Best Xbox Series X Exclusives

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After spending an entire console generation playing catch-up with Sony, Microsoft has no plans to let Sony gain the upper hand as far as exclusives games go this time around. They’ve even confirmed numerous Xbox Series X exclusive gaming titles with more expected. But, so far there are not many new Xbox Series X exclusives released yet for the next-gen console. However, in this article, we have created this list of the best Xbox Series X Exclusives so far. And of course, these games are available on the Xbox Series S as well.

With that said, Microsoft does have other things going for them. Case in point, the Xbox Games Pass. Plus, the Xbox Series X has better backward compatibility. Not to mention, the Xbox Series S looks like a great option for console gamers on a budget. Now let’s get into these Xbox Series X exclusives.

Gears 5

Release date: September 6, 2019 | Developer: The Coalition | ESRB Age Rating: Mature 17+

Was it ever really a surprise that Gears 5 would make its way to this list of best Xbox Series X exclusives? The latest installment in the Gears of War franchise will get a much-improved look at the better hardware of the Xbox Series X courtesy of Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system. This includes 4K 60fps capabilities, 120 FPS versus multiplayer, and further improvements graphically.

As for the game itself, Gears 5 is a third-person shooter set just right after Gears of War 4, albeit the focus this time around will be more on Kait Diaz who must uncover the origins of the Locust and the truth behind her family history.Gears 5 is arguably the biggest game in the franchise yet as it features a great campaign along with excellent PVP and PVE multiplayer modes including “Escape” where players will have to fight their way outside from inside a Swarm hive as they attempt to destroy it.

Sea of Thieves

Release date: March 20, 2018 | Developer: Rare | ESRB Age Rating: T for teen

Sea of Thieves is a highly social first-person action-adventure pirate game developed by Rare. Players cooperate with others to explore an open world via a pirate ship. This game encourages players to either befriend other pirates out on the sea or betray their alliances for gold and glory. It is a fantastic co-opt multiplayer open-world game

Sea of Thieves has also been optimized for the Xbox Series X. You will be able to play it at 60 frames per second at full 4K resolution on Xbox Series X and 60 FPS at 1080p on Xbox Series S. There are also other performance improvements such as greater processing power that allow for lower load times. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Release date: July 27, 2021 | Developer: Asobo Studio | ESRB Age Rating: Everyone

Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the most ambitious games available today. It seeks to simulate flying across the entire world, which is, safe to say, no easy feat. Although it still falls short of giving you the entire earth as your proverbial playground, Microsoft Flight Simulator does let you fly through the majority of it.

The best part is that Microsoft Flight Simulator runs buttery smooth on the Xbox Series X and S. It runs at a dynamic 4K resolution with visual detail presets similar to ultra settings on the PC. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S lowers the resolution to 1080p with acceptable compromises in graphics.

TLDR; Flight Simulator has to be the most well-optimized game ever released. The game allows console gamers to experience full flight simulation for the first time. Nothing comes close to watching the world pass you by while you’re inside the virtual cockpit of a plane and laid back on your couch.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Release date: December 3rd, 2019 | Developer: 343 Industries | ESRB Age Rating: Mature 17+

The Master Chief Collection is in other words a super-deluxe package from 343 Industries to their loyal customers and die-hard fans of the Halo series. After a failed attempt in 2014 and has faced hefty criticism, 343 Industries refused to sit idle. The former version of the collection excluded Halo Reach and it was filled with vexing multiplayer bugs and technical issues. 

The 2019 version has earned its ultimate redemption. Halo Reach has finally made it and all 6 legendary games are now playable. Moreover, with over 120 multiplayer maps, multiplayer modes are fixed and are ready to be played. Not to mention, everything regarding the visual aesthetics feels two times better. Halo The Master Chief Collection now supports 120 fps and 4K resolution— fully optimized for PC and Xbox series X/S alongside cross-gen play. What commenced as a lousy attempt to please the Halo fanatics, is now a flawless masterpiece. “Tell that to the Covenant!” 

Ori And The Will Of The Wisps

Release date: March 11th, 2020 | Developer: Moon Studios | ESRB Age Rating: Everyone

Moon Studios delivers yet another aesthetically pleasing game. Following the footsteps of their previous masterpiece, “Orion and the Blind Forest,” Ori and the Will of the Wisps draws you into its riveting fairytale-like world as well. It is a game that will take you through lush forests, raging blizzard storms, scorching deserts, and even having you delving into a burrow. 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps not only retain the beautiful aspects of the 2015 game, but it builds upon it and lands a greater experience to be witnessed than before. Encounter newer beasts and familiarize yourself with a broader combat system that comes with active abilities, and passive shards. Players will appreciate the vast content and the amount of diversity offered when choosing from an array of weapons/abilities. 

Forza Horizon 5

Release date: November 9th, 2021 | Developer: Playground Games | ESRB Age Rating: Everyone

Playground games, without a moment’s hesitation, went the extra mile to understand the assignment because Forza Horizon 5 modifies the Forza Horizon series that we know and cherish in the most efficient way possible. Forza Horizon 5 expands on game features that Forza Horizon 4 either lacked or needed polishing— simultaneously, the fifth edition tenaciously captures the Forza series key traits that are enjoyed and acknowledged by the racing enthusiasts: serene open-world experience, another Forza Festival, countless online events, and optimized for 4k graphics with 120FPS.

New Forza Horizon means a new venue as well; therefore, fill up the fuel tank because Playground Games is taking us to Mexico! Race your heart out to exotic landscapes: volcanoes, farmlands, sandstorms, snow-covered routes, and whatnot. Underneath photorealistic skies, you will experience engrossing online and offline races. The all-new Event Lab tests your imagination level— become a creator and design your racing tracks. Forza Horizon 5 has been worth the wait. 

Halo Infinite

Release date: November 15th, 2021 | Developer: 343 Industries | ESRB Age Rating: Teen

Over the past decades, Halo became somewhat a trademark for Microsoft gaming due to its immense success that gave online first-person shooter multiplayer a whole new spin— not to mention the intensely rich lore and an impeccable protagonist, Master Chief. Halo Infinite’s release is considered to be a spiritual reboot of this ever-loved military science fiction genre gaming series. Judging from the certain newly added twists in the newest edition, it is safe to say that 343 Industries knew this had to be a turning point for the Halo franchise after the mediocre and unsatisfactory results of Halo 5.  

To elaborate on the twists, for the first time, the Zeta Halo Ring adopts an open-world approach. Players can roam it freely; thereby giving the game a more RPG style. Halo Infinite brings back the variety of iconic weapons, dating back to Halo 3. Moreover, the all-new grappler facilitates Master Chief to move in and out of combat with ease. Halo Infinite’s campaign mode pick off from Halo 5. The Banished are still a nuisance and it is up to Master Chief to push them back. 


Microsoft wants the Xbox Series X to do better than the Xbox One did in terms of exclusive games. This time around, they’ve got far more exclusives lined up, and are working closely together with more developers, both big names and indie ones.

Whether or not these moves will pay off is something that only time will tell. But, currently, Microsoft’s focus on backward compatibility holds back the Xbox Series S/X in the exclusives department. However, this is a huge plus if you’re open to playing older titles on the Xbox Series S/X as you can enjoy either better graphics or support for higher frame rates, if not both. The company’s support for legacy games on its flagship console is outstanding, to say the least.

Microsoft desperately lacks something that can go toe-to-toe with the God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn franchises that Sony has going for them, and while their exclusives are excellent, they’re mostly unproven or underrated franchises that might or might not be enough to help the Xbox Series X get the sales to push that it needs. Hopefully, we’ll see more and more Xbox Series X exclusives as time goes on.

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