The Xbox One has been out for long enough now, and seen enough new games released between retail and download titles, that we figured it was about time we put together a top picks list of the best games available on the system. Keep in mind this list isn’t in any particular order. It is just ten of the best games on Xbox One that we highly recommend.
The rebirth of Killer Instinct has gone better than anyone could have predicted. The first season of content brought us 8 great and distinct characters with amazing gameplay, solid visuals, and some incredible music. Killer Instinct is fascinating to play because it has a definite mash factor that makes it appealing and accessible for new players, but a lot of depth to its combo and counter system that make it one of the coolest fighters around.
Dead Rising 3 is the best Dead Rising yet. Admittedly, the setting of the city of Los Perididos is sort of drab looking and uninteresting compared to the brighter and more colorful mall of DR1 and casinos of DR2, but the gameplay more than makes up for it. Hundreds of zombies fill the screen at any given time, but you have plenty of weapons (including awesome and devastating combo weapons) that can mow them down with ease. Boss fights have also been re-worked so they aren’t the frustrating mess they were in DR2. The modes in the base game – nightmare and story – play differently enough that they are both worth experiencing at least once each, so there is a ton of content here. When you toss in the $10 Super Dead Rising 3 DLC, that turns the game into an arcade beat-em-up, Dead Rising 3 is just too awesome to miss.
The Tomb Raider reboot was already one of our favorite Xbox 360 games when it came out in 2013, but the 2014 Definitive Edition release on Xbox One makes it even better. The gameplay is stellar and the updated next-gen visuals really look great. If you haven’t already played it, the Xbox One version is definitely the way to go. Or if you’ve already played it, play it again with the Definitive Edition because its totally worth it.
There isn’t a better way to spend $5 on Xbox One at the moment than Sixty Second Shooter Prime. This twin-stick Geometry Wars-style shooter packs more than just a bargain price tag, though. The visuals are simple and clean, and the gameplay is fast, furious, and crazy addictive. The 60-second timer means that rounds fly by, so you just keep playing one more game, one more game, one more game to get high scores. Its awesome.
One of the real surprise hits on Xbox One is Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. This online multiplayer shooter – online only, to be clear, no offline single player here – has a very different userbase from typical online games, which means it isn’t nearly as hardcore and overwhelming as Titanfall or Battlefield and the like. Casual players, kids, and anyone else not really comfortable playing online most of the time can have a blast. The progression system where you level up individual classes that you can then customize is also really brilliant, and more content keeps getting added in free updates. This is a great game and a great value that we highly, highly recommend.
Forza 5 was rough when it first launched (hence our 7/10 review) but Microsoft and Turn 10 have listened to the complaints and actually fixed everything, and the game is a sure fire winner now. The graphics and sound are simply amazing and the gameplay is pure Forza near-perfection through and through. If you love racing games, particularly simulations, Forza 5 is the best racing game on next-gen.
Of all of the Xbox One launch games (and since launch, actually), NBA 2K14 is one of a handful that really screamed “This is next-gen!” at you. It is actually a separate title from the Xbox 360 version of the game, with its own set of features and modes to go along with absolutely stunning visuals that are among the best you’ll find on Xbox One. It also plays incredibly well too, of course. If you want a visual showcase to really show off your Xbox One, NBA 2K14 isn’t a bad choice.
The New Order – Another pleasant surprise in the Xbox One lineup is Wolfenstein: The New Order. This single-player only shooter (shocking, we know) delivers classic oldschool FPS gameplay with modern production values. It really is super cool. The storytelling is kind of iffy (though the story itself of waking up in an alternate reality 1960’s after the Nazis won WWII is awesome), but the gameplay is rock solid. This is easily the best single-player FPS on Xbox One.
Double Helix makes its second appearance on this list with its masterful reboot of the classic Strider. Strider is a Metroidvania-type 2D action game where you explore a huge map while earning new abilities that open new areas that let you explore further. The combo system is deep and interesting, the level designs are great, and the visuals and overall speedy feel of the game are really something you need to experience to believe.
The big third-party exclusive feather in the Xbox One’s cap is the online only multiplayer only shooter, Titanfall. It got a lot of hype before release, and while it isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, it is still a really solid FPS that is a ton of fun to play. The combination of running around on-foot as a tiny pilot and then jumping into a giant titan robot gives the game a surprising amount of variety and depth. I can’t stress enough just how good Titanfall feels to play. A lot of new modes and features have been added to the game since our original review as well. If you love online FPS, Titanfall is a must play. One additional note, I don’t really recommend the Xbox 360 version of Titanfall. It really doesn’t perform as well as the XONE version.