28 Best Xbox Series X Games in 2021

With the release of the Xbox Series X, comes a plethora of games to choose from. However, many gamers haven’t had a chance to brief themselves on what games the Xbox Series X currently has available to play. Therefore, below we have curated a comprehensive list of the best Xbox Series X games you can play now. These are also the best games for the Xbox Series S, which is the cheaper version of the two consoles.

The list is meant to be a resource for those looking for the top Xbox Series X and Series S games. Therefore, it will be updated frequently as more games are released for the latest gen Xbox consoles.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Ubisoft definitely pushed through with changing their annual release of a new Assassin’s Creed title. However, even though they decided to skip a year with their once yearly franchise, there simply was no way that they’d let a new console-generation launch without having one of their games be part of it all.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is the latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. It will follow in the footsteps of its past two predecessors, Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

Instead of focusing on its stealth and action gameplay, the past two titles leaned heavily towards its RPG elements. This was met with a lot of praise from critics and fans alike. As such, it makes sense for Ubisoft to try out the formula once again with Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

As for the game’s narrative, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will let players live as Vikings in the middle ages. Forced out of their homeland in Norway, players will have an entirely new playground in England to play with as they look to rummage and pillage their way into establishing a new home for the legendary warrior race.

Gears 5 (Exclusive)

Microsoft had already released Gears 5 for the Xbox One X in 2019. However, it still remains one of the best Xbox games out there. But now that this great action-packed shooter game has been optimized for the Xbox Series X, you should see native 4K graphics at 60 frames per second for the game’s campaign. This makes Gears 5 look even more gorgeous on the Xbox Series X and is also a great game to play with your friends.

Call of the Sea (Exclusive)

We don’t really see too many puzzle adventure titles these days. As such, you can only imagine everyone’s excitement when Microsoft showcased one such game during their first-ever 20/20 event. Call of the Sea is a game set in the 1930s. It will star a woman named Norah who’s on the search for his lost husband.

If it’s not already obvious by now, Call of the Sea is going for a more retro look. However, at the same time, you can’t help but admire the beauty of the graphics. If nothing else, it’ll be intriguing to see how Raw Fury pulls off a first-person puzzle adventure on a next-gen console.


Control and customization is the name of the game for EA with FIFA 21. The latest title in the globally popular FIFA franchise, FIFA 21 will reportedly take every advantage given to it on the next-gen consoles. This includes deferred lighting and rendering, enhanced animation technology, and off-ball humanization, among many others. But, that’s not all. It also comes with numerous gameplay improvements.

Compared to previous titles, FIFA 21 will bring back FIFA Ultimate Team with FUT co-op. This is an entirely new feature. It will allow players to team up with each other against other solo or duo players. Scoring parameters will also be tracked better throughout the entire season this time around.

In-game, FIFA 21 will give players plenty of tools to work with. This includes an entirely new set of modifier buttons. In particular, you can use the said buttons to set up accurate passes or even line-up shots. You can even use the said features to rewind bad plays, which, admittedly, is already cheating in our book.

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War

The cat is already out of the bag. We already know a lot about Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. Just as the name suggests, the game will be set right around the Cold War era with Treyarch putting players hot on the trail of Persues, an alleged Soviet spy, as they take control of CIA officer, Russel Adler.

Cold War will reportedly also feature some familiar faces. This includes Frank Woods, Alex Mason, and Jason Hudson. Of course, the single-player campaign is only a part of the Call of Duty experience.

Despite the success of Warzone, Activision fully intends to continue developing a more traditional multiplayer shooter for Call of Duty, and Cold War will look to try and reinvigorate interest. This includes adding new modes and bringing back a couple of old favorites.

One noteworthy mode, in particular, is the VIP escort, which is a 6v6 mode where the game randomly assigns one player as the escort. The goal is then to escort the designated player to a specific location, or eliminate the target.

NBA 2K21

NBA 2K21 is already for the current generation of consoles and people are loving it. While gamers have long criticized 2K sports for taking advantage of the demand for a yearly release of a new NBA 2K title by not including as many features as many feel that they could with a new title, many gamers feel satisfied with NBA 2K21, and, there’s plenty of good reasons for that.

NBA 2K21 brings back the shooting mechanics of NBA 2K17 but improves on it for a more natural feel. MyCAREER also returns with another noteworthy story and starts players as high-school recruits. That player chooses between 10 different universities and tries to rise through the NCAA ranks to eventually make it to the big leagues.

MyCAREER features cameos from noteworthy celebrities. This includes Michael K. Williams and Djimon Hounsou. MyTeam is also reworked. It now essentially forces teams to actually build teams instead of just collecting players. Climbing the ladder doesn’t require throwing your money at your screen anymore. You can get by with spending very little or none at all. This gives NBA 2K21 much more replay value than its predecessors.

Of course, NBA 2K21 will benefit from the added processing power that comes with the Xbox Series X. Expect better and more realistic graphics with much more fluid movement from the players once NBA 2K21 is played on the Xbox Series X.

Dirt 5

Until the next expected Forza title comes to the Xbox Series X, gearheads will have to settle with Dirt 5. As far as consolation prizes go, that’s not even half-bad.

The first racing game officially confirmed for Microsoft’s next-gen console, Dirt 5 will feature tracks from all over the world. This includes world-famous tracks located in places like Brazil, Italy, China, and even New York. More importantly, Dirt 5 will feature a wide roster of characters that players will get a chance to play and tinker with.

For those who aren’t exactly huge fans of the franchise nor cars, Dirt 5 will reportedly feature a career mode with the likes of Nolan North and Troy Baker lending their talents. With a little bit of something for everybody, Dirt 5 is definitely one to look out for. 

Madden 21

Death, change, and taxes. There are only so few things that are certain in life. Those are three are right up there. So is another NFL game, by the way, particularly, a Madden title.

Having seen an annual release since 1990, no year really ever is complete without a new Madden game, and for the Xbox Series X, we’re going to see American football in all of its next-generation glory thanks to Madden 21.

Watch Dogs: Legion

A slight departure from the previous Watch Dogs titles, the third installment, Watch Dogs: Legion, will give players, not just one protagonist, but an entire city’s worth of inhabitants to play with and as.

Set in a dystopian London where everything and anything is under the control of an authoritarian regime, Watch Dogs: Legion uses the franchise’s hacking gameplay to help the repressed British people stage an uprising. True to its name, Watch Dogs: Legion will give you multiple protagonists at your disposal.

Similar to what a singular protagonist would have, each of these people that you can play as has their own backstories, talents, abilities, skills, and more. Not to mention, Watch Dogs: Legion will raise the stakes up a bit by introducing a permadeath mechanic that we haven’t seen from the franchise yet.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t just one of the best games of its generation. It’s one of the best ever. So, it only makes sense for Ubisoft to borrow plenty of elements from it.

Immortals Fenxy Rising, formerly known as Gods and Monsters, is Ubisoft’s newest Zelda-esque fantasy action-adventure title that’s set in an open world. It will put players in the shoes of a red-headed demi-god named Fenyx who’s out to take out one of the biggest baddies in Greek mythology with Zeus and Prometheus taking turns narrating the entire journey.

It’s a very Ubisoft take of the game. You get the requisite mountain of objectives and quest markers, with skill trees and upgrade paths for your equipment. There’s even plenty of traditional yet surprisingly complex combat to boot. You could argue that the game is the lovechild of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Mortal KOMBAT 11 Ultimate

Mortal Kombat 11 is the next installment in the Mortal Kombat franchise following Mortal Kombat X in 2015. It follows the events of the previous game with a story split across multiple chapters, with each chapter focusing on different characters and culminating in a plot that heavily revolves around time travel with multiple endings depending on the player’s choice.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate will compile all the story chapters in one title (12 for the base game and 5 for the expansion), along with everything else that’s been released for the game since. This includes new fighters such as Rain, Mileena, and Rambo, as well as more skins, weapons, and gears for players to customize fighters.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate will also include all the guest fighters released for the game and will support 4K resolution.

Second Extinction (Exclusive)

For some reason, developers really aren’t keen on creating a dinosaur game. Maybe it’s because there have been far too many failures in the past? Well, that’s partly true. After all, outside of Dino Crisis, which wasn’t exactly a perfect franchise, what other notable dinosaur games can you really remember? Here’s to hoping that Second Extinction adds to that shortlist.

A co-op shooter that lets you play on three-game squads against giant mutated reptiles, Second Extinction is as pretty self-explanatory as it gets. If nothing else, Second Extinction might just be the catalyst we need for Capcom to work on a new Dino Crisis title.

The Medium (Exclusive)

The Medium is another horror title exclusive to the Xbox Series X. However, unlike Scorn, which obviously is going for a more Alien-like vibe, The Medium is taking a more psychological approach to scaring the wits out of gamers. Backed by the same people behind 2019’s Blair Witch video game adaption and the haunting scores of the Silent Hill series, The Medium.

As for the gameplay itself, we know a couple of things to expect from The Medium. In the game, players will reportedly take on the shoes of Marianne, who is a spiritual medium that can act as a bridge between the world of the living and, well, the world of the NOT living. Although we don’t know much beyond that, one thing that’s all but guaranteed at this point is that The Medium will be a terrifying title. Whether or not it becomes a worthy spiritual successor to the likes of Silent Hill is something that we’ll find out once it launches.

Borderlands 3

While we won’t get a next-gen Borderlands game just yet, the latest entry in the frantic shooter franchise, Borderlands 3, will be making its way to the Xbox Series X. Borderlands 3 continues the tradition of the award-winning franchise. It’s not just an FPS title. Instead, it incorporates numerous RPG elements to it, with plenty of action to boot. It’s also considered one of the archetypal shooter-looters, where looting and crafting items play a significant role in a player’s in-game progress.

Borderlands 3, in particular, brings with it an arsenal of surprisingly fun and unique weapons that help inject more energy into the chaotic action. On top of it all, Borderlands 3 comes with a 30-hour campaign with a lot of replay value.

Outside of supporting 4K resolution at 60FPS on the Xbox Series X, little else is known about the improvements on Borderlands 3 for the next-gen console. However, as it is, Borderlands 3 is already a game well worth purchasing twice over. Any improvements are just a welcome bonus at this point.

Hitman 3

One of the biggest surprise hits of the decade, the revival of the Hitman franchise is in full swing with a third game on the way. Hitman 3 marks the first time that the series’ current developers, IO Interactive, will release and publish the game on their own. Previously, IO was part of Square Enix, with the developers working with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment with the publishing of Hitman 2.

Although they are going to publish the game themselves this time around, IO will receive help in the form of a partnership with Epic Games. According to their CEO, this move will allow them the “freedom to create the game exactly as we imagined”. This could mean that fans could be in for quite the treat, as the previous two titles featured unprecedented levels of freedom. Both titles gave players plenty of options on how they would deal with their targets, allowing for near-unlimited replay value. With IO promising big things, Hitman 3 could be one of the few times that the third title in a series ends up surpassing its predecessors.


A third-person online shooter where loot will play a huge role, Outriders is an all-new IP developed by people with prior experience in hit titles such as Gears of War: Judgment and Bulletstorm.

Outriders draws comparisons to shooter-looters like Destiny. Whether or not it can be just as good if not better as Destiny is the question. But, so far, the developers seem intent on turning Outriders into a different kind of online shooter that gamers can actually finish.

With lead writer Joshua Rubin citing classics such as Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness as possible comparisons for the game’s story, we should expect things to get pretty dark quickly in Outriders.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Once a PlayStation-exclusive franchise, we’ve seen the Yakuza games make their way to other consoles and platforms in recent years. In a few months, this will include Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which will make its way on the Xbox Series X. A rather unique take on the Yakuza formula, Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be a role-playing title instead of a beat-em-up.

In the game, players participate in four-person team battles. However, in typical Yakuza fashion, there’s a twist. Because, during battles, players and enemies alike can interact with nearby surroundings and other objects. This creates a more interactive combat system that’s more in line with the Yakuza franchise. Also returning are the numerous side-quests and side-activities that have since become a staple of the franchise.

Resident Evil Village

A follow-up to 2017’s Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil Village will follow Ethan, now reunited with his wife Mia, as they raise their daughter Rose in a remote village. However, Chris Redfield’s sudden appearance stirs things up and now Ethan will have to find a way to be reunited with his family, starting with a mysterious-looking village.

The latest installment in the Resident Evil franchise will take heavy inspiration from Resident Evil 4, which explains the village setting. However, the more survival-horror take will make for quite the scary ride just as Resident Evil 7 was. It also doesn’t help that there’ll be werewolves prowling about.

F1 2021

The latest installment in Codemasters’ longest-running F1 series of realistic racing games marks the studio’s first after it was acquired by EA. In addition to the usual multiplayer options, as well as the Career Mode, F1 2021 will feature an all-new story mode, Braking Point, that will span three seasons including as players take the role of fictional driver, Devon Butler, as he works his way from Formula 2 to Formula One.

Control Ultimate Edition

Control takes Remedy Entertainment’s penchant for heavy narrative titles but infuses it with a hint of supernatural elements to give players an action-adventure title filled with clever twists that ultimately led up to the creation of the developer’s very own connected video game universe as shown in the game’s two expansions.

In this next-gen update, Control Ultimate Edition compiles all the adventures of Jessie Faden. This includes the base game and the story expansions, AWE and The Foundation. It also lets players choose between making the game look better with an all-new “Graphics” mode or play smoother at a steady 60 frames per second in “Performance” mode.

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition

Devil May Cry 5 is a direct sequel to Devil May Cry 4. It follows the story of Nero, as well as Dante and an all-new character in V as they try to put a stop to the demon Urizon and whatever the hell is going on in Red Grave City.

The next-gen exclusive Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition improves upon the 2019 title. It adds ray tracing support and an exclusive mode that supports 120 frames per second. It also makes Vergil a playable character. Other notable additions include the classic Bloody Palace and a “Legendary Dark Knight” difficulty.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition remasters all of the first three Mass Effect games with all but one of the DLCs and expansions included. Because of how much older the said games are, especially the first Mass Effect title, the games received more than just graphical updates. All three games also received numerous gameplay and technical updates, making them feel like modern versions of themselves and makes the game just a couple of tweaks shy of being a full-on remake.

The Colonists

The Colonists put players in control of tiny and cute robots that can build whatever they want and however they want it done. Think of it like Minecraft, but instead of doing the building yourself, you’re more like an orchestrator. You can choose to play through the game’s single-player campaign or play on randomly generated maps. You can also compete against other players or build whatever you want in the game’s sandbox mode.

Subnautica: Below Zero

Set two years after 2014’s open-world survival action-adventure game, Subnautica, Subnautica: Below Zero takes players to the barren and frozen wastelands of the mysterious planet, 4546B.

Outside of the local change, Subnautica: Below Zero should play similar to the original Subnautica game. This means players can still expect to have to build all the same things to survive in this game. This includes everything from structures that will protect them from the environment to vehicles that they can use to traverse the lands, as well as equipment that can make their jobs easier.

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online will finally get a next-gen version, dubbed as ESO: Console Enhanced, which is set to take the MMORPG to new heights.

Unique to the next-gen version of ESO is a number of graphical enhancements intended to make the game more immersive and expansive. This includes a higher draw distance, which will make it easier to see enemies and allies alike from afar. ESO: Console Enhanced will also come with high-resolution textures, better anti-aliasing, and reflections, as well as the option to play the game at a stable 60 frames per second.

Chivalry 2

Chivalry 2 is the multiplayer-online competitive sword battling title that will increase the scale from its 2013 predecessor, allowing players to partake in 64-player skirmishes that stretch across an entire map.

The first-person slasher will support 4K resolution and run at 60 frames per second, among other modes, on the Xbox Series X. On the Xbox Series S, the game will still run at 60fps but at a lower resolution. In both consoles, players can choose to unlock the frame rates, which will come in handy for those playing on a VRR display.

Variable Refresh Rate is a feature that’s exclusive to Xbox consoles at the moment. It allows select displays to match how much frame rates the game is running at any given moment.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence was one of the biggest surprise hits back in 2019. Now, it’s back and it looks better than ever for the Xbox Series S/X. For its next-gen update, A Plague Tale: Innocence will let players journey across 14th century France in 4K resolution at 60 fps as they guide the noble-born siblings, Amicia and Hugo de Rune, through multiple rat-infested areas in hopes of finding a cure for a terrible illness.

With its intense focus on exploration, stealth, and puzzle-solving that usually involves avoiding the gaze of hundreds if not thousands of rats, A Plague Tale: Innocence will be a visual treat on the Xbox Series S/X.

The Ascent

The Ascent might not be the cyberpunk game most expected, but it has the potential to be the best one yet.

An Xbox Series S/X-exclusive, The Ascent is set in a capitalistic world where everything is controlled by The Ascent Group. However, one day, the mega-corporation collapses, leaving everyone to fend for themselves. With the entire world scrambling for some semblance of order, it’s up to the players to find out what’s going on while making sure that rival factions don’t end up taking over.

The Ascent will play as a top-down open-world twin-stick shooter reminiscent of the Diablo games. It can be played solo and in local co-op, as well as online co-op, with up to four players per team.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, these are the best Xbox Series X games. Kudos to Microsoft for arguably one-upping Sony at every turn so far. Their showcases have not failed to meet expectations so far. Not to mention, the release of the Xbox Series S came completely out of left field, surprising many gamers with a relatively affordable next-gen offering, albeit coming at the expense of less powerful hardware.

Will this be the generation when Microsoft finally outpaced Sony? Only time will tell. But, as you can see from the list above, the Xbox Series X and Series S have numerous gaming titles that many are looking forward to playing.

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