Xbox Series X launch games: All the titles you can play right now – CNET

The Series X next to the Series S.

Microsoft

Update, Nov. 10: Read our reviews of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.


The day has come: The Xbox Series X and the smaller, cheaper Series S have officially launched. This is exciting news, particularly if you’re one of the lucky ones who actually snagged a preorder

The new Xbox was meant to launch alongside a new Halo, but the delay of Halo Infinite means we’ve got no Master Chief to keep us warm this holiday season. But that’s OK! There are many games that hit the console at launch to keep you busy, including a bunch from the current generation that have been given next-gen updates. Check out the full list of launch titles below.

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

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Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be available for both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, but Xbox owners can get it two days earlier. The game releases alongside the Series X on Nov. 10, with a PS5 release following on Sony’s Nov. 12 console launch date. Time to get your Viking Raider hat on.

Fortnite

Epic Games

Fortnite’s money train is rolling into the next generation of gaming. The battle royale shooter is coming to Xbox Series X on launch day. Epic Games says it’ll be optimized for next-gen hardware, but look for bigger changes next year when Fortnite is migrated from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5. 

Cuisine Royale

If you’re into battles royale but not a fan of Fortnite, Cuisine Royale may be for you. It’s a less cartoonish take on last-man-standing shootouts, in which you earn ingredients that you’ll then craft into skins and new items — putting the Cuisine in Cuisine Warfare. Originally debuted in 2018 on Steam, it’ll be available at launch on Xbox Series X. 

NBA 2K21

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2K

NBA 2K21 released for Xbox One and PS4 in early September — to mixed reviews — and will launch alongside the Xbox Series X on Nov. 10. 

Dirt 5

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Codemasters

What better way to show off next-gen power than with mud? Lots and lots of mud. Well, and cars, too. Dirt 5 launches on the Xbox One and PS4 on Nov. 6, with a Series X release following on Nov. 10.

WRC 9

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If Dirt is not your preferred muddy racing series, WRC 9 also hits the Xbox Series X|S on Nov. 10. It’s a good’n too: The PS4/Xbox One version launched back in September to positive reviews

Borderlands 3 

2K Software

Borderlands 3 is coming to both the Xbox Series X and PS5 on their respective launch days. It takes the Xbox One/PS4 version and kicks it up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (or 1440p resolution for the Series S). More importantly, there’ll be gameplay upgrades: The inclusion of local split-screen co-op play, a new game mode, and added skill trees for all character classes. Best of all, if you already own it on Xbox One, you can play it on your Series S or X for free.

Mortal Kombat 11

Warner Bros.

Mortal Kombat 11 is getting the same treatment as Borderlands, with a version optimized for Xbox Series X. Like Borderlands 3, it’ll use Smart Delivery to upgrade copies already owned on Xbox One. Good timing too, as a new character pack includes freakin’ Rambo. Unfortunately, Mortal Kombat 11 won’t be available on day 1, but rather starting Nov. 17

Bright Memory

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AGM Playism

Bright Memory is a game from Chinese developer FYQD Personal Studio, one that’s kind of like a gritty, first-person version of Devil May Cry. It’s a first-person shooter where you’ll also wield a sword and several futuristic powers. An updated version of the game, Bright Memory Infinite, is coming out next year.

Evergate

Move over, Ori, there’s a new wisp in town. Evergate is a puzzle and platformer game released back in August for the Switch and on Steam. It leans more heavily into the puzzle part of its genre, and benefits as a result. GameSpot’s Steve Watts called it a “remarkably clever” game that “constantly invents new ways to interact with the world.” It hits Xbox Series X on Nov. 10. 

Tetris Effect: Connected

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Enhance

The Tetris Effect was a surprise hit, and one of the best games of 2018. Connected is a multiplayer expansion exclusive to Windows and Xbox, but it appears to be a big expansion. Consider Connected “the 2.0 version of Tetris Effect,” says the game’s publisher. 

Manifold Garden

If your thirst for visually dazzling puzzlers isn’t quenched by Tetris or Evergate, Manifold Garden has your back. A first-person puzzle game, it was developed by an artist who previously worked with sculptures, rather than a more typical game-dev type. It was released for PC last year, followed by Switch, Xbox One and PS4 ports this year. An updated version will be available alongside the Xbox Series X launch. 

Observer: System Redux

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Aspyr

Are you into a good old fashion scare? Observer: System Redux is one to go for on launch day. It’s a psychological horror game that has you exploring a slum in post-apocalyptic Krakow. It’s a remastered and expanded version of 2017’s excellent Observer PC game

The Falconeer

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Wired Productions

The Falconeer is an aerial dogfighting game that mixes open-air combat with open-world exploration. It looks like the lovechild of Star Fox and, thanks to its charming art style, Sea of Thieves. You control what appears to be a mechanized falcon and will explore the world of Great Ursee.

Yes, Your Grace

Did you watch Game of Thrones thinking you could run the 7 Kingdoms better than those who sat on the Iron Throne? Well, now you can — just without the Game of Thrones stuff. In Yes, Your Grace you run a small, 8-bit kingdom, making decisions to keep peasants happy, establish relations with regional lords and fellow Kings, all while managing the resources of the kingdom. 

Watch Dogs Legion 

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Ubisoft

Watch Dogs Legion is the third game in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs franchise, and it takes place in surveillance London. The open-world, slightly dystopian game gets two weeks of next-gen exclusivity on Series X: It’ll launch alongside Microsoft’s new console on Nov. 10 before coming to the PlayStation 5 on Nov. 24. 

Maneater

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Tripwire Interactive

Maneater is an RPG game in which you take control of a shark, eat humans and destroy rival oceanic carnivores. It launched back in May for current-gen consoles, where it received some solid feedback for being a fresh idea, and now it’s getting a next-gen brush up for the Xbox Series X|S at launch. 

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

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Sega

Like a Dragon takes the Yakuza formula and makes it more RPG-ish. Based on the Japanese mafia gang, it’s got turn-based combat (a departure from the franchise’s famous beat-em-up gameplay), as well as a jobs system seen in traditional JRPGs. It was released back in January in Japan, and hits Xbox Series X on launch day. 

No Man’s Sky

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Hello Games

If you missed No Man’s Sky back at its 2016 launch, now may be a smart time to give it a whirl. The game, which received a lukewarm reception upon release, has been drastically improved over the years. The version for Xbox Series X coming out at launch features improved graphics, 4K resolution and 32-player multiplayer. You’ll get a free upgrade if you already own the Xbox One version.

Dead By Daylight

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Behavior Interactive

Dead By Daylight is another No Man’s Sky situation: It launched in 2016 to a mixed reception but has been greatly improved over the past few years. The difference is that this game will scare the crap out of you. It’s a game in which there’s one killer and four survivors — the killer’s goal is to kill and the survivors’ goal is to survive. The games begin on Series X on Nov. 10. 

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War

Activision

It’s time to take on the commies. After last year’s Modern Warfare, Call of Duty pulls us back to the 1980s amid the United States’ clash with the Soviet Union. Black Ops: Cold War will take you though East Berlin, Turkey, Vietnam and Russia, and will hopefully have a dope multiplayer, too. The caveat: It hits the Xbox on Nov. 13, a few days after launch.

Optimized for Xbox Series X

In addition to the above new games, Microsoft is also optimizing a bunch of Xbox One favorites for the Series X. These will be free to play if you owned the Xbox One versions, and include:

  • Gears 5
  • Gears Tactics
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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