The previous generation of Microsoft consoles has certainly delivered a bunch of exciting games. From continuations of classic Xbox series like Halo and Gears of War to brand new IPs, Xbox One exclusives were some of the best titles released during the last seven years.

Now that the Xbox Series X/S games are taking the world by storm, it would be the best time to take a look at what games the users of XONE can still play while waiting to get their hands on the newest console from the Redmond giant.

In our list, we will present some of the best Xbox One exclusive games. Well, not exactly –  some of those titles were also released on other consoles and PCs. But their popularity on Xbox One makes them worth mentioning here.

The Best Xbox One Games
GameReleaseGenreDeveloper
Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition (Xbox One) (EU) 2013-11-22 Fighting Double Helix Games, Iron Galaxy
Quantum Break (Xbox One) 2016-09-29 Adventure Remedy Entertainment
Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One) 2014-10-28 Action & Shooter Insomniac Games
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Series X/S, Windows 10) 2020-03-11 Action Moon Studios
Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) 2015-10-27 First-Person 343 Industries
Forza Horizon 4 Standard Edition (Xbox One, Windows 10) 2018-10-02 Racing Playground Games
Gears 5 (Xbox One) 2019-09-10 Action The Coalition / Black Tusk Studios
Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One, Windows 10) 2017-02-21 Action & Shooter Creative Assembly
Crackdown 3 (Xbox One, Windows 10) 2019-02-15 Adventure Sumo Digital
Rare Replay (Xbox One) 2015-08-04 Adventure Rare
Halo Infinite | Campaign (Xbox Series X/S, Windows 10) 2021-12-08 Action 343 Industries
Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition (Xbox One) (US) 2013-11-22 Fighting Double Helix Games, Iron Galaxy

Killer Instinct

Release year:2013
Genre:Fighting
Developer:Double Helix Games (Season 1), Iron Galaxy (Seasons 2 & 3)
Modes:Single-player, multiplayer

This one marked a return of a renowned fighting franchise after seventeen years. In fact, it’s a reboot of the series, even though it keeps some stuff from the 1994 and the 1996 game, respectively.

Just like the originals, the Killer Instinct reboot is all about combos (and C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKERS!!!) or finding an opening so that you can stop your opponent’s combo sequence and try to gain an upper hand.

Expect a wide variety of fighters, twenty different stages and a cinematic Story Mode in addition to a whole array of other modes and features. Killer Instinct is definitely a good pick if you’re looking for a fun fighting game.

Key features
  • It’s all about combos and breaking them
  • Plenty of different fighters to choose from
  • Twenty stages with dynamic environments
  • Both single-player and multiplayer options are available

Quantum Break

Release year:2016
Genre:Action-adventure, first-person shooter
DeveloperQuantic Dream
Modes:Single-player

Quantic Dream delivers yet another innovative title, further blurring the line between a movie and gameplay experience.

Quantum Break takes the player into a not-too-distant future, where time travel has become possible. Jack Joyce and Paul Serene’s misuse of the time machine’s power causes a fracture in a time-space continuum. In order to fix it, Jack will have to travel between timelines and stop Paul, who, driven to insanity by the fracture, believes that the end of time is inevitable.

Quantum Break is the first game from QD to move away from strictly interactive drama mechanics in favor of a classic action-adventure game. The player will still experience a massive story filled with difficult choices, only this time it is told in live-action cutscenes (starring popular actors Shawn Ashmore and Aiden Gillen, among others). The gameplay features of Quantum Break also include various time powers that the protagonist Jack can use, including freezing enemies in time, dashing in for a quick melee takedown, or creating a protective shield. Throughout the game, the player will also use time powers to solve puzzles and collect various items.

Quantum Break was met with positive critical reception, praised for its ambitious use of live-action cutscenes and overall gameplay mechanics.

Key features
  • Fix the tear in the time-space continuum and stop the end of the world
  • Use your powers of temporal manipulation to solve puzzles and fight enemies
  • Experience a plot told from shifting points of view
  • Make pivotal choices that will shape the outcome of the story

Sunset Overdrive

Release year:2014
Genre:Action-adventure, third-person shooter
DeveloperInsomniac Games
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

Insomniac Games, creators of the Ratchet & Clank series, bring you Sunset Overdrive – a unique combination of titles like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Prince of Persia.

The game is set in Sunset City, a dystopian where a greedy megacorp feeds its customers with a mutagenic energy drink, causing them to turn into monsters. The player takes the role of a FizzCo employee who escapes being turned into a mindless mutant. Together with other survivors, they decide to save Sunset City from being overrun by the victims of the OverCharge drink.

Sunset Overdrive features various mechanics that fans of non-stop action will definitely enjoy. Most notably, the game rewards the player for stylish, high-speed disposal of enemies. The player can use grind rails, wall runs, parkour moves in combination with weapons like assault rifles and grenade launchers to defeat the hordes of mutants gaining points for style and speed. The game encourages the player to keep moving, as staying too long on the ground will get them overwhelmed by zombies in no time. Sunset Overdrive features a co-op multiplayer, in which up to 8 players complete various missions.

The critics praised sunset Overdrive for its humoristic tone and frenetic action gameplay.

Key features
  • Explore Sunset City and face the hordes of juiced-up mutants
  • Fight against the hordes of enemies using your agility and speed against them
  • Rack up points for quick and flashy moves.
  • Team up with players online to defend your position from the enemy.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Release year:2020
Genre:Platform-adventure, Metroidvania
DeveloperMoon Studios
ModesSingle-player

Ori and the Blind Forest was one of the biggest gaming surprises of 2015. Built on a solid and demanding gameplay foundation and supported by a moving story of dealing with loss and grief, the game captured the imaginations of the players and the attention of the critics.

Five years later, Moon Studios return to the Nibel Forest, where Ori and his friends had just managed to save the Spirit Tree and prevent a disaster. As Ori tends to Ku, a hatchling owl, the pair becomes separated. Ori follows Ku’s trail, leading him into the forest of Niwen, a place even more dangerous than Ori’s home of Nibel.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps doesn’t change much in the gameplay mechanics of its predecessor. The game still focuses on platforming and exploration of the 2-D levels, unlocking new powers to open new paths, and fighting occasional enemies, Metroidvania-style. New mechanics change the way the game saves – “soul links” are replaced by more traditional autosaves – and the way the player acquires new skills through finding Shards located throughout the game. Will of the Wisps introduced a mode called Spirit Trials, which tests the players’ skill through a timed race to the finish.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps was met with an overwhelmingly positive reception, with the critics once again praising the touching story and entertaining gameplay.

Key features
  • Return to the first of Nibel for a brand new adventure
  • Explore the new area – the Niwen Forest – to find a lost friend
  • Enjoy the classic gameplay mechanics inspired by Metroidvania games
  • Test yourself against other players in the Spirit Trials mode

Halo 5: Guardians

Release year:2015
Genre:First-person shooter
Developer343 Industries
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

Halo 5: Guardians is the fifth core installment of the Halo series, featuring the character of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. In Guardians, Master Chief is the leader of the fireteam Blue, leading an expedition to a derelict space station, the Argent Moon.

As the station is attacked by the Jul’Mdama, a splinter faction of the Alien Covenant, Master Chief receives a message from Cortana, his A.I. companion, presumed to be dead after the events of Halo 4. Disobeying a direct order to return, Master Chief and the Blue Team embark on a mission of their own to locate Cortana.

Halo 5: Guardians doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to gameplay mechanics. The fans of the previous installment of the series will find here all the classic features – fast-paced FPS action, vehicular combat, etc. One of the few new mechanics are the Spartan Abilities, replacing the Armor Abilities from the previous titles. The player can use these special skills in various, context-dependent situations to perform offensive, defensive or evasive maneuvers. The multiplayer component of Halo 5 now lacks the local mode, but the online multiplayer provides enough thrills to make up for it.

Halo 5: Guardians was positively reviewed, with the critics praising the game’s graphics and return to the roots of these series gameplay mechanics.

Key features
  • Experience the new chapter in the Halo saga
  • Explore new planets and face new enemies
  • Use your Spartan Abilities to turn the tide of the encounter
  • Join an online lobby for an intense multiplayer experience

Forza Horizon 4

Release year:2018
Genre:Racing
DeveloperPlayground Games
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

Forza Horizon 4 takes the player to the most charming locations in Great Britain for another round of thrilling races. The game allows the player to sit behind the wheel of over 700 cars, representing brands such as Ford, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bugatti, and others.

The game is set in an open-world map, which features changing weather conditions and different seasons. This opens new possibilities for the player; for example, in winter, the player can drive on a frozen lake. Throughout the game, the player will be able to win various random rewards through Wheelspins for completing different challenges. Wheelspins unlock cars, in-game currency, player avatar clothing, etc.

Forza Horizon 4 was met with a positive critical reception. The reviews praised the graphics of the game and its open-world map, as well as the active weather mechanics, which was considered an important new feature that made the gameplay much more interesting.

Key features
  • Drive the best cars in the world in the most beautiful areas of Northern Britain
  • Experience how the changing weather conditions and seasons influence the map of the world
  • Complete races to unlock new rewards
  • Play against other online drivers in the multiplayer mode

Gears 5

Release year:2019
Genre:Third-person shooter
DeveloperThe Coalition
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

Gears 5 is the sixth installment of one of the quintessential Xbox series developed by Epic Games, handed over to The Coalition.

Gears 5

Gears 5 gives the player a chance to once again fight for the freedom of the world against the alien race of the Locust. This time the story focuses on Kait Diaz, a descendant of the Locust Queen Myrrah, who embarks on a mission to find out about the origins of her race.

Gears 5 features all the mechanics that the fans of the series have grown used to, starting with fast-paced TPS action. The change of protagonist hasn’t dulled the series penchant for brutality – the player will have a chance to shoot, impale and drill through the hordes of opponents using an arsenal of creative firearms. Gears 5 introduced several new weapons, including a souped-up minigun, a stationary railgun, and Hammer of Dawn beacon, which allowed targeting several targets with the orbital cannon. The game introduces new multiplayer modes, including a three-person online and local co-op, with various new match types.

Gears 5 was met with positive critical reception.

Key features
  • Return to the world of Gears of War and take on the Locust Horde one more time
  • Play as Kait Diaz and discover her connection to the Locust race
  • Use an arsenal of deadly weapons, including brand new tools of destruction
  • Enter the game with friends in three-person co-op multiplayer

Halo Wars 2

Release year:2017
Genre:Real-time strategy
Developer343 Industries, Creative Assembly
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

Halo Wars 2 is the sequel to the real-time strategy set in the world of Halo, developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly. The story of Halo Wars 2 takes place nearly three decades after the vents of the original game.

The war with the Covenant has ended, and the crew of the Spirit of Fire is thought to be lost in space. The ship crashes on the Ark, an installation capable of creating Halos, currently under the control of the Banished faction, led by general Atriox. Unwilling to let the Covenant gain control of the Ark, the Spirit of Fire crew declares battle to the Banished.

Halo Wars 2’s mechanics aren’t significantly different from those in the original game. The player controls the units on the map, exploring areas surrounding their bass of operation in search of resources and encountering enemy units. The combat in HW 2 occurs in a rock-paper-scissors fashion, with certain unit types having an advantage over others. While in the campaign mode, the only playable faction are the UNSC; in multiplayer modes, the player can also control the Banished, who possess their own unique units. Halo Wars 2 received positive reviews and was praised for its gameplay mechanics and for being accessible to the newcomers in the RTS genre.

Key features
  • Defend the Ark from the Covenant forces
  • Explore the surroundings in search of resources to expand your base of operations
  • Engage the enemy units in a “rock-paper-scissors” combat system
  • Enter the multiplayer mode and fight against players online

Crackdown 3

Release year:2015
Genre:Action-adventure
DeveloperSumo Digital
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

The original Crackdown was one of the first big games released on Xbox 360. It featured action-packed open-world gameplay, in which the player could feel like a superhero, jumping from building to building and fighting enemies.

The third installment of the series takes place in the city of New Providence. The player is tasked with taking down the branches of TerraNova, controlling different parts of the city.

The gameplay features of Crackdown 3 remain mostly unchanged, so the players who had enjoyed the previous installments of the series will feel right at home with this one. The player can explore the open-world environment of New Providence, completing missions against the head honchos of TerraNova. The game rewards the mayhem the player causes along the way with orbs, which can be spent on upgrading various skills – combat, agility, driving, etc. The game features a multiplayer mode, in which players can work together in clearing the campaign or enjoy the free-roaming possibilities in the Keys to the City mode.

Crackdown 3 was met with solid critical reception, who noted that while it doesn’t introduce any significant changes to the series, the game still delivers on the entertainment factor.

Key features
  • Welcome to New Providence – time to take down an evil corporation!
  • Experience the classic Crackdown gameplay, blending free-roam exploration and combat
  • Collect orbs and increase your skills to take on bigger challenges
  • Team up with other players in a co-op multiplayer mode bring down TerraNova together

Rare Replay

Release year:2015
Genre:Compilation
DeveloperRare
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

Rare Replay is not a game. Well, not a single game, anyway. It’s a compilation of the best games released throughout the 30 years of the developer’s presence on the market. If you’re a fan of retro gaming, then this title is just for you!

The compilation includes many of the games the fans of Rare are familiar with, emulated to play on the new generation consoles. These include the likes of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and other classics from Rare’s vault. The games emulated from older devices, such as N64 or ZX Spectrum, retain various features of these machines making Rare Replay a real blast from the past for the gaming veterans and for younger players – an interesting look at how things used to be.

Rare Replay was received well by the critics, who praised the effort put by Rare into packaging their best games into one compilation but lamented the absence of various classic games like Donkey Kong and Goldeneye 007.

Key features
  • Experience the blast from the past in the form of the classic Rare titles
  • Enjoy such classic titles as Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie
  • Relive your childhood thanks to the effects of emulated consoles included in the compilation

Halo Infinite

Release year:2021
Genre:First-person shooter
Developer343 Industries
ModesSingle-player, multiplayer

The latest installment in the Halo franchise, Infinite once again puts you in the shoes of Master Chief. This time he battles the Banished on Zeta Halo (AKA Installation 07).

One of the most interesting features of the single-player campaign is its semi open-world structure. You can explore various parts of Zeta Halo as you see fit, capture bases which then serve as fast-travel points, destroy enemy propaganda towers, rescue Marine squads, eliminate high-value targets, unlock more powerful weapons and vehicles, etc. Naturally, there are also traditional linear missions which progress the story.

The multiplayer component of Halo Infinite is free to play. There are several modes available, including Big Team Battles for up to twenty four players. All in all, it’s a fun Halo game, considered a return to the series’ form.

Key features
  • Explore Installation 07 and face the Banished, trying to use its power for their own gain
  • Experience the classic Halo gameplay in never-before-seen quality
  • Play as Master Chief in his most personal battle yet

And there you have it, folks: 11 exclusive Xbox One games that you definitely should play – if you own Xbox one, that is. Our list covers various titles and genres – from action-adventure, through first-person shooters, to real-time strategies. Each of these games has something unique to offer, be that enthralling story, exciting gameplay, or stunning graphics. We hope that our list gave you an idea of what sort of games Xbox One has to offer and that you’ll be able to spend pleasant hours playing them.