In recent years, Xbox hasn’t been able to match PlayStation’s reputation as the cool must-have console. Maybe it’s the sleek design or the various PlayStation-exclusive games that attract so many fans, but we think Xbox has just as much to offer, if not more.
The Xbox Series X and S are the latest and greatest from Microsoft’s successful console line, supply chain issues mean it’s sometimes a little tricky to buy the newest generation of Xbox consoles (it’s still a lot easier than getting your hands on a PS5).
However, it’s still reasonably easy to get older consoles - namely, the Xbox One, and here’s a hot take for you: right now is the best time to buy one.
Game Pass takes the biscuit
The battle between Xbox and PlayStation is, and always has been, fierce, and now more than ever after Sony gave PlayStation Plus a much-needed makeover. However, Game Pass still has the edge over PS Plus, and by proxy, so does the Xbox One.
Released in 2013, the Xbox One faced fierce contest from the PS4 in the console wars, offering a smaller selection of exclusive games (and a hulkish design) - however, Game Pass has always been a major boon for Xbox gamers and gives the Xbox One an edge even to this day.
With Game Pass, you can have access to a well-curated library of games (albeit one smaller than PlayStation Plus) and the big sell is that you can play titles published by Xbox Game Studios on release day.
Another huge plus of the service is Xbox Cloud Gaming, which comes as part of the Game Pass Ultimate tier for just $15 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 per month. Unlike the PS4, which only lets you cloud stream games from older consoles, with Xbox Game Pass, Xbox One owners can stream games for the Xbox Series X/S – there are a couple of titles that are exclusive to the current generation, though.
Cloud streaming drastically shifts the value of buying an older console to the Xbox’s favor. With the console being so cheap and capable of running the next generation's games, the Xbox One is an excellent stop-gap until you’re ready to invest in the more modern consoles.
If you already have a gaming PC and want something that lets you play from the comfort of your sofa, the Xbox One combined with Game Pass is a no-brainer. With Game Pass Ultimate, you get access to Game Pass on your PC and Xbox – and the perks don’t end there.
There are member discounts and deals, free in-game content and partner offers, Xbox Live Gold (which includes deals, games, and console multiplayer), and EA Play, which adds a library of Electronic Arts’ top titles, exclusive rewards, and member-only content. Game Pass Ultimate also allows you to play games on your mobile phone and tablet from the cloud if you’re away from your console.
Aging like a fine wine
As of 2022, the Xbox One is no longer in production, but we looked across several second-hand sites and found the average price of a used, 500GB console to be as low as $120 / £100 / AU$250, meaning it’s still half the price of the Xbox Series S, and significantly cheaper than the Series X.
It’s also significantly cheaper than pre-owned PS4 consoles, thanks to supply chain issues for the PS5 inflating demand and Sony discontinuing the older model a year earlier than Microsoft axed the Xbox One. However, it’s worth noting there’s always an element of risk when buying pre-owned consoles, so make sure to shop with reputable retailers – especially those that perform testing and refurbishment.
There are, of course, some drawbacks to the Xbox One – it was never renowned for being a thing of beauty. However, at such low prices and with so much gaming potential, if you’re holding off on the pricier modern consoles, right now is the best time to buy an Xbox One.
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Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.