Got an Xbox Series X for Christmas? The 5 best games to play according to Metacritic

The best of the box

Xbox Series S / Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Jung Yeon-Je / Getty Images)

So you got an Xbox Series X for Christmas? You lucky thing! Not only does that now mean you have one of the best consoles out there, but now you can also play some of the best games out there. Sure Xbox may not have Baldur's Gate 3, but there's a hatful of brilliant titles available.

You might be considering plumping for an Xbox GamePass subscription (and probably already have a trial) and that would definitely be a great place to start your Xbox journey (try Hi-fi Rush), but not all of the top-rated games on Metacritic are on Game Pass. In fact of the top 5 2023 releases only Cocoon currently is. 

So let's get you up and gaming with the best games on the console from 2023, according to Metacritic. 

6. Honourable mention - Starfield 

Ok, so it's not one of the top 5 games on Metacritic but Starfield is an Xbox (and PC) exclusive that could be a genuine system seller for gamers of the right persuasion. 

Typical Bethesda fare, if you love the likes of Skyrim and Fallout this is exploration on a whole new scale. Explore an entire universe of planets as you search for ancient artificats with mysterious powers - or just become a space pirate. The choice is yours really. 

5. Cocoon 

Thankfully nothing to do with the 1985 movie, Cocoon is an indie gem from Jeppe Carlsen, the creator of Limbo and Inside. That should tell you everything you need to know about its quality, and also aout what to expect. This is a superb puzzle platformer with a gorgeous art style and soundtrack. 

It's also one of the most trippy and original puzzlers since Portal. Playing as a Dung Beetle, you carry whole worlds on your back in the form of orbs, but of course it soon becomes worlds within worlds. 

Cocoon is on Game Pass too so there's no excuse not to try it. 

4. Street Fighter 6

From a brand new take on puzzlers to a comprehensive reimagining of the 1-on-1 fighter. Street Fighter 6 is a revolutionary take on one of gaming's oldest franchises. 

Yes, all of your old favourite characters return, but the innovation comes with the brand-new single-player World Tour mode. This is unlike any other fighting game before it. You create your own character and explore open-world locations where you can fight literally anybody you come across. It beats a simple arcade mode anyday. 

3. Diablo IV 

The latest instalment in Blizzard's action RPG series is a fine return to form. Create a unique character build and then explore treacherous dungeons for legendary gear. It's a formula as old as the Devil himself and it just works. 

Diablo IV offers a choice of five unique classes, Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer, Necromancer, and Druid and each has its own play style. This is a great game to play co-op with friends too. 

2. Resident Evil 4 

You might be wondering what exactly a game from 2005 is doing on this list but I assure you that the latest version of one of the best games ever made is thoroughly worth a replay. 

It's not just a remaster too, this is a fully fledged remake. You'll find new enemies, mechanics and scares as well much better shooting and a complete graphical makeover. 

1. Alan Wake 2

A follow-up 13 years in the making, Alan Wake 2 showcases Remedy at their best. This is another spooky survival horror with a trippy story worthy of a David Lynch movie.

Atmospheric like no other game, you'll divide your time between playing as troubled author Alan Wake and Saga Anderson in two standalone single-player adventures. This is truly a brilliant display of what the Xbox Series X is all about. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.