Best Xbox One Console Exclusives Windows Central 2021
Microsoft's portfolio of quality Xbox games is growing. Out of everything, these are the top 13 games Microsoft has under its belt right now, ahead of high-profile launches like Halo Infinite, Minecraft Dungeons, Flight Simulator, and many more.
- Must-buy: Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Race em up: Forza Horizon 4
- Bend time: Quantum Break
- Technicolor warfare: Sunset Overdrive
- A whole ton of Halo: Halo: Master Chief Collection
- Platforming with heart: Ori and the Blind Forest
- Chainsaws ready: Gears 5
- C-c-c-combo breaker: Killer Instinct
- Zombie apocalypse: State of Decay 2
- Hardcore platforms: Cuphead
- Pirate 'em up: Sea of Thieves
- Robopocalypse: ReCore
Must-buy: Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is tight, deep, stunning, and evocative. Set in a magical world, you must guide Ori on a quest to save his family and friends from a seeping corruption threatening to devastate the land. A huge artistic achievement, and is arguably the number one Xbox One game you can, and SHOULD buy.
Race em up: Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 is the world leader for arcade racing, and it's exclusive to Xbox One on console. Set in a vast and detailed British landscape, Forza Horizon 4 rewards players for their style and skill, racing across all sorts of terrain types, accentuated with persistent weather effects and even seasonal changes. Forza Horizon 4 is breath-taking.
Bend time: Quantum Break
Quantum Break is a slick shooter with heavy time manipulation mechanics. In Quantum Break, Jack Joyce finds himself involved in a time experiment gone wrong. With time itself unravelling, it's on you to navigate reality as it collapses in on itself and stop those responsible.
Technicolor warfare: Sunset Overdrive
What if the apocalypse was more of a funpocalypse? Sunset Overdrive takes place in a gorgeous and vibrant open world where a strange energy drink has mutated the citizens into gigantic orange monsters. Grind, dive, and somersault your way across the map using all sorts of crazy weapons and put a stop to the madness.
A whole ton of Halo: Halo: Master Chief Collection
Halo is Microsoft's flagship game, besides Minecraft, and it remains a staple point of interest for most Xbox fans. Microsoft has spent a ton of time porting and remastering the classic Halo games, incorporating them into a vast set dubbed The Master Chief Collection (MCC). And, hey, it includes classic multiplayer as well.
Platforming with heart: Ori and the Blind Forest
As Xbox console exclusives go, few have been as well received as Ori and the Blind Forest. The predecessor to Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Blind Forest more than holds up all these years later.
Chainsaws ready: Gears 5
Gears of War is synonymous with Xbox, right up there with Halo and Forza. Gears 5 brings us deeper into the war with the savage swarm, and deeper into Kait's back story.
C-c-c-combo breaker: Killer Instinct
Classic '90s fighter Killer Instinct got a big reboot this gen on Xbox One. Every classic fighter is their alongside several new ones, including guest characters like RAAM from Gears of War and Rash from Battletoads. While the game isn't currently seeing any further updates, it's still a competent fighting experience, and it's free.
Zombie apocalypse: State of Decay 2
In State of Decay 2, your mission is to not only fight back the hordes of undead, but manage a small community of survivors, including all of their worldly needs. You'll be scavenging for ammo, food, and supplies, while building up your skills and abilities in this strangely hypnotic action simulator.
Hardcore platforms: Cuphead
Cuphead is a side-scrolling shooter with platforming elements, with stunning hand-drawn art based on classic animation styles and music production. As a co-op title, you and a friend will battle across a dream-like world to settle a debt with the Devil, after losing a bet. Cuphead is maddeningly hard, and as a result, incredibly rewarding.
Pirate 'em up: Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is an open world adventure sandbox set in a lush pirate paradise. Join up with up to four friends and compete across an ocean archipelago filled with island secrets, tons of treasure, and evil, evil skeletons. Sea of Thieves is persistently updated with new content, too.
ReCore is an open world 3D platformer set on an alien world, filled with angry, homicidal robots (and a few nice ones). Joule arrives on the planet expecting to find a bustling industrial settlement, but instead she finds abandoned facilities and haywire droids. It's on you to leap, dash, and blast your way to solving the mystery.
Sci-fi tactics: Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 is a sci-fi RTS title set some years after the events of Halo 5. Battling a military junta led by a psychotic Brute, the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire arrive on the scene to find "The Banished" poised to unleash yet another catastrophe on the entire galaxy. Halo Wars 2 has a fun campaign, addictive multiplayer modes, and a separate "tower defence"-style mode for added value.
Even more on the way
Most of these titles are available as part of Xbox Game Pass, granting you access to many existing and all future Microsoft Studios titles for a monthly $10 fee. Microsoft is also investing more than ever in its games, with over a dozen studios working on a variety of new experiences.
If I wanted to recommend just a couple of titles on this list, Quantum Break rides high. Quantum Break is a severely underrated action adventure game from Remedy. With big-budget actors and an integrated TV show, Quantum Break's combat is a unique blend of super hero time-bending powers and classic Remedy-style shooting.
At the top of the pile, though, is Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word, with a landmark soundtrack, jaw-dropping art, and precision-tuned platforming and combat. Set in a magical world, you guide the spirit Ori in an adventure to protect friends and family, in a bittersweet tale that'll pull at your heart. Arguably the best Xbox exclusive of all time so far, Ori is a must-play title.
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