The 10 best games on Xbox Series S/X | Games

Halo Infinite

In order to appease a fanbase on the brink of disillusion, 343 Industries has abandoned some of the narrative extravagances from Halo 5 and built an unapologetically gung-ho sci-fi blaster with Master Chief doing what he does best: running about blasting aliens with cool guns. The open worlds and new grappling gun add variety and the standalone multiplayer is a frenetic competitor to the Battle Royale big fish, but this is classic Halo fare.
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Forza Horizon 5.
Baja bonanza … Forza Horizon 5. Photograph: Playground Games/Microsoft

Forza Horizon 5

A racing game that really captures the feel and fantasy of the open road, set in a sumptuous virtual Mexico. It offers an overwhelming buffet of racing events to take on by yourself or with others, in hundreds of different perfectly-recreated cars, through jungles, deserts and around volcanoes, on the streets or off-road in Baja buggies. A unique way to see one of the world’s most interesting places.
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Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Even if it weren’t beautiful, this game would be a delight – but man, it certainly helps that it is beautiful. Little spirit creature Ori flows gorgeously around the screen as you explore a watercolour forest full of strange creatures, winkling out all its secrets and probing its hidden corners. This is like a playable painting that you can sink into, where every daring jump and fast-paced fight feels great.
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Psychonauts 2.
Messing with your mind … Psychonauts 2. Photograph: Double Fine

Psychonauts 2

This endearingly bizarre adventure is a true original, effortlessly funny and unapologetically itself. You play Raz, a trainee psychonaut and reluctant acrobat, learning the fine art of delving into people’s brains to understand their psyche (and, sometimes, mess around with their motivations). You will not soon forget the weird escapades that you have in this game, from competing in a gameshow constructed inside an agoraphobic psychic’s mind, to fleeing a witch made of bees.
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Microsoft Flight Simulator

With its technically astonishing, AI-augmented recreation of the entire planet and surprisingly intuitive controls, Flight Simulator has appeal far beyond the core audience of sim fanatics. Whether you’re landing an Airbus A320 at Seattle–Tacoma airport or swooping over Strasbourg in a Cessna 152, the feel of being in flight is wonderfully replicated. A lovely surprise.
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Sea of Thieves

Originally released in 2018, Rare’s wonderful pirating adventure has continued to evolve and expand, with fresh stories, monsters and hidden loot to discover. It is, in effect, a vast story generator allowing friends to get together on a galleon and sail away on their own quests for fortune and glory. Enhanced for Xbox Series S/X, running in glorious 4K and with much faster loading times, this treasured game is now even more valuable.

It Takes Two.
Marriage guidance … It Takes Two. Photograph: EA

It Takes Two

A co-operative adventure about a failing marriage doesn’t sound like the stuff of gaming magic, but Hazelight Studios has brought startling innovative flair to what could have been a mawkish trial. Arguing parents May and Cody are shrunk down to toy size and have to fight their way through their own home and garden to reach their daughter, fighting giant insects and working together to solve clever, engrossing puzzles (and these are truly collaborative ventures, not just one player standing on a switch, while the other opens a door). Ultimately, this is a game about the value of communication and beyond the annoying talking-book narrator, it delivers its marriage guidance in the subtlest of ways.
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A stylish, moreish and unexpectedly sexy game in which you try to fight your way out of the Greek underworld as Zagreus, son of Hades. The ingredients are simple – a few different weapons, various perks from the gods of Olympus rooting for your escape, snappy and intelligent dialogue – but they combine into something different and interesting, and with every attempt you edge closer to the surface. Its memorable, playful take on mythology helps make this the best game in its genre.
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Hitman 3

The latest assassination adventure from IO Interactive follows the usual recipe – infiltrate glamorous locations and kill people – but the team has expertly refined all the systems and given us a range of iconic set-pieces, from Berlin raves to Argentinian wineries. Highly optimised for Xbox Series X/S, with smoother framerates and more intricate visuals, Hitman 3 is a joy on the new consoles, and worth checking out again even if you’ve already played on Xbox One. Committing deadly crimes for a nefarious global spy network has never looked so fresh and appealing.
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Resident Evil Village.
Femme fatale and fabulous … Resident Evil Village’s Lady Dimitrescu. Photograph: Capcom

Resident Evil Village

Set immediately after Resident Evil 7 in a sinister Eastern European town filled with cackling crones and lurking monsters, Village continues the rejuvenation of the Resi Evil brand. The giant femme fatale Lady Dimitrescu was the star of the pre-release trailers, but there are darker enemies stalking these luscious gothic castles and weird victorian mansions, and every time you think you know what’s what, a major tonal shift completely changes the feel and focus of the game. Comfortingly chilling.
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