Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X|S)

Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X|S)Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 10th Nov 2020 (USA) / 10th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

One of the most recent releases on the list, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is one of the finest entries in the series to date, sporting hundreds of hours of content and a wonderful representation of England to explore.

Taking the role of a Viking this time around, the combat is bloody and chaotic, especially with the ability to dual wield two devastating weapons at once. While the series has deviated massively from its origins, what it's managed to morph into is fantastic. Embracing elements from games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with its quest design, and even taking a leaf out of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with its exploration, it's one not to be missed.

  • Xbox Game Pass? No

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One)

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One)Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One)
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive / Developer: Monolith Productions
Release Date: 28th Aug 2018 (USA)

The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit based Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was one of the highlights of the Xbox One's early days back in 2014, and it was followed up by the even more ambitious Middle-earth: Shadow of War in 2017. Both are fantastic, but the latter is the only one currently available on Xbox Game Pass.

We recommend giving it a try, even if you're not a big Lord of the Rings fan, as the combat is highly satisfying (it's somewhat similar to the likes of Ryse: Son of Rome), it features a jam-packed open world, and it'll keep you busy for the long run, with an estimated time to beat of around 50 to 100 hours.

  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition (Xbox One)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition (Xbox One)The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition (Xbox One)
Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios / Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: 28th Oct 2016 (USA) / 28th Oct 2016 (UK/EU)

While Fallout 4 may have been the only Xbox One exclusive release from Bethesda, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim received an enhanced version for the Xbox One early in its life cycle.

There's not much to say about Skyrim that many don't already know, but focusing on the Xbox One version, one of the best elements about it is its mod support. With such mods that allow to bolster the game up to 60 frames per second, or even fix quest lines that the developer itself didn't even manage, it's possible to create the most definitive edition of the game. With its recent addition into Xbox Game Pass, there's no excuse not to dive back in.

  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

Borderlands 3 (Xbox One)

Borderlands 3 (Xbox One)Borderlands 3 (Xbox One)
Publisher: 2K / Developer: Gearbox Software
Release Date: 13th Sep 2019 (USA)

The Borderlands series hasn't managed to evolve massively since its original iteration, but what it has managed to do is continuously fine tune the gameplay it created back in the original. Borderlands 3 continues that tradition with an entry that feels like a culmination of all the ideas before it.

The gunplay has never felt tighter, the variety in both the environments and weapons is constantly surprising, and the quests manage to remain as wacky as ever. It's hard not to be charmed by its cel shaded world that looks just as impressive now as it did in the original entry. Grab some friends, groovy weapons, and cause some mayhem in Pandora.

  • Xbox Game Pass? No

Kingdom Hearts III (Xbox One)

Kingdom Hearts III (Xbox One)Kingdom Hearts III (Xbox One)
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: 2016 (USA) / 2016 (UK/EU)

Disney and Final Fantasy was always a strange recipe, but it managed to create a recipe for success. The Kingdom Hearts series has only gained more followers with each entry, as it adds more Disney characters and further delves into Final Fantasy lore. Kingdom Hearts III is the most beautifully realised entry to date, with an action packed story that's well worth checking out - fan or not.

The game is absolutely gorgeous, with each Disney world managing to perfectly invoke the art style and feeling of each film. It makes turning every corner continue to be a surprise and the combat is one of the most visceral we have ever seen. It's a must play for any RPG fan.

  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Xbox One)

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Xbox One)Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Xbox One)
Publisher: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: 4th Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

Another recent entry to Xbox (and available through Game Pass), Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is simply put, one of the greatest JRPGs ever made. It manages to retain that title whilst simultaneously doing very little in breaking of genre conventions.

Why it's so well regarded is the fact it perfects those conventions, making each element the best it can possibly be, instead of attempting anything massively new. The combat is easy to learn, but hard to master; the world is a colourful, vibrant joy to explore; and the story lasts a substantial length with many magical twists and turns. With the Definitive Edition, even more inclusions have been added, making one of the best JRPGs about even better.

  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Xbox Series X|S)

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Xbox Series X|S)Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA
Release Date: 10th Nov 2020 (USA) / 10th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

Another game that was released recently is Yakuza: Like a Dragon, with the Xbox Series X|S the only place to play the next-gen version of the game for the time being. Deviating massively from the original series, the latest entry embraces many JRPG tropes, similar to Dragon Quest, to create a new identity.

It's a unique title that infuses turn-based JRPG combat and systems into a contemporary modern day setting. Exploring the streets of Japan has never felt more immersive and the emotional story resonates in many ways, right up to its heart wrenching conclusion. Even after it's change in signature gameplay, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is one of the best in the series and a perfect entry point for newcomers who have previously been intimidated by the long list of entries in the franchise.

  • Xbox Game Pass? No