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(Pocket-lint) - The Xbox Series X and Series S are here at last - Microsoft's two answers to the next-gen question, bringing 4K gaming in the case of the bigger box and lower-res value from the smaller option. 

They're both great in their own ways but, of course, a games console isn't anything without games to play on it. We've gathered together the very best titles for the next-gen Xboxes right here, a tight and carefully-curated list of your very best options.

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Our other Xbox Series X and S game buyer's guides
• Best shooters
• Best role-playing games (RPGs)
• Best racing games
• Best indie games

What are the best overall games on Xbox Series X and S?

  1. Elden Ring
  2. Halo Infinite
  3. Disco Elysium
  4. Resident Evil Village
  5. Forza Horizon 5
  6. Hitman 3
  7. Mass Effect Legendary Edition
  8. The Forgotten City
  9. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  10. Microsoft Flight Simulator

Elden Ring

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FromSoftware has managed a heck of a feat in the form of Elden Ring, perfectly blending its more linear design philosophies with the freedom of an open world to create a huge environment that you can explore in the order you prefer.

Wherever you turn, though, you'll encounter amazing enemies to overcome in tense and complex combat, with myriad weapons to try out and combinations to explore. Elden Ring will be a phenomenon for a long time.

Halo: Infinite

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Of course, when you think Xbox you think Halo, and while Infinite took a while to arrive, it's now here in the form of a masterful new campaign and terrific free-to-play multiplayer offering.

This really is Halo back to its best, with a freeform and open-world design that lets you tackle things in your own order and plenty of sandbox fun that rewards you for experimenting with the tools afforded to you. 

Disco Elysium

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An RPG so inventive that it has to be played to be believed, Disco Elysium rips up your expectations by letting you truly go off the rails in conversations and in your decisions. You play as a deadbeat cop who's struggling to close a complicated case, and how you approach things is up to you.

It looks great but the writing is the real star here, with great voice acting bringing it to life and a frighteningly believable dystopian world to explore. If every major RPG let you take this much control, the world would be an interesting place indeed.

Resident Evil Village

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The latest game in the Resident Evil series is an unhinged thing of beauty, with a story that's close to the point of being baffling but super-fun gameplay throughout its twists and turns.

Plus, it looks incredible on Microsoft's next-gen boxes, with ray tracing and high frame rates making for a beautiful, smoothg experience that will stay with you for ages. 

Forza Horizon 5

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Forza Horizon 5 might not be the bravest of new directions, but this is a franchise that knows what it does well. It's a brilliant open-world racing game that looks simply brilliant on Series X, with gorgeous visuals that beat pretty much every other driving game.

This time the action has moved to Mexico, and that makes for really varied and beautiful environments, with a great soundtrack and absolutely oodles of racing to get through. Best of all, it's on Game Pass.

Hitman 3

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The final game in the World of Assassination trilogy, Hitman 3 is a fitting conclusion to a hugely impressive modern update of the Hitman series. Once again you'll play as Agent 47, stalking through intricate and immaculately-designed levels to off your targets one by one.

It's amazing fun, and the perfect way to scratch that itch for some stealth. It looks beautiful on next-gen, as well, making it the perfect pairing with a new Xbox. 

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

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One of gaming's very best trilogies has got a lick of new paint and is now playable with fewer roadbumps than ever on the latest Xbox hardware. The Mass Effect games are back, and they're looking beautiful in full 4K on the Series X, letting you enjoy a truly epic story across three massive titles. It's a real joy to play these through again, so be sure to check it out.

The Forgotten City

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This inventive mystery game drops you into a Roman compound frozen in time, leaving you to figure out why everyone gets violently turned to gold anytime a sin is committed. It's got some great twists and turns up its sleeve, and the ability to tackle it however you want was something we found really rewarding.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

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Valhalla is finally here - the latest big Assassin's Creed game plays absolutely stunningly on Series X and S, with smooth frame rates and gorgeous visuals. The game's sprawling map is superb fun to explore, while the SSDs in the Series S and X make for much-improved loading times. 

You play as the Viking Eivor, coming from Norway to stake a claim to England, and fighting off the perennial threat of evil Templars the whole way, with a great cast of characters to meet while you do so. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator

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This superb, calming flight experience lets you explore literally the whole world in a fleet of aircraft, and it looks absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful while you're doing so. With full 4K resolution on Series X and 1080p on Series S, this is a real next-gen powerhouse.

Whether it's just a fly-past of your home, or checking out somewhere iconic like the Pyramids at Giza, you're sure to scratch that exploratory itch with Flight Sim.

More about this story

Every game in this list has been tested and played through by our team,  to make sure that it merits inclusion.

We've played through their campaigns, sunk hours into their multiplayer offerings, and carefully compared them to direct competitors to make sure that they represent the most satisfying and rewarding options out there on their platform.

We aren’t interested in pointless number crunching or extraneous details - we just want to provide an easy to understand review that gives you an idea of what it's going to be like to play. And don’t for a second think that the games aren't tested fully because the reviews are concise.

We’ve been covering tech and games since 2003, and, in many cases, have not only reviewed the game in question, but the previous generations, too - right back to the first release on the market. There are also plenty of titles we've considered that didn't make the cut in each of our buyer's guides.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.