The Xbox One may be a distant third in terms of console popularity this generation, but much of that isn't necessarily deserved. In the era dominated by the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, Microsoft quietly introduced things like GamePass, a recommitment to PC players, and they've pushed for cross-play with other platforms. While those are on the technical side, Microsoft has also focused on some quality exclusive titles that varied in degrees of mass appeal.
Still, that's not necessarily a bad thing for players. We're merely consumers and with that in mind, the Xbox platform is more available than ever, and there's a lot of content to gobble up! So, as the lifespan of the Xbox One starts to wind down, here are 10 Xbox One games that prove the haters wrong.
Note: Many of the titles on this list are also available on PC as well, however, they still technically fall under the Microsoft (or Xbox) ecosystem.
10 Halo 5 Guardians
Halo may not be what it used to be, but it's still the Xbox flagship, and any new entry will be a big deal to fans of the system. With that in mind, Halo 5: Guardians takes place just eight months after Halo 4, and puts players in the middle of a conflict between Master Chief and an opposing Spartan team as Master Chief goes AWOL to find Cortana. This calls the longstanding character's motivations into question and causes an all-out conflict as he's tracked down.
Many players consider this one of the weaker games in the series, however, we have to give 343 Industries some credit here as they're taking the franchise in a different direction. While we love the original Halo trilogy, shifting to a more personal storyline fleshes out Master Chief in a way we never imagined possible in the mid-2000s.
ReCore is an interesting title from the mind behind Mega-Man, Keiji Inafune. As an action-adventure shooter-platformer, players take control of Joule Adams, who, after waking up 200 years in the future, discovers most of humanity is gone. So, with some robots at her side, she sets off to discover what happened to the planned utopian colony.
The game focuses heavily on puzzle-solving, and even the shooting mechanics involve players matching the right attacks with the right enemies, making this more of a thinker's game.
ReCore was met with mixed reviews upon its release as some of the more interesting ideas were bogged down in some poor design choices. Yet, we're willing to give this title praise for trying to be unique, which in this era of gaming, is desperately needed at the AAA level.
8 Crackdown 3
When Microsoft announced a whole new Crackdown, it felt surreal to long-time fans of the often overlooked 360 franchise. Yet it was anything but overlooked on the Xbox One. With destructible environments and a fun (yet kind of barren) online option, Crackdown 3 takes all the chaos of the franchise's past and cranks it into a whole new gear as players take out the gangs of New Providence.
To be fair, this title did catch some flack for playing a little too similar to games of a previous generation, so your enjoyment may vary with this, but we loved Crackdown back in the day, and we still do with this all-new adventure.
7 Rare Replay
Rare Replay is the best compilation in gaming history, and that's not an overstatement. With over 30 games to choose from made by one of the most historic developers in gaming history, there's something for almost any type of player. The games packed in include: Battletoads, Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Banjo Kazooie and Tooie, and even Kameo, giving players 30 years of gaming history on one disk.
While some were disappointed at the lack of Donkey Kong and GoldenEye in the collection, there's more than enough content to make up for those notable missing entries.
6 Quantum Break
Quantum Break could go down as the most underrated game of this console generation. Developed by Remedy — the minds behind the equally underappreciated Alan Wake — Quantum Break was designed to be the game that brought Xbox into the new era of story-focused gaming.
Players take control of Jack Joyce, who, following a time machine incident, has found himself with time manipulation powers. With these powers, Joyce sees the end of the world, which causes problems with his former friend on how to prevent it from happening.
5 Sea Of Thieves
If you played Sea of Thieves at launch, it's probably strange to see this game on the list. While it's beautiful and the art direction is genuinely fresh, the game failed to captivate players. Missions were repetitive and boring, and at one point, it felt like the title was dead in the water when it released in 2018. Yet, following its Anniversary Update, the game is completely revamped and has a new lease of life.
How can a game save face so quickly, you ask? Well, it's simple, there's more to do. With the additions of The Arena, Tall Tales, Hunter's Call, and Harpoon, players are given a battle mode and a new story as well as fishing and cooking abilities. These come along with the ability to steal items from other ships players like a true pirate.
4 Sunset Overdrive
Now that Insomniac is owned by Sony, the chances of a sequel to Sunset Overdrive are slim to none, but at least we got something. Clearly inspired by Jet Grind Radio, Sunset Overdrive is a bright and colorful action title with a heavy focus on rail grinding to traverse Sunset City as the residents go insane after drinking too much energy drink.
In many ways, this title changed up the typical formula and was one of the first major titles to adopt the more bright-cartoony aesthetic of this generation that starkly contrasts the brown and grey era of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. So, while it may get lost in the shuffle of the dozens of games that have since used that similar direction, Sunset Overdrive did look fresh when it first launched in 2014.
3 Gears Of War 4
Stepping out of the shoes of Marcus Fenix, players take control of JD, the son of the decorated warrior. Taking place decades after the events of the previous games, The COG has created a totalitarian safe-havens to keep people safe, but some chose to live outside the walls, causing trouble for the militaristic government. Yet when the Hoard (now called Swarm) returns, no one is safe.
Gears of War is almost as synonymous with Xbox as Halo, and while Marcus Pheonix may always play second fiddle to Master Chief, Gears of War 4 proves that the franchise still has a lot to offer players, even with a new developer — The Coalition — at the helm.
Building off the third games brighter direction, Gears of War 4 offers a similar experience to Epic's trilogy, but with a new coat of paint.
2 Forza Motorsport 7
It's crazy how Gran Turismo was the standard for racing games until Forza hit the scene. Not to knock Sony's realistic racing franchise, but it's hard to keep up with Xbox in this regard.
Forza takes its commitment to realism to an insane level with dynamic weather conditions (which impact how your car controls) and over 700 vehicles so gearheads won't ever be bored. The customization goes beyond just that, giving players 32 locations to race on, allowing for around 200 different configurations for the courses.
1 Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Without a doubt, the original Halo trilogy comprises some of the finest first-person-shooter action games ever made. In this collection, players get the original three games plus ODST and Halo 4, and that's only expanding. In fact, Xbox revealed that Reach will be added to the collection too.
This is honestly some of the best value in terms of content-per-dollar, and the work 343 put into remastering these older titles is nothing short of heroic. If you own an Xbox and don't have Halo: The Master Chief Collection, you're doing it wrong.