Xbox has changed quite a bit since Microsoft first decided to enter the console market way back in the early noughties.


Now into its fourth generation, with the Xbox Series X and S, there are more games to experience. So, where to begin?

With everything from suiting up as Master Chief and perusing the galaxy in Bethesda's space epic to racing through the streets of Mexico in a Mercedes-AMG One, there's something to suit everyone's tastes.

That's not to mention the numerous wonderful indie games that experiment and push the media forward better than a lot of big studios.

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As we enter 2024 and beyond, we've rounded up all the best Xbox games that are worth considering spending time with during the holiday period. These might be exclusives, these might be third parties or these might be hidden gems that not enough people are talking about.

Whatever the case, they are the games you should be playing. It's fair to say Xbox has come a long way, and these titles prove just that. Head below for the latest Xbox games to keep you busy over the coming months.

For more on Xbox, take a look at our recommendations on the best Xbox Series X deals on consoles, bundles and games.

Best Xbox games on Xbox One and Series X/S


Starfield key art showing a range of characters with a space ship in between them

Fallout and Skyrim maker Bethesda Games turned their attention to space in Starfield, the first new IP from the developer in 25 years. As part of Constellation, you search the stars to find answers about a set of mysterious artefacts that may hold the answer to our understanding of reality. It's big, bold and beyond massive - with over 1,000 planets to explore. This is, arguably, the biggest exclusive on the Xbox Series X/S as of 2023.

Buy Starfield at Amazon for £34.99

High on Life

Gus, a talking shotgun from High on Life.
Squanch Games

From the co-creator of Rick and Morty - if you couldn't tell already - High on Life is a comedic take on the first-person shooter genre, with the wonderfully inventive idea of potty-mouthed talking guns that fire quips to you throughout your adventure.

The game's focus on comedy has proved divisive amongst critics but user reviews are highly positive – and our High on Life review was equally full of praise for the game's bright colours, bizarre characters and weird weaponry that all bursts with personality. We think as long you don't mind a bit of crass humour, you'll be laughing as much as you are shooting. The FPS gameplay itself is also pretty rewarding, with surprisingly deep mechanics and multiple fun uses for each (talking) gun.

Buy High on Life at CD Keys for £40.99

Baldur's Gate 3

A woman in armour and a giant sword on her back, overlooking a medieval style village

Based on Dungeons & Dragons, the third entry in the Baldur's Gate series returned after a 23-year absence. With anticipation sky high for the RPG set in the Forgotten Realms, developers Larian Studios knocked it out of the park. If it's not the superb voice acting or wonderfully rich world that is easy to get lost in, it's how perfectly the studio has translated the tabletop franchise to video games.

As a result of all this, Baldur's Gate 3 took home numerous Game of the Year Awards, including the top prize at The Game Awards in 2023 - so you know it's quite good.

Buy Baldur's Gate 3 at CDkeys for £50.09

Elden Ring

When is the Elden Ring release date?

One of - if not the - best-reviewed games of the last few years – check out our five-star review – Elden Ring is the result of Dark Souls developers FromSoftware taking its notoriously difficult gameplay and putting an open-world spin on things. If you're one of the few players left to pick up a copy of Elden Ring, it's well worth considering – the game is full of inspired enemy designs, challenging but rewarding gameplay, and a fully realised fantasy world from Game of Thrones author George RR Martin. No wonder he still hasn't finished The Winds of Winter.

Buy Elden Ring at CD Keys for £25.99

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator Xbox release date and time

The Microsoft Flight Simulator series has long been a leader in, well, flight simulators. Still, the 2020 version took things to the next level by simulating the entire Earth using Bing Maps and 3D-generating AI, along with real-time weather and effects. It's one of the greatest technical achievements in gaming – and it keeps getting better, with updates including Top Gun: Maverick DLC, which was rolled out to celebrate the Tom Cruise movie.

Buy Microsoft Flight Simulator at Amazon for £31.76 at Amazon

Halo Infinite

Master Chief returns on the Halo Infinite campaign release date.

A return to form for the Halo series after the relative disappointment of Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Infinite launched first with a superb multiplayer mode that made us fall in love with Master Chief all over again.

That love only grew when the solo aspect of the game launched with a new open-world element that makes Halo feel fresh. If you want the full ins and outs of how much we loved it, read our review for the Halo Infinite campaign.

Buy Halo Infinite at Amazon for £29.42

Hi-Fi Rush

Hi-Fi Rush key art showing a group of characters in action
Tango Gameworks

Tango Gameworks came out of nowhere when it stealth-dropped Hi-Fi Rush, a rhythm-based action game about wannabe rockstar Chai. It's utterly delightful, with a kickass soundtrack that has the feel of an action version of a Tony Hawk game and a colourful cartoon art style that pops at every movement. Taking about a dozen hours to roll credits, it's perfect to blast through in a weekend. All you need is Xbox Game Pass to enjoy it right away.

Psychonauts 2

Raz in Psychonauts 2
Double Fine

Psychonauts 2, the long-awaited sequel to the 2005 original, was well worth the wait, with Raz's newest adventure being every bit as fun as the first and – dare we say it – maybe even better than the original. This platform game is full of stunning visuals, creative-level design, lots of silliness and surprises alongside some mature topics like mental health that are addressed in a smart way. Don't sleep on this one.

Read our Psychonauts 2 review to see what we thought about the game in more detail.

Buy Psychonauts 2 at Xbox for £10.99

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla

assassins creed valhalla eivor

Taking the beloved Ubisoft action stealth games and placing it in the heart of the violent Viking invasion of England is an unexpected match made in heaven... or should we say Valhalla? Tweaking the gameplay from previous instalments and upping the violence, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a gorgeous action RPG with a huge open world, tight combat and some of the best DLC the series has ever seen.

Buy Assassin's Creed Valhalla at Amazon for £16.99

Cyberpunk 2077

cyberpunk 2077

From The Witcher developers CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world action-adventure set in Night City that has come a long way since its launch. It's hard to point to a game that has been more hyped up in recent years than this, with many eagerly awaiting its release - and not just because Hollywood legend Keanu Reeves features.

It didn't land as expected originally, but due to numerous new updates, a next-gen free upgrade and new DLC featuring Idris Elba, the Polish studio has managed to salvage Cyberpunk into a big success story. It even took home Best Ongoing Game at The Game Awards 2023, cementing its triumph.

Buy Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edtion at Very for £39.95

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps

ori will wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the best platformers of modern times with sublime movement that expands cleverly the more you play. Its haunting soundtrack is unforgettable alongside an art style that could fill a million canvases. It's very approachable with a decent level of challenge at times, offering a more emotional experience than many of us were expecting.

Buy Ori and the Will of the Wisps at Amazon for £21.58

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

yakuza like a dragon

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a wild ride! It's completely mad and one of the funniest JRPGs out there today. What's great are the fleshed-out characters that make this unusual story memorable from start to finish. Yakuza might have been around since 2005, but this is the one that made it an international hit, as we follow new protagonist Ichiban Kasuaga go on a personal quest to uncover the reasons behind his betrayal.

Buy Yakuza Like a Dragon at Amazon for £14.99

Gears 5

gears 5

Alongside Halo, Gears of War is one of the most popular series on Xbox, and after a little bit of a stumble in the fourth game, Gears 5 is a return to form. The third-person shooter puts Kate Diaz in the spotlight as she hunts for answers surrounding her heritage. Its campaign is up there with the best in the series, providing a great entry point for newcomers and plenty to like for long-term fans.

Buy Gears 5 at Amazon for £18.10

Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 key art showing a faded man and a woman walking in front of him

Sequels many years in the making have managed to hit more often than not as of late. Remedy's Alan Wake 2 is just that, as best-selling novelist Alan Wake looks to escape a trapped alternative dimension after 13 long years. But how does this tie into FBI special agent Saga Anderson? The survival horror is full of mystery, intrigue and original ideas that turn the idea of what a video game can be on its head. Make sure to play the first game, too, or get a refresh courtesy of Fortnite and Epic Games.

Buy Alan Wake 2 at Xbox for £39.99

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

halo collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection features almost every Halo game, all of which have been enhanced for the Xbox Series X/S. Anyone who picks this up gains access to Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4.

Now usually found for under £20, this is ridiculously good value for money. Every campaign has its moments, with tons of replayability and multiplayer modes that have improved massively since release.

Buy Halo: The Master Chief Collection at CDkeys for £16.79

Rocket League

rocket league

Do you love cars? What about football? How about rockets? If one or all of those things appeal to you, then download Rocket League for some of the most chaotic quick matches in gaming.

From developers Psyonix, not only is Rocket League one of the best examples of "just one more game" but it has a dynamite soundtrack, dozens of cool collaborations from Batman to The Fast and The Furious and rankings for every competitive level imaginable. The only negative we can think of is the name, going for something more simple after the previous: Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars.

Forza Horizon 5

Key art for Forza Horizon 5.
Xbox Game Studios

The latest in the Forza Horizon series, Forza Horizon 5 is set in Mexico, and while the England-based fourth entry blew us away, especially with its Series X upgrade, this game was made for the new consoles directly – and it looks it.

Some standouts include how smooth racing is, the top-tier sound design, striking visual fidelity, hundreds of challenges and a deep campaign that will keep you entertained for hours on end. It won several Game of the Year awards in 2021 for a reason.

Buy Forza Horizon 5 at CDKeys for £25.59

EA Sports FC 24

Erling Haaland in EA Sports FC 24, jumping in the air to celebrate a goal
EA Sports

An annual staple of the gaming world, if you love FIFA – now known as EA Sports FC, due to a licensing agreement between EA and the FIFA organisation expiring – then the latest football game is now available on Xbox. The game has never looked better than it does when played on the latest generation of consoles. New motion capture animation takes advantage of the hardware to push the realism, along with all the newest player scores and the hard-to-put-down Ultimate Team mode.

Buy EA Sports FC 24 at Amazon for £41.50

If you're looking for something else to play, check out our lists of the best PC games and best VR games to try out now.

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