Top Pick for
RPG on Xbox
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The products on this list are based on extensive research, and (in the majority of cases) we've played the games to completion ourselves. For each category, we've carefully included and compared all of the titles currently available in that specific genre as well.
This continuation of Sega's beloved crime-drama series is quite a large departure from previous entries. That said, it comes with a rewarding turn-based combat (its predecessors relied on brawling-style action), as well as a jobs system that is a hallmark of many traditional Japanese RPGs.
We've also got a new hero this time around. The enigmatic "lawful good" Kazuma Kiryu has been shelved in favour of a brash, loud-mouthed Yakuza wannabe named Ichiban Kasuga. Combat is gratifyingly tactical, a system that rewards you for shrewdly levelling up and pairing your party members to specific in-battle threats. Side bonus: this wide overworld is dotted with mini-game diversions and the expected interactive arcade versions of classic Sega video games.
For those of you who like their entertainment to have an all-out-action slant, a first-person shooter like Call of Duty: Cold War is a great choice. The biggest first-person shooter franchise in the world today, CoD is an all-in-one package that covers three main pillars: single-player story, co-operative multiplayer and adversarial multiplayer.
The first offering is an interactive summer blockbuster experience that puts you in the boots of a shadowy operative undertaking clandestine missions for Uncle Sam. That campaign is also bolstered by two online-enabled experiences – a zombie-themed survival mode that's best played with friends and a XP-infused player-vs-player mode. The latter is incredibly popular in the gaming space – last year's edition attracted 75 million players.
Though there technically aren't too many kids-focused launch titles for the XSX, the fact that Microsoft has invested heavily on backwards compatibility means some older greats have been allowed to become greater. Case in point: the critically acclaimed Ori and the Will of the Wisps, an XSX Enhanced gem that now runs and looks better while being just as enchanting as ever.
Moon Studios' tightly crafted platforming action and deeply emotional storytelling proves to be timeless as you embark on an all-new adventure in a vast world filled with new friends and foes. Other key features include breathtaking, hand-painted artwork that's set to a fully orchestrated original score.
On launch day there aren't many avenues available if you want to get behind the wheel. All that being said and despite the lack of competition, Dirt 5 offers more than enough redline action and graphical grunt to be worth a look. However, it is worth noting that Codemasters has delivered an arcade affair this time round, rather than a hard-as-nails rally simulation.
You're in a global car festival that offers extreme racing using your eclectic garage collection of Rallycross, GT, trophy trucks, buggies and muscle cars. Even better, Dirt 5 is a modern racer that offers the rare olden times inclusion that is four-player split-screen.
Combining an epic Viking saga with this series' stealth-leaning action, Ubisoft has delivered a more than decent sequel in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Set in the ninth century and slotting you into the (unisex) boots of a Viking raider named Eivor, your quest is to establish the foothold of a new Norse community on the shores of England.
Settlement building, resource securing and (surprisingly) diplomacy via conversation trees are the order of the day. That, or you can take the action route with an XP-infused combat system that allows you to steer your Eivor into the tactical style of your choosing (berserker brawler, sneaky saboteur or a ranged fighter).
If you're looking for one of the rarest combinations in gaming – a great sports sim that somehow, against all odds comes with a great plot – then NBA 2K21 is well worth considering. With tons of upgrades made on its already phenomenal graphics engine and gameplay systems, this sequel is the definitive basketball video game.
Even better, when you're done with the career mode that courts some big-name acting talent, such as Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy) and Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire), you can lose many more hours in the online-enabled competitive and community features.
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