Best Xbox One games for 2020

The Xbox One X is the most powerful game console on the market right now, and when it comes to multi-platform games, it’s my personal favorite. Yes, the Xbox Series X console is due by the end of 2020, but that’s not going to help you if you’ve been spending more time than usual at home and need to be entertained right now. And, if you invest in any of these games, they’ll be backward compatible with that console, too.

Xbox One

Before you buy, however, consider the following:

  • We’ve included links to the digital version of each game at the Xbox online store if you don’t want the disc version (sold at linked retailers via the red buttons).
  • Some titles, like Inside, Cuphead, and The Witness, are digital-only titles. If you buy them at a retailer, you’re just getting a download code.
  • Apex Legends and the baseline version of Destiny 2 are free to play (for Xbox Live subscribers), just use that digital link to download them.
  • In addition to those freebies, subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can currently get Outer Worlds, Red Dead Redemption 2, Ori and the Blind Forest, Monster Hunger World, Gears 5, Halo 5, Metal Gear Solid V, The Witcher III, What Remains of Edith Finch and Rocket League at no extra charge. (Note that many of those titles will likely rotate out of the Game Pass system at some point in the future.)

Doom Eternal rules. It’s very much in the vein of the Doom reboot that launched in 2016, but that’s a good thing. We say it’s the most metal game ever made.

Cool additions include all-new methods of maneuvering throughout the game’s insanely violent universe. Very cool stuff. Probably the best Xbox One game of 2020 so far.

Related: View great deals on Xbox Bundle packs with great games included.

Endless online discourse about its difficulty aside, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is another masterpiece from Dark Souls creator From Software.

Sekiro shares a little of the DNA that made Dark Souls so compelling, but it’s absolutely a brand new beast, even more, distinct from the Souls series than Bloodborne. It requires learning a whole new skillset (mainly parrying) but it’s worth the initial pain.

It took a while for Rockstar to release this one, but Red Dead Redemption 2 was worth the wait. This is a great game dripping in detail. Get through the slow start and engross yourself in one of the best video game worlds ever built.

Outer Wilds is just… insane. A strange sci-fi mystery to be uncovered, Outer Wilds is set in a living breathing solar system that’s simultaneously small, but also tremendous in its ambition and execution.

It’s a game packed with jaw-dropping moments that feel organic in a way few games can compete with. I cannot emphasize this enough: play this video game.

Remember when no one was all that excited by Destiny 2? That’s all changed with the Forsaken expansion, which has restored much of the excitement among hardcore and casual Destiny fans. Even if you abandoned Destiny 2 soon after its launch, there’s enough fixed in Forsaken to justify diving back in.

Apex Legends is the game no-one saw coming. In 2018 Fortnite literally ruled our cultural universe, but now its position atop the Battle Royale genre has been challenged by Apex Legends, and with good reason. Designed by the core team responsible for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and, more recently, the excellent Titanfall series, Apex Legends just feels so good minute to minute. Look for this game to stick around.

Tremendous in scope, you’re gonna want to give Assassin’s Creed Odyssey a bit of breathing space. The opening credits roll after five hours for goodness sake! But once the game gets going, it really gets going. This is what a game made by hundreds of people looks like. Gorgeous, massive, polished. A supremely well made open-world video game.

Related: View great deals on Xbox Bundle packs with great games included.

There’s a Resident Evil cycle. It does something bold and innovative (see Resident Evil 1 or Resident Evil 4) and then it coasts on that achievement for a couple of sequels before getting its act together again.

Thankfully, Resident Evil 7 is what it looks like when the series gets its act together. It’s the first relevant and essential Resident Evil game in over a decade. It’s very good indeed.

Monster Hunter: World is the latest entry into the “big in Japan” Monster World series and it’s a humdinger. Best of all, it’s relatively accessible to new audiences.

It’s a great starting point: previous games in the series have been on the Wii or on handheld consoles. This is the first time in a while Monster Hunter has appeared on a cutting-edge console and Monster Hunter: World takes full advantage of that computational grunt.

Mortal Kombat is still kicking and, some might say, is better than ever. Ignore. Once upon a time, Mortal Kombat was a gimmicky ultra-violent competitor to the sublime Street Fighter II. Now it’s a spectacular fighting game in its own right, with its own set of strengths. This is the best Mortal Kombat game to date.

There’s a lot less hype around the Gears of War series these days, which is a shame because Gears 5 is a true return to form. One of the best big-budget AAA games of 2019.

Halo might never regain the popularity and cultural relevance it had in the mid-2000s, but that doesn’t mean Halo 5: Guardians is a bad game. It’s not. It’s a very good game. Particularly if you’re in possession of a 4KTV and an Xbox One X.

Just when you thought you’d seen everything the first-person shooter has to offer, along comes Titanfall 2 to reinvent the genre. From the creators of Call of Duty comes a shooter that pushes the boundaries of what you thought was possible. Shooting stuff will never be the same again.

You could make the argument that Metal Gear Solid V is one of the best open-world games ever made. It’s certainly one of the most malleable universes ever created, and one of the most responsive to player input. Marred by internal conflicts between Konami and the game’s creator Hideo Kojima, the ending is extremely messy, but there are 40 hours of absolute pitch-perfect open-world stealth goodness before you get there.

Forza grabbed the racing game crown from Gran Turismo years ago, and it’s been squatting there ever since. Forza Horizon 3 is our favorite racing game it doesn’t take itself too seriously but is still enough of a simulation to satisfy rev heads.

Some people call The Witcher 3 the best game of this generation. I say how dare you to besmirch the good name of Breath of the Wild and Bloodborne, but that doesn’t mean The Witcher 3 isn’t in the discussion. It absolutely is. Also, it’s a video game with good writing. That makes The Witcher 3 a bonafide unicorn.

Rise of the Tomb Raider was a pretty sweet Xbox One exclusive back in the day. You can pick it up on PlayStation 4 now, but it still very much feels like an Xbox One video game.  It’s also extremely good, and the closest you’re ever likely to get to an Uncharted-esque experience on the Xbox One.

Doom is back. Sick of shooting bad guys from extremely far away? Very much over not being able to enjoy the visceral gore of demon internal organs spilling on nearby surfaces? Doom is a video game for you.

Related: View great deals on Xbox Bundle packs with great games included.

You can’t get Bloodborne on the Xbox One, but Dark Souls 3 is the next best thing. From Software haven’t made a bad game yet and in the pantheon of the “Souls” genre, Dark Souls 3 ranks pretty high. That means it’s up there with the best of an already exceptional bunch. Souls games aren’t for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to give Dark Souls 3 a try.

Overwatch may be in the process of being bludgeoned to death by Fortnite and PUBG in terms of mainstream appeal, but it’s still got a gargantuan audience returning night after night. Mainly because Blizzard has literally no idea how to make a game that isn’t compelling on every possible level. If you were into Team Fortress back in the day, this is your new jam. If you like online shooters in any form, this is also your new jam.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is probably the most culturally relevant AAA video game of the last couple of years. It’s well written, well-sequenced and you should play the hell out of it.

What Remains of Edith Finch

A unique, story-focused game that’ll pique the interest of folks that liked Gone Home or Dear Esther. Like those games What Remains of Edith Finch is narratively driven, short but affecting. Best of all, you can play through the game in one sitting.

Playing soccer with cars is about as good as high concepts get. Hard to go wrong with that. Rocket League is a great idea, perfectly executed.

Related: View great deals on Xbox Bundle packs with great games included.

Probably the best video game remake ever. Evokes the spirit of the original Resident Evil 2 but doesn’t feel creaky or dated. Works as a nostalgia piece but is also perfectly playable for newcomers. It feels like a brilliant reworking of a type of game no-one really makes any more.

Credit to CNet for their top list in Xbox One games.

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