Xbox fans were quite happy with everything Microsoft offered in 2023. From shadow drops like Hi-Fi Rush to big exclusives like Starfield, the current-gen Xbox consoles came into their own last year.
Most of the year’s best games, barring a few exclusives, were available on all platforms, so gamers playing exclusively on one or the other platform did not miss out on much.
Meanwhile, Game Pass offered 50 day-one titles, enticing millions toward the Xbox subscription service. Overall, there was no shortage of highly-rated games to play in the last 12 months, and we have combined a list of the highest-rated games on the platform to help you catch up on the best releases on the Xbox consoles.
1. Alan Wake 2
First up is Remedy Entertainment’s latest release. Alan Wake 2 made the bold decision to stray away from its predecessor’s approach, using exemplary horror games like Resident Evil 2 for inspiration.
The result? A confident title that combines elements of mystery, exploration, and unparalleled atmosphere with groundbreaking visuals. Alan Wake 2 is also among the few games that best highlight the advantages of the Xbox Series X over other consoles, making it worth picking up for Xbox owners.
2. Diablo 4
Microsoft’s only first-party game on the list comes in second place. Diablo 4, launched as a multiplatform game from Blizzard in mid-2023, now falls under the Xbox first-party division after the gaming giant acquired Activision Blizzard.
With a rating of 91/100 on Metacritic, this game came out swinging, launching to positive reviews from nearly every critic and record-breaking figures. While future updates proved divisive and fans began to lose some interest over time, Diablo 4 remains one of the finest releases on Xbox Series S|X, especially for fans of ARPGs.
3. Resident Evil 4
Capcom’s latest remake was among the best-rated releases of 2023 on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Having sold over 5 million units, this remake has garnered praise for keeping the spirit of the original game intact while rejuvenating the entry with modern visuals and gameplay.
On Xbox Series S|X, Resident Evil 4 supports 60FPS gameplay and ray tracing. Capcom has also released more content for the remake in the form of Separate Ways, improving the overall survival-horror package.
4. Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty
There is hardly a need to introduce Cyberpunk 2077 and its tale of redemption. Phantom Liberty has elevated this RPG experience, becoming a major financial success for CD Projekt RED.
Having scored 91/100 on Metacritic, the expansion’s release shows a stark contrast over the 2020 launch of Cyberpunk 2077. Today, this RPG offers hundreds of hours of content, industry-leading visuals for an open-world game, and sci-fi lore that should be enough to keep players engaged for the duration of its runtime.
5. Street Fighter 6
Capcom’s biggest fighting game series returned to the spotlight with a new entry last year. Applauded for its accessibility features, in-depth training mode, and gimmicky yet entertaining World Tour mode, the game is already in a much better state than its predecessor.
Though Xbox fans had options like Mortal Kombat 1 available this year, no other modern title offers a 2D fighting game experience quite like Street Fighter 6 in 2023.
While these picks represent the best games by critic ratings, we recommended checking out a few other games from Xbox, too. Hi-Fi Rush, in particular, surprised us and earned a recommendation in no time.
Lies of P was another excellent day-one Game Pass release, and Starfield is worth trying solely for the fact that it served as Microsoft’s biggest first-party release of 2023. Fans of racing games should also consider trying Forza Motorsport despite its glaring weaknesses.
Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t make the list due to limited reviews on the platform, but as the Game of the Year winner, it is certainly worth a mention as well.
Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.