The 5 Best Games to Show Off the Xbox One X

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The 5 Best Games to show off the Xbox One X

The Xbox One X is out now, and Microsoft is touting it as the most powerful gaming console ever created (you can read our review here). The $499 system supports 4K streaming, wide-color gamut, high dynamic range lighting, and 4K Blu-ray playback. In other words, if you have a 4K TV that supports HDR, your games and movies will look really freaking good on it. But what’s a shiny new video game console without the games to show it off? All of Microsoft’s upcoming first-party games (such as Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves) will run in native 4K, and third-party studios are patching existing games to run better on the new hardware. Games that are Xbox One X Enhanced can feature faster load times, higher resolutions, and improved framerates. More than 150 games are being enhanced (you can find a detailed and updated list here), but these are the five best games to show off the X’s capabilities right now. Be sure to update the games to download the latest 4K upgrades.

Forza Motorsport 7

How it’s enhanced: 4K Ultra HD, HDR, faster load times What's great about it: Ever since Ridge Racer sped onto the original PlayStation in 1996, racing games have been used to show off the graphical capabilities of new hardware. Forza 7 already purred nicely on Xbox One, but on the X, it positively roars. It runs in native 4K at a rock-solid 60 frames per second, rivaling a high-end PC, and with its painstakingly rendered cars and picturesque courses on display, it offers one of the biggest wow factors of any game at launch. Buy it: Microsoft.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

How it’s enhanced: 4K Ultra HD, HDR, choice of performance or visuals What's great about it: Shadow of War gives you the option of favoring resolution, which targets native 4K resolution, or favoring quality, which focuses on improving the graphics (better textures, shadows, lighting, polygon counts, etc.) at a lower resolution. Either way, the action remains smooth and responsive no matter how many orcs are on-screen storming your fortress. Mordor has never looked better. Buy it: Microsoft.com

Assassin’s Creed Origins

How it’s enhanced: 4K Ultra HD, HDR, faster load times What's great about it: Ancient Egypt is beautifully recreated in the latest Assassin’s Creed title, but it looks even more amazing on Xbox One X. The HDR lighting effects in particular show off realistic-looking skies and jaw-dropping sunsets, and torches cast moody shadows and effects in caves. But most impressive is the improved draw distance, which lets you perch high atop a pyramid and really soak up the game’s stunning vistas in even greater detail. Buy it: Microsoft.com

Gears of War 4

How it’s enhanced: 4K Ultra HD, HDR, choice of performance or visuals What's great about it: Last year’s marquee Xbox One game gets a substantial upgrade that puts it on par with any of 2017’s most graphically spectacular showpieces. For the first time in the series, you can play Campaign or Horde mode at 60fps (but only in 1080p resolution). Or you can opt to push the graphics to the limit with ultra high-quality textures running in 4K at 30fps. Either way, Gears’ trademark “destroyed beauty” has never looked so beautiful. Buy it: Microsoft.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider

How it’s enhanced: 4K Ultra HD, HDR, choice of performance or visuals What's great about it:Despite coming out two years ago, Rise of the Tomb Raider receives one of the most substantial and graphically impressive updates on Xbox One X. Developer Crystal Dynamics offers three optimization modes: native 4K, enriched visuals, or high frame rate. The latter, which targets 60fps, runs almost freakishly smoothly. But the enriched visuals mode, which offers significant graphical upgrades at 30fps, makes this excellent adventure worth revisiting as you wait for Lara Croft’s return to the big screen next year. Buy it: Microsoft.com
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