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Xbox 101: Best games

Over the last few articles, we have been giving new arrivals to the Xbox family a quick guide so that you can get the most out of your new console. We’ve already covered setting your console up, the peripherals available, and Xbox Live. Now we’re going to take a look at the games that you should take a look at to start your gaming love affair with the console. Putting these in order of necessity would be far too difficult so instead we’re going to go with the order they came out.

Sunset Overdrive

We love us some Sunset Overdrive in Enthusiast Towers. It’s something of a forgotten gem now as it came out five years ago. It might be an older game but there’s no denying how great the gameplay is. You can also pick it up ridiculously cheaply or as part of Xbox Game Pass. We defy anyone to play this over-the-top action game without a massive grin on their face. Playing like a cross between Tony Hawk Pro SkaterDead Rising, and Grand Theft Auto the game is an absolute belter.

Your customisable character is a low-level employee of FizzCo and you are tasked with surviving around Sunset City after FizzCo’s latest product has turned anyone who drinks it into a zombie-style monster. Shooting some of the craziest weapons you will find in a video game, you will run and grind your way along telephone lines and rooftops as you try to find safety.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V will go down as one of the best selling games of all time. It seems crazy to think that the game was originally released (on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) in 2013, yet it is still regularly in the monthly top 10 sales list. The game features 3 protagonists and would be a complicated mess if it wasn’t handled as deftly and skilfully as Rockstar has.

The single-player campaign is masterful and the huge online component just keeps getting bigger and better with free updates. This may effectively be a remaster but you wouldn’t know it from the incredible visuals and new features.

Halo 5: Guardians

The Halo series helped to make the Xbox a serious alternative to other consoles out there, then it made Xbox Live essential, now with Halo 5: Guardians the mega-franchise hits Xbox One. The story may have its issues but the gameplay is flawless with new options like mantling instantly feeling like they belong.

What really makes this game a must-have though is multiplayer. 343 Industries have clearly spent a lot of time getting it right and there is something for everyone here. If you’re into tight competitive matches there is Arena mode that doesn’t have a load-out that makes everyone rush for weapons. If huge matches are more your thing there is Warzone, which features huge play areas, vehicles, and a lot of carnage.

Rocket League

If you told me a few years ago that one of the biggest games around would be playing football with cars, I would have thought you were having a laugh. As it turns out though, playing football with cars is a brilliant idea and has been executed brilliantly by the team at Psyonix. Rocket League has become a phenomenon and it deserves every bit of its success.

The game is so simple to understand and join in, yet it takes real time and effort to master. With cross-play available, you can even play on your Xbox One against your friends on PC or Nintendo Switch. With the game getting regular updates with new arenas and even new sports (ice hockey and basketball have made an appearance) being added this is a game that is becoming better value all the time.


Overwatch is a fantastic shooter from Blizzard. At Xbox Enthusiast, we loved the game at launch, and now three years later, it’s better than ever. Blizzard consistently updates the game with new maps, Heroes (playable characters), and timed game modes that come out during holiday events.

Xbox owners looking for a fast-paced shooter full of action, strategy, and limitless replayability, look no further. Overwatch is a one time purchase because all of the downloadable content is free. It was Andrew’s (fellow Xbox Enthusiast) game of the year and 2016.

Forza Horizon 4

The Forza games are the best racers on any system, full stop, end of sentence. While I personally prefer the Forza Motorsport titles, the Forza Horizon games are much more accessible and brilliant in their own right. The map might be borderline offensive to me (and any other UK residents) for its complete inaccuract but there’s no denying that it provides some great backgrounds for the superb racing.

It has to be said that apart from the change in venue it doesn’t add much over the last entry in the series but when that game was already one of the best racers on any system it’s hardly a bad thing. The team at Playground Games has created a game that caters to hardcore racers and non-racing fans alike and that’s an incredible feat to accomplish.


Cuphead is the kind of game we would have got if Walt Disney had been a gamer and had access to a system as powerful as Xbox One. It is a love letter to 1930s animation as well as the ultra-tough games of the 1980s (like Contra and Ikari Warriors). The game looks stunning with every frame of animation being hand-drawn by the tiny team at StudioMDHR.

It plays brilliantly with very responsive controls which is just as well as the game is very hard. To give you an idea of how much we love the game here at Enthusiast Towers, it was in all of our top 5 games of 2017. We’re pretty sure that if you give it a chance you’ll love it too. Now’s the time to get into as well as there’s some DLC for the game arriving next year.

Gears 5

The latest game in this list and a major contender for 2019’s game of the year. Gears 5 develops the franchise in a way that the previous game did. The focus of the story is shifted over to Kait and is all the better for it. It tells a tale that expands the series mythology while adding much-needed pathos. There are also some firsts for the series such as the light RPG elements to Jack as well as the slightly open-world sections.

As good as the story campaign is, and it is really good, the thing that cements Gears 5 spot in this list is the superb multiplayer. The headline addition is clearly Escape mode but the whole multiplayer suite has been given such a polish that it marks it as one of the best on Xbox One and this console generation in general. Of course, with this being a first-party title it is also available through Xbox Game Pass.


Well, that’s a small selection of our must-have games. There are loads of other top-notch games on the system with something for everyone so you are guaranteed to find something that you’ll love.  If you have any questions about any of these games or anything else Xbox related please shout out in the comments section below. And why not check out one of the other articles in our Xbox 101 series.

Steve Clist
Joint Editor-in-Chief at Xbox Enthusiast as well as a contributor for Nintendo Enthusiast and PlayStation Enthusiast. Steve is a musician and gamer who loves sharing his passion for each. You will normally find him at the front of the grid in racing games or on the other end of the kill cam when you've just been killed in a first-person shooter.

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