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The best Xbox games 2024

From superhero adventures to awesome shooters, these are the best Xbox games in 2024 to play on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One right now.

Best Xbox Games: An image of Senua in Hellbade Senua's Sacrifice and a Constellation astronaut in Starfield.

What are the best Xbox games? When it comes to Xbox consoles, there are simply too many bangers to rife through. There are so many great games to spend time with that it can be hard to determine which are the best, but no to worry, we’re here to help. With our list of the best Xbox games available right now, we’ll get you started with your next adventure in no time.

These games are so excellent, that some of them actually appear on our best games of all time list. Seriously, they’re that good. Some of these games are also on Microsoft’s superb Game Pass service, so be sure to check out our list of the best Xbox Game Pass games as well. So, let’s dive in.

The best Xbox games are:

Best Xbox games: A Hunter from Destiny 2 aiming a large pistol to the side of the camera.

1. Destiny 2

You might think lightning can’t strike twice, but the pioneers of competitive FPS action with Halo, Bungie, did just that with Destiny. While there’s less of a focus on PvP arena battles as there is in Halo, Destiny 2 has established itself as the ruler of live-service narrative games.

There’s a rich universe to uncover in Destiny, with different alien races spread across several planets and destinations, menacing masterminds, and an ever-growing group of intriguing characters to get to know. Plenty of live service games keep you coming back for the gameplay, but Destiny 2 keeps you coming back for the story as well.

If you’re a fan of cooperative play, then Destiny 2 offers a large array of activities to play with friends and random players. From casual Strikes all the way up to challenging three-player Dungeons and six-player Raids, Destiny has more than enough content to sink your teeth into at all difficulty levels. There’s even a suite of competitive PvP modes, from unranked quickplay to intense 3v3 battles in Trials of Osiris.

No matter what you choose to do, you’ll get to engage in deep build mechanics while hunting for the best Destiny 2 weapons and armor. If you’re looking to dive in, check out our Destiny 2 Titan build, Hunter build, and Warlock build so you know which class is the right one for you. And don’t miss our Destiny 2 Lightfall review to see if the latest expansion is worth picking up, as the game is technically free-to-play, although the free offerings are slim.

Best Xbox games: A cyberpunk style city from Starfield.

2. Starfield

Starfield is easily Bethesda’s most ambitious game to date, taking its beloved formula behind the likes of Oblivion, Skyrim, and Fallout 4, and applying it to a whole galaxy. Our Starfield review digs deep into just what makes this game worthy of being one of the best RPG games.

From the incredibly vast and varied open world (or should we say open galaxy, as there are over 1,000 planets to explore) to its deep gameplay mechanics, Starfield gives you dozens of hours of fun. It also improves and expands upon the excellent base building from Fallout 4 with the advanced Starfield outposts system and even Starfield ship building. If you’re up for a galaxy-trotting adventure with various factions to join, planets to explore, and quests to complete – in much the same vein as Bethesda’s previous work – then Starfield is the game for you. It’s even better then that Starfield is available on Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost – a whole galaxy at your fingertips!

Best Xbox games: Arthur Morgan walking away from the camera inside a burning building in Red Dead Redemption 2.

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games is well-known at this point for its incredible talent in creating rich worlds to explore, but Red Dead Redemption 2 knocks everything else out of the water. RDR2 isn’t for everyone: it’s a slow burn that asks you to immerse yourself in its world first and foremost. However, if you’re willing to tag along for the ride, you’re in for one of the most gripping stories in all of gaming.

Though you might assume you need to play the first game before diving in, Red Dead Redemption 2 is actually a prequel. Whether your experience will be heightened by knowing how the events ultimately conclude is largely up to personal preference, but you can certainly start with RDR2 and enjoy an epic and oftentimes unfortunate tale that will have you laughing, crying, and shouting at the screen at certain moments.

Pair the unforgettable narrative with slick gunplay – especially for fans of Westerns – and a sprawling yet highly detailed world to explore, and it’s hard not to be amazed by what’s on offer in Red Dead Redemption 2 and there’s no doubt that it’s one of the, if not the best open-world game ever.

Best Xbox games: A group of cars next to a church in Mexico in Forza Horizon 5.

4. Forza Horizon 5

In a drastic twist, Forza Horizon 5 is an open-world racing game all about having fun. Don’t expect a gripping story or entertaining characters here, just bombastic racing across sand dunes, through jungles, and over a volcano. Yes, even a volcano – and that’s not even the coolest part.

The Horizon line of Forza titles features similarly satisfying and arguably best-in-class arcade-sim hybrid racing but ups the chaos over Forza’s more serious Motorsport series. You won’t be trying to master each and every corner to shave a second of your time and claim first. No, instead you’ll be focused on how best to fling your car around a corner at max speed and keeping your eyes out for shortcuts, smashing through barns and fences to get ahead.

As part of the large world to explore, Forza Horizon 5 also features a diverse set of competitions, so there’s something for everyone. From classic street racing to off-road, it’s hard not to be having fun while speeding through FH5’s Mexico. The fact that it’s still being regularly supported with seasonal content and paid expansions also tells you how popular the game remains today. Forza Horizon 5 is hands-down one of the best racing games ever made.

Like all Xbox exclusives, this incredible game is also available on Game Pass at no extra cost, so what are you waiting for? You can also check out our Forza Horizon 5 review to learn more.

Best Xbox games: a blue supercar in Forza Motorsport

5. Forza Motorsport

If you’re after a more traditional, track-based racing experience, then Forza Motorsport will suit you down to the tarmac. Turn 10’s soft reboot of the series has proven a hit with the critics, taking home the award for the best sports/racing game at The Game Awards 2023. It’s also been scored as ‘Generally Favorable’ over on Metacritic, which only adds to the fact that it is one of the best sports games around.

The latest addition to the long-running series packs in more cars than ever, matched only by the number of tracks available to race them around in. There have also been considerable upgrades to the game’s core mechanics, making for the series’ best driving experience yet. As with Forza Horizon 5, Forza Motorsport can also be enjoyed via Xbox Game Pass.

Best Xbox games: A knight on a horse, riding next to a large monster walking in the background in Elden Ring.

6. Elden Ring

Elden Ring took the gaming world by storm when it launched in 2022, taking everything FromSoftware were already considered masters at and applying it to a much larger world.

From the moment you boot up Elden Ring, you’ll be invited into an incredibly rich universe with intriguing lore in each and every corner of the world. It’s not always easy to understand, but you can’t help but be pulled in. Likewise, FromSoftware is second to none when it comes to design worlds and levels absolutely oozing with atmosphere and, despite the almost overwhelmingly large open world, that remains the same in Elden Ring. From the grand atriums and twisting corridors of Liurnia Academy to the open plains of the Limgrave and the Altus Plateau, and even the haunting depths of the Ainsel River, it’s almost impossible to imagine how this world was even put together.

When you’re not in awe of your surroundings, however, you’ll be engaged in nail-biting combat against all kinds of beasties and picking the perfect Elden Ring boss order to take down the game’s toughest enemies. Like FromSoftware’s other games, Elden Ring is a soulslike game, so expect a challenging experience that demands your attention and willingness to improve after every death. The difficulty will no doubt put many off, but if you’re open to learning the ins and outs of the game, and making use of the open-world structure to level up, then there’s a gem waiting for you. Our Elden Ring review digs even deeper to explain why it got a rare 10/10 from us at The Loadout.

If you are planning to dive in, don’t forget to check out the best Elden Ring weapons. With an ever-increasing challenge ahead of you, they will certainly come in handy.

Best Xbox games: An image of split-screen gaming in It Takes Two, showing third-person shooting.

7. It Takes Two

It Takes Two is one of the best co-op games ever made, and we can’t see it being beaten anytime soon. Playing as a husband and wife who have been turned into a pair of dolls, you’ll be thrown into unique situations that require teamwork and communication to solve. Most importantly, the gameplay is almost ever-changing, even blending different genres together so there’s never a dull moment. From 3D platforming and puzzling to top-down action, racing, and even third-person shooting, It Takes Two is a little bit of everything, developing each mechanic just enough before ditching it for something new.

It’s not all about the gameplay though, as It Takes Two also boasts an intimate narrative weaved into every moment of action. It Takes Two is a story about reconciliation and working together against all odds, as the main characters are looking to get divorced before their distraught daughter accidentally turns them into dolls. While it’s rather predictable and often played for laughs, it does a good job of pulling everything together.

Best Xbox games: Leon aiming at two enraged villagers in Resident Evil 4 Remake.

8. Resident Evil 4 Remake

To this day, Resident Evil 4 is regarded by many as the best horror game ever made, even nearly two decades later, something which we discuss in our Resident Evil 4 Remake review. The RE 4 Remake somehow improved the already impeccable game with mouth-watering graphics and modern gameplay mechanics that make it an absolute must for any horror aficionado.

It still boasts the highly satisfying and punchy gunplay with a range of unique weapons, and the survival mechanics that make every fight an engrossing experience, weighing up every shot spent and resource used. The many iconic boss fights and set-piece moments are intact and better than ever thanks to completely remastered visuals.

However, we recommend giving the Resident Evil 4 Remake a go even if you’re not typically a fan of horror. Thanks to a surprisingly generous ammo economy and often hilarious writing – particularly main man Leon himself – it’s hard not to be entertained. Most thrills come from having to deal with tricky cultists coming after you while managing your limited healing and grenades, rather than cheap jump-scares.

Best Xbox games: The player holding a chainsaw while leaping towards a large demon with flamethrower hands in Doom Eternal.

9. Doom Eternal

The original Doom laid much of the groundwork for modern first-person shooters, so it’s no surprise that Doom Eternal would come along and improve even that groundwork once again to create one of the best FPS games ever.

While there is a story, and a much more involved one than Doom (2018), in fact, Doom Eternal’s focus is all about providing silky-smooth demon-slaying action, and it does just that in spades. Thanks to a host of new weaponry, upgrades, and even new movement mechanics, Doom Eternal is an absolute blast. Every second is filled with either eviscerating hordes of demons in masterfully designed arenas, or using the new platforming mechanics to solve environmental puzzles and find new upgrades.

The core gameplay, bolstered by perfectly fitting metal music, is so engrossing that it’s able to hold your attention for its full runtime, which is rather rare for single-player FPS games. You’ll be glad to learn that Doom Eternal is also free on Game Pass, so you can dive in right away without having to spend extra.

Best Xbox games: Geralt riding towards angry villagers setting a house on fire in The Witcher 3.

10. The Witcher 3

Ever since its release in 2015, The Witcher 3 has been held as the gold standard for modern RPG games, even providing much of the inspiration for the RPG trilogy of Assassin’s Creed games. This is largely due to the incredible world on offer in TW3, which is packed to the brim with detail and character that will immerse you, unlike most other games. With political intrigue, religions, and the general hatred (yet necessity) of the titular Witchers, there’s a rich world waiting to be explored.

The narrative is also nothing to scoff at. While it is a rather stale setup of having to find your (surrogate) daughter, the quality of the writing and voice acting is unmatched by nearly anything other than Red Dead Redemption 2. With so many interesting characters to meet along the way as well, the many side stories are often more entertaining than the main one.

Overall, The Witcher 3’s most crowning achievement is just how well it immerses you into its world and life as a Witcher, reinforced through a strong narrative and gameplay activities. Its superb expansions – Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine – are arguably even better than the base game.

Best Xbox games: Raz running in a psychedelic environment in Psychonauts 2.

11. Psychonauts 2

After over 16 years of waiting, Psychonauts 2 was worth every second. This action-adventure platformer is one of the most unique of its genre, blending the traditional platforming gameplay you’d expect with the mind-bending and often introspective theme of hopping into people’s psyches.

You play Razputin Aquato, a young acrobat and psychic who, in the sequel, has now joined the psychic espionage group known as the Psychonauts. By hopping to people’s minds, you’ll have to solve an emerging mystery in the organization before it’s too late. Best of all though is the witty humor that will keep you on your toes at all times and, as you might have guessed, there are a lot of jokes about physics.

Thanks to the unique premise of venturing into people’s minds, each level is also incredibly diverse – arguably even the best in the genre. In fact, not only are they very fun to play through – especially with the many amusing psychic powers at your disposal – but they are also ripe with environmental storytelling. After all, the environment is quite literally the psyche of a prime suspect.

Luckily for you, Psychonauts 2 is available at no extra cost on Game Pass. And if we haven’t convinced you yet, check out our Psychonauts 2 review to learn more.

Best Xbox games: Halo Spartans running in various colored armor

12. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Bungie’s Halo games set the standard for narratives in shooters, jettisoning the stoic Spartan, Master Chief, into the S-tier when it comes to the best videogame characters of all time. When we think ‘Xbox,’ most if not all think ‘Chief.’

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a bit of a cheat seeing as it’s a compilation. However, it’s the de facto way to experience the first six games in the series, thanks to the graphical upgrades and multiplayer server support current Halo developer 343 Industries has lovingly baked into it.

So, if you’re ready for peak, then dive into the MCC. It’s not only available to purchase on the Xbox store, but you can also grab it on Game Pass.

Best Xbox games: Master Chief looking down at Cortana in Halo Infinite.

13. Halo Infinite

The Halo franchise has stood the test of time, with Bungie pioneering online play and FPS stories with the epic original trilogy, and its spin-off titles. Halo Infinite doesn’t quite live up to its predecessors, but it does evolve the series in a number of ways, as our Halo Infinite review discusses.

For the first time in the series, Halo Infinite expands the single-player to offer a sprawling open world that lets you make full use of the superb sandbox you can expect from Halo. Complete with a diverse range of weapons and vehicles, including a number of new ones, you can explore this new environment like never before. You’ll also get to see a nice side of the iconic Master Chief and Cortana as they find themselves stranded, though this narrative it’s quite as tightly-knit as the original entries in the series.

As for the multiplayer, Halo Infinite excels. Blending the traditional Halo arena gameplay with the faster-paced gameplay of Halo 4 and 5, Infinite is the perfect modern Halo game. With slick movement and great-feeling weapons, every second spent in the competitive multiplayer is a blast, whether you’re new to the series or a long-time veteran. While it got off to a rocky start, Halo Infinite’s seasonal structure continues to bring new features and content to the multiplayer offering.

While multiplayer is free to everyone on Xbox, the campaign is sold separately. Thankfully, you can get the complete package at no additional cost through Game Pass.

Best Xbox games: Trevor firing a weapon while surrounded by fire in GTA 5.

14. Grand Theft Auto 5

Rockstar strikes again with Grand Theft Auto 5. While it’s not nearly as mind-blowing as the more recent Red Dead Redemption 2, there’s a reason why GTA 5 is one of the best-selling games of all time. Not only is there a stellar single-player story to playthrough, packed with humor and commentary on capitalism and modern America, but there’s also GTA Online.

Starting off with GTA 5’s single-player, you can expect a similarly high-quality story, with a wide cast of characters that are all equally entertaining. While a lot of the story is first and foremost designed to entertain, however, several moments will pull you in for a much more intimate and reflecting tale than you might have expected in a story about a group of aging thieves. Perhaps the most exciting part overall though are the numerous heists you’ll conduct. From picking your crew, to gathering all the supplies and getaway vehicles you need, through to the thrilling (and lucrative) heist itself, this is where the story mode really sings.

As for GTA Online, there’s an almost never-ending amount of content to play through alone, with friends, or even with random players. From the various story missions and jobs to complete, to advanced systems like starting a business and criminal enterprise, and even wacky races designed by other players, it’s hard not to find something to enjoy in GTA Online.

You’ll be pleased to know that the Xbox Series X|S version of GTA 5 and GTA Online is currently available on Game Pass.

Best Xbox games: A Driller riding a pipeline firing a flamethrower in Deep Rock Galactic.

15. Deep Rock Galactic

We wouldn’t be too surprised if you haven’t heard of Deep Rock Galactic before now, but that’s all the more reason to dig deeper. Deep Rock is a cooperative game all about mining for minerals and fighting waves of creepy crawlies. While this sounds basic on the surface, it’s the amazing attention to detail and lighthearted tone that makes it shine.

Whether you’re playing with friends or even random players, Deep Rock is an absolute blast. Each of the four unique classes you can play has its own, distinct personality that you can’t help but embrace once you’ve picked your favorite. From the sprightly Scout to the heavy-duty Gunner, each class has a role to play that will help you complete the various objectives in each of the procedurally generated levels, so work together to succeed. Don’t let the procedurally generated nature of the levels fool you either, as despite them being generated by an algorithm, they feel like handcrafted environments every time thanks to diverse biomes and secrets to find.

Plus, Deep Rock Galactic is even on Game Pass, so you and your friends can dive in right away without fear of wasting money.

Best Xbox games: An astronaut sat next to a campfire playing a banjo in The Outer Wilds.

16. Outer Wilds

The Outer Wilds is famously hard to discuss without spoiling what makes it great in the first place – exploration. In Outer Wilds, you’ll be set the task of exploring a mystery solar system trapped in an endless time loop. Under this simple premise, however, is a rich experience absolutely oozing with atmosphere. You can visit a city getting swallowed by sand or a planet crumbling beneath your very feet, and so much more, with a world that changes as time passes – until it’s ultimately too late and the system resets once more.

If you like exploring in search of secrets to uncover the narrative and solve mysteries, then you really can’t do better than Outer Wilds. To go along with this atmospheric adventure is a beautiful soundtrack by Andrew Prahlow. By the end of the game, you’ll no doubt be sitting there floored by what you’ve just experienced, so you can thank us later.

Best Xbox games: three cars and a motorbike racing around a neon-lit track in Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Turbocharged

17. Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged

While Forza Horizon 5 may have had a Hot Wheels expansion, that’s not stopped Milestone from coming back and making a sequel to 2021’s rather fantastic arcade racer, Hot Wheels Unleashed.

For those wondering if Hot Wheels Unleashed is much of the same, or a marked improvement, then the answer is ‘yes, both of those things’. As we note in our Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 review, it “is a gorgeous arcade racer all about fun that smartly expands on the best elements of its predecessor, instead of throwing a wrench in the works.”

So, strap into your micro machine – wait, wrong franchise – and get ready to enjoy one of the best Xbox games of 2023. With a plentitude of cars to race, tracks to create, and customization galore, Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 is a certified banger for the whole family.

Best Xbox games: Alan Wake staring down a green-lit street in Alan Wake 2

18. Alan Wake 2

It’s been 13 years since Finnish studio Remedy Entertainment blessed our screens with the episodic marvel that is Alan Wake. After leaving us hanging for over a decade, the developer has served up one of the finest horror sequels of the modern era, as we head back to Bright Falls for Alan Wake 2.

This time around the titular character is nowhere to be seen, and we are instead introduced to FBI agent Saga Anderson who has been dispatched to the Falls to investigate a string of ritualistic murders. Of course, things start to get really spooky for the Alan Wake 2 cast real quick.

If you’ve played the original game, or are new to the series, be warned – Alan Wake 2 is a very different experience to its predecessor, materializing as a cold-blooded survival horror game rather than a psychological thriller.

But don’t let this deter you. As Sam says in our Alan Wake 2 review, Remedy has delivered “an expertly executed story that will leave you stunned by its ambition and boldness”, backed up by a “remarkable gameplay experience.”

Best Xbox games: Sam Kerr of Chelsea in FC 24

19. FC 24

2023 heralded the great EA/FIFA schism, as the developer waved goodbye to soccer’s largest governing body for good. Now flying solo, EA Sports has had a massive task on its hands in ensuring the first installment in its rebranded EA Sports FC series hit, and it certainly hasn’t disappointed.

Thanks to engine upgrades and the revamping of the trait system – enter FC 24 PlayStyles – player animations are smoother than ever, and the top stars on the list of FC 24 ratings even move more like their real-world counterparts. FC 24 Ultimate Team is more approachable than before, too, thanks to the introduction of FC 24 Evolutions – a new system that allows you to upgrade players.

In our FC 24 review, Aaron notes that FC 24 “retains everything that’s kept people coming back to EA’s soccer series for the past 30 years, from its slick arcade gameplay to the popular wallet-wrecking Ultimate Team mode.”

Best Xbox games: A player aiming down the scope of their sniper rifle after having defeated multiple enemies in MW3.

20. Call of Duty MW3

Call of Duty MW3 is the latest and greatest entry in the iconic FPS series, taking what worked with the controversial MW2 (2022) and dialing everything up a notch. While its campaign leaves a lot to be desired, MW3’s multiplayer and Zombies components are superb, as we explain in our MW3 review.

With faster and more fluid movement, Call of Duty has never felt so slick. You’re able to pull off moves worthy of John Wick himself as you slide and clamber around the arena. Speaking of arenas, most of the MW3 maps are remasters of classic MW2 (2011) maps like Favela and Highrise. Along with the new arrivals in post-launch updates, MW3 has some great maps to battle on.

Perhaps most importantly though, the Seasonal updates also bring with them new guns and equipment to shake up the MW3 meta and best MW3 loadouts. In other words, it’s constantly offering up fresh ways to play and can easily be your go-to multiplayer game.

Best Xbox games: A player standing next to a large dog-like boss in Remnant 2.

21. Remnant 2

While Remnant: From the Ashes was great in its own right, Remnant 2 blows it out of the water in almost every way to provide an excellent co-op experience. In our Remnant 2 review, we explain how “Gunfire Games has shaken up and improved the soulslike-shooter formula to create a honed and better sequel”.

Selecting from 11 unique Remnant 2 classes, you’ll begin your journey kitting out your character with powerful equipment. From heavy machine guns to mysterious alien firepower, the best Remnant 2 weapons are a joy to use, echoing much the same thrill as the Borderlands franchise.

Most importantly though, Remnant 2 is challenging. Enemies hit hard and you’ve got limited supplies so you need to play it smart and create a strong build if you want to make it through. Gunfire Games expertly adapts the typically melee-based Soulslike genre to fit a third-person shooter and it’s simply sublime and unlike anything else on the market.

With diverse environments to explore, packed full of mysteries to solve and secret items to uncover, Remnant 2 is a joy to play through if you’re up for a unique challenge. Check out the best Remnant 2 class before heading into one of the best Soulslike games out there.

Best Xbox games: Senua standing with her back facing the camera. In the distance is a large tree with hanging bodies set on fire.

22. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade 1, also known as Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an exceptionally unique action-adventure title. Putting you in the shoes of the titular Senua, a broken Celtic warrior venturing into Hell for the soul of her dead lover, you’re in store for some captivating storytelling.

Through the clever use of binaural audio, Hellblade puts you in Senua’s head, hearing the voices raging inside as she battles her inner demons. It’s a rather psychological and evocative experience that shouldn’t be missed, especially with Hellblade 2 on the horizon, though we don’t want to spoil anything. Check out the Hellblade 2 release date to find out more about the promising second outing.

Best Xbox games: Chai from Hi-Fi Rush leaping through the air over a colorful cityscape.

23. Hi-Fi Rush

From its shadow drop launch to its remarkably fresh gameplay, Hi-Fi Rush was certainly one of the biggest surprises of 2023. Combining the rhythmic joys of a rhythm game with beat-’em-up action, Hi-Fi Rush is an exhilarating experience. Everything moves in time with the beat and you’ll have to get in the groove if you want to unleash your powerful combos. This makes its combat incredibly fun to learn and master, and wholly unlike anything else on the market right now.

Likewise, Hi-Fi Rush is oozing with charm. From its quirky characters all named after food or drinks to its stunningly comic book art style, it’s hard not to have a grin while playing Hi-Fi Rush. It’s an adventure that’s best experienced firsthand though, so dive right in on Game Pass.

Gotham Knights Best Batgirl Skills: Batgirl can be seen swinging her Tonfa

24. Gotham Knights

Despite what you may have heard, Gotham Knights has plenty of fun to be found. Separate from the Arkhamverse canon that contains Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League, the Bat Family unites to take back the streets of Gotham City following the demise of Batman himself. There’s a larger mystery to solve behind Bruce’s death, though. You’ll level up each character, playing as any of them at your leisure while going out on a nightly patrol.

Once you’re done with the story, there’s a four-player mode too, as Heroic Assault tasks you with clear 30 floors of increasing difficult baddies.

Best Xbox Games: A skateboarder can be seen

25. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

If you haven’t played two of the best skating games ever made, then you need to change that immediately. The excellent remake from Vicarious Visions uses parts of the original Neversoft code, meaning that it feels authentic and just like how you remember it back in the day. You’ll get to revisit all your favorite maps like School, but with a nice new coat of paint too. The games look excellent, feel amazing to play, and are still a total blast all these years later. 

Best Xbox games: a tiny insect knight facing off against a huge beetle with a hammer

26. Hollow Knight

Welcome to the bug section! With the Hollow Knight Silksong release date heavily slated for this year, it’s time for you to get your training weights on for Hornet’s big adventure with the game that launched a thousand controllers (across the room out of pure frustration).

Okay, that’s not quite the best elevator pitch we can give for Hollow Knight, but hear us out. Set in the desaturated land of Hallownest, your job as the titular knight is to battle your way through the iconic Metroidvania game, beating every bug boss you come across to save the kingdom.

Hollow Knight is, undoubtedly, a masterpiece, blending some of the most challenging combat and platforming around. But it’s not only its gameplay that has earned it a spot on this list – it’s an audiovisual marvel, too. The critics agree, with the game currently sitting pretty with a whopping 90 out of 100 on Metacritic.

With four equally brilliant pieces of DLC to add to your base game – Hidden Dreams, The Grimm Troupe, Lifeblood, and Godmaster – developer Team Cherry has ensured you’ve got at least 50+ hours of content to enjoy.

Best Xbox games: a tiny bug pulls a large rock

27. Cocoon

Nestled nicely in the list of Xbox Game Pass games you’ll find Cocoon – a bug-based puzzle game that you’ll find even easier to love if you’ve played Jeppe Carlsen’s other games like Inside or Limbo.

This wonderfully charming ~ six-hour adventure will have your cicada-like comrade navigate some of the most innovative and well-presented puzzles we’ve seen in recent years. The game’s core mechanic is built upon orbs with special powers, that also have their own worlds inside them.

These worlds can be accessed by placing them on dedicated terminals, and the really trippy thing is you can store orbs inside each other like – to quote Aaron’s glowing write-up on the game – “a celestial Matryoshka doll.”

The best thing about Cocoon is that, despite it being a little Inception-y, it’s never overly complex, and the game does a wonderful job of subtly keeping you on track. It is delightful in every way, and well worth chunking out some of your day to experience.

Best Xbox games: a tiny forest spirit sizing up a giant spider

28. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Okay so Ori isn’t really a bug, but they live in a forest, and forests have bugs – like the giant Shelob-lookin’ beastie in this entry’s featured image! Will of the Wisps is, categorically, one of the best platformers around, and a certified must-play in our book.

Though Ori Will of the Wisps is set immediately after the events of 2015’s Blind Forest, you don’t need to play the predecessor to enjoy Moon Studios’ chef d’oeuvre. The plot – which has a high chance of making you do a little sob – is mostly self-contained, though some characters from the first game do return.

Everything from Will of the Wisps visuals, to its combat, to its oh-so-stunning soundtrack makes it an absolute marvel to play on Xbox. Rocking an outstanding 90 out of 100 on Metacritic – snap, Hollow Knight – you’ll be remiss to miss out. If you’re sick of bugs now, don’t worry, we’ve got something non-insect-y planned for the final game on this list.

Best Xbox Games: An image of contestants in The Finals Season 2.

29. The Finals

If you are disappointed with Battlefield 2042, but still want that flavor of FPS chaos and destruction, then The Finals is for you. That’s because developer Embark Studios is made up of former EA DICE talent, and it really shows. The Finals is all about competing in a virtual game show, collecting cash, and eliminating other contestants in the process. The environment constantly changes and just about anything that isn’t nailed down is destroyable. Why open a door when you blow it the hell up, right?

Gameplay is split between three classes (Light, Medium, and Heavy), each of them equipped with unique abilities, weapons, and gadgets to master. In the game’s Season 2 update, you can harness teleporting grenades known as Gateways and other futuristic tech. You’ll also get to play Power Shift, the game’s first 5v5 mode where you compete for control of a constantly moving platform.

Best Xbox games: a boy firing a fake pistol to summon his Persona

30. Persona 3 Reload

Atlus has been on a hot streak as of late, with its modern Persona games, in particular, striking a chord with anyone who loves a good turn-based JRPG. Sporting one of the best soundtracks out there – the same can be said for most games in the long-running series – immersive social sim elements, and more, P3R is one of 2024’s best games by far.

Following protagonist Makoto and friends, you’ll be thrust into the mysterious Dark Hour – a hidden, 25th hour in the day – that hides all sorts of nasty beasties known as Shadows for you to vanquish. Of course, you’re just a highschooler, which means you need some proper back-up.

Fortunately, Makoto and the rest of the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (S.E.E.S.) have the power to materialize their innermost selves as powerful Personas. And, in true JRPG fashion, our protagonist has more than a few extra tricks up their sleeves for you to discover.

A day-one Game Pass release, P3R can be yours for no extra cost on the service. Alternatively, it can be purchased both digitally on the Xbox store, and physically in retailers.

Best Xbox games: a silver-haired vampire surveys the field

31. Baldur’s Gate 3

Though it took a hot minute for Larion’s masterpiece to make it onto Xbox, Baldur’s Gate 3 last year arrived just in time to be considered one of 2023’s must-plays on Xbox Series X|S. It also became the first title to be awarded Game of the Year by every major awards body – sheesh!

The D&D-based RPG is set in the fantasy world of Faerûn, and will see you, a prisoner, join hands with various fantastical party members – be they in-game heartthrobs like Astarion and Shadowheart – or entirely custom characters created by your friends. Together, you’ll embark on a co-op quest to discover a cure for the Mind Flayer tadpoles that threaten to take over your minds.

As with any game of D&D, every campaign has the potential to be wildly different. The thing that makes BG3 so incredible, especially as a co-op game, is the way chaos quickly sets in as one wrong roll or a rogue decision made by a pal can derail your collective progress, or set you down a path you desperately wanted to avoid – it’s brilliant. 

Best Xbox Games: An image of Mad Max driving the Magnum Opus in the Mad Max game.

32. Mad Max

When Avalanche Studios isn’t blowing stuff in the Just Cause franchise, its excellent adaptation of George Miller’s Mad Max universe is well worth your time on Xbox. Set before the events of Mad Max Fury Road, this additional slice of apocalyptic action throws you into an open world wasteland where resources are limited, and the remnants of society are deadly. You’ll be gathering scrap together to craft the Magnum Opus, a temporary replacement for the trusty Intercerptor (Max’s iconic pursuit vehicle), as you track down the fiendish Scrotus for revenge.

The game still looks gorgeous, and has some of the slickest vehicle combat you can find on Xbox. Crunchy hand-to-had fights and a robust upgrade system will keep you busy too. You don’t have to have seen the movies to appreciate Mad Max either, but there are plenty of easter eggs tucked away for those of you in the know. With some Xbox Series X|S upgrades too, you can enjoy a buttery smooth 4K 60FPS experience. 

Best Xbox Games: An image of a Phantom fighting in combat in XDefiant.

33. XDefiant

Call of Duty games can be hit and miss these days, but if you’re still hankering for some FPS goodness, then XDefiant is definitely for you. Ubisoft’s free-to-play shooter brings together a collection of its iconic franchises, like DedSec from Watch Dogs or the Third Echelon from Splinter Cell, to fight on the battlefield. Each of them are equipped with unique skillsets, which you can combine with custom weapon loadouts for maximum domination in the arena.

XDefiant will add more factions as new seasons arrive too, with classes based on the GSK from Rainbow Six Siege already headed to the game. What will hook you on XDefiant is the game’s movement and gunplay, echoing FPS games of the past, for an old school feel with some new tricks under the hood. While XDefiant is available on Series X|S, it is sadly not available on last-gen Xbox consoles.

Now you know all the best Xbox games to play on your Series X|S and Xbox One, pick one and dive in. We’ve no doubt you’ll have a blast no matter what you inevitably decide on. Before you jump in, however, make sure you’re kitted out for the journey ahead properly with one of the best Xbox controllers as well as some of the best Xbox accessories. Premium gameplay deserves premium hardware, after all.