Best Xbox Series X Games To Play Right Now

What are the best Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games? 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 upgraded games set to arrive for the two consoles throughout the year. For the time being though, we've picked out some of the very best optimised for Xbox Series X and Series S games you can play right now - here are some of our favourites so far!

Best Xbox Series X, Series S Games In 2021

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

Death's Door (Xbox Series X|S)

Death's Door (Xbox Series X|S)Death's Door (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Acid Nerve
Release Date: 20th Jul 2021 (UK/EU)

We knew developer Acid Nerve had something special to bring to the table when we played through their previous game, Titan Souls, back in 2015. However, with Death's Door, they've absolutely blown our expectations out of the water. This is a wonderfully crafted Studio Ghibli- flavoured Zelda/Souls experience that's at once ferociously challenging and hauntingly beautiful. Death's Door is a must-play on Series X.

Reaping souls of the dead and punching a clock might get monotonous but it's honest work for a Crow. The job gets lively when your assigned soul is stolen and you must track down a desperate thief to a realm untouched by death - where creatures grow far past their expiry.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • 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)

DOOM Eternal (Xbox One)

DOOM Eternal (Xbox One)DOOM Eternal (Xbox One)
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks / Developer: id Software
Release Date: 20th Mar 2020 (USA)

Bethesda's superb shooter arrives on Series X in an optimised form that adds ray-tracing, all new graphical modes, bells and whistles whilst running at both 4K/60FPS or 1800P/120FPS, depending on how you like to dish out your demon death. DOOM Eternal is one of the truly great first person shooters of recent years, an enormous, action-packed extravaganza that's available to play on Game Pass. It's time to rip and tear!

Experience the ultimate combination of speed and power in DOOM Eternal - the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat. Discover the Slayer’s origins and his enduring mission to RAZE HELL.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? Yes

F1 2021 (Xbox Series X|S)

F1 2021 (Xbox Series X|S)F1 2021 (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Electronic Arts / Developer: Codemasters
Release Date: 16th Jul 2021 (USA)

Codemasters' F1 series has been hitting some serious highs over the past couple of years and F1 2021's super shiny, Series X optimised version is a real treat. Hitting 4K/60FPS in normal gameplay - and with a 120FPS mode thrown in for good measure - blasting around the tracks on offer here is one of the very best video game racing experiences currently on offer and an absolute treat for F1 fans.

The latest release in the prestigious F1® series features the teams, drivers, and circuits for the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship and introduces a brand-new story mode, expanded Career mode with two-player option, and three new circuits, Portimão, Imola, and Jeddah.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? No

Fortnite (Xbox One)

Fortnite (Xbox One)Fortnite (Xbox One)
Publisher: Epic Games / Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: 25th Jul 2017 (USA) / 25th Jul 2017 (UK/EU)

Love it or loathe it (and we love it) there's no doubting that Fortnite is a genuine gaming behemoth. A slick and smooth shooter that's been upgraded to support 120FPS gameplay at 1080p and 60FPS at 4K, with a bunch of new dynamic visuals and physics effects on Series X, this is a colourful blast of Battle Royale action that just keeps on growing and evolving. And it's free to play!

Fortnite is the completely free online game where you and your friends fight to be the last one standing in Battle Royale, join forces to make your own Creative games, or catch a live show at Party Royale.

  • Smart Delivery? Yes
  • Xbox Game Pass? No