Best Xbox One Games To Play Right Now!
A stand out both for the horror genre and the Aliens property, Alien Isolation came out of left field. A first-person adventure from a team near synonymous with real time strategy? A really, genuinely good licensed game? Who could have predicted this?
Alien Isolation isn’t a shooter – it’s a stealth game, and an unusual one in that the Alien AI is very hard to predict. Although it ruffled the feathers of those who like to “win” games by playing the system, for those in it for the atmosphere nothing beats the dread of having no clue where the creature might pop up next, or if it’ll sniff you out this time.
After the clumsy release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, Syndicate jettisons a lot of the fluff that muddies Ubisoft’s action adventure series and goes back to basics. Almost.
It’s helped by having two protagonists explore London, both with different approaches to goals. The environment feels fresher too, with roaming gangs and other ne’er do wells colouring the Big Smoke. If you do opt for Syndicate, we highly recommend getting the Jack the Ripper DLC too. It’s horrific, gripping and probably the best expansion the franchise has seen to date.
Of all the remasters on the market, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is perhaps the most welcome. The compulsive, near endless delights of the Borderlands formula are otherwise not available on new-gen consoles, and The Handsome Collection presents pretty terrific value for money by bundling up the absolute lashings of DLC released for Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
If you’ve never tried Borderlands then you’re in for a treat at a discount ticket price. If you missed The Pre-Sequel due to its late launch last generation then this is the best way to get back on board the series at one of its highest points. And if you’re a diehard fan you already own and love this, because you know all too well that there’s always time for another Borderlands playthrough.
This really is the definitive Batman game and it feels like it’s taken a long time to get here. Not to take anything away from Rocksteady’s previous (great) efforts, but Arkham Knight is not only the end of their trilogy but also the pinnacle of the studio’s work to date.
Gotham is alive and seedy, the Batmobile is a tank, the rogue’s gallery of villains is dripping with hatred and menace. And you are the Batman; conflicted, committed, lethal. Quite possibly the best superhero fantasy committed to games.
Microsoft and Activision were the industry’s power couple last generation. Drawing on the immense power of the Call of Duty brand and massive multiplayer appetite of Xbox gamers, they conspired to make Xbox the best place to play the annual juggernaut.
Those days are over, but Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Sledgehammer’s debut, was a hell of way to go out. Accepting and refining current shooter trends for agile movement and gadgetry, Advanced Warfare was, as ever, the multiplayer event of the year – and remains one of the best multiplayer shooters, full stop. Your personal preference may be for earlier titles like Black Ops 2, but of the two Call of Duty games available on Xbox One we find Advanced Warfare preferable to Ghosts.
Dancing games are great, we don’t care what anybody says. Lock your housemates outside, close all the blinds, check for hidden spy cams and just have a nice time while getting some useful aerobic exercise.
Dance Central Spotlight is the first in the Harmonix series for Xbox One, making use of the bundled Kinect. It works a little better than most Kinect games, and although it’s still a bit patchy the on-screen camera feedback is a lot more useful than games that use controllers. Even with a slimmed-down music library, Dance Central Spotlight is a heck of a good time.
One of the most welcome remasters so far, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gives the old girl a good polish up and throws in a bunch of breathtakingly challenging DLC to boot. It’s the best version of Dark Souls 2.
It’s also the only From Software RPG available on Xbox One, of course, and therefore the hardest game on the console. That alone makes it well worth a look, if white-knuckled action and adamantly obtuse gameplay systems are your things. Achievement hunting this one is something to boast about.
A somewhat surprising inclusion, and not one we would have predicted back when TechLand parted ways with Dead Island and Deep Silver to make a new kind of zombie sandbox. A much less silly take on the zombie apocalypse, Dying Light is filled with moments of genuine horror, but it’s the process of levelling up and upgrading equipment that makes it so compelling. Every venture in the dark brings risk and reward – and the opportunity to return with an enormous automatic weapon and take revenge on the scary monsters. Take advantage of the new parkour system to explore the open world in every direction.
Old-fashioned and a little ugly, but still so damn essential. Fallout 4 has faults and it doesn’t look very pretty, but it’s an open world ripe for exploring, for building, for creating and surviving.
You can craft weapons and gear or scavenge whatever you find. You can follow the story or go your own way. There’s so much packed into Bethesda’s Boston Commonwealth it will keep you busy for months on end. From romancing companions to butchering whole factions, it’s never dull, often hyper-violent, funny and life-consuming.
Possibly the best traditional shooter of the generation so far, Far Cry 4 pops you down in an oven world with a toolkit full of deadly devices and a zillion things to do. Whether you go in stealthy with bow, silenced rifle and knife or strap C4 to an elephant and run into it in a car covered in land mines, you feel like a total badass – until you are savaged to death by a honey badger.
It’s pretty much Far Cry 3, but even more gorgeous and over the top. The mysticism-fuelled visits to Shangri-La don’t quite live up to the drug trips of its precursor, and Pagan Min is no Vaas, but on the other hand the charismatic villain doesn’t bugger off while you still have half the game in front of you and Far Cry 3 doesn’t let you fight alongside a tiger buddy, so.
Sorry, PES – FIFA is the best football series. If you want to play virtual soccer, FIFA is the place to do it. Of the two games available on Xbox One so far FIFA 16 is the superior offering, although as is the nature of annual sports games that may be because it has the most up-to-date roster; we won’t really see the franchise shine on new-gen until we ditch the old set of hardware completely. That’ll probably be in 2024, when the next-generation starts, given how recently we were getting a PS2 version (FIFA 13).
If you’ve been away from FIFA for a few years you may not be aware that the actual sim itself has been somewhat upstaged by FIFA Ultimate Team. There’s a whole new world of fanatical obsession awaiting you.
The Forza series isn’t the current champion of the vanilla racing league, but it easily beats all comers in the glorious future of connected open world racers. Putting all those assets and weather effects normally constrained to the narrow view around tracks to good work, Microsoft built a European playground it is a genuine pleasure to explore.
As with every game of this kind – whether you’re a driver, a knight errant or a space marine – the compulsive need to do it all, collect everything and fill up your progress bars soon comes to dominate, although the sheer joy of racing and an urge to climb leaderboards certainly help. Drivatars make a lot of sense here, too.
A small scuffle broke out in the VG247 offices over which of the recent Telltale Games series was the most worthy of gracing this list, with the mass appeal of HBO’s phenomenal adaptation of Game of Thrones just edging out Tales from the Borderlands – especially as later episodes have improved over the plateau of the second.
Game of Thrones features the vocal talents of the stars of the show and an oil painting aesthetic that does wonders for its uncanny valley recreations of your favourite characters. It’s unforgivingly harsh, with every agonising choice seeming to lead to disaster. Just how George R.R. Martin likes it; perhaps the game’s finest accomplishment is feeling so much a part of the Game of Thrones universe.
There’s no question of leaving GTA 5 off any best of list, even though it did launch last generation. You’d never guess it; Rockstar’s done an uncannily good job of brushing up its already astounding tech for newer hardware.
What can be said about the juggernaut of our times? Should we highlight the multiplayer suite that provides endless hours of dicking about and fantasy fulfilment? The sprawling campaign with its multiple playable characters and on-the-fly character switching? The sheer pleasure of cruising the streets of faux-LA with no purpose in mind at all? There’s a reason everyone and his dog played GTA 5, and you should, too.
Master Chief still isn’t quite back up to form, but Halo 5 tries so hard it’s easy to forgive its weaknesses. The campaign and accompanying story aren’t the events Microsoft wanted them to be. Fortunately, the online multiplayer is where the meat of the game is at.
Arena Mode is the classic Halo of old, but Warzone is where 343 Industries has successfully shaken up the formula. Influenced by MOBAs, you fight AI and other players, both adding points to your team total. It’s here that you get to play multiplayer first-person shooters differently, and the result is fresh and exciting, backed by the familiarity of the giant Spartans and friends.
Lego Dimensions is expensive. Let’s get that out the way first. But it’s easily the best toys-to-life game out there, and the best Lego minifigures game in a portfolio full of quality competition.
The portal is an extra controller, asking players to build real-life Lego models, and that’s all very cool. But the real pull here is the freedom of not being stuck with one theme. Dimensions is where The Simpsons meet Dr Who meets Scooby Doo meets Portal, Ninjago, DC Comics, Back to the Future and more. It’s not a clumsy mash-up, it’s a genuinely hilarious game that isn’t just for kids, but for families as a whole. It’s as essential in a family home as Monopoly and a Sunday roast.
A challenger to Telltale’s hold on the episodic adventure crown, Life is Strange boasts a much more dynamic approach to the formula – not to mention a much less buggy and stiff engine underpinning Dontnod’s efforts. Subverting the consequential choice trope with a time reversal mechanic, offering clearly defined borders and puzzles more involved than “click on the thing”, Life is Strange outshines its rivals in the space.
But it’s the atmosphere that really gets us, tugging at a deep-rooted nostalgia for adolescence – or perhaps just for the media that celebrates it. Max and Chloe’s creators may not have got the hang of natural-sounding teenage dialogue, but they nailed the rest of it.
Despite the post-launch fallout that has seen visionary creator Hideo Kojima leave his baby behind, The Phantom Pain is still a fantastic game – one of the very best on this generation of consoles.
That’s because it’s a bizarre and unique, hilarious, violent, exhilarating stealth sandbox. It offers an almost overwhelming amount of choice to tackle missions, and throws out a bunch of boring stealth cliches we’ve become numb to over the years. The story is uncharacteristic in that it’s subdued, but the meta game of building Motherbase will keep you busy for months. The only downside is that we’re pretty sure there will never be another game like Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
The phenomenon that is Minecraft is found on every platform, but it was the Xbox 360 version that really blew the roof off. It has since been supplanted by its new-gen cousin, chiefly because Mojang and 4J kindly put in the extra work needed to make it possible to import your existing worlds. The enormous Minecraft player base has very little reason not to upgrade to the newer version, with its larger worlds and more bells and whistles.
Xbox has always been the home of console Minecraft, and now that Microsoft owns Mojang we only expect that to become more pronounced.
The slickest fighter of the generation, Mortal Kombat X does a great deal more than just turn the franchise’s trademark gore up to 11 – although that definitely happens.
Perhaps the most interesting new addition (besides Johnny Cage and Sonya’s daughter, a baffling development to a plot already stretched thin to breaking) is the addition of multiple fighting styles for each character. Essentially expanding the roster of fighters, the ability to select different approaches with a single character means you can never quite be sure what you’re facing until the action kicks off, complicating the meta and putting the emphasis back on emphasis and on-the-fly tactics rather than tried-and-tested strategies.
Microsoft is very proud of first-party fighter Killer Instinct, but despite Rare’s legacy it’s not quite on Mortal Kombat’s level, is it? No competition.
Okay, yes, it will always be remembered for hilarious face scan errors, but NBA 2K15 is the best basketball game of the generation. The love Visual Concepts has poured into the new-gen versions of its annual basketball series is more than obvious in the plethora of graphical and physics flourishes.
NBA 2K is one of the best-selling games of the year every year for a good reason. With the exception of football, skewed by the Euro contingent, Xbox is where sports fandom is most concentrated, and where the multiplayer side on NBA 2K really shines.
The scariest game on PS4 now that Silent Hills teaser P.T. has been pulled, Outlast is a mostly combat-free survival horror in which running and stealth are your only defence. You think you’ve seen enough spooky abandoned psychiatric hospitals in your time to be immune to the horrors of a new one, but you are wrong.
A more polished effort than Zombie’s Daylight, Outlast is memorably terrifying. The plot and events are absolute nonsense, but you won’t care, because you’ll be shitting yourself. Highly recommended, except for pregnant women and people with heart conditions.
Hands down the best racing game on any platform – something Sony and Microsoft ought to be worried about, given they both front big first-party exclusives in the genre.
Project CARS isn’t everything we hoped for from the crowd-funded and crowd-sourced racer (the rest of the roadmap appears to have been earmarked for the sequel) but even if it didn’t live up to Slightly Mad’s wholly insane ambition, it’s incredible. Nothing else looks this good, handles this well, or provides you with as much customisation of your experience.
A finely crafted single-player adventure, with our intrepid Lara going back to her roots; exploration and scrappy fighting across beautiful vistas and wild terrain.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is a true return to form for Croft, but also a technical marvel. Crystal Dynamics’ skill when making this game cannot be underestimated: Lara bangs against walls and stumbles through the light, grips to the highest of ledges with only death below, and kills with precision when the situation requires it. And there’s genuine adventure here, where puzzles need to be solved and treasures found. If you grew bored of Tomb Raider a long time ago, you’ll find this a more than welcome return to form.
If Arkham Knight is the best Batman experience you’ll find on consoles today then Battlefront is the Star Wars equivalent.
Despite coming from DICE it has no intention of being another Battlefield. This is about accessibility and that 30-second combat loop. You die, respawn, kill and die again. DICE has nailed it. Add to that all the Star Wars fan service you could ask for – 40-player Empire versus Rebels showdowns on Hoth! – and it’s a whip-crack fast shooter dressed in the best pop culture clothes you could ask for.
Remember Watch Dogs? One of the most exciting properties of the brand new generation, it couldn’t quite live up to its own hype. Then again, what could? Anticipation for a new Ubisoft open world was absolutely sky high, and the publisher would have had to ship Watch Dogs with a second console to strap to the first one in order to power the over-promised vision many of us expected to turn up with new hardware.
This disappointment aside, Watch Dogs is a great big open world Ubisoft game with tons of content, pretty graphics and cars instead of horses. It’s everything the modern gamer wants, apparently.
The winner of the all-star 2015 open world championship, The Witcher 3 beat all who came before it and has set a bar for every game to follow. Nobody but CD Projekt RED has produced such a large world of such incredible detail, nor found a way to populate it with things people actually want to do, as opposed to collectibles.
There are hundreds of hours of things to do in The Witcher 3 and all of them revolve around a central narrative studded with moments of high-tension drama, political intrigue and genuine human warmth. Geralt’s adventures may be drawing to a close with this one, but he’s going out in better form than ever before.
We won’t lie: this one took us by surprise. Despite Bethesda’s cautious approach to publishing, we didn’t really expect farming iD Software’s venerable properties out to other studios to pay dividends, and we were utterly wrong.
Machine Games crafted an absolutely superb old-school linear shooter, resisting the temptation to shoehorn in an unnecessary multiplayer mode or network features or RPG systems or an enormous cluttered open world. In doing so it uncovered a treasure trove of fun that has been obscured by the guff of modern gaming, and we will always be grateful. Not sure why sequel The Old Blood sank without a trace, to be honest, but this one is superior.
Via – vg247
#Best Xbox One Games To Play Right Now!