Xbox Series X: Microsoft reveals list of games that will be 'optimised' the console

Here's exactly what that means for the 22 eligible titles

Optimised for Series X badge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has just released more details on how its Optimized for Xbox Series X feature will work for a slew of titles coming to the next-gen console. We already have a general idea of what that means - in tandem with Smart Delivery - but the tech giant has zeroed in with specific examples of exactly how the power of the Xbox Series X will be harnessed across its library of games. 

Put simply, if a title is sporting the Optimized for Xbox Series X badge, you can expect virtually nonexistent load times, improved graphics, higher framerates, and ray-tracing. The game will either have been developed specifically for the new hardware, or will be a previous gen game that's been 'rebuilt' to take advantage of the new Xbox's power. 

Xbox Wire Editor in Chief, Will Tuttle, explains:

"When you hear a game has been Optimized for Xbox Series X, you’ll know that the developer has either natively designed or fully rebuilt their game to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of our most powerful console ever.

"Games featuring the Optimized for Xbox Series X badge can showcase anything from virtually eliminating load times via the Xbox Velocity Architecture, heightened visuals and hardware-accelerated DirectX raytracing powered by our custom, next generation GPU, to steadier and often higher framerates up to 120fps."

He adds that Direct X 12 Ultimate - supported by hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing - will make for "true-to-life lighting,  accurate reflections and...3D spatially accurate acoustics in real time". 

Thanks to the Xbox Velocity Architecture technology and SSD, load times will be practically eliminated, making large open-world games feel even more immersive and dynamic. Gears of War 5 on Xbox Series X will see load times reduced by more than 4x - and that's with no code change. Mike Rayner, Technical Director at The Coalition, said:

"As a game developer one of the most exciting improvements that far exceeds expectations is the massive I/O improvements on Xbox Series X. With the Xbox Series X, out of gate we reduced our load-times by more than 4x without any code changes. 

"With the new DirectStorage APIs and new hardware decompression we can further improve I/O performance and reduce CPU overhead both of which are essential to achieve fast loading.  As we look to the future, the Xbox Series X’s Sampler Feedback for Streaming (SFS) is a game changer for how we think about world streaming and visual level of detail."

Meanwhile, on the framerates front, players could see speeds of up to 120 fps, with most aiming for 60 fps and 4K. 

Working with Smart Delivery, the Xbox Series X will deliver the best version of the game you're playing for its hardware - even if you're switching between an older and newer console. Plus, Microsoft will be offering free Xbox Series X upgrades for players with an Xbox One version of an eligible game. 

Here's the full list of 22 titles that will be labelled with the Optimized for Xbox Series X badge:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Bright Memory Infinite
  • Call of the Sea 
  • Chivalry 2
  • Chorus 
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Destiny 2 
  • DiRT 5 
  • FIFA 21
  • Gears 5
  • Halo Infinite
  • Hitman 3
  • Madden NFL 21
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Outriders
  • Scarlet Nexus 
  • Scorn
  • Second Extinction 
  • The Ascent 
  • The Medium
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon 

Source: Xbox Wire