The Xbox Series X. (Image Source: Billy Freeman on

While Xbox is the youngest of the Big Three gaming brands, it certainly has made a name for itself.

Xbox entered the video game industry in November 2001, a time when the medium was ruled by Japanese companies. PlayStation and Nintendo were the only real console manufacturers worth mentioning, but American engineers had been secretly working on something that would be able to stand up to the PS2. It was time that the United States got in on the video game action.

Fast forward more than 20 years, and Xbox is still trading blows with PlayStation and Nintendo. While their track record isn't spotless and the brand has definitely stumbled a few times, it is currently building itself up to become something that could one day rule the video game industry. And with a total revenue stream of $15.56 billion in 2022 combined with the near-infinite buying power of its parent company, it could keep fighting for quite some time.

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What is Xbox?

Xbox is the video game brand started by the legendary United States-based computer software conglomerate, Microsoft. If you've used a PC in the past, well, ever, you've probably used a Microsoft product whether it be Windows, Outlook, Word, or the dreaded Microsoft Edge web browser. Hey, they can't all be winners.

Since the launch of Xbox, Microsoft has continued to iterate on their other software and services while making headroom in the realm of video games. In addition to their Xbox hardware, a series of services designed to complement and enhance Xbox users' experience have also come and gone. Most notably, Xbox was the first brand to feature fully-fledged online multiplayer features way back in 2002 with its Xbox Live service.

For a while, Xbox Live was the head honcho for online gamers, though the playing field has evened out a bit in recent years. And while the brand is changing to focus more on services, their hardware is still the backbone of their operation for the time being. Let's take a look at how Xbox consoles have evolved over time.

History of Xbox Consoles

2001 - Original Xbox

The original Xbox console and its updated controller. We all remember struggling with "The Duke" (Image Source: janeb13 on Pixabay)

The first official console from Microsoft, and the massive, heavy brick that put Xbox on the map. This first Xbox was conceived in secret by Microsoft engineers who worked on the company's DirectX APIs: Kevin Bachus, Seanus Blackley, Ted Hase, and Otto Berkes. Together, they conspired to create something that would give Sony's PlayStation 2 a run for its money by using accessible PC components. Because DirectX was going to be the backbone of their console, they named it the "DirectX Box". That name didn't really stick, but shortening it down to "Xbox" seemed to do the trick. It became a hit in large part because of the Xbox Live network that facilitated online multiplayer.

Some iconic games from this generation:

  • Halo: Combat Evolved

  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

  • Fable

  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

  • Psychonauts

2005 - Xbox 360

The Xbox 360. (Image Source: WikimediaImages on

Hoo boy, the Xbox 360 had kind of a rough time. The console launched in 2005, which made it the leader of the seventh generation of consoles. The PS3 and Wii wouldn't launch for another year. However, this led to a slew of problems at the beginning such as the infamous Red Ring of Death that plagued early units. Was the Xbox 360 rushed out to market? That's perfectly reasonable to speculate on. It still had some killer games though, and Xbox Live evolved to include even more features like app purchases.

Some iconic games from this generation:

  • Gears of War

  • Halo 3

  • Mass Effect 2

  • Forza Motorsport 4

  • Crackdown

2013 - Xbox One

The Xbox One (Image Source: Andrew M on

You might think that after taking several years to recover and catch up to the consoles it launched ahead of last generation, that the next Xbox console would come out swinging with the best features and ideas. You'd be wrong. The Xbox One was bizarrely positioned as an entertainment set-top box that also happened to play games, with Microsoft pushing TV shows and movie features harder than the games and Xbox services at launch. It eventually pivoted away from this idea, but competitors had already capitalized on their mistake, and no one was watching new and popular movies on their Xboxes. There was also the Xbox Kinect but that's... not really worth talking about.

Some iconic games from this generation:

  • Halo: The Masterchief Collection

  • Sunset Overdrive

  • Quantum Break

  • Titanfall

  • Ryze: Son of Rome

2020 - Xbox Series X/S

The all-powerful Xbox Series X (Image Source: Billy Freeman on

After seemingly learning from the lessons of the past two generations, Xbox released their Series consoles in 2020: the high-end Series X, and the cheaper Series S. This continued the trend they set at the end of the Xbox One's life cycle, where they released the One X and One S to appeal to different categories of gamer while allowing them to play the same games. Arguably the best move Microsoft made with this generation is making the vast majority of games from across Xbox generations available to run natively on the Series X and S, something Sony and Nintendo will likely never do. The introduction of Game Pass and the purchase of major studios like Bethesda and Activision also puts them in a position to do well.

Some iconic games from this generation:

  • Halo Infinite

  • Starfield

  • Hi-Fi Rush

  • Forza Horizon 5

  • Grounded

The Xbox network

Everything the Xbox Network offers. (Image Source:

When Xbox launched in 2001, it wasn't yet complete. The full Xbox experience wouldn't arrive until November 15th, 2002 with the launch of Xbox Live. Live offered an unmatched online experience to console gamers at the time, and it took Sony an entire generation to catch up. Some say Nintendo is still fighting to make online infrastructure that coherent.

Xbox Live was the core of the Xbox experience for many years, until the brand began offering other services such as Game Pass. In 2021, Microsoft rebranded "Xbox Live" to the "Xbox Network", which now encompasses all of their services. However, it's still possible to buy Xbox Live gift cards in a number of denominations:

  • 3-Month Xbox Live gift cards - $24.99

  • 12-Month Xbox Live gift cards - $59.99

The primary service for Xbox at the moment is a subscription service called Xbox Game Pass, which represents an unheard of level of consumer value in the gaming space.

What is Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's current subscription service. In place of the Xbox Live subscription that players paid for many years which only had a handful of benefits, they can now subscribe to Game Pass which rolls in all of the previous benefits along with its true gambit: a massive library of games that can be played natively at any given time.

Game Pass has gone through several changes over the years, but what follows is a description of the different tiers and what they offer as of October 2023:

Xbox Game Pass Core (Console Only; $9.99 per month/$59.99 per year)

  • Online console multiplayer

  • 25-game catalog (smaller selection of Game Pass games)

  • Member deals & discounts

Xbox Game Pass PC (PC Only; $9.99 per month)

  • Access to full PC Game Pass catalog

  • New games on day one (with Game Pass)

  • Member deals & discounts

  • EA Play membership

Xbox Game Pass Console (Console Only; $29.99 for 3 months/$59.99 for 6 months)

  • Access to full Xbox Game Pass catalog

  • Play new games on day one (with Game Pass)

  • Member deals & discounts

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($16.99 per month/$49.99 for 3 months)

  • Access to full Xbox Game Pass catalog on both console and PC

  • Access to XCloud game streaming

  • New games on day one (with Game Pass)

  • Member deals, discounts, and perks

  • Online console multiplayer

  • EA Play membership

Because Xbox Game Pass is available on PC and Console, the subscription tiers are a little more convoluted than those of PlayStation Plus.

This has also affected the state of Xbox Game Pass gift cards, which can be purchased in the following styles and denominations:

Xbox Game Pass Core

  • 1-month gift card ($9.99)

  • 3-month gift card ($24.99)

  • 6-month gift card ($39.99)

  • 12-month gift card (59.99)

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

  • 1-month gift card ($16.99)

  • 3-month gift card ($49.99)

It's not clear why there aren't as many options for Ultimate as there are for Core, or why some tiers of Game Pass don't have any gift cards available. But, the good news is that you can currently still purchase Xbox Live gift cards and convert them to months of Game Pass subscription.

What are Some of the Most Popular Xbox Games?

While Xbox hasn't been around as long, you shouldn't count them out. They have a solid stable of games and franchises that people love, and we're going to take a look at some of them right now.

Note: this section will only include Xbox-exclusive games and titles produced by Xbox Game Studios. Due to the company structure of Xbox, many of these will also be available on PC


Halo Infinite. (Image Source:

Developer: Bungie; 343 Industries

Without a doubt, Halo is the franchise that made Xbox what it is. Originally developed by Bungie, Halo: Combat Evolved is a legendary sci-fi shooter that set the standard for the genre for many years. Bungie went on to make Destiny after Halo 3, and the Microsoft-created studio 343 Industries has taken over for the last several installments. Overall, Halo has generated more than $10 billion in revenue for Xbox across its many games and associated merchandise.

Gears of War

Gears of War 5. (Image Source:

Developer: Epic Games; The Coalition

After Halo, probably the most recognizable shooter franchise under Xbox's roof has to be Gears of War. Since the first game pushed graphical boundaries on the Xbox 360 in 2006, Gears of War has evolved to incorporate a bigger world with more lore, characters, and conflicts than you can shake a Lancer at. Epic Games is responsible for the first three games and Gears of War: Judgment, and Microsoft formed The Coalition to handle the series going forward.


Forza Horizon 5. (Image Source:

Developer: Turn 10 Studios; Playground Games

Every console needs a first-party racing game. Nintendo has Mario Kart, PlayStation has Gran Turismo, and Xbox has Forza. What began as a series of straight-laced racing simulators in the style of Gran Turismo has since expanded to include the more arcadey, open-world adventures of the Forza Horizon games. Both branches of the franchise - Turn 10 Studios' Forza Motorsport and Playground Games' Forza Horizon - are consistently big sellers for Xbox, and definitely pull car fans and racing enthusiasts into the brand.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. (Image Source:

Developer: Asobo Studio

Microsoft Flight Simulator is not a new series. It stretches waaaaaay back into the history of video games, with the first title being 1982's Flight Simulator 1.0. However, the most recent entry (and the upcoming sequel) are the first to appear on home consoles thanks to the impressive power of the Xbox Series X and S. It's not exactly a game per se, but it is a massive franchise for Xbox, and being able to turn on your console and fly anywhere in the world to be greeted by faithful recreations of landmarks really is something special.

How Do Xbox Gift Cards Work?

How Xbox gift cards work kind of depends on what kind of gift card you're talking about. There are Xbox Live gift cards, Xbox Game Pass gift cards, and also gift cards for the Xbox Store.

Here's a breakdown of the Xbox Store gift cards you can buy:

  • $10 Xbox gift card

  • $15 Xbox gift card

  • $25 Xbox gift card

  • $30 Xbox gift card

  • $50 Xbox gift card

  • $100 Xbox gift card

Now, for the good stuff.

Xbox Live gift card - This type of gift card used to apply either 3 or 12-months to your Xbox Live subscription. Since that service has become the Xbox Network, it technically no longer exists. However, as you can still buy Xbox Live gift cards, they do still serve a purpose. Purchasing them and activating them on your Microsoft account will cause the subscription on the card to be converted into an equivalent amount of Game Pass service. For example, a 3-month Xbox Live Gold code will convert to 50 days plus one month of Game Pass Ultimate, and a 12-month Xbox Live Gold code will convert to 4 months of Game Pass Ultimate.

Xbox Game Pass gift card - Xbox Game Pass gift cards can be purchased in the denominations described above at most stores and also within the Gameflip marketplace. Applying them to your account extends your Game Pass subscription.

Xbox Store gift card - These gift cards add currency to your Microsoft account balance, which can then be spent on anything in the Xbox Store. Games, DLC, movies, cosmetics for your avatar, whatever is hosted on the store.

Can I Buy and Sell Xbox Gift Cards on Gameflip?


Gameflip is the best place to shop for deals on things like the latest Xbox games and digital goods, but they also carry a bunch of gift cards for different stores as well!

Some of our most popular gift cards are:

  • Roblox Gift Cards

  • Best Buy Gift Cards

  • Amazon Gift Cards

  • Nintendo eShop gift cards

With millions of registered users - both buyers and sellers - Gameflip is the best place to hunt for deals online and buy Xbox gift cards of any style. And, with so many other styles of gift card to choose from, it couldn't hurt to see what else is on offer!

What Makes Gameflip the Best Option for Xbox Gift Cards?

At Gameflip, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide unmatched deals on the things you want. Because of that, we have developed a relationship among other online stores for having the best prices for game add ons, map packs, great games, and in-game currency.

That's a pretty heft reputation to carry around all the time, and we know we have to protect it. So, we came up with the Gameflip Guarantee - an ironclad promise that no matter what you buy, be it a digital voucher for your favorite game's in-game currency, or a pre-order for a game that will make the perfect gift for the gamer in your life, you're protected. Was there something wrong with your order? Here's a refund. Did something not work? We'll work with you to make it right.

When you pay for something on Gameflip, you're protected. All purchases are eligible purchases, and we have your back well past checkout.

How Do I Redeem Xbox Gift Cards?

In order to activate an Xbox Store gift card digital code, you need to have a Microsoft account with a payment method attached to it. Then, you can activate the code through the Xbox Store via your console, or on a web browser by accessing your Microsoft account settings, which will have a "redeem" page. You can also use the Xbox App on your smartphone to activate a digital code.

Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold codes are activated the same way as the other gift cards, either through your console, in a web browser, or on your phone using the Xbox App.

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Get the item you paid for or your money back.
How does Gameflip work?
Gameflip is a marketplace that simplifies the process of buying and selling gaming-related items ensuring a safe and secure and most importantly enjoyable experience for its community. Backed by a community of over 6 million users from all over the world, gamers can buy and sell in-game items, gift cards, collectibles, games and much more!
How well is Gameflip Rated?
Gameflip is powered by its over 6 million users and an overall rating of 4.3 stars with over 20,000 reviews on the App stores. Gameflip also rates 4.4 stars on Trustpilot and 4.5 stars on Sitejabber. Gameflip's impressive ratings go beyond mere numbers; they represent a thriving community of gamers who have found a platform dedicated to meeting their needs. It offers a secure and enjoyable environment for transactions involving in-game items, gift cards, and digital goods.
How do you buy on Gameflip?
Buying on Gameflip is fast, easy and most importantly secure. You just need to register for a Gameflip account, it’s quick and free. After you create an account, you can browse through the listings to find the best deals for the item you want to buy. Gameflip has hundreds of new listings every day and the Gameflip Guarantee ensures you get the item as described or your money back.

Read more about Buying Questions.
How Do You Sell on Gameflip?
Selling on Gameflip is not only quick but also completely free. After you create an account, you can start selling digital or physical video games, game items & skins, collectibles, gift cards from Steam, PSN, Xbox, iTunes, Google Play, and more.Creating detailed listings and offering reasonable prices will help you sell faster. After a buyer completes an order, the sale proceeds will be deposited into your Gameflip Wallet and you can withdraw them to a bank account or use them to purchase items in our marketplace.

Read more about Selling Questions.
What is the Gameflip Guarantee?
The Gameflip Guarantee protects buyers by ensuring they get their item as described or their money back. It is free of charge and can be used up to 3 days after an order is placed. Buyers can confidently turn to the Gameflip Guarantee in several scenarios. Whether it's not receiving the item, encountering an item that doesn't function as intended, or discovering that it doesn't match the description provided in the listing, rest assured that you have a safety net to fall back on. Gameflip has your back every step of the way, securing your purchases and your peace of mind.

Read more about Gameflip Guarantee.
How do I find my Profile/Invite Code?
The Profile Code or Invite Code is a 6-character code which identifies your account. When using the Gameflip website, you can locate it by clicking on your profile picture and your name on the menu. The code will appear underneath your picture on your profile page next to “Your Code”. When using the Gameflip app, you can locate it by tapping Menu > Profile avatar > Your Code. It will appear underneath your name and the date you joined Gameflip next to “Your Code”.

Read more about Profile Code.
How do I redeem my gift cards or receive the purchase items?
The seller's delivery of your item aligns with the details specified in the listing. They have two primary methods of delivering items:
  1. Automatic Delivery: Some sellers use our Digital Vault or Steam Bots, which allow for the automatic and swift delivery of digital codes and in-game items. You can expect to receive these items almost instantly.
  2. 1 to 3-Day Delivery: In certain cases, sellers may opt for manual delivery, typically taking 1 to 3 days to complete.
If you've made a purchase of an in-game item, the seller will coordinate with you to determine the most convenient time for both parties to log into the game and transfer your order.

For those who have purchased gift cards, the seller will provide you with the specific redemption code. The redemption process may vary depending on the platform. Typically, it involves logging into your account on the same platform associated with the gift card and entering the code to redeem it.
Are my purchases protected?
All purchases on Gameflip are protected for free with the Gameflip Guarantee. The Gameflip Guarantee ensures you receive the item or service described on the listing or your money back. You will have 3 days from the purchase date to check if there are any issues with the order. During this period you can open a dispute to report the problem to the seller and escalate it to our support team if needed.
What is Gameflip Return Policy?
Refunds only occur when the item or service received is either not working or different from the listing description. If this is the case, you'll be covered by the Gameflip Guarantee. All users have 3 days to identify if there are any issues with their orders and open a dispute. Once a transaction is completed, there are absolutely no returns or refunds. By completing the transaction, you are agreeing to accept the item and finalizing the transaction.

Read more about Gameflip Return Policy.
Can I cancel my order?
Yes, you have the flexibility to cancel your order at three points:
  1. Immediate Post-Purchase: Right after you've made the purchase and while it's still in the processing phase, you can cancel it.
  2. Under Review Status: If your order is under review and marked with an “Under Review” status, you retain the option to cancel it.
  3. Seller Delivery Delay: In cases where the seller does not fulfill the order within the specified timeframe outlined in the listing description, you can cancel it after a 12-hour grace period.
Read more about Cancel Order.

Additionally, you can also request the seller to cancel the order, but the ultimate decision to cancel rests with the seller.
Do I need to verify my identity?
Identity verification can be required in some scenarios. You only need to verify your identity when you apply to sell on Gameflip, or when you need to confirm account ownership or payment authorization when making account-related changes or conducting frequent or large transactions to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) laws and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. KYC is a multi-step process to identify and confirm that a user is who they say they are. KYC is a part of the anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations that we must follow. For more details on what we collect and how we securely store and protect your information, please check our Privacy Policy.
Who are the Gameflip sellers?
When it comes to selling on Gameflip, our aim is to ensure a straightforward and hassle-free experience for you. You'll find that listing items for sale is a breeze. We've got a simple rule: if it's gaming-related and not on the list of prohibited items, it's fair game for listing and selling on our platform. All our sellers are users from the Gameflip community with verified accounts and who meet necessary legal requirements to list items and services in our marketplace. This ensures a trustworthy and reliable environment for both sellers and buyers alike.
How do sellers cash out and withdraw funds on Gameflip?
Sellers have the option to withdraw funds from their sales to their bank accounts through our trusted payout providers, including Wise, Payoneer, Skrill, and your Bitcoin Wallet.

These partners are independent third-party service providers. To ensure a smooth withdrawal process, we highly recommend that you open an account with your chosen provider in advance if you haven't already done so. Depending on your location, these providers may request legally required documentation to complete the transaction. This preparation will help streamline your withdrawal experience.

Read more about Funds Withdrawal.
What are the Gameflip selling fees?
Our fee structure is simple and straightforward. Once your item is delivered and accepted by the buyer, Gameflip applies an 8% Commission Fee along with a 2% Digital Fee if it's applicable, calculated based on the listing price. These fees support the platform, and allows Gameflip to keep the marketplace safe for buyers and sellers. If you sell more frequently, Gameflip also offers a subscription program: the Gameflip Club, which reduces selling fees.