Skip to main content

Digital Foundry Tests: Xbox One X Games Run Great on Xbox Series X

Final Fantasy XV Screenshot
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Xbox Series X units are finally starting to hit reviewers, and with that comes performance tests. There aren’t any next-gen titles to test the systems with yet, but that hasn’t stopped Digital Foundry, since the Xbox Series X makes strong efforts towards backwards compatibility, with Microsoft continuously reminding Xbox owners that they’ll have “thousands of games at launch,” some with more performance than before. Digital Foundry’s now put those claims to the test, and shown just how well the Series X runs older titles.
 

The results? Pretty impressive. Regardless of mode and whether or not Microsoft has gone out of its way to enhance the title to better leverage Series X architecture, the next-gen console ran most of the Xbox One X games Digital Foundry tested at a mostly stable 60 frames per second (fps).

Take Final Fantasy XV, which usually runs closer to 45 fps on its 1080p Lite mode on Xbox One X. The Xbox Series X bumped that up to a stable 60 fps, according to Digital Foundry's tests. 

Hitman 2, meanwhile, usually hits around 40 fps in its 4K mode on Xbox One X, but only occasionally dropped below 60 fps on the same mode on Xbox Series X, the testing found. 

According to Digital Foundry, Monster Hunter: World also hit a mostly stable 60 fps in its 4K resolution mode on Xbox Series X, while it runs closer to 30 fps in the same mode on Xbox One X.

There were some sub-60 fps exceptions, but nothing too glaring. Rise of the Tomb Raider showed a 30 fps cap on its 4K mode on both the Xbox One X and Xbox Series X, though swapping the game over to 1080p resulted in a more reliable 60 fps on the Series X, while the Xbox One X tends to vary between 40-55 fps. 

Sekiro, meanwhile, consistently dipped between 55 - 57 fps on Series X, which is still much higher than its 36 - 40 fps standard on Xbox One X.

On the other hand, Gears of War: Ultimate can now run at 4K on Xbox Series X at twice the frame rate as it does at FHD on the Xbox One X (though Digital Foundry didn't provide numbers for this game). This is a pretty drastic improvement over everything else Digital Foundry tested. The channel attributed this to Microsoft’s compatibility team, saying “work is being done there for select titles.”

Games that aren’t being enhanced by hand to take full advantage of the Series X’s hardware still fared pretty well. Digital Foundry discovered that this is probably because they can take full advantage of the Xbox Series X’s GPU power (though not all of its architecture), meaning that most of the lost performance comes from either the CPU or certain options not being available.

As the Xbox Series X matures, we’ll have to see how much developers, or Microsoft itself, support backwards compatibility. For instance, like Rise of the Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XV’s Resolution mode caps the game at 30 fps, even though the Series X could probably well exceed that even at 4K, (which the Resolution mode also doesn't quite hit on consoles). Square Enix or Microsoft would need to patch the game to allow it to pass the 30 fps cap on Series X.

That’s actually not too unlikely, though, as Microsoft’s backwards compatibility efforts have only grown over time, and the existence of Game Pass only gives the company more incentive to keep expanding its compatibility efforts. Still, even out-of-the-box, the Series X seems to almost double performance across numerous games.

  • Giroro
    I'll wait until independent reviewers have a chance to validate the marketing claims.
    Reply
  • madmatt30
    Giroro said:
    I'll wait until independent reviewers have a chance to validate the marketing claims.

    Digital Foundry ARE an independent reviewer, and a very reliable one at that.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    This is good news ... $500-$1000 gaming PCs will have a hard time competing against this generation of consoles.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    madmatt30 said:
    Digital Foundry ARE an independent reviewer, and a very reliable one at that.
    I didn't call them unreliable. They're extremely reliable.
    That's why they get the kinds of access that they do, because they're so reliable.
    They test the exact same games using the exact same methodology as the marketing claims. Then they reliably arrive at the exact same results presented by the brand and reliably amplify the exact talking points listed in the NDA they signed to get their access in the first place.
    What I called them, accurately, is marketing.
    You can be the independent reviewer who buys a product and gives accurate and fair criticism, regardless of what the company wants... or you can be the guy who gets flown out to film exclusive commercials on company property, surrounded by staff, months before the product is even announced. You don't get to be both.

    When DF talks about Xbox and Nvidia, they're basically the Star Wars Fanboy "social media influencers" who called Rise of Skywalker the most greatest and perfect movie ever made because Disney flew them out to watch the premiere with the cast. Basically, they enjoyed the gift bag and would very much like to do it again for the next movie.
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    I really don't understand why anyone would even buy an xbox at this point. Sony is the only platform where games are actually exclusive aside from nintendo. I'm gonna grab a playstation 5 for demon's souls. Plus god of war.
    Anything microsoft releases is going to be on PC so it's like. Why even bother.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    thepersonwithaface45 said:
    I really don't understand why anyone would even buy an xbox at this point. Sony is the only platform where games are actually exclusive aside from nintendo. I'm gonna grab a playstation 5 for demon's souls. Plus god of war.
    Anything microsoft releases is going to be on PC so it's like. Why even bother.
    That’s just your opinion. I have zero interest in the Sony platform and all the games I like to play are on Xbox so that’s why people bother not everybody is like you. Also most all of Xbox entire library is backwards compatible sorry Sony and Sony’s os interface sucks as well as their network interface sucks. Sony doesn’t automatically back your games up to the cloud another reason to hate them shall I go on? You can be a fan boy all you want just don’t be one around here
    Reply
  • sizzling
    thepersonwithaface45 said:
    I really don't understand why anyone would even buy an xbox at this point. Sony is the only platform where games are actually exclusive aside from nintendo. I'm gonna grab a playstation 5 for demon's souls. Plus god of war.
    Anything microsoft releases is going to be on PC so it's like. Why even bother.
    Not everyone wants a gaming pc? If you fall into that category the XBox looks a very strong option with its very affordable subscription services which soon will also include EA games.

    I really like the cross platform games. I can play Gears 5 on the XBox on my TV or I can play it on my pc and it’s included in my game pass ultimate.
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    Mandark said:
    Also most all of Xbox his entire library is backwards compatible sorry Sony and Sony’s in her face sucks as well as their network interface
    Well that's just your opinion man, my experience with xbox was two bricked 360s sent back within the warranty and one bricked xbone S that ran hot and the interface lagged WAY more than my ps4.
    Plus I'm a PC gamer so I have access to the xbox library already. So. Exclusives. From sony.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    The Xbox ones did not suffer the fatalities the 360 did those days are long gone and I still have two original Xbox ones in-service playing games daily so they have been ultra super reliable and are still in service and still playing all the games I like

    You are a typical fan boy thinks everybody should be like you. And I’ve had two PS4s that failed flat on their face in failure. That doesn’t mean that nobody should ever buy them if you like them great buy them all you want but why make fun of other people who don’t want them?
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    nofanneeded said:
    This is good news ... $500-$1000 gaming PCs will have a hard time competing against this generation of consoles.
    If you want 4k 60FPS like the review showed sure but most PC gamers are on 1080 because they are just a few inches away from their screens instead of several feet.
    60 FPS at 1080 is much much cheaper to do.
    Reply