The 23 best games on the Xbox One

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Cuphead

Cuphead is one of the most visually striking video games ever created. It’s known for being extremely hard, but like most games known for being extremely hard, it’s also extremely rewarding. Play it!

(If you have patience!)

Destiny 2

Look it’s not perfect, and there’s been a tremendous backlash in the wake of its release, but Destiny 2 is still a must play video game, especially if you’ve got a core group of friends to play with you.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Tremendous in scope, you’re gonna want to give Assassin’s Creed Odyssey a bit of breathing space. The opening credits roll after five hours for goodness sake! But once the game gets going, it really gets going. This is what game made by hundreds of people looks like. Gorgeous, massive, polished. A supremely well made open world video game.

Updated:October 10, 2018Caption:Mark SerrelsPhoto:Screenshot by CNET

Inside

Inside is brutal, compelling and has an ending so bizarre I will literally never forget it as long as I live.

Play this video game.

Titanfall 2

Just when you thought you’d seen everything the first-person shooter has to offer, along comes Titanfall 2 to reinvent the genre. From the creators of Call of Duty comes a shooter that pushes the boundaries of what you thought was possible. Shooting stuff will never be the same again.

Gears of War 4

You suspect this series might never hit the peaks of the first two, but Gears of War 4 is still Gears of War. It’s still visually stunning, engaging and — perhaps most importantly — feels completely different from all other shooters on the market in terms of its shooting and movement. Gears of War 4 is a good video game.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

You could make the argument that Metal Gear Solid V is one of the best open world games ever made. It’s certainly one of the most malleable universes ever created, and one of the most responsive to player input. Marred by internal conflicts between Konami and the game’s creator Hideo Kojima, the ending is extremely messy, but there’s 40 hours of absolutely pitch perfect open world stealth goodness before you get there.

Unmissable.

Forza Horizon 3

Forza grabbed the racing crown from Gran Turismo years ago, and it’s been squatting there ever since. Forza Horizon 3 is our favourite — it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is still enough of a simulation to satisfy rev heads.

It also looks like a million bucks and then some.

The Witcher 3

Some people call The Witcher 3 the best game of this generation. I say how dare you besmirch the good name of Breath of the Wild and Bloodborne, but that doesn’t mean The Witcher 3 isn’t in the discussion.

It absolutely is.

Also, it’s a video game with good writing. That makes The Witcher 3 a bonafide unicorn.

Updated:October 10, 2018Caption:Mark SerrelsPhoto:CD Projekt Red

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider was a pretty sweet Xbox One exclusive back in the day. You can pick it up on PlayStation 4 now, but it still very much feels like an Xbox One video game.

It’s also extremely good, and the closest you’re ever likely to get to an Uncharted-esque experience on the Xbox One.

Doom

Doomis back. Sick of shooting bad guys from extremely far away? Very much over not being able to enjoy the visceral gore of demon internal organs spilling on nearby surfaces?

Doom is the video game for you.

Dark Souls 3

You can’t get Bloodborne on the Xbox One, but Dark Souls 3 is the next best thing.

From Software haven’t made a bad game yet and in the pantheon of the “Souls” genre, Dark Souls 3 ranks pretty high. That means it’s up there with the best of an already exceptional bunch.

Souls games aren’t for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to give Dark Souls 3 a try.

The Witness

From the creator of Braid comes a video game unlike anything you’ve ever played before.

The Witness is like the Super Metroid of puzzle games.

It’s a universe waiting to be unlocked, only you don’t require power-ups to proceed, you need to power-up your garbage brain. That sounds boring but it’s really not. It’s a fascinating design exercise and one of the most unique video games I’ve ever played.

XCOM 2

It’s probably the kind of game you’d rather play on PC, but if that’s not an option might as well get stuck into this on your Xbox One. XCOM 2 is as good a turn-based tactics as you’ll find.

Celeste

Celeste is an early contender for game of 2018. It’s a brutal platformer in the style of Super Meat Boy, but innovates in a number of interesting ways. It messes with your expectation of what jumping in a video game looks like.

It’s also incredibly tight in terms of its design, and features one of the most delicately balanced learning curves. Extremely good stuff.

Resident Evil 7

There’s a Resident Evil cycle. It does something bold and innovative (see Resident Evil 1 or Resident Evil 4) and then it coasts on that achievement for a couple of sequels before getting its act together again.

Thankfully, Resident Evil 7 is what it looks like when the series gets its act together. It’s the first relevant and essential Resident Evil game in over a decade. It’s very good indeed.

Overwatch

Overwatch may be in the process of being bludgeoned to death by Fortnite and PUBG in terms of mainstream appeal, but it’s still got a gargantuan audience returning night after night.

Mainly because Blizzard has literally no idea how to make a game that isn’t compelling on every possible level.

If you were into Team Fortress back in the day, this is your new jam. If you like online shooters in any form, this is also your new jam.

Get on it.

Updated:October 10, 2018Caption:Mark SerrelsPhoto:Blizzard Entertainment

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Punching Nazis: The Video Game.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is probably the most culturally relevant AAA video game of the last couple of years. It’s well written, well sequenced and you should play the hell out of it.

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World is the latest entry into the “big in Japan” Monster World series and it’s a humdinger. Best of all, it’s relatively accessible to new audiences.

It’s a great starting point: previous games in the series have been on the Wii or on handheld consoles. This is the first time in a while Monster Hunter has appeared on a cutting-edge console and Monster Hunter: World takes full advantage of that computational grunt.

What Remains of Edith Finch

A unique, story-focused game that’ll pique the interest of folks that liked Gone Home or Dear Esther.

Like those games What Remains of Edith Finch is narratively driven, short but affecting. Best of all, you can play through the game in one sitting.

Rocket League

Playing soccer with cars is about as good as high concepts get. Hard to go wrong with that.

Rocket League is a great idea, perfectly executed.

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo might never regain the popularity and cultural relevance it had in the mid 2000s, but that doesn’t mean Halo 5: Guardians is a bad game. It’s not. It’s a very good game. Particularly if you’re in possession of a 4KTV and an Xbox One X.

The story has lost its way, but that core 30-second gameplay loop is as compelling as it ever was. Get stuck in.

Updated:October 10, 2018Caption:Mark SerrelsPhoto:343 Industries

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest is a glorious re-imagining of the “Metroidvania” video game, in which power ups allow access to new areas and new challenges.

It’s beautiful, affecting and just feels good to control. It’s a modern classic.

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