As the sun is setting on the eighth generation of consoles, it’s time to take a look back at the best games released on one of its most prominent representatives – Xbox One. As the first eighth-gen console available on the market, Microsoft’s device quickly won the heart of players, showing them what to expect in terms of visuals, gameplay, and entertainment.

Today, we’ll look at what we feel like were the best titles released on Xbox One. Here you’ll find the most popular cross-platform titles, must-have exclusives, and iconic indies. From our list of the best Xbox One games of all time, you’ll be able to find out which titles to check out before switching to Xbox Series X/S.

Final Fantasy XV

Release year:2018-03-06
Developer:Square Enix Business Division 2

If you’re looking for an unusual action role-playing game, you most likely won’t find anything better than Final Fantasy XV. Over-the-top and packed with outright absurd stuff, it boasts a world that blends real-world inspirations with the fantastical.

Set on the world of Eos, FFXV puts you in the shoes of Noctis Lucis Caleum – Noct for short – who, as an heir to the Lucian throne, must embark on a quest to reclaim the magical Crystal stolen by the empire of Niflheim. Thankfully, a bunch of his friends tag along, which is nice.

During the campaign, you roam the open-world kingdom of Lucis, either on foot or traveling by a car named Regalia. There are chocobos in here as well. Combat is in real time this time around, which further differentiates this entry in the FF series from its predecessors. All in all, it’s a fantastic adventure and one of the best games available on Xbox One.

Key features
  • A unique world to explore freely
  • Real-time combat
  • Fantastic visuals
  • There are some expansions that you can get, too

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Release year:2015-09-01
Developer:Kojima Productions

Ah yes, this was a glorious moment for the legendary stealth game series. MGS V rocked the gaming world with its open-world gameplay and an incredible degree of freedom given to the players.

You play as Venom Snake, a member of Diamond Dogs who embarks on various missions to track down the people responsible for destroying Militaires Sans Frontières. In general, you are free to choose your approach. You have a wide variety of gadgets, weapons and companions at your disposal and while the game encourages you not to kill anyone, you can adopt an aggressive stance, too.

There’s also some base building in here as well, as you can upgrade your HG, the Mother Base, in various ways. All in all, it’s a complex title that gives you plenty of ways to tackle your objectives. Be sure to get it if you love more tactical stuff.

Key features
  • Myriads of ways to get the job done and complete your mission
  • A multitude of weapons and gadgets
  • There’s even some base building in here, too
  • One of the best stealth games of all time


Release year:2017-09-29
Developer:Studio MDHR

What a loving tribute to the golden age of American animation this is! Cuphead looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. Audiovisuals aside, it’s a great game in its own right.

Story-wise, the game is about the titular character, Cuphead, and his brother – two anthropomorphic cups on a quest to get the souls of the Devil’s runaway debtors. This is a reminder to never deal with the Devil. Gameplay-wise, it’s a mixture of continuous boss fights mixed with run and gun segments.

This isn’t a game for the faint of heart, as its difficulty is punishing. Yup, despite its cutesy exterior, it’s one of the toughest titles to beat in the history of gaming. Still, if you’re undeterred, be sure to check it out, even if just for its animation and soundtrack.

Key features
  • Wonderful visuals which are a perfect tribute to the golden age of American animation
  • Phenomenal soundtrack
  • Punishing difficulty
  • Co-op mode for two players

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Release year:2019-03-22

Speaking of difficult games, Sekiro is something you should consider if you’re looking for something challenging, but in a fair way. Yeah, it’s one of those titles which make you kind of want to eat your keyboard, but then try beating whoever you’re trying to beat again.

Here you play as a ninja named Wolf who seeks revenge against a samurai clan responsible for imprisoning him and kidnapping his lord. And since you’re a ninja, this means employing a lot of stealth, which is worth it, because if you surprise an enemy, you can take them out easily instead of being involved in a lengthy and difficult battle (this only works on certain types of foes, though).

Even combat is a bit different here – instead of reducing the enemy health bar to 0, you need to use your katana in order to throw the opponent off balance and finish them off with a killing blow once there’s an opening. So, if you’re looking for a Souls-like that’s totally not Souls-like, grab Sekiro now.

Key features
  • Stealth is encouraged here, as you can eliminate some enemies without having to face them in direct combat
  • It’s difficult, but fair
  • That doesn’t mean you won’t want to trash your keyboard, though
  • A Souls-like different from other Souls-likes

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release year:2019-11-05
Developer:Rockstar Games

While you might dismiss RDR2 as GTA with cowboys and horses (not that there are any reasons to do so), it’s so much more than that. In fact, this one proves that video games are just as legit as an art form as any other, for that matter.

Set in the late 19th century, Red Dead Redemption 2 puts you in the shoes of an outlaw named Arthur Morgan who takes on various missions in what is a fictionalized take on the United States. The open-world environment of the game is staggeringly complex, full of characters you can interact with, collectibles to find, random events to witness and participate in, baddies to shoot, mini-games to play, and so on.

Traditional Western stuff like shootouts, robberies and horse riding are present here as well. It’s a phenomenal game and a phenomenal story to experience. If you’re looking for an action-adventure title with a complex narrative that gives you a lot to think about, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of your best bets.

Key features
  • Five fictional US states to explore
  • Both good and bad deeds are possible thanks to the Honor system
  • Plenty of missions to complete and side activities to participate in
  • An amazingly complex open world

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Release year:2016-10-11
Developer:Crystal Dynamics

After the harrowing ordeal on Yamatai, Lara Croft decides to dedicate her time to following in her father’s archaeological footsteps.

Researching the late Lord Croft’s notes leads her on the trail of a lost city of Kitezh, and a mystical Relic said to have healing properties. Together with her friend Jonah, Lara travels into the Siberian tundra to find the treasure that her father was obsessed with.

However, she isn’t the only one tracking the Relic. A mysterious cult known as the Trinity is also interested in its power, and they will stop at nothing to get it. Thus begins the race in which the stake isn’t only archaeological glory but the fate of the world.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a really controversial title to begin our list with. Not because of its story or gameplay features, but because of how it was released to the world. For a year, the sequel to 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot was an Xbox One timed exclusive, meaning that only the owners of Microsoft’s console could enjoy the next installment of Lara Croft’s adventures. This drew the ire of many gamers, especially those partial to PlayStation 4. Seeing the eight-gen’s visual wonders and excellent gameplay, which expanded on the previous installment’s combination of combat, stealth, platforming, and puzzle-solving mechanics, could make a person jealous.

Key features
  • Explore the frozen tundra to find the lost city and the treasure within
  • Expand your survival and combat skills to face the fierce nature and deadly enemies
  • Locate resources to craft necessary items, like health kits, ammunition, and weapon upgrades
  • Locate and solve the puzzle tombs to unlock their secrets

Ori and the Blind Forest

Release year:2016-04-27
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Moon Studios

Ori, a newborn guardian of the Nibel forest, fell out of his nest during a storm. He was later found by Naru, a kind creature who looked after Ori as if he was her own child.

During Ori’s absence as guardian, a cataclysm causes the forest to wither. Many creatures suffer from the terrible event, including Naru, who dies of starvation. Left alone in the dying forest, Ori must embrace his destiny as its guardian and stop the cataclysm from annihilating it.

Developed by Moon Studios, Ori and the Blind Forest is a peak example of how Xbox One embraced not only AAA titles but smaller indie games. Visually stunning, OatBF draws inspiration from various Metroidvania-type games. The player explores the 2D environment, defeating enemies, solving puzzles, and unlocking new powers that clear new paths for Ori to travel.

The game is known for its demanding difficulty – fights and platforming segments aren’t easy, and save points are few and far between. If you want to experience a gripping tale and solid Metroidvania-style gameplay, then Ori and the Blind Forest is a game just for you.

Key features
  • Explore the Nibel forest and find the cause of the cataclysm that’s destroying it
  • Fight enemies and traverse 2D platform levels to reach your goal
  • Unlock new powers and discover new paths to travel
  • Enjoy the demanding, Metroidvania-style gameplay mechanics

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release year:2015-05-18

Geralt of Rivia is a member of an order of monster hunters known as the Witchers. When his protege and adopted daughter Ciri becomes a target of a mysterious group known as the Wild Hunt, Geralt embarks on a quest to find and protect the girl.

Along his travels through the fantastical land of the Continent, he will meet various friends and foes, including his lover, sorceress Yennefer, and wandering bard Dandelion.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was definitely one of the most ambitious projects from the Polish studio CD Projekt RED. Gameplay-wise, Witcher 3 could be considered a traditional action-RPG, with the player fighting monsters and other enemies to level up Geralt’s skills. But the excellent writing and the open world filled to the brim with content made the third installment of the Witcher saga much more than that.

The game was filled with sidequests, optional activities, and minigames. The card game Gwent was especially popular among the players, so much so that it has received its own dedicated game. Such is the power of the world created by the author Andrzej Sapkowski and the creative touch of the developers at CDPR.

Key features
  • Return to the Continent for one last ride as the Witcher
  • Enjoy a gripping story based on the writings of Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Embrace the action-RPG gameplay mechanics of the game
  • Explore the open-world environment and find out all of its secrets

Sunset Overdrive

Release year:2014-10-28
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Insomniac Games

In Sunset City, a megacorporation FizzCo is preparing to launch its new product – an energy drink called OverCharge Delirium XT, or OverCharge for short.

Due to time pressure and greed, the corporation skipped health and safety protocols and tests, offering the drink to the citizens during a pre-release night sale. As it turns out, OverCharge is so toxic it turns all those who drink it into mindless mutants.

Fearing the consequences of spreading the plague further, FizzCo quarantines the city. The protagonist, one of the few not affected by OverCharge’s effects, joins their fellow survivors in order to stop the outbreak and put an end to the corporation’s plans.

Insomniac Games are no amateurs when it comes to games with crazy premises and even crazier gameplay. One should only take a look at one of their most prominent series – Ratchet&Clank. While the Lombax and robot duo are mascots of the competition at Sony, Sunset Overdrive is an Xbox One exclusive. The game takes no prisoners when it comes to intense gameplay, which involves fast-paced traversal and combat using a variety of upgradeable weapons. SO offers a co-op multiplayer mode, in which the players team up to complete various objectives. Sunset Overdrive is an excellent title for those who want to experience a supercharged, intense thrill ride.

Key features
  • Welcome to Sunset City, currently taken over by gangs and mutants
  • Create your character and send them on a mission to save the city from a greedy corporation
  • Enjoy the fast-paced gameplay in which speed is everything
  • Team up with other players in a co-op multiplayer and complete cray objectives

Sea of Thieves

Release year:2018-03-20

Being an 18th-century seafarer was not an easy job. Out of many legal professions offered to those who longed for the adventure at high seas, only captaining a merchant’s vessel or privateering yielded any decent coin.

Those two took it upon themselves to trace through open seas had to be aware of the threats that awaited them in the uncharted locations, with bloodthirsty pirates being the most fearsome of them. It took men of true courage to explore the seas carry out their mission, and fend off any opposition.

Sea of Thieves represents an increasingly popular genre of co-op multiplayer games that really emphasize cooperation. It’s also quite possibly one of the best pirate-themed games available on the market.

While the player doesn’t play as a pirate per se (the choice of factions includes merchants, privateers, and treasure hunters), many of the adventures the player will have in the procedurally generated world will involve the titular sea thieves. Fending them off and carrying out the task will require cooperation between all the members of the crew, each controlled by the player online. Sea of Thieves is a perfect game for the fans of high-sea adventures and those who enjoy decent multiplayer games.

Key features
  • Join one of the factions and carry out missions ranging from delivering precious cargo to searching for lost treasures
  • experience the thrill of seafaring while exploring the procedurally-generated open-world map
  • Choose the type of ship you want to captain and take it to the open sea
  • Work together with your crewmates to carry out the missions without a hitch and defend your vessel from pirates

Rare Replay

Release year:2015-08-04

This Xbox One exclusive is a perfect game for all those who want to relive their childhoods. Rare Replay is a compilation of thirty video games developed by Rare, the studio behind such titles as Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

In Rare Replay, the players will be able to experience the retro thrills of playing these games and many more, sending them tight back to the 80s and 90s when arcade machines and early consoles rued the gaming world.

Due to most of the games in Rare Replay being old-school classics released on such ancient consoles as ZX Spectrum, the player might experience various idiosyncrasies characteristic of these devices. However, the developers ensured that none of them interfered with the experience of going back into the past and playing the absolute classic titles from Rare’s library. Rare Replay is a game for all the retro connoisseurs out there and players who want to feel young again.

Key features
  • Experience the 25 years of games developed by Rare
  • Play 30 of the classic titles representing various genres
  • Relive the golden days of arcade and early console gaming

Grand Theft Auto V

Release year:2015-04-14
Developer:Rockstar North

Michael de Santa, Franklin Clinton, and Trevor Phillips – three criminals meet in sunny Los Santos to carry out the jobs of their lives.

Each of them has their own goal in mind. Michael, a former bank robber who took a deal with the feds, wants to relive his glory days. Franklin dreams of leaving the dead-end repo gigs behind and tasting that 1% life. Trevor, Michael’s former partner in crime, dreams of expanding his drug business and exacting vengeance on the friend who betrayed him. All three are the playable characters of Grand Theft Auto V, possibly the biggest game in the series.

Three playable characters, each with different skills the player can use, are not the only novelty in the latest installment of Rockstar’s open-world series. The game boasts a huge map with a staggering amount of content. Side-quests, optional activities, various types of races, hundreds of collectibles – these are only a few things the player will get to do in Los Santos and surrounding areas. Another feature that will surely engage the players for hours is the GTA Online multiplayer mode, filled with even more crazy shenanigans than the core game.

Key features
  • Explore the city of Los Santos and the surrounding Blaine County
  • Play through the story of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor
  • Participate in the astounding amount of optional content
  • Enjoy the chaos of the GTA Online multiplayer mode

Forza Horizon 4

Release year:2018-10-02
Developer:Playground Games

Forza Horizon 4 takes the player into the British countryside, where they can drive some of the best cars in the world in an open-world environment.

The game features faithfully recreated, albeit compressed, regions of Cotswolds, Lake District, and the city of Edinburgh. There the players will enjoy an assortment of activities, from driving around and taking in the sights to creating their own race routes.

Forza Horizon 4 introduces a variety of new mechanics. Most of them are connected with the weather simulation system, which recreates the conditions the player will encounter in real life during different seasons. For example, lakes will freeze over during winter allowing the player to drive on their surface.

The game features over 750 cars that the player can drive, including brands like Aston Martin, Bugatti, Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche, and many more. The cars can be purchased for the in-game currency or won during Wheelspins, a feature transferred from Forza Motorsport 7. Play Forza Horizon 4 and experience the thrill of driving the world’s fastest cars in Great Britain’s most wondrous regions.

Key features
  • Drive over 750 cars from the world’s most popular brands
  • Experience the peaceful countryside of northern Great Britain
  • Create your own tracks or take on the in-game routes
  • See the weather influence the world around you

Gears 5

Release year:2019-09-10
Developer:The Coalition

After the events of Gears of War 4, J.D. and Marcus Fenix, Del Walker, and Kait Diaz are reinstated as members of the COG.

Their new mission is to restart the Hammer of Dawn orbital network in order to provide assistance in the war against the Locust. Kait, a descendant of the Locust Queen Myrrha, has a mission of her own – find out about the origins of her race and end the seemingly endless war between the Locust Horde and the human race.

Gears 5 offers more of what the fans of GoW have grown used to – high-octane action involving lots of shooting and ducking behind covers. The game’s playable character is Kait Diaz, but the shift from a burly male protagonist to a slightly less burly female protagonist doesn’t change much in the gameplay features.

The multiplayer component of the game is a novelty, offering both online and split-screen co-op. The player will be able to try out various modes, including a brand new Escape mode, in which the players’ team must fight through the Horde’s goons in order to escape an imminent gas explosion.

Key features
  • Follow the reformed Delta Squad on their next mission against the Locust Horde.
  • Discover the origin of the alien race and their connection to the protagonist Kait Diaz
  • Enjoy the classic Gears of War gameplay.
  • Join the co-op multiplayer and take on the Locust in its various modes

Halo 5: Guardians

Release year:2015-10-27
Developer:343 Industries

After the events of Halo 4, the rogue AI Cortana is believed to be destroyed.

But when a team lead by Master Chief receives a message from her, they decide to ignore orders to return and follow the trail they believed will lead them to Master Chiefs’ lost friend. Meanwhile, Dr. Halsey, the creator of the SPARTAN program, warns the UNSC of the Covenant’s splinter faction planning an imminent attack. With a rogue AI on the loose and Covenant schemes yet unknown, Master Chief embarks on his most difficult mission yet.

Halo 5: Guardians is the latest installment of the long-running series of first-person shooters. The player once again controls Master Chief, an armor-clad supersoldier, fighting in a continuing war against the Alien Covenant. Halo 5 introduces few changes to the overall formula, with the main one being the introduction of Spartan Abilities in place of Armor Abilities. The context-based actions increase the player’s agility, attack, and defense.

Another novelty is the team of SPARTANs accompanying Master Chief at all times. They can be given simple orders by pressing the button on the Xbox controller. As per the series tradition, Halo 5: Guardians features an online multiplayer, where players can control the Master Chief’s team members during the campaign or participate in various multiplayer modes.

Key features
  • Experience the next chapter of the war against the Covenant
  • Play as Master Chief and follow the trail left by Cortana in an epic story campaign
  • Say hello to the members of your squad and give them orders throughout the game
  • Enter the cooperative and competitive modes of Halo 5 multiplayer