Soapbox: Two Years In, FPS Boost Is My Xbox 'Game' Of The Generation So Far

I'm not sure if this is a slight on how the ninth generation of gaming is going so far, but my best experience on Xbox Series X since November 2020 isn't a 'next-gen' game at all. We've seen a few of those over the last two years, and a load of cross-generation games of course, but it's the suite of quality-of-life features that have determined my enjoyment of the system so far. Sitting atop that feature list is FPS Boost; Xbox's best current-gen feature.

For those who haven't really dabbled with FPS Boost at this stage, here's the lowdown. Throughout 2021, Xbox updated a selection of 360 and Xbox One titles to run at higher frame rates than on their native hardware. Well, we say 'updated', but Microsoft developed a genius solution that meant developers didn't need to patch anything. The whole feature works at a system level, where the console basically 'tricks' games into running at higher frame rates, although the trick only worked for a selection of titles.

Even so, some of my favourite games of the last couple of generations ended up on the list, and the feature has improved my modern-day experience with these titles drastically. Gears of War 3 is in my top ten games of all time, but even so, it became a bit of a slog to go back to at 30FPS (with severe camera shake to boot), especially after playing Gears of War 4 and Gears 5. Gears 3 now looks and feels like a modern game, and I've been back on it, enjoying plenty of multiplayer action over the last year or so. Yes, there's still a good little community going in 2022!

At times, the feature has really highlighted how a simple fluidity boost can almost negate the need for any sort of remaster. Alan Wake is another of my personal last-gen highlights, and it recently received a remaster which coincidentally, isn't selling that well. From my perspective, the game didn't need a remaster as soon as it was added to the FPS Boost program; the 360 version plays just as well as the 2021 version thanks to this killer Series X|S feature.

What's perhaps even more impressive is the amount of 120FPS support that Boost has delivered so far. Titanfall, Battlefield, Plants Vs. Zombies, Battlefront, a bunch of LEGO games; these all now support 120 frames per-second on Xbox Series X. When you keep in mind that 120FPS was a pipe dream for console players prior to 2020, it's amazing that so many last-gen games now support a performance level I'd hardly heard of last generation.

Of those high-performance offerings, anything first-person sees a drastic improvement. Yes, I know, the jump from 30 to 60 is perhaps more of a big deal, but 60 to 120 is nothing to be sniffed at. Response times in first-person shooters feel much better in those higher frame rate regions, so much so that it feels weird to go back to 60! 120FPS is a game changer if you're rocking the right TV setup, and I'm so glad it's been implemented across a bunch of Xbox One games for us all to enjoy!

So, while I'd love to have seen a few more current-gen-only games after two years of Xbox Series X|S, I've very much enjoyed my time with the system as we mark its 2nd birthday. Microsoft has made a knack of turning old into gold, hugely improving a vast library of games spanning the last three console generations. By this time next year, I'd hope we'd have more 'next-gen' games to talk about, but in the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy the old stuff with some huge improvements; for free no less.

Have you enjoyed the FPS Boost library as much as me? Let us know your boosted highlights down in the comments.