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The 10 best games for your new Xbox One

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Our picks out of hundreds of games

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Microsoft’s Xbox One has been on the market for more than five years, which means there are hundreds of good games for it. While there haven’t been many top exclusives for the Xbox One this year, there are still some classic games you should absolutely try. And don’t forget Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription ($9.99 a month) that provides access to more than 100 Xbox One games. If you just unwrapped a new Xbox One and you’re looking for some games to play, here are a few of our favorites to get you started.

We here at The Verge have rounded up our favorite and most-used apps, games, and utilities. Look for our app picks for iPhones, Android phones, PCs, and Macs; our favorite games for PCs, iOS and Android, and our top choices for the PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.

Forza Horizon 4

Image: Xbox Game Studios / Turn 10

It feels like there are too many Forza games for the Xbox One, but Forza Horizon 4 is simply the best. Set in Britain, you can race around the beautiful British countryside in the latest supercars through fall, winter, spring, or summer. The seasons change, as does the scenery, and there’s even a surprise Master Chief appearance if you happen to be a Halo fan. If you’re interested in the best driving game, this is it.



Cartoons from the 1930s were wild and creative, and Cuphead is no different. Set to the same art style from that era, Cuphead is a run-and-gun game that’s unforgiving. There are challenging boss fights, lots of side-scrolling action, and a beautiful mix of art, music, and animation. Like Dark Souls, you might have to “git gud,” but it’s well worth the effort.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves aims to recreate pirate life on a variety of ships in the open seas. Developed by Rare, it’s an action adventure game with a twist of cooperative multiplayer play. Sea of Thieves really shines when you’re playing with friends, and you’ll have a lot of fun getting drunk, shooting yourself out of cannons, or discovering the many secrets and islands the game has to offer.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

Set in 1899, Red Dead Redemption 2 is Rockstar’s latest in the Western-themed series. A giant interactive open world awaits, and the many choices you make during the game shape its story and your adventures. You’ll get the chance to be the ultimate cowboy in a gang that robs and fights its way across the American countryside and desert.

Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is a mashup of Grand Theft Auto and Tony Hawk, and it’s one of the most bizarre open-world games you’ll probably ever play. There’s skateboard-style grinding mixed with hordes of zombies in a world that’s fun to explore. If you like the sound of firing explosive teddy bears at enemies, Sunset Overdrive is worth checking out.

Dead Cells

Dead Cells

Dead Cells is a unique mix of Metroid and Castlevania, a true Metroidvania. You’ll fight your way through dungeons in a world that’s full of side-scrolling pixel art, but don’t spend too much time staring, because whenever you die you’ll be forced to start over from the beginning. If you enjoy dodging, attacking, and defending against clever enemies, then Dead Cells will keep you amused (and frustrated) for hours.

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori is one of the prettiest games you’ll find on the Xbox One. Ori jumps and climbs through 2D platforms that are all set in a beautiful forest. The mix of story, visuals, and music sets up rewarding gameplay, and some challenges along the way. With a sequel due next year, Ori and the Blind Forest is a must-play.

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5

If you just got an Xbox, you’ll definitely want to check out a Halo game. If you’re looking for some classic Halo, then there’s the The Master Chief Collection, but the latest installment, Halo 5, has all the best parts of Halo gameplay with some new abilities mixed in. If you’re interested in multiplayer, then Halo 5 includes some great player-vs-player fun.



Inside is a short but haunting adventure from the team behind Limbo. You assume the role of a young boy in a dark, gray, mysterious world that’s full of horrors. Inside starts as a simple platformer, but soon gets far more complex with some surprising reveals and an incredible ending.


Image: Capy

Below is a moody roguelike survival game that has been years in development. It’s an Xbox console exclusive (also on PC) that’s set in a big, interconnected underworld. Death will send you back to the start in some cases, and you’ll need to master the survival system, solve puzzles, and take shortcuts to survive until the end.

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