With the upcoming release of Project Scorpio, and Microsoft’s commitment to first-party games for the Xbox, it seems like Xbox fans have a bright future ahead. But upcoming games and consoles aren’t the only reason to be excited for Xbox. Over the last few years, Xbox has released some stellar first-party exclusive titles that make the console worth purchasing now.
In fact, now that Microsoft has made it possible for Xbox One gamers to enjoy their favorite Xbox 360 games via backward compatibility, there are plenty of reasons for past-generation gamers to upgrade. And with a strong set of exclusives, even PC and PlayStation 4 gamers should consider grabbing an Xbox console. In that spirit, here are Game Rant’s top 10 games that make the Xbox One worth buying.
1. Forza Horizon 3
When it comes to racing games, very few offer the high quality experience of the Forza series. The latest addition to the franchise, Forza Horizon 3, lives up to the series’ name with impressive graphics, smooth driving mechanics, engaging races, and immersive cars and vehicle modifications.
With the recent release of the Hot Wheels expansion for Forza Horizon 3, the game has become even more popular. Despite what some might consider a “silly” addition to a racing simulation game, the Hot Wheels DLC has proven to be enjoyable, fast-paced, and just the right addition to the already addicting racing title.
2. Halo: Master Chief Collection
Since the release of Halo: Combat Evolved back in 2001 on the original Xbox, the Halo series has been one of the most iconic in gaming. The franchise has been instrumental in the growth of eSports, and helped move the first-person shooter genre into the powerhouse it is today.
The fact that gamers can relive the best Halo moments over again in high-definition with the Halo: Master Chief Collection is almost itself a good enough reason to pick up an Xbox One. With the Master Chief Collection, gamers can replay both the campaigns and multiplayer of Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4.
3. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die
For many Xbox fans, D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die flew under the radar due to its stealthy release and Kinect controls. However, those who played the game can attest to its unique offering in the graphic adventure game space.
In D4, players are tasked with solving a vicious murder investigation through episodic storytelling. The art style is beautiful, the characters are compelling, and the story is well worth the playthrough. Those who still have a Kinect for their Xbox One would be well served picking this one up, and anyone on the fence about an Xbox One should make the move and grab this game.
4. Rare Replay
Rare is known for developing numerous cult classic games from the 90s and early 2000s, including Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Viva Piñata. Now, thanks to Rare Replay, gamers can experience 30 of their favorite Rare classics in one place, including the four named above.
For the 30-year anniversary special medley of games, Rare decided to release the set on Xbox One, giving one more reason for Xbox gamers to relive their favorite games of decades past. That, along with the backward compatibility, make the Xbox One a powerful nostalgia machine.
5. Sunset Overdrive
Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive was a breakout success of 2014. In fact, it was nominated for two awards at The Game Awards for Best Action/Adventure game and Best Score/Soundtrack. The unique open-world third-person shooter has a lot to offer Xbox One gamers, even those who don’t fancy themselves as shooter fans.
Beyond the bright visuals and exciting gameplay come the uniquely brash characters and unforgettable tongue-in-cheek story and atmosphere. It’s a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and enjoys making fun of the industry, while also providing a compelling experience that holds its own against other, more well-known shooter titles.
6. Killer Instinct
While Killer Instinct isn’t the first title that comes to mind when gamers think of fighting games, it’s one that should certainly be considered among the best fighting games in history.
Killer Instinct’s multiple season format allowed gamers to experience different characters and challenges over the course of a couple of years. While the seasons have completed, Killer Instinct is still well worth the purchase for those looking to do a little fighting on the Xbox One.
7. Halo 5: Guardians
Halo has long been Xbox’s most famous exclusive offering, and the recent addition to the franchise, Halo 5: Guardians, lives up to the expectations gamers have for the series. In fact, Halo 5 was the biggest Halo launch ever, guaranteeing that the franchise will continue long into the future.
To add to the already respected series, 343 Industries decided to go the extra mile for Halo 5 players and do something for the community very few other developers were willing to do: free regular content. Rather than charge for monthly or periodic DLCs for Halo 5, 343 Industries opted to release monthly free expansions for the game so all players could enjoy new, fresh content together. It’s a move that makes Halo 5 worth picking up even today, and builds a strong case for buying an Xbox One.
8. State of Decay: Year One Edition
While it seems the zombie genre is oversaturated, there’s still a lack of good quality zombie titles for gamers to enjoy. Enter State of Decay: Year One Edition, a third-person zombie survival game that thrives on the concept of actions and consequences, with the game’s most notable feature being permadeath for characters within the game.
The only drawback for State of Decay is that it’s a single-player experience, so gamers can’t explore the undead-infested countryside with friends. Fortunately, the upcoming sequel, State of Decay 2, will remedy that by allowing players to enjoy the game in co-op.
9. Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is easily one of the most successful indie titles for Xbox, and one that’s well worth the purchase. Those who have played the game can attest to its strong reviews and tear-jerking experience for any gamer, regardless of how tough they think they are.
While Ori and the Blind Forest won’t offer the same fast-paced action as Call of Duty, it offers a compelling story and experience that every gamer should enjoy. And since the game is exclusive to Xbox, it makes picking up the Microsoft console that much more enticing.
10. Gears of War 4
Similar to Halo, Gears of War has become known as an Xbox powerhouse franchise with a huge, passionate fan base. One would hope that with Gears of War 4, the series is only improving, and for the most part that sentiment holds true for this game.
While not all Gears of War titles have been huge successes, Gears of War 4 brings the franchise back to its roots, providing a fascinating experience with compelling characters and immersive gameplay. The end result is rave reviews from gamers and critics alike, and with the game offering extra impressive visuals on Xbox One S, it’s certainly makes the investment into an Xbox One console worth the purchase.
More Great Games
These are just a few of the games that make the Xbox One worth purchasing. What other games would you recommend for our list? Let us know in the comments.