Stumbling out of the gate and forced to play catch-up throughout the current generation, the Xbox One is unlikely to go down as one of the industry's greatest consoles. Recently, Microsoft has taken strides towards improving its public image, but the hardware's pre-launch marketing thwarted any momentum accumulated by the Xbox 360. Lacking much in the way of exclusives, the Xbox One's brightest moments stemmed from features rather than projects. While Sony dawdled on introducing a download option to the PS Now service, Microsoft launched the fantastic Xbox Game Pass subscription. The PlayStation 4 may have a stronger exclusive line-up, but multi-platform titles are at their best on the Xbox One X. Could have Microsoft done a better job over these last couple of years? Definitely, but the tide seems to be turning!
Putting aside the underwhelming number of exclusives, the Xbox One houses an extensive catalog of games. Regardless of the generation, certain brands always float to the top. Commercial performance is not a definitive indicator of quality, but it would be ludicrous to completely disregard such an essential factor. There must be a reason people keep on purchasing every new sports game! While certain properties do not warrant their fame, others deserve a second chance. The Xbox One boasts a fair amount of underappreciated releases that failed to find an audience or struggled to impress critics.
Here are 15 current Xbox One games that are way overrated (and 15 gems everyone missed)!
30 Gem: Quantum Break
Remedy Entertainment strived to create a singular experience with Quantum Break. Garnering decent but not great reviews from critics, this multi-media adventure shipped sufficient units to avoid the dreaded label of a flop, but not enough to warrant a repeat visit. Split between gameplay sections and four episodes, Quantum Break plays around with the concept of time and genuinely values player choice. Admittedly, the combat is hardly anything to write home about, but Jack Joyce gradually unlocks a number of cool time manipulation powers that add a degree of creativity to the encounters.
29 Overrated: Halo 5: Guardians
For the sake of argument, let us pretend Halo 5's marketing never happened and focus on the released product. Depending on whether someone prefers multiplayer or singleplayer, Guardians is either a fun addition into the series or a disappointing mess. Opting to introduce a new squad, Halo 5's story fails to provide any reason to care about Locke or any of his subordinates. Culminating in a rather convoluted twist involving Cortana, the campaign boils down to a misunderstanding and chiefly consists of repetitive boss encounters. While the gunplay continued to be a delight, Guardians could have been so much more!
28 Gem: Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct's base game is available for free. Even if fighting games do not tickle your fancy, Microsoft's exclusive merits a spin merely due to its price. Now, in all fairness, the gratis version only includes a single fighter; however, Killer Instinct opens the door to every one of its game modes. A sequel to Midway's classic arcade fighter, Killer Instinct boasts the same over-the-top battle mechanics as its various predecessors. Split into three seasons, with each subsequent release improving on what came before, Killer Instinct offers a lot of content for a price determined by the player!
27 Overrated: Destiny
It might seem like we enjoy mocking Destiny at every given opportunity, but any criticism stems from disappointment rather than anger. Also, Destiny makes it a bit too easy! Bungie's shooter seemed poised to be this generation's Halo, but the online-only title launched with scarcely any content and an absent narrative. The gameplay is quite pleasant, but a solid core is far from enough to justify the lackluster world-building and boring missions. The Taken King improved considerably on the original variant, but Destiny cannot keep on promising to be a great game. Eventually, Bungie will have to deliver on the hype.
26 Gem: Sunset Overdrive
In hindsight, Microsoft published a respectable amount of exclusives during the Xbox One's infancy, and Sunset Overdrive may have been the most underappreciated of the bunch. A veteran of the industry, Insomniac Games produced an entertaining third-person shooter, but Sunset Overdrive was not quite up to the task of representing Microsoft's system. With the exception of The Legend of Zeldas and Super Marios of the world, consoles require a collection of enticing exclusives to move units. Despite boasting amazing gameplay and a cool art style, Sunset Overdrive looks and feels like a second-tier title. On November 16th of this year, Sunset Overdrive was ported to PC.
25 Overrated: Forza Motorsport 7
Inaugurated on the original Xbox, Turn 10 Studios has mastered the art of racing games. Overshadowed by the more arcade-oriented Forza Horizon spin-off series, Forza Motorsport has earned a reputation for being dependable and a safe purchase. Forza Motorsport 7 is comfortably among the best looking games on the Xbox One, and the gameplay is impeccable. Sadly, the inclusion of microtransactions transformed the campaign into a grind, a factor further worsened due to the elimination of currency bonuses for switching off driving assists. Rather than rewarding players for removing the safety wheels, Forza Motorsport 7 embraced the loot box culture.
24 Gem: Divinity: Original Sin II
Surpassing the lofty heights set by 2014's original, Divinity: Original Sin II sits among this generation's greatest RPGs. Just to be crystal clear, we are taking into account every game released in the last half-a-decade and not merely the ones published on the Xbox One. Viable solo or with friends, the grid-based battle system can be quite daunting, but Divinity: Original Sin II rewards perseverance. Backed by deep crafting and customization systems, Larian Studios' RPG should be considered a must-play for anyone with even a passing interest in tactical combat.
23 Overrated: Assassin's Creed: Unity
Released in a hilariously broken state, Assassin's Creed: Unity derailed Ubisoft's franchise for multiple years. According to VGChartz, Unity is the Xbox One's 14th best-selling title; coincidentally, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate failed to crack the Top 50. While a number of other factors have to be taken into account, a sequel's commercial performance is partially influenced by the public's opinion of its predecessor. Unity was a laughing stock at launch, and the bugs infested the entire brand. Once the issues were fixed, Unity mutated into a solid entry in the series, but that does not excuse its shoddy initial state.
22 Gem: Ryse: Son Of Rome
A third-person hack and slash game set in an ancient civilization, Ryse: Son of Rome may conjure images of God of War's Kratos and many dethroned Greek gods. Centering the combat around quick-time events and opting for a more realistic aesthetic, Crytek's bloody action title could have benefitted from a deeper battle system and a protagonist who is slightly more interesting than a slice of white bread. Averaging a Metacritic score of 60%, which might as well be a 0, Ryse: Son of Rome earned its mediocre score; nevertheless, anyone seeking a polished and short adventure should give this one a try. We recommend lowering your expectations!
21 Overrated: Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is Activision's franchise at its blandest. Infinite Warfare may have amassed all the downvotes in the universe, but 2014's shooter lacks any real defining factor. Moving along at a brisk pace, the campaign is devoid of any truly memorable moments, while the multiplayer element seldom strives for anything beyond the status quo. By this point, the modern setting had grown stale, but Advanced Warfare is happy to merely be inoffensive. Infinite Warfare was the straw that broke the camel's back, but the campaign embraced the sci-fi silliness of Sledgehammer Games' forgettable run with the series.
20 Gem: ReCore
Sitting with a 63% on Metacritic, ReCore deserves better than to languish as the 170th best selling title on the Xbox One. Finally, we found a game that sold worse than Battleborn! Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, ReCore follows the spunky Joule Adams on a journey to defeat various bots and solve puzzles. Aided by her own robot companions, Joule faces off against countless cool enemies and ReCore's combat is surprisingly smooth! The open-world could use more points of interest, but ReCore possesses all the necessary ingredients to spawn a fantastic franchise! Obviously, a sequel seems unlikely.
19 Overrated: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds took the world by storm and spawned dozens of rip-offs. While the recent announcement of a PlayStation 4 port removed some of the shine from the Xbox One's version, the battle royale game was still a huge deal for Microsoft. Originally released as part of Xbox Game Preview, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' fantastic concept was marred by terrible optimization and countless glitches. The final property improved significantly on the base version, but PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds still runs worse than Fornite Battle Royale. Currently available via Game Pass, this might be the best time to join the battle!
18 Gem: Mad Max
Licensed games have more than justified their terrible reputation, but there are exceptions to every rule! Published during the same year as Mad Max: Fury Road, Avalanche Studios' open world action-adventure project stands on its own. Bolstered by gorgeous visuals and acceptable voice acting, Mad Max shines brightly whenever vehicular combat takes center stage! Thankfully, the vast majority of missions revolve around wrecking cars and driving through the atmospheric post-apocalyptic landscape. Mad Max's hand-to-hand combat is a less polished version of Batman: Arkham Asylum's system, but these sections do not reduce the property's overall value.
17 Overrated: Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars Battlefront banked on fans purchasing anything bearing a relation to George Lucas' influential space opera. Sadly, EA was completely correct. To give credit where credit is due, Star Wars Battlefront looks the part! Graphically, this is one stunning blockbuster! Unfortunately, EA published an empty shell with a pretty coat of paint. Lacking much in the way of modes or depth, Star Wars Battlefront barely qualifies as a demo. There is nothing inherently wrong with focusing exclusively on multiplayer, but Battlefront launched with fewer features than 2004's original. How is that remotely acceptable?!?
16 Gem: A Way Out
Split-screen co-op games are a rare breed, and they tend to be confined to the indie scene. Published by EA, A Way Out must be played with another person, although there is the option to match with someone online. Starring two convicts seeking to break out of prison, A Way Out requires both members to work together to achieve their goals. Envisioned by the same designer behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which should be experienced by everyone, A Way Out is the living embodiment of an overlooked gem. Grab a friend and get started on your own Prison Break!
15 Overrated: FIFA (Whatever)
Constantly earning aggregate scores in the low 80s, critics cannot seem to get enough of FIFA. Crucially, EA's annual releases regular land among the highest grossing games of any given year. Fans buy them, but do they love them? Presumably, most people appreciate the soccer game's core mechanics, but FIFA has been resting on its laurels for too long. Founded in FIFA 17, The Journey is the only truly unique component introduced over the last couple of iterations, and this mode is a painfully quick sit. EA hit the motherload with Ultimate Team, and everything else is treated as an afterthought. Career Mode should have been revamped in 2016!
14 Gem: The Evil Within 2
The Evil Within proved that disregarding modern game design is not automatically a recipe for success. Directed by Resident Evil's Shinji Mikami, 2014's survival horror title employed an archaic control system that hindered the genuinely creepy scares held within the campaign. An improvement in every conceivable way, The Evil Within II is the closest thing there is to a spiritual successor to Resident Evil 4. Even though the horror element was somewhat subdued, the sequel is soaked in atmosphere and tension. Crucially, The Evil Within II is genuinely fun to play!
13 Overrated: Watch Dogs
Hailed as Ubisoft's answer to Grand Theft Auto, Watch Dogs' main claim to fame is a misleading trailer that advertised a package simply not available on consoles. Disregarding the quality downgrade, Watch Dogs squanders an entertaining core gimmick on a bland storyline centering around a hero who desperately wishes to be Batman. Aiden Pearce is a charisma black hole, and the plot trudges along without ever mounting any significant momentum. Hacking a street light to cause a six-car pileup will never get old, but Watch Dogs carries too much baggage to be worth the effort.
12 Gem: Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Who said turn-based RPGs are a thing of the past? Now, in all fairness, the genre has undeniably shifted towards real-time combat, but those seeking a more traditional package are not entirely starving for options. Published towards the end of 2017, Battle Chasers: Nightwar blends isometric exploration with a battle system pivoting around an overcharge mechanic. Visually, Battle Chasers: Nightwar deserves a standing ovation, while the combat mechanics manage to walk the line between accessibility and complexity. The endgame is somewhat of a grind, but certain journeys are worth the trouble!
11 Overrated: Call Of Duty: Ghosts
Should it be taken for granted that every Call of Duty is overrated? Activision's franchise has been treading water for the healthiest part of a decade, but the brand's popularity is not wholly unwarranted. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 boasts the strongest battle royale mode on the market, while Infinite Warfare's campaign delivered in terms of spectacle. World War II has its fair share of problems, but the historical setting was a welcome change of pace. On the other hand, Call of Duty: Ghosts has a German Shepherd named Riley. Sure, the dog is adorable, but the internet is already overflowing with pet videos!
10 Gem: Darwin Project
Available via Xbox Game Preview, Darwin Project is the latest free-to-play battle royale title. Why should anyone care about another entry to this genre? Preferring to take a different approach from the likes of Fortnite Battle Royale or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Darwin Project drops 10 players into a frozen wasteland and orders them to survive. The lower number of participants means battles are immediately intense, and this is further enhanced due to the addition of a show director. Once players reach level five, they can directly influence a match's outcome by stepping into the shoes of the mastermind overseeing the competition.
9 Overrated: Tom Clancy's The Division
MMOs tend to be works-in-progress, but Tom Clancy's The Division took its sweet time to reach a passable state. Launching with a number of technical issues and an uninspired mission structure with a lackluster payoff, The Division's loot system was presented as the main incentive for customers to continue playing. Due to the more realistic aesthetic, The Division's items lack much in the way of remarkable features or designs. Consequently, a gun's stats is the only factor worth considering, and one can only stare at numbers for so long before yearning for a wall with some drying paint.
8 Gem: Tales From The Borderlands
Living in a post-Telltale Games world, one cannot help but wonder what could have been! The Walking Dead helped propel the studio into the big leagues, but an outdated engine and overreliance on licensed IPs steadily took their toll. Alongside The Wolf Among Us and Batman, Tales from the Borderlands ranks as Telltale's crowning achievement. The stylized visuals compliment Gearbox's cell-shaded FPS, while the humor frequently hits the mark. Nowadays, Tales from the Borderlands can be purchased for next to nothing, and the point-and-click adventure exemplifies the studio at its best.
7 Overrated: Fallout 4
Seeking to outdo its predecessor's mediocrity, Fallout 76 looks poised to mark a new low point in Bethesda's legacy. Whether the move to multiplayer pans out has yet to be decided, but Fallout 4 represented a step in the wrong direction. To be fair, the gunplay improved upon Fallout 3 and New Vegas; however, nobody cares about the combat. A successful Fallout is one that respects player choice and presents a world that feels alive. Visually unimpressive and laced with more holes than a block of Swiss cheese, Fallout 4 runs about as well as a typical entry in the series but lacks the fantastic writing which helped paper over the cracks.
6 Gem: Titanfall 2
A common joke across various gaming subreddits is that there is always a post mounting an argument in favor of Titanfall 2. Loved by critics and fans, Respawn Entertainment produced 2016's best FPS and the public barely noticed. Answering most of the criticisms leveled at 2014's original, Titanfall 2's failure can only be credited to EA's arrogance. Unbelievably, the publisher decided to sandwich this comparatively young property between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Shockingly, these two established franchises ate Titanfall 2 for breakfast, despite Respawn comfortably creating a superior FPS.
5 Overrated: NBA 2K18
2K Games' basketball IP is confusing. Graphically, NBA 2K18 boasts photo-realistic players and regularly borders on stunning; conversely, this is one of the worst optimized games on the Xbox One. Matches are fine, but the menus lag constantly and everything results in a load screen. NBA 2K18 feels like it is held together by scotch tape, and one false move might cause everything to collapse. Who knew a game could be both gorgeous and a mess? Riddled with microtransactions, NBA 2K18 exists solely to test the limits of a fanbase's resignation.
4 Gem: Halo Wars 2
A real-time strategy spin-off based on Microsoft's biggest property, Halo Wars 2 might be the only game of this ilk that plays better on consoles than computers. Veterans of the genre may find the simplistic mechanics to be somewhat lacking, but Halo Wars 2 succeeds as an entry-level RTS designed primarily for a console audience. While there are better RTS titles available to purchase, the majority are not tailor-made for a controller and this shows. Halo Wars 2 is an above-average strategy game, but it is a must-play for Xbox One owners.
3 Overrated: Destiny 2
Destiny needed more than a year to become the product it should have been at launch, and Destiny 2 has yet to replicate the same feat! Greeted with an overwhelming amount of positivity, Bungie's sequel promised to avoid the pitfalls that plagued its antecedent; however, nobody said anything about creating a whole new host of problems! Launching with a lackluster endgame and a laughable story that does the bare minimum, Destiny 2 is such a banal experience. Combat scarcely offers any challenge, and the campaign can be beaten without eliciting even a sliver of effort. Destiny 2 is a game designed to waste time.
2 Gem: Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Single Player)
Strange as it may be to list Halo as a gem, The Master Chief Collection was a PR disaster. Consisting of the four main entries in the series, 343 Industries' collection should have been an easy slamdunk! Halo 5: Guardians left something to be desired, but the appeal of playing through the complete franchise on a single console nearly justifies purchasing an Xbox One. Focusing squarely on the singleplayer, The Master Chief Collection elevated the visuals and audio to extraordinary heights. Crucially, Halo's gameplay has aged marvelously!
1 Overrated: Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Multiplayer)
The singleplayer component survived the transition to the Xbox One, but the multiplayer fared much worse. Nowadays, 343 Industries has solved Halo: The Master Chief Collection's biggest bugs, but that does not excuse the fact Microsoft sold a broken product. Halo: The Master Chief Collection makes Assassin's Creed: Unity seem technically competent, and such a feat should not be feasible. Due to the matchmaking and lobby systems launching in a dilapidated state, many players were simply unable to partake in multiplayer matches. Regardless of personal preference, Halo's online modes are a defining aspect of the brand's appeal.