Upcoming Xbox Series X Games
It was a standout year for Xbox. Several games published by Microsoft were in contention for various Game of the Year awards, including Forza Horizon 5 , Psychonauts 2, Halo Infinite, and even the Microsoft-owned timed PS5 console exclusive Deathloop.
However, with no new releases scheduled for the rest of the year, it’s time to look ahead to the big games of early 2022. There’s only one notable Series X|S release on the schedule for January, and that’s Rainbow Six Extraction. The $40 USD PvE Rainbow Six Siege spinoff will be released on January 20.
Updates: On May 23, Red Dead 2, Sekiro, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Watch Dogs Legion were removed, while The Medium, Gears Tactics, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, No Mans Sky, Control Ultimate Edition, MLB The Show 21, Destiny 2, It Takes Two, and Hitman 3 were added. Assassins Creed Valhalla and Gears 5 also swapped positions on the list.
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.
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Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition
Modern RPG classic
Reasons to avoid
Building on the foundations set by old-school RPG classics like Baldur’s Gate, Divinity: Original Sin 2 has you on a literal quest for godhood, in a world where those with magical powers are marginalized.
So far, so good for an RPG title. But Divinity: Original Sin 2 comes into its own with just how flexible and freeing its systems are. With turn-based combat that takes as much inspiration from XCOM as it does from tabletop RPG spellcasting, you’ll always be given multiple ways to progress, letting you combine items and environmental modifiers to take on foes in increasingly creative ways.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 has more ideas in its first ten minutes than some games have in their entire duration: want to be an undead adventurer who can talk to skulls? Go for it. An animal-whisperer like Dr Doolittle? 100%go for it. Throw four-player online co-op into the mix, where anyone can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and you’ve got a recipe for chaotic perfection.
It’s one of the few games where, if you can dream it up, you can probably do it in the game. A must-play Xbox One game.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Ready to raze some hell? Doom is back and it’s the best it’s ever been. Not only does Doom Eternal boast all the blood-pumping, gore-packed fun we expect from a Doom game, it also adds a bunch of new RPG-like elements we didn’t even know we needed.
- Make sure to check out our full Doom Eternal review
Reasons to avoid
Tactical Team Deathmatch: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter was my first real taste of Xbox Live and the defining title of my teens. The 16-player team death matches were unmatched at the time, and the single-player campaign was exciting, tactical, and not held down by the cinematic set pieces that bog down many of today’s action games. While recent Ghost Recon titles continue to disappoint, my heart will always have a soft spot for this early 360 classic.
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As 2021 Comes To A Close Here We’re Taking A Look Back At How Microsoft’s Ecosystem Fared Over The 12
Posted By Shubhankar Parijat | On 30th, Dec. 2021
Microsoft has moved into a new generation of gaming with the Xbox Series X/S, and theres no doubt in anyones mind that the new consoles have got off to an excellent start. By any metric first party releases, third party releases, Xbox Game Pass, you name it 2021 has been a great year for Xbox, and over the last 12 months, weve played plenty of standout games on the platform. Here, were going to highlight what we feel were some of the best of the lot, and then pick one of them as our ultimate winner.
NOTE: The nominees and winner were decided by an internal vote held among the entire GamingBolt staff.
People Can Fly has made a name for itself over the years as a studio that consistently delivers excellent shooter combat, from Bulletstorm to Gears of War: Judgment, and though Outriders is, of course, a very different kind of experience from those two, it is defined by a lot of the same strengths. Combining explosive abilities and punchy shooting makes for consistently thrilling combat encounters in this RPG shooter, and heading to the many different environments of Enoch to track down a bevy of quests and running it all back again on higher difficulties as you try and attain better loot is a loop thatll keep you hooked for a long, long time.
IT TAKES TWO
TALES OF ARISE
FORZA HORIZON 5
THE ARTFUL ESCAPE
FORZA HORIZON 5
Online Vs Offline Play
Similar to the opinions held about single-player versus multiplayer titles, gamers can have strong preferences towards online or offline gameplay, while others enjoy both. Online gameplay can expose you to a wide population of gamers and can help to keep a game fresh, with frequent updates, bug fixes, and online challenges. If youre playing online, make sure youve got the best gaming router for your home.
Offline gameplay is familiar for older gamers that grew up playing on Nintendo game systems but can also be appreciated by newer gamers that want to explore the breadth of a well-rendered game world and story without engaging with others. Taking time to engage in an immersive alternative environment can be a wonderful escape from workplaces and daily life. Consider these options if youre looking for the best gifts for gamers in your life.
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Kill Nazis: Wolfenstein: The New Order
There was a lot of hesitation going into Wolfenstein: The New Order, a reboot of the classic shooter series, but it’s unfounded. The New Order is a total refresh, keeping the fast-paced, ultra-violent, gonzo sci-fi world and gameplay of the originals while making the story of B.J. Blazkowicz more meaningful. This isn’t just a game about killing Nazis anymore, although that’s certainly the main draw. How is MachineGames able to successfully balance a character-driven story with some of the most bonkers shooting gameplay? You’ll have to download it to find out.
Xbox Game Pass: The Best Games You Need To Play
Xbox Game Pass rules. Here are the best games…
Xbox Game Pass is the best reason to own an Xbox. It’s basically Netflix for gaming — you sign up, for for Game Pass at $10 a month and immediately get access to over a hundred games you can download and play at your leisure. New games are added — and removed — each month.
If you’re already a subscriber of Xbox Game Pass, you know that it’s awesome. And it’ll only get better, with titles like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 launching on Game Pass later this year. There are dozens of excellent titles, both AAA and indie. Game Pass Ultimate nets you access to a bunch of EA Play games, too.
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Here are our picks for some of the very best games on the service.
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The Division : Warlords Of New York Edition
Supports: 4-player online multiplayer
Much like Destiny 2, The Division 2 is an always-online shooter designed to be played alongside friends. A third-person cover shooter at heart, The Division 2 places you in the role of an agent attempting to quell civil unrest in Washington, DC. While the post-pandemic world is a tad disconcerting given recent events, The Division 2 has a really strong loop that focuses on loot and improving your agent’s build. The lengthy mainline story is filled with engaging missions and a ton of side content. When the credits roll, you still have plenty to do thanks to a serious amount of challenging endgame content. If you grab the Warlords of New York Edition, you’ll also get the excellent expansion set in New York City. The Division 2 features online co-op for up to four players for main missions, while some raids support up to eight players.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
Resident Evil 7 biohazard is a return to form for the series – a renaissance of survival-horror for consoles that we haven’t seen since the fourth game in the series back on the Nintendo GameCube.
It’s truly, viscerally scary in the best of ways, and its haunted-house setting is so gleefully disgusting that you never cease to marvel. If you have the stomach for horror, you’ll absolutely love it.
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Grand Theft Auto Online
Supports: 8-player online multiplayer
Grand Theft Auto Online is one of the most popular online multiplayer games around. Grand Theft Auto Online lets you create a character and complete objectives and get into random shenanigans across San Andreas. While you can make your own fun, there are dedicated missions and a story that takes place before the events of Grand Theft Auto 5 that’s designed to be played cooperatively with friends. Whether you want to complete elaborate and tricky heists with friends or simply see what kind of trouble you can stir up, Grand Theft Auto Online is an expansive cooperative experience that can be your hangout spot to unwind at night. It comes free with Grand Theft Auto 5, which is available on Xbox Game Pass. A standalone version of Grand Theft Auto Online is in the works, too.
Zombie Apocalypse: Left 4 Dead 2
At the dawn of the zombie obsession that infected pop culture in the late aughts came Left 4 Dead 2, a perfect sequel that improved on just about everything from the first game. Left 4 Dead 2 was a showcase for how versatile Valve’s Source Engine is and captured everything from the PC version and laid it out perfectly on the Xbox 360. The replay value of Left 4 Dead 2 is something developers chase with every new live service game, but Valve knocked it out of the park on their second try. If only they could count to three …
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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Kojimas last Metal Gear Solid game for Konami also happens to be his grandest moment. Taking the franchise into the realms of open world seems to have been an inspired decision, with so much to do and missions to complete that you will be playing for hours. We know, weve still not seen everything there is to see in the game. We also love the way you can tackle just about everything in multiple fashions run and gun or sneaking around are just two ways you can complete objectives, each causing different reactions.
Learn More About Xbox Play Anywhere
How does Xbox Play Anywhere work?
When you buy an Xbox Play Anywhere digital game through the Xbox Store or the Windows Store, its yours to play on Xbox and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost. To take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere, you will need to have installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition update on your PC, as well as the latest update on your Xbox console. Then, simply log into your Xbox Live/Microsoft account and your Xbox Play Anywhere games will be available to download. On your Xbox, games will show as Ready to Install under My Games and Apps. On your Windows 10 PC, games will appear in My Library.
Does Xbox Play Anywhere cost extra?
No, there is no additional cost for Xbox Play Anywhere. When you buy an Xbox Play Anywhere digital game, the ability to play on Xbox and Windows 10 PC is included at no additional charge.
How do I know if a game is Xbox Play Anywhere?
Participating games will be marked on www.xbox.com, in the Xbox Store, and in the Windows Store with the Xbox Play Anywhere icon. You can also go to www.xboxplayanywhere.com to see a full list of participating games.
Is there a comprehensive list of all Xbox Play Anywhere games?
Yes, you can see a list of all participating games at www.xboxplayanywhere.com.
Can I be signed into the same game on Xbox and my Windows 10 PC?
Will my game progress be saved on both Xbox and Windows 10 PCs?
Will downloadable content for Xbox Play Anywhere games also be playable on both Xbox and Windows 10 PC?
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American Gothic: Kentucky Route Zero
It took nearly a decade for all five chapters of Kentucky Route Zero to come out, but the wait has been worth it. Not only is this surrealist journey through a dying American town somehow more relevant in the new decade than it was in 2013, but it forced the player to sit with it and play it over and over again. The ending might not be uplifting, and the game itself might be somber, but it conveys an important, decaying, and beautiful world that can only be appreciated by experiencing it yourself.
Brave The Cold: The Long Dark
The Long Dark is an incredible survival experience that is quintessential to the genre. Set in the bitter climbs of the Canadian Rockies, The Long Dark sports both an on-going story mode and an endless sandbox mode, challenging you to manage your temperature, your thirst, and your hunger in a lonely apocalyptic wilderness filled with animals driven mad by a climatological catastrophe. The Long Dark’s dynamic systems and emergent gameplay make for some of my most memorable gameplay experiences of recent times.
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Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Another game that took its sweet old time arriving on Xbox consoles is Disco Elysium. It is another one that was well worth the wait.
Initially released in 2019, the version that arrived on Xbox in 2021 is The Final Cut featuring voice acting and additional content. Just as well, Disco Elysium is an RPG without the traditional combat, instead focussing on a lot of dialogue between characters.
Disco Elysium eschews traditional RPG gameplay and instead boils everything down into 24 skills across four abilities: Intellect, Psyche, Physique and Motorics. These skills can be approved upon through levelling up. Nothing is black and white though every skill has a negative side-effect if you level it up too much.
Skill checks are commonplace in Disco Elysium if youve ever played a tabletop RPG you will almost already know exactly how to play and if not, Disco Elysium is a fine example to start with. It may not be the most cheerful game to appear on this list, but at fourth place it is definitely one of the best.
Praise The Sun: Dark Souls Iii
Dark Souls III is an absolute masterpiece and stands firmly as one of the greatest action-RPGs of all time. Meticulously crafted environments and unforgettable enemy encounters command the player’s attention at every possible moment. With seemingly endless amounts of character customization and replayability, it’s a game I find myself coming back to almost every year. There are many reasons From Software has garnered such a ravenous, cult following in recent years, but Dark Souls III is probably the project most deserving of genuine fanaticism.
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Single And Multiplayer Modes
Not every person enjoys the challenges of playing with other gamers online. Instead, they might prefer to take on a game that unfolds like a solitary quest, giving them a well-written story to unravel and a world to immerse themselves in. These players should look for single-player RPGs like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
Multiplayer gaming can include both split-screen couch co-op, where the players are in the same home and playing with a split-screen, and online multiplayer. In online multiplayer titles, players use their Xbox consoles to connect with huge communities of players or play co-op with small groups of friends. Most large and small gaming streamers typically specialize in multiplayer games, like Apex Legends, COD, or even Minecraft, which can be set up with a dedicated server for specific players.
However, if youre an average gamer, simply choose the mode that you enjoy the best, or pick and choose certain games that are better for single-player fun and others that are best enjoyed with two or more additional players. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
It’s All About The Games
If you want top-notch racing action, Microsoft has two series that’ll zoom into your heart: Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon . Want platforming action? Check out the beautifully animated Cuphead. Dig high-seas adventure? Sea of Thieves has you covered.
Xbox One, naturally, has many of the third-party games you’ll find on other consoles. If you want Dragon Ball FighterZ, Final Fantasy XV, Red Dead Redemption 2, or Tekken 7, you can purchase them for Xbox One.
In terms of features, Xbox Play Anywhere is one of the coolest to emerge from Microsoft’s video game division. When you purchase select digital titles, such as Cuphead or Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, it becomes yours to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. In fact, your progress is saved via the cloud, so you can start a game on Xbox and finish it on PC .
Likewise, Xbox Backward Compatibility offers additional play options. With it, you can fire up Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles on your Xbox One. This applies to classic digital games, as well as disc-based titles. Xbox Backward Compatibility also boosts those games’ pixel counts and expands the color details. Even better, if you’re playing Xbox 360 games, you can fire up your old game saves, achievements, and Gamerscore. And if you sign up for Xbox Live, you can play those classic games with friends.
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