Xbox Titles You Should Play On Your Series X|S

So you've got a shiny new Xbox Series X|S, but you're not sure what to play on it. Maybe you're holding out for the mysterious Starfield, or you're just burned out on Halo and need a break. You could go hunting for a brand-new game… or you could dive into the system's catalog of backward-compatible games, which spans all 20 years of Xbox gaming.

Yes, that includes releases for the original Xbox. Getting into gaming history has never been easier or more fun, and some games you can play originate from the very beginning of the Xbox's life. Here are our recommendations.

10 TimeSplitters 2

Multiplayer-focused first-person shooters were to the gaming landscape of the 2000s what, uh, multiplayer-focused third-person shooters are to the gaming landscape of today: they were everywhere, and not all of them were good. But TimeSplitters 2, created by the dearly departed Free Radical Games, was good.

Closely modeled on the N64 classic GoldenEye 007, TimeSplitters 2 featured a wealth of kooky multiplayer modes, a finely-tuned single-player campaign, and plenty of character. It was released for the original Xbox on October 8th, 2002.

9 Hunter: The Reckoning

Hunter: The Reckoning originates from the World Of Darkness tabletop role-playing franchise, and it shares a universe with the more well-known Vampire: The Masquerade series. But while this game is often overshadowed by its sibling, it's still a pretty good time.

Hunter: The Reckoning is an overhead hack-and-slasher, in the vein of something like Gauntlet; like that famous series, the game is best if you team up with your friends to slay your enemies. Hunter: The Reckoning was released for the Xbox on May 21, 2002.

8 Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter

In the early 2000s, gamers loved Star Wars games; you'll see this franchise a few more times on this list. Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter is the sequel to the hit Star Wars Starfighter, and while both games focus on aerial combat, Jedi Starfighter adds Force powers to your arsenal of weapons.

These function basically as endlessly rechargeable weapons, but combined with the game's cinematic presentation and its solid co-op implementation, you have a solid game on your hands. Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter was released for the Xbox on May 13, 2002.

7 Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast

While Jedi Starfighter focuses on ship-based combat, Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast takes a different approach. It's an action game with a particular emphasis on melee fighting; it features a variety of different weapons, including Force powers, blasters, and lightsabers.

Its lightsaber combat in particular is one of the best parts of the game, and it's so well implemented that many fans still hold Jedi Outcast in high esteem. It was ported to the Switch and Playstation 4 in 2019, but the Series X|S is the easiest way to play the original these days. It was released on the original Xbox on March 26, 2002.

6 Gunvalkyrie

One of the less-heralded aspects of the original Xbox was the way that it carried on Sega's oddball legacy. The system got the sequels to beloved franchises like Panzer Dragoon and Jet Set Radio, and it also got Gunvalkyrie, which was originally in development for the Dreamcast.

It's an action-packed shooter set around the turn of the 20th century, but like… an alternate 20th century, where you can wear a cyborg suit and shoot alien bugs. Is it nonsense? Yes. Is it also cool as heck? Also yes. Gunvalkyrie was released for the Xbox on March 18, 2002.

5 Max Payne

It is a truth universally acknowledged that slow-motion gunplay is awesome. For proof, look no further than Max Payne, which was Remedy Entertainment's first big hit. The game is a third-person shooter inspired by hardboiled detective stories, but it caps off that gritty tone with bullet time, a mechanic where you can slow down time to dodge enemy attacks and position yourself more accurately.

This feature, inspired by The Matrix, became the series' trademark, and influenced a whole host of action games that came after, but this game is where it all started. Max Payne was released on the Xbox on July 23, 2001.

4 Star Wars Starfighter: Special Edition

If you're looking for a dose of classic Star Wars action, and you've beaten Jedi Starfighter already, you can always revisit the original game. Star Wars Starfighter: Special Edition, an enhanced port of the PS2 original, featuring upgraded graphics and a broader selection of multiplayer modes.

Though many of its features seem pretty unremarkable by modern standards, the fully voice-acted story and large-scale battles were jaw-dropping at the time. It was released on the original Xbox on November 26, 2021.

3 Dead Or Alive 3

The first two installments in Tecmo's beloved fighting-game series were closely associated with Sega platforms, but Dead Or Alive 3 was an Xbox exclusive – and a launch title, at that. The game was praised on its release, and it's not hard to see why.

The graphics still look great, the fighting is as smooth as butter, and the returning counter system provides a level of depth that many other fighting games can't match. Of course, some… jiggly aspects of the game haven't aged quite so well, but this is still a rock-solid fighting game. Dead Or Alive 3 was released on November 15, 2001.

2 Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee

While the previous games in the Oddworld series were side-scrollers, Munch's Oddysee took advantage of the Xbox's power boost and made the jump into full 3D. It adds some collection-style mechanics to Oddworld's trademark mixture of platforming and puzzle-solving and introduces the ability to swap between returning hero Abe and its new (at the time) star, Munch.

If you've played the recent Oddworld remakes and want to get into the original series, this is a great way to do it. Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee was released on November 15, 2001.

1 Fuzion Frenzy

Fuzion Frenzy is definitely a relic of its time; the game was released before Xbox Live was even a thing, so while it's a multiplayer-focused party game, it doesn't offer any online modes.

But if you can get a group of friends together to play, the game can be a great time, with a wide variety of minigames and a stylish futuristic setting. It's like Mario Party… if Mario got airdropped into Blade Runner. Fuzion Frenzy was released on November 15, 2001.

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