The Xbox One X is the most powerful console on the market right now, and my personal choice when it comes to multi-platform games. Yes, the Xbox Series X is due by the end of 2020, but that’s not going to help you if you’re currently housebound due to the coronavirus. And, if you invest in any of these games, they’ll be backwards compatible with that console, too. 

Bottom line, If you’ve got a 4K TV you want to show off, you could do a lot worse than the current Xbox One (if you can find one in stock). With that in mind, here are some of our favorite titles for the Xbox One platform.

Before you buy, however, consider the following:

  • We’ve included links to the digital version of each game at the Xbox online store, if you don’t want the disc version (sold at linked retailers via the red buttons).
  • Apex Legends and the baseline version of Destiny 2 are free to play (for Xbox Live subscribers), just use that digital link to download them.
  • In addition to those freebies, subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can currently get Outer Worlds, Red Dead Redemption 2, Ori and the Blind Forest, Monster Hunger World, Gears 5, Halo 5, Metal Gear Solid V, The Witcher III, What Remains of Edith Finch and Rocket League at no extra charge. (Note that many of those titles will likely rotate out of the Game Pass system at some point in the future.)
  • Some titles, like Inside, Cuphead and The Witness, are digital-only titles. If you buy them at a retailer, you’re just getting a download code.

With those caveats in place… on to the games.

Activision

See digital version at Microsoft

Endless online discourse about its difficulty aside, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is another masterpiece from Dark Souls creator From Software. 

Sekiro shares a little of the DNA that made Dark Souls so compelling, but it’s absolutely a brand new beast, even more distinct from the Souls series than Bloodborne. It requires learning a whole new skillset (mainly parrying) but it’s worth the initial pain. 

An early contender for game of the year.

See Gamespot’s Sekiro review.

Mobius Digital

See digital version at Microsoft

An early contender for game of the year, Outer Wilds is just… insane. A strange sci-fi mystery to be uncovered, Outer Wilds is set in a living breathing solar system that’s simultaneously small, but also tremendous in its ambition and execution. 

It’s a game packed with jaw-dropping moments that feel organic in a way few games can compete with. I cannot emphasize this enough: play this video game.

See GameSpot’s Outer Wilds review.

Respawn Entertainment

See digital version at Microsoft

Well this game came out of nowhere.

Apex Legends is the game no-one saw coming. In 2018 Fortnite literally ruled our cultural universe, but now its position atop the Battle Royale genre is being challenged by Apex Legends and with good reason. Designed by the core team responsible for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and, more recently, the excellent Titanfall series, Apex Legends just feels so good minute to minute. Look for this game to stick around.

See GameSpot’s Apex Legends review.

Screenshot by CNET

See digital version at Microsoft

Tremendous in scope, you’re gonna want to give Assassin’s Creed Odyssey a bit of breathing space. The opening credits roll after five hours for goodness sake! But once the game gets going, it really gets going. This is what game made by hundreds of people looks like. Gorgeous, massive, polished. A supremely well made open world video game.

See GameSpot’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review.

See digital version at Microsoft

There’s a Resident Evil cycle. It does something bold and innovative (see Resident Evil 1 or Resident Evil 4) and then it coasts on that achievement for a couple of sequels before getting its act together again.

Thankfully, Resident Evil 7 is what it looks like when the series gets its act together. It’s the first relevant and essential Resident Evil game in over a decade. It’s very good indeed.

See GameSpot’s Resident Evil 7 review.

See digital version at Microsoft

Monster Hunter: World is the latest entry into the “big in Japan” Monster World series and it’s a humdinger. Best of all, it’s relatively accessible to new audiences.

It’s a great starting point: previous games in the series have been on the Wii or on handheld consoles. This is the first time in a while Monster Hunter has appeared on a cutting-edge console and Monster Hunter: World takes full advantage of that computational grunt.

See GameSpot’s Monster Hunter: World review.

Celeste

See digital version at Microsoft

Celeste is an early contender for game of 2018. It’s a brutal platformer in the style of Super Meat Boy, but innovates in a number of interesting ways. It messes with your expectation of what jumping in a video game looks like.

It’s also incredibly tight in terms of its design, and features one of the most delicately balanced learning curves. Extremely good stuff.

See GameSpot’s Celeste review.

NetherRealm Studios

See digital version at Microsoft

Mortal Kombat is still kicking and, some might say, is better than ever. Ignore. Once upon a time Mortal Kombat was a gimmicky ultra-violent competitor to the sublime Street Fighter II. Now it’s a spectacular fighting game in its own right, with its own set of strengths. This is the best Mortal Kombat game to date.

See GameSpot’s Mortal Kombat 11 review.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

See digital version at Microsoft

You could make the argument that Metal Gear Solid V is one of the best open world games ever made. It’s certainly one of the most malleable universes ever created, and one of the most responsive to player input. Marred by internal conflicts between Konami and the game’s creator Hideo Kojima, the ending is extremely messy, but there’s 40 hours of absolutely pitch perfect open world stealth goodness before you get there. 

Unmissable.

See GameSpot’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain review.

See digital version at Microsoft

You can’t get Bloodborne on the Xbox One, but Dark Souls 3 is the next best thing.

From Software haven’t made a bad game yet and in the pantheon of the “Souls” genre, Dark Souls 3 ranks pretty high. That means it’s up there with the best of an already exceptional bunch. 

Souls games aren’t for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to give Dark Souls 3 a try.

See GameSpot’s Dark Souls 3 review.

The Witness

See digital version at Microsoft

From the creator of Braid comes a video game unlike anything you’ve ever played before.

The Witness is like the Super Metroid of puzzle games. 

It’s a universe waiting to be unlocked, only you don’t require power-ups to proceed, you need to power-up your garbage brain. That sounds boring but it’s really not. It’s a fascinating design exercise and one of the most unique video games I’ve ever played.

See GameSpot’s The Witness review.

Blizzard Entertainment

See digital version at Microsoft

Overwatch may be in the process of being bludgeoned to death by Fortnite and PUBG in terms of mainstream appeal, but it’s still got a gargantuan audience returning night after night.

Mainly because Blizzard has literally no idea how to make a game that isn’t compelling on every possible level.

If you were into Team Fortress back in the day, this is your new jam. If you like online shooters in any form, this is also your new jam.

Get on it.

See GameSpot’s Overwatch review.