it’s worth checking out Game Pass to try out the games on it.