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Best Xbox One games: the Xbox One games you need to play

Best Xbox One games: Cuphead characters on a purple background
(Image credit: Future/Studio MDHR)

Looking for the best Xbox One games of all time? This is where you'll find them. From unforgettable Xbox exclusives, like Sea of Thieves and Hellblade, to third-party hits, like Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Witcher 3, the Xbox One family of consoles offers something for everyone.

But with so many games in the Xbox One library, and therefore so much choice, it can be difficult to determine which Xbox One games are must-plays. That's where we come in. Below, we've rounded up the best Xbox One games of all time, with our list covering everything from indie gems to AAA blockbusters, to help make choosing your next Xbox adventure a bit easier.

Sure,  it's no secret that the Xbox One isn’t the latest or even the greatest Xbox console you can buy anymore - that honor belongs to the Xbox Series X - but thanks to Microsoft's commitment to backward and forwards compatibility across the whole Xbox ecosystem, the majority of Xbox games are still being released across generations. That means that those on Xbox One can still enjoy new Xbox games as well as some of the best Xbox Series X games. It also means that, if you're an Xbox One owner that plans to upgrade to an Xbox Series X|S in the future, you'll still be able to play your Xbox One games – some even support visual and performance enhancements. 

What we’re saying is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re on the Xbox One S, the discontinued Xbox One X, the all-digital Xbox Series S, or the all-powerful Xbox Series X – the list of games below can be used across the entire range of consoles. What's more, many of the games listed below are even free to download with an Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which we strongly recommend picking up. 

No matter your mood, taste or experience level, there should be something on our list for you. Ready for your next Xbox adventure? Read on for our list of the best Xbox One games of all time. 

Best Xbox One games

Apex Legends heroes running towards screen

Apex Legends (Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)
A legend in the making

Reasons to buy

+
Fun, fluid gameplay
+
Ingenious Ping System
+
Stellar lineup of personalities 

Reasons to avoid

-
A few weapons need refining 
-
Battle Pass mundane

Apex Legends is one of many contenders vying for the battle royale crown. Developed by Respawn Entertainment and set in the Titanfall universe, Apex Legends is a squad-based battle royale shooter where teams of three go up against 57 other players to try to gather loot and be the last person (or squad) standing.

However, unlike Fortnite and PUBG, Apex Legends sees players take on a class, each represented by a unique character (imagine Fortnite mixed with Overwatch and you’ll be on the right track.)  

Apex Legends is the perfect battle royale game for those who enjoy the genre's premise but can't get on board with Fortnite's building or PUBG's competitiveness - and it's free. Plus, different classes, abilities, and limited-time events make for a more dynamic experience overall. 

Assassin's Creed Odyssey combat: Best Xbox One games

Assassin's Creed Odyssey  (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

This is Sparta

Reasons to buy

+
Graphically stunning
+
Huge world to explore
+
Great protagonists
+
Enthralling story

Reasons to avoid

-
Long game

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is one of the more recent additions to the epic Assassin's Creed 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. 

While Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the most recent addition to the series, we still think Odyssey is the best Assassin's Creed offering on Xbox One and one of the best Xbox One games.

Odyssey is a graphically stunning Xbox One game that will take you to the heart of Ancient Greece, easily securing it a place in our collection of the best Xbox One games. Just make sure you have the time to play it because there are over 100 hours of content to enjoy here.

Tank rolling across no man's land in Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 

Battlefield 1

For those who want a break from CoD

Reasons to buy

+
Historical setting rejuvenates series
+
Fantastic single-player experience
+
Relentlessly exciting combat

Reasons to avoid

-
Stealth elements lacking

Not a Call of Duty fan? Then Battlefield 1 might be a good alternative. The first-person shooter takes players back in time to World War One and by doing so completely rejuvenates the once stagnating franchise. 

Battlefield 1's historical setting helps it to 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 shooters. Broken into six sections, each following a different character and front line location, the campaign never feels dull or repetitive.

The single-player campaign even feeds neatly into Battlefield 1's multiplayer mode which, while familiar, also benefits from the much-needed breath of life that the change in setting gives.

Graphically impressive, entertaining, and sometimes touching, Battlefield 1 is a return to form for the series and one of the best Xbox One games. While Battlefield 2042 is the series' latest release, it hasn't quite done enough to replace Battlefield 1 on this list.

Sniper in the grass in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare  (Image credit: Activision)
Stay frosty

Reasons to buy

+
More strategy and thought required
+
Change in tone and format
+
Plenty of multiplayer modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Mechanics formula largely unchanged
-
Rewrites history in some places

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) is something of a reset for the bestselling FPS franchise – removing the frills of zombies, jetpacks, double-jumps and futuristic gadgetry for a grounded take on what military engagement actually looks like in the 21st century. 

The name is no coincidence, either; 2007's Modern Warfare was a landmark entry in the Call of Duty series, and Activision is looking to recreate what made the game of the same name so successful.

Modern Warfare is all about the gritty realities of war this time out, with the ‘modern’ of the ‘Modern Warfare’ title referring to the gear, weapons and gadgetry being used today in the Middle East and Russia, rather than the far-flung fantasies of science fiction.

While Modern Warfare has some glaring issues with regards to its campaign, it's still the best installation the series has seen yet - with tight shooting and more multiplayer modes than you can shake a stick at. Call of Duty: Vanguard may be the latest entry in the series, but Modern Warfare remains our pick as the top series entry on Xbox One.

Combat in an airport hangar in Call of Duty: Warzone, one of the best Xbox One games

Call of Duty: Warzone (Image credit: Activision)
Call of Duty: Warzone is a smashing battle royale game

Reasons to buy

+
Huge, interesting map
+
Tight, responsive gunplay
+
Tense Gulag encounters
+
Contracts offer a new way to play

Reasons to avoid

-
Uninventive weaponry
-
Killstreaks can be overpowered

Call of Duty: Warzone is now a standalone battle royale - and a great one at that. Initially released as an add-on for Modern Warfare (2019), Warzone has taken on a life of its own, giving the likes of Fortnite and PUBG a run for their money. 

Warzone's shooting is satisfying, its map rewarding to explore, and it offers more than enough interesting concepts like the Gulag and Contracts to make each match feel wholly unique, wherever you land. 

A platforming level from Celeste, one of the best Xbox One games

Celeste (Image credit: Matt Makes Games Inc.)

Celeste

A hidden masterpiece

Reasons to buy

+
Challenging and engaging
+
Thought-provoking narrative
+
Super-tight gameplay

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be repetitive

From the developers of Towerfall, Celeste follows the story of Madeline, a young girl who decides to face her mental health issues by climbing to the top of the mysterious Celeste Mountain. In doing so, she learns more not only about the mountain but about herself as well throughout the process. 

An inevitable classic, Celeste integrates the obvious jump, air-dash and climb controls into a brutal series of platforming challenges in upwards of 700 unique screens. If that’s too easy, you’ll unlock B-side chapters along the way, designed for only the most intrepid of hardcore players. You don’t even have to worry about waiting an eternity between each respawn, as Celeste brings you back from the grave in an instant, a welcome departure from the typically extensive load screens. It's not only one of the best Xbox One games out there, but one of the best indie games too.

An explosion from Control with Jesse Faden in view

Control (Image credit: Remedy Entertainment/505 Games)
Free your mind

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning particle effects
+
Inspired art direction
+
Crunchy gunplay 

Reasons to avoid

-
Starts quite slow
-
A few structural compromises

The dark horse of 2019, Remedy Entertainment's Control is an action-adventure with a difference. 

Control sees you stepping into the shoes of Jessie Faden, the newest director of the clandestine Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) – a Government agency that researches, and ultimately aims to control paranormal activity. But Jessie’s new role has a few issues not exactly laid out in the job description, including the uprising of a force known only as the Hiss.

The affinity with which Remedy has courted multiple difficult genres both in film and in games with Control and still managed to deliver a mind-bending story evocative of True Detective and Twin Peaks is absolutely remarkable.

Here's what we said in our Control review:

"Control feels like what would happen if David Lynch licked a Petri dish full of Jungian psychology and SCP entries. The resulting hallucination would be Remedy’s latest mystery. It’s the videogame that connoisseurs of absurd cinema and the surreal have been waiting for."

A carnival balloon enemy from Cuphead, one of the best Xbox One games

Cuphead 

Cuphead

It'll torture you but it'll look good doing it

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning 1930's style visuals
+
Satisfyingly challenging
+
Reminiscent of classic platformers

Reasons to avoid

-
Often frustratingly difficult

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 so, of course, it's one of our picks for the best Xbox One games. It's an indie experience that shouldn't be missed and you'll only find it on Xbox and PC.

Dead Cells

Dead Cells (Image credit: Motion Twin)

Dead Cells

A brilliant roguelike

Reasons to buy

+
Replayable
+
Extremely rewarding 
+
Plenty of weapons, skills and abilities

Reasons to avoid

-
Unforgiving level of challenge

If you’re looking for a game that’s as unforgiving as it is fun, look no further than Dead Cells. It takes gameplay inspiration from so many places – from roguelikes to MetroidVania. There’s even a hint of Dark Souls in there, creating a unique action game that will test your limits and skills. 

Each time you play this game, it will feel new. And, while you’ll lose some progress each time you die – and you will die a lot – the game will become even more rewarding as the complex and fluid combat becomes second nature. In the final release of the game, you get access to over 90 weapons, skills and abilities that will let you tailor your gameplay however you want. 

Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged if you fail. Get up and try again, as Dead Cells will only reward you in the end.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 spellcasting action

Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition (Image credit: Larian Studios)

Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition

Modern RPG classic

Reasons to buy

+
Flexible and freeing systems
+
Classic RPG foundations
+
Multiple ways to progress

Reasons to avoid

-
Camera can be a bit annoying

Building on the foundations set by old-school RPG classics like Baldur's Gate, Divinity: Original Sin 2 has you on a literal quest for godhood, in a world where those with magical powers are marginalized.

So far, so good for an RPG title. But Divinity: Original Sin 2 comes into its own with just how flexible and freeing its systems are. With turn-based combat that takes as much inspiration from XCOM as it does from tabletop RPG spellcasting, you'll always be given multiple ways to progress, letting you combine items and environmental modifiers to take on foes in increasingly creative ways.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 has more ideas in its first ten minutes than some games have in their entire duration: want to be an undead adventurer who can talk to skulls? Go for it. An animal-whisperer like Dr Doolittle? 100% go for it. Throw four-player online co-op into the mix, where anyone can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and you've got a recipe for chaotic perfection.

It's one of the few games where, if you can dream it up, you can probably do it in the game. A must-play Xbox One game.

A close up of one of Doom Eternal's powerful enemies

Doom Eternal (Image credit: iD Software)
Raze Hell

Reasons to buy

+
Fast-paced combat remains intact
+
Arenas feel natural but challenging
+
Cutscenes don’t interrupt momentum
+
Levels are varied and fun

Reasons to avoid

-
The ending feels a bit rushed

Ready to raze some hell? Doom is back and it's the best it's ever been. Not only does Doom Eternal boast all the blood-pumping, gore-packed fun we expect from a Doom game, it also adds a bunch of new RPG-like elements we didn't even know we needed. 

If you're looking for a game that doesn't focus too much on narrative and instead throws you into ripping and tearing some demons (all while an adrenaline-inducing metal soundtrack plays), then Doom Eternal is one not to be missed. 

FIFA 22 soccer player action shot

FIFA 22 (Image credit: EA Sports)
Let's get physical

Reasons to buy

+
Gameplay overhaul
+
Visually authentic
+
Refreshed Career mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Superfluous new mechanics
-
Microtransaction overload
-
Cluttered menus

The latest entry in the long-running soccer sim series, FIFA 22 breathes new life into the series’ once-familiar gameplay while making well-intentioned strides to refresh its most dated modes, including Career mode.

Thanks to this series of genuinely welcome improvements to both visuals and gameplay, FIFA 22 feels like a decidedly different offering from its predecessor. It’s not without the same issues that have plagued the franchise for several years, and a few of its supposed enhancements still feel like superficial additions, but FIFA 22 is the best the series has been in a long time.

Woman holding a sniper rifle, looking out onto the map in Fortnite

Fortnite Battle Royale
All aboard the battle bus

Reasons to buy

+
Vibrant world
+
Fun combat
+
Unique building mechanic
+
Excellent monetization

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be hard to keep up

Fortnite has had a meteoric rise since its release in 2017, and it's not hard to see why. The free-to-play battle royale game offers players an energetic and enjoyable online multiplayer experience, and throwing in some building mechanics to set it aside from its competitors.

Fortnite has become somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon: it's fun, fast-paced and everyone seems to be playing it. More importantly, it has a concept that almost anyone can get to grips with: just be the last person standing. 

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

A yellow Porsche and blue BMW racing in Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 

Forza Horizon 4

Shut up and drive

Reasons to buy

+
An open-world racing adventure
+
Rewards exploration
+
Structured campaign 
+
Great Britain setting is gorgeous

Reasons to avoid

-
Multiplayer takes a few hours to unlock

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. 

Forza Horizon 5 may be the latest entry in the series and while it 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.

Gears 5 trio Mac, Keegan and Lahni from Hivebusters

Gears 5 (Image credit: The Coalition)
Still as slick

Reasons to buy

+
Visually intoxicating
+
Plenty of multiplayer modes
+
New mechanics make it feel fresh

Reasons to avoid

-
Open world elements feel off
-
Doesn't flesh out narrative

We'd been waiting a while to see a new Gears title, and Gears 5 certainly didn't disappoint. 

Players step into the shoes of Kait Diaz for the first time who, following the events of Gears of War 4, is trying to come to terms with the death of her mother, unravel the twisted roots of her family tree and deal with her own personal baggage. Meanwhile, humanity is being threatened once more - this time by the Swarm, the successor to the Locust horde.

Gears 5 proves why the Gears of War series remains one of Xbox's most iconic series and is easily one of the best Xbox One games available.

Illustration of Trevor, Michael and Franklin from GTA 5, one of the best Xbox One games

Grand Theft Auto 5 (Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Grand Theft Auto 5

Chaotic playground

Reasons to buy

+
Huge, dense world
+
GTA Online is fantastic
+
Plenty of activities

Reasons to avoid

-
Level of violence isn't for everyone
-
Outdated mission design

Not only is it one of the best sandbox games on the Xbox One platform, GTA 5 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-realized 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.

If the campaign isn't for you, then there's a free online multiplayer mode - GTA Online - that you can essentially use as your own chaotic virtual playground.

However you play GTA 5 – a multiplayer muck about, a story-driven third-person actioner, a flight sim – it reveals itself to be the best game on both this generation and the last. So it's no surprise that an expanded and enhanced version of GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X is releasing this year. Though, it looks like it could be a while before we get our hands on GTA 6.

Master Chief looking into the sky

Halo: The Master Chief Collection  (Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

A collection of greats

Reasons to buy

+
Six Halo games in one
+
Multiplayer features every map originally released with each game
+
Updated audio and visuals

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't include Halo 5

Want to spend some quality time with Master Chief? Then the Master Chief Collection is just the ticket.

The Master Chief Collection includes six Halo games in total, including every single multiplayer mode. That means you get Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo: ODST and Halo Reach. With each game looking, sounding and playing better than ever before.

While Halo Infinite is the latest entry in the iconic Xbox series, and easily earned its spot on our best Xbox Series X games list, we don't feel the same of its Xbox One counterpart, unfortunately.

A Spartan Locke and team illustration from Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians 

Halo 5: Guardians

Bigger and better

Reasons to buy

+
Superb campaign
+
Brilliant multiplayer
+
More fluid, but same great combat

Reasons to avoid

-
No split-screen co-op

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.

Senua having a vision in a sunlit forest in Hellblade

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice 

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

The hardest battles are fought in the mind

Reasons to buy

+
Emotional storytelling
+
Nuanced exploration of mental health
+
Unforgettable atmosphere

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may disagree with depiction of mental health

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 - and well worth playing ahead of the release of Hellblade 2.

Boy hiding behind a pillar in Inside

Inside (Image credit: PlayDead)

Inside

One of the best modern age platformers

Reasons to buy

+
Great platforming action
+
Unsettling, unique atmosphere
+
Brain-bending puzzles

Reasons to avoid

-
Short

The follow-up to Limbo, Playdead's Inside is one of the best modern platformer games on the market. But while Limbo focused on horror, Inside instead deals in sci-fi conspiracy. It's a somewhat Orwellian tale, which sees you playing as a young boy trying to escape from the oppression, tyrannical society in which he lives. 

While Inside is one of the shorter games on this list (lasting around three or four hours) it packs one heck of a punch in that time, delivering brain-bending puzzles, a unique and unsettling atmosphere and brilliant platforming action. All this adds up to make it an unforgettable experience and easily one of the best Xbox One games around.

  • Inside is one of the best platformers of the modern age – and scary as hell

It Takes Two's May and Cody in therapy with the Book of Love

It Takes Two (Image credit: EA / Hazelight Studios)

It Takes Two

Team work makes the dream work

Reasons to buy

+
Family friendly
+
Takes elements from lots of genres
+
Fun for gamers and non-gamers
+
Friend's Pass available

Reasons to avoid

-
Can only be played co-op

If you're looking for one of the best co-op games on Xbox then look no further. It Takes Two is a fun, tongue-in-cheek adventure that will provide hours of entertainment for both gamers and non-gamers alike. Taking elements from a variety of different games and intertwining them with a rom-com-like narrative, It Takes Two has something for everyone - even kids. 

It's worth noting this game can only be played in co-op (either online or couch), but comes with a Friend's Pass allowing you to invite an online friend to join your adventure, even if they don't own the full game. 

Illustration of Big Boss with a red mechanical hand over his face

Metal Gear Solid 5  (Image credit: Konami)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The return of the Big Boss

Reasons to buy

+
Solid stealth mechanics
+
Huge maps
+
Non-linear mission design

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be confusing for new players

Okay, so Hideo Kojima's last game for Konami – and his last ever Metal Gear game – might be a little tough for the Metal Gear Solid n00b to get to grips with, but it's still one of the best stealth-action games ever crafted. 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? Definitely one of the best Xbox One games we've ever sat down in front of.

A various cast of Minecraft characters in one of the game's worlds

Minecraft 

Minecraft

Pixelated playground

Reasons to buy

+
Fun for all ages
+
Loads of ways to play
+
Playground of creativity

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may find it boring

Minecraft released 11 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. 

How did a sandbox game about blocks become a worldwide phenomenon? Check out the history of Minecraft.

A hunter being attacked by a Rathian in Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World  (Image credit: Capcom)

Monster Hunter: World

Friends who slay together...

Reasons to buy

+
Rich environments
+
Captivating monsters
+
Plenty of secrets to uncover

Reasons to avoid

-
Combat can feel rigid
-
Camera can be a bit erratic

Monster Hunter: World is a true breath of fresh air, easily sliding its way into our list of the best Xbox One games of all time.

Giving players the option to play solo or team up with up to three other friends, this game invites you into a living, breathing game world to hunt down some monsters. For research. And fun. 

You'll face a learning curve with Monster Hunter: World and the dark-souls style of 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 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

2B attacking an enemy using a long sword

NieR: Automata

NieR: Automata

Not to be forgotten

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful score
+
Fantastic storytelling
+
Experimental gameplay loop
+
Lots of replay value

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly too much repeated content

If you want to play a game that will feel different to anything else you've played recently, we heartily recommend NieR: Automata as one of the best Xbox One games right now.

Though it's a sequel to 2010 game Nier, you don't have to have played the first game to enjoy this one. Set in a dystopian future, the story of the game revolves around a war between machines created by alien invaders and the remnants of humanity. Humanity has fled Earth to seek refuge on the Moon, but has sent combat droids down to fight for them.

You play as one of these droids, 2B, accompanied by another droid called 9S. Combat in this game is intensely satisfying, the game world is stunning with a huge sense of scale, and the story is strange (sometimes to a fault) but incredibly entertaining. You won't be disappointed, trust us.

Ori riding on an owl

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Image credit: Microsoft)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

A heart-warming platformer

Reasons to buy

+
Hauntingly beautiful world
+
Challenging platformer
+
Excellent improvements on predecessor

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter than many games on this list

For years, Ori and the Blind Forest was one of our favorite Metroidvania 2D dungeon crawlers on Xbox One - it was heartfelt, beautiful and challenging, and the world simply oozed personality and intrigue. The release of Ori and the Will of the Wisps has seen the prequel replaced (though you should definitely still play it) as we embark on a new adventure that sees Ori and his makeshift family separated in an all-new environment.

The sequel adds some new combat elements like a shard system that allows for more customization of Ori's abilities, while big boss battles help to make it more memorable and break up the puzzle-solving. 

If you need something a bit smaller than the average 40-hour RPG, and something less brutal than the latest first-person shooter, Ori offers a 12-hour challenge in a hauntingly beautiful world. It's one of the best Xbox One games there is.

Psychonauts 2's Raz

Psychonauts 2 (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios/Double Fine)

Psychonauts 2

A mindful adventure

Reasons to buy

+
Unique levels and characters
+
Tongue-in-cheek humor
+
Plenty to collect

Reasons to avoid

-
Combat is a bit clunky

Psychonauts 2 is a psychedelic journey that you won't forget. The sequel to 2005's Psychonauts, and following directly on from Rhombus of Ruin, Psychonauts 2 once again follows Raz, a young psychic attempting to join the Psychonauts, an international group of psychic secret agents. 

Psychonauts 2 is a hilarious, heartfelt adventure that embraces a humourous take on mental health while offering unique (and often bizarre) worlds for players to explore. It's easily one of the best Xbox titles around and - what's more - it's available on Game Pass alongside the original.

Arthur Morgan firing a revolver in Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 

Red Dead Redemption 2

An epic for the ages

Reasons to buy

+
Huge open-world to explore
+
Plenty of activities
+
Exciting story and interesting characters

Reasons to avoid

-
Red Dead Online is lacking
-
Prologue is very long

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 that 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, you can team up with a posse of friends to play.

Claire fending off a zombie in Resident Evil 2 Remake

Resident Evil 2 Remake 
A stone-cold classic cements its legacy

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning RE Engine Graphics
+
Masterful environment design
+
Heaps of replay value

Reasons to avoid

-
Voice acting falters at times
-
Trapped by original story

Capcom's remake of survival horror classic Resident Evil 2 has gone down a storm with fans and newcomers alike, and it's no surprise. With gorgeous new graphics but the same brain-scratching puzzles and terrifying zombies, Resident Evil 2 is definitely a remake done right. When it comes to horror, this is one of the best Xbox One games you can get (not to mention our Game of the Year 2019).

Want more Resi horror? Then check out our Resident Evil 3 review or our review of the latest game in the series: Resident Evil Village.

Lara walking into an undiscovered tomb

Rise of the Tomb Raider 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Spunk and spelunking

Reasons to buy

+
Accessible entry point for series
+
Develops Lara’s character
+
Plenty of explore

Reasons to avoid

-
Puzzles can be obstacle to story

Despite being the sequel to a prequel about the young life of 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 installment, 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.

It's undoubtedly one of the top Xbox One games around.

A player looking at the back of a Galleon ship in Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves

Yo ho ho!

Reasons to buy

+
Regular exciting updates
+
Unpredictability and chemistry of players

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as fun alone

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. In addition, a new Anniversary Update has breathed new life into Sea of Thieves. Definitely one of the best Xbox One games of recent times.

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

Sekiro using the grapple hook to close the gap on an enemy

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice 
A worthwhile challenge

Reasons to buy

+
Shinobi Deathblows are satisfying
+
Balances brutality with beauty
+
Combat is smooth and rewarding

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for those without patience
-
Accept you may never finish it

FromSoftware's latest offering is not to be scoffed at. If you thought the Dark Souls series was hard, then Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is extreme mode.

Sekiro is more punishing than any title we've seen from FromSoftware before, but actually achieving those rare moments of success is extremely rewarding. Set against a background that balances brutality and beauty, Sekiro is a must-have Xbox One title if you have the patience for it.

Titanfall 2 cover art showing a pilot and Titan wall running towards an enemy squad

Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2

Mechs in effect

Reasons to buy

+
Terrific multiplayer 
+
Fantastic campaign
+
Breathes life into shooter genre

Reasons to avoid

-
Campaign is short

The original Titanfall was a great game and its sequel, Titanfall 2, improves on it in 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. 

What Remains of Edith Finch house hallway

What Remains of Edith Finch (Image credit: Giant Sparrow)

What Remains of Edith Finch

An unforgettably strange tale

Reasons to buy

+
Emotive and poignant
+
Creative and bizarre at times
+
We don't want to spoil it

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for those who enjoy a lot of action

There are some games that just stick with you. Whether that's down to its charismatic characters, compelling narrative, or unique atmosphere, there are some games that you find yourself fondly thinking about weeks, months, or years later. And Giant Sparrow's What Remains of Edith Finch is one of those games.

While What Remains of Edith Finch was released to critical acclaim, it arguably flew under the radar with many gamers - as many indies often do. But the story of the Finch family is not to be slept on, with Giant Sparrow creating one of the most emotive, creative and poignant games of this generation.

What Remains of Edith Finch could have easily fallen into the trap of being a monotonous walking simulator, but it is anything but. We advise going into the game as blind as possible, which is why we're not giving too much away on this title, but just know that if you're looking for one of the best indie games on Xbox One, then What Remains of Edith Finch is for you.

Geralt from Witcher 3 tossing a bag of coin

The Witcher 3 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Monsters and myths aplenty

Reasons to buy

+
Memorable characters
+
A huge and varied open-world
+
Plenty to do outside main quests

Reasons to avoid

-
Long load times
-
Combat can feel clunky

Geralt didn't have the smoothest of entries to Xbox One, 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.

Oh, and combat. And don't forget Gwent, the in-game card game. And there's the crafting to get stuck into. And the alchemy.

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 and especially worth picking up on Xbox One as a free upgrade for existing owners will keep you playing into the next generation too. 

Once you've jumped in, you may want to check out the Witcher TV series with Henry Cavill taking on the role of Geralt. 

Kasuya Ichiban sitting in a movie theater, surrounding by goat people

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Image credit: Sega)

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

A bonkers RPG

Reasons to buy

+
Hilarious and unique
+
Side missions are just as interesting
+
Great entry to Yakuza series

Reasons to avoid

-
Some elements feel outdated

The Yakuza games have always mixed mature themes with utterly bonkers shenanigans, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon really lets loose in the latter regard.

While you can still expect plenty of hard-hitting plot points during the game’s lengthy and turbulent story, the entire fighting system has been re-imagined as a turn-based JRPG – and it works surprisingly well. Each character can take on various classes, such as becoming a crooning musician or cutesy J-Pop idol, and each has their own abilities in battle. It’s certainly a different approach, then, but one that really lets the series’ freak flag fly.

Best Xbox One games FAQ: quick questions answered

An Xbox One and controller on a green background

What is the best game on Xbox One?

Well, that depends on 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. Those who enjoy racing games should definitely check out Forza Horizon 4, while FIFA 22 is our top pick for those who like sports games and The Witcher is perfect for those on the hunt for an action-packed RPG. Looking to sail the seas in an online multiplayer adventure? Then check of Sea of Thieves. Want some FPS action? Then check out Call of Duty: Warzone or Halo: Master Chief Collection.

What is the most played Xbox One game?

The most played Xbox One game is constantly changing but currently, battle royale Call of Duty: Warzone is extremely popular, while Minecraft, GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 are some of the most popular choices for the console overall.

Which Xbox is best?

Is Xbox better than PlayStation?

Good question. And it depends on 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 listed here.

Vic Hood
Vic Hood

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