Best Xbox Series X Games To Play Right Now

After what has felt like a very long year, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S officially launched across the world this past November, with well over 40 'optimised' games available so far, and many more to come in the months ahead.

Looking at that initial lineup of 2020 titles (not including the thousands available with backwards compatibility), we've picked out some of the best optimised for Xbox Series X games you can play right now - here are some of our favourites so far!

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)

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the latest entry in the long-running franchise, and sees you exploring a Dark Age open world, from the harsh shores of Norway to the beautiful kingdoms of England. We described it in our review as an "absolute high point" for the series, and a "fantastic showpiece for the power of next-gen consoles."

Become Eivor, a legendary Viking warrior raised on tales of battle and glory. Explore a dynamic and beautiful open world set against the brutal backdrop of England’s Dark Ages. Raid your enemies, grow your clan's settlement, and build your political power in the quest to earn a place among the gods in Valhalla.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? No

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Xbox Series X|S)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Xbox Series X|S)Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Activision / Developer: Treyarch
Release Date: 13th Nov 2020 (USA) / 13th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

Call of Duty makes its debut on next-gen consoles with Black Ops Cold War, which acts as a direct sequel to the original Black Ops released on the Xbox 360 back in 2010. It's your standard Call of Duty fare - an explosive campaign, frenetic multiplayer and the popular Black Ops Zombies mode, so there's plenty to keep you busy.

Black Ops Cold War will drop fans into the depths of the Cold War’s volatile geopolitical battle of the early 1980s. Nothing is ever as it seems in a gripping single-player Campaign, where players will come face-to-face with historical figures and hard truths, as they battle around the globe through iconic locales like East Berlin, Vietnam, Turkey, Soviet KGB headquarters and more.

  • Smart Delivery? No
  • Xbox Game Pass? No

DIRT 5 (Xbox Series X|S)

DIRT 5 (Xbox Series X|S)DIRT 5 (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Codemasters / Developer: Codemasters
Release Date: 10th Nov 2020 (USA) / 6th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

Codemasters' Dirt 5 is nothing like Dirt 4 - but that's not necessarily a bad thing! This sequel really leans into its arcade tendencies, producing a fast and furious racer that features stunning visuals on Xbox Series X and dynamic weather / time of day, resulting in some breathtaking scenarios. Don't overlook this one.

Let Loose in DIRT 5 - the boldest off-road racing experience ever, with a star-studded Career, four-player split-screen, innovative online modes, livery editor and more. Blaze a trail on global tracks, covering gravel, ice, snow and sand, with cars ranging from rally icons, to trucks, to GT heroes.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? No

Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)

Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)
Publisher: Microsoft / Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Release Date: 28th Sep 2018 (USA) / 28th Sep 2018 (UK/EU)

The ever-popular Xbox One game Forza Horizon 4 has been updated for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, now running at a smooth 4K, 60 frames per-second on Series X. It's still the same racer you know and love, but the visuals are significantly improved, and those load times are far more snappy from race-to-race.

Dynamic seasons change everything at the world’s greatest automotive festival. Go it alone or team up with others to explore beautiful and historic Britain in a shared open world. Collect, modify and drive over 450 cars. Race, stunt, create and explore – choose your own path to become a Horizon Superstar.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

Gears 5 (Xbox One)

Gears 5 (Xbox One)Gears 5 (Xbox One)
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Developer: The Coalition
Release Date: 19th Jul 2019 (USA) / 19th Jul 2019 (UK/EU)

Here's another upgraded Xbox One game for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S! Gears 5 is an absolute showcase for the power of next-gen at launch, delivering stunning graphics and rock-solid performance for an already fantastic game. There's loads of new content, too, so now is a great time to jump back into this one.

With all-out war descending, Kait Diaz breaks away to uncover her connection to the enemy and discovers the true danger to Sera – herself. New campaign features let you take your character and weapon skins into new playthroughs and enjoy bonus difficulties and modifiers.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

Gears Tactics (Xbox Series X|S)

Gears Tactics (Xbox Series X|S)Gears Tactics (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Developer: Splash Damage
Release Date: 10th Nov 2020 (USA) / 10th Nov 2020 (UK/EU)

After first releasing on PC back in early 2020, Gears Tactics finally made its way to console at the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and it plays just as well with a controller. The Tactics format adapts really well to the Gears Universe, and we've been having a blast with it on our new Series X so far.

Gears Tactics is the fast-paced, turn-based strategy game from one of the most-acclaimed video game franchises – Gears of War. Outnumbered and fighting for survival, recruit and command your squad to hunt down an evil mastermind who makes monsters.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)
Publisher: Microsoft Studios / Developer: 343 Industries
Release Date: 11th Nov 2014 (USA) / 11th Nov 2014 (UK/EU)

What's that? Another upgraded Xbox One game? While Halo Infinite won't arrive until 2021, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a great substitute in the interim, bumping up the frame rate to 120FPS on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S for an ultra-smooth way to play through the campaigns and multiplayer.

The Complete Master Chief Story – Honoring the iconic hero and his epic journey, The Master Chief’s entire story is brought together as Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4 are all included with a total of 45 campaign missions plus more than 100 multiplayer maps (including the original Halo Combat Evolved maps) and Spartan Ops maps.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

Immortals Fenyx Rising (Xbox Series X|S)

Immortals Fenyx Rising (Xbox Series X|S)Immortals Fenyx Rising (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 3rd Dec 2020 (USA) / 3rd Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

If you're looking for a similar experience to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Xbox, Ubisoft's Immortals Fenyx Rising is a great fit. You'll climb, glide and fight your way across its fantastical open world, taking on huge monsters and solving puzzles in the Vaults of Tartaros. We described it in our review as a "hugely entertaining, technically impressive Ancient Greek romp that's well worth experiencing."

Play as Fenyx on a quest to save the Greek gods from a dark curse. Take on mythological beasts, master the legendary powers of the gods, and defeat Typhon, the deadliest Titan in Greek mythology, in an epic fight for the ages.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? No