10. A Plague Tale: Innocence
Asobo Studios may not have the funds or horsepower to rival AAA studios in terms of looks on Xbox One, but it nevertheless created an effective and moving game about surviving a dangerous plague, not to mention human adversaries.
Although the game has a bit more jank than is typical for something from Naughty Dog, A Plague Tale: Innocence makes up for it with a stellar cast and excellent writing, along with a sufficiently deep and engaging combat system.
One of our main concerns with A Plague Tale was the presence of bugs, but Asobo Studios has consistently released patches for all platforms, including Xbox One, addressing these concerns since its launch in May.
Otherwise, we mostly loved the game, and we can’t wait to see where Asobo Studios goes from here.
9. Mortal Kombat 11
The Mortal Kombat series has always received attention for its tight one-on-one fighting gameplay, as well as its increasingly over-the-top violence.
Mortal Kombat 11 continues this tradition by delivering both, along with a delightfully cheesy single-player campaign.
We loved the game when we reviewed it, but lamented the absence of some series mainstays.
Fortunately, some are making a return in the form of DLC, with Shang Tsung and Nightwolf already available as part of Kombat Pack 1.
The pack will also include some guests, such as Terminator T-800 from The Terminator franchise, and the Joker from Batman.
Along with the expected patches and character rebalancing, Mortal Kombat 11 is expected to receive support for a long while, on Xbox One and all other platforms.
8. Borderlands 3
One of the best things about 2019 is how many long-dormant game series got new installments. Some took the time away to come to their respective series with a fresh perspective, and others are Borderlands 3.
Borderlands 3 may be a little prettier and more polished than its predecessors, but make no mistake: This is the Borderlands you know and love, with very little added or taken away from its core formula.
This ends up being a pretty good thing, however, since everything great about it is back in full force.
Borderlands 3’s core gunplay is a treat, along with a staggering amount of customization and its signature wacky humor.
7. Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts had traditionally only released on PlayStation platforms for main entries, and Nintendo handhelds for spin-offs.
However, Square Enix made the culmination of Kingdom Hearts’ first arc available to Xbox users for the first time with Kingdom Hearts III, and we couldn’t be happier.
Kingdom Hearts III enchanted us, and for good reason.
Worlds from Frozen, Big Hero 6, Toy Story and so many more pop, especially in 4K on Xbox One X, and Yoko Shimomura’s enchanting soundtrack makes the entire soundtrack a treat to listen to.
Although Xbox One owners may be confused if they hadn’t kept up with the story on other platforms (or even if they had, given Kingdom Hearts’ confusing narrative), this doesn’t stop the game from being any less beautiful or fun to play.
Square Enix is continuing to support the game as well, having added a new game plus as well as the extra-difficult Critical Mode.
The Re Mind DLC is slated for later this year, which will add new cutscenes and bosses for fans to sink their teeth into.
6. Apex Legends
Even with Respawn Entertainment hard at work on making Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for later this year, the team already released a massive hit – on Xbox One and other platforms – earlier this year in the form of Apex Legends, both at launch and the following months.
Apex Legends takes many leaves out of Fortnite’s book, using a free-to-play model with approximately 60 players in teams of three.
However, Apex Legends has managed to stand apart from Fortnite through a more realistic art style, endearing characters and a vastly different approach to strategy.
We greatly enjoyed Apex Legends when it launched in February, and the game has only gotten bigger and better.
The game has an active player base on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and with season three dropping October 1, support doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
5. Gears 5
Every other game on this list is available on PlayStation 4, and many on Nintendo Switch, but the only console you can play Gears 5 on is Xbox One.
That hasn’t stopped people from buying the game, as the title had the biggest launch of any Xbox Studios game this generation.
It’s not hard to see why, as we praised the game’s gorgeous graphics, explosive campaign and engaging multiplayer.
The Coalition took some risks with Gears 5, and they absolutely paid off. It’s also part of Xbox Game Pass!
The game looks to have support for a long while as well, with The Coalition laying out its plans for the next six months.
Separated into two “operations,” Gears 5 will continue to get new characters, versus modes and maps, along with new weekly events, supply content and escape hives.
4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is one of only two games this year to receive a full 5/5 score from us, and for good reason.
Directed by former Castlevania director Koji Igarashi, the game perfectly captures what made the franchise so great, while carrying the genre to new heights.
The Nintendo Switch tends to be most player’s console of choice when it comes to indies, but issues with lag and bugs on the system make it a less appealing choice.
Ritual of the Night runs comparatively smoothly on Xbox One, making the console a far more appealing option.
Developer ArtPlay is going all-out with DLC as well, having announced a crossover with Shovel Knight and teasing Child of Light, amongst a cornucopia of new additions for the future.
The game is also a part of Xbox Game Pass, making it a no-brainer to play for owners of the service.
3. Devil May Cry 5
It’s been an excruciatingly long time for Devil May Cry fans since a numbered installment in the series, but almost everyone would agree that it was worth the wait.
Using the same engine from Resident Evil 2, Capcom put the Xbox One to the test with incredible visuals, all at a blinding speed.
For fans of free speech and/or butts, there was another compelling reason to pick the Xbox One version over its PlayStation 4 counterpart: Certain scenes in the PS4 version used lens flare to censor a character’s buttocks, whereas the Xbox One version was left bare for all eyes to see.
However, Capcom later patched the PS4 version to remove the lens flare, letting American players view Trish’s behind, flare-free. (The European version remains censored.)
Devil May Cry 5 is yet another game that’s free on Xbox Game Pass, meaning that you can play nearly half of this entire list on Xbox One for just $2!
However, there are no “but(t)s” about it: Devil May Cry 5 is exemplary, earning a 5/5 from us and high accolades from nearly every publication.
2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
From Software set the gold standard for the difficult but rewarding gameplay loop of a Soulslike with Dark Souls, and the studio has made another hit with its new IP, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
The game draws on Japanese history and folklore to create a harsh and threatening world that is nonetheless beautiful, especially on Xbox One X.
NPCs are a little more talkative than in past From games, and players are encouraged to listen to them in their original Japanese language with subtitles.
Sekiro utilizes a much faster style of combat than is typical is games by From Software. Of course, this doesn’t mean the game is any easier, and enemies have an added mobility players will die far more than twice to.
Although nothing has been officially announced yet, Sekiro’s Twitter account released a rather cryptic tweet stating, “The one-armed wolf awakens…” along with a screenshot from Sekiro.
We’ll have to wait until an official announcement to find out what exactly this means for Sekiro.
1. Resident Evil 2
Following the success of Resident Evil 7, fans wondered what would be next for the franchise.
The answer from Capcom was to go back to one of its earliest entries, remaking the game from the ground up for modern platforms, of course including Xbox One.
The result was an astounding success, terrifying and delighting us in equal part.
The remake remained remarkably similar to the original’s structure while adding new touches and a beautiful new coat of paint. We can now only hope Capcom will grace us with a remake of Resident Evil 3!
The pure quality of this remake at launch makes Resident Evil 2 our pick for the best game from 2019 on Xbox One so far.