The Xbox One is now over a year old. Can you believe that? It feels like just yesterday everyone was clamoring to just catch a glimpse of what the next generation of video games would bring us. Now here we are, a full 365 days and change into the era of new-gen consoles after being stuck with our PS3s and Xbox 360s for far too long. What has been done with the Xbox One in its first year? Well, a lot, actually. The new console has seen everything from upgraded ports of last-gen games like Grand Theft Auto V and Halo to new IPs like Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Sunset Overdrive.
But which games are the cream of the crop? Let us tell you! We present our list of the top 10 best Xbox One games you can buy for your Microsoft console as of today.
1. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty is one series that has withstood the test of time, with releases spanning more than a decade and three console generations. There’s a reason it’s the most popular FPS series ever made. The franchise has tackled everything from World War II-era battles to modern-day combat. The newest entry in the series, Advanced Warfare, takes place in the future, where jetpacks and hovering grenades are staples in military technology. Sure, it might look like Titanfall at a glance, but Advanced Warfare is a title all its own, and it’s bound to be a best seller just like its annually released brethren. I mean, even IGN gave it a 9.1.
Price: $56.98 (6 percent off MSRP)
2. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
If you’ve played World of Warcraft, you know Blizzard sure knows how to make games that fit into the fantasy genre. Diablo III is a perfect example. It’s an action-RPG that’s all about one thing: loot. As you and your friends go through the procedurally generated dungeons slaughtering literally thousands of Diablo’s hellish minions, you constantly find shiny new gear and weapons. Half the fun of the game is customizing your hero to look and play as you want with the best equipment possible, which makes for an addicting loop: Kill baddies, equip new gear, repeat. As simplistic as the story and characters are, the gameplay is fast and fun, and it certainly keeps you coming back for more.
Price: $49.96 (17 percent off MSRP)
3. Dragon Age: Inquisition
BioWare is known for its ability to craft deep, intricate, personal stories. Just look at the best-selling Mass Effect series, which, in this humble editor’s opinion, is the best sci-fi universe to be created in any medium ever. The original Dragon Age was a critical and commercial success, with its long and detailed campaign where choices mattered. Dragon Age II didn’t hold up as well, though it’s still a great game. With Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare went all out in an effort to create one of the greatest fantasy RPGs ever. The developer’s track record proves they were capable of handling the task, giving players a sprawling world to explore, a brilliant story where player choice matters and a fun combat system players can tailor to their play style.
Price: $39.99 (33 percent off MSRP)
4. Far Cry 4
Do you like first-person shooters set in a giant open world? How about ziplining, hang gliding, big game hunting and killing bad guys? If so, Far Cry 4 is up your alley. The newest addition to the series steps away from the lush environment of the tropics from Far Cry 3 and drops you in the middle of a civil war in the Himalayas. Besides moving your way through the story, there will be distractions to keep your entertained. The most attractive feature is a new one that allows players to invite friends who don’t even own the full game into their world to conquer cooperative missions together. If allowing your buddies to game with you free of charge to them isn’t a great idea, I don’t know what is. The satisfaction of taking quietly taking down an outpost with a bow and some silenced weapons or charging in on the backs of elephants, guns blazing, with a buddy by your side is second to none.
Price: $48.94 (18 percent off MSRP)
5. Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar Games knows how to make a living, breathing world. The Grand Theft Auto series is known for giving players absolute freedom in violent, crime-ridden cities parodying America’s most famous locales. In Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar Games allows for players to switch seamlessly between three protagonists: a rich family man struggling with maintaining relationships, a bonafide gangster and a psychotic hillbilly. Heists are a new addition that mimic the famous bank robbery mission everybody loves from Grand Theft Auto IV. All the other stuff people adore about GTA is there: guns, strip clubs, sweet rides and a solid story tying it all together. There’s a reason Grand Theft Auto V is sitting pretty at a 97 on Metacritic.
6. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
In 2011, Microsoft published Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a high-definition remake of the original Halo from Bungie. Porting the infamous first-person sci-fi shooter to the Xbox 360 proved to be a wise decision, and fans clamored for a re-release of Halo 2 in the same vein. Microsoft did them one better: Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes the four numerical Halo games and puts them in glorious HD for the Xbox One. Players are now able to seamlessly jump from one game to the next while reliving Halo‘s unforgettable campaign and unique multiplayer matches — when the matchmaking works, that is.
Price: $50.98 (15 percent off MSRP)
7. Sunset Overdrive
What’s great about Insomniac’s latest venture is how it doesn’t take itself too seriously — or at all. Run on walls, grind on power lines and jump off buildings all while trying to destroy the mutants that run rampant after drinking FizzCo’s newest energy drink. The world is as colorful and zany as your fully customizable character, and crazy weapons and funny respawn animations keep the good times rolling whether you’re downing baddies or they’re downing you. If you’re a fan of Insomniac’s other work like the Ratchet & Clank series, you can’t go wrong with Sunset Overdrive.
Price: $51.49 (14 percent off MSRP)
No one can deny the extensive hype Titanfall received leading up to is release. Being one of the first notable exclusives for the Xbox One made everyone perk up and pay attention, and the fact that it was developed by ex-Call of Duty devs just added more to the game’s already robust credibility. Titanfall takes the traditional first-person shooter format and adds parkour and armored mechs to the mix, making for addictive and frantic online death matches.
9. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Any The Lord of the Rings buff will feel right at home with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game is set sometime between The Hobbit and Tolkien’s famous trilogy about Frodo’s quest to Mount Doom as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor stationed near the Black Gate leading into the evil land of Mordor, is forced to watch his family be butchered by Uruks. What follows is a classic revenge action game dripping with Tolkien lore. What sets Shadow of Mordor apart is its nemesis system, which grants military ranks to Talion’s enemies. The Uruks are constantly vying for dominance, and the player can manipulate them to his will using special powers and abilities, making each play a unique experience.
Price: $48.73 (19 percent off MSRP)
10. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition
For those who’ve been living in a cave (or, perhaps more appropriately, a mine) for the past few years, Minecraft is an indie game that became an international best-seller due to its unique and addicting gameplay. Players are dropped into a randomized world of textured cubes and told to survive. Monsters come out at night, so it’s the player’s job to scavenge for resources, construct a shelter and basically build whatever they can think up in what amounts to a world of digital Lego bricks. While the original PC edition of the game dominates, the console version of the game is the next-best way to experience Minecraft‘s huge worlds, multiplayer co-op and limitless possibilities.
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