For this list, we're looking at the best games that spend the majority of their time outside of the Earth's atmosphere.

Dead Space

Why is it that anything from space that wants to bust up humans in science fiction has a name that ends in -morph? In Dead Space it's Necromorphs. It's more than poor Issac Clarke signed up for, the ship's systems engineer who gets caught up in the scourge during a seemingly routine repair mission.

With a trusty wrench, to start off with, you control Issac through a story of corruption and cover-ups, while you level up your gear and life support. Using the plasma cutter to dismember attacking Necromorphs is both satisfying and scary, and the satisfaction and horror carry across a trio of games to keep you rigid with fright for a long while.

The full trilogy is available on backward compatibility through Xbox One and starts at $14.99.

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Astroneer is a gorgeously vibrant low poly game in game preview where you play as a little man on his own planet. Set in the Twenty-fifth Century gold rush, space is the new frontier and there is everything to risk for all of the rewards.

Shaping the world as you see fit with an onboard hoover gun, you can suck up elements and resources and use them to craft new parts for your base, which also expands your oxygen network. Being away from your hub from too long will deplete your supplies, and your gun is reliant on battery power which will also need replenishing.

Every procedurally-generated planet can be deformed (all of them!), and crafting their resources into new items and vehicles will get you off the planet and out among the stars. Developer Systemera Softworks is constantly working on updates to improve the experience, and to get you started, Our editor Jez Corden even wrote an Astroneer beginner's guide.

Astroneer costs $19.99.

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Mass Effect

A franchise that not only spans two console generations but two galaxies, Mass Effect is a space sci-fi third person RPG. The first trilogy lets the player control Commander Shepard, a SPECTRE of the Citadel Council (Special Tactics and Reconnaissance) tasked with protecting the galactic stability by whatever means necessary. When Shepard and the team come across a Prothean beacon, it sets off a chain of events that will change the entire galaxy, literally.

The Trilogy is paced brilliantly, with improvements to gameplay and mechanics as you move to the next installment. If you're looking for story-heavy, character lead gaming, the Mass Effect Trilogy is an excellent place to start. When you have finished the first three, you can move on to Andromeda.

Set just before the events involving Commander Shepard end, you take on the role of Pathfinder who is leading humanity to a new home among the stars, if they can find one. You will search new planets and discover ways to make them habitable, bring an end to wars, or starting them with new races. You'll have to tread a fine line as an unintentional diplomat, but if anyone can do it, it's the Pathfinder.

Mass Effect starts at $8.59.

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Mass Effect Andromeda costs $59.99, though it's currently on sale for less.

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Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

This game makes it onto our lists a lot because it's a cool and unique indie title with a lot of charm. Best played with two to four local "lovers," the aim is to use your cooperation skills to guide your loveship through the hazards of space while keeping the occupants inside safe.

Most often, there are more tasks than players so you'll need to be quick on your toes as you run between battle stations, shouting commands in order to take as little damage as possible and beat back the baddies. This vibrant and colorful space shooter is a must for those who love bright, challenging games and local co-op.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime costs $14.99.

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Everspace is a single-player rogue-like space shooter. Captivating visuals and a non-linear story will take you through a challenging and ever changing universe full of surprise. Your skills, experience and improvisation will need to be tight as they will constantly be tested with new characters who will help you discover your place in the universe. Every run is new and exciting, with changing situations that keep the content fresh and the game long-lasting. Death will always be the end, but it's just the start of a much longer journey.

Everspace costs $29.99 but it's currently on sale for less.

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Morgan Yu is one of the remaining survivors aboard Talos I, the subject of experiments designed to alter the path of humanity forever, but something is wrong. The space station you are within is being overrun by a hostile and deadly alien threat, and the hunt is on - you are the prey. As you dig through the secrets Morgan left himself to find, you'll have to survive everything using your mind-warping abilities, weapons and wits.

Prey costs $59.99, but it's currently on sale.

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Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program (KSP) is a really fun space-flight simulator if you have the smarts to pull it off. Splitting gameplay into multiple objectives, KSP will have you building your own rockets and space planes and staging them to launch them into orbit! Pull off real life space maneuvers as attempted by actual astronauts, send your Kerbals off on an orbital jaunt to the "Mun," or just shoot them off into the terrifying and irretrievable dark depths of space.

Getting the rockets up into orbit may not be the hard part, but directing them to their destinations is a test of nerve, strength, and pray that you don't blow up on the launchpad. Kerbalnaut Jebediah has a wife and baby at home.

KPS is currently undergoing an overhaul on consoles and is unavailable to buy, but will be available again soon.

Elite Dangerous

Elite Dangerous is an unprecedented space sim which features a simulated Milky Way galaxy with astonishing near-1:1 scale.

As a quasi-MMO, Elite Dangerous is an always-online affair where you must make your own way in a galaxy full of pirates, warring factions, and since recently, alien threats. You can set yourself up as an outlaw, raiding and pillaging innocent ships. Become an intrepid space explorer, selling cartographical data. Become an asteroid mining extraordinaire, trading rare goods, or a simple bounty hunter, eliminating criminal elements for credits.

Elite Dangerous is incredibly deep and complex, and certainly isn't the most accessible game on this list. But if you're a fan of the idea of a deep, action-oriented space simulator, Elite Dangerous is your only and best choice.

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Any thoughts, space cowboy?

What are your favorite space games on Xbox One? Aim phazers for the comments section!

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