ARK: Survival Evolved
On Xbox Series X, ARK: Survival Evolved boasts 4K resolution targeting 60FPS. It has increased draw distances and highest level streaming distances than even PC. Textures, sky quality, subsurface scattering, dynamic shadow quality and more are all set to ‘Epic’ levels of detail. There’s also 100-player dedicated server hosting on Xbox Series X, tetherless splitscreen, and loading speeds increase by seven times. Phew.
Sadly, there’s no mention of specific Xbox Series S upgrades. It’s safe to assume if you’re playing on Xbox Series S, you’ll get the benefit of increased loading times, though some of the ‘epic’ settings will likely be lower – and it’ll not be running at 4K. Though it’ll still see a marked improvement over Xbox One.
Call of the Sea
A puzzling adventure filled with 1930s charm, Call of the Sea casts you in the shoes of Norah. Her husband set about on an intrepid journey on a mission to find a cure for her mysterious disease… but he never came back. Not one to lose hope and give up on him, Norah sets out to follow in his footsteps, and hopefully find him alive and well.
Her journey doesn’t quite go to plan, however, and Norah discovers far more than she bargained for – both about her husband’s expedition, and about her own illness. The game takes place on a beautiful and mysterious island, and every inch of it is a pleasure to explore. Especially considering the extra power of Xbox Series X. Some of its puzzles are rather head-scratching, so you’ll need to be switched on in order to beat it, but its narrative will keep you hooked.
A pixelated 2D game, it’s unlikely you’ll see a huge benefit of playing CrossCode on Xbox Series X. You will get to enjoy 4K visuals, however, and likely an uninterrupted smooth framerate.
If you’re yet to jump into CrossCode, it’s an action RPG set in the distant future. It’s inspired by classic RPG games, so you’ll find yourself taking part in a huge adventure spanning a varied, sci-fi inspired worlds. Along with tonnes of enemies to defeat, you’ll also have a wealth of puzzles to complete, NPCs to befriend, and a gripping story to enjoy.
Dead by Daylight
Like the idea of hunting prey as a crazed killer? Or perhaps trying to outsmart an evil killer as they come after you? Then Dead by Daylight is for you. Included in Game Pass and Optimized for Xbox Series X, Dead by Daylight has never looked better. Not that you’ll have much time to stop and admire the scenery, as you fight for your life. But better performance certainly helps.
In Dead by Daylight, you can play as one of four survivors, trying to escape the clutches of of an evil killer by starting up a series of generators in order to power the gate that you can escape from. Or you can play the killer themselves, stalking the four victims and trying to take them out. One of the most successful multiplayer games of recent years, it’s worth trying out, especially if you get a kick out of horror scenarios.
A stealth tactics game set in the wild west, Desperados III isn’t for the faint-hearted. No; it’s for the hardcore stealth fans amongst us, those who can lurk in the shadows until the right moment allows them to strike. Optimized for Xbox Series X and available on Game Pass, Desperados III benefits from improved visuals, making its beautiful environments look sharper than ever.
Everything you do in Desperados III will need to be carefully planned out. Misjudge a situation, and you’ll find yourself on the business end of a bullet. But succeed in carrying out your master plan, and you’ll not only survive, but thrive. Taking out enemies in stealth is a thrill, and seeing the game’s gripping story play out is exhilarating.
Another massively popular online game is Destiny 2, which is available via Xbox Game Pass and Optimized for Xbox Series X. Chances are, if you’re interested in Destiny, you’ve likely played it already, but now’s a good a time as any to jump in if you’re looking for a new Optimized game to play.
A first person shooter packed with plenty of loot and adventure, Destiny 2 sees you traverse far away planets, battle against an array of weird and wonderful foes, and equip your character with the best equipment you can find.
A launch title for the console, this Optimized for Xbox Series X title is now available via Game Pass, and if you’re a racing or rally fan, you’ll definitely want to give it a go. Colourful and a lot of fun, DIRT 5 is an excellent racer. It packs in a fully-featured single player campaign, but you can also take the action online if you rather face off against human opponents.
Perhaps most unique to the title, though, is the ability to play through the entire campaign in split screen co-op. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of bringing a friend along for the ride. With Series X Optimizations, DIRT 5 even has a 120hz mode, allowing you to play at 120FPS if your TV supports it. Even if it doesn’t, though, the game is silky smooth and a joy to look at.