The 10 Xbox One exclusive games you need to own

Not much has changed recently for Xbox One exclusive games but post E3 the promise of new Xbox exclusives looms large. Microsoft has bought a ton first party studios, and announced new games like Gears of War 5, Forza Horizon 4 and Halo Infinite. Even Crackdown 3 is still on the way.

We won't be seeing most of those for a while though. Most recently we had State of Decay 2 which is okay but not great, hence its lack of inclusion here. This is meant to be the best Xbox One exclusives, not just what's available. It's a good list though - 10 must own Xbox games to do your console justice, that you can't play anywhere else. 

10. Quantum Break

Release date: 2016
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Genre: Action
Xbox One X Enhanced? Yes   

It might've overextended a bit with its experimental TV tie-in elements, but Quantum Break from Remedy Entertainment (makers of Max Payne and Alan Wake) has moments where its mix of third-person shooting and temporal powers really soars. As Jack Joyce (played by Shawn Ashmore, the lead in a relatively star-studded cast), you've stumbled into time-manipulating godhood and must use your newfound superpowers to wipe out waves of armed goons and prevent the cataclysmic End of Time. It's worth playing Quantum Break just for those moments when you've trapped enemies in a prism-like stasis bubble, peppered them with soon-to-be-unfrozen bullets, then warp-dashed over to another baddie for a melee takedown, all in the span of a few seconds.

9. Ori and the Blind Forest

Release date: 2015
Developer: Moon Studios
Genre: Platformer
Xbox One X Enhanced? No   

The sheer artistry of Ori and the Blind Forest must be seen to be believed. This beautiful 2D platformer puts you in control of the adorable fluffball Ori, accompanied by a watchful spirit named Sein as you explore a lush, treacherous forest structured in brilliant Metroidvania fashion. It's all brought to life with beautiful hand-drawn art, silky smooth animation, and a stirring soundtrack that'd be right at home in a Hayao Miyazaki movie. As if the base game wasn't enchanting enough, the Definitive Edition expands Ori's adventure with new areas and additional abilities that shape how you nimbly dart around the expansive environments with invigorating fluidity. If you're not one to back down from a challenge - some difficulty spikes really test your skill and perseverance - Ori's adventure will enthrall you from start to finish.

8. Sunset Overdrive

Release date: 2014
Developer: Insomniac Games
Genre: Action
Xbox One X Enhanced? No   

Insomniac Games made a name for itself with the beloved Ratchet & Clank series, famous for their varied assortments of outlandish weaponry - so the studio decided to take that expertise in crafting absurd artillery, build an open-world, Jet Set Radio-style metropolis bursting with color around it, and infuse the chaotic proceedings with a healthy dose of punk rock attitude. Sunset Overdrive lets you pull off some spectacularly absurd feats of mass destruction, where you can launch bowling bowls, fireworks, explosive teddy bears, and more, mowing down hordes of mutants, robots, and bizarre gang members while you grind along telephone poles with your physics-defying sneakers. Its attempts at edgy humor constantly fall flat, but the sheer fun and freedom of grinding, flipping, and air-dashing around Sunset Overdrive's urban playground make it well worth a go.

7. Forza Horizon 3

Release date: 2016
Developer:
Playground Games
Genre:
Racing
Xbox One X enhanced?
Yes

Okay, we know that there are two Forza titles in this list, but we've been good and only picked one from each of the release strands - even though they're all amazing. Forza Horizon 3 is the latest in the open-world arm of the Forza series (compared to the simulation-focused Motorsports line), and is set in the varied and utterly stunning locales of Australia. Drift, race and stunt your way to the tops of all the leaderboards, and don't forget to find all the Forza Horizon 3 Barn Find locations to  earn yourself the rarest, and best, rides.  Oh, and if you're looking for extra realism, check out our guide to the best Xbox One steering wheel options.

6. Halo 5: Guardians

Release date: 2015
Developer: 343 Industries
Genre:  Shooter
Xbox One X Enhanced? Yes   

It's nowhere near the best Halo game, but as sci-fi FPS adventures go, Halo 5: Guardians makes for a solid system exclusive. Master Chief shares the spotlight with newcomer Spartan Jameson Locke, leader of the four-strong Fireteam Osiris. Halo 5's campaign is best enjoyed in online co-op (supporting up to four players, though sadly there's no splitscreen option), and though the plot itself lacks sufficient oomph, the new focus on verticality in the level designs keeps the tense, tactical firefights feeling fresh. Meanwhile, the multiplayer is as exciting as ever, especially in the large-scale, multi-objective skirmishes of the 24-player Warzone mode. As for all the other tried-and-true modes, you really can't go wrong with Halo multiplayer in any capacity.

5. Gears of War 4

Release date: 2016
Developer: The Coalition
Genre: Shooter
Xbox One X Enhanced? Yes   

All the Locusts may have been wiped out, but humanity's war for survival is far from over. Gears of War 4 follows a new generation of lovable super-soldiers clad in bulky armor - Kait, Del, and Marcus Fenix's son JD - as they huddle behind cover and tear through legions of baddies with an assortment of bullets, explosives, and Lancer chainsaws. Whether you're playing solo or in two-person co-op (split-screen or online), Gears of War 4's campaign delivers one thrilling third-person shootout after the next, full of fast-paced, stop-and-pop combat against smartly designed opponents using a plethora of satisfying artillery. Diving into the PvP fray of online multiplayer is a great way to satiate any leftover bloodlust, and the revamped Horde mode (which introduces buildable structures generated by the Fabricator station) brings an appreciated tower defense vibe to the endlessly replayable PvE holdouts.

4. Cuphead

Release date: 2017
Developer: StudioMDHR
Genre: Platformer
Xbox One X Enhanced? Yes   

After all delays and hype Cuphead finally delivered when it arrived on Xbox One. Most importantly it proved it more that just a distinctive and beautiful  art style. Under that cure exterior is a mix of bullet hell style bosses and tricky platforming that'll challenge the best of you. It's precise and well balanced mechanics cater mix a range of abilities and options that encourage replays, as well simply wanted to best your previous playthroughs and it's a great co-op option to play with a friend. It's wonderingly presented throughout with that gorgeous presentation extending to the music and more. An Xbox essential. 

3. Forza Motorsport 7

Release date: 2017
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Genre: Racing
Xbox One X Enhanced? Yes   

After a questionable previous installment Forza Motorsport 7 finally perfects it's racing game. Everything is as flawless as those 4K visuals with better AI, improved handling, more substantial collisions - everything you need to make the cars all feel great. The precision of the controls creates some great moments as you push cars to their limits - screaming around corners on the edge of the tyres grip. It all combines to deliver an experience that's both realistic and fun, as long as you don't mind working for it as some of the progression can be a little demanding as you try to collect cars and win events to get ever further. But, even though there's a hint of grind this is still one the greatest racers currently available.

2. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Release date: 2017
Developer: PUBG Corporation
Genre: Shooter
Xbox One X Enhanced? Yes    

Sure PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a little rough around the edges, but then it's always been that way and that hasn't stopped it becoming the biggest game around. The key to it's success is the ruthless thrill seeking behind it's 1vs99 deathmatch. Yes, you'll probably die. No, you probably won't reach number one. But it's the tension behind that 'just maybe' feeling each time you play - parachuting into an island to scavenge guns and gear, possibly not even seeing another player until the final 30, and then creeping around with your heart in your mouth until you finally, inescapably head towards conflict with the survivors. It's still in Game Preview right now, with a new desert map on the way, and updates always adding new gear and improving play.

1. Sea of Thieves

Release date: 2018  
Developer: Rare
Genre: Adventure
Xbox One X Enhanced? Yes 

Possibly the biggest boon for Xbox One owners is the fact that Sea of Thieves is all theirs. Rare's emergent pirate adventure sees players sailing across the big blue, finding treasure where the X marks the spot, defeating hordes of skeletons and undead sea captains and even collecting chickens and other items to sell to travelling merchants. Of course, you're doing all that in between swigging grog, singing sea shanties and having a laugh with your mates. Because, if you know nothing about Sea of Thieves, all you need to know is that's it's the best game to play with your friends.