The 2020 holiday season is a great time to be a gamer, especially within the Microsoft ecosystem where Black Friday deals abound for current- and even next-gen games.
Microsoft offering huge discounts of up to 55 percent off certain digital games until Thursday, December 3. But it's also cheaper than ever before to try out Xbox Game Pass, whether it's directly through Microsoft or through any retail partners.
From headsets and external storage to games, here are eight of the absolute best deals for Xbox gamers, including your best chance at getting an Xbox Series X during the week of Black Friday.
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Xbox Series X
While it's hardly a "deal," some retailers will have a limited stock of the new Xbox Series X during Thanksgiving week. Walmart will have Xbox Series X stock available for a short time on Wednesday, November 25 at 9 p.m. Eastern. They'll likely sell out quickly, but you'll have one other chance — at least — later in the week.
Per the official GameStop Black Friday reveal ad, GameStop locations will have at least two Xbox Series X units in stock when stores open at 7 a.m. Eastern.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is already the best deal in gaming, offering access to more than 100 quality games across Xbox consoles, PC, and Android. Not only does it include first-party Microsoft games like the Halo and Gears series, but also EA titles like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Normally, Ultimate costs $14.99 a month, but until Monday, November 22 participating retailers are offering 40 percent off three-month subscriptions.
Even if you're a current subscriber, buying three months at this rate and stacking it on top of your current subscription is totally worth it to play games like Destiny 2: Beyond Light and Halo: The Master Chief Collection at no extra charge.
Three-month memberships typically cost $44.99, but Best Buy has them available for $22.99 right now. And while it's currently listed for $29.99, GameStop will have physical cards available for $19.99 but only on Friday, November 27 while supplies last.
Xbox Core Controller
The new Xbox Wireless Controller sold with the Xbox Series X and Series S is a modest upgrade from the previous console generation, but it's a noticeable upgrade at that. A textured grip around the entire backside makes it easier to hold and much less slippery. You can even customize the button-mapping with a companion app to game in whatever way you want. Even if you're still stuck on current-gen, this is a worthwhile upgrade to take while waiting for your chance to score an Xbox Series X or Series S.
Microsoft and partnering retailers are already offering up to $20 off the controller, which is normally $59.99. You can get black or white for $39.99 or the much-cooler blue for $44.99.
Razer Kraken Ultimate Headset
In terms of overall audio quality and dynamic directional sound, you'd be hard-pressed to find a manufacturer that does both better than Kraken. While the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition at $54.99 (regular $99.99) is a great value, you get even more out of the Razer Kraken Ultimate Wired Over-the-Ear Headset for only $15 more at $69.99 (regular $129.99). Best Buy has "exclusive" deals with Razer for these headsets, but Amazon has matched the price for most headsets as well.
While the $50 to $70 range might seem like a steep investment for a headset, it's totally worth it for anyone who plays online multiplayer games even at the lowest competitive tiers. Being able to hear an enemy's footsteps behind you when they're behind you in-game gives you a distinct advantage over anyone who's using their television's standard sound.
Seagate Portable Xbox Storage Drive
If you're in the market for some external hard drive storage to augment your current-gen console (assuming your Xbox One is full or close to it), then the best-valued option is the Seagate Game Drive with USB 3.0 designed specifically for Xbox. Amazon's $69.99 listing comes with 1 month of Xbox Game Pass, which sweetens the pot just enough to make it better than GameStop's portable game drive at the same price.
With this, you can download Xbox One games to free up room on your current-gen console, and it'll work seamlessly with the Xbox Series X or Series S. The major caveat here, however, is that hard drives like this are not compatible with next-gen games. So things might get a bit dicey if you have a digital version of an Xbox One game that you want to upgrade to the Xbox Series X version using smart delivery. You'll probably have to copy it directly to the next-gen console and install the upgrade.
Still, this is a great way to save room in terms of digital game storage regardless of which Xbox console you own.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs: Legion was only just released only about a month ago, but gamers can already buy Ubisoft's latest cybercrime game for half-off — $29.99 — at Amazon. The only other retailer currently offering it at that price is Best Buy. As an added bonus: The game is eligible for free next-gen smart delivery, so anyone with an Xbox Series X or Series S can purchase this Xbox One version and upgrade for no extra cost.
Even if Watch Dogs: Legion reviews are middling, that's still pretty great value for a next-gen game.
In the off chance that you're not investing in Xbox Game Pass but want the best bang for your buck when it comes to gaming deals this Black Friday, look no further than the blood-pumping action of Doom Eternal. The glorious equivalent of video game junk food, Doom Eternal is an immensely satisfying first-action shooter full of ultra-violence and gore.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — GOTY Edition
One of the best action games in recent memory, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice from the studio behind Dark Souls, FromSoftware, won Game of the Year at the 2019 Game Awards. Such an accolade should be enough to turn any gamer's head. Yes, it's punishingly difficult like other "Soulsborne" games, but the story is much more straightforward and therefore that much more compelling.
You play as the "wolf," a disgraced and disfigured warrior brought back from the brink of death in Japan circa the 1500s to protect a young lord descended from an ancient, magical bloodline. Like Ghost of Tsushima, Sekiro blurs the lines between samurai and ninja in compelling ways — but the stakes feel so much more interesting.
While there are several deals across the internet, Best Buy has this excellent game for $24.99 (regular $59.99).