Xbox Series X|S One Year Later... How are we feeling?


So, a year ago to this very day, Xbox unleashed the Series X onto the world. To say it wasn’t quite the launch anyone was expecting or Microsoft had been hoping for would be something of an understatement. Stock issues made procuring one a massive task. People’s consoles were being stolen off their porches, off the backs of trucks or even in the delivery process (including mine). Halo, the big game of the launch season, had been delayed and still is not out. Yet, despite all of this, Microsoft took what may have been negative early momentum, and worked their butts off to make the first year of Series X way bigger.

Since that day, we have gotten:

  • The completion of the Zenimax acquisition
  • The addition of Major AAA titles Outriders, MLB The Show and Back 4 Blood to Game Pass.
  • Two GOTY contenders in Psychonauts 2 and Forza Horizon 5.
  • Indie darlings like Death’s Door, The Artful Escape, The Ascent, 12 Minutes and Moonglow Bay launch exclusively and/or into Game Pass day one.
  • A major E3 showcase and presence at Gamescom ONL
  • The announcements of Perfect Dark, Redfall, The Outer Worlds 2, Contraband, Forza Horizon 5, MSFS Console (basically), Starfield (Again, basically), Indiana Jones, Quake Remastered and Skyrim Special Edition.
  • Free Next-gen updates to Gears 5, Gears Tactics, Doom Eternal, Forza Horizon 4, We Happy Few, Sea of Thieves, Elder Scrolls Online, State of Decay 2, The Outer Worlds and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
  • The introduction of FPS Boost, Auto-HDR and Dolby Vision Gaming.
  • “Unofficial Announcements” for Belfry, Dragon, Shaolin, Pax Dei, Quake, Pentiment, Shadowrun, 1 V 100, 2 Minecraft Spinoffs, a MOBA and more.
  • The formation of a strategic alliance with SEGA.
  • A short-lived Gold price-hike that turned into a paywall collapsing for F2P games.
  • 5 million new Game Pass subs.
  • The biggest launch for an XGS game ever in Forza Horizon 5.
  • Two Halo-flights.
  • The acquisition of and Two Hat.
  • A billion debates.
  • So much bloody more (seriously, there’s news every week)

So, a year out… how is everyone feeling? I’ve added a poll. On my end, I am very happy. I’d give this first year of the gen an 8, and it looks to be better from here on. Halo delay was a real bummer but the game looks so much better now, and the next year has a lot of exciting stuff on the way.


How would you rate the first year of Series X and S out of 10?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

0 voters


Think its a solid 8.5-9 and would be a 10 if

  1. My series x and CX didnt have so many handshake issues a year into the life span of the console.

  2. The sharing system wasnt the worst out of the 3 major consoles.

  3. Some of the stuff Microsoft promotes goes into the backburner for months without explanation. We have gone more than half the year without FPS Boost updates and stuff like Dishonored 2 for example is the only one in the trilogy that doesn’t run at 60fps. We got 0 backwards compatibility updates, pending the anniversary stream next week, either.

  4. Stop the overdependence on Industry events to make announcements. You have enough partners, live service games and contents to put up a 15-20 minute streams each certain time period.

But overall great year

Edit: but as @Roronoa_Zoro90 says below I wish xbox addresses some of the first party gaps in Q1-Q2 cause its looking like an empty year again besides content updates to presumably Forza and Halo. Hopefully this is the LAST year of this case.


I’d say 8,5. Pros:

  • great hardware

  • great fall 2021 lineup

  • GP keeps on giving


  • lineup still too scarce in the first half of the year (both 2021 and presumably 2022), also a very questionable 1st party console launch lineup

  • hardware has still questionable 3rd party tech support, too many botched games even now

  • there are still significant holes in their 3rd party games support


The console has been absolutely perfect for me. Awesome hardware, the best BC offering ever, great options for off-console play. Series X is killing it.


Game Pass + Quick Resume changed me, seriously. I played so many games, many more than before, because of that combination, and my general excitement for games got higher because of those two.

The loading speeds and 60fps standard are really game changers too.

The great BC support. FPS boost. Great stuff, I played and bought older games because of that.



It’s a strong foundation for what should hopefully be Xbox’s best console generation to date. For years now, it feels like Xbox has been building momentum and putting things in place to be able to finally have their plans come to fruition, and most of this year has been the shift between those two states.

I personally think more studio/publisher acquisitions need to occur in order to fill several important genre gaps and keep a consistent release schedule for Game Pass. We have another thread for that topic so I won’t bother listing my ideal targets here.

Going forward, we need better messaging and understanding from the team at Xbox. Events like the Gamescom 90 minute presentation are what I’m referring to. It wasn’t awful…but it didn’t need to be what it was, and it showed a lack of cognizance from Xbox marketing/leadership. We saw a few similar messaging missteps this year, and with Xbox not being the market leader, their misses feel more pronounced.

On the tech/platform side, things have improved a lot since launch, but there’s still room to improve more. The Series X should be the de facto best platform for all third-party games, but we still see inconsistencies on that front on a far-too-often case. Xbox needs to sort these things out on their end and make it as easy as possible for developers of all scale to access the potential of the hardware. As support for last-ten starts to fade out, the support for Series S needs to get better. I worry that the platform will not succeed in the way they want it to if the messaging around it continues to be mixed. I suppose only time will tell who is right.

The future of the platform is incredibly bright, but I think there are some hurdles still yet to be overcome.

(I voted 8/10, for the record. “8 is great”)


Solid 8 for me. Could become a 9 if Halo delivers.


  1. Game Pass had a good year.
  2. Great releases in the second half of the year.
  3. Very impressed by the console an sich.


  1. First half of the year was weak release wise.
  2. So far the first half of next year looks a bit scarce as well first party wise.

The console can only get stronger as time passes now Microsoft has a chunky first party. So I imagine my score will become higher in the future.


Strong foundation I summed it up elsewhere that it’s a good purchase my criticism were the sparse first party games for half of the year ones I should of said was the game DVR being busted with HDR and the reliance on events like E3


I was going to write this so I’ll just second your post.

They should really focus on those empty af H1’s.


7/10 from me.

  • Weak launch window, even if there were some games in there which resonated with me like Gears Tactics.

  • Introduction of some stellar features like Quick resume and FPS boost.

  • Implementation of these features has been spotty in places and FPS continues to be under-utilised.

  • A shady attempt to hike Xbox gold prices for no good reason, though this was quickly reversed which was reassuring.

  • Console shortages continue to be an issue, though I’m not going to mark them down for this.

  • Games pass offerings have ramped up with front runners such as Outriders, Back4Blood, Artful Escape, Ascent, Hades and 12 Minutes being big wins.

  • Timed exclusivity on stellar indie titles such as some of the above, but also GOTY contender Deaths Door (although I think it was a wasted opportunity to not lock this down for longer).

  • Overall Series X has turned the corner in being the most powerful console, often edging out PS5 on resolution and performance specs, even offering 120fps and VRR options where PS5 doesn’t.

  • Halo MP flightings has proved a massive critical success and has gamers optimistically anxious for the final product to see if 343 can deliver in content and stability.

  • Halo SP got revealed in one of the GOAT overview trailers that Xbox has ever done (in terms of format - get Jen Taylor to do all of them!). This was met with largely very positive reception and again, players are optimistically anxious to see more.

  • A few disappointing show’s (Gamescom and Tokyo) despite good expectation tempering before hand.

  • Constant UI and dashboard updates including the introduction of dynamic backgrounds, cloud console streaming, 4K dashboard and more.

  • There continues to be a slightly disappointing lag between XGS release on PC and consoles, making the release of Gears Tactics, MSFS, and Age of Empires feel much more shallow. Also the lack of aggression for GOTY contenders in Deathloop due to Bethesda is a bit annoying and would’ve really helped pace the year.

  • Year is being closed out really well with Forza and now hopefully Halo puts a lot of confidence in the brands ability to take their time and put out damn good games.


8 / 10 :

  • From exclusive stand point, the launch was weak, even if I loved Gears Tactics it just wasn’t enough.
  • Third Party AND Indie partners have been doing a great job at keeping me busy. The Medium, Call of the Sea, Outriders, Back 4 Blood, the fantastic Sable, The Ascent and many more were a great way to enjoy my Series X during the year.
  • With Game Pass, I felt “overwhelm” with how many good games they were to play. It’s just a game changer and even if I recognize that the shortage of XGS games for the first half of 2021 was dissapointing, I never felt bore by my experience with the Series X.
  • FPS Boost is a killer feature, but not enough supported for now.
  • E3 was good, not stellar, but was a big improvement over 2020 showcase for sure.
  • The end of 2021 with Sable / Back 4 Blood / Artful Escape / The Good Life / Tales of Arise / Forza Horizon 5 is stellar and Halo Infinite will be a fantastic conclusion. Hell, Sable is now one of my top ten favourite game ever.
  • 2022 looks packed in a bigger way than 2021, Scorn / Starfield / Stalker 2 / Elden Ring / Dying Light 2 / RedFall / Bright Memory Infinite and many more will be one of the craziest gaming year for me, and 2023 will be bigger.
  • I just feel we are just at the start of the best Xbox generation ever, and I say this as a lover of the 7th generation. Xbox enter in a prime time and already feeling like it’s the best place to play but with Starfield / Avowed / Hellblade II and so much more… It’s just crazy how much Xbox will offer.

Bring 2022 to me.




  • finally a console with a lot of 60fps games
  • lots of good and great games in game pass
  • when all features work
  • everthing is fast


  • when Quick Resume is disabled
  • content delivery in Flight Sim is still messy
  • i need more BC and FPS Boost games (MS should have spread annoucements more evenly around the year)

Series X is the best Xbox I have ever owned :+1:


I gave it a seven.


  1. Slow start first party software-wise. Poorly planned launch too.
  2. Controller is bad ergonomically for big hands. Bypassed this by getting an Elite Series 2 (Xbox One controller is 100% perfect ergonomically) but I find it a shame that if there is an Elite 3 and it follows the same controller ergonomics as the Series it will not be viable for me.
  3. Dev kits coming in hot led to some performance issues.
  4. Quick Resume still under-supported, shame as it’s an amazing feature.


  1. Game Pass has been amazing. Totally sold on this as a way to game.
  2. Optimised patches and FPS boosts, all for free, a great policy.
  3. SSD makes console gaming such a nicer experience.
  4. Quick Resume when it’s supported.
  5. Knocking it out of the park now – Psychonauts 2, Flight Sim, Forza Horizon 5 and amazing Halo Infinite flightings boding well for the upcoming release.

Future now looks incredibly bright. Red Fall and Starfield (and probably Forza MS) next year and then the floodgates should really open on the first party.


Will add to this, while it’s divisive, for me personally I am in love with the physical design of the console. It’s elegant and just looks like a powerhouse, with the little design flair element of the green optical illusion in the exhaust being just enough personality. The fact that, from my seating position at least, it is basically dead silent, for a console of this power yet this diminutive size, is a testament to the engineering genius behind it.


Ill go 8/10

That is primarily more of a assessment of how much headroom it really has than its quality. The first year has been generally great:

  • Fantastic Hardware
  • OS is finally fast and fluid, even if could still use a fresh coat of paint
  • Tons of games and a stronger first year of software than I expected (even if the year was back heavy)
  • Constant feature updates and refinement
  • Abundance of special peripherals and even special consoles already

And if you start nitpicking I would say go look at what Sony and Nintendo did in the last year on any of these fronts and it is glaring that MS is much more on top of things than either of them. Even if there are quibbles to be had.

The next few years are looking insanely promising on all fronts and that is just the things we know are going on.


I give it a 7.


  • 60 fps and SSD load times are a game changer. Can’t believe I used to play on that ol Xbox One at half the FPS and double-triple the load times lol

  • Halo looks like it improved considerably and Forza is carrying Xbox hard as always (even in the Xbone days Forza was always there to help :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:)

  • Bethesda purchase showed that MS ain’t screwing around this time

  • Surprise smaller/niche JP support announcements such as AI The Somnium Files, Rune Factory 4, Octopath Traveler

  • Assuming Xbox x Kojima is real, we may finally see XGS publish JP games again.


  • Biggest complaint (though I am probably the only one who cares :sweat_smile:)I am still not completely over MS ordering Inti Creates to censor/cancel their Xbox version of Gal Gun Returns (I made my account here to rant about it, I’ve cooled off a bit over though), despite being a 360 game (plus there has been more denied releases since then). I was pretty excited to support it on Series X. Sony’s super censorship crackdown on niche JP stuff got so overbearing that I just stopped playing PS in general. I was super sour over this at first because Inti almost immediately announced Blaster Master Zero 3 afterwards for every platform -except- Xbox, though they ended up announcing it for us later (maybe MS contacted them, idk). I’ve seen some decent niche JP games skip PS versions lately such as Disgaea 6 and Mary Skelter 2 (both formerly PS games) for Switch exclusivity, presumably to avoid Sony’s ruthless policy (actually confirmed in Mary Skelter’s case). I feel that if some of these companies are willing to sacrifice PS in order to keep their freedom on developing it, they will most certainly keep Xbox off the table (in fact I feel they would doubly scrutinize Xbox over how they would PS for this, just to have an excuse not to develop for it). I don’t even think Gal Gun is that good of a game (Inti’s worst series, easily), I just don’t like the message that some of the niche JP/Asian devs might get from this. I will give Xbox credit in that they don’t seem AS bad as Sony with it (Sony made Doki Doki Literature Club censor a scene, Xbox and Switch didn’t). I will always feel that, as long as the Nintendo Switch, the family console, doesn’t impose a censorship/content policy, there is no reason for the more adult consoles (Xbox/PS) to do it.

  • They kinda dropped the ball on promoting JP stuff at their major events this year. Ever since 2017ish I felt they were doing really good with this but not so this year. Especially with 2019 announcing Yakuza and Kingdom Hearts and then 2020 announcing Dragon Quest at major events like E3 and XO. This year all they had at E3 was Eiyuden Chronicles as far as this particular thing goes (and Scarlet Nexus for the umpteenth time at the “post show”, but how many even watched that anyway?). Persona announcement would save this con for me but it seems like it’s either A) Not real or B) Keeps getting delayed (?). Even during E3 when smaller stuff like Rune Factory and IIRC Melty Blood got announced for Xbox it was at lowkey non-Xbox shows. This stuff needs exposure, even if it’s just in a sizzle reel, at Xbox events to have a chance at succeeding on the platform. With the momentum of those aforementioned announcements it seemed like there was gonna be another long awaited JP game finally announced for Xbox this year but it didn’t happen. Hopefully this was just a cool-off year as they work on those deals then.

  • The launch lineup was both poor and poorly planned. It was just Gears Tactics. That’s it. Halo was supposed to be the grand launch game, but I don’t believe for even a second that was ever gonna make it to launch. Even over a year later it’s still not launching with Coop (extremely dissapointing :pensive:) or Forge. I give them respect for nabbing Yakuza LAD next-gen as an exclusive for a brief period though.

  • As of right now I still feel like I’m using a “souped up Xbox One”. Next Gen feeling hasn’t hit me yet. I think I need to play something that you can’t play on last-gen.

  • Personal issue I think, but Quick Resume straight up does not work for me. It’s never supported in anything I play.

Yeaaah I got wordy with the cons, I guess I’m just a critical person. All that being said, the Series X looks like it’s gonna be a great console, especially coming off that Xbox One which I consider easily the worst Xbox and not exactly that great (let’s get real Xbox almost died here). Series and Phil have really corrected the course Xbox was head towards.

1 Like

Been loving it. Got the XSX at launch and have nothing but fun. Try spells soemtimes? Of-course. Im not always into the same fun games as other. But the amount of love that was put into the console, and what we are still getting? Man…truly awesome


8-8.5 for me.

It is pretty solid. It is much better than Xbox One, slightly better than Xbox OG (arguably) but not Xbox 360 (yet). As a foundation, it is a solid year.

Best console hardware and software for the Xbox Eccosystem that continues to grow every day without leaving my collections behind.


Best console I’ve ever owned. It just works with all my games from last gens. It’s also a silent beast. I’m eager to play more games that pushes it to the limit.


Xbox Series X is an amazing console. Ultra fast load times, the dedication to making 60FPS the standard, services and features such as Quick Resume, Game Pass, Dolby Vision, Auto HDR, VRR and more have made the Xbox Series X the most impressive console hardware in gaming history up to this point. In just one year, it’s already blown away the original Xbox and Xbox One for me. Barring delays to their 2022 exclusive lineup, Xbox Series X should surpass Xbox 360 in a year from now.

The few negatives that I have is that their exclusives were pretty much non-existent for the first eight months of the generation outside of Gears Tactics which while a great turn based strategy RPG, is my 12th best game of the generation out of 12 games that I completed. In other words, it’s last. While their exclusives have picked up since July with Flight Simulator and Forza Horizon 5, neither are for me personally so im still waiting for that exclusive to truly win me over. While there is some form of Ray Tracing in Forza Horizon 5, it’s restricted to Forza Vista which means literally nothing to me. While im not 100% certain, I think someone mentioned that there’s also Ray Tracing being used for the audio but again, that means nothing to me. I want to see Ray Tracing you know, when im actually playing the game. Not having Ray Tracing in Halo Infinite at launch despite it having a one year delay is also very disappointing mainly because this is one of the features that Microsoft kept hyping up prior to launch and I haven’t seen anything yet despite it being a year into the generation.

Other than what I just listed, the only other negative I have was the Xbox Series X controller. Too damn small which is what happens when it’s created in mind for the hands of an 8 year old. Thankfully, I bought a few Xbox One 2016 controllers and they’ve been far better for me than the Xbox Series X controller. They’re also better built in my opinion and I prefer the directional pad of the Xbox One controller.

Back to the positives. I have played every third party multi-platform game on Xbox Series X and have been for the most part very satisfied unless of course, the game itself didn’t hit for me as much as I was expecting. Love the upgrades for Xbox Series X like AC Odyssey and others but im really hoping Microsoft creates a small team to start upgrading every Xbox One Bethesda release for Xbox Series X. I would think that this is a guarantee but who knows.

Game Pass is a primary reason for my score as well. I played Gears Tactics via Game Pass and im not going to lie, im happy that I didn’t buy it. I would not have been thrilled but for a $10 monthly rental, I can’t complain. I tried out Outriders and The Ascent first on Game Pass and after a few hours, I bought both games because they’re worth buying and owning for me. The biggest positive for me in regards to Game Pass is that I no longer have to buy any Microsoft first party game and games that are 50/50, I can now play for a $10 monthly rental to see if I can actually get into the game enough to play it to completion where as without this, several games would simply not be played because I wouldn’t buy them. Now I can play Starfield, The Elder Scrolls VI, The Outer Worlds 2, Avowed, etc. and if I don’t like them, I can simply drop them and move on to where it would have been nothing more than a $10 monthly rental which is cheaper than GameFly. Basically, I can’t lose which is the way it should be.

The biggest positive by far is the massive investment that Microsoft is finally putting into Xbox and the roadmap for the future. It’s extremely impressive and gives me the most confidence in Microsoft and Xbox that I have had in over a decade. The 2022 tentative lineup looks great and better than 2021 for me. My only issue is that the first half of 2022 looks to be empty yet again but the second half should even things out. I hope by 2023, this first half of the year issue gets solved.

On a general note, I really wish Microsoft would have their own “game videos”. Like Halo Infinite but longer and more in depth but without spoiling major stuff. I would like to see them copy Sony/Nintendo when they showcase an individual game via State of Play/Direct because it freaking works. I don’t care that it would be copying. If anything, that’s what they should be doing for certain things. Copy the good stuff and ignore the bad stuff.

So in conclusion, despite the few negatives/complaints that I have, Xbox Series X is an excellent 9.0/10 for me thus far and I have put hundreds of hours playing games on it and have spent just as much money buying games for it. Now, im just waiting for Halo Infinite and for 2022 to get here which im very hyped for in general and for Xbox Series X especially since cross-gen is basically done for them which makes me very happy. :joy: :joy: :joy:

1 Like