The best Xbox Series X games January 2023

Our list of the best Xbox Series X games will keep you entertained for hours, especially since they will all put your skills to the test

Best Xbox Series X Games: Rav stands in front a phycadelic beam

What are the best Xbox Series X games? The Xbox Series X|S launch line-up might have left a lot to be desired, but Microsoft is more than making up for that. With triple-A games trickling through development and yet more incredible games being added to the Xbox Game Pass, there’s no surprises really that our best Xbox Series X games list is getting longer.

In the early days, this list was pretty similar to our best Xbox One games, mostly due to the console’s extensive back catalogue that spans multiple generations. But as time has passed, our list has changed to really reflect the games, like Xbox exclusives, making the most out of the console’s new-gen features and stunning graphical capabilities. So, here we go then, our guide to the best Xbox Series X games you can play right now.

The best Xbox Series X games are:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Elden Ring
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Gears 5
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • High on Life
  • Hitman 3
  • Halo Infinite
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Tetris Effect: Connected

Best Xbox Series X games: Eivor whips a chain to take out two Druids in a woodland setting

1. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Ubisoft is well known for its ability to craft gorgeous, accurate to history games, and that remains true with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. In this game, you’ll play as Eivor, a legendary Viking warrior on the quest for glory in England.

In between pillaging, drinking competitions, and Orlag, you’ll be able to explore true-to-life locations in glorious 4K resolution, while working your way through the long, but worthwhile campaign.

Best Xbox Series X games: A Tarnished jumps a gap on a horse in Elden Ring

2. Elden Ring

We can’t have a best Xbox Series games list without a GOTY contender, can we? FromSoftware has won plaudits yet again for somehow making the Souls-like genre more difficult, this time in an open world setting.

We gave the game our first ever ten in our Elden Ring review, so you know it’s good. If you’re looking for a sprawling open world that’ll keep you on your toes, then what are you waiting for?

Best Xbox Series X games: A Mercedes AMG car parked up on a dirt track in Forza Horizon 5

3. Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon is undoubtedly one of the best Xbox racing games of all time. With Xbox Series X|S and Forza Horizon 5, the series steps up a gear. It offers a vibrant open world to explore and hours of racing fun to keep you occupied.

Our Forza Horizon 5 review touched on why the game is one of the most polished experiences on Xbox Series X|S, so you would be crazy to not check out Playground Games’ best work yet.

Best Xbox Series X games: A Gears 5 soldier runs through a ring of fire

4. Gears 5

Gears 5 might be a couple of years old at this point, but the game was painstakingly remastered for the launch of Xbox Series X|S, and it shows. The game now boasts 4K resolution, improved graphics, and better lighting, making the single-player campaign an absolute must-play.

The game also has a popular multiplayer that’s relatively easy to get into – even as a latecomer.

Best Xbox Series X games: A plane flies high above a green forested landscape in Microsoft Flight Sim

5. Microsoft Flight Simulator

If you’ve ever dreamed of piloting a plane, this game is for you. Microsoft Flight Simulator has made the jump over to Xbox Series X|S after launching on PC, allowing you to reach the far corners of the globe from the safety of your sofa.

The world of this simulator is surprisingly realistic, so if you’ve missed out on a holiday this year, you can take to the skies with relative ease. Just don’t press the wrong button in the flight deck.

Best Xbox Series games: High on Life screenshot shows a player holding a talking gun

6. High on Life

High on Life is exactly the game that you’d expect from Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland. Featuring talking guns, a bizarre story, and plenty of crude jokes, High on Life is a rollercoaster of a ride that’ll give you a few laughs along the way.

While we labelled it as “gaming Marmite” in our High on Life review, its player count stats suggest more people love it than hate it at this point. Shortly after release, the game even surpassed Minecraft to be the top game on Xbox Game Pass, and well, you can’t argue with that, can you?

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Best Xbox Series X games: Agent 47 in a white tuxedo points his silenced pistol in Hitman 3

7. Hitman 3

Hitman 3 is the final entry into the World of Assassination trilogy and it’s an absolute treat for the eyes. Hitman 3 takes all the best bits from the previous games and rolls them into one, with jaw-dropping settings that take the creativity of Agent 47 to new heights.

The Loadout gave it  a 9/10 in our Hitman 3 review following its release due to its incredible level design, new-gen graphics, and an engaging story full of twists and turns.

Best Xbox Series X games: A Spartan runs through a battle, gun up, in Halo Infinite

8. Halo Infinite

We can’t have a best Xbox Series X games list without Halo, can we? Halo Infinite is the latest and greatest game in the series and the campaign and free online multiplayer makes it the best game so far – something we talk about in our Halo Infinite review.

With a familiar face, explore a new world online and offline in this incredible Xbox journey.

Best Xbox Series X games: Raz dances in Psychonauts 2

9. Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 is Double Fine’s best game in years and a key step forward for the variety and diversity Xbox Games Studios offers. A true sequel to the original, but also a great entry point for newcomers, Psychonauts 2 charms with its clever and funny writing.

We gave it a nine out of ten in our Psychonauts 2 review praising the creativity on offer in each of the levels and the excellent old-school 3D action platforming. Double Fine is at the top of their games with Psychonauts 2 and you would be barmy to miss out on it, especially as it is on Game Pass.

Best Xbox Series X games: Captain Davy Jones points on a ship in Sea of Thieves

10. Sea of Thieves

An Xbox exclusive of sorts, Sea of Thieves is one of the most popular Xbox Game Pass games available right now – and for good reason. Rare’s pirate simulator will allow you to take to the seas with your friends in a quest to pillage the high seas.

You’ll meet some strange characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow, and some pretty terrifying creatures of the deep along the way, all in glorious 4K resolution. Plus, with Rare committing to adding new content every couple of months, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into here.

Best Xbox Series X games: A school of fish surround a Tetris Effects Connected board

11. Tetris Effect: Connected

So a Tetris game is perhaps not something you’d expect to see on a best Xbox Series X games list, but hear us out.

Tetris: Effect Connected is an incredibly addictive reinvention of the classic game. With stunning graphics, modes that match your mood, and an immersive single-player experience, you’ll be surprised at how many hours you can sink into this game.

Add in multiplayer, which allows you to join up to three other players online, and well, it’s an absolute must-have.

And that’s it for our list of best Xbox Series X games. These games should keep you busy while we wait for the next big game from our upcoming Xbox games list.

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If nothing here takes your fancy, then you can always take a look at our free Xbox games and our best Xbox Game Pass games. For those of you lucky enough to own a PS5, we have the best PS5 games for you to take a gander at too.