So you bought an Xbox One?
Welcome! That “new console smell” fills your nostrils as you open the box, unwind the cables, and clear room under your TV. Is there anything more exciting? Once everything is connected and you’ve found the right input on your TV, you wait. Patiently, but anxiously. You’re almost nervous. Apprehensive. What will you do first? Which games will you buy? Do you remember your Netflix login?
Well once you’ve downloaded a few heft firmware updates, you’ll want to know which games to buy. Sure, you can go to a big website and read their top 10 – but what if you want get straight to the good stuff? The best stuff, even?
You came to the right place. Welcome to the XOneBros Xbox One Starter Pack.
(Disclaimer – This list is limited to games we feel are “best-in-class” on Xbox One. As a result, we have one game per genre. Also, keep in mind that everything you read here is subjective. Oh, and remasters aren’t considered – so no Master Chief Collection or Grand Theft Auto V, no matter how highly I recommend them both. The four categories chosen are also likely the most popular – but please feel free to suggest more!)
Lets kick things off in controversial fashion – the fully-stacked FPS category. Good lord there are some big names here. You’ve got your genre staples Call of Duty (four entries on Xbox One now!) and Battlefield. Each of the two compete often, but offer differing styles of play. You also have the “loot treadmill” of Destiny, and the alternate-history Nazi slaying of Wolfenstein. In 2016, things got even tougher with Doom’s reboot giving the genre a shotgun blast to the face and then removing it’s head and beating it’s body to death with it (metaphorically speaking of course). And if we’re talking about gore, Gears of War 4’s third-person carnage has to be part of the conversation.
This time around, however, the vote goes to Halo 5: Guardians. Yes, its an Xbox Exclusive. Yes, it has a single player campaign you can play with a friend online. Yes it has a balanced and skill-based multiplayer arena. Yes it even has an absolutely insane Warzone mode where you fight other players AND AI enemies with every available weapon and vehicle in the game. Halo 5: Guardians is the total package.
Are dragons and swords your kind of thing? What about stealth and cyborgs? Dragon Age: Inquisition or Deus Ex: Mankind Divided offer both in equal measure respectively. Yearning for the days of turn-based battles and a loveable party of rogues? Earthlock has you covered. Or maybe you’d like a road trip through a huge world with a suspiciously “boyband” looking bunch of companions – in which case Final Fantasy XV is definitely something to try.
For sheer size, depth, and breadth of experience though, you have to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Don’t let that number scare you – Wild Hunt is a great jumping off point for new fans as well as seasoned veterans of the franchise. Geralt of Rivia, the game’s protagonist, might just be the most-badass playable character since John Marston and the world he inhabits isn’t full of magic and mystery: it’s a disgusting hive of politics, oppression and disease. Which is weird, because its so much fun to explore. Oh, and Gwent (a card-based tavern game) might just be the best minigame this generation.
Whether its racing on a track or against a tide of traffic, the Xbox brand has become synonymous with great racers since as early as launch with Project Gotham Racing. With that franchise on seemingly indefinite hiatus, there are still plenty of games to tickle your automotive pickle. Project CARS is a hardcore simulation experience, and Forza Motorsport 5 and 6 have nailed track handling. 2015’s Need for Speed reboot may have been stuck in reverse but 2014’s Rivals is the closest the franchise has come to Burnout. And The Crew’s ambitious “Car-PG” mechanics have gained a dedicated fanbase even long after launch.
One title stands above the rest, however. Forza Horizon 3 is an incredible achievement in racing development. A huge open world with hundreds of shortcuts, secrets to find, scenery to smash and opponents to race. Now with an impressive selection of 4x4s too, you’ll find yourself off-road as much as on it. This all being topped off by the Forza franchise’s meticulous attention to detail, eye-popping visuals (now featuring HDR on compatible TVs) and buttery-smooth handling.
Finally, another category with plenty of options – the action/adventure genre has grown and evolved since the beginning of gaming. Inside, the follow-up to critical darling Limbo, is a harrowing and easily-digestible 3 hour story that will stick with you long after the game ends. Telltale’s bevy of games for the console run the gamut of tone, with light-hearted Tales of the Borderlands the particular standout. Quantum Break allows you to dodge a shotgun blast to the face by manipulating time and Dishonored 2 allows you to kill lots of people by manipulating everything.
Our final winner today however has to be Rise of the Tomb Raider. It takes a lot to stand toe-to-toe with Playstation’s Uncharted franchise and while both franchises crib ideas from each other, ROTR’s willingness to experiment with new ideas such as upgrading abilities and weaponry gives weight to every decision. Add to that a refined stealth system and the fact that the game looks insanely good and plays even better.
Finally, I hope you enjoy each of these games and enjoy your new Xbox. It's a great system with a wonderful community. Welcome!
Hi! I’m Lloyd! I’m from the UK and can usually be found playing FIFA or Destiny. My Gamertag is PopPunkPanda and it’d be great to make some friends within the most positive gaming community on Earth - XoneBros! I also write for my own gaming blog, check it out Here.