Top 25 Xbox One Games to Play in 2015 & Beyond

Den of Geek picks the Xbox One games you should play this year just in time for Cyber Monday!

Cyber Monday has arrived, which means TONS of gaming deals. It’s the perfect time to catch up on the games you missed throughout the year. 

Not sure what Xbox One games you should be playing this holiday? Den of Geek has your back! We’ve amassed a list of the biggest titles and our personal picks. And if you like any of the games on this list, we’ve made it even easier for you: click on the ORANGE links to go directly to the Amazon store and purchase the game! 

Here are the game we’ll be playing this season:

THE BACKLOG

Dying Light

Jan. 27 | Techland | PC, XBO, PS4

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If you’re in need of a zombie game this year, look no further than Dying Light, which pretty much is the epitome of what you can do in a zombie action-adventure game. Made by the same folks behind Dead Island, this game has no shortage of creepy monsters and parkour, either. It’s also a great choice if you’re into “checklist” gameplay and crossing off objectives like it’s your day job.

Mortal Kombat X

April 14 | NetherRealm Studios | PC, XBO, PS4

If a fighting game is what you need and you get particular enjoyment from dismembering your friends, then Mortal Kombat X is the game for you. Boasting one of the most diverse rosters in the franchise, this latest installment also features plenty of new characters to choose from. Finish him!

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

May 19 | CD Projekt Red | PC, XBO, PS4

This one will definitely be on the top of plenty of Game of the Year lists, and with good reason. CD Projekt Red has created the ultimate fantasy RPG experience here, full of perilous adventures, epic quests, and lots of beasties to slay. And it looks absolutely gorgeous, of course. If sword and sorcery is more your thing, this one’s the one for you. 

Batman: Arkham Knight

June 23 | Rocksteady Studios | PC, XBO, PS4

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We probably don’t have to tell you to get this one, right? It’s the conclusion to theArkham trilogy Rocksteady has been building since the spectacular Arkham Asylum. Here we get the biggest, most epic, and complete Batman ever made. There’s even a Batmobile and some sidekicks to choose from. Really, this is the ultimate Batman experience, and you probably already own. Right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnzwyOEddpc

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Sept. 1 | Kojima Productions | XBO, PS4, PC

There’s a reason we gave Metal Gear Solid V a perfect score: it’s an absolute masterpiece and a perfect exit for video game auteur Hideo Kojima from the series. Fusing a higher emphasis on gameplay with the convoluted plot you’ve come to expect from this series, The Phantom Pain offers tons of things to do on and off the battlefield. Acquire vital personnel and equipment to build up your Mother Base, get revenge against the villains who almost killed you nine years ago, or face off against your buddies inMetal Gear Online, the game’s online multiplayer component. All of this, while collecting cassette tapes of the best and weirdest 80s hits…There’s so much to do in this game that we recommend you start playing it during the Christmas downtime.

Mad Max

Sept. 1 | Avalanche Studios | XBO, PS4, PC

Did you love Mad Max: Fury Road? Are you a fan of The Road Warrior? Then you should probably already own this open-world action-adventure take on that universe. On display in Mad Max is some of the best vehicle combat we’ve ever player, reminiscent of games such as Twisted Metal. Zooming through the wasteland is never a quiet affair, as enemy scouts surround you on all sides. You’ll have to build up your muscle car and turn it into a death machine in order to survive. But in order to keep yourself alive, you’ll also have to raid enemy camps in order to refuel your car. As you can imagine, this is a pretty bloody affair that will leave some bruises. Mad Max is good, violent fun.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpDLxs8z08A

Destiny: The Taken King

Sept. 15 | Bungie | XBO, PS4, X360, PS3, PC

Bungie’s new IP has had quite the year. From the barrage of complaints early on to its much-improved player experience since the House of Wolves expansion, Destinyseems to be here to stay and going very strong into its Year Two experience. With bundles releasing left and right and a new expansion, now is the perfect time to drop in, Guardians. What exactly do you get with the new expansion, titled The Taken King? New story missions, strikes, raids, multiplayer modes and maps, weapons, gear, and updates to the leveling system. This is the start of Destiny Year Two.

SOMA

Sept. 22 | Frictional Games | PS4, PC

The long-awaited follow-up to Frictional Games’ fantastic Amnesia: The Dark Descentis finally here. The game is called SOMA and its a bit of a step in the opposite direction in terms of setting, but we’re still promised plenty of scares. Basically, you’re trapped in an underwater lab where machines have gone rampant and are now trying to murder you. Your mission? Get to the surface as fast as you can. Of course, you’re unarmed, so all you’ll really have in your favor is your quick wit and maybe a little prayer. If you’re looking for survival horror this season, SOMA is your game. 

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Oct. 23 | Ubisoft Quebec | XBO, PS4, PC

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention last year’s Assassin’s Creed Unity right at the top of this recommendation. It was a mess. We didn’t like it. Some of us have sworn off the series forever. Still, this is the first current-gen installment in the series to be helmed by a studio other than Ubisoft Montreal. Instead, Ubisoft’s Quebec studio is taking over forSyndicate. That’s good news. If you need some proof, check out Ubisoft Quebec’s excellent last-gen Assassin’s Creed Rogue, which is a ways better than its current-gen counterpart. Don’t worry, you still get to play as an Assassin with plenty of knives in his/her coat. 

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Halo 5: Guardians

Oct. 27 | 343 Industries | XBO

There’s a new Halo game coming out. That’s pretty much the only thing we need to say, right? Oh, you want to hear more…Okay. Halo 5: Guardians continues the adventures of Master Chief, who’s gone AWOL after the events of Halo 4. Joining him is his Spartan squad, the Blue Team, who you might recognize from the many Halo novels. Another group of Spartan, Fireteam Osiris, is sent on a mission to find the Master Chief and bring him home. Behind it all is an ancient Forerunner artifact that could mean the end of the galaxy. So, another day in the Halo universe, basically. Halo 5: Guardiansalso introduced squad-based commands and a new multiplayer experience. Yeah, you can aim down the sights now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpm1yk3enzY

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Nov. 6 | Treyarch | XBO, PS4, PC

There’s also a new Call of Duty game coming out this year. Oh, you already knew that? Well, this one is from Treyarch, which means we’re all really back for the originalCall of Duty Zombie mode. And maybe when you’re not out killing the undead, you’ll even spend some time falling deep into some political conspiracy or other in the game’s campaign. You’ll also be able to play all that hardcore multiplayer you like. You might even mute some trolls along the way. But really, you’re just here for the Zombie mode. Shoot away!

Fallout 4

Nov. 10 | Bethesda Game Studios | XBO, PS4, PC

No one knew this would be the year. Seven years after Bethesda created the blockbuster Fallout 3, the series returns for another adventure in the nuclear wasteland. This time, you’ll exit the Vault and find yourself in Commonwealth-controlled postapocalyptic Boston. You’ll have your Pip-Boy, your trusty dog, and the VATS system to get you through the endless days of the end of the world. A new feature will even allow you to build strongholds for yourself where you hoard supplies and take up defensive positions against raiders. This could very well be the ultimate RPG experience.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider

Nov. 10 | Crystal Dynamics | XBO, X360 

Lara Croft is back for a whole new adventure, this time in an Xbox-exclusive. Rise of the Tomb Raider picks up after Crystal Dynamic’s fantastic 2013 reboot and it will see Lara journey to Siberia and the ancient city Kitezh, where she believes she might find the secret to immortality. Does this feel just a little bit like Uncharted 2 to you? Just kidding! A solid, cinematic action-adventure game awaits you this November!

Star Wars Battlefront

Nov. 17 | DICE | XBO, PS4, PC

November also treats us to the return of Star Wars video games with the newBattlefront from the makers of the Battlefield series. Take the fight to the Empire on foot, in an AT-AT, or lock S-foils in attack position with your very own X-Wing. If you’re good enough, you might even get to play as Luke Skywalker. Plenty of modes offer different experiences in the warzone, so you’ll always find something to do and kill in this grand return to form for the franchise. 

Future Console Exclusives

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUQ4tbSiJ_o

Below

2015 | Capybara Games

You might know Capybara as the studio behind the excellent Super Time Force, but you’ll soon hear all about them thanks to their upcoming Xbox exclusive indie game, Below. This roguelike adventure game tells the story of a tiny adventurer who must explore the depths of a remote and mysterious island. The areas are randomly generated and are designed to challenge players with a high difficulty of play. Permanent death will add tension to every playthrough. And the art style looks quite amazing. This is a must-have for players with an indie sensibility. 

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Crackdown 3

2016 | Reagent Games

Fans have been asking for another Crackdown sequel for a while, and their prayers were finally heard. This epic action-adventure game is all about high-velocity arcade-style combat and mass destruction. What do you get in Crackdown 3? An open world full of bad guys to get violent with and fully destructible enviornments. Like last year’s excellent Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown‘s third-person combat is meant to be fun and hectic. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b43JfcIjO4c

Gears of War 4

2016 | The Coalition

Gears of War doesn’t need much of an introduction. This series is all carnage, blood and guts, and killing monsters on an alien planet during a war that pretty much ended civilization. Five years after Gears of War 3 closed the series’ original trilogy, we’re getting another sequel. And if the E3 2015 trailer is any indication, it will star a new cast of characters in their fight against the Locust. If you haven’t played any Gears of War games, but are interested in jumping in, Microsoft released a remastered version of the original Gears of War in August, and it’s quite good. Also, all of the other Gears games will be available on Xbox One in November, thanks to backwards compatibility. It’s a good time to charge into this bloody war. 

Halo Wars 2

2016 | Creative Assembly

Here’s a game we didn’t expect to ever see on Xbox One’s line-up. You might remember the original Halo Wars from now-shuttered Ensemble Studios as a gateway into other RTS games. That’s how it was designed: for fans of the shooter games who wanted more Halo and were interested in trying out another genre. But they also got a fantastic story that takes place before the events of the other Halo games, during the early days of the war against the Covenant. You take command of your very own UNSC warship and send out troops, armored vehicles, and Spartans to fight the good fight on the ground. The first game, which even features encounters with the Flood, ended on a cliffhanger that we thought would never get solved. Microsoft gave us quite the surprise when it announced this long-awaited sequel. 

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ReCore

2016 | Comcept & Armature Studio

There’s a lot to be exicted about when it comes to ReCore. This sci-fi action game is being developed by Comcept and Armature Studio. The former is headed by Keiji Inafune, the creator of the Mega Man games, and the latter is made up of guys who worked on the Metroid Prime games. That’s a lot of firepower for this Xbox One exclusive. We don’t know much more about this game besides that it stars an adventurer and her cute, robotic dog. And they’re exploring some kind of vault swarming with other robotic enemies. This whole paragraph should excite you. 

Sea of Thieves

2016 | Rare

Sea of Thieves is Rare’s pirate-themed return to action-adventure games after years of making Kinect Sports titles. Details are scarce on this one, but the trailer and info we got at E3 2015 would suggest that this could be the developer’s most ambitious game to date. The MMO-like experience allows players to team up online to explore islands, find treasure, and do battle with enemy ships, as they sail the seas on their very own ship. It all sounds very good, and Rare has more than our vote of confidence. 

Cuphead

2016 | Studio MDHR

This run and gun platformer is gorgeous, and it reminds us of the days of morning Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies re-runs. Cuphead is addictive nostalgia, complete with a score that feels stripped from another time. The story is a bit dark, though: little Cuphead must fight and defeat a series of evil bosses to pay a debt to the Devil. It’s like Dark Souls if your champion were basically just a mug. We’re really looking forward to this one. 

Inside

2016 | Playdead

Inside is Playdead’s long-awaited follow-up to their masterful Limbo, a minimalist indie game with a very grim story to tell. Playdead’s new game seems cut from the same cloth, all the way down to the art style, which is almost identical except for the added bits of color. But really, this looks like a horror platformer at its best, as you’re chased by dangerous creatures, including what looks like a killer mermaid (watch the trailer), and hurdle over lethal obstacles. Playdead really loves putting little children in harm’s way…

Future Cross-Platform

Just Cause 3

Dec. 1 | Avalanche Studios

In case you have space for another open-world action-adventure game or a fan of this series, Just Cause 3 offers you the chance to blow every single thing up and bring the pain to your enemies with high-flying agent Rico Rodriguez, who is on a mission to topple an evil dictator in his homeland. This is the closest you’ll get to a James Bond game this year.

Hitman

March 11 | IO Interactive

The world’s greatest assassin returns, and with all his old tricks and tech, now that he’s back with the Agency. IO Interactive is taking things back to basics in this sequel, creating levels and maps that allow players to choose their own paths and methods of taking down their targets. A little less linear Hitman: Absolution and more masterfulBlood Money, basically. We’re all for that. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqf3EZQwkLE

Dark Souls III

April 2016 | From Software

Known for its over-the-top action and control-smashing difficulty, Dark Souls is getting another nightmarish sequel. From Software has been on a roll with their unique brand of dungeon crawling action RPGs. Last year’s Dark Souls II was one of the best games of 2014 and this year’s Bloodborne is a promising start to a new franchise. Dark Souls IIIwill hopefully be more of the good stuff. 

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

May 24 | DICE

Here’s another sequel that seemed too far gone until DICE announced it at E3 2014. You once again take control of fan-favorite Faith Connors, a runner who vaults across the rooftops of a futuristic city called Glass, which is under the control of a totalitarian government. The game acts as a sort of prequel to the original game, as you explore Faith’s past. And you also get to do a lot of parkour. 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Aug. 23 | Eidos Montreal

Deus Ex is one of our favorite series. A mix of combat, stealth, platforming, detective work, and role-playing makes up this beloved sci-fi franchise all about nanotechnology, AI, bioweapons, and dark conspiracies. Adam Jensen returns for another series of missions, this time in Prague, where mechanically augmented humans are being persecuted. All of the insane augmentations, weapons, and fight moves are back in this sequel. It’s a must-have. 

Yooka-Laylee

October 2016 | Playtonic Games

A year ago, the need for Yooka-Laylee would have been dire. With Rare, makers ofBanjo-Kazooie, a bit sidelined at Microsoft Studios, this cartoonish platformer was the return of a long-lost genre. After this year’s Rare ReplayYooka-Laylee is the cherry on top. Playtonic has created a proper successor to Banjo-Kazooie. Look forward to this one!

Doom

2016 | id Software

Doom is responsible for igniting the shooter genre. You take control of a space marine, as he fights through hordes of demons and undead with various weapons, including his infamous shotgun. This is the series’ first outing since 2005, and it’ll be interesting to see if it holds up against other contemporary shooters. Bethesda hit a great note with last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, and with the help of id Software, Doom could be another hit for the publisher. 

Overwatch

2016 | Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch is Blizzard’s first new IP in several years, and it’s the kind of game you’d least expect from the developer/publisher. For one thing, it’s an FPS, a genre Blizzard has yet to delve into. Not to mention that it’s an FPS in an industry saturated by them. But Overwatch so far has stood apart from the competition, focusing on true team-based multiplayer shooting, heroes, hope, and diversity in its characters. The closest thing to this one might be Valve’s Team Fortress 2. You’ll want to get this one. 

Final Fantasy XV

2016 | Square Enix

There’s not much to say except that this is a new Final Fantasygame, it has a massive open world, and a brand new real-time combat system that includes a sword that allows you to teleport on the battlefield. Protagonist Noctis and his group of friends are on a mission to stop an evil kingdom from conquering the world. At the same time, they’re on a cross-country roadtrip, hunting down monsters and fighting lots of armored bad guys. If there’s one JRPG you should watch out for next year, it’s this one. 

Mass Effect: Andromeda

2016 | BioWare

In 2012, BioWare closed out its Mass Effect trilogy in a fashion that could be considered less than well-received. Of course, the big issue was with the last hour of the game, although that shouldn’t be enough to erase the memories from all the previous hours spent playing through the adventures of Commander Shepard. Three years later, the hype is very high for the next Mass Effect game, which isn’t a direct continuation of the first three games, and instead takes place in the Andromeda galaxy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQI6Cq74HYo

Mafia III

2016 | Hangar 13

This might not be the mob you were expecting. “The Black Mob” takes the fight to the Mafia after Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam veteran, returns home to find that many of his friends have been assassinated by the local mob. Along with his trusted lieutenants, Clay is out for vengeance in this next-gen follow-up to the open world gangster series.

Outlast 2

2016 | Red Barrels

2014’s Outlast is one of the scariest survival horror games ever made. Taking more than a couple of notes from Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark DescentOutlastwas a full-on dive into madness, as you struggled to survive in an insane asylum that doubled as a gateway to hell. We don’t know anything about the sequel except that it’s happening, and that’s probably good enough for now. 

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

2017 | Inti Creates

This game made headlines when it became the biggest Kickstarter of all-time, making millions of dollars in the process. Koji Igarashi, designer of many of the bestCastlevania games, makes his return to the gothic horror side-scroller with a new vision. And it’s just in time. With Konami’s lessened interests in console games,Bloodstained might be the closest thing to Castlevania that you get for a while. 

John Saavedra is an assistant editor at Den of Geek US. Find more of his work on his website. Or just follow him on Twitter.