If you have just been given an Xbox One for Christmas, or are going to pick one up in January – congratulations! If you were previously an Xbox 360 owner, or a Playstation user, a Nintendo player, or even if this is your very first console, all are welcome on Xbox. The first thing we recommend before anything else is getting an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Xbox Live is great for two reasons. First of all, it allows you to play online multiplayer. If you don’t have Gold you can’t play against your friends (or anyone else) online. The other thing is that each month you get free games. Currently, you can get ‘Thief’ and ‘The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing’, and at the beginning of January ‘Killer Instinct: Season 1 Ultra Edition’ will take the place of Van Helsing.
The next thing that you’re going to want are some games to play. You can either buy these digitally from Xbox Store (or codes from other retailers) or physical copies like you’ll be used to buying before. Either option is perfectly valid, and each method has its benefits. What’s more, you don’t have to pick one way and stick with it. Most of our Xbox Enthusiasts have a combination of digital games and physical copies of games. However you want to do it is fine and entirely your decision. What follows are some suggestions that we think will help give you a good selection of games to play.
If you love racing games, then Xbox is the place to be. It is the home of Forza, the best racing franchise available. ‘Forza Motorsport 6’ is the latest entry in the franchise and in our eyes the best racing game ever, scoring a perfect 10 in our review earlier in the year. If you prefer less of a simulation-style racer and want something a little more accessible, then why not try ‘Forza Horizon 2’. This game simplifies the handling a little and allows you to race anywhere and throws in some crazy events like racing against planes, hot air balloons, and trains. If you want a cheaper option, how about picking up ‘Forza Motorsport 5’; you can get this launch title for as little as $25 on Amazon. If for some reason you’re not a fan of Forza, there’s also the sim-heavy ‘Project CARS’, the mediocre ‘Need for Speed’, and the great 2D puzzle-racer ‘Trials Fusion’.
Xbox might be known as the home of Halo, but there are many other shooters as well. If you like Call of Duty, there are three games available. ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’, is probably the weakest of the three but still a solid game. Both ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ and ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops III’ are great games and if you love the franchise they are definitely worth picking up. The best shooter on the console though has to be ‘Halo 5: Guardians’. The latest entry in the Halo franchise looks amazing and plays better than the ever before. Special mention has to go to the multiplayer side of the game. The standard multiplayer is fine tuned to perfection and the introduction of Warzone is an absolute wonder. If you want something a little cheaper then you should really think about getting ‘Sunset Overdrive’. This third-person shooter from Insomniac has a brilliant movement mechanic (that puts the latest Tony Hawk game to shame), has some wacky yet inspired weapons, and still looks great.
Xbox has several action-adventure games. There’s the Assassin’s Creed franchise, which has 3 mainline games as well as the digital-only ‘Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China’. ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’ is a great game but the graphics of the game are only just good enough to be considered next-gen. ‘Assassin’s Creed Unity’ had numerous issues at launch but is now a very good, and stable, game. The best all round AC game on Xbox One has to be ‘Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’. Also available on the console is ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’. The latest game in the Metal Gear franchise is easily the most accessible so far. The new open-world is remarkable and the controls are better than ever. Our choice for best action-adventure game on the console is the timed-exclusive ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’. The latest adventure featuring Lara Croft carries on from 2013 reboot to the series and features brilliant graphics, great puzzles, and fantastic gameplay. If you’d like something a little cheaper then why not pick up ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’. The conclusion to Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy came out earlier this year and is a fantastic conclusion to the series. It looks amazing, plays brilliantly and still has the best third-person brawler mechanics around. You can pick it up from Amazon for less than $30.
Horror games are having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. There’s the brutal difficulty of ‘Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin’ that packages a next-gen remaster of the game with all the DLC and some new content. Available on the Xbox Store are ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Resident Evil Revelations 2’. One of our favourite new IPs on the console is Techland’s ‘Dying Light’. This brilliant parkour game features zombies that are easily manageable during daylight but when it turns it dark they become ferocious and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by them. If zombies are your thing, then why not check out ‘Dead Rising 3’. This launch title is still a great game and also has loads of DLC available for it. The other game worth mentioning is ‘Alien: Isolation’. This game brilliantly captures the mood and atmosphere of the original film and has some genuinely heart-stopping moments. You can also pick it up from Amazon for less than $18!
When it comes to family games, it’s hard to look past the Lego games. These games do a brilliant job of appealing to children, parents, and everyone between. For comic fans there’s ‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes’ and ‘Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’. If dinosaurs are more your thing, there’s ‘Lego Jurassic World’, or if you’re more of a Middle-Earth fan there’s ‘Lego The Hobbit’. There are also several toys-to-life games including ‘Lego Dimensions’ and ‘Disney Infinity’. There are also three ‘Skylanders’ games (‘SuperChargers’, ‘SWAP force’, and ‘Trap Team’). If you love animals and dream of owning your own zoo, why not check out ‘Zoo Tycoon’.
Probably the smallest genre on Xbox One, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any great games. First and foremost we strongly recommend that you get ‘Killer Instinct’ when it becomes free on Games with Gold. This 2D brawler has been fine-tuned to perfection and is a blast to play whether you’re a fighting game expert or someone who just hits as many buttons as they can. The other big fighting game on the console is ‘Mortal Kombat X’. This latest entry in the MK franchise offers variations on every single fighter so you can alter style and strategy. If you prefer an anime-style fighter why not check out the ridiculously long-named ‘BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma Extend’. One game we’d recommend steering clear of is ‘Fighter Within’. This game uses Kinect so that your body controls the fighters but has awful AI, poor gameplay, and is really tricky to navigate the menus.
Well, those are our suggestions for what games you should pick up. Why not share your experiences with your games in the comments section below. And don’t forget to keep your eye on Xbox Enthusiast for all your Xbox One needs.