The Xbox One may have not been Microsoft’s strongest console compared to its competition, but it certainly was a solid console with some truly amazing capabilities for its price.
With the Xbox One X, Microsoft gave us the best console of its generation trumping the PS4 Pro in terms of power. As a result, most multiplatform games played best on the One X, which made a strong case against the fact that the platform had fewer exclusives.
We made a list of the five best games on the PlayStation 4 and although the list was open to multi-platform games, Sony’s exclusives took over the list as one would expect. It is only fair that we do the same with the Xbox One, but this time, the library just got bigger as there are some games which just played much better on Microsoft’s console.
It is understood that games coming out for the Series X will also be playable on the Xbox One, but the release of the Series X also means that the One X is not the go-to Xbox console anymore, signifying the end of a generation, at least in spirit. So, without further ado, let’s start the list with….
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No.5 Ori franchise
When we think of generation defining games on any platform, a 2d platformer is not the first thing that would come to one’s mind. However, both Ori games, Ori and the blind forest, and its sequel, Ori and the will of the wisps, have managed to stand out from the crowd. And for good reason.
These games are visually stunning to begin with, packaged with fantastic sound design and music, along with stories that will have even the coldest of hearts warm up to the game. While the first 10 minutes of Ori and the blind forest got me hooked emotionally, it was only the beginning of a rollercoaster ride as both games have their fair share of devastating moments and equally uplifting ones.
The game also aces in the gameplay department with some of the most precise platforming seen in a recent time. The Ori and the blind forest is a textbook on how to do platforming right. And its sequel only made it better by removing some of the gameplay barriers making the minute-to-minute gameplay that much more enjoyable.
No.4 Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order
My expectations were low for Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order. Despite understanding the pedigree that Respawn Entertainment carries, and having loved Titanfall 2 to bits, the stigma that this game carried of being published by a company that hadn’t handled the Star Wars license with respect and care it deserved was enough to get me to judge the game before playing it.
But what a pleasant surprise Jedi – Fallen Order turned out to be.
A fantastic third person action adventure that borrows traits from the best games of the genre and isn’t afraid to flaunt them. That said, calling it a clone of Uncharted or the rebooted Tomb Raider games would be a crime, as the game is so much more than that. The light saber combat feels precise and gives you enough room to calculate your next move, while also punishing blind button mashing tactics.
Combine this with force powers that feel like a natural extension of the combat, one of the most memorable AI companions in recent times, and a Star Wars story that can stand shoulder to shoulder with any Star Wars show and Fallen Order turned out to be the surprise I never saw coming and never knew I wanted.
No.3 Forza Horizon 4
Well, the name says it all. Forza motorsport is one of the most revered racing franchises in video games while Forza Horizon is the fun cousin of its track focused counterpart. Forza Horizon 4 is simply the definitive racing game of the last generation. Whether or not you are into cars or racing games becomes irrelevant once you hit the throttle for the first time. The game is instantly engaging thanks to its gorgeous visuals set in the serene backdrops of Great Britain.
The changing weather shakes things up completely rather than just being a cosmetic makeover to the map. Races can feel remarkably different under different seasons and it is a novelty that does not wear off quickly. Add to it some of the cleverly implemented multiplayer elements and Forza Horizon 4 easily achieves what PlayStation’s Gran Turismo franchise tries really hard to. To have a universal appeal among the hardcore fans and to be as accessible to newcomers as possible.
If you have an Xbox One X, Forza Horizon 4 is a no-brainer. Just choose an exotic car to drive on an Autumn morning across the countryside to understand what all the fuss is about.
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No.2 Gears 5
Gears of War has been a flagship franchise for Xbox since it first debuted in 2006. Since then the series has truly evolved from being parodied for its muted colors and hulking characters to being appreciated for its variety in environment and gameplay, and unexpectedly heavy character moments.
However, the series had peaked during the Xbox 360 era with Gears of War 3, as the shift in tone and direction in Gears of war 4 ultimately made it an underwhelming experience. Gears 5 picks up where Gears of War 4 left and proved just how much this franchise means to Microsoft. Gears 5 is easily the best in the series with its signature cover-based combat polished to a mirror sheen.
Combat is fleshed out further with Jack the cloaking bot who appeared out of nowhere to open doors in the first game. Jack is now an active participant in combat and feels like a natural extension of yourself. The fantastic array of weapons which is expected out of a gears game is all here. The stellar campaign that tells the story of JD and Kait is easily the best the franchise has ever been from a narrative standpoint. Couple that with a robust multiplayer with a variety of modes including the ever-fantastic horde mode, and this is a full package you don’t want to miss.
No.1 Red Dead Redemption 2
Arthur Morgan’s adventure is one of the generation-defining games to come out on Xbox one. Featuring an open world that would make your eyes bleed due to how good it looks, a boat load of interesting characters, fun and engaging missions and fantastic writing, this is the Rockstar game that feels like a culmination of the studios efforts over the years and the things it learnt during the development of its other marquee titles.
The games world is experienced best through the Xbox One X, and this is still the case unless you have a PC that costs the price of a boat. But, above all RDR2 is on top of this list, because of the sense of immersion it delivers. Just navigating through the world will reward you with one “Wow” moment after another, and the attention to detail in numerous little things will surprise you even on your 50th hour of play.