DualShockers Definitives — The Top 10 Essential Xbox One Games
DualShockers ranks the Top 10 essential games for every Xbox One owner in the Fall 2019 DualShockers Definitive series. Did your favorite make it?
Welcome to the first official Xbox One DualShockers Definitives list! This week has been a hard one for DualShockers staff, thanks to much arguing and nit-picking over which games in the amazing Xbox One library make the Top 10.
If you missed the original post, here is a quick TLDR on what this is all about:
The DualShockers Definitives series is a living list, updated seasonally, where we hash out which ten essential games are must-buys for each platform — the ones we would put in a time capsule today if we were making one. The list is intended to grow over time as new releases take the spotlight or older games age like fine wine.
With all of the introduction out of the way, here are the Top 10 Essential games for the Xbox One (as of Fall 2019):
10. Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 may be a third-party, multiplatform game but it just feels at home on the Xbox One. Maybe because there is an enthusiastic online community, given the series initially started as an Xbox console exclusive. However, Respawn Entertainments Titanfall 2 was able to answer most of the concerns of its predecessor: including an engaging, heartfelt offline campaign, a return of the gunplay that made the original so addictive, and level design that wrapped the package up in a neat bow. There are plenty of excellent FPS games on Xbox One, but Titanfall 2 is one of the games that tops the list.
9. The Outer Worlds
While the popular Fallout series may have had more than a few stumbles this generation, we got an excellent replacement from Obsidian Entertainment: The Outer Worlds. With some of the wildest game design since Breath of the Wild and some of the best writing in 2019, the game deserves a place on this list — and will very hopefully be getting a sequel sooner rather than later.
While it may not have ever reached the same mainstream name recognition as Playdead’s Limbo, the game is an obvious leap forward for an already-stellar developer. Premiering on the Xbox One, INSIDE carries many of the mysterious and atmospheric vibes that Limbo is known for, with smart puzzle design and organic environment-based storytelling. Though one of the shortest games on the list, it is easily a must-buy for indie fans (or those looking to expand their boundaries).
7. Sea of Thieves
While Rare Studios’ return to form endured some rough waters in its first year, the studio has consistently spent 2019 bettering itself, its code, and the pirate experience. Following an Anniversary Update that added standalone PvP and a Story, there is no better time to jump into this massive, open-world pirate game and live out your best swash-buckling life.
6. Ori and the Blind Forest
Developer Moon Studios is still a relative freshman developer as far as releases go, but their first release – Ori and the Blind Forest – was impeccable. The game debuted with a Pixar-esque story and tight Metroidvania combat that would make Samus proud. When paired up with a beautify, cartoony art style and difficulty that would make a veteran gamer blush, it fits the mold for another essential Xbox One title.
5. Sunset Overdrive
While Marvel’s Spider-Man takes a top honor on the Top 10 Essential PS4 Games list, Insomniac wins another place on the Xbox One version – this time with Xbox One-exclusive Sunset Overdrive. It is filled to the brim with crazy weapons (befitting Ratchet & Clank), a colorful and interesting open-world, and an irreverent attitude that is reminiscent of Bulletstorm or Borderlands. Mix that in with the verticality of a skating game, and the result is a concoction as iconic as the in-game FizzCo brand.
4. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo: The Master Chief Collection may not be the only remastered compilation on the list, but it surely stands out as one of the best. With Microsoft recently breathing new life into the title thanks to the addition of Halo Reach, an Xbox One X update and inclusion on Game Pass, The Master Chief Collection is still the definitive way to play all the mainline Halo games—along with all the online maps and modes that you thought were doomed to die on previous generation hardware.
Cuphead may not be for everyone, but everyone will be impressed by it. The project, which is a labor of love from StudioMDHR, is the now-iconic hand-drawn run and gun with art style pulled out of 1930’s animation. Every single boss battle, song, and character in this game is memorable in a way no other games have been able to achieve. While the notable difficulty will likely keep more than a few from actually beating the game, there is just nothing else like Cuphead. Grab it if you haven’t yet on Xbox One.
2. Forza Horizon 4
There simply is no Top 10 Xbox One games list if there is no mention of the Forza series, and (while it was a hard divide with the staff) our favorite in the pack is Forza Horizon 4. Cutting edge graphics meet arcade gameplay in a way that has been critically well-received by those entirely new to the racing genre, as well as the core Forza fanbase. If you’ve never been one to ‘get’ racing games, this is your entry point — enjoy the unadulterated thrill.
1. Gears 5
Gears 5 isn’t just another fantastic installment in one of the best shooting franchises around, it feels like a proper improvement on everything that came before it. We’ve always loved the Gears series, but it definitely needed to evolve in some way with Gears 5. Fortunately, the team at The Coalition delivered just as they needed to and as a result, ended up with the best game you can snag on Xbox One right now.
As it stands, that is our current DualShockers Definitives ranking of the Top 10 games for Xbox One; for an extended rankings chart, make sure to check out our dedicated page.
Changes to the List
December 17, 2019: The Outer Worlds (9th) and Gears 5 (1st) are newcomers to the list. Titanfall 2 got bumped from 8th to 10th. INSIDE advanced from 12th to 8th. Sea of Thieves advanced from 16th to 7th. Sunset Overdrive advanced from 7th to 5th. Halo: The Mast Chief Collection advanced from 10th to 4th. Cuphead got bumped from 2nd to 3rd. Forza Horizon 4 advanced from 12th to 2nd.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (11th), Halo 5: Guardians (13th), Rare Replay (16th), and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (18th) all got bumped off the Top 10 list.
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