Now that the acquisition of Bethesda has been finalized, Xbox is now able to fully implement the publisher’s impressive library into the ever-growing catalogue of Xbox Game Pass.
Bethesda is home to many incredible franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Wolfenstein. To help narrow down the choices, here are the first five Bethesda games you should download and play on Xbox as soon as possible.
In 2017, Arkane Studios brought the Prey brand back from the brink with a reimagining of the 2006 title of the same name. Taking after the design cues of first-person action-RPGs like System Shock and Deus Ex, Prey allows the player to make decisions that affect various aspects of the game world. Prey was well-regarded by critics on release, but the sales figures were considered underwhelming by the studio.
However, with the title now available on Game Pass, it is able to be played by millions of players that never gave the game a chance four years ago. Along with its inclusion on the Xbox service, it also comes with some improvements to smooth out the gameplay’s rougher edges.
Prey is one of the many titles that have received the FPS Boost improvement introduced not long ago. With this frame rate boost, players can now enjoy the game at 60 FPS, while experiencing shorter load times and a reduction in input lag. All together, these fixes make Prey feel new again, ensuring that the Game Pass version is likely the best way to experience this title.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Among the various Bethesda-published titles getting the FPS Boost is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition. Originally released in 2011, the fifth mainline installment in The Elder Scrolls franchise never seems to go away. Skyrim always gets carried over to each new console with improvements that make die-hard fans of the game come back and start their adventure again.
While Skyrim has been available on Xbox Game Pass since last December, it had already been optimized for the previous generation of consoles, so it wasn’t enhanced for the Xbox Series X. Now that the title has been updated with the frame rate enhancement, Skyrim runs at 2160p on the Series X while displaying 60 FPS. For console players of Skyrim, these graphical improvements are more than enough reason to start a new character and return to the continent of Tamriel while awaiting the next Elder Scrolls adventure.
Given that Skyrim was already able to give players endless hours of entertainment and exploration, this new update ensures the time spent with the game will be more seamless and less technically troubled than ever. As such, it’s all the more worthwhile to give the game another look, even just to appreciate the existing details that have been brought into sharper focus.
3. Doom Eternal
Though Doom Eternal has not received a graphical boost like Bethesda’s other works, it is scheduled to receive a free update intended to optimize the game for the new consoles. That’s good to hear, because Eternal is well worth everyone’s time.
Receiving favorable reviews upon release and selling well, Doom Eternal gave fans more of what they loved from 2016’s Doom. It delivered more intense firefights across a wider range of environments, taking the series’ trademark frantic action beyond the typical fire and brimstone of yore. Eternal followed that up in October with the first part of a DLC expansion called The Ancient Gods, the second half having released this past week.
It is unknown precisely when Doom Eternal will receive the next gen upgrade. If it’s at all comparable to how other games have been upgraded for subsequent console generations, though, we might have a good idea of how it will shake out.
While playing on an Xbox One X, Doom Eternal tops out at 1800p and 60 FPS, which is pushing that console to its limits. Taking into account the incredible work that Bethesda has put into its earlier titles, Doom Eternal might be able to run at 4K with the same frame rate on the Xbox Series X. The game’s texture details could also be significantly improved, making this already incredible game run and play even better on this new hardware.
2. Fallout 4
While Fallout 4 wasn’t well optimized when it launched on the previous generation of consoles, exploring post-apocalyptic Boston now feels better thanks to the FPS Boost enhancement.
On the Xbox One X, Fallout 4 was able to achieve a 4K resolution but was stuck suffering at 30 FPS. With the new enhancement, some trade-offs had to be made. People can now play Fallout 4 at the standard 60 FPS, but it will no longer feature that beautiful 4K resolution. While that is a terrible compromise, there is a way to achieve that desired combination.
Thanks to the mod community and mods being supported on the Xbox platform, there is a mod available to help you achieve a 4K resolution and 60 FPS in Fallout 4. Of course, it’s a little sad that Bethesda either couldn’t make this the standard way to play on the Series X or was unwilling, yet their loyal fandom somehow managed it.
1. Dishonored 2
Another underappreciated gem from Arkane Studios, Dishonored 2 had a lot going for it. The game let players experience the story as either returning protagonist Corvo Attano or his now-grown daughter Emily Kaldwin. It launched to widespread acclaim, with particular praise given to the expert level design, the greater sense of challenge compared to the original game, incredible art direction, and the distinct ability sets of the two leads. For all its admirable qualities, it’s a shame that Dishonored 2 was a victim of similar sales troubles as Prey.
Dishonored may not be the crown jewel or even a featured player in Bethesda’s library of games, but it is an incredible franchise that is often overlooked. For those wanting to play the first Dishonored game, they can now find it on Game Pass with the requisite frame rate boost. Featuring a huge decrease in load times, a playthrough of Dishonored will now be less of a pain whenever Corvo loses a battle and forces the player to respawn.
With Dishonored 2’s inclusion on Game Pass alongside the first Dishonored’s Definitive Edition, players are now able to download both games of this franchise and experience the incredible world Arkane has built. From the magnificent environments to the entertaining puzzles, there’s much here that makes these games noteworthy and endearing.