Right, we’re talking about the best Xbox One games today, and I can already feel the trolls rising from their slumber to write “xbox sux, ps4 4 life” in some kind of barely legible scrawl. Still, it’s fair to say that the Xbox One hasn’t had the greatest of successes with the current console generation. Bad PR on the road to launch and a woeful lack of big name exclusives meant that the Microsoft console has lost a lot of ground to the PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
However, the Xbox One X is currently the premier package when it comes to making your games look shiny (so long as PC doesn’t enter the discussion), and it seems like Microsoft are gearing up for some big announcements at E3 in a month’s time. Simply put: the Xbox isn’t out of the fight yet, and it already has quite the impressive roster of games to prove it.
Now, before we rattle off some of the best Xbox One games, we’re going to establish a few ground rules. Firstly, these aren’t in any particular order. If you start whining in the comments that your favourite game wasn’t first, you’re an idiot for not reading this. Secondly, these aren’t exclusively exclusives. It’d be a short list otherwise. Also, our general rule is that remakes and remasters aren’t allowed, but this list does contain one exception. You can probably guess which one that is. Lastly, we’ll add more games to this list as and when, so check back regularly to see if there are more.
With that said, let’s get to it.
Sea of Thieves
A contentious pick right out of the gate, but Sea of Thieves can genuinely offer some of the biggest laughs you’ve had with an Xbox One headset on. Whilst the framework of the game is as skeleton as the AI enemies you encounter, Sea of Thieves thrives on the moment to moment emergent gameplay that occurs as players cross paths. It’s a watercooler game, with the lifespan of the game being determined by the fresh anecdotes that are created. Plus, with more content being planned in the coming months, it’s only going to get better and better.
Buy it if: the pirate’s life is for you.
Avoid it if: the opposite is true.
The launch of PUBG shares a lot of parallels to the console on which it finds its home: really rocky before finally stabilising a few months later. The less than stellar quality of PUBG on the Xbox One was well documented, especially by us, but now that things have normalised, the developers are now busy working on bringing the game up to speed with the PC build. Miramar is on the way, and we have to imagine that the Savage map can’t be too far behind.
Buy it if: you like the taste of chicken dinners.
Avoid it if: you’re already over this battle royale trend.
Resident Evil 7
The seventh main instalment of one of the longest running horror franchises in gaming, Resident Evil 7 refined and reinvented what it meant to be a Resident Evil game. Taking things back to basics but with a new perspective, you control Ethan as you wander a mansion in the middle of nowhere to look for your missing wife. Also, the locals are weird mutants and really want to murder your face. Enjoy.
Buy it if: survival horror gets you going.
Avoid it if: jumpscares make your poo come out.
Going to be honest here, I’m struggling to write a description for Cuphead, because any time I see the word, my mind immediately goes to that catchy song from the main menu. I’ve been staring at the laptop for 30 minutes just singing to myself, such is the level of joy that Cuphead can bring. Of course, that joy comes coupled with frustration, as the game is a pretty hardcore 2D shooter in the style of Contra or Metal Slug. If anyone dares to say it’s “like Dark Souls”, they’re getting a slap.
Buy it if: you’re a human being with a heart.
Avoid it if: you’re dead inside.
Forza Horizon 3
Forza is better than Gran Turismo. Just accept the truth, especially considering Forza Horizon 3 is arguably one of the greatest racing games of the current generation. You’re given hundreds of cars and free reign to explore a lovingly recreated portion of Australia. Nothing quite beats the feeling of driving down the road at 200mph as the sun sets, killer tunes blaring out of the car radio. If you love cars or driving games in general, Forza Horizon 3 is simply a must.
Buy it if: the smell of petrol is intoxicating to you.
Avoid it if: the smell of petrol is just regular old toxic to you.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Originally a PS4 and PC exclusive, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice recently got ported over to the Xbox One, with developers Ninja Theory kindly donating money to mental health charities based on the sales of the game. Fitting really, as Hellblade explores the effect of a deteriorating mental health on the lead character Senua, as she tries to save the soul of her dead lover from the evil Hela. We’ve had a lot of kind words to say about Hellblade, and if you haven’t played it yet, consider this your encouragement.
Buy it if: you like single player stories with depth and emotion.
Avoid it if: you’re too busy playing Fortnite.
Gears of War 4
We’ll admit that Gears of War 4 wasn’t the strongest start to the franchise post-Epic Games, but The Coalition did a decent job establishing new characters and threats for the world of Sera. It’s not exactly Gears of War 3, but it was enjoyable nonetheless, and the support of the Xbox One X means it now looks amazing. Besides, no game does cover-based shooting better than Gears. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.
Buy it if: you like beefy men and waist high walls.
Avoid it if: you find cover shooting abhorrent.
Halo 5: Guardians
We may as well copy the description from Gears 4 for this one, because the same things apply. While Halo 5: Guardians could never live up to the lofty heights set by Halo 3, ODST and Reach, it did offer a multiplayer experience in the form of Warzone, an impressive Forge Mode that allowed for some truly imaginative creations and a campaign that pushes the series into new territories.
Buy it if: you like dumb stories about space soldiers that don’t use the word “Warhammer”.
Avoid it if: you like dumb stories about space soldiers that do use the word “Warhammer”.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
With Shadow of the Tomb Raider now officially announced, proving that Lara Croft still isn’t quite done with becoming the Tomb Raider despite spending the past two games raiding tombs, why not take a look back at Rise of the Tomb Raider? A timed exclusive for the Xbox One that’s now available everywhere, Rise of the Tomb Raider did more of what the first game did well in terms of gameplay, but without the whole “oh no, I can’t believe I killed those people” that the first game had.
Buy it if: you loved Tomb Raider (2012).
Avoid it if: you think Tomb Raider peaked with Tomb Raider III: The Adventures of Lara Croft, or Tomb Raider: Legend.
Halo Wars 2
The RTS spin-off of the popular shooter series, Halo Wars 2 takes the core formula of the first game and improves upon it, delivering a campaign that’s worthy to stand beside the insane amount of lore this franchise possesses. Seriously, there’s too much. Though it might be a little simplistic compared to other games in the genre like Command & Conquer, Halo Wars 2 is the perfect gateway.
Buy it if: you’ve always wanted to command a Spartan army.
Avoid it if: you actually wanted to be the Spartan army.
Dead By Daylight
The 4v1 multiplayer game that isn’t Evolve, or the multiplayer game about a psycho murderer that isn’t Friday The 13th, depending on which description you prefer, Dead By Daylight is about as tense and exciting as games can get. Playing as a survivor, you have to avoid the killer, activate generators and make an escape, whilst the killer does what comes naturally to them: brutal slaughter. Asymmetric games often run the risk of being unbalanced, but Dead By Daylight works beautifully.
Buy it if: your idea of a night in the woods involves a dead body.
Avoid it if: you’d rather fight the killer than run away.
Say what you want, but Quantum Break was actually a lot of fun, even if it wasn’t Alan Wake 2. An ambitious project from Remedy Entertainment that sought to blend a traditional third-person shooter with a mini TV show, Quantum Break told an intriguing story about time travel that was affected by the player’s choices. It was a bit cheesy at times, and probably unintentionally, but on the whole, it was an enjoyable romp.
Buy it if: you always thought Doctor Who should wield an assault rifle.
Avoid it if: you’d rather Remedy just made Alan Wake 2.
For my money, Killer Instinct is one of the best fighting games on the market today, despite the weird nature by which it launched. Though now you can buy the Definitive Edition, which includes all the characters and modes, Killer Instinct was split into 3 seasons worth of characters. Still, it was free-to-play with a rotating free character. Many decry KI as a button mashing game, but there’s strategy and mind games to be found with the combo/counter breakers, and KI played well is a spectacle to behold.
Buy it if: you thought Street Fighter needed more attitude.
Avoid it if: you don’t know your dragon punch from your fireball.
Watch Dogs 2
Let’s face it: the original Watch Dogs wasn’t great. The only memorable moment seems to be that mission where C.R.E.A.M. by Wu-Tang Clan starts playing during a firefight. The point is, Watch Dogs lacked a real identity. It was bland. Watch Dogs 2 suffered no such problems, improving upon its predecessor in practically every way. Better missions, better characters, a better location in San Francisco and a better story. If the first game left you burnt, let the sequel fix that.
Buy it if: you always dreamed of being a hackerman/woman/person.
Avoid it if: you’re paranoid about your Facebook data. This game won’t help alleviate that.
Ori and the Blind Forest
One of 2015’s surprise hits, Ori and the Blind Forest was a 2D Metroidvania style game that saw you platforming around an ancient forest trying to restore the elements and bring balance back to the world. The beautiful art style and soundtrack ensured the game received universal praise, and Ori was nominated for plenty of awards. With a sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, scheduled to be released at some point this year, now seems to be the perfect time to revisit the world of Nibel.
Buy it if: you love emotional journeys in gaming.
Avoid it if: you can’t find the tissues.
Building and racing rollercoasters in gaming has been a long running pleasure, but let’s be honest with ourselves, we’d rather revel in the carnage of a coaster crash. You know you do, you sadistic sod. Screamride, then, is the perfect game for you, as it combines the best parts of roller coaster construction with some of the most satisfying destruction you can find in a video game. It’s not a game built for longevity, sure, but it’s plenty of fun whilst it lasts.
Buy it if: you’re the sadistic sod we’re talking about.
Avoid it if: the thought of a coaster gives you awful motion sickness.
Developed by Insomniac Games, Sunset Overdrive was touted as being the killer exclusive for the Xbox One. Truth be told, it wasn’t, but the more I look back on the game, the more I appreciate it. Oftentimes, games can be a little bit too dour in their pursuit of serious credibility. Sunset Overdrive didn’t care about any of that though, instead offering a sugar (and probably other drugs) laced thrill ride through a vibrant world filled with colourful abominations. If you ever find gaming a bit too dramatic, Sunset Overdrive is the cure.
Buy it if: emotional journeys aren’t for you.
Avoid it if: you can’t stand fourth wall breaks and pop punk songs.
Hey, if I can put Everybody’s Golf on the list of the Best Games of 2017, you can bet that the Xbox equivalent will make an appearance here. Practically the same as Everybody’s Golf in formula, Powerstar Golf utilises the same 3 click method for your golf swing: one to start, one for power, one for accuracy. Like Killer Instinct, Powerstar Golf is free-to-play, and you can pay for more courses if you like. If you’re looking to hit the links, Powerstar has you covered.
Buy it if: you enjoy cartoon golf, of all things.
Avoid it if: Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore are abhorrent to you.
Dark Souls 3
The third instalment of one of the most popular forms of masochism in video games, Dark Souls 3 is more of that punishing third-person melee combat people seem to have really fallen in love with. Whilst it doesn’t do much to convert those who already view the game’s difficulty as impenetrable, despite the internet’s ‘earnest’ cries for them to “git gud”, Dark Souls 3 is the perfect end point for fans of the trilogy. Until From Software end up announcing Dark Souls 4 anyway.
Buy it if: you love a challenge.
Avoid it if: easy mode was invented for a player like you.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Back when the Xbox One was announced, Ryse: Son of Rome was the game people pointed to and said: “look at the shiny Roman armour! Phwoarrrrrr, that’s proper next gen that is!” Even by today’s standards, the graphics in Ryse are astonishing. I hesitate to use the word beautiful, when you consider the amount of dirt, blood and viscera that’s on screen at all times, but you get the point. Yeah, the combat isn’t all that, but PHWOARRRRRRRRR.
Buy it if: you’re binge watching Rome right now.
Avoid it if: you thought King Alaric was right to sack Rome.
Oh, nostalgia. You’re often a cruel temptress that forces us to hold things in such a high regard that when we revisit them, they can’t possibly live up to the idea we’ve built up in our head. Fortunately, that fate did not befall Sonic Mania. In fact, Mania only served to prove that old school Sonic is in fact the best Sonic; a point further proven by the absolutely awful Sonic Forces that came out only a few months later. Perhaps now SEGA will understand what fans want from the franchise.
Yeah right. Maybe in this fantasy world, SEGA will also localise Fist of the North Star and announce Virtua Fighter 6 too.
Buy it if: You think “Sonic > Mario”.
Avoid it if: you’re an inhuman monster.
The Witcher 3
The adventures of the White Wolf Geralt, the silver haired sex pest himself, concluded with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Much like God of War now, when The Witcher 3 first came out, you couldn’t move for people praising every single aspect of this game. Whether or not it lives up to that hype is for you to decide, but the fact remains that CD Projekt Red created a fantasy RPG that resonated with a huge audience. That’s no small feat.
Buy it if: you always wanted to have sex on the back of a unicorn.
Avoid it if: fantasy RPGs make your brain leak out of ears.
Life is Strange
Whilst Telltale might have pioneered the narrative adventure game genre, it’s fair to say that Life is Strange took the ball and ran with it. The story follows two friends, Max and Chloe, as they investigate the disappearance of a missing girl. Also, Max has the ability to control time, and choices you make in the story can really screw you over later. No pressure or anything. The game was popular enough to win plenty of awards, a prequel mini-series, and a sequel is in the works.
Buy it if: you love narrative adventure games but you’re tired of the same old Telltale formula.
Avoid it if: the Telltale formula is like a holy scripture for you.
“Rip and tear, until it is done.” Those immortal words are all you needed to hear before venturing forth upon the path of demonic annihilation. DOOM was a glorious kick in the teeth for the FPS genre, stripping back the layers before revelling in the rust, dust and guts of Mars. The single-player campaign was a no nonsense thrill ride of excitement that players couldn’t get enough of, but the multiplayer and SnapMap feature were both criminally under-appreciated.
Buy it if: you’ve been murdering demons since 1993.
Avoid it if: your experience with FPS games doesn’t extend beyond Call of Duty.
Another one of those games designed to make you change the colour of your pants to brown, Alien: Isolation is perhaps one of the scariest games ever made. I wouldn’t know, personally. I’m too scared to play it. I’ve been told it’s the bee knees, if that bee was a Xenomorph trying to eat your face. Crafted in the same horror game mold as the likes of Amnesia, you must hide from a Xenomorph intent on murdering you and everything you’ve ever loved with no means of defending yourself. Just remember to pack an extra pair of underwear.
Buy it if: the sense of terror is like crack to you.
Avoid it if: you hate it when “they’re coming out of the god damn walls!”
Far Cry 5
Depending on who you ask, Far Cry 5 is either the best game in the series, a missed opportunity for some barbed political commentary, or couldn’t possibly live up to the legacy of Far Cry 3 or 4. If you say Far Cry 2 was the best, you’re a disgusting human being. Far Cry 5 follows the same beats as 3 and 4, as you liberate outposts and move through the map, taking down charismatic leaders in order to get to the big bad guy. A fantastic story with some charismatic villains, great gameplay and two gutpunch endings depending on what you choose make Far Cry 5 brilliant.
Buy it if: you want to murder some cultists real bad.
Avoid it if: you were discouraged by previous games. This probably won’t change your opinion.
The jet-powered version of that one skit from Top Gear, Rocket League combines cars and football (or soccer, if you prefer) to create a multiplayer juggernaut that’s still going strong today. Whether playing solo or part of a team of friends, there’s an undeniably addictive quality to the organised chaos that Rocket League provides. With new modes, cars and customisable items being added periodically, Rocket League is just as enjoyable to play now as it was when it launched on Xbox back in 2016. Or when it came out originally back in 2015.
Buy it if: you’re looking for an original multiplayer game that isn’t another shooter.
Avoid it if: you hate losing. Rocket League has an uncanny knack for bringing out one’s competitive side.
Ah, BT-7274, you beautiful son of a gun. You found your way into our hearts, talking about your protocols and detections of sarcasm. Titanfall 2 could have easily half-assed the single-player campaign, instead choosing the focus on the multiplayer like other games that don’t feature on this list, but no. If anything, the campaign mode to Titanfall 2 is the game’s biggest strength, delivering an action packed adventure with a heartwarming emotional core. Who saw that coming from a game about giant robots smacking each other?
Buy it if: robot on robot combat excites you.
Avoid it if: you’re not prepared to feel things for a 20ft tall mech.
If you’re confused, Dying Light is the good Dead Island. Both games share a lot of similarities, including the first person perspective, a focus on crafting melee weapons, plenty of RPG elements and, of course, zombies. Whilst Dead Island gives you those things in a glitchy mess of a game, Dying Light is more tightly put together and places more emphasis on fun. Within a couple of hours, you’re dropkicking the undead off ledges whilst laughing uncontrollably. Techland are still committed to bringing free updates to Dying Light, which tells you everything you need to know about the game’s quality and popularity. If nothing else, Techland have been demonstrating post-launch content done right.
Buy it if: you’ve always wanted to dropkick a zombie.
Avoid it if: you love climactic boss fights.
Marvel might have DC beat when it comes to films, but in regards to fighting games, DC have the upper hand. Whilst Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite launched in September last year to critical, commercial and competitive indifference, Injustice 2 offered a more complete package that catered to all players. A great story, some of the best fighting gameplay available and absolutely superlative graphical quality made Injustice 2 an essential purchase.
Buy it if: you’ve always wanted to see Batman get smacked around by Swamp Thing.
Avoid it if: you’re still bitter about Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite.
Mortal Kombat XL
Speaking of NetherRealm games, we have to give a shout out to Mortal Kombat XL. Like Injustice 2, Mortal Kombat XL ticks all the right boxes in terms of story, graphics and gameplay. The variation system, which gives each character 3 distinct versions, allowed match-ups to remain interesting even when the amount of hours you’ve dumped into the game numbers in the hundreds, and the fatalities are even more gory and glorious than ever. Now, we’re just playing the waiting game until MK 11.
Buy it if: you love fighting games. Simple enough.
Avoid it if: you’re squeamish. This’ll mess you up.
MGS V: The Phantom Pain
When Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain came out, it wasn’t quite for everyone. The mission structure and almost lack of a proper story divided opinion, but underneath all that was perhaps one of the greatest third person stealth games ever made. Everyone enjoyed knocking out soldiers with your big red Rocket Fist before using a Fulton Recovery balloon to send them skywards. Plus, MGS V gave us some immortal quotes, such as “THEY PLAYED US LIKE A DAMN FIDDLE”. That’s right up there with “you’re pretty good” in my eyes.
Buy it if: you love holding people at knifepoint, shouting “START TALKING”.
Avoid it if: you’re a tool of the government, or anyone else.
There was a period of time, between Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc and Rayman Origins, where it looked destined that the limbless hero would be resigned to history, overtaken by those pesky rabbids that still inexplicably find their way into games. Whilst Origins gave everyone a reason to love Rayman all over again, Legends knocked it out of the park. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best platformers ever made, combining infectious charm, rock solid mechanics and inventive new ideas to create gaming magic. Simply remarkable.
Buy it if: you want to fall in love with games all over again.
Avoid it if: you’re a big mean sourpuss.
You remember with Gears and Halo where we said we may as well copy the description over? The same applies with Shovel Knight, as it’s also one of the best platformers ever made, but for different reasons. Shovel Knight was designed to emulate the popular Mega Man series, and it accomplished that goal so brilliantly that many consider it to be the actual spiritual successor to the series. You know, because Mighty No. 9 was a big stinking turd.
Buy it if: you love platforming games that combines chiptunes with a heart warming tale of love at its center.
Avoid it if: you don’t like the way Shovel Knight treats gardening equipment.
Monster Hunter: World
For many, Monster Hunter: World was the first foray into the series, but the extreme success Capcom had with it suggests that it won’t be the last. Millions of players can’t be wrong, eh? Retaining a lot of what people loved about the original games, but adding new elements and generally making things more beginner friendly, Monster Hunter: World is a masterclass in an action RPG done right. It won’t be for everyone, but you should give it a try regardless.
Buy it if: you have a spare 100 hours.
Avoid it if: you don’t have a spare 100 hours.
If you like rhythm action games and EDM, Aaero should be right up your alley. Best described as a combination of Rez and Amplitude, Aaero sees you shooting down alien ships and tracing lines to the beat of some of EDM’s biggest hitters, including Flux Pavillion, Noisia and more. It was a surprise hit of 2017, and one that left quite an impression on a few Vultures due to its easy to pick up, hard to master gameplay.
Buy it if: you’d let the bass cannon kick it.
Avoid it if: you think rhythm action games should begin and end with Guitar Hero/Rock Band.
A game that many might have slept on or ignored, Furi is pure a test of skill. Essentially, the game is about an angry man who stabs things whilst a killer soundtrack plays over the top. What more do you need? Combining the best parts of a top down twin stick bullet hell shooter with sword based melee combat, Furi almost feels like an assault on the senses, but in a good way. Words simply can’t do it justice, just play it for yourself and find out.
Buy it if: you grew up on a diet of Smash TV and Devil May Cry.
Avoid it if: you hate listening to Carpenter Brut.
Rainbow Six Siege
Probably the most hardcore of the mainstream multiplayer shooters, Rainbow Six Siege has been going from strength to strength despite being two and a half years old. Siege kicked off Season 3 with a popular limited time mode in Outbreak, and fairly regular updates give players access to new operators, weapons and maps, meaning that the game is constantly evolving; perfect for keeping a multiplayer shooter fresh. Sure, there’s a certain toxicity to be found in a lot of the players, but there’s perhaps no other shooter as tense and exciting as Siege.
Buy it if: Call of Duty is too casual for you these days.
Avoid it if: you can’t stand toxic behaviour. It’s unfortunately hard to avoid with Siege.
Somewhat of a reboot for the series, 2016’s Hitman took things back to basics, and by basics we mean “large, sprawling levels with multiple methods for success”. Perhaps basics isn’t the best word. Authentic maybe? Either way, it’s Hitman the way it’s meant to be: an open-ended playground with which to commit heinous assassination attempts. It’s glorious, and the Game of the Year Edition includes 2 campaigns worth of content and plenty of additional challenges.
Buy it if: you’ve ever considered getting the barcode tattoo on the back of your head.
Avoid it if: planning and patience aren’t amongst your strong suits.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Arc System Works have been crushing it when it comes to fighting games, and Dragon Ball Fighter Z is no exception. An intense 3v3 fighter that throws your favourite Dragon Ball characters together for a massive rumble. What it lacks in decent single-player modes, it more than makes up for it in the multiplayer and online departments. Plus, you can dunk Goku and Yamcha is top-tier. It’s how things should be.
Buy it if: you own a Dragon Ball t-shirt.
Avoid it if: you always preferred Ultimate Muscle.
The seventh iteration of the King of Iron Fist Tournament was billed as a conclusion to the Mishima Saga, and if the story mode ending was anything to go by, that’s an accurate statement. Similar to Dragon Ball FighterZ (wow, I’ve paired these games together well in this list), Tekken 7 lacks decent single player content, but Tekken was never about playing by yourself. Like all great fighting games, Tekken 7 comes into its own when you got a spare controller, a few mates and a couple of drinks.
Buy it if: 3D fighting games are your jam.
Avoid it if: the extra dimension throws you off.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Pretty much everyone will agree that Assassin’s Creed: Origins was the product of a well needed break for the series. After Syndicate, the franchise took some time off to reassess its priorities, before coming back with a bang with Assassin’s Creed: Origins. A renewed focus on RPG, a completely overhauled battle system and a truly expansive interpretation of Egypt marked an incredible return to form for the decade old series. Yes, Assassin’s Creed has been going for a decade. I feel ancient.
Buy it if: you love being a sneaky stabby boi.
Avoid it if: you feel Unity did irreversible damage to the series.
“The war to end all wars”, they called it, until the next one happened. That’s the basis of Battlefield 1, which took the series all the way back to the events of the First World War. With the single player campaign wisely focusing on individual stories instead of a one man army, each chapter was given more gravitas than usual. Plus, it was a great way to shoe-in tutorials for each gameplay mechanic just so you were prepared for the typically fantastic multiplayer.
Buy it if: you’ve enjoyed any previous Battlefield game.
Avoid it if: you sit on the other side of the “CoD vs Battlefield” debate.
Fortnite: Battle Royale
Urgh. Guess I better give this game a shout-out. Despite my feelings on the game being evident by the opening word alone, there’s no denying the popularity of Fortnite. You know a game is successful when the tabloid media are trying demonise the game vehemently. Considering Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to play, it’s hard not to argue that you’re getting your money’s worth when the only cost to you is the time it takes to download it. That being said, PUBG is better. That ought to light a fire in the comments.
Download it if: you’re looking for something to do. It’s free. Why not?
Avoid it if: you’re literally sick of seeing the word “Fortnite” every 10 chuffing seconds.
The undisputed ruler of the top-down ARPG, Diablo 3 is the series and the dungeon crawling genre at its best. The emphasis on 4 player co-op means Diablo 3 is a journey best taken with friends, whilst the multiple difficulty levels and end-game content ensure constant replayability. The Eternal Collection version of this game also includes all the additional content from the Ultimate Evil Edition, which consisted mainly of an entirely new act that takes place after Diablo is slain, along with a whole new class in the form of the Necromancer.
Buy it if: you and your crew are looking for a new adventure together.
Avoid it if: you have any kind of commitments planned for the next month.
Another one of those charming indie games that’ll make you feel things you absolutely weren’t ready to feel. Taking place on a mysterious island, you control a boy who has washed ashore due to a giant storm. As you’re guided towards the giant tower in the centre by a mysterious force, you come to realise how you ended up on the island, what the true purpose of the island is, and maybe even realise that the true journey was all about the friends we made along the way.
Nope, not even close.
Buy it if: you can’t resist those indie games.
Avoid it if: you struggle with human emotion.
Obviously this gem of a collection deserved a mention here, so much so that I’ve taken the executive decision to lax the remaster rule just this once. Seriously, just the once. I think Jimmy might kill me if I pull a stunt like this again.
In the value for money stakes alone, Rare Replay is untouched, offering 30 games for just 15 of your English pounds, or American dollars if you prefer. Whilst that alone is worthy of merit, let’s not forget the calibre of games included, with all three Banjo-Kazooie games, Killer Instinct Gold and Rare’s greatest video game Grabbed by the Ghoulies all playable, to name just a few.
Buy it if: you love bargains. Simple.
Avoid it if: you’re still annoyed by that damn dump truck from Blast Corps.
Rivals of Aether
Arguably the best of the “Smash Clones”, Rivals of Aether originally launched on Xbox Game Preview before getting a full release in August 2017, which included a story mode, a survival/challenge hybrid called Abyss mode and bolstered online support. Whilst Smash Bros has a lot of hidden depth when it comes to high level tactics like wavedashing, Rivals of Aether intends on giving all players access to this knowledge. The in-depth tutorial does a great job teaching players the tools they’ll need to succeed, until it all falls apart when you take it online anyway.
Buy it if: you’ve always wanted a Smash game on the Xbox that isn’t Kung Fu Panda.
Avoid it if: your idea of a Smash style game doesn’t deviate from Mario smacking Kirby.
Final Fantasy XV
“I’ve come up with a new list entry!!”, Ash said to himself as he tried to think of a witty way to start talking about Final Fantasy XV. A departure from the more traditional Final Fantasy games, both in terms of gameplay and overall style, Final Fantasy XV is basically four lads on a road trip under the shadow of an overzealous empire. The banter between lead characters Noctis, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto makes every quest more enjoyable, and the real-time battle system is perfect for those who grew impatient with taking it in turns.
Buy it if: you’ve always wanted to be part of a group of friends who are styled like a J-Pop band.
Avoid it if: you don’t want to hear “I’ve come up with a new recipe” every 20 minutes.
Obviously Blizzard’s unstoppable goliath Overwatch was going to get a place on this list. Though its mainstream popularity might have dwindled somewhat, especially in the face of current trends like Fortnite, Overwatch still retains a dedicated core following. Enough for the Overwatch League, Blizzard’s self-made eSports league, to be a big success at least. With the game destined to receive support until the Earth eventually is consumed by cosmic fire, and all new maps and heroes available to all players for nothing, Overwatch certainly gives you plenty of bang for your buck.
Buy it if: you like watching cartoon characters murder each other in cold blood.
Avoid it if: you’re in that minority of players that think Battleborn is better.
Head Vulture Jimmy and I bloody love the sheer brutality that is Ruiner. A punishingly difficult twin stick shooter that takes place in the fictional techno dystopia version of Rengkok, you control a man referred to only as Puppy, who cuts a bloody swathe through the neon lit streets and metallic factories in a search for his missing brother. Guided by the mysterious hacker known only as Her, it’s up to you to use any guns and melee weapons you can find to decimate the hordes of goons baying for your blood. It’s violent, it’s vicious, and we can’t get enough.
Buy it if: you’re shockingly okay with being called Puppy.
Avoid it if: Hotline Miami put you off difficult twin stick shooters.
And there you have it. 6000 words later, we’ve reached the end of this list of the best Xbox One games. As mentioned at the start, this list is subject to change, so we’ll keep adding to it when more fantastic games come out. Any that you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.
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