The best Xbox One X games: what to play on the world’s most powerful console

The best Xbox One X games: what to play on the world's most powerful console

The Xbox One X is finally here, and there are already a number of high profile titles on the console that have received patches that greatly improve their visuals, allowing the new games to play in true 4K on the console.

[Update: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the latest great game to benefit from 4K and HDR Xbox One X Enhancements with two exciting new modes for players to choose from].

We now know that there are 130 enhanced games confirmed for the new console, but not all of them are created equal. Though the Xbox One X is capable of 4K/HDR at 60 frames per second along with Dolby Atmos sound, not all games are guaranteed to have all of these improvements. Some will support all of them, while some will support HDR and nothing more.

With this in mind, we’ve created a list of the best games that push the console to its limits. Here you’ll find the games whose patch details confirm they’ll push at least two of the console’s capabilities, whether that’s 4K, HDR or Dolby Atmos.

We’ve also included details on some upcoming titles with confirmed Xbox One X enhancements in the works in an effort to keep you informed of what’s on the horizon for the 4K-ready console.

The vast majority of the Xbox One X-enhanced games on this list, however, have been played by TechRadar staff, either in preview form or in their final retail state. Read on for our in depth impressions of the best Xbox One X games.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the regularly updated list of Enhanced titles on Major Nelson’s website.

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What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and 60 FPS

The fourth entry in the Gears of War series already looked great on the original Xbox One, however, it looks damn-near astonishing when enhanced for the Xbox One X. Once patched, new advanced video options appear in the game’s settings which give the player control over every major area of its presentation.

You can choose whether you want to place preference on detail (offering native 4K resolutions and textures at 30 frames per second) or performance (locked 60 frames per second and increased graphical detail). While the jump in detail is noticeable when playing the game at 4K, the performance mode looks nearly as good in terms of textures, with the added bonus of running at a buttery-smooth frame rate.

And, while the Xbox One S already provided Gears of War 4 with HDR settings, they’ve received a boost here to work in conjunction with the game’s 4K rendering, allowing for its wider color gamut to be displayed in much greater detail. You’ll find a much-appreciated HDR brightness slider in the settings, and if you want to get a real picture of the difference between standard and high-dynamic-range, you can split the screen and see them both side-by-side while playing the game.

Although it’s a slightly older release, The Coalition has done a great job to turn Gears 4 into a poster child for what the Xbox One X is capable of.

What are its enhancements? 4K and HDR

Right from its opening chapter, which takes place during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, Call of Duty: WWII astonishes with its graphical presentation.

We’ve all come to expect the Call of Duty series to provide 60 frames per second gameplay, regardless of platform, but when that framerate is used in conjunction with the Xbox One X’s 4K resolution boost and HDR functionality, the game takes on an extraordinary level of detail and visual clarity.

The opening mission, which recreates the D-Day invasion of Normandy, feels more realistic because of the Xbox One X. Witness, for instance, the realistic textures of fabric on uniforms and realistic skin textures found on faces.

Or how about the way the ocean sprays fine mist and water all over you as your landing craft crashes through the waves on your approach to the beach? The game’s steady framerate, incredibly high resolution and high-dynamic-range colors and lighting, gives the game an almost unnerving quality when played on Xbox One X.

Like many other Xbox One X-enhanced games, Call of Duty: WWII has HDR sliders that allow you to tweak the game’s brightness and white balance to your liking – a much-appreciated addition that we hope carries over to all enhanced games going forward. Quite frankly, we want all games on the console to look this good.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR, and 60 FPS

Forza Motorsport 7 was Microsoft’s poster-child for the power of the Xbox One X and thus far it’s the game that’s received the most attention in terms of performance assessments.

As a first-party title, the game’s development team has been able to take full advantage of the Xbox One X’s power. The game’s patch promises 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with HDR support.

Having played the Xbox One X-enhanced version of the game for several hours, we’re still blown away by how good it looks and how smooth it runs. The game’s One X enhancements are most noticeable in its various environments, which show exceptional definition. We pelted our Porsche 911 GT2 RS around the rocky desert hills of Dubai and were astounding by the level of detail found in the rock faces surrounding the track.

Thanks to HDR, the sunlight hitting the track and our vehicle looked brighter than ever. The 4K resolution also allows developer Turn 10 Studios to recreate the cars and their interiors to an astonishing degree of detail. This is especially evident in cars with Alcantara upholstery (pictured) – the fuzziness of the suede-like synthetic material looks just like the real thing!

It’s not all about sunny weather, though – we also had the opportunity to race around the famous Nürburgring track in a Nissan GT-R during heavy downpour and were incredibly impressed with how realistic the rain and weather effects appeared.

The combination of 4K, HDR and locked 60 frames per second brings with it some incredibly detailed and realistic visuals with crisp and responsive gameplay.  Buckle up for a truly show-stopping Xbox One X demo disc in Forza Motorsport 7.

What are its enhancements? 4K and HDR

As you’d probably expect, Assassin’s Creed Origins uses the power of the Xbox One X to make some serious visual impact. The game renders at 4K (although those without 4K screens will still benefit from an oversampled 1080p resolution) and supports HDR, too.

The high resolution support means that the game’s environments and characters are seriously detailed with highly realistic textures and the console’s CPU power means the quality is maintained from longer distances.

However, It’s HDR that makes the game really shine, creating greater contrast between bright sunlight and flames and shadows. This adds real depth to the game world, capturing the blinding brightness of the Egyptian sun and making the shade of tombs feel mercifully cool. As with most Xbox One X-enhanced games that we’ve tested, Assassin’s Creed Origins has an HDR slider that allows you to manually adjust the game’s paper white balance level, as well as the television’s brightness nits.

Having played several hours of the game on Xbox One X, we found the game to be visually impressive with wonderful textures and a remarkably consistent frame rate given everything that was happening on screen at once.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR, 60FPS

We’ve had a chance to play Rise of the Tomb Raider at a recent preview event where we came away impressed by the work-in-progress patch.

The final version will support three modes, so you can tailor what exactly you want the console to prioritise with the game. High frame-rate has the game run at 1080p with enhanced textures, and upscaling to reach 4K. This mode is probably the worst looking of the three, but comes closest to maintaining a locked 60fps framerate.

Native 4K mode, as the name suggests, prioritises rendering a full 4K’s worth of pixels, even if this involves bigger hits to framerate, which can make the game judder in its more intense scenes, even though the game is targeting a more modest 30fps. However, since the version that’s been played so far isn’t final these performance problems may not be present in the final version of the patch.

Finally, the ‘Enriched 4K’ mode strikes a nice balance between the two. It features a more advanced form of upscaling, so even though it’s not native 4K, it’s close enough that it still looks decent.

In all three modes, the implementation of HDR was a treat. Light peeking into each tomb we explored had a fantastic brightness to it, while water had a fantastic level of glimmer and shine.

We won’t know for sure how well the game handles native 4K until the final version of the patch is released, but the amount of customizability on offer suggests there might just be something for everyone.

What are its enhancements? 4K and HDR

Continuing the trend of giving users the option of how to use the X’s extra graphical horsepower, Shadow of War features two different graphical settings. You can either have the game favor resolution or favor quality.

Choose to favor resolution, and the game will attempt to get as close to 4K as possible (falling back on dynamic scaling when this isn’t possible).

Opt to favor quality and the improvements will be wider-ranging, but won’t bring the same benefits to resolution. Textures will see enhanced detail, draw distances will be improved, there’ll be more vegetation and shadows and lighting will be improved.

Both modes will feature HDR, and will unfortunately only run at 30fps rather than the 60fps of some of the other titles on this list.

Having played Shadow of War at a recent preview event, we came away impressed by the sheer detail offered by 4K, which really brought the large-scale battles to life. We’ll have to wait to see the final version of the patch to issue our definitive judgement.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR, 60 FPS (coming soon)

FIFA 18 is another big title that takes advantage of the Xbox One X’s 4K and HDR capabilities.

Looking more realistic than ever before, the latest entry in the FIFA series displays at 4K on Xbox One X at smooth 60 frames per second and with HDR support thrown in for good measure.

4K resolution means even more detail and improved textures (you’ll pore over every blade of grass) but when it comes to fast-paced games like FIFA, it’s the consistent frame rate we’re looking forward to – a slight judder or dip in frame rate could be the difference between making and missing a goal.

Add to this the expanded color gamut and improved lighting that HDR brings with it, and this beautiful game really comes to life, contrasting the bright sunlight against the shadows cast by the stadium to add greater depth.

What are its enhancements? 4K and HDR

What is it? As one of the biggest games this year, it’s natural that Destiny 2 appears on this list. With its original game, Bungie managed to create a huge triple-A success as well as a cult hit.

Now, however, it’s opening up to the masses and anyone that felt like they couldn’t jump on the Destiny band wagon the first time shouldn’t miss the opportunity to do so now.

This huge online multiplayer shooter will reel you in with its universe, single-player story, satisfying gameplay and addictive online modes. In our full Destiny 2 review, we call Destiny 2 “the Destiny you know, and the Halo you used to love, all in one loot-filled package.”

If you’re just getting started, it’s also worth taking a peek at our handy tips and tricks guide which will allow you to hit the ground running.

What are its enhancements? 4K and HDR

What is it? You’ve probably heard of the JRPG phenomenon that is Final Fantasy and XV is its latest addition. The games are already stunning but we’re looking forward to seeing what has been done with the Xbox One X’s power here – the open world of Eos is sure to be a treat in 4K.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR, 60 FPS

Bungie might have left the Halo series to focus on Destiny, but the blockbuster Xbox series is still alive and well thanks to developer 343 Industries. The most recent entry, Halo 5: Guardians, was released back in 2015, but it will be receiving the Xbox One X treatment via a patch that’s available now.

When patched for Xbox One X, the game will continue to run at 60fps as it did originally, but with the added bonus of a 4K resolution boost.

Unfortunately, due to the age of the original release, the game won’t be receiving an HDR upgrade alongside its 4K one. Still, a native 2160p resolution and rock-solid 60 frames per second is nothing to be sneezed at.

Expect this already beautiful game to look even more stunning when played on the Xbox One X.

What are its enhancements? 4K and HDR

The Xbox One X patch for Madden NFL 18 is not available just yet, but we already know what to expect: like the PS4 Pro version, this year’s Madden will display at a 4K resolution backed by HDR’s expanded color gamut.

This will give the game razor sharp visuals with naturalistic lighting and eye-popping colors, particularly in uniforms and stadiums.

On top of the 4K and HDR boost, Madden NFL 18 is expected to always run at a smooth 60 frames per second during plays on the field. The PS4 Pro version does this, though will drop to around 30 frames per second during replays and when sideline camera angles are used throughout the game’s broadcast-style presentation.

Whether the Xbox One X version will be able to stick to 60 frames per second at all times is currently unknown, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as the patch is released.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR and 60 FPS

What is it? Minecraft is a game that needs no introduction, and its ‘Super Duper Graphics Pack’ is set to make its polygonal world the sharpest its ever looked. We got to have a look at the Xbox One X-enhanced version of the game and it was quite fun to see a more beautiful version of what is essentially a very simple looking game.

While the game keeps its famous blocky appearance (we obviously wouldn’t want that to change), it does receive vastly improved lighting thanks to the inclusion of HDR support. For instance, your creations can now be viewed with the added bonus of a glorious sunset.

Colors also receive a boost, looking less flat in the process, and vegetation also looks more detailed than before. Still, you can rest assured that the Xbox One X version of the game doesn’t mess with the winning formula too much – it simply makes it better.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR and 30 FPS

What is it? Are you in the mood for an online multiplayer battle royal? Yes? Well you’ll probably be even more keen when it’s offering 4K and supports HDR. We had some brief hands on time with the game and came away quite impressed to see it rendered so faithfully on console.

The 4K resolution really does dial up the level of detail in the game, making us feel even more immersed in the incredibly intense action.

Admittedly, we’d like to see the game running at 60 frames per second some time in the near future, but the added bonus of high-dynamic-range support made up for that somewhat from a visual standpoint.

What are its enhancements? 1440p (upscaled to 4K) and HDR

We hope you’ve got plenty of space on your hard drive, because the patches required to play the Xbox One X-enhanced version of Quantum Break, combined with the game install itself, will take up a staggering 178GB of your console’s storage. Welcome to gaming in the future!

So what do the huge patches give you exactly? Well, since the game is incredibly demanding from a hardware perspective, even on high-end PCs, Quantum Break technically runs at true resolution of 1440p but is displayed as 2160p in its video settings.

According to Digital Foundry, the game makes use of a ‘temporal reconstruction’ technique that gives the illusion of 4K by cloning frames and using the information to make the resolution look much higher than it is. The original Xbox One version did the same thing, taking its native 720p resolution and applying the same technique to provide the illusion of 1080p.

Aside from this, the game has received a texture boost, making its visuals look much crisper in the process. Funnily enough, the film grain effect seen in the standard Xbox One version of the game has been dropped entirely for the One X, giving Quantum Break much more depth and clarity in its presentation.

It’s a shame that 60 frames per second is unavailable, but given the game’s cinematic styling based on film and television, it seems like developer Remedy would probably prefer it that way regardless. Either way, Quantum Break looks downright beautiful on Xbox One X.

What are its enhancements? 4K or 60 fps and HDR.

What is it? The Witcher 3 is one of the older enhanced titles on this list but it still stands as one of the best. Believed by many to be the RPG to end all RPGs, this fantasy adventure will take you through incredible vistas and through thrilling adventures. Using the Xbox One X’s power, CD Projekt Red has created two enhanced modes.

One utilises 4K visuals and runs at a solid 30 frames per second, while the other uses dynamic resolution and promises a smooth 60 frame per second. Both modes will allow you to enjoy HDR – a technology that will truly shine in the game’s dynamic world.

What are its enhancements? 4K and 60 FPS

Though the game is already out, we’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the Xbox One X patch to arrive. As the game is built on the same engine as Doom and already runs at 1080p and 60 PFS, we have to assume that its Xbox One X enhancements will include a 4K resolution boost and the inclusion of HDR. We’ll let you know as soon as we know more.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and 60 FPS

What is it? The next addition to the Xbox exclusive chaotic franchise. Crackdown 3 was supposed to be a launch title for the Xbox One X but its been pushed back to Spring 2018 to make extra sure it’s ready to meet those high running standards its promising.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR, and 30 FPS

What is it? Like Gears of War 4, this is an Xbox One exclusive that’s been around for a while. Though it doesn’t offer the same high frame rates that Motorsport 7 will when it arrives, this game is sure to look fantastic in 4K with HDR. The best thing is, if you already own it your enhanced patch will come free.

What are its enhancements? 4K and HDR

What is it? Sea of Thieves is massively multiplayer online pirate adventure coming to Xbox One X in 2018. It’s a game you’ll only be able to play on Windows and Xbox and it’s one of the titles Microsoft is most excitedly promoting for the new console. It’ll even support cross play between Windows 10 and Xbox so you can play with everyone.

It has a cartoonish art style that oscillates between tongue-in-cheek fun, and genuinely stunning. As you’d imagine, the water is beautiful. When we played it at the Xbox One X event, we absolutely loved drowning, which is something that we never thought we’d write.

Standing on the deck of your ship, the sun setting over an island brimming with the promise of treasure, the colors of the light are truly beautiful.

What are its enhancements? 4K, HDR and 30 FPS

What is it? BioWare’s new IP is a bit of a mystery at the moment but its already confirmed as an Xbox One X enhanced title. We know it’s going to be a science-fiction game that leans down the fantasy vein like franchises such as Star Wars. You can read more about it here.

What are its enhancements? 4K and 60 FPS

What is it? The original Doom can be installed on everything from PCs to microwaves so we have a sneaking suspicion you know what it is. It’s the FPS classic and we think it’s about to get a whole lot sharper looking on the Xbox One X.


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