Xbox Series X ControllerSource: Microsoft

The Xbox Series X leads Microsoft's next-generation lineup, promising major graphical upgrades throughout its games library, soon clearer, smoother, and faster than ever before. The upcoming flagship packs a ton of cutting-edge technology to enable those gains, with the latest CPU and GPU architectures from AMD, and lightning-fast solid-state storage.

While the Xbox Series X plays your existing Xbox One titles via backward compatibility, most upcoming games (and select upgraded titles) perform best on next-gen hardware. Assigned the "Xbox Series X Optimized" badge, these titles draw the best from Xbox Series X. While still early days, we've assembled a list of every Xbox Series X game confirmed so far.

What is Xbox Series X Optimized?

Halo InfiniteSource: Microsoft

Microsoft's next Xbox console introduces a sizeable leap in horsepower, with vast internal improvements under its monolithic all-black casing. While the upcoming generation will facilitate countless titles previously impossible before Xbox Series X, the game also plays thousands of existing Xbox One games out of the box via backward compatibility. The "Optimized for Xbox Series X" label clearly indicates titles designed for the console, whether built from the ground up for next-gen or retroactively updated with enhanced visuals.

Xbox Series X Optimized is the broad term for next-generation titles, with many embracing signature features of the console. Those can include 4K resolution for additional clarity, upgraded framerates smoothing gameplay up to 120 FPS, or high dynamic range (HDR) for popping colors. Xbox Series X also debuts ray tracing for advanced lighting and reflections, enabled across some cutting-edge titles.

The final component is Xbox Smart Delivery, which ensures your Xbox Series X automatically pulls the best available version of your game. Geared to ease the transition from Xbox One to Xbox Series X, support titles provide free visual upgrades, without needing to buy twice. While not mandatory on Xbox Series X, it's a consumer-friendly initiative for some cross-generation releases.

In short, Xbox Series X Optimized represents the best of Xbox Series X. Titles sporting this badge feature one or several Xbox Series X upgrades, bringing out the best of your new Xbox.

List of Xbox Series X Optimized games

Xbox Series X OptimizedSource: Microsoft

With Xbox Series X on track to release later in 2020, we've received a glimpse of the upcoming console library leveraging the latest flagship. The steadily growing list of titles commits to various visual enhancements, including 4K resolution, higher framerates, and ray tracing support.

Microsoft's in-house Xbox Game Studios arm has committed to several projects targeting the next generation, several also bridging the gap with Xbox One via Smart Delivery. Dozens of third-party studios are also developing for Xbox Series X, with hugely varying features and performance.

We've rounded up a complete list of Xbox Series X titles, including currently known plans to support 4K resolution, HDR, expected framerates, ray tracing, and Smart Delivery.

Game 4K HDR FPS Ray Tracing Smart Delivery
Assassin's Creed Valhalla Yes Yes 30 FPS - Yes
Bright Memory Infinite Yes - 60 FPS Yes No
Call of the Sea Yes Yes 60 FPS - Yes
Chorus: Rise as One Yes Yes 60 FPS Yes Yes
Control Yes - - - -
Cyberpunk 2077 Yes - - - Yes
CYGNI: All Guns Blazing - - - - -
Dead Island 2 - - - - -
Destiny 2 Yes Yes 60 FPS - Yes
DiRT 5 Yes Yes 120 FPS - Yes
Dying Light 2 - - - - -
Everwild - - - - -
FIFA 21 Yes Yes - - No — Limited Time Upgrade via EA
Fortnite Yes Yes - - -
Forza Motorsport 2020 - - - - -
Flea Madness - - - - -
Gears 5 Yes Yes 120 FPS Yes Yes
Gods and Monsters - - - - -
Gothic - - - - -
Grand Theft Auto V - - - - -
Halo Infinite Yes Yes - - Yes
Hitman 3 - - - - -
Madden NFL 21 Yes Yes - - No — Limited Time Upgrade via EA
Marvel's Avengers - - - - Yes
MicroMan - - - - -
NBA 2K21 - - - - -
Nth^0: Infinity Reborn - - - - -
Ori and the Will of the Wisps Yes Yes 120 FPS - -
Orphan of the Machine Yes - 120 FPS - -
Outriders - - - - -
Pragmata - - - - -
Resident Evil 8: Village - - - - -
Roots of Pacha - - - - -
Scarlet Nexus Yes No - - Yes
Scorn Yes No 60 FPS - No
Sea of Thieves Yes Yes - - Yes
Second Extinction - No 120 FPS - Yes
Senua's Saga: Hellblade II - - - - -
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One - - - - -
Starfield - - - - -
The Ascent Yes Yes 60 FPS - Yes
The Elder Scrolls VI - - - - -
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum - - - - -
The Medium Yes - - Yes No
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Quarantine - - - - -
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Yes - - - Unknown, 'Free Upgrade'
Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2 - - - - -
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 - - - - Yes
Warframe - - - - -
Watch Dogs Legion - - - - -
WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship - - - - -
Yakuza: Like a Dragon - No - - Yes

Expect new Xbox Series X Optimized titles in the lead-up to (and beyond) the console launch, currently scheduled for later in 2020. Let us know which existing or upcoming games you'd like to see upgraded for Xbox Series X in the comments section below.

What is 4K resolution for Xbox Series X?

Assassins Creed Valhalla Image Assassin's Creed Valhalla hits native 4K resolution on Xbox Series X, demonstrating unmatched clarity for its world.Source: Ubisoft

Many Xbox Series X Optimized games support 4K, referring to the output resolution, or the number of pixels shown on-screen. The 4K output of Xbox Series X results in 8.2 million pixels, arranged in a 3840 x 2160 arrangement, bringing improved clarity over much of the Xbox One family. While the Xbox One X supports 4K gaming, the Xbox Series X treats 4K as a baseline and more consistently hits that target without visual trickery.

What is HDR for Xbox Series X?

High dynamic range (HDR) has seen a steady rise in gaming, with Microsoft first jumping aboard with Xbox One S and Xbox One X, with efforts extending to Xbox Series X. The technique relates to how images are displayed on-screen, outputting higher contrast ratios and wider color gamuts across visuals. The result is striking vibrance, with darker blacks, blinding whites, and all the intertwined details. It's less taxing than many other Xbox Series X enhancements but has a considerable impact on the overall tone of games.

What's the difference between 60 FPS and 120 FPS?

The Xbox Series X puts a notable focus on higher framerates, enabled by upgrades to hardware. The number of frames displayed over a certain period directly relates to the fluidity of gameplay, measured in frames-per-second (FPS), with higher framerates enabling smoother experiences. For example, while many Xbox One games run at 30 FPS, some push to 60 FPS in pursuit of fluid gameplay.

While the Xbox One supports 60 FPS and beyond, many games failed to push beyond 30 FPS, due to hardware limitations. The Xbox Series X alleviates several bottlenecks, with Microsoft suggesting 4K resolution and 60 FPS will emerge as a common baseline for the next generation. Many Xbox Series X Optimized titles also pursue 120 FPS, enabling previously impossible experiences, once reserved for PC.

What is ray tracing for Xbox Series X?

Bright Memory Infinite Xbox Series X This ray-traced shooter, Bright Memory Infinite, hits Xbox Series X with just one developer behind the project.Source: PLAYISM

Interest and investment in ray tracing have risen, with Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and NVIDIA's GeForce RTX GPU lineup all tailored for support. This advanced rendering technology elevates video game lighting and better simulates how light interacts with virtual objects. It's the next advancement in lighting and reflections, with a profound impact on the portrayal of scenes.

Xbox Series X delivers ray tracing through Microsoft's own DirectX Raytracing technology, coupled with internals specifically designed to help support its debut. The best example comes with the recent Minecraft tech demo for Xbox Series X, showcasing proof of concept for a potential future update.

Are Xbox Series X Optimized games free upgrades?

It depends. Xbox Series X Optimized denotes games designed with Xbox Series X in mind, enabling higher resolutions, improved framerates, and other upgrades previously impossible with the Xbox One family. If an Xbox Series X Optimized game releases on Xbox One too, developers can choose to provide free cross-generation upgrades, making a move to the new console a little easier.

The main upgrade route involves Smart Delivery, Microsoft's standardized initiative for friction-free upgrades between consoles. Supported titles automatically grant the best available version for your console, meaning that if you buy Halo Infinite on Xbox One, a better version awaits when you switch to Xbox Series X. That works for physical discs and digital downloads, with Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and more among early adopters.

However, Smart Delivery isn't mandatory, and developers aren't obligated to provide a free upgrade. For example, when a developer puts additional time into developing visual enhancements, they're allowed to charge for their effects on Xbox Series X. For added confusion, Electronic Arts has opted out of Smart Delivery with Madden NFL 21, but still provides a free upgrade via a more restrictive limited-time offer.

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