Something to look forward to: The Xbox Series X and S arrive in just over three weeks (November 10). Unlike the PS5, there won’t be any first-party games exclusive to the next-gen consoles, but buyers will have plenty to play on launch day, thanks to Microsoft’s Smart Delivery and Game Pass systems. Now, the company has released a list of titles optimized for the machines.
Games optimized for the Xbox Series X/S make use of the consoles’ power to enable the likes of ray tracing, faster load times, high frame rates, improved graphics, etc., setting games apart from the Xbox One/One X versions.
With Microsoft’s Smart Delivery, games work across the Xbox One, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X. If you own a supported title on one of the systems, it can be played on the others at no extra cost—similar to Xbox Play Anywhere that allows some games to be played across Xbox One and PC without requiring two copies.
So, if you own a Smart Delivery game on the Xbox One/X, you’ll be able to play an enhanced version on the Xbox Series X/S at no extra cost by downloading it. The system will even transfer your saves, so you don’t have to start again.
The Game Pass service is proving very popular for Microsoft, with over 15 million subscribers. The PC version has some great games, and there will be optimized titles available on launch day for the Xbox Series X/S (they’re also Smart Delivery games).
There are also some optimized launch-day titles not available on either Smart Delivery or Game Pass, so the only option is to buy them—unless they’re free-to-play.
- Assassins Creed Valhalla (Smart Delivery)
- Borderlands 3 (Smart Delivery)
- Bright Memory 1.0 (Smart Delivery)
- Cuisine Royale (Smart Delivery)
- Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
- Dirt 5 (Smart Delivery)
- Enlisted (Free to play)
- The Falconeer (Smart Delivery)
- Fortnite (Free to play)
- Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- Gears 5 (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- Grounded (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- King Oddball (Smart Delivery)
- Maneater (Smart Delivery)
- Manifold Garden (Smart Delivery)
- NBA 2K21
- Observer: System Redux
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- Planet Coaster (Smart Delivery)
- Sea of Thieves (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass + Smart Delivery)
- War Thunder (Smart Delivery)
- Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
- Watch Dogs: Legion (Smart Delivery)
- WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship (Smart Delivery)
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
- Yes, Your Grace (Smart Delivery)
That’s a lot of games. And we’re not counting the thousands of backward compatible titles from the last three generations of Xbox. While not fully optimized, Microsoft recently announced that some of these, such as Fallout 4, will feature increased framerates, higher resolutions, 16x anisotropic filtering, HDR, and faster load times.