All Xbox One Exclusives, Ranked
Despite what some may think, the Xbox One has some pretty awesome exclusive games. We’re here to rank all the major exclusives. Bear in mind, this is our opinion, and it’s okay if your list differs. Here are all the Xbox One exclusives ranked.
29. Fighter Within
Eh…this was back when Microsoft was still pushing the Kinect for Xbox One – And with Fighter Within, it just doesn’t work. It’s one of those games that is kind of known for how bad it is. The Kinect controls just don’t work. We’re glad those days are long gone. Buy it here.
28. Shape Up
A lot of the early Xbox One games were still trying to push the Xbox One Kinect sensor. Luckily, Shape Up isn’t awful or unplayable. It did have some neat concepts, and had a cute art style, but there isn’t much content in this package. At least it’s not as bad as Fighter Within.
27. Kinect Sports Rivals
When you think of developer, Rare, you probably don’t think of Kinect Sports Rivals. Still, this is a competent motion sports game with lots to do. You can go bowling, jet-ski race, rock climb, play soccer, target shooting, and tennis. Sure, it’s reminiscent of most peoples’ favorite, Wii Sports, but Kinect Sports Rivals for Xbox One accomplishes its goal.
26. Fantasia: Music Evolved
This is a Kinect game done right. Harmonix, the developers of Rock Band, know their way around a rhythm game. This one is has a ton of charm and a surprising amount of control, despite some minor issues. The songs are smartly remixed and visuals are almost magical-looking. If only there was a way to play without the Kinect sensor.
25. Super Lucky’s Tale
This was Microsoft taking a stab at the mascot-platformer genre for Xbox One, but what it ended up being was a sort of mediocre children’s game. Sure the visuals look great and there are some merits here, but the camera controls and the challenge are just not there. Maybe we’ll see a better followup once next generation comes around.
24. Zoo Tycoon
It’s easy to want to love a game about running a zoo and keeping up with all the lovely animals, but Zoo Tycoon feels like a misstep compared to its predecessors. It’s not bad, but the overly clunky menus, and the attempts to be more accessible were just not what the series needed. You can still probably find things to love about it, though, like the 101 animals.
At first, ReCore was met with mediocre reviews, but after the Definitive version was released, critics reacted more positively. This action adventure platformer throws puzzles, combat, and exploration at you while you navigate an open world. You can tell what the developers were going for here, and it works sometimes – Sadly, even after the Definitive Edition was released, it’s one that a lot have forgotten about.
22. Project Spark
Why does it seem like a lot of Microsoft’s cool ideas just sort of fizzled and are now forgotten? Project Spark was a neat idea. It was a lot like what Sony is doing with Dreams – you can create games, movies, and other interactive experiences within the games creation program. You were even able to download other user’s creations, too. It wasn’t perfect, but I hope Microsoft revisits something like this in the future, after Xbox One.
This game is cool! It’s a chaotic 2D competitive multiplayer game for the Xbox One. #IDARB has some fantastically smart gameplay that’s a blast to play, especially when coupled with its music. This is definitely a game that prioritizes local play, though, so if you don’t have buddies, you might want to pass on this one.
20. Dance Central Spotlight
Again, Harmonix knows what they’re doing when it comes to rhythm games. Dance Central Spotlight ditches some of the complicated aspects of the older games and introduces a cleaner interface for greater accessibility. Sure it’s a little stripped-down compared to older Dance Central games, but it feels as good to play as it ever has.
19. Ryse: Son of Rome
Lots of people were impressed with the visuals of Ryse when it was announced. It looked gorgeous and displayed some satisfying-looking combat. What we got was pretty close to that. It was a bit on the short side, but Ryse still looks and plays wonderfully and is still one of the system’s best action games.
18. Killer Instinct
This game is absolutely ridiculous. With the announcer yelling, “KOMBO”, and the brutality of some of the moves, Killer Instinct is so much fun. It’s got all the depth for a hardcore fighting fan, with the accessibility for newcomers to enjoy – And with all the characters to choose from, this is such a good time.
When Titanfall was first revealed, it seemed impressive – The interesting mech aesthetic combined with the fluid movement made for some fun gameplay.
In the end, it was more of a proof of concept, since the first one was so limited with its content and required online play.
Still, Titanfall set the foundation for an interesting universe and spawned a fantastic sequel with Titanfall 2.
16. Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising 3 was easily one of the best launch games on the Xbox One. It has a ton of content, features hundreds upon hundreds of zombies on-screen at any given time, and an immensely fun crafting system.
This iteration improves upon the weapon combos from the second game, giving players more options and expanding in the silliness department. It also gives a ton of game mode and multiplayer options. As Frank West says, “Fantastic!”
15. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Despite how you feel about it, PUBG is an important game, not just in the Xbox One’s catalogue, but in general. The PC version is arguably better, but there’s no denying that scoring this as an exclusive was a big win for Microsoft. This is one of the first Battle Royale games that gained traction and the genre partly owes its success to PUBG.
14. Quantum Break
Yet another example of a game that had some interesting ideas but kind of landed with a dud. The intervention of full TV-like episodes within the game’s story was cool, but in the end, Quantum Break was not much more than a mediocre third person shooter. Despite that, it looks beautiful and this is one I’d love to see more fleshed out, as well.
13. State of Decay 2
Technical issues aside, State of Decay 2 is great. There is so much nuance to the characters and being able to select a group of survivors that all compliment one another is immensely satisfying. The combat is fun and surviving in the zombie infested world is a rewarding experience. Undead Labs has a great thing going with State of Decay and I’m eager to see where they take the series next.
12. Sea of Thieves
Rare could have a successful thing on their hands with Sea of Thieves if they play their cards right. Gathering a group of friends together to sail the seas and look for treasure is a fun time – As long as there’s a steady stream of content and a reason to keep coming back, Sea of Thieves could be one we play for years. It might be a little light on content now, but there’s no denying there’s a neat foundation here.
11. Forza Motorsport 5
One of the definitive launch games for the Xbox One – Forza Motorsport 5 is a love-letter to fans of cars. What Turn 10 was able to do with the AI, making the offline races feel like multiplayer, was impressive. Even though there are lots of cars and tracks missing when compared to previous versions, Motorsport 5 is a an achievement.
10. Halo Wars 2
The followup to 2009’s Halo Wars saw lots of success when it released at the beginning of 2017, at least critically. Halo Wars 2 excels in its rock-paper-scissors combat, allowing players to build a base and deploy troops on the battlefield. The campaign has some beautiful cinematics and is designed in such a way that is approachable for new players. Halo Wars 2 is awesome.
9. Forza Motorsport 6
Motorsport 6 is the evolution of the Motorsport series, expanding upon many features from the previous entries. Motorsport 5 wasn’t ugly, by any means, but this entry blows the previous ones out of the water in terms of the visuals. The sheer detail and graphical fidelity are enough to earn Forza Motorsport 6 its praises.
8. Halo 5: Guardians
People like to hate on Halo 5, and maybe some of it is justified, but there’s no denying that it’s still a fantastic game. Specifically the online portion of Halo 5 shines so bright and you can really tell 343 was there for their fans. Having so much free content post launch was definitely a way to gain some good will with fans. The campaign was nothing to ignore, either, boasting one of the most explosive cooperative stories we’ve seen. Too bad you couldn’t play it co-op locally.
7. Forza Horizon 3
I think this is the most breathtaking rendition of Australia ever seen in a video game. Luckily, there is some incredible gameplay to match. Horizon 3 features an emphasis on off-road racing, but because of the amount there is to do, it never feels like a detriment. It’s beautiful, fun, and excellent for new players since it focuses on arcade style racing instead of the simulation style seen in the Motorsport series.
6. Sunset Overdrive
If there’s one thing Insomniac Games knows well, it’s nailing a satisfying traversal system in an open world game. Sunset Overdrive is oozing with charm and personality, with its ridiculous weapons and vibrant art style. We haven’t seen the last of Sunset Overdrive and hopefully we see more sooner rather than later.
5. Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 takes the beloved gameplay the series is known for and adds a new generation of characters, with tons of fan service littered throughout. Sure, it may not reinvent the wheel, but there is such a rich foundation in place that it doesn’t need to in order to feel and play as great as it does. Gears of War 4 has a wealth of content, too, from the campaign, competitive multiplayer, and horde modes and it’s hard not to love. We cannot wait for Gears 5.
4. Ori and the Blind Forest
It’s hard to wrap up what makes Ori so great in just a few sentences, but just know that this is one of the best Metroidvanias released in recent memory. The fantastic level design, incredible music, rich story, visuals – I could go on and on. Ori strikes an excellent balance of feeling accessible, yet still having challenge for players who seek it. The plot twists in the story are ones we don’t generally see in video game stories. This game is special.
3. Forza Motorsport 7
The Forza series has a knack for making amazing games and then somehow outdoing themselves on the next one. What else can be said? It takes everything that was great about Motorsport 6 and makes improvements in nearly every way. This is one of the greatest racing games of all time – The visuals, amount of content, and attention to detail that sim racing fans will definitely appreciate.
What Studio MDHR pulled off with Cuphead is astounding. Setting aside that this small team created one of the best platformers in recent memory, this game is absolutely stunning, visually.
The fact that it runs so well while still resembling an old 1930s cartoon is not something the industry has ever seen before – Not to mention it has some of the most rewarding gameplay, effectively mixing platforming with shooting. Cuphead is a must play.
1. Forza Horizon 4
Some are calling this the best racing game ever made. That may sound like a bold claim, but it’s backed up by the mind-blowing visuals, the amount of freedom given in the customization, and the variety in race types.
Simply put, this game is a masterpiece, and easily the best Xbox One game released this year.
And that’s all the Xbox One exclusives ranked.
This list will include some PC titles, since a lot of the first-party games are available on PC as well.