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So you forked out all that cash for one of the markets’ most powerful next-gen consoles, chock-full of cutting edge hardware and now it’s time to watch it shine. Being that the Xbox series X/S consoles are relatively new, many games don’t really give their hardworking specs a run for their money. It can be difficult to pinpoint a game that highlights the graphics and refresh capabilities that this brawny new beast can tackle. It is fair to say that for the majority of titles Microsoft’s latest hardware is borderline overkill. It runs more akin to a boutique PC gaming set-up. Fortunately, we have dug through a few picturesque options to find the top contenders for you.

Those that we have chosen are also available on Xbox One if you aren’t lucky enough to have gotten your hands on the latest consoles. If you have an Xbox Games Pass Ultimate subscription (One of the best console gaming deals going) you may have already accessed them. But, when played on the Series X and S they are something else. If you aren’t subscribed, we recommend it as you get access to well over 300 games including Microsoft-owned first-party titles such as Gears of War. So, it is worth a thought.

Here are our recommendations for games to give a whirl on your Xbox Series X and Series in no particular order.

See the high-seas come to life

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves. Image credit: seaofthieves.com

Sea of Thieves is a staple Xbox franchise and has a sandbox feel in spite of its story-driven plotline. The tropical landscape truly comes to life at the hands of the Xbox Series X processing. Sea visuals are vivid with breathtaking storms brewing on the horizons at 60 frames per second. The landscape (or indeed sea-scape) is lavish to look at and the waves that swell below you feel far more realistic with every bout. Though dramatic and terrifying in places, it also has a relaxing castaway vibe with the scenic serenity that we have all been craving after a year of lockdowns without vacations. Well worth a look at!

Included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

$40 AT MICROSOFT

$35 AT AMAZON

An assassins dream

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

If you like more of a challenge; Then try defending your liege lord as an elite assassin in Sekiro; Shadows Die Twice. If you have never played it before but you have a new console then definitely go for it. The gameplay is super smooth on the Xbox Series X. The game-scape is vividly rendered and lag-free. The Dark Souls and Bloodborne series storylines can be obscure at the best of times but they are enthralling to play through and most certainly unique. Tough to complete; but you will feel accomplished every step of the way.

$32 AT GAMESTOP

$60 AT MICROSOFT

$40 AT AMAZON

Illustrious interest 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

A beautiful follow-up to 2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a heavily stylized illustrative game with visuals unlike the rest we have mentioned. Although a little more cutesy and Pixar-Esque (if a little spookier) the graphics are glorious on the next-gen Xbox console. Eye candy aside, it is a deceptively difficult game to play but at least you have something pretty to feast your eyes on before inevitably dying over and over again. 

Included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

$30 AT MICROSOFT

$29 AT AMAZON

Dramatic defence

Outriders

Outriders

Despite a somewhat weak plot, Outriders brings to the table everything you want in a ‘loot and shoot with powers to boot’ game. Defend the colonists of an alien world with your supernatural abilities in a fast-past game full of action. Obliterate your enemies by teaming up locked and loaded. The Xbox refresh rates give you the FPS settings you need to never miss a beat of the action in this next-gen looter-shooter game.

Included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

$60 AT MICROSOFT

$55 AT AMAZON

Viking visuals

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

The latest offering in the Assassin’s Creed franchise is set in the frozen fjords of Norway. Take protagonist Eivor Wolf-Kissed through an expansive open world full of striking landscapes that shine thanks to the visual capabilities of the new Xbox console. The plot is engaging and the vistas amazing. Raid the British woodlands of yesteryear in high definition and build your self settlements. A great all-rounder to play with killer looks.

$60 AT MICROSOFT

$40 AT AMAZON

Stealth environment

Hitman 3

Hitman 3

The third installment of the modern Hitman series continues where the first two series’ story arcs left off in a brilliant true-to-style form. If you aren’t familiar with the series then it is well worth exploring the first two beforehand. Heck, it might be worth giving both a replay to truly immerse yourself into the mindset. The company seems to have really gone all out, given the new Xbox Series X specs. The environment appears much more ambitious than ever before. Vast and full of details, you have passages to stealthily make your way through and the assassination methods have become far more elaborate as well. Spiced fruit juice anyone?

$60 AT MICROSOFT

$50 AT AMAZON 

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