Because of a global chip shortage, it’s hard to make next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X|S, so many of us are still playing on Xbox One. Nearly all of Microsoft’s first-party games were released on its last-gen console in 2021, which was a good thing. But now that Xbox One is no longer being made and software support will be decreasing in the next year (which can be fixed with Xbox Cloud Gaming), we thought it would be a good time to look back on the console’s life with a list of the 25 best games.
These games were chosen by the whole IGN content team after a lot of internal debate. They are what we think are the best Xbox One games.știin.știinștiin.știin.știin.știin.
The Outer Wilds
Even though Outer Wilds is a science fiction game, it has a strange kind of magic to it. Its open-ended nature could leave you drifting through space (and often into planets at literally breakneck speed) without much of an idea of what to do, but this handcrafted solar system is full to the brim with enticing breadcrumbs, tantalising story teases, and some downright amazing sights that pull you into one breathtaking moment after another.
It’s a world that begs to be explored, and the time loop mechanic at its core makes you always want more and adds a terrifyingly tense pressure to what would otherwise be a calm experience. You might need a little time to get used to being in space, but Outer Wilds is a trip you should definitely take.
Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye, a DLC add-on, came out in October. Our reviewer Tom Marks called it “a great return to the clockwork solar system of Outer Wilds,” even though the horror game parts aren’t as interesting as what came before.
Destiny 2’s new seasonal model was met with some scepticism at first, but Bungie has turned it into an interesting story where story beats from each season build on each other. The fact that it’s now part of Game Pass makes the deal even better because it means more people can play it. Destiny has stood the test of time and keeps people coming back, whether they want to use Stasis to push back the darkness or just shoot things with cool guns.
People who want a different kind of challenge may want to look for clues about Bungie’s next game in Destiny 2: Christopher Barrett, who is in charge of the new project, said that an Easter egg for Bungie’s new IP is hidden in Destiny 2.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a great example of how to create atmosphere, tell a story, and make a game that is both mechanical and conceptual. Senua and her story are great because of how much care and attention Ninja Theory put into them. Hellblade is a dark and scary story that is told in a beautiful way and has a complex plot. Both of these things emphasise how serious the story is.
Senua’s Sacrifice has been tweaked to work better on Xbox Series X|S. Based on our performance review, Hellblade for Series X is better than high-end PCs.
Last year, Ninja Theory showed off a gameplay trailer for Hellblade 2 that everyone needs to see. More recently, the developer shared a beautiful screenshot of Djpalónssandur Beach in Iceland from the sequel that was still being worked on.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a game that changes the way Yakuza games are made. Not only does it have a new main character, Ichiban Kasuga, but it also changes from the series’ usual beat ’em up action to a turn-based RPG. Like a Dragon takes the absurdity of Yakuza to a whole new level by putting a bunch of funny misfits behind Ichiban and giving them side missions like delivering formula to gangsters who are wearing diapers.
The main plot of Yakuza: Like a Dragon is about betrayal, which makes it both a drama and a comedy. The game also talks about people who are on the outside, such as immigrants and sex workers.
Ryo Ga Gotoku Studio is making Yakuza 8 right now. Studio head Masayoshi Yokoyama said that the next game in the series “will continue the story of [Like a Dragon], but it will take place a few years after that game.” Toshihiro Nagoshi, who created the series, left SEGA after Like a Dragon came out and now works at NetEase, where he has set up a new studio.
Just like Halo Wars turned out to be a great real-time strategy game, Gears Tactics is a brilliant transition from Gears of War to a turn-based strategy game like XCOM. Cover-based combat, close-quarters kills, e-holes, and a lot more from the original Gears of War are all here, but in a more strategic way. The formula works great, and the story is pretty good too, thanks to the usual high-quality character development and lots of beautiful in-engine cutscenes. Gears Tactics is a great example of how a series that started in one genre can move to a completely different one without losing its identity.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky Next is the story that everyone in the industry looks to when they want to hear about a comeback, and they should. Hello Games was able to keep supporting No Man’s Sky with several updates that added quality of life features, like Expeditions, which add a new set of challenges you can play with your friends, or the updated space stations, new enemies, cross-platform bases, and a tonne of other community requests. Hello Games really should get credit for what they’ve made, because players all over the world love it.
No Man’s Sky: Outlaws, the game’s most recent update, changed how space combat works and added space pirates. Hello Games’s next project is still in the early stages of development. Studio head Sean Murray told IGN that, like No Man’s Sky, it’s the kind of project that would seem impossible even if a thousand people worked on it.
Minecraft is great for a lot of reasons, but the most important is that it makes and keeps people curious. That mountain over there? It’s easy to dig into. You can live in it and cover it with lava to make it look cool and scary. Then you can dig deep into the ground to find treasure and fight monsters. Minecraft can be played like a sandbox where you can do whatever you want, but there are also enough game systems and rules to make a “campaign” if that’s what you want. Few games have been as popular as Minecraft, and it’s likely that few games will ever be as popular again.
Dead Cells is an action-platformer with a lot of fast-paced action and a focus on risk and reward. It’s fun in a way that few games are because of how it can be changed. Each easy-to-grasp run through the beautifully detailed and changing levels pushes you to your limits and kills you when you get too comfortable. It’s one of the best action platformers you can play on your Xbox One because there are layers of strategy and tactics hidden in both the immediate choices you make and the bigger metagame.