At the end of every year, review aggregate website Metacritic reveals the highest-rated games for each console. The site has now released its lists for the highest-rated video games of 2018, revealing that Red Dead Redemption 2 was the highest-rated game for the Xbox One, and that Forza Horizon 4 was the console's highest-rated "exclusive," though that distinction comes with a catch.
As pointed out by Metacritic, the Xbox One had no positively reviewed exclusives that were truly exclusive to the console. In recent years, Microsoft has moved away from developing exclusive games for the Xbox One, instead releasing many of its titles on PC as well. While this move has likely been appreciated by PC gamers, others have criticized it as giving people little reason to actually buy an Xbox One over its competition.
Even though Microsoft has shifted some of its focus to supporting PC gaming, that doesn't mean that 2018 was a great year for PC, however. "It turns out that 2018 wasn't a great year for PC gaming," Metacritic's Best Games of 2018 post said, pointing out that only one PC game cracked a 90 overall rating, with that being the hit indie strategy game Into the Breach.
In the meantime, some Xbox One gamers may be disappointed at 2018's offerings for their console. After all, some Microsoft-produced titles, like Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2, both struggled with critics, and as Metacritic pointed out, the console lacked any highly-rated true exclusives in 2018. While the Xbox One may never have a true exclusive game again, though, that doesn't mean that the future doesn't look bright for Microsoft-produced games.
Microsoft has been going on a spree of purchasing game studios, with one recent acquisition being the acclaimed RPG studio Obsidian Entertainment, in an attempt to bolster its first-party lineup. So while the PC may still be able to play many, if not all, of the upcoming Xbox One "exclusives," at least there should be more of them, and potentially of higher quality.
Of course, it may be too late for the Xbox One, and Microsoft may instead focus its efforts on its next-gen Xbox consoles instead. Whatever the case may be, fans should learn more about Microsoft's plans for future first-party games later this year.