The lack of big first-party exclusives (so far!) for the Xbox Series X/S doesn’t seem to deter fans from picking up the console. Thanks to the tremendous value of GamePass, and the promise of the launch-day release of Xbox’s burgeoning first-party titles, Xbox Series X/S is just about primed to be a must-have console to play some of the biggest game releases.

BEST GAMES ON

Below is our ongoing list of the best Xbox games to play on the Series X/S for this year. We update this list almost every month with our recommendations, so have this page bookmarked for regular check-ins! The list is sorted by the date, with the latest game on the top.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

RPG | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | Jan 24

Featuring both the main protagonist from the mainline and spin off Yakuza series, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth will bring Ichiban Kasuga and Kazuma Kiryu together in yet another rambunctious and emotional tale that has been the main draw of the popular JRPG franchise. In addition to that, the game will also feature fast-paced RPG battles where environmental objects become your weapon, as well as more outlandish jobs and customizations to beef up your party and subdue enemies with over-the-top moves.

Best XBox Games to Play

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Action Platformer | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | Jan 18

Prince of Persia is returning to its roots with a brand new 2.5D side-scrolling action platformer that has garnered positive previews since its announcement a few months back. As Sargon, the player must sharpen their sword-wielding skills as well as make use of the franchise’s staple time-warping powers to perform deadly combos, defeat time-corrupted enemies, solve tricky puzzles, and save the actual Prince of Persia while he is at it.

Best PS5 Games to Play

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name

Act-Adv | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | Nov 8

Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is simultaneously one of the longest game titles we have ever seen, and also the coolest one. Part of the long-running Yakuza series, and a new installment in the spin-off the main series, The Man Who Erased His Name takes place between Yakuza 6 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

Dragon Gaiden aims to mix traditional Yakuza action-adventure with a splash of James Bond. The game will feature the series original protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, who sets out on a new adventure as a secret agent. Players will be able to employ two fighting styles: the usual street brawler that has been the staple of the series, as well as the new Agent style which relies on using high-tech gadgets and more!

Alan Wake 2

Genre: Horror I Release Date: Oct 27 I Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

Another hotly anticipated title this year is Remedy’s long-awaited sequel, Alan Wake 2.

The titular writer, still trapped in a nightmarish alternate reality, tries to retain his sanity as he once again attempts to escape his mental prison. Meanwhile, FBI agent Saga Anderson is dealing with a string of ritualistic murders that threaten the small town of Bright Falls.

With two separate realities seemingly interconnected and affecting the worlds around them, Alan Wake 2 offers a horrifying new tale that promises to be as dark and psychedelic as the original.

Forza Motorsport

Genre: Racing I Release Date: Oct 10 I Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, GamePass

After Starfield, Xbox users can look forward to another massive exclusive on the platform: Forza Motorsport.

Developed by long-time Forza developers Turn 10 Studio, the game features over 500 vehicles and 20 thrilling tracks to burn rubber on. Each race will offer unique weather conditions and driving challenges to master, ensuring that every lap and every victory is earned.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage

Genre: Act-Adventure I Release Date: Oct 5 I Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

Scaled back, smaller in size, and more focused, Ubisoft claims that Assassin’s Creed Mirage is designed to return to the roots of the classic Assassin’s Creed games that made it a beloved franchise.

Set in 9th-century Baghdad, players take on the role of Basim, a street thief plagued by nightmarish visions, who eventually stumbles upon an ancient organization called “The Hidden Ones”. With them, he learns their mysterious rituals and strong principles, hones their unique abilities and adopts a new creed – a creed that will change his fate in ways he could have never imagined.

Lies of P

Genre: Action RPG | Release Date: Sep 19 I Platform: PC, PS, Xbox

This is the year when our beloved cartoon characters are getting reimagined in horrifically innovative ways. First, there was Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey, which turned the goofy bear into a bloodthirsty killer, and now there is Lies of P, a dark and grim take on Pinocchio.

Lies of P takes place in Krat – a once lively city poisoned by madness and bloodlust. As Geppetto’s puppet, Pinocchio must adapt and take up arms to face the horrors that have befallen the city. 

NeoWiz’s Soulslike releases on September 19 for the PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms.

Starfield

Genre: RPG | Release Date: Sep 6 I Platform: Xbox Series X/S, GamePass, PC

Over a decade in the making and the first new IP from Bethesda Game Studios in 25 years, the Xbox-exclusive Starfield is finally releasing on September 6 (or September 1 for early access buyers).

The game is set in 2330, where technological advancements have allowed humanity to venture beyond the solar system and settle into new planets, finally realizing the dream of becoming a spacefaring species. Players will join the Constellation, a group of space explorers seeking rare artefacts throughout the galaxy, taking them on wild and dangerous adventures.

The game promises unparalleled exploration, intricate RPG systems, over 1,000 planets to navigate, detailed shipbuilding, a newly refined combat system, and much more.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Genre: Action | Release Date: August 25 I Plats: PC, PS, Xbox

FromSoftware is back after riding the high waves of Elden Ring, and surprise, surprise, it is not another Souls-like. Instead, they have unearthed one of their old franchises and are putting a new spin on it.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon combines fast-paced mech combat with FromSoftware’s signature action gameplay (read: it will be hard as heck). Players will pilot mechs in omnidirectional battles played out on massive levels and will be able to customize each part to cater to a variety of playstyles.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Genre: RPG | Release Date: August 3 (Dec 8 for Xbox) I Plats: PC, PS5, Xbox

With 12 classes and 11 races to choose from, both offering 46 subclasses and 31 subraces, respectively, and around 600 spells, an engaging D&D 5e ruleset-based turn-based combat, engaging story, and 4-player co-op, Larlan Studios’ Baldur Gate 3 seems to be the RPG to watch out for this year. 

The game has been available as Early Access for a long time, with the full game finally available this month on PC. The PS5 version will launch a little later, on September 6, 2023, while the Xbox version is scheduled for release sometime next year.


Remnant 2

Genre: Action I Release Date: July 25 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

Gunfire Games’ Remnant: From the Ashes was a sleeper hit by all accounts, providing fans of the Souls genre a loot-and-shoot experience, and that too in co-op. Remnant 2 looks to build on the ideas introduced in the first game while expanding the gameplay and offering highly requested quality-of-life features.

Exoprimal

Genre: Shooter I Release Date: July 14 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

We aren’t getting a new Dino Crisis anytime soon, but publisher Capcom hopes Exoprimal might scratch that itch. This third-person shooter pits you and a couple of your friends against a never-ending horde of dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures while equipping you with a cutting-edge exosuit that should be able to take the beasts head-on.

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals

Genre: Horror I Release Date: July 12 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox, Switch

If you have never heard of Oxenfree, do yourself a favour and get the original as soon as possible. It’s a peculiar horror game mixed with a coming-of-age saga, and easily one of the genre has finest. With the sequel, Night School Studios, with the backing of Netflix Games, look to offer a polished narrative experience, with the choice-based gameplay, dynamic conversations, and environmental puzzles seeped in stunning artwork.

Diablo 4

Genre: ARPG I Release Date: June 6 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

Blizzard’s latest entry into its nearly thirty-year-old franchise invites you back to Hell for an endless slaughter of evil demons, countless abilities to master, and massive dungeons to loot and conquer. According to reviews, there is not much to the story, although it seems like it’s a marked improvement from Diablo 3 (which isn’t saying much). That said, while the game doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, the improvements to the combat, looting and visuals still make for a fresh take on the iconic franchise. You can read our review round-up here.

Dead Island 2

Genre: Action I Release Date: April 21 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

The long-delayed sequel to 2011’s popular zombie fest is finally upon us. Published by Deep Silver and developed by Dambuster Studios, Dead Island 2 promises a stylish, vibrant, gore-drenched Los Angeles to explore and cut through hordes of zombies with unique weapons and abilities.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Genre: Adventure I Release Date: April 28 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

The hotly anticipated sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is finally releasing after a short delay. With the original game garnering high praise and equally good sales, Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has tremendous hype, and expectations, behind it as it promises yet another galaxy-spanning action-adventure starring our good ol buddy Cal, his mini robot companion, BD-1, and the numerous characters that he will meet.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

Genre: FPS Thriller I Release Date: April 12 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

Considering Microsoft purchased Bethesda Softworks and, in turn, developer Tango Gameworks, the exclusive release of Ghostwire: Tokyo on the PlayStation 5 last year was a bit awkward for all parties involved. However, as the one-year exclusivity deal ends, Tango’s weird, odd, and excellent action-adventure title is finally releasing for Xbox Series X/S. This version will include the Spider’s Thread update, new story cutscenes, additional areas to explore, a bonus game mode, and several quality-of-life improvements. 

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Genre: Action I Release Date: March 3 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is the newest entry into the ever-growing Souls genre and is developed by Team Ninja, who successfully made their name with another Souls game with the Nioh series. The game is a dark fantasy action RPG where players fight off deadly creatures and enemy soldiers using swordplay based on Chinese martial arts.

The game has already been released to great applause from fans and critics alike and currently sits at 81% Metacritic score. The game is available on both old-gen and next-gen platforms.

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Genre: Action I Release Date: March 23 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

Hailed as the best the horror genre has to offer, Resident Evil 4 is a genre classic that inspired many horror games after its original release in 2005. Capcom, in its relentless pursuit of remaking its classics, is giving the same treatment to Resident Evil 4.

But unlike its previous attempts that largely updated the visuals and added a few new features here and there, this remake is built from the ground up and will feature new stories and a few surprises. This is undoubtedly this month’s most anticipated release and will be a treat for horror fans.

Octopath Traveller II

Genre: JRPG I Release Date: Feb 24 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox, Switch

Octopath Traveller II is the sequel to 2018’s highly acclaimed RPG and is a must-play for fans of the genre. It borrows many original designs and gameplay elements but tells a brand-new story, so you don’t necessarily have to play the first game to understand what’s happening. The series is known for its retro pixel art and 3D graphics and engaging turn-based combat.

Hogwarts Legacy

Genre: Adventure I Release Date: Feb 10 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox, Switch

Hogwarts Legacy directly answers the question, “What if someone cared to make a great game set in the Harry Potter universe?”. While we have had some Harry Potter games before, nothing matches the scale and quality that Hogwarts Legacy provides.

Developed by Avalanche Studios, the game is set during the 1800s (much before Potter came along), where you – a new 5th-year student in Hogwarts – must learn how to craft potions, discover fantastic beasts, battle dark wizards and uncover ancient secrets that threaten the very existence of the magical world.

What sets the game apart is the love and care that went into recreating the multi-layered and vast hallways and passageways of Hogwarts and surrounding areas, giving Potter fans a true 1:1 representation of the world described in the books and brought to life with the movies. 

Dead Space

Genre: Horror I Release Date: Jan 27 I Platforms: PC, PS, Xbox

Dead Space is often cited as one of the finest horror games ever made, so for EA to attempt to remake the game was controversial in and of itself. You don’t dare touch a classic unless you can do it justice – and to EA’s credit, they nailed it.

The Dead Space remake stays true to the core formula of the original, providing spine-chilling thrills and incredibly satisfying gameplay, now with updated visuals that run smoothly. Being a remake built from the ground up, the developers have also made significant changes to modernize the game. Still, it remarkably doesn’t remove anything from what made the original game unique. We hope to get a remake of Dead Space 2 (but please skip the third instalment) and a modern continuation of the classic horror franchise. 

Hi-Fi Rush

Genre: Adventure I Release Date: Jan 25 I Platforms: PC, Xbox

Tango Gameworks are usually known to develop weird but stylistic horror games, so it took everyone by surprise when they shadow-dropped Hi-Fi Rush, a bright, rhythm-based action-adventure for Xbox and PC. And the thoroughly excellent game only accelerated its hype, garnering terrific reviews from critics and fans.

Hi-Fi Rush’s super flashy, almost-anime-like visuals are incorporated into a rhythm-based gameplay mechanic approaching the genre with a fresh perspective. Almost everything in the game, from your character, your robot companion, to the objects in the background, moves to a specific rhythm – match that when in combat. You can pull off stylish moves and killer combos while scoring high on the grading system.

But if you are not into rhythm games at all, the game is extremely forgiving and doesn’t require you to play the game in any specific way to progress. Hi-Fi Rush is one of the finest games to release this year, and it’s one game that should be on your must-play list, and the fact that it’s available for free on GamePass on Xbox and PC is the perfect gateway to trying out the game.

Mufaddal Fakhruddin
Mufaddal Fakhruddin

Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.

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