Just like many other outdoor activities that can be experienced in games, hunting games have been around for a long time. However, they have always been in a niche of their own, as most gamers prefer something with a bit more action.
Due to that, hunting games have had to expand and experiment with new ideas. Nowadays, there are as many hunting games based on fiction as there are based on reality. In fact, the number of simulation-based hunting games is decreasing by the day, with most of them opting to include elements of action in order to get more players.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the games themselves are bad. In fact, there are some hunting games that are downright amazing, and they use a lot of fantasy elements.
Regardless of whether you want to play a hunting game that has you accurately tracking and shooting animals in the wild or taking down monsters, we have you covered! Our list of the 13 best hunting games for Xbox Series X / S includes a great hunting game for everyone, including those who are not that interested in the genre.
We begin our list with Hunt: Showdown. We mentioned at the beginning that a lot of the games that we included are not based on reality, and this is one of those games.
In Hunt: Showdown, you are tasked with hunting monsters. You enter into a match where there are a lot of small monsters, and one giant one to deal with. At any time, you can escape the area by heading to the extraction point. If you want, you can simply kill a few of the smaller monsters and extract with your rewards.
What makes the game exciting is that there are a lot of other players on the server as well. As such, it is not just you fighting to kill the monsters, but you will also have to deal with all of the other players vying for the same prize. This can lead to some of the most intense and breathtaking fights you can imagine.
One thing to remember is that the player base for the game is quite low. As such, you may have some problems finding other players to play with on the Xbox. That said, the player base experiences a bump whenever a new update is released.
We know that fishing and hunting are not the same things, but the basic premise is still the same. Regardless of whether you are hunting or fishing, you are looking for and acquiring animals for the purposes of eating (well, most of the time).
The main reason for having Fishing Planet so high up on this list is because it is a fully-fledged game that is also free. On top of that, Fishing Planet is also a simulation, meaning that it tries to capture the feeling of fishing as well as it can. This means that finding fish can be quite difficult in certain cases, and it is possible that you may feel pangs of frustration.
While the graphics are not that great, the dynamic weather system does lead to a lot of interesting situations when fishing. Once you factor in the online multiplayer where over 64-players can compete against each other, chances are that avid fishermen will feel right at home when they turn on their Xbox to play Fishing Planet.
theHunter: Call of the Wild
Let’s face it, chances are that this is the one game that you already knew was going to be on this list before you began reading. While theHunter series has been hit or miss in the past, Call of the Wild is basically as good as a simulation hunting game has ever been.
Call of the Wild is a game that perfectly captures what it is like to hunt. You can either go on an expedition alone or with someone. Not only are you responsible for finding the prey, but then you have to make sure that you can execute a clean kill.
There is multiplayer as well, where you can compete with other players in multiple game modes to see who the better hunter is. With numerous weapons, animals, and a large terrain to explore, no game is ever the same. If you want to play a hunting simulator that is the closest to hunting in real life, Call of the Wild will get you your fix.
Monster Hunter World
The Monster Hunter series has always been about hunting monsters and acquiring loot. Monster Hunter World has done that at a scale never seen before, which is why it made the list of the best loot games for Xbox.
In Monster Hunter World, you and your friends can traverse the world and look for monsters that are increasingly difficult to defeat. There is both a single-player campaign and numerous additional quests that you can do. Once you kill a monster, you can use the loot to craft weapons of greater strength and face bigger monsters.
While this is the basic concept that is repeated over and over again in the game, it never gets boring. This is because of the variety of the monsters, terrain, and weapons available in the game. Chances are that if you enjoy Monster Hunter World at the beginning, you won’t get bored until the very end.
Hunting Simulator 2
If you are looking for a classic hunting game but one that is not as hardcore as Call of the Wild, Hunting Simulator 2 is it.
Despite its name, Hunting Simulator 2 is a game that is more arcade-like than a simulation. Still, there is a simulation element to the game. Not only are the weapons extremely realistic in how they look, but you also have access to a lot of gear that professional hunters use.
You also have a dog to guide you on your expedition. The dog can be used to track down over 30 species of animals in multiple environments. However, there is no co-op or multiplayer in the game, making Hunting Simulator 2 single-player only. This means that there isn’t a lot of depth to the game, and it is bound to get boring for most players at some point.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 is not exactly a hunting game. It is primarily an action-adventure game with strong shooter elements. In fact, it was on our list of the best action-adventure games for Xbox.
Apart from being a shooter, there is also a strong survival element to the game. As such, both hunting and fishing are prominently featured in the game. Although it is possible to play through large parts of the game without having to resort to hunting and fishing, they can be an integral part of the game if you want to.
While we won’t say that the mechanics of hunting and fishing are anywhere close to some of the other games on this list, they do provide a lot in terms of exploration. Also, different areas provide different rewards for hunting, making Far Cry 6 a great game for those that want a bit of casual hunting action but nothing too serious.
Big Buck Hunter Arcade
Big Buck Hunter is a game that has been released in roughly the same form for PC, Xbox, and mobile devices. The game does not take itself too seriously, and nor does it offer a lot of depth. It simply offers a few levels that can be tackled alone or with one other player in local multiplayer.
Offering almost nothing in terms of realism, the game does try and succeed in inciting a few laughs. Considering that the game is not too expensive and is regularly on sale, it is something that is worth a try if you are looking for something extremely casual to play with a friend.
Duck Dynasty is a game that is based on the TV Show and Film of the same name. While this does mean that this is a game that is best suited only for those who have watched Duck Dynasty, it does do a great job of emulating the stupidity and hilarity of those programs.
There are a lot of things that you can do in the game, with hunting ducks just being one of them. However, this is a game that is bound to make you laugh. If you don’t know the characters, you will get to know them soon enough.
In fact, chances are that if you play Duck Dynasty, you may very well be obliged to watch the film once you have finished the game.
Fishing Sim World: Bass Pro Shops Edition
This is the second game on our list of the best hunting games for Xbox that is about fishing. Just like Fishing Planet, this is a game that primarily tries to recreate the experience of fishing in real life.
While Fishing Planet does a better job of emulating the fishing experience, Fishing Sim World does have a lot more bells and whistles. For one, there are multiple boats that you can take out to sea, with each of them having both advantages and disadvantages. On top of that, there are over 500-pieces of equipment for you to experiment with.
With 8 locations and over 18 species of fish, there is a lot for you to try in Fishing Sim World. There is also an online multiplayer component, although it only supports a maximum of four players.
Duck.Hunt is a game that was initially released for mobile devices. Since then, it has been released on the PC, the Xbox, and VR devices.
It really is a very simple game, where you simply have to kill ducks and rack up the highest score you can manage. Despite its extremely casual nature, it is very easy to get addicted to Duck.Hunt. Of course, this is primarily a mobile game, and that too an old one. As such, the visuals are downright terrible compared to everything else on the list.
Still, for a game that is absolutely free, we would recommend giving Duck.Hunt a try when you have a few minutes to kill.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of those games that is not primarily based around hunting, but it does have hunting as an integral part of its gameplay.
The mechanics when it comes to hunting are quite similar to the general gunplay found in the game. While that does mean that this isn’t a simulation hunting game, the process of hunting itself is a lot more nuanced than you might initially imagined.
With over 500 species of animals for you to hunt, researching where to find the animal that you need plays a very important part. As such, this is a great game for hunters that enjoy the exploration part of the endeavor.
Dauntless is much more like Monster Hunter World than a standard hunting game. Set in a completely fictional world, you are a slayer who has been tasked with hunting various monsters. However, your goal in hunting these monsters is not to acquire loot but to save the world from destruction.
With an art style that we absolutely love, Dauntless is an extremely underrated game that not many people seem to know about. Just like Monster Hunter World, you can use the parts from the monsters you have slayed to craft better armor and weapons for yourself.
If you are looking for a game that has strong hunting elements but also primarily focuses on its narrative, Dauntless is a great choice!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
We end our list of the best hunting games for Xbox Series X / S with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Do not let the name distract you, as this is not a game that is based around hunting. Instead, it plays like an action-adventure game, and is primarily focused around its story. It also made our list of the best single-player campaign games for the Xbox.
Just like some of the other games on this list, it is possible for you to hunt on your own time. However, you get to hunt monsters instead of animals in The Witcher 3. Not only can you hunt the monsters on your own time and reap the rewards, but there are also numerous quests and side quests that require you to hunt them down.
Battling the monsters isn’t any different from battling human beings in the game. The only thing that is different is that monsters usually have different abilities. Still, we have to say that killing a large monster in Wild Hunt is a very satisfactory experience.