Whether you own an Xbox One, Xbox One S or an Xbox One X, you’ll be on the look for excellent games to play. Even though Sony’s PS4 and PS4 Pro may well have taken the crown for this gaming generation, Microsoft’s consoles aren’t giving up the fight – they’ve been valiantly dishing up new experiences for fans.
From exclusive adventures to cross-platform greats, we’ve charted some of the absolute musts of the Xbox One below.
1. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed game moves the long-running series to Ancient Greece. Following the excellent quasi-reboot, Assassin’s Creed Origins, there was a worry that this follow-up would be a dud. Thankfully, it is anything but, pushing the formula even further towards that of an RPG. This time around, there’s a choice of male or female protagonist, and branching storylines, all set across a gorgeous set of islands.
2. Sea Of Thieves
Microsoft has bet big on Rare’s multiplayer pirate-themed adventure game Sea Of Thieves and it seems to have paid off. Not only is it a wildly ambitious shared-world RPG, but it’s a great comedic adventure filled with plenty of player-generated stories and experiences. If you’re an Xbox Games Pass member, you’ll be able to play Sea Of Thieves as part of your subscription but, if you’re not, you can be safe in the knowledge that plenty of people are sailing, plundering and exploring in Sea Of Thieves right now.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition
Voted by many as the game of 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt offers one of the most expansive, rewarding and immersive experiences available on consoles and PC alike. As well as a gripping storyline that will take tens of hours to complete, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt also packs in countless side missions into its sprawling game environment.
You’ll encounter unique characters and villages along your quests, and the game’s great graphics and attention to detail will keep you entertained for months – and that’s before you even come to the two massive expansions CD Projekt Red released the following year.
IO Interactive’s episodic assassination game has been released in one bundle – drawing together numerous vast playgrounds for creative murdering. It’s a return to the formula that made 2006’s Hitman: Blood Money such a success: letting the player loose in a detailed environment and trusting them to come up with their own approaches to killing targets. Throw in time-limited ‘Elusive target’ missions, and you’ve got plentiful killer action to enjoy.
5. Monster Hunter World
Try as it might, Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has had a difficult time hitting the mainstream. Thankfully, with its first return to home consoles since its Wii U entry Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, it’s managed to open its systems up to a far wider audience. The result, a wonderfully accessible Monster Hunter title that’ll keep you engrossed for hours, griding to take down massive beasts with buddies and creating excellent armour and weapons to go hunt more monsters with. Sublime.
6. Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7 well and truly blows the cobwebs off this long-running horror series. While the last couple of instalments groaned beneath a mass of characters and shoddy action mechanics, RE7 strips things back to the roots of Resident Evil 1, presenting the user with a scary mansion and scarier inhabitants – now from a first-person perspective. It’s a masterful horror game, and well worth a place in your collection.
7. Fortnite Battle Royale
Fortnite Battle Royale has taken over the internet of late. Epic Games’ take on the popular battle royale genre has exploded in popularity and even has parents worried about just how addictive it could be for their young ones. Despite continual coverage causing eye-rolls from the wider gaming community, Fortnite Battle Royale is clearly a well-made game. It takes the 100-person survival formula and adds in some smart level design, the ability to build forts for defence and jazzes it up with some great character design and visuals. What’s more, it’s completely free to jump in and give it a go, so you can’t really get much better than that.
8. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The latest in the ever-confusing Metal Gear Solid series is a deeply strange, enormously fun game. It casts you as an elite supersoldier called Big Boss, behind enemy lines in a vast open world across Afghanistan and the Angola–Zaire border. If you’re into stealth games, this is one of the most enjoyable titles out there – if only for the mechanic that lets you kidnap soldiers and animals for your private menagerie.
9. Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 may not be the simulator experience that Forza fans love so much – that’s what Forza Motorsport 7 is for – but it’s sure as hell more fun. Set in a slice of Australia, Forza Horizon 3 is all about freedom, exploration and absurd racing through varying climates and terrains. If you love racing games, including realistic handling, but find track racking to be really quite dull, Forza Horizon 3 is the one for you.
This game was years in the making, and it’s well worth the wait. An old-school run and gun shooter in substance, and an even older-school 1930s cartoon in style, Cuphead is one of the best co-op experiences around. But you will die a lot: it’s hard as nails and hugely unforgiving. Fortunately, the charming art style and nostalgic soundtrack make failing over and over feel a lot less painless than it should be.
From its bright aesthetic design through to its stripped-back first-person shooter toolset, Overwatch offers an accessible, addictive and very welcoming experience. Seven million people played Overwatch within a week of its release, and it has continued to dominate the multiplayer shooter scene since. It’s a well-polished game that’s easy to enjoy and a lot of fun to spend a few hours on.
What are your favourite Xbox One games? Let us know in the comments below…