Peak gaming season has arrived and it's a fantastic time whatever platform you play on, be that console, PC, or even mobile. Xbox, though, has finally hit its stride with an abundance of amazing games available to play right now, alongside a slew of upcoming releases that will help carry great momentum over the upcoming months.
Launched one year ago today (November 10th, 2020) the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S immediately faced major competition from PlayStation due to their perceived lack of exclusive games. The tide is now beginning to change. Microsoft has more games in the works than ever, thanks to its relentless spending spree on studios – most notably, Bethesda Softworks.
Forza Horizon 5 has launched to a massive 4.5 million players (opens in new tab) and an impressive 92 Metacritic (opens in new tab) score from reviewers. It's a must-play! That's always been the difference between Xbox and PlayStation – the "must-play" experiences. No longer is that the case. Whether that's Microsoft Flight Simulator, Twelve Minutes, Football Manager 2022, Sea of Thieves, the enhanced Halo: Master Chief Collection, Ori, Sunset Overdrive, Death's Door, Gears 5, the list goes on and on.
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This is all before the gargantuan that is Halo: Infinite arrives on December 8th, 2021. A game that had a torrid early reveal but looks to have found its footing. The decision to put Halo's multiplayer as free-to-play should also help it reach a larger audience while harkening back to the early LAN parties of yore. You only need to look at the success of Fornite, Apex Legends and such to see why this is a smart move.
Then just over the horizon, Xbox has plenty more tantalising titles: Avowed, Fable, Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, Everwild, and Perfect Dark to name just a few. Oh, and let's not forget Bethesda and its numerous studios. Whether that be Starfield, The Elder Scrolls VI or only just a friggin Indiana Jones game from MachineGames! There's a hell of a lot to get excited about.
Naturally, all of these things costs and the price of games is always a divisive topic. That said, it can't be understated what an achievement Xbox Game Pass is. From / $9.99 / £7.99 a month you get access to all of these games on day one as well as over 100 other titles as part of the collection.
It's an absolute steal and something that I wish was around when I was a kid. Couple that with the hugely enticing $299.99 / £249.99 purchase point for the Xbox Series S and you can be playing the latest next-gen games for arguably half the price of a PlayStation. All in all, it's just nice to see Xbox prospering after a disappointing last generation. Long may it continue!