10 Best Xbox Series X|S Games of 2023

Here's our selection of the 10 best Xbox Series X|S games to come out or get massive updates in 2023.

Promo image for Hi-Fi Rush, showing Chai hit an enemy with his guitar.
Image via Bethesda Softworks
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It’s been a long time since we’ve had such a wild year of memorable video games. If you’re trying to figure out what games to play from this year, whether it be AAA, AA, or indie, I feel your pain. There’s a lot to sift through. So, here’s our list of the Top 10 Best Xbox Series X|S Games of 2023.

10 Best Xbox Series X|S Games of 2023

10. Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon

Promo image for Armored Core VI, showing the protagonist take on a large enemy.
Image via Bandai Namco Entertainment

After years of cementing themselves as the masters of the Souls genre, From Software returned to another one of their beloved series with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. Epic setpieces and challenging bosses await in this mecha combat game, and it’s one we absolutely loved.

The developer’s trademark difficulty does present itself here and there with difficult bosses and encounters, but the limitless customization options allow us to figure out what works for a given situation. It’s also important to note that like the numbered entries before it, this is a standalone experience that doesn’t require playing the series before — and there are quite a few entries. This one is well worth checking out on your Xbox Series X|S console.

9. Forza Motorsport

Promo image for Forza Motorsport, showing two cars racing right next to each other.
Image via Xbox Game Studios

Next up on my list of the best Xbox Series X|S games of 2023 that you really should play is Forza Motorsport. It might not be as approachable as the more arcadey open-world Forza Horizon series, but it’s still plenty of fun. A whopping 500+ vehicles are available to race with and customize.

This sim racer is another fun addition to the genre, and what i really like about it is that it’s more accessible than more hardcore games within that niche. It’s certainly worth a download at least since it’s available through Xbox Game Pass. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it and buy it, too!

8. Diablo 4

Promo image for Diablo IV, showing the player character take on enemies.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Releasing more than a decade after its predecessor — and amidst a horde of hype — Diablo IV is a celebrated return to Blizzard Entertainment’s action RPG series. Up to four players can team up to take on the forces of Lilith, the latest antagonist in the franchise.

Five returning classes are available to choose from, all with their own unique skill trees. Mounts have also been added letting us travel the large, completely open map more quickly (something that’s one of my favorite features among many others). Former Diablo fans and newcomers alike are sure to enjoy this monster-filled world.

7. Dead Space

Promo image for Dead Space, showing Isaac Clarke walking through the USG Ishimura.
Image Via Electronic Arts

I have to say that 2023 has been a fantastic year for survival horror, and Dead Space is what kicked it all off. This remake of the original entry in the series manages to be incredibly faithful, all the while providing an even scarier experience with improved gameplay and visuals.

Whether it’s your first time on the USG Ishimura or you’re an Impossible Mode enthusiast, you’ll have a great time just as I did. Those with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (or PC Game Pass) can also enjoy this through EA Play, so there’s really no reason not to install it and give it a try.

6. Street Fighter 6

Promo image for Street Fighter 6, showing Kimberly landing a drive impact on Luke.
Image via Capcom

This year has also been great for fighting game fans (I should know — I am one!), with the first standout being Street Fighter 6. There’s a lot to entertain older fans, from the medley of universal mechanics that is the Drive System to the incredible character designs.

New players also have a lot to check out thanks to the robust training modes, simplified control types, and single-player World Tour mode. Well-implemented cross-play and rollback netcode meanwhile lay the groundwork for fantastic online matches against other players. This is one I haven’t been able to put down, personally, and if you’re a fan of the genre, it’s well worth playing.

5. Hi-Fi Rush

Promo image for Hi-Fi Rush, showing Chai jumping above the city.
Image via Bethesda Softworks

My goodness, what a treat this game is. One of the most delightful surprises of 2023 has been Hi-Fi Rush. This rhythmic beat ‘em up shadow dropped the same day it was announced at the beginning of the year. The gameplay is addicting, the art style wonderfully pops, and both the characters and the general world are full of personality. This is a must-play for everybody, and there’s no reason to not check it out when you can get it through Game Pass.

4. Resident Evil 4

Promo image for Resident Evil 4, showing Leon defending himself in the village area.
Image via Capcom

There was more than one survival horror remake to release in 2023, which, of course, means I’m excited and we’re talking about Resident Evil 4. While there are some notable changes from the original, the spirit of the iconic genre-defying game it builds upon remains. You can expect much of the same intense action and cheesy one-liners from Leon. There are still plenty of puzzles to solve, S-Ranks to hit, and horrifying story bits to chew on.

At the same time, much has been uplifted with a much darker atmosphere, gameplay enhancements that include knife parrying, and improved character development. It’s arguably the best Resident Evil remake to date and a title I’d recommend to anyone. 100%.

3. Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition

Promo image for Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition, showing Sabrewulf fighting against Sadira.
Image via Microsoft Studios

This is simultaneously the oldest and newest title on my list. Killer Instinct first debuted in 2013 on the Xbox One and would be further supported with three packed seasons of content, a PC release, and backwards compatibility with Xbox Series X|S consoles. After a seven-year absence, a brand-new update went live on November 22, 2023. A new packaged version titled Anniversary Edition came out just a week later.

The update includes proper Series X|S optimizations, such as native 4k 60fps/1440p 60fps depending on which console you’re using. Other changes include balance updates for most of the roster and some general quality-of-life (QOL) changes. Of course, it also includes the entire 29-fighter roster and a variety of unique modes.

There’s a high skill ceiling due to the deep gameplay mechanics, but newcomers are bound to find something to love between the diverse roster, hard-hitting music, and delightfully busy visuals. This is another game that Xbox Game Pass subscribers can enjoy for no additional cost, and there’s so much that’s changed, I have to recommend it as almost an entirely new experience.

2. Alan Wake 2

Promo image for Alan Wake 2, showing Saga walk towards an abandoned general store.
Image via Epic Games Publishing

Taking a break from survival horror remakes, we have a much-awaited survival horror sequel in Alan Wake 2. Remedy Entertainment has taken everything they’ve learned from their previous projects to make a worthy successor to the original cult game. Body-shivering horror and tense combat moments are only broken up by the outlandishly strange. There are good reasons why many, including myself, consider this a viable contender for game of the year.

Speaking from experience, this is a title I would especially recommend for Xbox Series X owners. It still looks great on the Series S, and I can’t wait to play it again once the DLC comes out, but some slight performance issues and crashes make it a bit of a hassle on that less-powerful platform. It’s not on Game Pass unfortunately, but it’s well worth the price.

1. Starfield

Promo image for Starfield, showing the protagonist overlooking a planet.
Image via Bethesda Softworks

Rounding out my list is a recent release that’s had people excited for years — Starfield. This space-faring RPG has everything that you’d expect from a modern Bethesda title, including mountains of system mechanics, memorable characters, and an overwhelming sense of freedom.

The game is massive enough that secret interactions are still being discovered by players. Even if you don’t typically like the games the developer is known for, I’d still suggest checking this out. It’s simply one-of-a-kind and easily sits as a big proponent for the Game Pass library.

That’s it for my list of the Top 10 best Xbox Series X|S Games of 2023. This only scratches the surface of great Xbox Series X games, as the catalog is ever expanding, especially when you consider some of the indies games that are currently available. Here’s to more fantastic experiences in 2024.

About the author

Samuel Moreno

Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.