Congratulations! You just unwrapped a new Xbox One (or Xbox One S) for the holidays! Now you're wondering what the best games are to play on Microsoft's latest console. Fortunately, we're here to help, with some of our top picks to try out on your new machine.
We've rounded up our favorite and most-used apps and utilities for the technology we use every day. Check out our other picks for iPhones, Android phones, PCs, and Macs. We've also listed our favorite games for iOS and Android from this year.
Overwatch took the gaming world by storm this year, with a smart, polished take on the team-based shooter formula that's bursting with character. Each character offers different abilities and weapons that allow for a varied and unique range of gameplay, whether you prefer to play as a deadly sniper, a a hammer-wielding knight, or a rollerblading healer. Just remember to play the objective, group up on the payload, and that no one needs a Hanzo on Attack, no matter how many gold Elimination medals you have.
The successor to Titanfall brings more of everything that made the first game great, adding new Titans, new weapons, and new abilities. But more importantly, Titanfall 2 adds a single-player campaign to the mix that features some of 2016's most creative ideas, from a massive robotic factory that assembles whole towns around you as you fight your way through, to a time-warping mechanic that stands out as one of the best levels of any game, period. And when you're finished with the campaign, there's a wealth of game types new and old waiting for you in the online multiplayer that builds on the free running / giant mech gameplay loop of the first one.
Final Fantasy XV
The most anticipated RPG game of the last decade (because it was literally announced a decade ago), Final Fantasy XV finally launched this year and proved that it was worth the wait. Instead of the menu driven, turn-based combat the series is known for, FFXV has a real-time combat system that's built around a central warping mechanic that lets you zip around the battlefield and chain combos. But the game also has a surprisingly deep story, particular when it comes to the bonds of friendship between the four main characters that makes it feel more personal than its "saving the world" plot would have you guess.
The indie hit that took the PlayStation 4 by storm last summer finally made the jump to the Xbox One this year, and it brought all the same fun flying car / soccer action with it. Rocket League is simple to pick up, but if you’ve seen any footage from professional players, it quickly escalates into soaring shots and heart-stopping saves that would fit right in next to actual soccer players on any highlight reel.
A puzzle game masquerading as a first-person shooter, Superhot shakes up the shooting genre with a simple but effective premise: time only moves when you move. Practically, that means dodging bullets with balletic grace and taking on hordes of enemies that vastly outgun and outnumber you with the the bullet-time skills of Neo from The Matrix. Mix in some clever scenarios and an amazing-looking, stripped-down polygonal art style and you've got one of the most unique takes on a shooter ever.
Available for direct digital download from the Xbox Store.
Forza Horizon 3
The Forza Horizon series has offered up an open-world spin on the famed racing franchise for the last few years, and Horizon 3 is the latest and best entry yet. Instead of the nitty-gritty tuning and hyper-real physics of the Motorsport entries, Horizon offers up a more arcade-y take, giving you hundreds of cars and the freedom to take them for a spin across the wilds of Australia. Combined with wild set piece races that feel ripped out of a Fast and Furious movie, Horizon 3 is the true successor of the casual racing game that will scratch the itch to take a supercar on a joyride for fans of now-defunct franchises like Burnout or Need for Speed.
Gears of War 4
The Gears of War series was left in a strange place, after the Xbox 360 swan song of the franchise, Gears of War: Judgement, was less than warmly received by fans. But new studio The Coalition brings Gears of War 4 back to the series' roots, with gameplay that feels ripped right out of the original trilogy of Gears games (in a good way!)
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Dishonored 2, Doom, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5: Guardians, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Destiny: Rise of Iron, Ori and the Blind Forest, Minecraft, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided