See the 23 games that will launch with Xbox One on day one

The lineup of Xbox One launch game announcements began with a trickle during the May reveal event and didn’t start to really flow until Microsoft’s E3 press conference. Electronic Arts and other publishers chimed in, and soon gamers began to have a decent idea of what software to expect when Microsoft’s new console rolls around.

Still, for all those title announcements, you never really know exactly what games will launch alongside the system until the console’s release date draws near. The Xbox One’s nebulous November release date (Microsoft still hasn’t named the date yet) is still a few months away, but Microsoft has just revealed the lineup of games that will be available at retail and via download on launch day. With 23 titles to choose from, early adopters are in for a treat this holiday season.

Xbox One launch day games

  1. Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (Ubisoft, Ubisoft)
  2. Battlefield 4 (DICE, Electronic Arts)
  3. Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward, Activision)
  4. Crimson Dragon (Grounding/Land Ho!, Microsoft Studios) – Downloadable, exclusive
  5. Dead Rising 3 (Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft) - Exclusive
  6. FIFA 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  7. Fighter Within (AMA Ltd., Ubisoft) - Exclusive
  8. Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios) - Exclusive
  9. Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft)
  10. Killer Instinct (Double Helix, Microsoft Studios) – Downloadable, exclusive
  11. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (TT Games, Warner Bros. Interactive)
  12. Lococycle (Twisted Pixel, Microsoft Studios) – Downloadable, exclusive
  13. Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  14. NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts, 2K Sports)
  15. NBA LIVE 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  16. Need for Speed: Rivals (Ghost Games, Electronic Arts)
  17. Peggle 2 (Popcap, Electronic Arts) – Downloadable, exclusive
  18. Powerstar Golf (Zoe Mode, Microsoft Studios) – Downloadable, exclusive
  19. Ryse: Son of Rome (Crytek, Microsoft Studios) - Exclusive
  20. Skylanders: Swap Force (Vicarious Visions, Activision)
  21. Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft) - Pictured at top
  22. Zoo Tycoon (Frontier Developments Ltd., Microsoft Studios) - Exclusive
  23. Zumba Fitness: World Party (Zoë Mode, Majesco)

Next generation versus last generation

Project Gotham Racing 3 for Xbox 360

Project Gotham Racing 3

For comparison, here’s the American Xbox 360 launch lineup:

  1. Amped 3 - Exclusive
  2. Call of Duty 2
  3. Condemned: Criminal Origins - Exclusive
  4. FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup
  5. GUN
  6. Kameo: Elements of Power - Exclusive
  7. Madden NFL 06
  8. NBA 2K6
  9. NBA Live 06
  10. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  11. NHL 2K6
  12. Perfect Dark Zero - Exclusive
  13. Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie
  14. Project Gotham Racing 3 - Exclusive
  15. Quake 4
  16. Ridge Racer 6 - Exclusive
  17. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06
  18. Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
  19. Bankshot Billiards 2 (XBLA)
  20. Bejeweled 2 (XBLA)
  21. Gauntlet (XBLA)
  22. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (XBLA)
  23. Hardwood Backgammon (XBLA)
  24. Hardwood Hearts (XBLA)
  25. Hexic HD (pre-installed on the hard drive)
  26. Joust (XBLA)
  27. Mutant Storm Reloaded (XBLA)
  28. Outpost Kaloki X (XBLA)

By my count, that puts the Xbox One at five retail and five downloadable exclusives on day one, whereas the Xbox 360 launched with six retail and 8 downloadable exclusives (we’re not counting Joust and Gauntlet as exclusives). While the new system’s numbers are slightly smaller, I would argue that the Xbox One’s retail exclusives, third-party retail lineup, and downloadable lineup all look much stronger than the games the Xbox 360 launched with in 2005.

Select launch game breakdown

Some of the games on the launch list we’ve covered before, others we haven’t. Everybody knows what to expect from the first-person shooters, Assassin’s Creed, and sports games. Let’s take a brief peak at the remaining titles:

Crimson Dragon

At long last, the big brother of Windows Phone exclusive Crimson Dragon: Side Story will appear on Xbox One. Crimson Dragon was originally announced for XBLA, but Microsoft mysteriously pulled it only weeks before release in order to retool it for Xbox One.

This spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon has benefitted from the extra year of development time with improved graphics, a greater scope, and the addition of physical controller support in addition to Kinect controls!

Dead Rising 3

The Dead Rising series is known for its mixture of zombie horror, oddball comedy, and massive hordes of enemies on-screen at once. Part three suffers from an unfortunate brown color scheme, but otherwise everything players love from previous games has been improved upon.

The world is completely open now and filled with drivable vehicles, which should make for gory road kills galore. Two-player online co-op and extremely robust SmartGlass support further round out this impressive exclusive. Check out our E3 preview for more details.

Fighter Within

One of the two exclusive Kinect retail titles, Fighters Within allows two players to battle each other via highly accurate Kinect controls. Throw a punch or kick and your character does so instantly, without the lag that Xbox 360 Kinect games experienced.

This is the kind of game that could either be surprisingly solid or completely underwhelming. We’ll have to see how it shapes up in the months to come.

Forza 5

The Forza series is known for its hyper realistic simulation aspects. Hundreds of cars are recreated down to the tiniest detail, and each one drives like the real thing. Forza 5 will of course be the most beautiful racing game to date, with more track detail and livelier spectators than ever before.

Online players will benefit from the cloud processing-fueled drivatar support (AI racers based on your actual driving style), while offline players can still play the game after downloading the day one patch. Madcatz also gas a wireless racing wheel in store that should create an even more immersive simulation.

Killer Instinct

A cult 2D fighting series from the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 days, Killer Instinct is back at last. Not only does it look and play quite faithfully to its predecessors, the new Killer Instinct also boasts an unusual payment model for a fighting game.

One character is completely free and can be used in offline and online play. The other seven characters cost $5 each, or players can grab the whole roster for $20. Hardcore Killer Instinct fans may opt for the $40 deluxe edition. It includes all the characters and a slew of bonus content, including the original KI arcade game!

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

Last year’s LEGO Batman 2 provided a vast playground and assortment of characters to entertain kids and comic fans alike. LEGO Marvel Superheroes should easily recapture that magic, thanks in large part to a playable roster of 100 Marvel Comics heroes and villains.

Warner Bros. quietly announced this game would come to Xbox One in addition to current generation systems back at E3, but that detail was largely lost in the sea of news from the show. We don’t know what enhancements (if any) the Xbox One version will feature, but enhanced graphics and special effects are a given. Give our E3 preview a look to learn more about the game itself.


This quirky combat racer comes from Twisted Pixel, the folks behind Ms. Splosion Man and the original Gunstringer.

It was announced as an XBLA game at E3 2012, but like Crimson Dragon got held back in favor of an Xbox One upgrade.

Peggle 2

Poor Windows Phone never got a port of the original Peggle, but the XBLA version was tops. Peggle 2 will launch as an Xbox One exclusive, which almost makes up for Plants vs. Zombies 2 being iOS-exclusive.

Expect a more pleasing art style complete with animated characters, increased background detail, and tons of peg-busting fun from this one.

Powerstar Golf

Did you like Let’s Golf 2 on Windows Phone? This cartoonish golfing game should evoke much of the same fun. Each character has a unique ability that he or she can use a limited number of times during a game.

Golf games are hard to screw up, but I hear this one currently suffers from severe UI issues. Hopefully those clear up before launch.


This epic action game takes place during the times of the Roman Empire.

It will include an online Gladiator mode on top of the single player game. You’ll use the money earned in multiplayer to purchase booster packs of cards that unlock random rewards. Sam and Michael are pumped for this one – how about you guys?

Skylanders: Swap Force

Activision recently announced that the newest Skylanders game will arrive on Xbox One in addition to current gen systems! Swap Force will work with all the Skylanders toys you already own; it’s awesome to see characters we bought for the Xbox 360 game transfer over to next gen as well. The Xbox One version will look much nicer than the 360 games, which should help keep parents’ attention a little better as they play co-op with their children.

Zoo Tycoon

Not long ago I said that Animal Park Tycoon would have to hold Windows Phone owners over since Microsoft wasn’t taking advantage of their Zoo Tycoon license. It turns out that Xbox One is getting the first-ever Zoo Tycoon game for consoles!

This one comes from Frontier Software, the developers behind Kinectimals and Kinect Disneyland Adventures. Expect lots of animal-themed Kinect minigames, highly realistic animals, four-player co-op, and of course: zoo management. We’ll also be able to visit each other’s’ zoos via the cloud.

That's it, guys! Barring last minute delays, these are the games you'll have to choose from on Xbox One launch day. Which ones are you excited for?

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Is Sega going bankrupt?  Not a single game on release day.  WTF?!?
  • Their too busy working with Nintendo
  • They're too busy failing with Nintendo
  • Cute
  • Sega do what Nintendont
  • I'm rather surprised that they are still making money.
    Their business practices as publisher convinced me that they hate money and don't want their customers to feel joy.
    Vanquish sold badly and Universe at War was just tragic, for two examples.
    Anyway, now that Sony decided that we don't need net neutrality (as can be seen by the fact that they are making broadband deals with deutsche Telekom), I'll get an Xbox One.
    Weird how no one is blowing this aspect out of proportion after all the Xbox One whining.
  • Well from what info I can find Sega pulled back to only 4 franchises last year.  Well most of us know how Aliens they have 3 franchises to count on now...but it seems Sonic is exclusive to Wii we have 2 franchises now....oops...both Total War and Football manager are PC games.
    The franchise they fucked up the worst was Alpha Protocol.....I mean they FUCKED that glorious bit of original IP.
 much for Sega I guess.
  • Universe at War was basically the re-definition of the RTS genre. Talk about fucking up.
    And it was conceived as a series of games.
  • Sega still has a thriving digital and mobile games business. Castle of Illusion comes to XBLA in September and looks fantastic. Wish they'd throw us some more WP games too.
  • Wow, Killer Instinct... Those were the days.
  • BATTLEFIELD 4 gonna be way beyond call of duty
  • I saw the previews and it looks really good, but idk about "way beyond," I'm a COD guy myself...
  • COD isn't going anywhere! There's a reason we get so many sequels
  • I play both of them. In bottom line Call of Duty is much more fun!!! You can say its the same or that battlefield is more realistic but for a game CoD is way better.
  • Wait a minute is peggle 2 going to be on Xbox 360 too
  • It wouldn't be an Xbox One exclusive if it was coming to Xbox 360 too.
  • Everyone knows the Xbox 360 couldn't handle a graphics and AI-intensive game like Peggle 2! ;-)
  • Although im so pumped for people to get a huge update in the console world, I'm a PC gamer, and the graphics don't compare, but im really pumped for these next Gen games to further push the boundaries of modern gaming, which will then make the PC gaming world so much better :)
  • I used to be a PC gamer, but more games coming to consoles, and it is nice to not need to worry about whether my computer has the specs to run a game properly. It is also nice to be able to just insert a disc and play. (I know they have to install now, but it is not the same).
  • I understand what you mean. Bit for me, PC gaming works the best, I dropped 1500$ on a gaming rig and basically I can take any game, crank the settings up to ultra and let it go :) but yeah, for most people, consoles are more reliable and easier to work.
  • Golf games are hard to screw up haha tell that to Gameloft!!!!
  • That's the thing. Let's Golf 2 is very fun and runs great even on underpowered WP7. The only thing it does wrong are the Achievements.
  • Nice article, can't wait til November!
  • Personally Im really looking forward to walking into my local retailer just buying the console and walking out, going home and downloading the games i want. I remember the 360 launch where you couldnt just buy what you wanted - everything was packaged in bundles that were overpriced and to get the games you wanted you had to pick a pack with at least 2 games you had no interest in.
  • "Xbox One on Day One".....I like that statement ;-)
  • All that matters is Killer Instinct, I could care less about the other 22 titles :-)
  • couldn't, couldn't, COULDN'T!!!
  • You tell him! :-)
  • Pity TitanFall couldn't make it on the launch list. That would be a killer launch title. And no Sparkle either??
  • Good article, and there are a few Games on my must have for launch day but I'm begging a developer any developer to please make a worthy Cricket Game for Xbox One....please! especially since region locks are gone the way if the dinosaurs.
  • I am tired of Crickets. I have to close my window at night in order to get any sleep. I cant imagine why you would want a game about that.
  • lol, for real though, I just wish I could play a Cricket Game of the same caliber as MLB, NFL or NBA Games we enjoy here.
  • I wish I could play a Canadian Football League game of any calibre!  The CFL's championship game (the Grey Cup, a trophy that people have been playing for for 100 years) draws 6 million views in Canada, surely that's a big enough market for an XBLA title at least, or an unlockable mode in Madden.
  • Can all of these games be downloaded or are some retail-only? I am done with discs, its too much to get off the couch.
  • I can manage to get off the couch, even if only just barely, but I'm way past done with scratching discs, losing them, etc.
  • As far as we know, all retail Xbox One games will also be downloadable when they launch.
  • I'll be picking up BF4, Ryse, and DR3. Probably most excited about Ryse!
  • Nothing makes up for PvZ2 being iOS exclusive...nothing...
  • What about project spark?
  • Not a launch title
  • you forget TITANFALL
  • Not a launch title
  • Excellent line up.
  • The Xbox One launch is good, but I'm not sure the quality is better overall than the 360 launch. Project Gotham Racing 3 was one of the best in a great series, and Outpost Kaloki X was fantastic.
  • Forza Motorsports is a quality racer too.
  • Like Xpider said, Forza 5 is in the same quality hemisphere as Project Gotham. Remember you can turn down the sim elements and have a more arcadey experience with it as well.
  • Interesting how, for the second time, we have an Xbox launching without Halo. Are they keeping their powder dry during the launch on purpose, figuring they'll sell every unit at launch anyway so why not aim for year 2 for Halo? Or are the games missing their targets?
  • I'm almost positive its by design.
  • I agree. I think they want more consoles in homes before they launch such a costly and high profile game. Very different attitude than with the original Halo!
  • I feel you, an just like you Cricket is a major sport in the UK, Caribbean, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh & India.
  • Still hating cuz Killer Instinct is an exclusive so I'll never see it on my PS3!!
  • Isnt Rare owned by ms?
  • Killer Instinct is a MS IP, just like Halo or Fable.
  • That's why you should pick up an Xbox One someday.
  • Wowowowow;
  • I really am fond of consoles and the Xbox. But i still cant play dota2 on it. So yeah. Ill need a good pc too. *sigh* now if only there was a way to use the Xbox as a pc..
  • I'm begging Microsoft to release these new games for WP7.8 PHONES LIKE LUMIA 710! DON'T MAKE ME THROW THIS CRAP, ABANDONED, AND IGNORED BY MICROSOFT PHONE AWAY!
  • These are not phone games, they are for the xbox one
  • Boy, you missed the mark on this article, heh.
  • Never owned an Xbox before, but looking at an Xbox One. Which of these games would you all recommend for 10-14 yo girls (and dad!)
  • Glad you're considering the Xbox One! It's going to be such a good family console, you would not regret the purchase. Out of the games available on day one, these are the ones that are good for a kid in that age group:
    Just Dance 2014
    LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
    Peggle 2
    Skylanders: Swap Force
    Zoo Tycoon
    I'm not super interested in Just Dance myself (I prefer Harmonix's Dance Central series), but all of those games are titles I'd buy. Other than Peggle 2 (actually my most wanted game of the 5), they all support 2-player co-op so you can play along together as well. And keep in mind these are only the games coming out the first day - more titles will release by the end of the year and in the future.
  • Thanks Paul - I'll check them out.
  • Sorry, I misinterpret this statement. But anyway, there are many new apps/ games which are only available for WP8 phones. What about WP7 users? We will be very sad, frustrated and angry at the same time. Please make an effort to release these apps/ games for WP7 too. Thank you.