The best Xbox One exclusives 2018 - the releases you need to own


If you've got an Xbox One X recently, or still have a trusty S/original, you're probably looking for the best exclusive releases to show what it can do. Especially with a world of Xbox One X enhanced games to play now. 

With that in mind these are 10 of the best Xbox One exclusive games currently available. And, for the X owners out there, we've marked whether they're Xbox One X enhanced or not, so you'll know if you're going to get a little extra bang on your box. 

Most recently we've added PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to the list, especially as its 1vs99 deathmatch popularity shows no sign of letting up any time soon. Then there are some of last years other Xbox hits like Cuphead, with it's cartoon charm and merciless challenge, and Forza Motorsport 7, quite possible the best racer out there right now. And that's all on top of established classics like Quantum Break, Gears of War 4 and obviously a Halo game or two. 

Let's take a look...

10. Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One X Enhanced: yes)

Real-time strategy games rarely flourish on consoles, but Halo Wars 2 manages to comfortably map every tactical function you need to the gamepad, putting the focus on fast-paced, top-down action while saving you the headache of having to constantly fiddle with the controls. This sequel adds the invaluable ability to create control groups for your units (all faithfully recreating Halo's most iconic vehicles and enemies), which makes micro-managing your army mid-combat a breeze. Halo Wars 2's campaign tells a gripping war story with plenty of impressive cutscenes, and the orchestral score is up there with the series' best. If you're jumping into the online multiplayer, be sure to check out the innovative Blitz mode, which couples classic RTS gameplay with a deck-building mechanic to become Halo Wars 2's best innovation.

9. Quantum Break (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.

8. Ori and the Blind Forest (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.

7. Sunset Overdrive (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.

6. Halo 5: Guardians (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. Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One X Enhanced: yes)

Forza Horizon 3 is that rare breed of racing game with universal appeal, even if you're not typically keen on the genre. Getting behind the wheel of a high-end vehicle - chosen and customized from a selection of hundreds, with everything from Ferraris to 4x4s - then zooming around an open-world, near-photorealistic version of paradisal Australia is an absolute treat. Doesn’t matter if you're merely cruising to take in all the beautiful sights or excitedly flooring it in pursuit of a personal best time. The sheer variety of challenges to take on let you set the pace however you see fit, and the campaign's online integration puts you in full control of how many players you want to share the road with, if any. With accessible handling, drop-dead gorgeous visuals, and a near-endless supply of things to do, Forza Horizon 3 can take anyone for a thoroughly enjoyable ride. And when you're in the mood for a decidedly ridiculous drive across miles of orange plastic, the Hot Wheels DLC is just fantastic.

4. Gears of War 4 (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.

3. Cuphead (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. 

2. Forza Motorsport 7 (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.

1. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (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.

Looking for more top Xbox One picks? Check out our lists of the best Xbox One games and the upcoming Xbox One games for 2017 and beyond!