New Xbox Series X? Best games to buy for next-gen Xbox console

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If you were lucky enough to bag an Xbox Series X/S console at launch, then you’re probably wondering which games to try first.

Microsoft did things a little differently with the launch of the Xbox Series X/S, focusing on next-gen game upgrades rather than platform exclusives.

This means that while there aren’t any games specifically built for Xbox Series X/S, there are plenty of games that look and play best on the next-gen Xbox.

Thanks to what Microsoft refers to as Smart Delivery, Xbox game purchases are optimised for your console of choice.

You can start a game on Xbox One, only to play that same game with better visuals and improved performance on Xbox Series X.

With this in mind, here are the best games to buy for your brand new Xbox Series X/S console.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla…

There’s something about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla that appeals to me much more than Origins and Odyssey. Hopped up on TV shows like Vikings, the ability to fight and pillage as a Viking raider is just too much to resist.

It’s a mightily impressive visual spectacle, taking place in a gorgeous open world that’s as beautiful as it is gigantic. The English countryside, towns and fortresses are an absolute pleasure to explore, and even make the typical Ubisoft busywork that little bit more bearable.

The Xbox Series X version benefits from heavily reduced loading times, outputs at 4K, and largely runs at 60 frames-per-second, despite one or two dips.

Dirt 5…

While I was tempted to put Forza Horizon 4 on this list – and if you do get a chance I would most definitely recommend it – Dirt 5 feels just that little bit more “next-gen”.

Racing from day to night with dynamic weather enabled leads to some truly thrilling races that really showcase the power of the Xbox Series X.

It’s not as deep as games like Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo and Horizon, but if you’re looking for fast-paced, pick up and play arcade thrills, then Dirt 5 definitely hits the mark.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon…

Yakuza Like a Dragon isn’t necessarily the most impressive Xbox Series X/S game to look at, but it does have some pretty major advantages over the previous gen.

One thing that really stands out are the near instant loading times, which make a big difference in a cinematic game where you’re constantly flitting between locations, story scenes and mini-games.

NBA 2K21…

With upgrades to games like FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 not coming until the end of the year, NBA 2K21 is the must-have sports game for the launch of Xbox Series X/S.

NBA 2K21 features the same 4K/60fps enhancements as other next-gen ports, as well as improved crowds, more realistic animations, and even an open-world city to explore.

It’s worth taking a look at some of the gameplay videos online, where you’ll struggle to tell virtual basketball from the real thing.

Gears 5…

Gears 5 isn’t a brand new game built exclusively for Xbox Series X, but it is arguably the best looking game on the entire system, featuring stunning 4K visuals, not to mention heavily reduced loading times and a rock solid frame rate.

The action is so smooth and surroundings so sumptuous that it’s almost distracting. I was downed by various monsters simply because I was too busy looking around and taking everything in, rather than concentrating on the task at hand… that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Other than that, there’s not really much else you can say about the Gears of War series at this point. It features all of the same cover-based gunplay and gory kills we’ve come to know and love from a series that’s no stranger to showcasing console capabilities.

Game Pass Ultimate…

Not a game as such, but if you really want to get the most out of your Xbox Series X/S, then you simply must invest in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Featuring literally hundreds of games from every generation of Xbox – including everything found in EA Access – Microsoft’s gaming subscription service is incredible value for money, costing just £10.99 or £7.99 for unlimited access.

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