The gaming landscape is one that is constantly changing and evolving. What seems cutting-edge today can be old-fashioned and obsolete in the blink of an eye. Yet there are some gaming traditions that transcend technological change and never seem to go out of fashion.

A deck of cards is the perfect example of this principle in action. Historians believe that the first card games were invented in the time of the Chinese Tang dynasty more than 1,200 years ago. If so, that makes them at least as old as ancient games like Mahjong and dominos. 

The difference is that you cannot indulge in these other historic pastimes on a 21st century games console. Card games, however, have a way of staying relevant throughout the centuries. Here, we take a look at a variety of card games, both old and new, that you can play on your Xbox.

Gwent

This is the modern-day card game that has taken the world by storm. Originally a sub-game within the Witcher universe, Gwent became so popular that it was released as a stand-alone in its own right, being released for Xbox in 2018. 

Gwent looks complicated, but essentially it is just a turn-based collectible card game. It is played between two players and each game takes three rounds. The goal is to win at least two of the rounds by playing the right cards and casting spells that give the player power. 

Here we have a game that is truly in tune with the 21st century. There are regular online events and tournaments, in which players can seek to climb a global leaderboard and take on the very best in the world. 

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World Championship Poker

From an all-new card game, we go to a classic that has been around for almost two centuries. Poker is probably the best-known card game in the world, and has practically achieved the status of a sport, thanks to the World Series of Poker. World Championship Poker is one of several gambling games you can play on Xbox, and despite having been originally released way back in 2004, it is still highly popular today.

The basic simplicity of playing a hand of poker helps ensure this game wears its years well. There are several variations of the game to choose from, which include Texas Holdem, Five card draw, Omaha and seven card stud. Play a few hands for fun or enter the career mode, where more than 50 tournaments are just waiting to be conquered.

Frost

If you have always found the rules and strategy of poker a little much to take in, give the Xbox game of Frost a try. It is guaranteed to send you straight back to the poker! All joking aside, while Frost is certainly complex and throws you in at the deep end, it is also one of the most immersive and addictive card games you can play on Xbox.

Even the background narrative is quite convoluted for what is essentially a deck building game. You are thrust into a frozen world where a deadly storm is rapidly approaching. Your only hope of survival is to flee to the safety of your home, along with your group. It’s something that is easier said than done with the frost encroaching from all sides, and that’s before you take into account the need to find food and avoid packs of ravenous wolves. 

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You can read our Frost Review here.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends 

Collectable card games are all the rage in countries like Japan, and take the age-old tradition that started with baseball cards in packets of cigarettes to a whole new place. The Elder Scrolls: Legends is one of the best games in the genre and was released by Bethesda Softworks in 2017. 

The cards bear the images of characters, creatures and folklore associated with the Elder Scrolls series of games. The basic game is free to play, but there are various expansion sets that are available for purchase if you find yourself completely drawn in. 

Yu Gi Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution

This significantly revised version of the classic Yu Gi Oh! Legacy of the Duelist card trading game was released for the Xbox One to critical acclaim. The new Link Summoning game brings an Extra Monster Zone, which provides for more strategic gameplay when summoning monsters.

Old hands who are familiar with the series will love the new aspects of gameplay, but this is also a game that newcomers can quickly get to grips with. 

Magic Duels 

This is a game that has entranced Xbox owners across the globe from the moment it was released in 2015. Built on the original Magic trading game from the 1990s, Magic Duels represents a Dungeons and Dragons style battle between wizards. 

If you are into fantasy and role play adventure games and you’ve never given the Magic franchise a try, it is high time you did so. Magic Duels is the perfect place to start. 

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Unfortunately the game was delisted from Xbox One and Steam on November 29th, 2019. However, you might still be able to download the game via Softonic or another downloading platform.

Solitaire

When you first picked up playing cards as a child, what was the first game you learned to play? When you got that long awaited PC back in the 90s, or your first mobile phone, what game was preinstalled? Solitaire is a game everyone knows and loves. 

The Xbox version brings top-notch animation and HD audio visual effects. It should be an essential part of every Xbox gamer’s library, because sometimes you just want a familiar, uncomplicated game that you can play at your own pace.