Best Xbox One games 2024: top titles to play right now

Marcus inspects a dogtag around Kait's neck
(Image credit: The Coalition)

The best Xbox One games may seem outdated now that the current generation of consoles has succeeded it, but that doesn't mean you can't still make the most of last-generation games. That's because Xbox Series X|S consoles share full compatibility with games primarily made for Xbox One. Several of them have even been enhanced to play and run better on modern hardware.

If you haven't upgraded, the Xbox One (and its Xbox One X revision) is still a capable piece of hardware, and the best Xbox One games can still look marvelous today. But more importantly, the very best offer unmissable gaming experiences, whether that's a big role-playing adventure we love for its gripping story or a multiplayer title we can't help but get back to day in, day out.

The games we're showcasing on this list either use the Xbox One hardware in the best possible way or act as an outstanding example for their genre. We have included various games from action-adventures to shooters and platformers, so no matter what you enjoy, there's something for you.

Best Xbox One games 2024

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Snake and Ocelot stand beside other soldiers

(Image credit: Konami)

12. Metal Gear Solid 5

Pitch perfect stealth action

After the bitesized teaser of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, fans were waiting with bated breath for Metal Gear Solid 5, to see whether the amazing gameplay could translate into a full game. We were all absolutely blown away once Metal Gear Solid 5 did arrive, as it proved that in terms of stealth action, you really can't beat Hideo Kojima.

While some trouble behind the scenes between publisher Konami and director Hideo Kojima does dampen the story somewhat, you'll want to jump into Metal Gear Solid 5 for the gameplay. As Big Boss, you'll have access to a dizzying variety of gadgets, weapons and tools to use whileM infiltrating enemy bases. Gunplay is smooth, and your options for approach are many, making Metal Gear Solid 5 one of the best stealth games ever made. On the Xbox One, things still look amazing, and you'll be glad to hear that it runs at a consistent 60fps throughout.

Jesse stands with her left hand outstretched on a red and black background featuring the game's logo

(Image credit: 505 Games)
A bonkers action game with a unique atmosphere

Remedy Entertainment's Control is an action-adventure with a difference. Stepping into the shoes of Jessie Faden, you play as the newest director of the clandestine Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) – a Government agency that researches, and ultimately aims to control paranormal activity. 

There is no game quite like Control, thanks to the Bureau itself. It's a place that keeps opening up in a variety of ways as Jesse explores it, granting her new powers that help her get to new parts of the maze-like building. It's great fun to uncover a new weirdness (such as a cursed fridge or portal to another dimension) and to slowly connect the puzzle pieces to work out what happened in the Bureau prior to your arrival. Using different powers to take on cursed co-workers feels similarly good, partly because there's hardly anything Jesse can't destroy. 

A blue sports car speeds down a leaf-covered autumn road

(Image credit: Microsoft)

9. Forza Horizon 4

Open-world racing never looked this beautiful

Forza Horizon 4 offers you a Britain that's more beautiful and more suited to street races than the real one. This racing game makes optimal use of the Xbox One hardware, delighting with the beauty of the British countryside as much as its glittering city streets.

But Forza Horizon 4 doesn't just look great, it's also a versatile racer set in an open world. Apart from the campaign and a large number of unlockable vehicles, you'll find sidequests, showcases, and a track creator, setting the game apart from other racers through sheer variety. If you love racing games, Forza Horizon 4 is the best the Xbox One has to offer. And while Forza Horizon 5 is the latest entry in the series, and easily sits on our list of best Xbox Series X games, we don't feel its performance on Xbox One earns it a place on this list. 

Two Gears 5 characters standing shoulder to shoulder, weapons drawn, smoke rising behind them

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)
A great campaign and a fantastic multiplayer, all in one muscly package

The Xbox-exclusive Gears series is the place to go for fans of cover shooters. As our full Gears 5 review will tell you, the series has become continuously better, and now this is the best shooter on the Xbox One and one of the best Xbox One games overall. This Xbox-exclusive series sets the standard for third-person shooting, and Gears 5 shows exactly why that is.

The campaign, focused on Kait Diaz trying to learn more about her family and dealing with her mother's death, offers some really cool set pieces, but you really want to play Gears 5 for its many fantastic multiplayer modes. Whether you fight alongside or against other players, the many, many Gears 5 multiplayer modes are varied and feel great to play, simply the best in third-person shooting right now.

Master Chief firing at an alien with a huge gatling gun

  (Image credit: 343 Industries)

7. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

An unmissable classic for shooter fans

The Master Chief Collection includes six Halo games developed by Bungie, including their multiplayer modes. That means you get Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo: ODST, and Halo Reach in one package. These first-person shooters impressed players all around the world with their tight controls, immersive story, and the decent challenge they offered, making the collection one of the best Xbox One games for continuous shooter fun.

The Master Chief Collection, a quintessential Xbox exclusive, is simply a must for every shooter fan. The remasters show you where it all began – a lot of the things we now take for granted, such as vehicle combat or great enemy AI, were first exhibited to astounding levels in Halo. The original Halo doesn't feel dated at all, and it is still a treat to see Master Chief's story unfold across the games. 

2B fighting a giant enemy oil rig in NieR: Automata

(Image credit: Square Enix)

6. NieR: Automata - Become As Gods Edition

Nothing comes nier this distinctly Japanese action RPG

If you are looking to play a Japanese game on your Xbox One, that isn't a JRPG, you can't go wrong with Nier: Automata. Your character, an android called 2B, was originally designed to fight a proxy war for the human race. However, as your mission goes on, you start to question the war and the purpose of your own existence. Nier: Automata is an action-adventure, but it effortlessly combines gaming genres: one moment, you chain combos together in Devil May Cry-style hack-and-slash combat, and the next you feel as if you are in a bullet hell sidescroller. 2D can become stranger, faster, and more resilient with different chips, adding a role-playing skill enhancement element to the mix.

This game astounds with its inventiveness, not only when it comes to its large bosses, but also in how it tells its story. You absolutely want to avoid spoilers, so that this philosophical journey can have maximum impact on you. The Xbox One version in 4K is the smoothest and most beautiful way to experience the game – fighting feels particularly smooth on Xbox, and with this version, all optional costumes and DLC are part of the package.

Ori stands beside an owl looking up over a huge, luminescent tree

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

One of the most emotional platforming experiences out there

This Xbox exclusive combines both charm and challenge to great effect. Ori and the Will of the Wisps needs only a few words to weave together an emotional tale of friendship and home, all wrapped around some seriously challenging platforming.

This is one of the best Xbox one games and platformers because you'll feel constantly motivated to take on the next challenge. As Ori and Ku, you're on a quest to save your home and your friends, and you encounter so much beauty and kindness on your journey that you'll simply want to help. Thankfully, the platforming itself, while difficult, feels wonderful, thanks to tight controls and beautiful animations. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is slightly more enjoyable if you have played Ori and the Blind Forest, but you can play the game on its own – and play it, you should. 

Psychonauts 2's Raz wearing goggles with glowing orange eyes. A multicoloured spark of light emanates from behind him

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios/Double Fine)

4. Psychonauts 2

One of the best comedy games around

The young Raz only has one dream – to become a Psychonaut and help people by using his psychic powers. This 3D platformer is the direct sequel to the first Psychonauts from 2002 and sees Raz closer to his goal than ever before, but there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome. Once again, you enter several mind worlds and use your psychic powers to make your way through them. If you're unfamiliar with Psychonauts, fear not – the first game is available on Game Pass.

In many ways, Psychonauts 2 proves that mental health awareness can be funny, which very few games do, and even fewer games do it as successfully as this one. It's truly a head trip, taking Raz into beautifully designed but fragmented minds, his attempts to repair them leading to a fun and often contemplative adventure. This Xbox One game is exclusive to the platform and is one of the best comedy games you can play. 

John Marston firing a revolver in Red Dead Redemption 2 beside Bonnie

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

The most immersive Wild West adventure

Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 is the best showcase of the Wild West in a game. You play as Arthur Morgan, a gunslinger in the notorious Van Der Linde gang as he navigates the trials and tribulations of the changing west, riding his horse, shooting his enemies and making new friends at the campfire.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will keep you busy. Between story missions, mini-games, activities, and side quests, you will find yourself sinking plenty of hours into this title without even noticing it.  This is the most detailed Western fantasy you can play, and Red Dead Redemption 2 is so real you'll feel the saddle sores. The Wild West, rendered with astounding detail, looks fantastic on Xbox consoles, making it one of the best Xbox One games to see the console at peak performance.

A ship with red and black sails floats past a small island as a huge cloud looms in the distance

(Image credit: Microsoft)

2. Sea of Thieves

The multiplayer hit that proves a pirate's life is forever

Rare's swashbuckling adventure Sea of Thieves lets players take on the role of a pirate sailing the seas of a fantastical world – either alone or as part of a crew of up to four members. It's up to you whether you choose to focus on trading, treasure-hunting, or plundering the loot of others. 

The appeal is easy to see – who wouldn't want to be a pirate? There is always something to do, and the game has become better and better over the years. This is a great title for those who enjoy playing with others in an open-world environment, plus it doesn't look too shabby at all. Sea of Thieves is regularly updated, offering new stories and loot to keep you coming back for more plundering.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

A truly epic RPG

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an absolute must-play, whether you're on last-gen consoles or something more modern. The base game alone is worth checking out, but it's the free expansions that really cement the fantasy RPG as one of the best ever made.

There's a beautifully realized world to explore as you step into the shoes of monster-hunter Geralt, taking down formidable beasts and maniacal villains as you adventure. You'll fall in love, get addicted to the in-world card game Gwent, and explore dungeons aplenty, as you unravel the mystery of what happened to Ciri. While The Witcher 3 is very much an RPG at heart, it does feature action-packed gameplay that combines sword-based combat with Geralt's unique Witcher abilities.

The great thing about playing The Witcher 3 on Xbox One is that you'll still be able to experience the gorgeous graphics that have only improved since launch. If you do end up getting a new console, you can transfer your save over easily as well. Be sure to check out the Blood and Wine DLC if you do give the game a try. It's an amazing fairytale set in a sunny region filled with vineyards and colourful vistas.

Best Xbox One games: FAQs

Ray runs across a psychedelic-themed stage, wearing his orange goggles

(Image credit: Double Fine)

What is the best game on Xbox One right now?

The best Xbox One game right now will depend on your taste. Our list above covers a variety of genres, so there should definitely be at least one that appeals to you. Those who enjoy racing games should definitely check out Forza Horizon 4, while Control is perfect for those on the hunt for an action-packed adventure. Looking to sail the seas in online multiplayer? Then check out Sea of Thieves.

Are all Xbox Series games available on Xbox One?

While it was true that, for the most part, Xbox games can be played on last or current-get, recent Xbox releases like Starfield are Xbox Series X|S only. Still, you'll find that the large majority of Xbox games can still be played on Xbox One.

How we made our best Xbox One games list

The TechRadar Gaming team is made up first and foremost of gamers and gaming fans. And we've been able to take this hobby and turn it into genuine expertise by playing hundreds of games across all genres, and for many hundreds, if not thousands of hours. As a result, when it comes to the best Xbox One games, we are very well-versed in all that the console had to offer and what you can play on it.

And given we can still play and revisit a lot of these games on Xbox Series X|S, we are still experiencing and expanding our knowledge on the game library available to us. As a result, with hundreds of hours of playing and testing under our belts, and being a team of folks that have wide and varied interests and areas of expertise, you can trust our selections and recommendations.

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Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.

With contributions from