Best Xbox Series X|S optimised games

By Sean Carey,
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are two powerful machines that give players access to features previously reserved for PC gamers. We can now experience higher frame rates, ray tracing, insanely quick load times, and features such as Quick Resume, but which games handle all of these next-gen features the best? The list of Xbox Series X|S optimised games is slowly growing, and we've rounded up some of the top five best performing games currently available on next-gen consoles.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection ~ TitledHeroArt

The optimisation update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection allows you to play the six-part compilation with a bunch of visual and performance improvements. On the Series X, Halo: MCC outputs in glorious 4K, running at 120fps, while the Series S displays at 1080p, and also targets the 120fps sweet spot — on both consoles, the collection looks and runs superbly. The more powerful machines also mean that Halo: MCC can run similar “enhanced” graphics settings taken from the PC version, and four-player split-screen runs at a steady 60fps. The Series X|S is really one of the best ways to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection and is only bested by top-end PCs.

Gears 5

E3

Gears 5 is hands down one of the best-looking games on the Xbox Series X|S, so much so that Microsoft was using the game to showcase what the two new consoles could achieve. Gears 5 was already a visually impressive game on the Xbox One, but the Xbox Series X|S really takes things the game to another level. On the Series X, the campaign is playable in 4K/60fps, complete with ray-traced screen-space global illumination and HDR. Levels and character models are filled with detail, the muzzle flash of a gun illuminates darker areas, and the frame rate is stable — it’s truly breathtaking. At the cost of resolution, Gears 5’s multiplayer can be played at 120fps on both consoles, which makes for a buttery-smooth and more responsive multiplayer experience.

Forza Horizon 4

E3

Forza Horizon 4 is the game to go to if you’re looking for a next-gen racing experience on your Series X|S. Although ray tracing hasn’t been included in FH4’s optimisation updated, a bunch of other improvements have. On next-gen consoles, you can now thrash some of the world’s top-end cars throughout Forza Horizon 4’s beautiful open-world in native 4K at 60fps. Frame rates are king when it comes to racing games, and FH4 provides a consistently stable 60fps racing experience even in the most demanding circumstances. All of these reasons and clearer visuals, improved shadows, better reflections, faster loading times, and higher particle effects quality puts Forza Horizon 4 in pole position for the best-optimised racing game currently available on Xbox Series X|S.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps E3 screen 1

One of this year’s best games received one of the most impressive Series X|S upgrades back in November. Moon Studios has made full use of the raw power of the two new consoles, making Ori’s latest adventure playable in crisp 4K and at locked 120fps. On the Series X, Ori and the Will of the Wisps can run at 6K before being supersampled down to a 4K, making for incredibly sharp image quality, which still performs at a stable 60fps. Although Ori and the Will of the Wisps isn’t the most demanding game, it definitely is one of the most pretty. Additionally, Will of the Wisps benefits from the Series X|S SSD with faster load times and Quick Resume.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Although Assassin's Creed Valhalla did suffer from some pretty horrendous screen tearing on next-gen consoles, but now Ubisoft has managed to clear that up, Valhalla is a must-buy for anyone who’s after an open-world action-adventure that’s playable at 4K/60fps. The game’s most recent update even included Performance and Quality modes on next-gen consoles, so if you’re looking for a more cinematic experience while exploring early Middle Ages England, you can drop the frame rate and really boost the game’s already gorgeous visuals. If you prefer a more responsive experience, switching over to Performance mode offers more fluid and smoother gameplay. Whatever setting you pick, Valhalla performs and looks stunning on Xbox Series X|S consoles, and thanks to that speedy SSD, load times have been significantly reduced.
Sean Carey
Written by Sean Carey
Hey, I’m Sean! I joined both TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies as a staff writer in 2019. I’m a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid series and love a good narrative adventure. Most evenings you’ll find me failing to get a win in Call of Duty: Warzone.