Best Xbox Series X Games To Play Right Now

After what felt like a very long year in 2020, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S officially launched across the world in November, with well over 40 'optimised' games available in the first couple of months.

Since then, various publishers have continued to add to the list in 2021, with hundreds more games set to arrive, and be upgraded for the two consoles throughout the year. For the time being, 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

Borderlands 3 (Xbox One)

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

Borderlands 3 was already a highly enjoyable multiplayer shooter on Xbox One, and it's been taken to the next level on Xbox Series X with 4K visuals at 60 frames per-second, and an option to boost that frame rate to 120hz in the Performance Mode. It feels fantastic to play on the new systems, and it's a free upgrade through Smart Delivery.

The original shooter-looter returns, packing bazillions of guns and an all-new mayhem-fueled adventure! Blast through new worlds and enemies as one of four brand new Vault Hunters, each with deep skill trees, abilities, and customization.

  • 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

Control Ultimate Edition (Xbox Series X|S)

Control Ultimate Edition (Xbox Series X|S)Control Ultimate Edition (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: 505 Games / Developer: Remedy
Release Date: 2nd Feb 2021 (UK/EU)

Control Ultimate Edition might have gained a lot of negative press for not being a free upgrade for owners of the base version of Control, but it's impossible to deny it's a superb upgrade on Xbox Series X. This next-gen edition boasts breathtaking visuals (including raytracing if you want it), along with the ability to play at 60 frames per-second.

A corruptive presence has invaded the Federal Bureau of Control…Only you have the power to stop it. The world is now your weapon in an epic fight to annihilate an ominous enemy through deep and unpredictable environments. Containment has failed, humanity is at stake. Will you regain control?

  • Smart Delivery? No
  • Xbox Game Pass? No

Destiny 2 (Xbox One)

Destiny 2 (Xbox One)Destiny 2 (Xbox One)
Publisher: Bungie / Developer: Bungie
Release Date: 1st Oct 2019 (USA)

Bungie's Destiny 2 is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and the game has received a notable touch-up for Xbox Series X and S, complete with a 120FPS option in Crucible. It's a no-brainer if you're an Xbox Game Pass member, as while the base game is totally free-to-play, many of the game's expansions are also available on the service.

Dive into the world of Destiny 2 to explore the mysteries of the solar system and experience responsive first-person shooter combat. Unlock powerful elemental abilities and collect unique gear to customize your Guardian's look and playstyle. Enjoy Destiny 2’s cinematic story, challenging co-op missions, and a variety of PvP modes alone or with friends. Download for free today and write your legend in the stars.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

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? Yes (Feb 25th)

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