Last week we checked out the best PlayStation 4 exclusives and the list contained some of the best titles this console generation has to offer. Whether by design or necessity, Microsoft has taken a different path, focusing more on multi-platform games and crossplay than Xbox One exclusives to lure players to their console. That doesn’t mean the Xbox One is devoid of exclusives. Although the list of exclusives in Microsoft’s stable may be shorter than that of Sony and their PS4, the quality is still top-notch. Even better, all but one of the games to rank among our 7 best Xbox One exclusives are included with Xbox Game Pass.
7 – Forza Motorsport 7
- Developer: Turn 10 Studios
- Release Date: October 3, 2017
Once upon a time, Gran Turismo was the console racer that players flocked to. Over time the Forza Motorsport franchise has moved into the lead, and Forza Motorsport 7 is no different. With a list of cars that span all the way from the humble BMW Isetta (it might hit 55mph if you’re lucky) to the supercars of our multi-million dollar dreams, you’ll test your racing mettle on some of the most iconic tracks from around the globe (with a few fictional tracks thrown in for good measure).
6 – Halo 5: Guardians
- Developer: 343 Industries
- Release Date: October 27, 2015
It’s hard to believe but there have only been two Halo games made natively for the Xbox One – Halo 5 and Halo Wars 2. Out of the two, Halo 5 is the one that makes this list, riding high on the merits of its multiplayer, which is still alive and kicking in 2020. The single-player story is arguably not the greatest the franchise has to offer, and anyone looking for the good ol’ Master Chief story is probably better served checking out the Master Chief Collection.
5 – Gears 5
- Developer: The Coalition
- Release Date: September 6, 2019
Gears 5 is the most recent offering in the Gears of War franchise, and this third-person cover shooter doesn’t disappoint. Gears 5 brings with it a new protagonist, Kait Diaz, showing that a woman can kick ass on a battlefield as easily as a grizzled, muscle-bound veteran like Marcus Fenix.
4 – State of Decay 2
- Developer: Undead Labs
- Release Date: May 22, 2018
Zombie survival games are a dime a dozen but State of Decay 2 is worth a dime all by itself. Like other survival games, State of Decay 2 throws you into the apocalypse to survive against the zombie hoard, but this time you aren’t alone. As you rescue other survivors they will join you and help to grow your base. From there, you will grow your foothold in the surrounding area and create a new society. You can even invite three of your real-world friends to join you in your efforts to save humanity.
3 – Sea of Thieves
- Developer: Rare
- Release Date: December 16, 2016
When Rare’s pirate action-adventure game set out on its maiden voyage the ship was full of holes and nearly sunk as players shot round after angry round at its broadside. Two years later, after a lot of work and upgrades in drydock, Sea of Thieves sails the ocean as the multiplayer pirate adventure everyone had hoped for.
2 – Forza Horizon 4
- Developer: Turn 10 Studios
- Release Date: September 28, 2018
While Forza Motorsport is made for the racing purist, Forza Horizon 4 offers up an arcade-style racing experience that takes you off the track and into a gorgeous open world. With a huge stable of cars to collect and pretty much every racing event imaginable. You’ll become a Superstar by completing single-player challenges, enjoy multiplayer with PVP and co-op options, and just cruise around the world hunting down collectibles.
1 – Ori And The Will Of The Wisps
- Developer: Moon Studios
- Release Date: March 11, 2020
It isn’t hard to imagine Ori and the Will of the Wisps being on many, if not all, of the Best Games of 2020 lists come December. In stark contrast to all of the retro 8-bit graphic platformers that are all the rage right now, the vibrant, visually stunning backdrops of Ori are a sight to behold. Improved combat over its predecessor complements the story and world of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, making it a must-have for anyone who loves platformers.