Xbox has been riding on the coat-tails of third-party publishers this generation. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of – in fact, the strength of third-party offerings on Xbox Game Pass is the main reason I’ve made the Xbox Series X my leading console over the past few years. Last generation, you couldn’t get me off the PlayStation 4 as Destiny, Nioh, Persona 5, GTA, and all the other big games wrestled for my attention.

But now, Xbox offers me (almost) everything I loved about the PS4. I’m not the biggest fan of the let’s-be-a-dad, hide-in-the-grass, camera-over-the-shoulder cinematic exclusives of the PlayStation in the modern era. They’re fine, sure, but a tad homogenous for me. I still play them – they’re glossy, prestige examples of what big budget games can do! – but it’s the third-party behemoths that make me remember why I love video games in 2023.

That’s why Xbox has had a belter so far this gen, as far as I’m concerned. There have been some notable releases in the form of Halo Infinite, Pentiment, and Forza Horizon 5 (all available on Xbox One, may I add), but largely, Xbox has been quiet on the exclusives front.

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