The Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s latest console, showcases impressive performance, often rivalling or surpassing the PlayStation 5 in multi platform releases. However, when considering exclusives, the console initially had a limited lineup at launch. Over time, it has amassed an impressive catalogue of titles.

Top 8 Xbox Series X Exclusives

In evaluating Xbox One games for inclusion, emphasis is placed on those optimised specifically for the Series X and S, such as Gears 5. PC releases are disregarded in this assessment, as Microsoft hasn’t had a console-exclusive game for a considerable period when factoring in PC availability. Despite this, the platform boasts an array of compelling titles, and while eagerly anticipated games like Fable and Hellblade 2 are on the horizon, the existing collection offers plenty to captivate and entertain gamers in the meantime.

1. Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite
Platforms Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Developer343 Industries
PublisherXbox Game Studios
Release DateNovember 15, 2021

The Halo series has been integral to Microsoft’s gaming identity since the inception of the original Xbox, essentially serving as a key driver for early console sales. It not only pioneered the first-person genre on consoles but also revolutionised online multiplayer. As a result, the franchise holds significant importance to Xbox, and keeping it alive is a priority.

Halo: Infinite, though delayed for two years post the Series X and S launch, marked the debut of a new Halo game on these upgraded machines. The game is split between a free-to-play multiplayer mode and a campaign. While it initially offers limited content, the promise of ongoing expansion is evident. However, the gameplay itself stands out as the core attraction. Stripping away the complexities seen in modern shooters, Halo: Infinite harks back to the classic arena-style shooter, delivering a refreshing experience amidst a genre crowded with specialists, intricate loadouts, complex abilities, and overpowering builds.

2. Hi-Fi Rush

Hi-Fi Rush
Platforms Windows, Xbox Series X|S
GenreMusix, Platform
DeveloperTango Gameworks
PublisherBethesda Softworks
Release DateJanuary 25, 2023

Hi-Fi Rush made a splash as an unexpected release in 2023, announced and launched on the same day. Developed by Tango Gameworks, known for their horror-centric titles, this game takes a sharp departure from their usual style. Eschewing horror, Hi-Fi Rush immerses players in a bright, vibrant world that harmonises seamlessly with its core rhythm-based concept.

Central to the experience is the game’s dedication to syncing every action to the music. Featuring a mix of both original tracks and cover songs, the game’s combat thrives on rhythm, elevating engagement levels. Importantly, players aren’t penalised for timing inconsistencies but rather rewarded for synchronising attacks with the music, enhancing the overall experience.

3. Immortality

Platforms Windows, Android, iOS, Xbox Series X|S
GenrePoint-and-click, Simulator, Indie
DeveloperHalf Mermaid, Sam Barlow
PublisherHalf Mermaid
Release DateAugust 30, 2022

Immortality, stemming from the creative minds behind the game Her Story, embodies a distinct evolution of the full-motion video-style genre. It retains the essence of searching through real video footage to unveil a mystery but takes a daring leap forward in its execution. Unlike Her Story, where players navigate clips using keywords, Immortality introduces a novel mechanic. Players switch between scenes by selecting individuals or objects, revealing interconnected sequences they’ve appeared in.

At first glance, this method might seem unconventional, but the gameplay mechanics seamlessly merge to create a compelling experience. Unravelling the mystery in Immortality proves immensely satisfying, driven by a narrative that unfolds uniquely for each player. The beauty lies in the variability: each player uncovers clues in different orders, at different times, and through divergent paths, heightening the intrigue and offering a personalised exploration of the storyline.

4. Sea of Thieves: Season 5

Sea of Thieves: Season 5
Platforms Windows, Xbox One
PublisherXbox Game Studios
Release DateDecember 2, 2021

Sea of Thieves, despite facing criticism initially due to perceived content limitations, has evolved into one of Microsoft’s major exclusives. It’s poised to retain this status throughout the Series X’s lifespan. Diverging from the structured paths of games-as-a-service titles like Destiny 2, Sea of Thieves offers a more open-ended experience. Players are not nudged along a specific trajectory; instead, they’re granted complete freedom.

Within this maritime world, you’re at liberty to chart your own course—placing a quest on your ship’s map for loot hunts, engaging in thrilling naval skirmishes, or venturing far into uncharted waters, discovering remote islands. This unfettered freedom is the game’s allure, providing just enough content to qualify as a “game” without imposing mandatory tasks. However, this very freedom is also the game’s Achilles’ heel. Sea of Thieves thrives on cooperative play, making it essential to traverse its waters with a crew of friends. For solo players, other Series X exclusives might prove a more suitable choice.

5. Starfield

Platforms Windows, Xbox Series X|S
GenreShooter, Role-Playing, Adventure
DeveloperBethesda Game Studios
PublisherBethesda Softworks
Release DateSeptember 6, 2023

Starfield, the latest RPG from Bethesda, may not cater to everyone’s taste, but for those who delve into it, the experience proves captivating. Departing from terrestrial landscapes, this adventure takes players beyond the stars. Staying true to classic Bethesda RPG elements, the game involves familiar mechanics such as stat levelling, interactions with numerous characters, an abundance of quests, and the quintessential Bethesda habit—looting everything in sight.

What sets Starfield apart is its infusion of spaceship combat, base building, and other sci-fi elements, adding a distinct flavour to the Bethesda universe. While the exploration might feel more condensed compared to their other titles, the universe remains vast enough to immerse players for hundreds of hours, with or without mods, catering to both those who prefer deep exploration and those seeking structured gameplay experiences.

6. Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator
Platforms Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
DeveloperAsobo Studio
PublisherXbox Game Studios
Release DateAugust 17, 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a marvel even for those who aren’t devoted to simulation games. The sheer visual spectacle it offers is reason enough to give it a try. Considered one of the most technically impressive feats on consoles, it presents an entire lifelike world for players to explore from the skies, rendering the entire globe in stunning detail.

For simulation enthusiasts, the game’s collection of planes and meticulous attention to detail will undoubtedly fulfil their dreams. However, even for casual players, it’s an ideal choice for a leisurely day in. Immersed in the tranquil ambiance of flying, it serves as a perfect escape, allowing you to unwind while embracing the serene drone of the plane’s engine against the vast, open skies.

7. Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5
Platforms Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
GenreRacing, sport
DeveloperPlayground Games
PublisherXbox Game Studios
Release DateNovember 9, 2021

Forza Horizon 5 stands undisputed as one of the premier racing games, not just exclusive to Xbox but across all platforms. Its Series X enhanced version runs exceptionally well, delivering a locked 60 fps during events and open-world driving, alongside significantly improved load times compared to the Xbox One edition. Racing games perennially aim for top-notch graphics, and Forza Horizon 5 excels in this regard, boasting the most impressive visuals and audio in the racing genre. Even in performance mode, it’s easy to mistake the game for actual racing footage due to its stunning realism. The game introduces breathtaking locales, offering an abundance of activities to engage players. With its adaptable approach, Forza Horizon 5 caters to both racing purists and those seeking a less simulation-oriented experience.

8. Forza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport
Platforms Windows, Xbox Series X|S
GenreRacing, simulator, sport
DeveloperTurn 10 Studios
PublisherXbox Game Studios
Release DateOctober 10, 2023

Forza Motorsport caters to players seeking a more simulation-oriented racing experience rather than arcade-style gameplay. It offers an in-depth approach, allowing players to delve deep into car customization, meticulously adjusting every aspect to suit individual preferences. However, for those less inclined towards technical tinkering, the game offers a convenient auto-tuning toggle. While it might not deliver optimal settings, it ensures a competitive edge without overwhelming players with intricate details.

The single-player mode in Forza Motorsport, though race-focused and distinct from the open-world concept of Horizon, presents an oddly addictive experience. It enables players to establish a connection with their cars, fostering a sense of progression as they level up their vehicles across various events. This relationship-building aspect adds a unique layer to the gameplay, enhancing the overall immersion in the racing world.

Final Words

Xbox Series X Exclusives

In a landscape brimming with gaming options, the Xbox Series X’s exclusive lineup has steadily grown, showcasing a diverse array of experiences. From the anticipated return of iconic franchises to unexpected, innovative titles, this collection offers something for every gamer. Whether exploring the far reaches of space in Starfield, diving into the immersive realism of Forza Horizon 5, or unravelling mysteries in Immortality, these exclusives collectively enrich the console’s appeal. As the platform continues to evolve and new titles join its ranks, the existing library ensures that Xbox Series X owners have a wealth of captivating adventures, solidifying its position as a compelling choice in the gaming sphere.

Leo Beamers is an aspiring car collector born and raised just outside of the city in Cape Town and his interests include gaming, fast cars and enjoys cycling on the weekends.

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