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The Xbox Series X games with the best graphics

Ever since the original Xbox hit the market to compete with PlayStation, the two systems have more or less been at a graphical stalemate. Yes, the Xbox One suffered slightly behind the PS4, but with this generation, Microsoft decided to split the difference and offer players two choices for jumping into next-gen. There’s the Xbox Series S, which can run every game the X can, only at slightly lower visual fidelity, while the Xbox Series X makes no sacrifices in terms of graphics or performance.

Despite having an uneven release schedule from first-party studios, the Xbox Series X has built up an impressive library of visually stunning games. Many games here could even be mistaken for real-life footage or images, and yet they’re fully playable on this powerful console. Showing off what your new console can push out visually is always a treat, so if you’re looking for a handful of games that will make any onlooker’s jaw drop, here are our picks for some of the Xbox Series X games with the best graphics.

Further reading

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator
91 %
E
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Simulator
Developer Asobo Studio
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release August 17, 2020
It’s easily forgotten, but Microsoft Flight Simulator is actually the longest-running game in Microsoft’s catalog, predating its entry into consoles at all. Originally a PC-exclusive series, this entry is the first to transfer over to your couch, and it doesn’t lose a single pixel of amazing visuals. The game uses real photographs of the entire planet to create the landscapes, and it shows. Flying your immaculately detailed plane over the most majestic real-world locations is a near meditative experience, especially when the weather hits just right, like with a bright orange sunset or crisp morning sky. Even if flight simulation isn’t your thing, this game is worth a download just to gawk at.
Microsoft Flight Simulator - E3 2019 - Announce Trailer

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5
86 %
4/5
E
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Racing, Sport
Developer Playground Games
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release November 09, 2021
Forza Horizon 5 takes all that beauty you get from Flight Simulator but brings it down to street level. On one hand, the world isn’t nearly as vast as the entire earth, but the version of Mexico Forza Horizon 5 created has all the environmental diversity you could want. Of course, every car is lovingly crafted to be accurate down to the screws and bolts, but even for people who aren’t motor-heads, just watching the dirt kick up from the tires, or the lush trees scream by in a blur, is on another level. Racers are always a safe bet when it comes to pushing the graphical benchmark, and Forza Horizon 5 really does impress.
Read our full Forza Horizon 5 review
Forza Horizon 5 Official Announce Trailer

Gears 5

Gears 5
81 %
4.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer The Coalition
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release September 10, 2019
When Gears 5 first launched it was still during the Xbox One days, but even then we all could feel the hardware creaking while trying to show us just how good this game was meant to look. Thanks to the power of the Series X, Gears 5 finally shines how it was always meant to. Having a bigger focus on environments this time around, every location is a treat to look at from any distance. Vistas can make your eyes water, but getting up close to a rock or wall and you’ll be greeted with the most minute details that really add that level of care needed to make a world feel real. Oh, and then there’s the gore. Popping a locust head, or slicing them through with a chainsaw, has never been so deliciously gory.
Read our full Gears 5 review
Gears 5 - Official E3 2018 Announce Trailer

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps
88 %
E
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Moon Studios
Publisher Xbox Game Studios, iam8bit
Release March 10, 2020
Great graphics don’t have to be restrained to just being photo-realistic, however. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is beautiful in a completely different way. The game looks more like a painting in motion than anything else, and despite being a 2D game, the level of detail and sense of depth and scale of the background elements have made it feel like a full world. The animations also play into this in a major way, with fluid motions, amazing color work, and a rock-solid frame rate all contributing to the game achieving a level of artistry rarely attempted.

Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6
74 %
4.5/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Toronto
Release October 07, 2021
Open world games generally take a hit on the graphics side to compensate for the sheer amount of space they occupy. Far Cry 6 is big, yes, but the fictional island nation never looks anything less than amazing. What’s most impressive is how the game manages to make the way the environment looks, heat rising off of surfaces, the sun reflecting off the water, to immerse you in what it would actually feel like to be in that kind of climate. When the action picks up, all the dirt, destruction, and particles will raise your heart rate as if you were actually fighting for your life.
Read our full Far Cry 6 review
Far Cry 6: Cinematic Title Sequence Trailer | Ubisoft Forward

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla
77 %
4/5
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
Genre Adventure
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Release November 10, 2020
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of the earliest games we got a Series X version of, and whether or not you enjoy the formula, the visual quality of the Viking setting here cannot be argued. Just on a character scale, all the details in hair, tattoo, skin, and clothing feel true to the time period and location. Ubisoft has always been a perfectionist at attempting to recreate whatever real place it’s exploring in its games, and the hills, mountains, rivers, and forests here feel like taking a trip to the past for real. Climbing up to a high point and scouring the vista will never disappoint you.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Official Teaser with Boss Logic – Timelapse

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2
89 %
4/5
T
Platforms Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Platform, Adventure
Developer Double Fine Productions
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Release August 25, 2021
Psychonauts 2 can be considered ugly by some, but in the same way that older cartoons would. If you fall on the side that enjoys the somewhat gritty aesthetic of more mature animation, then you’ll love Psychonauts 2. The art style is what it is, but what makes the visuals so impressive is what you’re looking at rather than how detailed it is. Going into different people’s minds and seeing twisted, almost dreamscape-like places means that no two levels will ever look similar. Variety and creativity are the core of the entire game here, and that bleeds over into the visuals just as much as the story and gameplay.
Read our full Psychonauts 2 review
Psychonauts 2 Announce Teaser!

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