Best Xbox One games 2019: essential Xbox One releases

Best Xbox One games
Image credit: Microsoft

The Xbox One is one of the best consoles on the market right now, but that doesn’t stop Sony fans from saying that Microsoft’s Xbox One doesn’t have as many exclusives as the PS4. As anyone with an Xbox will know, that’s just not true. There are more than half a dozen exclusive Xbox games that are well worth your time – with plenty more on the way. 

To prove it, we’ve collected together the best Xbox games available to buy right now, which you can play on the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X

Think of this as your ultimate guide to the best games Xbox games on the platform, including radical racing games like Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Horizon 4 to third-person shooters like Gears 4.

Read on to see which games will make the Xbox One shine, and keep checking back for new titles and updates. 

If you want to know what plans Microsoft has on the horizon, then check out everything we know so far about the next Xbox.

Xbox One

Xbox One. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Best Xbox One games FAQ: quick questions answered

What is the best game on Xbox One? Well, it depends what types of games you're into. We've tried to put together a collection that covers a variety of genres, so there should definitely be at least one that suits your taste.

What is the most played Xbox One game? The most played Xbox One game is constantly changing but currently battle royale Apex Legends is extremely popular, as is open world adventure Red Dead Redemption 2 and sandbox Minecraft

Which Xbox is best? The next-generation of Xbox is right around the corner, but if you don't mind sticking with the current generation then your main options are the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. We've put together a handy Xbox One X vs Xbox One S guide to help you decide which is best for you.

Is Xbox better than PlayStation? Good question. And it depends what your habits are and what you're looking for from a console. We've put the two consoles head-to-head in our PS4 vs Xbox One: which console is best comparison, where we cover everything you'd need to know about each console – though you can also see if our round-up of best PS4 games tempt you over the Xbox One titles below.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Image credit: Ubisoft

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is the most recent edition to the epic action RPG franchise. Odyssey is set during the Peloponnesian War and sees you stepping into the sandals of either Alexios or Kassandra as they try to uncover the truth about their history while navigating the turbulent world of Ancient Greece as a mercenary. 

Odyssey is a graphically stunning Xbox One game which will take you to the heart of Ancient Greece – easily securing it a place in our collection of the best Xbox One games. 

Check out our Assassin's Creed Odyssey review diary for more.

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1

Image credit: Electronic Arts

In Battlefield 1 for the Xbox One, DICE takes players back in time to World War One and completely rejuvenates the once stagnating franchise. 

Battlefield 1's historical setting helps it stand apart from the rest of the modern military shooters on the market, with all new weapons, vehicles, and level designs that feel fresh and capture the chaos and brutality of war.

The game offers a poignant and entertaining single-player campaign that sets a new standard for first-person shooter. Broken into six sections, each following a different character and front line location, the campaign never feels dull or repetitive.

Graphically impressive, entertaining, and sometimes touching, Battlefield 1 is a return to form for the series. 

Check out our Battlefield 1 review for more information.

Cuphead

Cuphead

Image credit: Studio MDHR

After a long development and lots of anticipation, Xbox indie exclusive Cuphead finally released in 2017. Was it worth the wait? It certainly was.

With visuals and a soundtrack inspired by 1930s animation and gameplay inspired by the platformers of the 80s, this game has had us torn since we first tried it. It's lovely to look at but its gameplay is challenging and you're going to find yourself frustrated... and dying a lot.

We enjoyed Cuphead so much we named it Best Xbox Exclusive in our 2017 Game of the Year Awards. It's an indie experience that shouldn't be missed and you'll only find it on Xbox and PC.

Dark Souls Remastered

Dark Souls Remastered

Image credit: FromSoftware

Dark Souls is an iconic series in the gaming world and with this remaster you have the chance to go back to where it all started in 2011 – only this time with improved visual fidelity and performance, all the better to see those horrific and punishing enemies. 

This is the same original game with all of its DLC but that's no bad thing. Dark Souls is a fantastic, must-play title and it's great to see it on the latest generation of consoles. The frame rate bump to 60 fps makes it a much smoother and more exhilarating gameplay experience, and well worth a mention in our best games for Xbox One list.

Check out how Spelunky, Dark Souls and Isaac made death matter again.

Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2

Image credit: Arkane Studios

Following the surprise 2012 hit Dishonored wasn't going to be an easy task, but Dishonored 2 has more than lived up to its expectations, earning a place on our best Xbox One games list.

Picking up 15 years after the events of the original, Dishonored 2 takes players back to the Victorian Steampunk city of Dunwall. This time, though, you have the choice of whether or not you want to play as the original title's protagonist Corvo, or his equally-skilled protegee Emily. 

Anyone who likes their games filled with atmosphere, character, and a bit of wit and intelligence will find Dishonored 2 worth picking up. 

You can read our Dishonored 2 review right here.

DOOM

Doom

Image credit: id Software

Take our word for it: DOOM is very, very good. Not in a "wow, that’s good for a remake" kind of way, either. It's genuinely a great shooter – so much so that we gave it a Game of the Year award in 2016.

While Overwatch reinvented the wheel for first-person shooting games, DOOM impresses us by bringing us back to the time where dial-up internet was the only way to access AOL email: DOOM is, in so many ways, an excellent evolution of what the series was 20 years ago.

It’s brutal. It’s bloody. It has devilish, frightening creatures that bleed when you slice them in half with a chainsaw. It’s the experience we wanted two decades ago but couldn’t articulate it because of the limitations of technology, and it's one of the best games for Xbox One.

We are also very excited to see what id Software have in store for us with sequel Doom Eternal.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Image credit: BioWare

Inquisition is the proverbial RPG banquet – a 200-hour array of quests, magic-infused scraps, postcard landscapes and well-written character interactions that's perhaps a bit too familiar, at times, but makes up for it with sheer generosity.

It puts you in charge not just of a four-man party of adventurers, but also a private army with its own castle and attendant strategic meta-game, tasked with defeating a mysterious demon menace.

The choice of Unreal Engine makes for vast open environments and sexily SFX-laden combat – fortunately, you can pause the latter to issue orders if the onslaught becomes overwhelming. It's a genre giant and easily one of the best Xbox One games.

We can't wait to see what BioWare has up its sleeve for Dragon Age 4.

Fallout 4

Fallout 4

Image credit: Bethesda

All things considered, Fallout 4 is one of the best games Bethesda has ever made, and definitely one of the best games currently available on the Xbox One consoles.

It ticks all the boxes: a massive, detail-oriented open-world; still-fantastic tenets of looting and shooting; a story filled with intriguing side quests and subplots that feel like they matter; and of course a classic soundtrack that brings it all to life. 

In many ways it's the game we've been waiting for since Fallout 3 steered the series away from its top-down role-playing roots. Not only is the world itself wider, but the plot is better, and more digestible, than any of the games before it. There's still a sense of mystery about what's happening, but you no longer have to dig forever and a day through terminals to piece it together.

Welcome home, stranger.

FIFA 19

FIFA 19

Image credit: Electronic Arts

FIFA is, for many console owners, a highly anticipated annual event. The latest and arguably greatest instalment in the football sim series has arrived in the form of FIFA 19, and it's straight into our list of the best Xbox One games.

Whether you're looking to play against others online, build up a management career on your own or play a cinematic story mode that'll give you an insight into the dramatic life of a premier league footballer, FIFA has a game mode just for you. 

The best thing is, there's always more than enough to throw yourself into and agonize over until the next game rolls around with further incremental improvements to convince you to upgrade.

You can read our full review of FIFA 19 right here and make sure you're the best on the pitch using our tips and tricks guide

Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite Battle Royale

Image credit: Epic Games

Fortnite Battle Royale has had a meteoric rise since its release in 2017, and it's not hard to see why. The free-to-play battle royale Xbox One game offers players an energetic and enjoyable online multiplayer experience , with a concept that pretty simple to get to grips with: just be the last person standing. 

Constant content updates keep Fortnite feeling fresh over a year since its launch so it easily gets a place on the best Xbox One games list.

You can check out our definitive Fortnite Battle Royale review here.

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4

Image credit: Playground Games

While the original Forza titles were about pristine driving skills around perfectly kept tracks, the Horizon series has a penchant for trading paint and isn't afraid to have you get down and dirty with off-road races from time to time. 

Forza Horizon 4, the latest game in the series, carries that tradition forward by taking us to the rolling hills of the English countryside and spoiling us with some of the most exotic cars on the planet.

Like any good open-world game, it rewards exploration and offers both a structured campaign mode and plenty of distractions around the campaign. And the new setting feels like something of a love letter from Playground Games to rural Britain; charming, idyllic and made for cross-country road trips.  

It's really good fun, and well-worth buying.

Don't miss our full Forza Horizon 4 review.

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4

Image credit: The Coalition

Despite a new platform, a new development team and a new-ish set of muscled heroes on its box art, Gears of War 4 isn't some grand reimagining of the series that helped Xbox 360 go supernova back in 2006. But then again, such a revelation shouldn't come as a shock – this is the cover shooter that made cover shooters a fad-filled genre all unto itself, so messing too drastically with that special sauce was never a viable option.

Instead, the Xbox One consoles get the Gears of War template we all know and love with a few extra features gently stirred into the pot. 

It's more than just great graphis. It's the return to form for the franchise; the focus on what makes a Gears game so great, that really won us over and got this title on our list of the best games for the Xbox One.

We can't help but wonder if The Coalition will be able to top this with Gears 5

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Image credit: Rockstar Games

Not only is it one of the best sandbox games on the Xbox One platform, GTA V is also the best golf game, the best tennis sim, the undisputed virtual yoga champ, one of the best racers... it's even a pretty serviceable MMO.

We're used to scale and scope from Grand Theft Auto, but what Trevor, Franklin, and Michael bring us is a staggeringly well-realised city seen from three entirely different perspectives.

Trevor, the maniacal rampage killer whom we discover to be in all of us when we play a Rockstar game; Franklin, the classic rags-to-riches character with street smarts and the ability to pull off a bandana; and Michael, the troubled criminal with a dysfunctional family and a beer gut to show for his life of violence.

However you play GTA V – a multiplayer muckabout, a story-driven third-person actioner, a flight sim – it reveals itself to be the best game on both this generation and the last. One of the very best Xbox One games.

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians

Image credit: 343 Industries

A franchise that has defined Xbox as a platform for a long time is of course Halo, and Halo 5: Guardians is a worthy addition to the series and our list of the best Xbox One games. With both a single-player campaign and the usual thrilling multiplayer combat, this is the Halo game for Xbox One you don't want to miss. 

Though its single-player campaign isn't the best in the franchise in terms of story, this is Halo multiplayer combat at its most fun, and anyone that loves playing online with friends will enjoy what the various modes have to offer.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Image credit: Ninja Theory

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is developer Ninja Theory's first attempt at publishing its own game and it's quite an achievement. The game follows Senua, a Celtic warrior suffering from psychosis who travels to Hell to rescue her lost lover.

The game uses an interesting mix of binaural audio and innovative visual techniques to communicate Senua's experience with her psychosis to the player, resulting in a game that's likely to be quite different from anything else you've played recently. 

Disturbing, insightful and extremely enjoyable to play, this is a game worth taking a look at if you're interested in the best Xbox One games.

You can read all about our experience with the motion capture tech behind Hellblade

Life is Strange

Life is Strange

Life is Strange is an episodic graphic adventure which tells the story of Max, who moves back to her hometown and reunites with her best friend Chloe – someone who is a bit more rebellious than she remembers. 

On top of trying to navigate the difficulties of teenage life, Max discovers that she has the ability to rewind time at any moment and only she can prevent a storm on its way to destroy her hometown.

Rather than focusing on combat, the crux of Life is Strange is the choices Max (AKA you) makes and the effect these choices have on the overall story. 

A stunning Xbox One game for those who appreciate an engaging story. The prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, is equally mesmerizing. 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Image credit: Konami

Okay, so Hideo Kojima's last game for Konami – and his last ever Metal Gear game – might be a little tough for the MGS n00b to get to grips with, but it's still one of the best stealth-action games ever crafted. It's undoubtedly worth a spot on our list of the best Xbox One games.

The open-world shenanigans will satisfy all your behind-enemy-lines / Rambo fantasies and probably confuse you with crazy plot twists and a million characters all with the same gravel-toned voices.

But hey, that's all part of its charm, right?

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Image credit: Monolith Productions

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to the accomplished Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and builds upon all of its strengths. 

Taking up the role of Talion once more, this game takes you back to a beautifully realized world that's bursting with originality. If you were a fan of the original game, we highly recommend that you pick of Shadow of War as it's an improvement in almost every way – and well worth a place on our best Xbox One games list.

Read our full review here and check out our handy tips and tricks guide.

Minecraft

Minecraft

Image credit: Mojang

Minecraft released ten years ago, but it's still as popular as ever with adults and kids alike. The sandbox survival game allows players to build with blocks in a 3D-generated world, providing a perfect creative outlet for those artistically inclined.

If you're less creative, there's also the option to explore the world, harvest resources, craft items and square-up to enemies. 

Check out the history of Minecraft.

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World

Image Credit: Capcom

Monster Hunter is a classic franchise that's been going for a long time, but with its return to console it's been given a new lease of life and was dragged kicking and screaming into 2018. 

Whether you want to play solo or team up with a group of up to three friends, this game has you enter a stunning game world that feels genuinely dynamic and alive in order to hunt down monsters. For research, of course. 

There's a learning curve here, and the Dark Souls-style combat has the potential to frustrate, but this is the most accessible Monster Hunter game we've seen in years. If you've been looking for a chance to break into the series, this is it. 

In our Monster Hunter World review we called the game "a bold and confident new chapter" and gave it a "play it now" recommendation. Thinking of becoming a Monster Hunter yourself? Make sure you check out our full survival guide

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

Image credit: Moon Studios

Although Ori was released early on in the Xbox One's life cycle, it remains one of the best platformers on the console, bar none. Shockingly beautiful and ultra-deadly, the world of Ori and the Blind Forest inspires and impresses in equal measure. Add to that the game's phenomenal, easy-to-learn-hard-to-master control scheme and light RPG elements, and you have the recipe for a timeless classic.

Sure, there are some sequences that aren't as enjoyable as the rest of the game (we're looking at you, timed post-boss fight sequences) but ultimately this is a series that continues to enthrall long after you put the controller down.

Not had enough Ori in your life? The game will be getting a sequel in 2019 called Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It will pick up where are story left off (no spoilers, please!) and will see Ori platforming his way through the eponymous forest for a second run. 

Overwatch

Overwatch

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch has without a doubt been one of our favorite games to come out in the past few years.

It's a classic team arena shooter from Blizzard, setting two six-person teams of wildly different characters against each other in a bright and cartoonish science fiction universe. 

Great graphics, tight maps, and a good roster of characters to enjoy playing. Overwatch is good old fashioned fun and we thoroughly recommend it.  

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

Image credit: Rockstar Games

Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 took 2018 by storm, giving us the gun-toting, western open-world we were hoping for. 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. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 is certainly game which 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. And with Red Dead Online in beta testing it won't be long until players can properly team up with a posse of friends to play.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Image credit: Capcom

Your gaming collection isn't really complete if it doesn't have a quality horror title and if we had to suggest one for our best Xbox One games list it'd be the newest instalment in the Resident Evil franchise. 

Resident Evil is the franchise that put survival-horror games on the map and though it lost its way slightly in later titles, the newest game is a return to form for Capcom. 

By going back to the survival-horror basics and getting them dead on, Capcom has made Resident Evil 7 a genuinely frightening and exhilarating gaming experience. If you have the stomach for the gore, it's absolutely worth playing.

Don't miss our full Resident Evil 7 review.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Image credit: Crystal Dynamics

Despite being the sequel to a prequel about the young life of the Lara Croft, this still feels like a Tomb Raider game that has grown up. The reboot which saw a brave new direction for the franchise seemed a lot of the time to be little more than a bit of light Uncharted cosplay, but Rise is a far more accomplished game - and we prefer it to the final instalment, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

There are also tombs: yes, that might seem a fatuous thing to say given the name, but the previous game gave them short shrift. In Rise though they are deeper and more plentiful. Rise also has one of the best narratives of any Tomb Raider game, penned again by Rhianna Pratchett, it's sometimes rather poignant.

So come on, ditch Fallout 4's wasteland for a while and give Lara some love. It's undoubtedly one of the best Xbox One games you can get.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves

Image credit: Rare Ltd

Rare's swashbuckling adventure Sea of Thieves lets players to 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.

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. One of the best Xbox One games of recent times.

Here's all the latest Sea of Thieves news and updates.

Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2

Image credit: Electronic Arts

The original Titanfall was a great game and its sequel, Titanfall 2, improves on it every conceivable way: the motion is more fluid, there are more distinct titans to choose from and, hold onto your hats here, there's actually a single-player campaign that might take the cake for the best first-person shooter story of the year. 

This game's pedigree is inherited from one of this generation's smartest and most unusual shooters. The original Titanfall married ninja-fast on-foot combat to the gloriously thuggish thrill of piloting giant mechs, which are summoned from orbit a few minutes into each match.

The skill with which Respawn has balanced this mix of styles in the sequel is remarkable – Titans have firepower in excess but they're easy to hit, and maps offer plenty of places for infantry to hide. 

Make sure to check out our Titanfall 2 review here.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Image credit: CD Projekt Red

Geralt didn't have the smoothest of entries to console but after some heavy patching and a lot of angry words about visual downgrades, we're left with an RPG boasting tremendous scope and storytelling.

You're rarely short of things to entertain yourself with in The Witcher 3's quasi-open world, then, and all the better that you're in a universe that involves the supernatural without leaning on the same old Tolkien fantasy tropes. It's invigorating stuff.

Netflix has announced it's working on a Witcher TV series with Henry Cavill taking on the role as Geralt, so if you haven't jumped into the fantasy RPG then now is the perfect time.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Image credit: Bethesda Softworks

Looking for an incredible single-player shooter for Xbox One? Look no further than the 2017 wonder that was Wolfenstein II. Picking up from where the original game left off, this game is a timely social commentary and a superbly silly adventure all rolled into one well-written package.

With tight mechanics and a story worth caring about this is one of the most satisfying first-person shooters we've played in a long time. In our full review we called it "expertly crafted" and recommended that you play it now.