The Best Xbox RPGs You Can Play on Xbox Series X|S

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Over the past few years, Microsoft has made Xbox the best place to play in terms of backwards compatibility. During the middle of last generation, Xbox put more effort into that initiative, allowing us to play new games while also being able to enjoy old favorites without always having to bring out an older console. Thus, many classic Xbox 360 and even original Xbox titles are playable on the new Xbox Series X|S.

Many of these games include RPGs, and with Microsoft's other programs such as Xbox Game Pass, you can enjoy many of them for a low monthly price. This is by no means a complete list, but these are 15 great RPGs you can play on Xbox.

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DOOM Eternal/DOOM (2016)

Microsoft dropped the incredible news earlier this year that it would be acquiring Zenimax Media, which also includes developer Bethesda. The studio's biggest release this year, Doom Eternal, also launched on Xbox Game Pass only several months later.

Undoubtedly one of the most ambitious games of 2020, the sequel to 2016's DOOM is one hell of a time. Play as the Doomslayer as he rips through demonic hordes of enemies.

While the 2016 game left the Xbox Game Pass service a while ago, hopefully the new acquisition means that it could come back sometime in the future. If you've already played it, now is a great time to try it out on Microsoft's game subscription service.

Fallout 3 & 4

Speaking of Bethesda, another one of its iconic franchises is Fallout. In Fallout 4, explore Boston, Massachusetts in a post-apocalyptic setting called "The Commonwealth", set 10 years after the events of Fallout 3.

You play as the "Sole Survivor" who has been frozen and asleep in Vault 111. You search for missing son after seeing your spouse killed, and The Commonwealth has many places for you to explore and quests to take on. You can manage settlements and craft items to help you along your journey.

Fallout 4 was available on Game Pass in the past, but has since left the subscription service. Hopefully, along with 2016's DOOM, Fallout 4 could also be added back sometime in the future. Fallout 3 is backwards compatible with modern Xbox consoles, so that's a great title to play as well.

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Gears 5

The latest entry in the fantastic Gears series, Gears 5 made some fresh changes to the formula by adding open world sections, as well as providing us with a new perspective and story focusing on Kat Diaz. The game is a complete package: smooth third person shooting gameplay, a fantastic narrative-driven campaign, and robust multiplayer modes.

Now, Gears 5 has received some additional single-player story content in the form of Hivebusters. The new Xbox hardware also boosts the game's framerates and visuals, and Hivebusters is a great way to get back into the title. As with all of Microsoft's first party titles, Gears 5 is available on Game Pass.

Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

Let's be honest, Xbox hasn't really been known for Japanese games. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't any on the platform. Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition is one of the very few titles in the Tales series that is available on Xbox. You play as Yuri Lowell, who ventures out in the world of Terca Lumireis as he explores the world, gains new companions, and eventually saves the planet.

Tales of Vesperia was actually an Xbox 360 exclusive in the west back in 2008. An updated version of the game was released, but never made its way outside of Japan until it was ported to modern consoles in 2019.

This is a classic JRPG through and through. With its exciting real-time combat and fun cast of characters, Vesperia is a grand adventure. It's also available on Xbox Game Pass!

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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

One of the studios that Microsoft purchased back in 2018 was Ninja Theory, the team behind Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. The narrative revolves around Senua, and delves into themes like psychological horror and is a metaphor of psychosis. While the combat isn't anything to write home about, the dread filled atmosphere really sells the game.

And yes, you're seeing a PlayStation trailer on an Xbox article! This is most likely the first, last, and only time players will see Senua on a PlayStation platform.

Microsoft announced a sequel, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, back in 2019 for Xbox Series X|S. You can play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on Xbox Game Pass while waiting for the future sequel!

Control

Remedy's latest game is a mindbending, gravity-defying adventure. Take control of Jesse Faden as she explores the Oldest House in search of her brother and uncover its dark secrets within. Filled with paranormal creatures called the Hiss, Jesse must face them while using her abnormal powers such as telekinesis and levitation.

Control is certainly an interesting premise, and it's third-person combat is definitely fun as you go around picking up objects to throw at enemies. The lore is fascinating as well as you learn more about the Oldest House.

The regular version of Control is available on Xbox Game Pass. There are also two DLC story expansions: The Foundation and AWE. If you end up enjoying Control, definitely consider purchasing the extra content!

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Lost Odyssey

Speaking of JRPGs, the Xbox 360 had several exclusive ones, including the excellent Lost Odyssey. This turn-based game follows Kaim as he navigates the world going through a magical industrial revolution. There are several nations at war with each other, and Kaim's journey will have him crossing paths with many different characters that join him.

Lost Odyssey has been loved by many fans. While it looks like we won't be seeing a sequel to this game any time soon, it is playable on modern Xbox consoles through backwards compatibility.

Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Can Xbox's most iconic franchise be considered an RPG? Well, you certainly play the role of Master Chief, as he goes around shooting aliens. Spanning multiple entries, Halo is the definitive franchise that people think of when they think of Xbox, so it'd be remiss not to include it on this list.

Halo is a pioneer of first person-shooter gunplay on consoles, and it's memorable stories, characters, and multiplayer make it one of the most recognizable franchises in gaming history.

While Halo 5's story got a mixed reception, its multiplayer is still incredibly fun. If you're itching for the classic Halo games, they're available through Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The first four games, in addition to Reach and ODST, are included in this single package. Overall, there are seven incredible Halo titles available on Xbox Game Pass while we wait for the release of Halo Infinite in 2021.

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Blue Dragon

This is another one of Xbox 360's JRPG exclusives. Blue Dragon's art style is very reminiscent of Dragon Quest's, and offers similar turn-based gameplay. 

Blue Dragon follows Shu and his friends, Jiro, Kluke, Zola, and Marumaro. With the evil ruler Nene watching over the Gran Kingdom, it's up to Shu and his comrades to find a way to take him down.

Like Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon is another great Japanese title that deserves another chance. Fans and newcomers can still enjoy the game on modern Xbox consoles through its fantastic backwards compatibility function.

Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3

This is one of the best trilogies of all time. Spanning three games, Mass Effect provides an epic space-faring adventure to take down the Reapers, an ancient alien race that's bent on destroying all life in the universe.

As Commander Shepard, you'll recruit many different characters throughout the three games, and you'll come to love each and every one of them. Even starting from the first game, the choices you make have ramifications on playthroughs of Mass Effect 2 and 3.

The game has been approved through each subsequent title, and the cast of characters remain solid throughout. Luckily, all three titles are playable via backwards compatibility on modern Xbox consoles. Additionally, a remaster of the trilogy, called Mass Effect Legendary Edition, is scheduled to release in 2021. 

If you don't want to wait, the trilogy was also made available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers recently through Microsoft's partnership with EA Play. 

Code Vein

This game is aptly described as "anime Dark Souls" and it's easy to see why. Code Vein's gameplay is inspired by it, and it's gritty atmosphere certainly reminds someone of the Dark Souls series.

However, it definitely has some things that make it stand out. Firstly, it has it's own anime aesthetic, complete with a more vampiric inspiration rather than a gothic look. Secondly, it's storytelling is much more in line with a typical JRPG, with exposition everywhere. Whereas in Dark Souls, the storytelling is much more environmental.

Either way, if you like anime and Dark Souls, give this a shot. Given that both categories have fans with specific tastes, Code Vein may not resonate with everyone, but with it recently being added to Game Pass, there's no harm in checking it out.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

This is one of the best open world games of all time, and it's basically on every modern platform available. As the Dragonborn, you are on your quest to destroy Alduin The World Eater. You can customize your own character and explore Skyrim. Enhance your skills, engage in combat, and take on quests throughout the world. Truly, the world is at your fingertips here.

In the off chance you haven't played Skyrim yet, it is available on Xbox Game Pass. Or maybe you want to go back to playing this game again. It's really that good.

BioShock: The Collection

Three fantastic games in one package, BioShock: The Collection offers some great first-person shooter combat with fantastic narratives to boot. BioShock 1 and 2 take place in the underwater city of Rapture, while BioShock Infinite's setting in the floating city of Columbia.

You can enjoy the BioShock series either through the remastered collection mentioned above, or if you have the original copies on Xbox 360, they are also playable on Xbox Series X|S through backwards compatibility.

Dead Space 1, 2, and 3

One of the most iconic horror franchises of all time, all three Dead Space games can be played on Xbox Series X|S through backwards compatibility. Not many other games match Dead Space's incredibly creepy atmosphere, frightening enemies, and fascinating lore.

As Isaac, you explore the futuristic 23rd century when Earth's natural resources have mostly dried up. When scientists discover an alien artifact called the Marker, they think that it could sustain Earth with unlimited energy. But little do they know, something more sinister is afoot.

The Dead Space series is absolutely fantastic, and it's a shame that there aren't any signs of a new entry coming at all. However, the three games are available to play and are regularly on sale for cheap.

Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2

This cowboy epic is some of the best storytelling to come out of games in recent memory. Red Dead Redemption 2 is hailed as one of the best games of the last generation, and through the Series X hardware, boasts some technical improvements including faster loading times.

In Red Dead Redemption 2, you follow the story of Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang. As the age of cowboys and the Wild West decline, Arthur must come to terms with where he's at in the world. The game explores themes such as mortality, friendship, and loyalty. It's a must play title for any gamer.

The first Red Dead Redemption on Xbox 360 is also playable on Series X|S through backwards compatibility as well! It's also important to note that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the first game, despite having the number 2 in the title.

Are there any other RPGs you think should be included in this list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Published Dec. 28th 2020

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