Microsoft Xbox is one of the lead consoles in terms of popularity and performance, along with its rival PlayStation 4. Today, the newest version of the Xbox console is Xbox One, which is a next-gen console. Xbox 360 is a version that came back in 2005, and the last Xbox 360 game was developed a few years ago. Although Xbox 360 is an older console, it’s one of the best consoles ever created, so we are going to count the games not just for Xbox One, but also this machine. It was a tough choice, but we still managed to do that, so keep reading this best Xbox games list.
What are Xbox Games?
Xbox games are games available on the Microsoft Xbox consoles. Not all games are available on Xbox. While choosing a game, you should make sure that it has an Xbox version available. If not, the game will not be able to run on your console. Most of the time, you wouldn’t have to worry about this, because you will be purchasing games directly from the Microsoft Xbox store. All the games listed here will be available on the Xbox console.
How did we choose the Top Xbox Games?
We chose these games based on different criteria.
- Popularity – A game’s popularity is a significant factor in how much people like it. We are not discussing how many people know about it because of the extensive marketing. But the ratio of good reviews.
- Performance – A game should perform at its best given the hardware limitations. Performance is considered a critical factor in sorting these games.
- Gameplay – Games should be enjoyable to their fullest. Nobody should be bored by playing a game. Hence, the gameplay was also a significant deciding factor. The higher the position, the better the gameplay experience, lack of issues, bugs, etc.
- Graphics – Xbox games are usually known for their better graphics than other platforms, at least for popular titles. Better graphics enhance the user experience, but of course only if appropriately optimized.
- Updates – A game should receive regular updates with features and additions. We considered updates as a small ranking factor as well.
List of the Best Xbox Games
The selection of the best games that are available on Xbox is a difficult task. We definitely understand that a lot of people would disagree with the list. It all comes down to personal preferences and what we think ourself the best game is. With that being said, according to us, these are the best Xbox games ever –
We begin with the game that was developed for Xbox One. Overwatch is a great arena shooter game developed by Blizzard, with tight maps and a focus on fast-paced shooting and movement. There are a lot of characters to choose from, with every one of them boasting unique weapons and abilities. If you are a fan of old-school FPS games, Overwatch should be in your collection right now! It will provide the players with many days and hours of fun with zero chance of getting boring over time.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Back in 2015, CD Projekt RED developed and published one of the best games to date, a great fighting RPG called The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. This game managed to bring some of the best graphics on PC and consoles, and it’s no exception on the Xbox One.
Aside from great visuals, the game has a stellar story, great gameplay, smart AI, and a huge, open-world environment that players can explore at any time. Voice acting is great and the protagonist Geralt of Rivia is one of the most interesting protagonists in this kind of game. We highly recommend playing this game, even with the lack of multiplayer in the game.
3. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North. GTA V introduced a new style of gameplay where you can play with 3 different, connected characters. These 3 protagonists (Trevor, Michael, and Franklin) have their own unique abilities like the adrenaline of Trevor, bullet-time of Michael, and slow-motion driving of Franklin making the gameplay much more versatile than the past GTA titles.
There’s also a compelling and interesting story that follows these 3 characters and their relationship, with the addition of great multiplayer where the player can fully explore the world of GTA V. This game is available both on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an action-packed RPG with a huge open world waiting for players to explore. Until 2016, Skyrim was available just for Xbox 360, but now you can play it also on Xbox One with improved graphics and overall gameplay. Skyrim focuses on action and RPG elements where the player can explore the game world and complete quests taken from various NPCs. The player can also interact with NPCs and engage in interesting dialogs, aside from taking a quest.
The game can be played from the third-person or first-person perspective which is a great addition in terms of overall gameplay quality. If you are a fan of great action combined with strong elements of RPG, feel free to try this game, as it can provide you with many hours or even months of fun. There are still undiscovered places and secrets in this game, despite its launching back in 2011.
5. Red Dead Redemption
When talking about Xbox consoles, Red Dead Redemption is the most popular title on that console, without a doubt! Red Dead Redemption boasts similar game mechanics to the GTA series, with an open world, allowing the player to explore and complete quests, but unlike GTA which is set in a modern time, this game is Western-based.
There is a story in this game, and it’s surely one of the strongest elements in the game, aside from great gameplay and graphics for that time. With the addition of multiplayer and several DLCs, this game is one of the best Xbox 360 games of all time.
6. Rise of the Tomb Raider
The Rise of the Tomb Raider set the bar for the action-adventure genre back in 2015 and for a reason. This game has one of the best visual and sound effects in its genre, and great gameplay mechanics makes it even better! This title follows Lara Croft in her venture to Syberia in search of the legendary city Kitezh. On her way, she is fighting against a paramilitary organization in order to beat them to the city of Kitezh where immortality is granted.
Aside from the great single-player campaign, there is an addition of multiplayer, which isn’t the best ever but is stellar at best. The Rise of the Tomb Raider is available for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
A combination of heavy metal music, non-stop action, brutal weapons, chainsaws, BFG, and ruthless kills, that’s what DOOM is all about. DOOM is a classic, old-school shooter that returned to its roots last year. DOOM offered players a big dose of old-school gameplay with no reloading and focus on fast-paced gameplay which is required of the player to survive.
Demons are relentless and will punish every player’s mistake with a brutal finisher. While there isn’t a compelling story, gameplay in DOOM is brought to perfection and it’s the main highlight of the game along with some solid visuals. The game is available for Xbox One.
8. Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 is a perfect example of how a racing game should be done. It’s a fine open-world racing where players can race against the AI in the career mode or versus the other players in multiplayer. There are also various types of terrain, ranging from asphalt to a more demanding off-road. Driving mechanics combine arcade elements with simulation, but tweaking the settings can make it more arcade or simulation, depending on the player’s liking. It’s a next-gen game, exclusive to Microsoft Windows and Xbox One.
9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is for many gamers the best Call of Duty entry in the series and considered one of the FPS classics. Both single-player and multiplayer parts of the game are great as single-player has one of the best campaigns in the PC FPS genre and multiplayer is refined, fast-paced, and more fluid than ever. Although it was released back in 2010, its multiplayer is played even today and if you decide to go for it, you can buy it for Microsoft Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360.
10. Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 is a TPS game and an exclusive for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. It combines gameplay mechanics from the older entries in this franchise with the new, next-gen graphics that are one of the prettiest on the Xbox One console. There is also a dynamic weather system introduced with 4 categories of weather ranging from heavy breezes to brutal windstorms that can affect visibility, combat, and weapon effectiveness. It was nominated for the best action game of 2016 but lost to Battlefield 1 and DOOM.
11. Fallout 4
Bethesda is well known for its huge, open-world RPG games, and Fallout 4 is surely one of the best games Bethesda ever made. Possibilities in Fallout 4 are endless, as the in-game world is huge, with many places and secrets to discover and side quests to complete. The story of the game, however, isn’t that interesting in the first half, but later expands and becomes more intriguing.
In Fallout 4, the player is required to create his own character, which can be either male or female, with various characteristics that can impact the style of gameplay. Multiplayer is excluded in this game, but it shouldn’t be a problem as it can still provide the players with the possibility of nearly endless exploration and leveling. It’s available for Xbox One.
12. Battlefield 1
Battlefield 1 is one of the best action games of 2016, and it came in second place, behind DOOM. It’s an action-packed, intense, great-looking, and thrilling experience of the brutal WW1. Battlefield 1 manages to create an atmosphere that is rarely seen in an FPS game, with constant tension and non-stop action, especially in multiplayer, which is the strongest part of the game. The single-player campaign is, however, very short and can be completed in a few hours, but nevertheless a great experience. Optimization is great, so you can expect constant 60fps on Xbox One console.
13. Dark Souls 3
You died! If you know these two words very well, chances are you have played Dark Souls 3, and well… you died! Dark Souls 3 is definitely the hardest fighting RPG game and even the hardest game of all time. This game combines the best of both worlds, great fighting mechanics which require the player to have fast reflexes and think fast, and RPG elements like leveling your character, upgrading and repairing your weapons and armor. It’s available for Microsoft Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
14. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Hideo Kojima is a well-known game designer, famous for his Metal Gear Solid franchise. In 2015, his last effort on the Metal Gear Solid series made its way to the shelves and made a huge impact on the market. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a stealth third-person shooter game with the elements of adventure and an open world.
It’s not the best-looking game of 2015, but its renewed gameplay and story are what this game has to offer as this is the first title in the series that is open-world. The story is a little complicated and there is a plot twist at the end of the game. Overall, a very interesting and long game made for true MGS fans.
Destiny is a multiplayer-only FPS game that combines a science-fiction open world with strong elements of RPG. The player needs to create his character and improve him over the course of the game, by collecting loot, upgrading, and leveling. The game is focused on fast-paced shooting and the overall gameplay is great. This game is available for Xbox One but also for Xbox 360.
16. Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 is another great example of combining TPS with elements of RPG. It’s set in a huge galaxy where the player is put in the role of Commander Shepard, commanding a spaceship with his crew. The crew can be expanded, and the player can later choose a maximum of 3 members to accompany him. While it may not be the best-looking game, Mass Effect 2 manages to create a great atmosphere, with a focus on action-packed gameplay and engaging in dialogues that can change the course of the game flow. It’s available for Xbox 360.
17. Halo Wars 2
Unlike Halo series, Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy game developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly, published by Microsoft. This game takes place in a Halo universe but is loosely connected to the story of the Halo series. Nevertheless, it represents a fine example of approachable RTS game with the possibility to play single-player or multiplayer versus the other players online. If you decide to jump right into it, you’ll need a PC or Xbox One console, as this is a Microsoft exclusive game.
Bioshock was released back in 2007, and it was a pretty advanced game for that time. It was a great FPS game, with RPG elements, and was further expanded with Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite which are also available for Xbox 360. Unlike many other games of this type, Bioshock didn’t have an open world but is set in the fictional underworld city called Rapture, which is full of details and things to discover. If you own an Xbox 360, feel free to gaze into the underworld environment of Bioshock.
19. Dead Space 2
The whole Dead Space trilogy is great and without a doubt, represents a great survival horror franchise. However, we decided to mention Dead Space 2 as it’s by many the best title in the series. This game is pretty spooky, even when you have the guns and shoot Necromorphs. It successfully creates an intense atmosphere that many survival horrors lack, with the addition of an interesting story that’s slowly unraveling as you progress through the game.
It follows the protagonist Isaac Clarke as he tries to prevent a Necromorph outbreak and escape the space station called The Sprawl. This game, along with the other two parts, is available on Xbox 360 for a cheap price.
20. Portal 2
Portal 2 is a puzzle-platform game that is played from a first-person perspective. The player is given a portal gun with which he can create portals, thus solving the various puzzles throughout the game. There is a blue and orange portal, both having the exact same functions. The player can go through one portal and will exit through the next. These mechanics apply to all the puzzles in the game, as everything can go through the portal, from boxes to laser beams and liquids.
Portal 2 is one of the most authentic games on this list, forcing the player to think about his next move and play slowly. It’s very well-optimized and cheap, so you can get it on your Xbox 360 or Microsoft Windows if you prefer.