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The best Xbox One games you can buy: Halo, Gears, Forza, and more

Got an Xbox One X, One S, or original console? Then you need to play these games.

Published onJune 7, 2021

Xbox One X

Looking for the best Xbox One games out there? Whether you’re rocking the fully 4K-enabled powerhouse Xbox One X, the affordable Xbox One S, or even the original console, there are plenty of old and new Xbox games worth your time and cash. With every game compatible with the upcoming Xbox Series X and Series S, there’s never been a better time to play these great titles.

The Xbox One family has pushed the game industry forward with consumer-friendly services like Xbox Game Pass, Play Anywhere, xCloud, and even the huge number of Xbox One backward compatible games. Microsoft has even ported some previously exclusive Xbox One games to Nintendo Switch.

Read more: Everything about Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

To keep things simple, this list of the best Xbox One games is for all of you console-only gamers with an Xbox One that want the best titles you can’t experience on a PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch. We’ll also list a dozen of the best non-exclusive and third-party games available for the Xbox One too!

Best Xbox One games:

  1. Forza Horizon 4
  2. Gears 5
  3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  5. Sea of Thieves

Editor’s note: This list will be updated as new Xbox One games launch.

1. Forza Horizon 4

forza horizon 4 best xbox one games
Xbox Game Studios

Petrolheads with Xbox One consoles are spoilt for choice when it comes to virtual racing, but for our money, Forza Horizon 4 is out in pole position.

Forza Horizon 4 sees you zipping through disturbingly realistic representations of rural Britain in everything from bulky ATVs to mouth-watering supercars.

Those that want track-based racing thrills would be better off with Forza Motorsport 7, but there’s nothing that matches the adrenaline of taking a razor-sharp turn and narrowly missing a flock of sheep.

2. Gears 5

gears 5 best xbox one games
Xbox Game Studios

After a lackluster fourth outing, Gears 5 marked a gory, gutsy return to form for the iconic Xbox franchise.

While developer The Coalition dropped “of War” from the name, Gears 5 delivers on the boots-on-the-ground, third-person shooter skirmishes fans expect, while also deftly answering some unexplained mysteries spanning the entire history of the now-venerable series.

The multiplayer is a little too grind-heavy, but Gears 5 ranks easily among the best Xbox One games on the strength of its stellar single-player campaign.

3. Halo Master Chief Collection

halo master chief collection best xbox one games
Xbox Game Studios

While you should absolutely check out Halo 5: Guardians to see where the series is heading next in the not-so-distant future, it’s hard to deny the ludicrous bang for your buck you get with the Master Chief Collection.

The bundle comes with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach (a.k.a. The Best Halo), and Halo 4.

Throw in a multiplayer system that encompasses maps and modes from all six games and you’ve got arguably the best gaming collection ever.

4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

ori and the will of the wisps best xbox one games
Xbox Game Studios

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is arguably part of the biggest breakout indie series in the console’s library, This relatively new Xbox One game expands on the now multi-platform original game with gorgeous 3D modeling, a streamlined save system, and a very welcome overhaul to combat.

Related: Is Xbox Game Pass worth buying?

Cutesy indie platformers are dime a dozen in gaming. But the second Ori game is a masterful, emotive journey that Xbox One players shouldn’t miss.

5. Sea of Thieves

sea of thieves best xbox one games
Xbox Game Studios

After years of mediocrity well below the standard of the halcyon days of the Nintendo 64, Rare finally delivered a game worthy of its retro heritage with Sea of Thieves. This is a quirky pirate game where you sail the high seas hunting for booty with up to four co-op scallywags.

Related: Playstation 5 vs Xbox Series X: How they compare based on what we know

The online adventure is a breath of fresh air in its genre with strict missions and hand-holding towards objectives jettisoned in favor of loose nautical escapades that frequently devolve into hilarious farce.

Best Xbox One games: honorable mentions and non-exclusives

  • Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla — It’s not the first AC game, nor is it the 10th. In fact, it’s the 22nd title in the line, and it’s worth a mention as the successor to AC: Odyssey. Go forth and seek your glory as Eivor, the male — or female — Viking.
  • Cuphead — A fiendishly hard platformer styled after 1930s cartoons. Best played with a friend… and with a stress reliever on hand.
  • Dark Souls Trilogy — Xbox One players miss out on the PS4 exclusive Bloodborne, but the Dark Souls Trilogy (and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice) easily fills the void of challenging FromSoftware action RPGs. Also, check out the Souls-inspired Ashen.
  • Doom — The perfect reboot of the demon-slaying shooter series. Its sequel Doom Eternal is also worth a look, though the 2016 game is a little tighter.
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — Dive into Senua’s incredible journey into mythology and madness ahead of the Xbox-exclusive sequel coming to Xbox Series X.
  • Minecraft — It’s Minecraft. Need I say more? The sandbox phenomenon has some Xbox One-exclusive content to boot. Without a doubt one of the best games for kids that you can play on Xbox One.
  • Overwatch — The Xbox One has no shortage of online shooters. Our pick of the bunch is Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch, but Fortnite and Apex: Legends (two of the best free Xbox One games) will both scratch that competitive itch too.
  • Quantum Break — A bizarre mish-mash of TV show and sci-fi action game, Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break is a unique Xbox One exclusive. Also, check out Control from the same studio.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 — Rockstar’s sequel is a Western odyssey for the ages. Of course, if you want more open-world action, there’s also the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto 5 or The Witcher 3.
  • Sunset Overdrive — Insomniac Games may be a PlayStation studio now, but the underrated Sunset Overdrive ranks among its best games if you’re into action, shooting, and skating.
  • What Remains of Edith Finch — A compelling story-driven title with a gut-punch ending. For something similar, give Firewatch and Return of the Obra Dinn a try.

That’s it for our list of the best Xbox One games you can buy. We’ll update this list as more games are released.

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