Microsoft's Play Anywhere initiative was debuted back in 2016, in an attempt to push the concept of their unified ecosystem to its console and PC gamers. As a part of the program, certain titles would share a range of benefits between Xbox One and Windows 10 and further bridge the gap between Microsoft's gaming offerings. Among the advantages is a single license between Xbox One and Windows 10 games, alongside the ability for cross-platform saves, achievements and even multiplayer.
With Play Anywhere in full swing, a growing list of titles is now available with support for the program. We've highlighted the best Play Anywhere experiences available today across a wide range of genres.
Best Shooter: Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 is the latest entry in Microsoft's flagship third-person shooter series and found itself on both Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2016. Offering a wide range of both single player and multiplayer experiences, the game is among the biggest titles available today with Play Anywhere support.
In the wake of the events of the original Gears of War trilogy, Gears of War 4's campaign follows a new cast comprised of JD Fenix and a squad of friends. The game also offers the latest revision of iconic Horde and Versus modes, playable solo, locally and over Xbox Live.
Although a majority of Gears of War 4 can be played between the two platforms, those wanting to play matchmade games will have to search in the "Social Quickplay" playlist.
Best Racer: Forza Horizon 3
The Forza franchise is yet another staple of the Microsoft's lineup, with a strong history alongside the Xbox brand over the years. For the first time in the franchise, Forza Horizon 3 takes place in the blistering summer of Australia.
Offering a detailed open world packed with hundreds of cars, the game was met with wide acclaim from critics at launch. While it might not offer the realism of other racing games available today, its fine-tuned mechanics make for a thrilling arcade experience. Full Xbox Play Anywhere can be seen here, with cross-platform multiplayer available between all aspects of the game's ecosystem.
Best RTS: Halo Wars 2
Despite the RTS genre never finding a true home on consoles, Halo Wars 2 aims to bridge the gap between Xbox One and Windows 10. With gameplay designed to accommodate both a controller or mouse and keyboard, the title is among the few of its genre playable between two platforms.
Across the entire experience, Halo Wars 2 provides an engaging story, alongside a variety of multiplayer modes. The latest addition to the series, Blitz Mode, is a unique hybrid of real-time strategy and collectible card games, which makes for an easily accessible but fast-paced game mode. However, even though Halo Wars 2 features cross-platform saves, limitations in the Halo Wars 2 engine mean the game's multiplayer isn't currently playable between platforms.
Best Fighter: Killer Instinct
Released almost twenty years after the original, Killer Instinct brings back its glory in an entirely re-envisioned experience for Xbox One and Windows 10. Taking on new mechanics and concepts that have proven themselves in other franchises, Killer Instinct has managed to gain a dedicated following over a three year period.
Featuring a roster of original characters and guest appearances from some of Microsoft's biggest franchises, the game continues to grow with seasons of content after launch. With the bonus of Play Anywhere support, cross-platform saves, purchases and multiplayer have all hit the title. If you're looking for a great free-to-play game between platforms, Killer Instinct is worth a shot.
Best Horror: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
While Resident Evil games have always focused on third-person action, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard opts for a first-person perspective for the first time in franchise history.
While combat and boss battles are present, a greater emphasis is placed on survival horror elements rather than fast-paced combat. Borrowing from some recent successes in the genre, this makes for a genuinely thrilling experience built merely off atmospheric tension.
As of the few triple-A titles from a third party that supports Play Anywhere, Resident Evil 7 is a great package for those invested in Microsoft's ecosystem.
Best Survival: Astroneer (Game Preview)
Following a lonely astronaut abandoned on a barren planet, Astroneer is built around crafting, exploration, and survival. Its procedurally generated worlds make for beautiful backdrops to your adventure, with resources and secrets tucked away to discover.
While building up your colony proves to be important, players will also have to manage resources on the fly. With both oxygen and energy being valuable supplies, these factor into every aspect of Astroneer's world.
Despite still being a work in progress, the game is among the few indie titles to currently support Play Anywhere between Xbox One and Windows 10. Cross-platform saves are already implemented between the two platforms, with cross-platform multiplayer in the pipeline.
Best Graphic Adventure: Thimbleweed Park
Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure which launched for Xbox One in early 2017 and was followed by a Windows 10 debut and Play Anywhere support It offers both cross-platform saves and purchasing.
From the creators of some acclaimed point-and-click titles, Thimbleweed Park tells a thrilling tale of a mystery which grows over time. After a simple murder case leads to a deeper mystery, you'll follow the stories of five protagonists and their adventures. Its 8-bit style also means the game can run on relatively low end hardware, which is great for taking the story on the go.
Best Free-to-Play: Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter is now available as a Play Anywhere title, allowing both console and PC users to get hands-on with 2016's smash mobile hit. Diverging from the RPG routes of the main series, the game puts players in the shoes of a Vault Overseer – a figure tasked with managing these enclosed living spaces. Your game will also continue to operate in real-time, with the best success found when regularly checking on the inhabitants of your Vault.
By supporting Play Anywhere, you'll be able to seamlessly bounce your vault between the PC and the living room.
Best Classic: Phantom Dust
Phantom Dust is an Xbox classic revived for the Xbox One and Windows 10, which fully embraces Microsoft's Play Anywhere program. The game originally released to appeal to the Japanese market back in 2004 and has now been revitalized with a high definition remaster. Among the biggest changes include a bump to 1080p and 60 FPS, alongside support for a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Set in the far future after Earth becomes a barren wasteland, humanity finds itself driven underground by the dust-filled atmosphere. A select few known as "Espers" have the power to survive above ground, who must explore the ruins of civilization and uncover its downfall. Playing as one of these gifted humans, you'll be one of the few helping to rebuild humanity. The game also packs a competitive multiplayer mode, where Espers can battle it out with their supernatural abilities.
Best of all, Phantom Dust is one of the few free-to-play games currently available via Xbox Play Anywhere. However, the game still supports cross-platform saves and multiplayer between Xbox One and Windows 10.
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