Should you buy an Xbox One in 2022?

Xbox One X, Xbox One S
Xbox One X, Xbox One S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Should you buy an Xbox One in 2022?

Best answer: Yes. The Xbox One family of consoles remain some of the best pieces of multimedia hardware on the market, and while there's a lack of exclusive games, Xbox Game Pass is a fantastic service that makes up for that disappointment.Microsoft: Xbox One S ($300)Microsoft: Xbox One X ($500)

Why get an Xbox One?

Compared to its direct competitors — Sony's PlayStation 4 line of consoles — the Xbox One family has several notable advantages. Xbox One, which were designed for multimedia use, have the ability to play 4K Blu-ray DVDs and stream 4K video, whereas the PlayStation 4 does neither and the PlayStation 4 Pro can only stream 4K video. In addition, Xbox One is exclusively compatible with Dolby Atmos, giving Xbox users access to industry-leading spatial sound technology. The Xbox One family is also uniquely capable of transmitting your TV signal, which allows you to swap between watching television and playing a video game in seconds.

When it comes to gaming, the Xbox One is lacking in the exclusives department. However, this is offset by the excellence of both Xbox One Backwards Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass. Each Xbox One console is capable of playing most Xbox 360 games and even a few original Xbox games, meaning that if you used to own an older Xbox and still have your games, you can play them on Microsoft's latest generation of consoles for free. If your Xbox collection is small, Xbox Game Pass offers unlimited access to over one hundred Xbox 360 and Xbox One games for just $10/month.

The versatility and value of Xbox One is fantastic, but which specific console should you choose? Here's a breakdown of both.

Xbox One S

Xbox One S

Xbox One S (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Xbox One S is Microsoft's entry level machine this generation, and is an excellent option if you're looking for a modern multimedia experience for a good price. While it lacks the raw horsepower of its big brother, the Xbox One X, the Xbox One S can usually achieve a solid 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second, depending on what game you're playing. In addition, it is capable of playing 4K Blu-ray and streaming video content in 4K.

Compared to the original (now discontinued) Xbox One from 2013, the Xbox One S is also 40 percent smaller and can be used vertically, making it a great console to upgrade to if you happen to own the old Xbox One, or if you want something that won't take up a lot of space on your TV stand.

Xbox One X

PowerA Stand

PowerA Stand (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Xbox One Xis objectively the most powerful gaming console ever created. Powered by a six teraflop GPU and 12 GB of RAM, the Xbox One X is essentially a solid gaming computer in a console's shell. The Xbox One X puts this power to good use: almost all new games are able to run in 4K and between 30-60 frames per second. A lot of titles also offer a graphics setting that lets you swap over from native 4K to checkerboarding, which guarantees a higher framerate at the cost of a slightly worse looking picture.

Another excellent feature is how it makes games look better than they did on any other Xbox console. Games marked with an "Xbox One X Enhanced" tag have been tweaked by developers so that Xbox One X users will experience exclusive benefits like improved lighting effects, better anti-aliasing, and more. The X also provides all of the same multimedia features you would get with the Xbox One S.

The Xbox One X console itself is the smallest Xbox console ever created, making it a compact addition to your entertainment center that'll take up minimal space and offer maximum horsepower. Big things come in small packages, and that has never been more true than it is with the Xbox One X. It is pricy, however, so it's a great choice if money isn't a factor in your decision.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.