The Xbox Series X is the best place to play Xbox One titles. That’s partially because the Xbox Series X doesn’t yet have a flagship exclusive to call its own, but mostly because Microsoft has taken backwards compatibility very, very seriously in its latest system. Not only can the Xbox Series X (and Xbox Series S) play just about every Xbox One title; it also employs a program known as “Xbox FPS Boost” to ensure that they run as smoothly as possible.
At present, there are about 100 games with Xbox FPS Boost available, and you can read a full list of them on official Xbox personality Major Nelson’s website. The FPS boost program is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a technology that lets Xbox One titles run at 60 frames per second, or even 120 frames per second, on Xbox Series X/S systems. (Previously, they ran at 30 frames per second; respectable, but old-fashioned.)
The Tom’s Guide staff has rounded up 10 of our favorite Xbox FPS Boost titles, so you can now experience great games with better frame rates than ever before.
Alien Isolation is the best piece of Alien media to be released since Aliens in 1986. The game captures the iconic look of the original sci-fi classic perfectly, and as a huge fan of the Alien franchise, each deliciously tense moment was a complete joy to experience, even in 30 frames. It’s a slower-paced game, so the boost to 60 fps doesn’t quite have the same pronounced effect as it does in a twitchy shooter. However, Alien Isolation is all about the atmosphere, and being able to creep through the unnerving halls of the Sevastopol space station while being hunted by an unkillable Xenomorph has never felt better on a console than it does on Xbox Series X — Rory Mellon
Assassin’s Creed III Remastered
Xbox FPS Boost supports a variety of Assassin’s Creed titles, including Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection and the ever-underrated Assassin’s Creed Unity. However, if I were to recommend just one title from this series, I think I’d go with Assassin’s Creed III Remastered. It’s not because AC3 is the greatest game in the series — it’s not — but because you can get it as part of the content-rich Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Season Pass, and it’s well worth replaying. Assassin’s Creed III has one of the darkest and most cohesive stories in the series, as well as some ambitious stealth gameplay that’s even smoother in 60 fps. — Marshall Honorof
Dishonored: Definitive Edition
Arguably one of the best stealth games of the Xbox 360 console generation, Dishonored got a slight makeover in Dishonored: Definitive Edition. This Xbox One title improved Dishonored’s graphics, and bundled together both the base game and the various DLC packages. You take control of Corvo Attano: a royal bodyguard who embarks on a complicated rescue mission in the steampunk city of Dunwall. Dishonored isn’t just about sneaking and fighting; it’s also about exploring the vibrant city, and hunting down its myriad secrets. At 60 frames per second, Corvo’s supernatural evasion and assassination abilities look even smoother than they did in previous console generations. — Marshall Honorof
Dragon Age: Inquisition
While Dragon Age 2 narrowed in on the city of Kirkwall and repeated the same handful of dungeons over and over, Dragon Age: Inquisition is a sprawling epic. In this fantasy RPG, you play as the Herald: a warrior, rogue or mage who survived a cataclysmic attack, and must now build political and military alliances to fight off a demonic threat. You can customize your character’s abilities, and let loose in the game’s real-time-with-pause battle system. A higher framerate helps show off the game’s impressive spell effects, and combat can be surprisingly fast-paced, once you get into the rhythm of things. — Marshall Honorof
Gears of War 4
While Gears 5 may be one of the flagship “Optimized for Xbox Series X/S” titles, Gears of War 4 still holds up well — even better, now that you can play at 60 fps. In this third-person shooter sequel, you play as JD Fenix: a soldier who leads a futuristic squad against both human and alien foes. This game introduced a number of important characters in the current Gears story arc, including fan-favorite Kait Diaz, who takes center stage in the sequel. If you’ve played the other games in the series, you know what to expect here: tight gameplay, an interesting story and robust multiplayer options. — Marshall Honorof
Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
A lot of games have tried to mimic the Dark Souls formula in other genres; Hollow Knight actually succeeded. Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition is a dark, moody, difficult side-scroller that casts you as a lone swordsman in a world populated by melancholic bug creatures. It’s a Metroidvania, but mastering the complex combat system is just as important as exploring the enormous, interconnected map. Hollow Knight tells a big story with a relatively small amount of dialogue, and uses a few simple gameplay systems to build an intricate world. Better still: It’s one of the few Xbox FPS Boost games that can reach 120 fps. — Marshall Honorof
Mad Max was the right game at the wrong time. This open-world action/adventure game debuted in 2015, when gamers were getting a little burned out on the genre. Furthermore, the game has very little to do with Mad Max: Fury Road, the acclaimed film from the same year. But none of that should diminish the fact that Mad Max is everything the franchise should be. You’ll take on bizarre post-apocalyptic goons in melee, ranged and vehicle combat; you’ll explore the atmospheric Australian wasteland; you’ll upgrade your car from an old junker to a V8 masterpiece. If you missed this one the first time around, now’s the chance to check it out in 120 fps (or 60 fps, on the Xbox Series S).
Star Wars Battlefront 2
The promise of Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a simple one: grab a bunch of your favorite characters and vehicles from the Star Wars movies and make them fight it out in some of the films’ most memorable locales. Xbox Series X owners now have the option of seeing those fights at 120 frames per second, though you’ll need to own a TV capable of displaying 120Hz and manually enable FPS Boost in the game’s compatibility settings. Whether it’s worth it depends on how much you adore high frame rates: Battlefront 2 looks slick running at 120 frames per second, but to achieve that on Xbox Series X the game compensates by lowering the resolution down from 4K to a dynamic 1080p. Since so much of the joy of Battlefront 2 lies in seeing and hearing all your favorite Star Wars toys brought to life, you have to ask yourself: do you want 4K detail, or buttery-smooth frame rates? — Alex Wawro
Untitled Goose Game
Sure, you might have already taken control of a horrible goose and ruined a whole town’s day. But have you taken control of a horrible goose and ruined a whole town’s day at 120 fps? Untitled Goose Game is one of the strangest games from the last few years, but it’s built up a cult following simply because there’s nothing else like it. In this puzzle/simulation game, you play as an English goose whose primary purpose in life is to wreak havoc, from dumping farming equipment in ponds, to cornering innocent children in phone booths and honking them into submission. It’s one of those games you just have to play for yourself. — Marshall Honorof
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
You can play just about the entire Yakuza series on Xbox Game Pass, but most of them run at 30 fps. Not so with Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, which runs at 60 fps. That makes a big difference when you’re running through the mean streets of Kamurocho, uncovering a crime thriller conspiracy and stopping every few minutes to solve farcical, convoluted side missions. Yakuza 6, like the rest of the series, strikes a beautiful balance between “serious crime drama” and “bizarre non-sequiturs.” Sometimes, you’ll be taking on powerful gangsters in hand-to-hand martial arts brawls; sometimes, you’ll be rounding up stray cats for a trendy café. — Marshall Honorof