A look at the highest-rated Xbox exclusives of this gaming generation based on Metacritic scores, showcasing a remarkable collection of games exclusive to Microsoft's platform.

Top 10 Xbox Exclusives from the Series X|S Era

The gaming community often buzzes with discussions on platform exclusives—games that are available on one console and not on others. With recent conversations around some Xbox exclusives now being playable on other platforms like the PS5 and Nintendo Switch, it's timely to revisit the Xbox's own stable of exclusive titles, especially since the advent of the Xbox Series X and Series S in November 2020.

An analysis of the most acclaimed Xbox exclusives released since then—excluding games like Hi-Fi RUSH and Pentiment, which lost their exclusivity status—reveals a robust lineup. The collective judgment of these titles comes from aggregate scores provided by Metacritic, a trusted source for compiling reviews across gaming media. Below, you'll find the top-rated Xbox exclusives of the current generation along with their Metacritic averages:

1. Forza Horizon 5 (92) - Topping the list, this title takes players on high-speed adventures through stunning landscapes, offering a blend of arcade and simulation driving that has been universally praised for its dynamic seasons, open-world exploration, and engaging multiplayer.

2. Microsoft Flight Simulator (90) - Simulating the entire globe, this flight sim has been applauded for its ultra-realistic representation of aviation, breathtaking visuals, and technologically advanced weather systems providing an immersive flying experience.

3. Halo Infinite (87) - The latest in the revered franchise, Halo Infinite has been lauded for its expansive campaign, refined multiplayer, and the return of Master Chief, marking a solid comeback for one of gaming's most iconic series.

4. Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition (86) - A timeless classic revisited, this definitive edition offers enhanced visuals and gameplay improvements, rekindling the strategic depth and historical scope that have made the series legendary.

5. Forza Motorsport (84) - This racing simulator has received praise for its meticulous attention to detail, realistic physics, and comprehensive customization options making it a go-to for motorsport aficionados.

6. Starfield (83) - A highly anticipated sci-fi epic that has grabbed the attention of role-playing game fans with its promise of space exploration and expansive narrative.

7. Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition (83) - Another entry for the strategy genre, this iteration continues the tradition of deep tactical gameplay intertwined with rich historical storytelling.

8. Grounded (82) - This survival game, set in a backyard turned giant, delivers a unique take on the genre with a cooperative focus and a distinct, whimsical setting.

9. Gears Tactics (82) - An offshoot of the Gears of War series, this tactical spin offers intense, squad-based combat and compelling character depth, appealing to both fans of the franchise and turn-based strategy enthusiasts.

10. Go Mecha Ball (81) - An indie surprise on the list that provides a fresh, energetic twist to the sports genre, leveraging its unique mechanics to charm players looking for something lighthearted yet competitive.

Beyond this top-tier list, there are numerous games worth mentioning that expand the scope of Xbox's exclusive offerings. Notable entries include "Planet of Lana," "Party Animals," and "Warhammer 40K: Darktide." Additionally, popular titles under the Xbox Game Preview program like "Palworld" and the survival game "Valheim" are making waves, though they aren’t eligible for this exclusivity-based roster.

The Xbox One era also continues to shine with robust games, with "Sea Of Thieves" being an exemplary title that has sustained a strong community presence. The best part for Xbox enthusiasts? The entire top 10 list, as well as many other honorary mentions, are available on Xbox Game Pass across console and PC, marking a high level of accessibility and a strong value proposition for the subscription service.

In-depth exploration, competitive races, strategic battles—the variety of experiences available among Xbox exclusives is commendable. It's worth noting that many of these games are part of the Xbox first-party lineup, showcasing Microsoft's commitment to delivering high-quality content for its players. Whether you agree with the rankings or have your own preferences, these titles undeniably underline the Xbox Series X and S generation as a period of rich and diverse gaming experiences.

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Adam Devine

Hey, it's Adam Devine here! When I'm not out and about, you can bet I'm either casting a line, hoping for the biggest catch, or lounging at home, delivering some epic fatalities in Mortal Kombat. Life's all about the thrill of the catch and the perfect combo move. Whether I'm battling fish or virtual foes, it's all in a day's fun for me. Let's get reel and play on!

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