Arcadified Forza fun for those that can’t tell their exhaust from their elbow, Horizon 2 is part open-world game, part racer and, with its focus on lines, trick, points and very irritating men in sunglasses, part skating game. It’s also reason alone for new-gen’s existence – dynamic, world-altering weather and the Southern European setting outstrip everything that’s come before. Tearing up the Mediterranean brings a tear to our eye.
9. Best Xbox One games Dragon Age: Inquisition
Enormous, handsome and in love with the subtleties of world design, storytelling and combat, BioWare’s many years toil on their sexy world’s-end combat fantasies has paid off with their best game yet. Thedas is magnificently beautiful and populated by some of the most likeable characters the medium has to offer – proven by ex-writer Kate’s near nervous breakdown when one of them rejected her advances. Dragon Age: Inquisition is the best RPG on Xbox One so far.
8.Best Xbox One games Batman: Arkham Knight
Rocksteady finishes its Arkham trilogy on a high. Arkham Knight’s a heady, silly, rain-slicked romp around the Gotham. There’s crime to fight from sewer to stratosphere, and Batman’s as powerful as he’s ever been. With some genuine surprises along the way, not to mention some of the neatest open world storytelling yet pressed to disc, it’s hard to see why Batman’s so grumpy about it all. We are firmly in the pro-Batmobile camp, too. Take it for a spin and you’ll wonder how you ever explored Gotham without it, crunching through buildings are shocking baddies, before changing into a tank that plays like some Japanese mecha. We love it. Maybe not the Cloudburst, though
7.Best Xbox One games Kalimba
Press Play’s been making Microsoft-exclusive projects for a while, and this is their high point. Steer two totem-pole stumps through a dastardly platforming gauntlet in the puzzler that’ll tie your fingers up like Flumps. Precise, taxing and faintly adorable, it’s the One’s secret platforming weapon. Got a sneering Nintendo fan coming over? Show them Kalimba and their happy, colourful brains will be blown into rainbow chunks.
6.Best Xbox One games Halo 5: Guardians
Halo’s always been a balance of campaign with multiplayer, but this entry’s a tad lopsided. The story of Locke chasing Chief isn’t quite the era-defining moment we were hoping for but, luckily, it’s the series-best multiplayer that gets our visors misty. Halo 5: Guardians offers so very much to prospective online warmongers. Arena is a return to the Halo of old, tense cerebral skirmishes that are an oasis of sanity in a sea of crude shooters. If you fancy some madness, then you have Warzone – mega-battles powered by a desperately addictive card-collecting system. And more’s being added – 343 just reintroduced Big Team Battles and a new version of classic map, Blood Gulch for free. We’re home.
5.Best Xbox One games Alien: Isolation
Pop a Valium and buy some brown trousers, because this tense masterpiece will trick you into thinking you’re safe. You’re never safe. That’s primarily because Creative Assembly’s managed to create the most effective gaming slasher villain of all time. You’ll know Alien: Isolation’s got you when you’re cowering in a space-box for twenty minutes, just because you heard a vent open as you went past, sprayed precious fire at thin air and ran for the nearest corner.
4.Best Xbox One games Fallout 4
We sort of knew what we were getting. It’s big, it’s buggy, it’s Bethesda. Fallout 4is a natural evolution, bringing with it the often aimless exploration, gentle humour and moral greyitude of the last two instalments, while propping it all up with a new-gen veneer. They might not be enormous shifts, but main character voice acting, better gunplay and (shock) not having to look inside crates to loot them all make this a streamlined version of a now-classic formula. Frame rate dips andoccasionally horrifying glitches rear their heads as usual, but it’s difficult to feel too bad when there’s simply so much going on. Once again, Bethesda has crammed several games’ worth of joyously inconsequential stuff in here, resulting in one of the most compulsive, moreish games of this generation. Get stuck in, and you won’t emerge for weeks.
3.Best Xbox One games Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
One of the most immersive RPGs ever made – a standout, mutable storyline, endlessly satisfying detective-cum-hitman Contracts, and side quests deeper than many games’ main campaigns. The Witcher 3’s world is one of the few game spaces to deserve that title – full of political intrigue, folklore and gross beasts to slice into ribbons. And all of that’s failing to mention CD Projekt RED’s raft of free DLC, and a couple of expansion packs – the first of which, Hearts of Stone, is responsible for this shooting up to the highest reaches of this list. Beautiful, rewarding and essential, this is a game we’ll remember for years and years to come.
2.Best Xbox One games Grand Theft Auto 5
Gaming’s biggest blockbuster deserves its place at the head of the list. GTA 5was already an excellent, brutal, beautiful open-world game, and is made even more so on Xbox One with a visual tidy-up, a glut of new content and the addition of first-person pedestrian-beating. With the addition of online Heists to make its online component even more enticing, Rockstar edges closer to making a game world so vast and varied that you could start to do away with anything else. Which, come to think of it, was probably the plan all along.
1.Best Xbox One games Metal Gear Solid 5: TPP
If we didn’t know better (or should that be worse?), we’d say Konami took the Hideo Kojima brand off of his last stab at Metal Gear Solid because it feels quite so different to his previous efforts. Yes, it’s packed with the off-kilter jokes, mechanical ingenuity and conspiracy theories so wild they’re seemingly drawn from the darkest of the internet’s depths – but at it’s core, this is a very different kind of Hideo Kojima game.
The switch to wide-open spaces featuring multiple missions not only makes this an embarrassing masterclass for the rest of the world’s stealth-action developers, but effectively turns every player into their own spy film director. That time you pulled off a tense, magical heist alongside your mute sniper buddy? That was all you. When it all went tits up and you were forced to detonate C4 stashed across an enemy base, before riding into the sunset on your own personal chicken-mech? You were the architect. It’s long been said that Hideo Kojima has been more obsessed with emulating his favourite films than making true games. MGS 5 proves that to be false – he wants you to do that yourself. We’ll happily spend a few hundred more hours obliging him