17 Best Shooter Games for Xbox Series X / S

Image credit: Microsoft Game Studios / Microsoft Store

No matter how much the world of video games expands, it is basically certain that shooters are going to get the most attention from the largest number of players. Even popular games that are not primarily shooters, like GTA V, often have shooting as an integral part of the game.

That said, the shooter genre refers to games that are primarily based on gunplay. Many of them focus on the armed forces, but there really are no limits to what the lore of the game can be about.

With the wealth of shooter games that are currently available, it can be a bit difficult for players to select which one they should play. The problem is that the intricacies of each game are now so different that you can only hope to be good at a select few of them.

Our list of the 17 best shooter games for Xbox Series X / S should help you solve this problem. The list has everything from first-person to third-person shooters.

We have also aimed to be as diverse as we can about the themes of the games, the settings, and whether they are primarily a single or multiplayer experience.

Halo Infinite

Personally, I have to say that I am sick of talking about how great Halo Infinite is. Whenever anything related to the shooter genre is mentioned, there is always someone (usually me) singing praises of Halo Infinite. For example, it was on the list of the best open-world games for Xbox.

The developers have done almost everything perfectly in the game. To make the Halo experience a bit different from the past entries, the single-player campaign is now open-world and the speed at which you progress through the game is completely up to you.

The multiplayer has also had some changes, with the developers placing a great focus on squad battles and reverting to the multiplayer of old Halo games (with some changes). This also makes the game ideal for esports, although the competitive scene in Infinite is nowhere close to as big as CS: GO.

120 FPS and 4K options are both present for owners of the Series X. The game also allows for cross-platform multiplayer between Xbox and PC, allowing you to play with more of your friends.

DOOM Eternal

The reboot of the DOOM series has been marred with only one thing: Praise. This is completely understandable, as the developers have taken everything that was great about the series in the first place, upped the level in almost every way, and modernized the graphics.

DOOM Eternal does not really try to re-innovate the series like the reboot called DOOM did. Instead, it just allows fans of the game to experience more of the same gore, metal music, and intense multiplayer.

Since fans of the DOOM series have traditionally been players who play it for the campaign, the multiplayer of the game has gone a bit under the radar. Although the gun mechanics are exactly the same and the game modes are quite simple, it is extremely fun to know that you just bashed an actual player’s head in rather than an AI-controlled character.

Far Cry 6

It is true that the Far Cry series has become famous for hiring actors from the Breaking Bad T.V Show. Usually, games that do this try to substitute style for substance, but that couldn’t be more wrong a description for Far Cry 6.

Underneath all the slick acting is classic Far Cry gameplay but at a scale much larger than before. The developers have followed the recent trend of bigger being better and basically created a world that is larger than anything seen before in the Far Cry series.

The gameplay remains unchanged for the most part. This is a first-person shooter where you need to make use of all your skills to survive (if the difficulty is high enough). The campaign can also be played in co-op mode with one other player.

Due to the open-world nature of the game, there are a lot of other activities that players can engage in apart from completing the story missions. Many of them can end up being mini-games of their own, which is why we had Far Cry 6 on our list of the best hunting games for Xbox.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

The first three games have all been focused on the single-player campaign. Although they have very capable co-op and multiplayer modes, the next game on our list of the best Xbox shooter games is multiplayer-only.

Siege is a competitive shooter game that focuses on esports more than anything else. While the esports side of things is limited to PC, this doesn’t mean that the players in the competitive mode on Xbox are slouches.

Siege has various game modes such as bomb defuse and hostage rescue. Two teams of five take on each other in destructible environments. Every player has an operator with special skills that can be used to win rounds or counter the enemy’s strategy.

There really is a lot of depth to Siege, and it will take you hundreds of hours to master the game. That said, the fun begins from the very first hour, and the competitive ladder means that you can continuously play with others that are around your skill level.

Call of Duty: Warzone

Although the hype around the battle royale genre that began with H1Z1 has largely died down, Call of Duty: Warzone is still as popular as ever.

The object of the game is simple: Drop into the map either alone or with a team of other players. Fight off other teams until you are the only one left. Of course, this is easier said than done, and there truly are some insanely skilled players that you will encounter on a daily basis on the server.

Warzone also has numerous other game modes that throw a wrench into the traditional battle royale formula. While it is true that all of them are fundamentally based on battle royales, it is hard to imagine the game becoming boring for someone who is a fan of titles like this.

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village is primarily a horror game, which is why it was on our list of the best scary horror games for Xbox. That said, the game does play like traditional horror games where you have no choice but to run and evade the enemy.

Instead, you have a chance to fight off the monstrosities that you face. While there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to the weapons at your disposal, the gameplay revolves around both shooting enemies and evading them.

This creates a very different experience compared to many other games on this list, where all you have to do is run around and gun down enemies. In Village, you will need to think about your every move, manage your ammo, and make sure that you keep a safe distance.

Gears 5

The Gears of War franchise has experienced a return to form with the fifth entry in the series. The developers have made sure that all of the feedback from the players was taken into account. The end result is a game that has very few weak points.

The single-player campaign is now set in an open world, allowing players to control their progress. Due to the addition of the open world, there are a lot of additional activities that players can partake in. The world itself is interesting enough that spending a few hours exploring its every corner is quite fun.

The multiplayer mode has returned to its roots. Since the release of the game in 2019, there also has been a lot of new content including game modes, so those who haven’t played the game in a while may find something new to try if they return.

Splitgate

Splitgate is not exactly a game that can compete with the AAA shooters, but we include it on our list of the best Xbox shooter games because it has a lot of content. On top of that, it is completely free to play.

While the game does not present any new ideas, it does a good job of combining various genres. At its core, this is an arena warfare game with a focus on competitive gameplay. However, the addition of portals that basically allow you to teleport creates a high skill-ceiling in the game.

There are also a lot of weapons that are almost completely unique from each other. The addition of melee weapons means that players that are adept a movement can get up close and personal with the enemy, taking pleasure in their humiliation.

There are over 20 maps and numerous game modes that can be accessed in Splitgate. Sadly, many of those modes do not have a lot of players. Chances are that you will have to resort to the top two or three game modes due to the low player base of the game.

Destiny 2

The original Destiny was popular enough, but Destiny 2 took the franchise to new heights. All that the original game was missing was enough content and a world large enough to keep players grinding.

Once Destiny 2 delivered on that front, there was basically no game in the looter-shooter genre that could compete. The fact that the servers are still filled with players years after release is proof.

Destiny 2 has you completing quests, upgrading your gear, and then completing more challenging quests. It is a simple formula, but it works. On top of that, there are numerous co-op and PvP game modes that add a bit of competitiveness to the proceedings.

As long as you are someone who does not mind grinding endlessly, Destiny 2 could be the only game you play for a long time to come.

Insurgency: Sandstorm

One of the few pitfalls of playing on a console as opposed to the PC is that the extremely hardcore titles of any genre are usually reserved for the PC. This may be due to a more mature audience over there, but it is a shame that Xbox and PlayStation do not get the same treatment.

Occasionally, a great game that prioritizes realism almost to the point of boredom and frustration makes its way to consoles. That has been the case with Insurgency: Sandstorm.

The aforementioned description of the game may make you think that it isn’t a great game, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Sandstorm requires thought and strategy. In order to win, it will be imperative that you communicate effectively with your team.

There are a handful of game modes for you to try. Most of them are PvP, but you can also engage in PvE gameplay if you wish. While the player base is somewhat small, finding a match to play isn’t a huge problem due to the pick-up and play nature of the game.

Quake

Speaking of hardcore shooters, why not talk about the original hardcore FPS that basically defined what the genre is today?

Quake has been remastered for modern devices. While all of the art style and the mechanics are the same, the game looks a lot better with updated lighting and support for 4K.

Players can play through the entire campaign (which is basically just shooting through enemies) or hop onto the multiplayer. While the movement is difficult to master on the controller, there are a lot of skilled players looking to duel. It is also possible to play the game in split-screen mode.

Lastly, the developers are not only releasing the original expansion packs for the game but also adding new content. This means that even veterans of the franchise can find something new here.

Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood is created by the same team that was behind the Left 4 Dead series. Fundamentally, it plays the same way as Left 4 Dead did. The game has received acclaim from most critics, and it was on our list of the best zombie games for Xbox.

The major change is that there are a lot more randomized elements to keep the game fresh. You can hop into the co-op mode and fend off endless waves of zombies, but there will almost always be some kind of a twist that makes every single session different from the last.

There is also a campaign that can be played solo or with other people. The environment that you are in plays a key role, as you will need to utilize elements of it if you are to survive.

Lastly, there is also a PvP mode if you are someone who enjoys the gunplay in the title. This, coupled with a horde mode where you fight a never-ending swarm of enemies, means that there is enough content here to keep you occupied for hours.

Metro Exodus

The Metro series has always been a bit unusual. It obviously has all of the elements that are traditional in Russian games. The struggle, the horror, and the general dreariness of everything immediately remind you of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series.

However, Metro Exodus is better in two clear ways. One, it does not have nearly as many bugs and is a fully developed game. Secondly, it also focuses on certain aspects more than others, leading to a much more cohesive product that has a purpose.

Fundamentally, Metro Exodus is a horror game. There is a large world for you to explore, and the sandbox survival is very well thought-out. What that means is that while shooting everyone is never the right option in Metro Exodus, your guns will still play a very important role in the game.

If you are someone who wants a shooter that places a heavy emphasis on both the story and survival, Metro Exodus will be a great choice.

Hell Let Loose

We remarked when we discussed Insurgency: Sandstorm that there aren’t a lot of games on the Xbox that try to emulate combat in a realistic way. While Sandstorm is a great game for those who want a realistic tactical experience, Hell Let Loose is for those who like mayhem.

The game thrusts you into the middle of a battlefield in the Second World War. After that, you need to work tirelessly with your team to capture and hold key positions on the map. With tanks, artillery, and numerous explosives, chances are that you will be in the thick of it before you even know it.

Hell Let Loose is a multiplayer-only experience. On top of that, the game has a very steep learning curve which can lead to new players continuously dying. However, believe us when we say that learning to play the game is worth the wait.

As long as you don’t mind shooters that require you to think before you act and take the slow-paced approach at times, Hell Let Loose will be perfect for you.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a game that does not try to hide where it got its inspiration from. If you are someone who enjoys or has enjoyed the Borderlands series, chances are that you will like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.

The major difference between the game and its inspiration is that the fantasy elements are at the forefront here. While your guns will still be one of the main ways for you to clear the levels, they won’t be the only option at your disposal.

The best part about the game is its co-op mode. Due to the chaotic nature of the game, it does not take long before all cooperation breaks down and all the players involved are having a laugh. There are also a lot of opportunities for the players to prank each other, leading to hilarious moments.

Call of Duty: Vanguard

It is a list of the best shooter games for Xbox. Obviously, it is going to have more than one entry from the Call of Duty franchise.

Vanguard sees the series return to World War Two. However, Sledgehammer Games is trying to up the ante on the competition by creating a Call of Duty experience at a scale larger than ever before.

The campaign truly takes you all around the world, and the multiplayer is a little more focused on creating chaos rather than being a run-and-gun affair. What all of this means is that there is enough new content in the game for even veterans of the COD franchise to find something new.

Also, the game has a zombies mode developed by Treyarch. While it is not our favorite zombies mode by any means, it still provides a great survival experience (especially in co-op mode).

Sniper Elite 5

We end our list of the best shooter games for Xbox Series X / S with Sniper Elite 5. It does a good job of combining both stealth elements found in sniper games and all-out warfare where you have to take out as many enemies as you can in a short amount of time.

The one thing that the developers have managed to nail down is the secondary aspects of sniping. Picking the correct position and taking out enemies until you can get there is a critical part of the game. The missions require a lot of thought, and you cannot just rely on your aim to get yourself through the story.

The multiplayer allows for up to 16 players to battle each other. While it does not revolve around the same principles of stealth as the single-player, it is still a great addition that allows you to let loose a little bit.

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