The Xbox One might not have the same selection of exclusives as the PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch, but the handful it does have are worth checking out. Some of the best Xbox One games are first-party titles, but you’ll find loads of other quality games from the likes of Electronic Arts, Bethesda, and Ubisoft that compose a huge library of games worth playing.
A lot of them are available on Xbox Game Pass as well, so you can try out the best games on the system without shelling out $60 left and right. If you’ve already upgraded to the Xbox Series X, don’t worry: The vast majority of Xbox One games work on the Series X and Series S with Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program.
From the snowy mountains of Valhalla to the concrete walls of the Federal Bureau of Control, here are the best Xbox One games.
Although Xbox’s 2022 lineup was quite weak, Obsidian Entertainment ended the year on a strong note with Pentiment. This adventure RPG follows an artist in 16th Century Europe as he investigates murders that rock the world of a small religious town. It’s full of important dialogue choices that have a significant impact on the story, featuring some of the best writing in a 2022 game, and grapples with some intriguing themes about the creation and legacy of art. Pentiment will likely be one of Xbox Game Studios’ last hoorahs on the Xbox One, but it was a high note to end on.
Playground Games has proven itself as one of the best racing game developers on the planet, and the studio has outdone itself with Forza Horizon 5. Taking the action to Mexico this time around, Forza Horizon 5 is packed full of racing challenges and open-world fun to partake in, and running on an Xbox One X at 4K or 60 frames per second, it’s a stunning display of power. The Horizon series is much different from Forza Motorsport, emphasizing exploration with less of a focus on realism. All the weather systems make changes in the environments as well, freezing over lakes or turning easy roads into muddy deathtraps, and with real players always racing around you in the world, Forza Horizon 5 allows you to be just a few moments away from a race at any time.
Now, if you wanted a Souls-like experience from the studio that created the genre, there’s no better choice than Elden Ring. Not only did this game smash all sales expectations for what was once a niche genre, but it has achieved near-universal acclaim. The open world makes it that much more accessible to those coming at this particular style of game for the first time, but the intricately crafted dungeons still offer that sense of perfect level design and the satisfaction of exploring a space. It’s hard, sure, but you’re never stuck trying one thing with no other options, and every other path you take will have some reward worth finding.
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