This post has been updated to reflect the recent release of Astroneer into the Play Anywhere program.
1. Gears of War 4
Simply put, Gears of War 4 is a masterpiece. Picking up after the events of the original saga, Gears of War 4 starts a new story filling the boots of J.D. Fenix, son of the legendary protagonist Marcus Fenix. From our review:
Gears of War 4 just feels great. It feels like the return of an old friend, and The Coalition masterfully weave that nostalgia into the game without smothering us in it exploitatively — which is something they very easily could have done.
With a stunning campaign, comprehensive multiplayer mode and the tremendous Horde 3.0, Gears of War 4 is the best exclusive available on Xbox One right now. And you can play the very same game on your Windows 10 PC as well.
2. Forza Horizon 3
Forza Horizon 3 is the best racing game available on the Xbox One, and you can carry your progress over to Windows 10 as well. Set in Australia, Horizon is the open world sibling to Forza Motorsport, while sharing the same game engine and stunning good looks. From our review:
What we have here is a triumph. A continuation of a series into the next-generation and beyond. With Xbox Play Anywhere, a whole new generation of Forza players will be brought into the mix, and they're going to absolutely love it. Forza Motorsport is more for the hardcore racing fans, Forza Horizon is for everyone.
Forza Horizon 3 has a comprehensive single-player mode, a co-op career and a bunch of action to be had online. It looks and plays magnificently and is worthy of anyone's time.
3. Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct was the first cross-buy supporting title between Xbox One and Windows 10, but with the Definitive Edition it went full Play Anywhere. Killer Instinct is Microsoft's first-party brawler, reborn from the Rare game of old with a new-generation overhaul.
Everything you expect to find in a beat-em-up is here; tons of characters, a bajillion combo moves, a single player story mode and the chance to go online and kick the bottoms of players around the world. Killer Instinct doesn't get the hype that Street Fighter does, but it's arguably a better game. Give it a try!
ReCore was the first Xbox Play Anywhere game to be released, and it's also one of the lower priced ones. It lacks some of the longevity that others on this list can offer, but it's a delightful platformer with a handful of puzzle elements thrown in for good measure. And it's from Keiji Inafune, which speaks to its credentials. From our review:
The core gameplay is sound, the combat is mesmerizingly addictive, and ReCore's aerial dashing, leaping, platforming gameplay is technically sound.
There is no multiplayer, so after 15 hours or so you'll probably be done. But it is set to get some free DLC down the line, adding extra value to an already attractive asking price.
5. Everspace (Game Preview)
That Everspace is currently at the 'bottom' of this list isn't a dig at how good it is, but a reflection on the fact it isn't finished. The Game Preview program now includes Play Anywhere titles and there are some exciting ones coming. Everspace is first to arrive with its epic space exploration and battling.
Think No Man's Sky, but, well, better. Much better. If you're into big games with lots of ambition and skill required, then check it out.
Astroneer is the newest Game Preview title and also the newest addition to the Play Anywhere stable. It's also the most 'preview-like' in that it's further from being finished that something like Everspace.
It's still quite a lot of fun though. It's a different kind of space exploration title to Everspace, mostly because you're not confined to a ship. You go round exploring, hoovering up resources and such, and while the controls are a little hard to get the hang of, hopefully things will improve as it gets closer to being a finished product.
There are more Xbox Play Anywhere titles in the pipeline, with some coming sooner than others. In the next batch to arrive we're expecting to see:
- ARK: Survival Evolved
- We Happy Few
- Halo Wars 2
Keep up with everything on the horizon at the link below, as it gets updated when new titles are announced.
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