MLB The Show multiplatform, it is now here on Xbox Series X.
This year’s game brings a long-requested feature, a
stadium creator, as a next-gen exclusive option, while continuing to deliver a fantastic looking, sounding, and playing baseball game to the field, with great modes like the long-running Road to the Show as well as newer favorites like March to October. 14. Death’s Door
In the stylish world of
Death’s Door, crows are harbingers of death and collect the souls of beings at the end of their life. Without this collection, beings continue to live on and risk becoming something monstrous. Your crow stumbles into a world where death has gone long unattended, resulting in a dangerous place filled with souls ripe for collecting.
This charming action game is difficult but forgiving. In many ways, its exploration and puzzles are reminiscent of old Zelda games, while its combat is comparable to challenges posed by roguelikes — though you won’t have to worry about losing progress in Death’s Door should you fall. The wonderful combat and exploration are neatly wrapped in a light but lovely story.
13. Outer Wilds
For those of you looking for an adventure that’ll put your exploration skills to the test,
Outer Wilds Ventures is waiting with a beautiful mystery about life and death ready to unfold. Outer Wilds will challenge you to discover why an ancient civilization suddenly disappeared and, more importantly, why the universe keeps ending every 22 minutes. That end of the universe does mean your progress resets after the time expires, but the time loop makes space for interesting puzzles and even cooler planet designs.
Better yet, you can explore Outer Wilds’ solar system in whatever order you want. You can drop a thread or pick it back up whenever inspiration strikes you. Or, you can just hang out with other explores on their planet, listen to music, and roast marshmallows. Outer Wilds uniquely manages to be cozy in its exploration while also challenging and sometimes rather spooky with its puzzles. If you’re craving more after you’ve discovered the secrets of Outer Wilds’ universe, one more mystery remains with the
Echoes of the Eye DLC.
12. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Moon Studios’ excellent
Ori and the Will of the Wisps builds on the first game’s fun foundation without bogging it down or becoming overcomplicated, which is the best praise you can give a sequel. It stays true to the spirit of the original, doubles down on what made it great, and gives you more stake in the world and options to navigate it.
And now on Xbox Series X, Moon has pushed the already jaw-droppingly gorgeous game to new heights at 120 FPS and 4K UHD, with native HDR support, and even a 6K resolution supersampled rendering mode at 60 FPS. When paired with the dynamic high-range audio, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the absolute best way to play this heartfelt followup of the little spirit that never gives up on its friends.
IGN spoke with Moon Studios in 2020 to discuss the potential of a
new Ori game. 11. Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Mass Effect Legendary Edition includes Mass Effect 1-3, and almost every single piece of DLC ever made for the games including armor, story missions, characters and more. As a matter of fact, the only content not included was Pinnacle Station for the original Mass Effect, and that’s only because the code was somehow lost at BioWare.
All together, it really is the best edition of some of the best RPGs ever created. Follow Commander Shepard on a space journey spanning three massive games as they builds their team and protect the galaxy from the ultimate destroyer known as the Reapers. Unmissable.
10. Hitman 3
Unfortunately, pure stealth games seem to be a dying genre. Metal Gear? MIA. Splinter Cell? Sigh… But Agent 47 lives on, and his latest outing,
Hitman 3, is the best the series – and the entire stealth genre – has seen in years. The conclusion to the new-era Hitman trilogy sees Agent 47 tackle six new missions, from the opening Dubai skyscraper to the Knives Out-like family mansion that follows.
All of them, like the best of this series, can be played many different times in many different ways. Disguises, gadgets, poisons, plotting, planning, and sweet-talking are all tools in your arsenal in the most gloriously fun ways.
IO’s plans for
Hitman 3 in 2022 include new maps, new storylines, and new modes. The developer is also working on Project 007, a , and a new IP rumored to be an new James Bond game . Xbox-exclusive fantasy game
9. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves may have launched to lukewarm reviews, but what has happened since is nothing short of extrodinary. The game has built a community of 15 million players and has seen continued support. With free seasonal content like the Pirates of the Caribbean “A Pirates Life” DLC that brought none other than Jack Sparrow to this world of high-sea adventure it’s no wonder so many are diving in every day. 8. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
While Xbox owners don’t have access to games like Spider-Man or the upcoming Wolverine, if you are looking for a solid Marvel game to play on your shiny new Xbox,
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is well worth your time and money. A love letter to the 1980s, this single-player action game with some RPG elements is easy to pick up and play.
The gameplay is fast-paced and rewarding, while the story keeps you invested throughout. Even then, you will certainly get a kick out of the banter between the team. And let’s not forget the soundtrack is full of 80s-mega hits that will have you jamming until the credits roll.
7. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo: The Master Chief Collection now collects six Halo games all under one digital roof – everything except Halo 5: Guardians. It’s been torn down to the studs and rebuilt in grand fashion, and even better, it’s been upgraded AGAIN for Xbox Series X with support for 120fps gameplay. Crazy to think that these games were 480i/30fps the first time we played them…
The latest chapter in Master Chief’s saga, Halo Infinite, was named the
Best Shooter of 2021 by IGN. Infinite also picked up the 2021 People’s Choice Game of the Year Award.
6. Microsoft Flight Simulator
One of the greatest technical achievements in video games continues to get better in massive and meaningful ways. Developer Asobo’s commmittment to improving what’s already a masterpiece goes above and beyond big fixes and simple content additions. New planes, new airports, new sights discover and take in makes this globe-trotting simulation more realistic with each new update.
On top of the eye candy and excitement of new aircraft, Asobo is constantly updating and improving the simulation aspects of what is already the most incredible simulation of all-time. Whether you want to grab an Xbox controller and spend some time taking in the vastness of the globe, or you want to go full dad-energy and build a simulated cockpit in your game room,
Microsoft Flight Simulator meets (and exceeds) everyone’s needs, regardless of playstyle. 5. Gears 5
While it’s a bit of a backhanded compliment to say that 2019’s
Gears 5 is arguably the most visually impressive game on the Series X at launch, the fact remains that the already-gorgeous Gears of War sequel has been dialed up to take advantage of Microsoft’s new console. Better lighting, raytracing, 120fps support in Versus multiplayer — the bottom line is that if you skipped Gears 5 last year, the Series X is a great place to play it for the first time. 4. It Takes Two
It Takes Two won’t exactly melt your GPU with its graphical intensity. Is it a nice looking game with a whimsical, fairy-tale tone and graphics to match? Yes, most certainly. But you need to play It Takes Two (with a friend or loved one either on the couch or via online play, of course, since It Takes Two cannot be played alone) because it is simply one of the best and most unique multiplayer experiences you can find these days.
Writer-director Josef Fares – yes, he of “
F*** the Oscars!” fame – follows up the equally excellent A Way Out with this, a story about a failing marriage that might just be able to be saved thanks to the couple being turned into children’s dolls and forced to work together to find their way back to their human forms. Play it and we promise you’ll smile.
It Takes Two won
Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2021.
3. Psychonauts 2
Psychonauts 2, the sequel to the 2005 cult-hit Xbox exclusive, had already been crowdfunded when Microsoft purchased developer Double Fine Productions in 2019. But with the additional resources and time that Xbox HQ offered, Psychonauts 2 was able to fulfill its maximum potential that fans waited 15 years go finally see – and that potential was to be one of the absolute best games on the platform.
Raz’s story is emotional, layered, and funny too. Psychonauts 2’s platforming is clever and nuanced. In short, legendary game designer Tim Schafer and the team at Double Fine didn’t just deliver for the pocket of patient Psychonauts fans, they delivered for all gamers.
2. Halo Infinite
They did it. Those crazy sons-of-guns actually did it.
Halo Infinite survived its publicly tumultuous development cycle and emerged as exactly the reinvigorating breath of fresh air that the franchise desperately needed after a six-year layoff as well as a supremely disappointing campaign the last time out in Halo 5. Infinite delivers on the promise of an go-anywhere Zeta Halo ring, offering enough activities to make sure you’ve always got something to do without bogging you down in fetch quests.
The grappleshot grappling hook is the biggest new addition to the gameplay mechanics, bringing new mobility options as well as combat choices. Meanwhile, the rest of the equipment hearkens back to Halo 3 in the best of ways, and the free-to-play multiplayer boasts stellar maps, scores of cosmetic customization, and the promise of never-ending future content support. Halo needed a home run, and Infinite bashes the (odd)ball far over the fence.
Forza Horizon 5 isn’t just the best game of 2021 (as IGN’s 2021 Game of the Year winner), it’s also the best car game, period, of at least the last decade. The difference between Horizon 5 and other racing games (not named Forza Horizon) is that it is in fact a driving game. And yes, there’s a difference between a driving game and a racing game. Driving can include racing – and FH5 most certainly does – but perhaps the greatest of its many triumphs is successfully tapping into someone’s love for cars. You don’t need to be a gearhead with a nose for adjusting tire temperatures and maximizing downforce, as you do in simulation racers.
Here, there’s quite literally fun around every corner, whether it’s trying to best your buddy’s photo radar speed, busting through one of the countless billboards scattered around Horizon’s gorgeous fictionalized Mexico, entering proper Horizon Festival events, or just doing goofy multiplayer events. Forza Horizon 5 is as chill and casual or as serious and hardcore as you want it to be, and that’s a near-impossible feat for any car game.
Release Date: November 5, 2021 | Developer: Playground Games | Last position: New! | IGN’s Forza Horizon 5 Video Review | IGN’s Forza Horizon 5 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon Upcoming Xbox Series X Games
2022 as a whole looks promising for Xbox Series X|S owners. However, it’s a slow start to the year with only one notable release scheduled for January.
That game is
Rainbow Six Extraction, a PvE spinoff of Ubisoft’s hit competitive shooter Rainbow Six Siege. The $40 USD shooter will launch with full support for cross-play, cross-save, and cross-progression.
Things pick up considerably in February with a handful of big games, including
Dying Light 2 and the highly anticipated Elden Ring. We’ll dive deeper into next month’s release schedule in the weeks to come.
For more on the year ahead, be sure to check out our feature on what to expect from
Xbox in 2022.
Those are our recommendations for the best game to play on Series X|S right now – let us know what’s on your list that didn’t make ours in the comments! And be sure to check out
how the Xbox Series X stacks up against the PS5, and have a look at what we love about Microsoft’s new console and where we think it needs some work.
January 27, 2022, updates:
Added: Death’s Door, Outer Wilds, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Sea of Thieves, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Psychonauts 2, Halo Infinite, and Forza Horizon
Removed: The Medium, Gears Tactics, No Man’s Sky, Control Ultimate Edition, Destiny 2, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Position change(s): MLB The Show 21, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Hitman 3, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Gears 5, It Takes Two.