The Xbox One X has been on the market for a few months now, and the hardware has proven to be more than capable. Many existing titles have seen small performance improvements automatically, but the big draw has always been Xbox One X-optimized releases. That’s where that 4K TV will really shine.
Microsoft maintains a massive list of existing and upcoming X-enhanced games, and a huge chunk are the big full-price titles you’d expect. Those look incredible on a UHD TV, but after spending big on a new console and 4K set, paying $60 a pop for a bunch of brand new games is a tough sell for many of us. Thankfully, there are plenty of affordable games that natively support the high-res goodness of the Xbox One X.
Gears of War 4 Not only was this 2016 release a solid sequel from a new studio, but it was also one of the first games to take advantage of the Xbox One S's HDR capabilities. And now that the Xbox One X is available, it's been updated to use all that extra hardware. On top of superb HDR support, you'll also get to choose between running the campaign at either 2160p30 or 1080p60 – both excellent upgrades. (Buy on Amazon)
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare We all expected Activision to properly support the Xbox One X on the latest Call of Duty title, but they went above and beyond. The dev team actually went back to the previous title, and updated that one as well. It's built to use a dynamic resolution up to 2160p, and it isn't even using checkerboard rendering tricks like the PS4 Pro version. There are some additional bonus enhancements like improved LOD distance and better DOF, but you can expect the exact same game with additional clarity. (Buy on Amazon)
Dead Rising 4 Dead Rising has had a bit of a rough go on the Xbox One. The third installment ran at 720p, and the frame rate was atrocious in spots. Dead Rising 4 bumped the resolution to 900p, but the release was still sub-optimal. Now that it's been updated for the X, the textures are higher-res, the LOD distance is superior, the anti-aliasing has taken a big step up, and of course HDR is fantastic. (Buy on Amazon)
Killer Instinct Launching at a mere 720p back in 2013, Killer Instinct has been continually updated with more content and superior image quality. After the dev team switched hands, it got a bump up to 900p on original hardware, but that's nothing compared with the native 2160p resolution on the Xbox One X. With nearly perfect 60fps performance, loads of characters, and a fairly flexible free-to-play model, this is one of the best fighting games of this generation. (Download on Microsoft Store)
Okami HD Hideki Kamiya is best known for his work on the Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Bayonetta franchises, but his last major project at Capcom is worthy of your attention as well. This sumi-e-inspired action-adventure game was wildly ambitious for the PS2 era, and it looks absolutely incredible running at a full 4K on the Xbox One X over a decade later. (Buy on Amazon)
Fallout 4 As beloved as this title is, console performance was a huge problem when it launched in 2015. With lengthy load times and a stuttery frame rate, the whole experience suffered. Since then, performance patches have been rolled out, but the visuals have been limited by the hardware. With the Xbox One X's speedy internals, we're getting a dynamic resolution up to a native 2160p, improved god rays, and a noticeably lengthier LOD range. Performance still isn't perfect, but it does look gorgeous. (Buy on Amazon)
Firewatch Featuring incredible art from the likes of Olly Moss and Jane Ng, this acclaimed indie title from Campo Santo is perfectly suited for a high-res treatment on the Xbox One X. While Firewatch doesn't trade in stark realism, the colorful and highly stylized environments drop jaws with the beefier hardware. (Buy on Amazon)
Halo 5: Guardians 343 Industries was able to ship a 60fps Halo game on the original Xbox One hardware, but not without some compromises. The 4K patch doesn't stamp out every single rendering shortcut used on the original hardware, but the huge jump in resolution alone makes Halo 5 worth replaying. (Buy on Microsoft Store)
Life is Strange: Before the Storm This adventure game isn't a graphical showpiece, and nobody is arguing otherwise. However, the Life is Strange series revolves around a moody pacific northwest ambience, and much of the charm comes from the small environmental touches. And since both a 4K mode at 30fps and a lower-res mode at 60fps are available on the X, you can prioritize what matters most to you. (Buy on Amazon)
ReCore: Definitive Edition The term "mixed bag" gets thrown around a lot when we come across a good game with some glaring flaws, and ReCore is the Prada of mixed bags. By all accounts, the initial release was a solid game that suffered from a rushed development and some questionable business decisions. Thankfully, the Definitive Edition solves a number of the most glaring issues, and it received even more TLC for the Xbox One X patch. (Buy on Amazon)
Rise of the Tomb Raider This Tomb Raider title has seen numerous updates since the original 2015 release, but the Xbox One X patch is particularly interesting. The folks over at Digital Foundry have dug into the footage of this new version, and analyzed the three modes on offer. There's a native 4K mode that runs at a slightly unstable 30fps, an enhanced visuals mode that uses rendering tricks to hit 2160p30 with better effects, and a 1080p mode that targets 60fps. High quality textures can be found throughout, and every single mode is a huge step up from the original Xbox One release. (Buy on Microsoft Store)
Tacoma Made by the team that brought us Gone Home, this short and sweet sci-fi game has an aesthetic that truly benefits from a higher resolution. Nearly the entirety of the game takes place on a space station with a sharp, modern design, but the jaggies on the original Xbox One are quite a distraction. Thankfully, it can reach 4K on Microsoft's new console. (Buy on Microsoft Store)
Titanfall 2 With Titanfall 2's dynamic resolution in play, Respawn Entertainment has been able to reach a whopping 6K (downsampled to 4K) in slow spots on the X. Of course, busy scenes can cause it to drop between 1440p and 1800p to maintain the 60Hz refresh rate. But when you consider that the original release game hovered between 720p and 1080p, the overall image quality is improved dramatically. (Buy on Amazon)
Path of Exile: First Blood Bundle If dungeon crawling appeals to you, it doesn't get much better than Path of Exile. Not only does this Diablo-style action RPG hit a native 2160p on the new hardware, but it runs at 60fps as well! And while the entire game is balanced to be fun for free, grabbing this $20 bundle supports the developers and nets you some nice cosmetics and quality-of-life improvements. (Buy on Microsoft Store)