Talk about a misleading title. Despite the fact you star as a kickass bureau director who can fling dudes around with the power of her mind, you never really feel like you’re in control in… well, Control. In Remedy’s brilliant action-adventure, nothing is quite what it seems. Throwing you into a contorting, utterly bemusing government building, The Oldest House is the most interesting video game setting of the current console generation. While the walls and ceilings of this labyrinth twist around you, Remedy throws you into challenging battles that let you experiment with Jesse’s telekinetic abilities in constantly inventive ways. As you levitate around the joint like a young Magneto, crushing enemies with office furniture, it feels like you’ve been thrown into a thrilling TV show. One in which the star just happens to be the most badass pencil pusher ever.
The monster that is Fortnite shows no signs of slowing down. It's got tens of millions of players and is one of the few games to be an honest to God cultural phenomenon as children, celebs and footballers alike floss like crazy whether they've played the game or not. What's even more amazing is that it's 100 player battle royale mode wasn't even the main game. It started live as a co-op crafting and survival game that added on battle royale to catch a band wagon and ended up taking over the word. While its building and battling gameplay is already strong, it's used of seasons - with constantly changing meta stories, secrets, mechanics and items - means it stays fresh even when the core mechanics remain the same.
8. Gears 5
It only took five attempts, but Xbox’s number two franchise finally delivers a decent plot. Sensibly shunting terminal dullard J.D. Fenix aside for the far more interesting Kait Diaz, Gears 5 manages to tell a genuinely compelling story that fleshes out both its new lead character and the ever-present Locust threat. Gears is also still really good at guns and gore. While open-world style hubs, various upgrade systems, and other modern-day tropes sneak into The Coalition’s third-person blaster, this is very much an old school cover shooter at heart. Gunfights remain thrilling and hectic, while those Locust still turn into extra squelchy chunks when you take the business end of your Lancer’s chainsaw to their supremely fugly faces.
7. Grand Theft Auto 5
Gaming's biggest blockbuster deserves its place at the head of the list. GTA 5 was already an excellent, brutal, beautiful open-world game, and is made even more so on Xbox One with a visual tidy-up, a glut of new content and the addition of first-person pedestrian-beating. With the addition of online Heists to make its online component even more enticing, Rockstar edges closer to making a game world so vast and varied that you could start to do away with anything else. Which, come to think of it, was probably the plan all along.
As simple or as complex as you want it to be, Minecraft is the perfect example of a game that lives up to the hype. Whether you just fancy pottering around in creative mode, or jumping into survival to take on various blocky nasties in your quest for the End, Mojang's masterpiece always feels perfectly yours and unique. It not not be and exclusive but it made its home on Xbox and belongs high up on the best Xbox One games list. This is a world worth just wandering in for eternity. Plus, the constant evolution with new packs, new textures and gameplay tweaks means that Minecraft is always moving forward. If you thought it was just about stacking up green blocks, it's time to catch up.
5. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Assassin's Creed Origins might have reinvigorated the series after a short break, but it's Assassin's Creed Odyssey that has really set the tone for the future. It has a more exciting world, a more engaging story and generally tightens up all the ideas and mechanics of Origins to tightened perfection. This is even more of an RPG compared to the previous game with numerous plot threads to follow - none of which we'll spoil. Set in ancient Greece it sees you travelling the islands waging wars (including full size battles), romancing whoever takes your fancy, and building out your choice of assassin - Alexios for the boys, and Kassandra for the girls. Whoever you choose you have a glorious open world to explore and a fantastic journey ahead of you
4. Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment's take on battle royale came out of absolutely nowhere and immediately took the world by storm. Apex Legends grafts the best bits of Overwatch onto the familiar where-we-droppin' formula of Fortnite, with default squads of three Legend characters who wield unique abilities that let you specialize your role. As with Respawn's Titanfall series, the first-person shooting is sublime, with a wide variety of guns that reward mastery (yes, even the infamously underpowered Mozambique has its moments) and feel great to fire. Like Fortnite, Apex Legends is free to play with cosmetic microtransactions, so anyone and everyone can drop in and see if they have what it takes to become a Champion.
3. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
If we didn't know better (or should that be worse?), we'd say Konami took the Hideo Kojima brand off of his last stab at MGS 5: The Phantom Pain because it feels quite so different to his previous efforts. Yes, it's packed with the off-kilter jokes, mechanical ingenuity and conspiracy theories so wild they're seemingly drawn from the darkest of the internet's depths - but at it's core, this is a very different kind of Hideo Kojima game.
The switch to wide-open spaces featuring multiple missions not only makes this an embarrassing masterclass for the rest of the world's stealth-action developers, but effectively turns every player into their own spy film director. That time you pulled off a tense, magical heist alongside your mute sniper buddy? That was all you. When it all went tits up and you were forced to detonate C4 stashed across an enemy base, before riding into the sunset on your own personal chicken-mech? You were the architect. It's long been said that Hideo Kojima has been more obsessed with emulating his favourite films than making true games. MGS 5 proves that to be false - he wants you to do that yourself. We'll happily spend a few hundred more hours obliging him.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 might be slow to start and is the archetypal 'it gets good 20 hours in' kind of game, but when we mean good, we mean good. Its broad Wild West opera builds out a world of characters in a changing time and take you on a journey with them as they face the new world taking over while fighting the old one still chasing them down. Arthur Morgan is a gruff, hero full of depth, capable of growing a mean beard, and with plenty to keep him busy. This is game where you can rob a bank, hunt animals, fish, play cards, and meet numerous strangers with lots for you to do. While there's a story to follow, with some of the greatest highs and lows in gaming, there's also just a huge, living place to inhabit and live in. Clear your calendars because this a game that has you in for the long haul.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
One of the most immersive RPGs ever made - a standout, mutable storyline, endlessly satisfying detective-cum-hitman Contracts, and side quests deeper than many games' main campaigns. The Witcher 3's world is one of the few game spaces to deserve that title - full of political intrigue, folklore and gross beasts to slice into ribbons. And all of that's failing to mention CD Projekt RED's raft of free DLC, and a couple of expansion packs - the first of which, Hearts of Stone, is responsible for this shooting up to the highest reaches of this list. Beautiful, rewarding and essential, this is a game we'll remember for years and years to come.
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