The best Xbox One games to play

There’s never been a better time to dive into the Xbox ecosystem with Xbox One or Xbox One X, especially now, six years after the console’s debut. It may not be number one in sales, but Microsoft has done a lot of interesting, innovative things with the platform.

In fact, the team at Xbox seems to have convinced Xbox to be an outsider who has a serious problem with exclusive games. Microsoft has been blurring the line between console and PC games for years, separating Xbox’s success from console sales. You can (and should) say the same about services like Xbox Game Pass that competitors couldn’t keep up with. And in terms of hardware, the mid-generation Xbox One X is currently the most powerful console – a fact Microsoft has worked tirelessly to communicate with the world.

Against the backdrop of a below-average generation of consoles, Microsoft supported Xbox One with backward compatibility and brought millions of Xbox and Xbox 360 libraries to modern hardware at no additional cost. A handful of the hundreds of backward-compatible games go one step further and benefit from the improved performance of Xbox One X with improved resolution and frame rate.

Whether you’re already a fan of the Xbox platform, or just recently bought an Xbox One or Xbox One X, here are the 22 best platform games to start your collection with, or you will get some new ideas for Play .

But why 22 games? Round numbers are boring and others could be overwhelming. 22 games is a solid number of titles that are spread over many genres and offer a selection for adults, children or families to play together. We wanted to focus on the best of the best in this guide for the essential versions of Xbox One and believe that you will be able to find something you like. And if possible we have added a link to our guide for each game in case you need a little help.

And if the list of 22 games above isn’t enough, read the additional recommendations below. There are many great experiences on the Xbox platform. So let’s start!

Picture: The Coalition / Xbox Game Studios

We immediately fell in love with the Gears 5 campaign, which wants to be many things and is successful with most.

Some of the campaigns are for sipping, thinking, and enjoying, like the hours we’ve spent deliberately and deliberately exploring large areas of the open world, discovering secrets, and learning about the Gears of War universe.

Other parts are as indecent and exploding as an Avengers movie, like every time we shot step by step through small corridors, large rooms, and huge factories and peeked out of cover to break monsters into fleshy, roast-sized pieces.

And sometimes it’s a bit of both, like when we discovered a credible stealth sequence (in a Gears of War game!), Botched it up, and the cerebral calm turned into a rumbling gun battle.

These changes in tone and tempo shouldn’t work, and yet they do. That’s what makes Gears 5 so remarkable – and we’ve barely spoken about the multiplayer options!

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Image: Mobius / Annapurna Interactive

How can you describe Outer Wilds, polygon game of 2019, without ruining everything that makes it great?

It’s surprisingly difficult because the more you describe it, the less puzzling it gets, and keeping the secret alive is a huge part of the game’s appeal.

Here’s how Colin Campbell started reviewing Polygons Outer Wilds:

Outer Wilds is a non-violent, first-person exploration puzzle game set in a solar system dotted with delightful mysteries. His secrets are scattered in a vortex of planets that I research and investigate.

This is the ice-cold truth of Outer Wilds from a mechanical point of view. It is an important, incomplete part of the description. You should know what you are doing.

The magic in Outer Wilds is as philosophical as it is mechanical, which is why Chelsea Stark started our game of the year:

Games have long focused on humanity’s quest to become a colonist, conqueror, or anthropologist. They have learned and usually try to control everything that goes beyond our own horizons.

But Outer Wilds delivers one of the most ambitious discovery stories I’ve ever seen in gaming, with no focus on violence or dominance. It is a triumph that we at Polygon honor our game of 2019.

So, yes, Outer Wilds tells the story of an alien species with adorable wooden spaceships that you explore in the solar system – and that is where a secret that would be a tragedy comes to light.

Get it here: Microsoft Store

Image: Remedy entertainment / 505 games

Control is a wonderfully funny game. It is also beautiful.

Its story and characters are equally challenging, confusing and fascinating. None of them are insulting enough to remain repulsive. Each makes you explore deeper and learn more – and it helps Control look and feel great as you uncover the secrets of the oldest house.

Control manipulates light and shadow not only to look great, but to build the foundation of the narrative. Aspects of the game may seem strange or disconnected, but everything in Control is intentionally what you will see if you stick to it. Uncertainty is a characteristic, not a mistake.

The developers of Remedy Entertainment are fully committed to Control’s down-to-earth, surreal premise, making Control a technical marvel as well as an artistic achievement.

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Image: FromSoftware / Activision

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a fitting keystone for the unprecedented decade of FromSoftware development, in which games were created that gamers dared not to die for. FromSoftware games are inherently difficult – cross-border indeed. And yet they are also incredibly popular and influential.

How do you do that? Damn good games. As I wrote in our essay on Games of 2019, it’s better if you’re weird to be good – and FromSoftware and Sekiro are both.

In 2019, the painful, rewarding journey revolved around a bodyguard and a young royalty, duty and honor, overwhelming opportunities, and survival with little more than a catch and a sword. Die, and you may feel like an idiot. Survive and you may feel like a god. No other studio has ever managed to switch between shivering, sweating frustration and sheer exhilaration, and you’ll feel all that and more when you play Sekiro.

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Picture: Capcom

It’ll sound hyperbolic, but it’s true: Resident Evil 2 is everything a video game remake should be.

It was released in early 2019 and is partly a remake and partly a revision. It’s not just better textures and nicer graphics. Resident Evil 2 has been completely redesigned after the 1998 PlayStation game that was first titled. And all within the framework of a franchise that sometimes manages to sniff.

The developers at Capcom behind Resident Evil 2 understand what a Resident Evil game does well – a combination of puzzles, scarcity of resources, a self-contained environment, a terrible, clumsy monster of a man who always follows you somewhere – and have it all a train delivered package that is both modern and retro.

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Image: Lucas Pope / 3909

The return of the Obra Dinn begins with a great mystery surrounding a 19th-century merchant ship that arrived in port five years late, long after it was believed to be missing. It is your job to find out what happened.

The eye-catching graphics are reminiscent of the time when consumer hardware wasn’t strong enough to handle a lot of color, and the graphics were best when most people got were smart points. If you had access to a PC in the 80s and even in the early 90s, a look at the screenshot above will immediately lead to nostalgia.

But Return of the Obra Dinn offers much more than an atmospheric aesthetic. As we wrote in our review, “it poses a complex puzzle, overlaid with personalities, motifs, secrets and lies. But it charges most conventions by transferring the deception into every corner of its intricate, gorgeous murder scenes. “

Get it here: Microsoft Store

Rockstar Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 draws an astonishing amount of game over a meticulously drawn world that invites you to sip and enjoy.

Part action game, part cowboy simulator, part complaining about rapid progress, part exploring real and imagined American ideals. Developer Rockstar Games created an expansive – and sometimes shocking or frustrating – epic that is as grand as western films and novels inspired it.

Open-world sandboxes are nothing new to Rockstar Games, but Red Dead Redemption 2 shows that the studio isn’t limited to a single, high-profile franchise. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an explanation that his quasi-western epic with his studio sibling Grand Theft Auto stands from head to toe.

The incredible human effort required to make this game happen is evident in every view, every dimly lit street corner and every tailor-made animation for humans and animals. These efforts also became a story in their own right before the game was released. Crunch reports show that games like Red Dead Redemption 2 are often not delivered without toll, voluntarily or otherwise.

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IO Interactive / Warner Bros. Interactive entertainment

Hitman 2 is the model for a real sequel: it picks up on the best parts of its predecessors and develops and improves a series that was already on a solid foundation.

Unlike the 2016 Hitman restart, Hitman 2 is a package deal that avoids the episodic drop of its predecessor for a full campaign that is available on purchase. The stealth assassin formula is also returning, focusing on a loop for finding and disposing of targets. Developer IO Interactive’s addition of new visual cues – like one that draws a visible circle around Agent 47 when it’s hidden to show who can hear it – is welcome and prevents the worn formula from feeling tired.

The ideal, as always, is to act discreetly and often creatively. Hitman 2 offers players many ways to complete their core murder missions. And as the series tends to do, it spices up the seriousness with a welcome dash of comedic absurdity.

Hitman 2 rewards patience and surrounds Agent 47 with a vibrant, busy world and background story worth exploring.

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This type of product legitimately differentiates Xbox from its competitors.

No, Xbox Game Pass is not a game. It’s a service that offers a lot of games at a reasonable price, more or less like Netflix. For $ 9.99 a month, you get access to an ever-growing catalog of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games, including key Xbox exclusive products like Gears 5 on the day of their release. The service has now also been extended to the PC.

As of now, Xbox Game Pass has over 100 games, some of which you’ll read below. Microsoft is not the first company to offer such a subscription service. Game Pass may be the best deal so far.

Get it here: Microsoft Store

343 industries / Microsoft Studios

It’s difficult to overestimate the effects of Halo on Xbox. Indeed, it’s reasonable to say that Halo: Combat Evolved has made Microsoft a viable competitor to Nintendo and Sony in the video game market.

When developer Bungie switched from Halo to Destiny (and went from a Microsoft-owned studio to an independent developer), Microsoft retained the Halo franchise and founded a new studio, 343 Industries, to keep the series alive. 343 produced its own halo games and ported and remastered Bungie’s entries for this collection.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is largely a celebration of the bungie era, bringing Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4 (made by 343) to Xbox One. (The Halo 3: ODST campaign was available for purchase and was also a good offer for those who experienced the rocky start of The Master Chief Collection.)

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Bungie’s Halo games is that each iteration added something that fans didn’t know they wanted until they experienced it. It felt like Bungie was one step ahead of the genre. And the Master Chief Collection is proof of how well the games have aged as a result. Developer 343 updated the game in late August 2018 to fix long-standing issues and improve the games for Xbox One X.

The collection continues to grow: In early December 2019, Halo Reach was added to the collection on Xbox One and PC.

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Studio MDHR / Microsoft Studios

Cuphead received critical recognition in 2018, four years after it was announced. In the years between the announcement and the release, Cuphead became known for its unique art direction, which was rendered in the style of Disney and Fleischer Studios cartoons from the 1930s. Cuphead was created by brothers Chad Moldenhauer and Jared Moldenhauer with the help of animator Jake Clark and combines hand-drawn art with classic side-scrolling shooter mechanics.

It is a particularly challenging game, although, as we wrote in our Cuphead review, it is also clever at teaching players how to overcome their fundamental difficulties.

Download it here: Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy

Moon Studios / Microsoft Studios

Moon Studios – an international group of collaborating developers – released Ori and the Blind Forest in 2015 and the game has been a favorite ever since.

It’s part of a renaissance in the Metroidvania genre of games where your character explores and unlocks parts of a large and alluring world as they gain more powers. You can understand the core principles of design for decades, but the creators combine the familiar structure with a presentation that offers modern hardware. As a result, it feels both fresh and timeless.

Get it here: Amazon | Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy

Rare / Microsoft Studios

Sea of ​​Thieves came to Xbox One and Windows in 2018 with a mix of Oohs, Ahhs and Oughs. The first few hours in the game are a great time, especially with friends. Learning how to sail, navigate, loot – basically how to be a pirate – is challenging and fun. The hours after that, at least at the start, were less exhilarating than repetitive.

But Sea of ​​Thieves is a living game. Since its release in March 2018, developer Rare has added new areas to the game that can be visited, looted, and offered group activities. Microsoft seems to be committed to this adventure, rewarding players who have chosen to stay on the ship and finding new ways to attract those who have jumped overboard. The anniversary update was a great demonstration of this commitment.

As we mentioned in the introduction, we collect the games that everyone should play or watch. Even if you don’t find yourself on these beautiful seas, you should take the time to stream a few quests for buried treasures. The game is almost as fun as it is to be played.

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PUBG Corp.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds began their console life as an Xbox One exclusivity. And yes, it’s been available on PS4 for over a year, but somehow Xbox still feels like PUBG’s home.

Sure, it started in Early Access on Steam, where it became a hit almost instantly. It wasn’t the first Battle Royale-style game, but it brought the genre – in which 100 players enter and only one leaves the winner – from relative darkness to the top of public awareness.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds didn’t invent the Battle Royale genre, but it did evolve and became popular – the game brought it to the masses.

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Epic games

You can play Fortnite pretty much anywhere, but Microsoft has long supported cross-platform gaming, making it one of the earliest and most inviting full-featured versions of the game. Yes, Sony has had a change of heart, but the philosophy of Epic Games developers to play anywhere has proven its worth on Xbox One since the surprisingly successful game hit the console.

Fortnite, like PUBG, is a Battle Royale game in which 100 players compete against each other. Unlike PUBG, however, Fortnite is easygoing – and expands the skills you need to win with skills in a jiffy. It is also free and is constantly updated.

Get it here: Microsoft Store

Insomniac Games / Microsoft Studios

Perhaps the strangest AAA exclusivity of this generation, Sunset Overdrive throws together a confident and silly story (an energy drink speeds up the zombie apocalypse), superhero skills, and a beautifully exciting open world that can be crossed in a variety of playful ways. The adventure of the developers of Insomniac Games feels like the artwork painted on an old, brought to life arcade cabinet.

It is unusually bright, colorful, and bright. His weapons are weapons of the trade; his enemies are filled with neon orange goose bumps. It doesn’t bother with gloom or a serious dramatic twist. Sunset Overdrive is pure, unadulterated fun.

It’s also an exclusive piece of history, as Sony acquired Insomniac in 2019 and added the developers of Ratchet & Clank, Spyro and Marvel’s Spider-Man to the PlayStation family.

Get it here: Amazon | Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy

PlatinumGames / Square Enix

Xbox One X may be the best place to play Nier: Automata and surpass the notoriously messy PC port on startup. If you want to buy the action role-playing game from Square Enix and PlatinumGames, it won’t take more than a few seconds to find dozens of odes from its followers.

This also includes Polygon, as Nier: Automata has a place in the list of games of 2017 from Polygon. We praised it not only as a good action RPG shooter hybrid, but also because it uses its mechanics to comment on what makes games so beautiful, nasty, fun, and complicated.

If you want to be more convincing, then Nier: Automata had one of the best soundtracks of 2017.

Download it here: Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy

Respawn entertainment / electronic arts

Developer Respawn Entertainment’s original Titanfall was an exclusive Microsoft platform, and although Titanfall 2 has moved the franchise to multiple consoles, the series still feels at home on the Xbox.

First of all, Titanfall 2 is what you expect from a sequel – a refinement and expansion of ideas and potential in the sparse first game. The core idea remains: a mixture of mechanics for mech, movement and first person shooter by veterans of the studio who created the sensation Call of Duty. In addition, the multiplayer mode of the original game is expanded by a new progress system.

The quality of Titanfall 2’s single player campaign, the first in the series, is less expected. It’s a master class of the last decade of FPS design. Everything from GoldenEye to Half-Life to Unreal is fun. And although the story is not revealing, it has enough heart to convince skeptics. The combination of nifty mechanics and narrative twists defines Titanfall 2 to be superior to its contemporaries, and has partly helped pave the way for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Get it here: Amazon | Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy


Resident Evil 7 did something that seemed impossible at the time: it took over an old (and frankly outdated) franchise and revived it with a single new entry.

The transition to the first person perspective is the most obvious example of how the game developed. However, the real genius of the game lies in the ability to learn from the mistakes of its immediate predecessors.

Resident Evil 7 maintains the terror inherent in the survival horror genre it has contributed to popularization, but cuts off the franchise’s boom. Gone are the worldwide romps, which are replaced by a personal story of loss and despair that is limited to a still large but self-contained place. You cannot lose the plot because you are always closely connected to it. The grotesque nature of the Baker family, which is reflected in the overlapping design of the Baker family, helps to consolidate and easily understand the story and its inherent tension.

The creatures you meet, the weapons and items you find, the slow and steady progress you make, the inventive boss battles you overcome – they come together in an impressive, terrible whole that sets the stage for a new one creates better future for Resident Evil.

Get it here: Amazon | Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy

Mojang / Microsoft Studios

As with Fortnite, you can play Minecraft pretty much anywhere. A few years ago, however, Microsoft acquired Mojang, the studio where the game was developed, and Xbox de facto feels, at least on consoles, like the home of the franchisee.

Minecraft is something of a strange game. At its core: bashing and placing blocks at your own discretion in a huge sandbox environment. In creative mode, you can build just about anything you want with simple and unlimited materials. If you like something wilder, there’s the monster-rich survival mode.

Minecraft is exactly what you want because it doesn’t have proper goals because you have easy-to-understand tools. You can play alone, with friends, with strangers, across platforms. You can play it as relaxing and casual, or dangerous and stressful. YouTube is filled with videos of people who are exploring the game for hundreds of hours. It’s a real, constantly updated cultural phenomenon – and one of the best-selling video games ever.

Get it here: Amazon | Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy

Playground games / Microsoft Studios

The Forza franchise changes annually between the simulation-oriented motorsport series and the Open World Horizon series. While Forza Motorsport continues to serve hardcore racing fans, Horizon has been the most accessible, resourceful, and entertaining racing game for everyone since the Burnout series. The many social features as well as the persistent weather and seasonal effects give the British backdrop of Forza Horizon 4 even more depth and a feeling of sharing experiences.

Get it here: Amazon | Microsoft Store | GameStop | Best Buy

Backward compatibility allows Xbox One owners to play hundreds of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on the latest Microsoft console. Some of these games, like the original Red Dead Redemption, have even been improved for Xbox One X. If you already own a game on a previous generation console, you can access Xbox One if it is on Microsoft’s list of backward games. compatible games.

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While these games are not new, games like Alan Wake and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 are better than ever before. And the feature is a good excuse to try out games you’ve missed, like Crimson Skies, Driver: San Francisco, Earth Defense Force 2017, and Skate 3. Microsoft has also announced it will continue the trend of backward compatibility with the upcoming Xbox Series X. Console.

Other notable games:

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Get it here: Microsoft Store

Get it here: Microsoft Store

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