More than 12 months since the launch of the Xbox Series X and Microsoft has started to capitalise on the power of its next-gen hardware with some terrific top titles to play this Christmas. Not only that but there are some genuinely great exclusives rounding out what already feels like a comprehensive package of third-party and indie games.
Now thanks to Xbox Game Pass, anyone can enjoy the latest, greatest first-party titles from Microsoft on day one, on top of access to a library of more than 100 games. After all, it's nicknamed the best deal in gaming for a reason.
Whatever you are looking for this Christmas season, we've put together a list of the top Xbox Series X games that are well worth spending time with over the break.
Let's start off with a bonafide banger. 343 Industries finally hit their stride with Halo Infinite (opens in new tab) this year, letting fans celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first-person shooter in style. Graphically, the game is a big step up from what was initially shown, with dynamic lighting and new improved textures all making it a worthy 4K experience. The grappling hook alone warrants the purchase, but it's the free-to-play multiplayer where the game really shines. As Halo was built off the back of LAN parties, it's great to see it rekindle some of that glory.
The Artful Escape
Annapurna Interactive doesn't miss when it comes to publishing. The studio has already helped bring The Pathless, Donut County, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Outer Wilds, Kentucky Zero, and many, many more to life – and yet, The Artful Escape (opens in new tab) from developer Beethoven & Dinosaur might just top the lot.
Players control Francis, a teenage guitar prodigy who sets out on a psychedelic adventure like no other to inspire his stage persona and confront the legacy of deceased folk-music legend, Johnson Vendetti. If you ever wanted to escape into a wonderfully colourful platformer brimming with tremendous personality and heartwarming moments, this is the game for you.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Why fly to a new country, when you can simply explore the entire planet in Microsoft Flight Simulator? It's crazy to think how far the flight simulator has come since it began all the way back in 1982. The newest entry features two petabytes of world map data and brings incredible realism to every continent you visit. With limitless replayability, there's always a new destination worth visiting.
Forza Horizon 5
Very few games embody the word "fun" like the Forza Horizon series does. This time around, Playground Games set their sights on Mexico, creating a beautiful open-world representation of the country, from the sumptuous city of Guanajuato to the sun-drenched shores of Cabo San Lucas. It's constantly hard not to be amazed by your surroundings. Whether a racing enthusiast or casual car fan, Forza Horizon 5 is everything that a driving game should be.
The only Cyberpunk game worth playing. Ghostrunner (opens in new tab) is an action platformer that puts you in the boots of Jack, a Ghostrunner who has lost his memory and must traverse all manner of environments to free the Architect. Taking inspiration from Mirror's Edge, Ghostrunner is ruthless in difficulty although manages to convey the perfect itch to keep going until you achieve perfection in every run. With its slick soundtrack being cooler than Keanu, it's a massive shame more people haven't experienced this gem. You can change that.
Looking for the best games on Nintendo Switch, here's the best deals this Christmas.