If you haven't heard, Xbox Series has recently turned two. In order to celebrate, we've pulled together a list of some recommendations that showcase the best the platform has to offer. Have a read, and find something to give a go to celebrate in style.
"If at first you don't succeed, die, die again." From the makers of the acclaimed Dishonored series Arkane Lyon, Deathloop is a dynamic, fast-paced FPS that sees players take the role of an assassin using the environment, time, and in fact death, to their advantage. Praised for its innovative level design, Deathloop is as intricate as it is rapid. Taking down guards, targets and even other intruding players with speed and style, Deathloop is a unique FPS title that rewards players for out-of-the-box thinking and blistering decision-making.
The sequel to Cellar Door Games' beloved Rogue Legacy, Rogue Legacy 2 expands upon the elements of the original platformer to offer a more robust and dynamic experience. As suggested in the title, the key to this roguelike is legacy, as the children of your fallen adventurers will succeed them, and so on. With each death, the family tree grows more bizarre and (hopefully) more powerful, until you stand alone, strongest in the kingdom. With massive variation in classes, style and maps, and loot, as well as deep lore, Rogue Legacy 2 is an indie hit with tons of replayability.
No list of Xbox games would be complete without Halo. The latest title from 343 Industries, it follows Master Chief in the wake of Cortana's rebellion and the rise of a new enemy faction known as the Banished. Unfolding on the gorgeous semi-open ring-world of Zeta Halo, the game advances the Halo saga in meaningful ways, and enriches the series' core gameplay to boot. As for Infinite's multiplayer (which is completely free, by the way), it strips back the complex and much maligned system seen in Halo 5 Guardians, to return to what makes Halo great. With a plethora of lore rich events running throughout the year and lots of cosmetic loot to earn, it's a really fun and endlessly replayable experience that re-finds its footing and marches confidently into the future.
Set in a beautifully rendered fictional depiction of Mexico, Forza Horizon 5 is sleek, stylish and speedy. With tons of iconic cars to unlock, tour and race in, it sticks to what makes the Forza Horizon series fantastic. Every inch of the massive map and every vehicle is visually stunning, and it's clear that refining the great things about the Horizon series is the name of the game in this sequel. Every aspect has been improved and built upon, from creation to multiplayer, ultimately resulting in a deep and rich title that is truly a giant in the racing genre.
It might seem like an odd choice, but hear us out. Microsoft Flight Simulator is simply breathtaking. One of the most accurate simulators ever made, MFS simulates the real world in an astounding level of detail. Not just the aircraft, nor even the scope of Earth itself, MFS truly goes beyond and mirrors weather in real time. The sheer quality and scale of MFS cannot be understated, and if you're looking for a realistic flight simulator it just might be the best.
Playing as up-and-coming Psychonaut Razputin Aquato, Double Fine's Psychonauts 2 puts players at the heart of a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the organisation from the inside. Raz must unravel the clues, prove himself and put a stop to the plot before the villain Maligula makes her dreadful return to the world of the living. A zany, off-the-wall platform adventure with an incredibly unique art style and grippingly comedic story, this is one quirky ride you won't want to miss.
Picking up after the events of A Plague Tale: Innocence, A Plague Tale: Requiem follows Amicia and Hugo as they attempt to rebuild a semblance of home and leave behind the ruination of the rats for good. Unfortunately for them, they are quickly thrust back into danger, and must once again chase stories and legend for the ever elusive miracle of safety. A gritty, dynamic action-adventure, Requiem once again showcases the beautiful and tragic storytelling that Asobo Studio has come to be known for with the Plague Tale series.
Hazelight's award-winning title It Takes Two is one of the most remarkable releases in recent years, and has been a true standout in the co-op genre. You and a partner take the role of a couple whose marriage is on the rocks, thrust into a magical adventure through which they will rediscover their love for each other - hopefully in time to fix their family. An emotional adventure showcasing extraordinary variety and yet quality in level design, there's something to love in this game for everyone, and the overarching narrative and art direction is truly something special.
The most recent entry in the iconic Assassin's Creed franchise from Ubisoft Montréal, here players take the role of Eivor, a Viking clan leader and warrior. Sailing, raiding and growing your colony and legend from the frigid waters of Norway to the fertile shores of England, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a remarkable journey with an incredible amount of depth. With thorough RPG mechanics, brutal and dynamic combat and a rich, alive world to back it up, this is an unmissable entry for long-time Assassin's Creed fans and newcomers to the series alike.
This was pretty much inevitable if we're honest. From the creative titans Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco has created an absolute mammoth of a Soulsborne title, and stretched the narrative depth of video games as a whole. As unforgiving as it is fantastical, Elden Ring is a must play experience for all gamers. Set in the beautiful Lands Between after it has fallen into chaos due to an event known as The Shattering, players take on the role of a lowly Tarnished, dead yet alive. With a remarkable variety of gear and skills, your Tarnished will feel truly unique. Outcast, you must return to the Lands Between to become a slayer of demigods and restore the order of the Greater Will; to become the Elden Lord.
Well, that rounds out our list. Hopefully one of these gems has caught your eye, either for the first time or for a well-earned replay. Be sure to comment to let us know your experiences with them, or celebrate some picks we might've missed. Happy (belated) birthday Xbox.