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The Best And Worst Things About The Series X

On Nov. 10, 2020, Microsoft kicked off the next generation with the release of not one, but two new Xboxes: the Xbox Series S, and the Xbox Series X. The Series S is the more budget-friendly option, promising a next-gen gaming experience, but with a few compromises. The Xbox Series X, on the other hand, is Microsoft's flagship machine. It has more GPU power than the Series S, more RAM, more storage space — basically, more everything.


The Xbox Series X may sound pretty impressive to some. A few gaming publications have raved about both its power and its potential. There are certainly reasons to be excited about potentially picking up an Xbox Series X. There are also a few things that might give you pause, however, or make you decide to pass on the machine altogether.

Here are the best and worst things about the Series X.

BEST: It makes all your old games better

If you have a library full of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games, the Xbox Series X will do a lot to improve performance in those titles. Digital Foundry took a deep dive into the Series X's backward compatibility feature, and found that a host of titles from past generations run a whole lot better — and load a whole lot faster — than they did on their original launch consoles.


According to Digital FoundryFinal Fantasy 15 now maintains a relatively stable 60 frames-per-second in its performance mode. Rise of the Tomb Raider — and its frame rate-tanking Geothermal Valley — can also stick closely to 60 FPS thanks to the beefier specs of the Series X. And how about Grand Theft Auto 4? This backward compatible Xbox 360 title shipped with a 60 frames-per-second target, but never came close to hitting it. On the Xbox Series X, it finally does.

Thanks to these performance improvements — and the ability for the Series X to load every game much faster thanks to its NVMe SSD — Microsoft's new high-end machine is the best place to play your past-gen titles.

WORST: There's nothing new you can't get anywhere else

The delay of Halo: Infinite, unfortunately, put the Xbox Series X in a pretty rough spot. There are plenty of next-gen games you can experience from third-party developers, like Assassin's Creed: Valhalla and Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. Is there anything new you can get on the Xbox Series X that you can't get anywhere else, though? The answer — at least at launch — appears to be no.


Microsoft's rolled out updates for Gears 5Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 4, but these are all titles playable on Xbox One and PC right now. The same holds true for most third-party games in the pipeline. Those will either be cross-gen — meaning they'll appear on Xbox One, also — or they'll be available on PC and PlayStation 5. If you own a decent gaming PC, you may find there's no reason to own an Xbox Series X at all. All of Microsoft's exclusives also appear on PC, and most third-party games show up there, too.

The Xbox Series X doesn't have an exclusive leg to stand on, which is great if you don't own one, but could have you second guessing whether or not you should.