With so many to choose from, you may have asked yourself: "which Xbox is the best?" While most of the same software can be played across the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and the Xbox One range, there’s a clear difference when it comes to performance.
Answering which Xbox is the best comes down to three key factors. How well does the console perform on a game-to-game basis, especially when it comes to Xbox Series X/S enhanced titles? Does one console have any killer features the other models lack? And crucially, how do the specs of each model compare to its siblings?
If you are after the best Xbox on the market, then you should go for the most expensive model, the Xbox Series X. But you may find it difficult to find one on sale and it’s easier to find the cheaper Xbox Series S or Xbox One. Thanks to the ongoing global chip shortages, the more powerful consoles that use them are a lot harder to come by.
Depending on what you plan on using your Xbox for, you may not need to get the most expensive, hardest to find model. Read on to find out which Xbox is the best that you can buy today.
And our winner is...
Microsoft’s naming conventions for its current line-up of Xbox consoles is confusing, especially if you’ve not owned an Xbox before. The most recently released consoles from Microsoft are the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Both are designed to let you play every game available on Xbox and access services like Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming, albeit at different price points and specifications.
The Xbox Series S is cheaper, generally easier to buy, and is Microsoft’s smallest Xbox to date. That makes the Xbox Series S ideal if you’re short on space, or if you need a console you can move around with little hassle.
And in the Xbox Series X, we find our answer to which Xbox is the best. Indeed, the Xbox Series X is the best Microsoft console you can buy right now, boasting powerful specs and capabilities that rival its competition in the PS5.
The Xbox Series X enjoys the same library of games and services as the Xbox Series S, with features like X/S Enhanced titles, Smart Delivery and the fantastic Xbox Game Pass subscription service accessible on both platforms. But if you’re looking for the Xbox console that will show those games off at their best, is capable of outputting 4K resolution, and is fitted with a CPU roughly three times as powerful as its sibling, then the Xbox Series X should be on your radar.
Xbox Series X's best features
So what exactly makes the Xbox Series X the best Xbox you can buy today? For starters, its 1TB SSD means you’ll have bags of space for installing games from the jump and won’t have to resort to an external SSD for a while. Although fantastic options do exist, such as the Seagate Xbox Storage Expansion Card, you’ve got plenty of storage right off the bat to start downloading and installing games.
Additionally, the Xbox Series X includes a HDMI 2.1 cable in the box. So if you’ve got a HDMI 2.1 supported TV or monitor, you’ll be able to take advantage of features like VRR (variable refresh rate) and a 120Hz refresh rate in supported titles, without the need to buy a HDMI 2.1 cable separately.
Xbox Series X also features a disk drive, which is no longer a given with digital-only versions of consoles becoming more common. The drive gives you the option to buy and play physical copies of games, including older Xbox One and supported Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
Of course, all these extra flourishes mean the Xbox Series X doesn’t come cheap, costing $499 / £449. It’s an expensive piece of tech, but one we ultimately think is worth the cash. If you can find the elusive console, that is.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.