Welcome to T3's best Xbox One games guide for 2020. While it's been around for more than six years, the Xbox One has grown from a poorly received entertainment platform to a full-bodied games console with a laser sharp focus on games, games and more games. So, if you own an Xbox One, Xbox One S, or Xbox One X then this page is your one-stop shop for all the latest - and the very best - games you can buy, download and play right now!
If you're buying an Xbox One for the first time, or you're simply looking for your next virtual adventure, you're in for a treat. From the epic action-adventure of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and the bombastic and content stuffed shooter thrills Borderlands 3, to the stunning slash-'em-up Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the versus fighter brilliance of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, you're practically spoilt for choice. And with promise from Microsoft that all Xbox One Series X games released in the first year will be playable on Xbox One, you've got even more reasons to 'go green'.
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is on sale for just $1 right now – hurry!
- PS5 games
- Best Nintendo Switch games
- Best PC games
- How to watch the Marvel movies in order – completely free
We would say, too, that it's worth remembering that right now actually is a very good time to build up a collection of the very best Xbox One games. That is because we are now in the quietest time of the year for new game releases, the first quarter of the year, and that means that retailers and publishers are slashing prices on their existing game stock to maintain sales.
Without further delay, though, here are the best Xbox One games you can play right now.
The best Xbox One games and best Xbox One X games available to play right now
This One Piece spin-off has proved to be one of the most popular takes on the 'musou' formula, so much so that its sparked four instalments over the last eight years. The latest entry, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, looks to continue the scale of its predecessors with even bigger battles and even more over-the-top melee action set-pieces.
Environments are destructible, so you can level entire blocks as you lay waste to hordes of enemies. And if you're new to the series, you can experience the entire story off Luffy and co, making this an ideal jumping on point for new players (as well as existing fans of the anime and the manga).
Remakes are doing quite well at the moment - it's helped Activision give new relevance to Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon in recent years - and Capcom has been on-board from the start will a whole raft of modern remakes of the classic Resident Evil games. Now it's the turn of Resident Evil 3, which drops the 'Nemesis' subtitle while gaining lots of new contemporary improvements (and a new online mode).
The story benefits from the over-the-shoulder camera view and more streamlined controls, along with brand new voiceover work and an updated soundtrack. Alongside that, Capcom has introduced an online co-op mode called Resistance, which pits you against waves of mutated monsters and the undead.
While the likes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Battlefield V prefer their shooter trappings with the safe companionship of rules, DOOM Eternal takes that rulebook, boots it into the air and blows it to pieces with a super shotgun shell. Because this is an FPS shooter all about the ultimate power fantasy. You're the Doomguy, a slayer sent into the very depths of Hell itself to kill demons in all manner of bloody and glorious ways.
The single-player campaign is great fun, and a step up from the 2016 reboot in terms of both size and scope. Those gory executions have been given more meaning now, with certain styles of kill leading to enemies dropping certain types of resources (such as health or armour). Multiplayer has seen a bigger shakeup, with the traditional deathmatch modes replaced with a far more fun co-op take called Battle Mode.
The arena fighter sub-genre has found a plentiful vein in the world of anime. The likes of Dragon Ball and the like have produced some intriguing new takes, utilising the melodrama to create some brilliant over-the-top fights. My Hero Ones Justice 2 builds on the succeses of the first game, recreating the most recent seasons of the show to create a fully-fledged fighting experience.
The two biggest highlights are the story mode, which includes multiple main missions and side quests that cover story beats from multiple perspectives (including both heroes and villains). This single-player experience will appeal to anyone who's enjoyed WB Games' recent output with Mortal Kombat 11 and Injustice 2. Alongside this, Bandai Namco has introduced a new character customisation suite, enabling you to create some incredibly outlandish costumes to suit your favourite My Hero Academia stars.
While it can be argued that Sony has had the stronger generation for first-party exclusives, Microsoft has still been quietly producing some brilliant offerings of its own. 2015's Ori and the Blind Forest proved to be a beautifully detailed and intricately designed 2.5D platformer that wasn't afraid to apply a Super Meat Boy-style approach to brutal challenge and second-nature reactions. Five years on, its long-gestating sequel looks to keep that tradition going.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps sees a number of welcome changes, especially to its save system. The soul links of old - which required you to manually save your progress - are out in favour of a much more forgiving auto-save setup. The linear upgrade approach has also been switched up for a more creative 'shards' system. While it doesn't have the PR profile of Halo or Gears, the Ori games are proving to be some of Xbox One's most unique.
Having experienced something of a critical disappointment in Strange Brigade, Rebellion hasn't swayed from having another crack at the co-op shooter whip. In fact, there's plenty of DNA from Brigade in the newly-released Zombie Army 4: Dead War (which it, in turn, took from the original Zombie Army games), especially in how Dead War focuses on teamwork and utilising a whole raft of over-the-top powers - including the ability to call down elemental powers and craft unique weapons.
As with Zombie Army Trilogy, Dead War sees Sniper Elite lone wolf Karl Fairburne teaming up with a group of fellow survivors as they attempt to survive an alternate history where the Reich sweeps across the world on the tide of a, you guessed it, zombie army. This instalment is even bigger than the previous ones, with larger levels and even more monstrous undead to fight and trap (including shadow demons, suicide generals and more).
While everyone is looking to the next generation of hardware and the games these new consoles bring with them, there's still plenty of gems to play and enjoy on your current Xbox. And if you just happen to have missed one or more of Rocksteady's brilliant superhero action adventure games, the Batman: Arkham Collection offers the best and most valued-packed way to play all three on the same disc.
The collection includes all three games - including Arkham Knight and the remastered 'Return To' versions of Arkham Asylum (the original is over a decade old now!) and Arkham City - and all the post-release DLC content for each respective entry. So that's every story expansion, every challenge map and all those moreish Batman skins. When it comes to bundling all that extra content, the Batman: Arkham Collection offers the most bang for your buck.
Dragon Ball Z games are always a bit crazy, but that's to be expected when its source material is so consistently over-the-top. So it's fitting that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot - the latest game in the franchise from Bandai Namco - should take that concept and push it even further. A semi open-world game of sorts, Kakarot offers the chance to meet and battle your favourite (and not so favourite) characters in multi-stage melee brawls reminiscent of Dragon Ball FighterZ.
When you're not leaping into a mind-boggling anime showdown, you can explore the world of DBZ and complete side-quests and activities (including fishing, naturally) and delve deeper into the storylines of Goku and co. While it's very much re-tread of classic storylines, the game does add some much-needed extra content and dialogue that fleshes out certain areas that were previously an afterthought. It's not the most ambitious action-RPG out there, but it's authentically DBZ so franchise aficionados are bound to get a lot out of it.
After a long while without a decent tennis game, developer Big Ant Studios and publish BigBen Games is looking to show virtual on-court action has a play on modern day consoles and PC. The result is the next instalment in their AO Tennis series - AO Tennis 2 - and with a handful of key changes, the duo are hoping to prove you don't need the budgets of 2K or EA to make it work.
First up, the career mode has been bolstered with an overhauled career that features support for both solo and co-op play (in doubles, naturally) as well as the addition of more story-focused elements. You can use the academy mode to create and level up your created tennis superstar with drills, as well as creating your very own court designs. The creative options also extend to the scenario creator, which enables you to both relive classic moments from tennis' illustrious history and design your own challenging scenarios.
Once upon a time, rugby games were ten a penny, but for a while the world of virtual rugger was a barren place. And while EA has long since abandoned the sport to focus on its core titles, smaller developers have stepped in to fill the void. Big Ben's rugby titles have been a little hit and miss (Rugby 18 was particularly rough), but it's hoping it can turn things around with an overhauled approach for its latest instalment, Rugby 20.
Alongside the usual national teams and officially licensed domestic teams from leagues such as the Top 14, Pro D2, Gallagher Premiership and Pro 14, Rugby 20 boasts a revamped tactics system for a more granular approach to tactics and formations. Now you can set up trick plays more in the vein of the modern Madden games, as well as filtering in subs as matches progress. Graphically it's looking a lot better, with a far more confident presentation package.
The untimely death of Swedish DJ Tim 'Avicii' Bergling in 2018 came to a shock to us all - including Hello There Games, the indie studio who had been working with the DJ for three years on a new rhythm-action game. Despite the tragic loss of Bergling, the studio continued development in his honour, vowing to live up to his mission to create a game that combined his catchy dance tunes with an engaging and mesmerising visual backdrop.
For those who enjoyed the likes of Amplitude and the many imitators its spawned over the years, AVICII Invector is a must-play. With a suitably fast and catchy soundtrack featuring many of Avicii's biggest dancefloor hits, this solo and multiplayer-based music game is fun little game and an ideal way to support the foundation that was established in Bergling's name to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.
2019 was a strong year for games, including plenty of unexpected hits sneaking their way into our hearts (and our GOTY lists). Untitled Goose Game is one such game, a small-scale indie offering that takes a simple concept - controlling a goose as it wreaks havoc throughout a colourful village - and transforms it into a must-play experience.
It's a short little game, but a rewarding one that's perfect for players of all ages. There are all sorts of tasks and challenges to complete as you chase villagers into their homes, steal items and don the occasional hat. It's silly, and rather quaint, but it's definitely worth your time now it's available on Xbox One.
Shooters might look and play very different today, but they all draw inspiration and share common roots with the original Doom. With brutal weaponry and intricate level designs filled with secrets and ruthless demons, Doom set the bar high for the genre. If you've never experienced this classic, then the DOOM Slayers Collection offers a perfect way to experience Doom and its sequels.
In one box you'll get the original, the even gorier sequel in Doom II, the horror-style action of Doom 3 and the contemporary reboot in DOOM (2016). With DOOM Eternal set to arrive next year with even more demon-slaying action, this is a perfect way to experience this seminal series.
While the Terminator franchise may have stalled yet again on the big screen (despite being the best cinematic incarnation since T2 back in 1991), there's hope it might have a brighter future in video games. Polish developer Teyon (a studio with a very eclectic back catalogue, including shooters) is on dev duties, offering up a sci-fi first-person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
While it's more Wolfenstein on a budget, the focus on scavenging for resources and using stealth to outwit does help create a more tactical experience that rewards careful movement. There are plenty of new weapons to unlock and utilise, and lots of familiar robotic faces (including our old friends the T-800) to battle, as well as multiple endings to unlock if you're in the mood for myriad playthroughs.
It might have been a while since the last proper Halo game (four years, to be exact - imagine Call of Duty players waiting that long for a new instalment!), but Xbox One players have still had a veritable smorgasbord of games to play thanks in part to the bumper delights of the Master Chief Collection. However, one game has been conspicuously absent for much of this time. Bungie's last Halo hurrah - Halo: Reach.
Microsoft and 343 Industries have been hard at work optimising Reach while it continues to work on the next entry in the series (Halo Infinite, slated for release next year), with a lot of those changes going into the PC version and its huge library of maps. Sure, it's story didn't quite hold up to the quality of Halo 2 and Halo 3, but its multiplayer experience remains one of the best to ever feature Spartans punching each other into oblivion. If you already own The Master Chief Collection, Reach will appear as a free update on 3 December.
Back in 2017, developer CI Games attempted to take its long-running first-person stealth shooter franchise into the big time with a new, activity-filled open world that promised freedom and true sniper tactics. But the reality was a very buggy, mostly barren experience that proved going big was a little too much for a studio of CI's size. For Sniper Ghost Warrior: Contracts, the latest instalment in the series, we've now got a series of sandbox-style maps that finally deliver on that promise of open-ended landscapes and multiple targets.
Much like the oft-forgotten Killzone: Mercenaries, you play as a contract assassin collecting bounties by killing targets, completing stealth missions and various side-ops. You better you do, the more cash you earn, the better upgrades and gear you can take into the field. It's still not a perfect experience, but it's sniper simulation is top-notch with bullet physics that are affected by everything from wind to bullet drop. If you're looking for something to fill that Sniper Elite void, this is the series for you.
While Need for Speed Payback offered an enjoyable if not particularly memorable open-world racing experience, the presence of loot boxes in an aggressive form pretty much sunk any chance of critical or commercial success. Two years on, Ghost Games has returned for another crack of the whip and, thankfully, EA has seemingly learned its lesson because Need for Speed Heat has no loot boxes to speak of.
Thankfully, the actual racing game itself is really fun. Once again set in an open-world city, races are split it normal races in the day where you'll earn Rep (reputation), which will get you slots on nighttime races to earn Bank (money). Nighttime races offer lots of race and drift opportunities, but all that loot comes at the risk of being busted by the cops. It's tense, but it's an enjoyable and thoroughly rewarding race experience.
With the first Star Wars Battlefront completely omitting a story mode, and the second offering up a decent but easily forgotten narrative experience, it falls to Respawn (developer of the Titanfall games and the battle royale megahit, Apex Legends) to give this generation of consoles a proper SW game that delves deep into the franchise's lore. And do so without the damning presence of a microtransaction or a loot crate.
Respawn has cherry picked the right mix of ideas for Fallen Order - The Force Unleashed's sense of Force-driven power, the careful parries and strikes of Dark Souls, the open-ended exploration of Metroid Prime - and blended them with the unmistakable setting of Star Wars. You can upgrade main hero Cal Kestis can level up his force powers, while cute droid companion BD1 can be skilled up with extra abilities for hacking and more. With a new generation of consoles only a year away, Xbox One is finally getting a decent single-player SW game.
Unlike Spyro Reignited Trilogy - which also revived some much-loved platforming classics - Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King isn't a remake, but rather a remaster of the original games. What sets it apart is the ability to play multiple different versions of each of these retro platformers, so if you preferred the SNES version of the Mega Drive (or vice versa) you can experience both in the same package.
Alongside this great feature, you play enjoy 1080p visual enhancements for modern eyes, and the ability to play with a CRT-style visual overlay (for those who want to recreate that early '90s gaming experience. Both games are still just as unforgiving as they were 20+ years ago, but that shouldn't put you off enjoying this classic 2D platforming milestones.
Bethesda's modern take on the Fallout games have always split opinion, but spin-off of sorts Fallout: New Vegas has held a special place in the hearts of fans. Which is quite something considering just how buggy it was. Developer Obsidian has gone on to create some amazing additions to the RPG genre, but it's hit a new stride with The Outer Worlds, producing something that takes all the things we loved about F:NV and applies the spit and polish of triple-A release.
The result is a very familiar formula - create a character/go on quests/shoot, talk or sneak your way through - but it's so well put together that sense of deja vu only serves to play in its favour. Set in the distant future, you'll commandeer a ship and explore multiple planets, meeting new people, building your party and deciding the fate of those you meet. It's an FPS only as much as you want it to be, and you can choose diplomacy and peaceful talks over violence should you wish. With some of the best writing we've seen in many years, rarely any technical issues and a pulpy sci-fi/western feel, The Outer Worlds is a solid GOTY contender.
Modern Warfare is back with a reboot of sorts that takes familiar elements (such as Captain Price and his 'tache) and transposes them into a fictional single-player story with some very real and uncomfortable truths. While solo play returns, Zombies mode is out, traded out for Special Ops mode (a co-op affair with challenges not too dissimilar to the moment-to-moment gameplay of Rainbow Six: Siege). Multiplayer has been given a fresh makeover thanks to a new engine, including a deep weapon customisation system and a more linear approach to unlocks and progression.
The new Ground War mode - first seen in the betas earlier this year - gives COD a dose of Battlefield scale with larger maps and higher player counts than normal (it was 64 players in the beta, but developer Infinity Wars has promised 100+ at launch). Those bigger maps means vehicles are now in play, offering players the immediacy of COD's gunplay with the grand battlefields of modern battle royale games. There are no loot boxes this year, but there is a Battle Pass. However, IW promises this will just be cosmetic unlocks, not gameplay advantages.
While the original Yooka-Laylee was very much a modern take on Banjo-Kazooie and its many imitators, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is more of an ode to the Donkey Kong Country series, with plenty of that Playtonic creativity and charm added in for good measure. Primarily a side-scrolling 2D platformer - think Rayman Legends only with 3D models - Impossible Lair is filled creative ways to complete each level.
You can pull switches mid-level that completely transform its look and feel - such as submerging it in water or freezing it with a blizzard - which in turn makes previously unreachable areas (and their secrets) fully accessible. When you're not preparing yourself to face the titular Impossible Lair, you can also explore a top-down overworld full of its quirks and curios.
Having doubled down a little too much on the realistic racing model for Grid Autosport (which received a re-release on Nintendo Switch earlier this year), Codemasters has given the series something of a soft reboot with a return to the more accessible setup of the original entry. While the handling and damage model can be adjusted, you're left with a racer that's arcade enough to compete the likes of Forza and its open-world spin-offs.
This entry features all the car types and disciplines you could ask for - including Touring cars, muscle stock and Porches galore - with 11 globe-trotting locations to visit and compete in. Alongside a career (which features six different paths to follow depending on your playstyle) and all the usual local and online racing modes, this version also includes a special Fernando Alonso Challenge mode where you'll complete challenges to earn the chance to race the legendary driver himself!
With Dark Souls seemingly laid to rest and Elden Ring (FromSoftware's new IP with Game of Thrones author George RR Martin), fans clamouring for a difficult and obtuse action-RPG have a new means to punish can fill their boots with this latest offering from Deck13 Interactive. The Surge 2 takes all the elements that made the original such a hidden gem, including the ability to target specific limbs in battle, and looting fallen enemies for new parts and weapons.
With a larger and more diverse new setting, and with it a greater variety of enemies to duel, The Surge 2 offers up more of the things you enjoyed about the first game. More enemies means more weapon types and armour pieces to loot, craft and upgrade. That greater choice feeds into a much broader approach to class builds, so you can construct a build that suits the speed and style you prefer.
The latest FIFA is here, bringing with it new changes to gameplay, and brand new modes that promise a hark back to the good old days of FIFA Street (and its many imitators). VOLTA Football is the big new addition, offering a narrative-driven multiplayer experience that combines character customisation with story beats and 17 brightly-lit locales from around the world. Think NHL's World of Chel meets the PARK in the NBA 2K series.
Alongside VOLTA Football, EA Canada has made changes to Career mode to improve the manager mode side of things (including offering greater agency over player morale and individual stats), updates to FUT (two new modes and 15 new icon players). In terms of authenticity, FIFA still rules the roost with 30 official leagues, 700 clubs and 17,000 players. Looks like FIFA fans will have plenty to keep them playing until next September.
Borderlands 3 could have been a grand re-imagining. A shooter that re-approached the formula that made it such a hit back in 2009 (and inspired so many other, and sometimes better, games in the years that followed). And while BL3 does feature a fair few changes and enhancements, if you've played any of the previous entries, you'll know exactly what you're getting when you boot this up for the first time. This is a loot shooter where you shoot things and loot things.
The new Vault Hunter classes are the best the series has offered yet, with more passive and active powers to help break up the endless need to empty a magazine into some poor bandit's face. There are far more varied environments to explore beyond the canyons and snow-swept locales of Pandora, offering up plenty of open-ended settings to loot. Talking of loot, there are more guns here than ever. Sure, the gunplay isn't quite as weighty and accurate as Destiny 2, but considering how often you get new boom sticks, it's not the biggest of issues.
There are some issues with performance at launch, specifically when playing online with one too many enemies on screen, but few online-driven experiences are without their hiccups at launch. Hopefully Gearbox will address this soon in order to create a more stable framerate when things get busy. If you do want to play on your own, you can experience the entire game solo, just like the previous entries, although BL3 is at its best when you're shooting and looting as a team.
With the NBA Live series seemingly not releasing in its usual slot (EA has yet to reveal exactly what its plans for the next instalment are), its biggest rival - and the series that's come to define the sports simulation excellence - has arrived with its best instalment yet. NBA 2K20 offers some key changes to the flow of play, including a more realistic approach to player speed, momentum and physicality based on their attributes and position.
The difficulty curve is a little steeper, but it makes each match that bit faster as a result. The new MyCareer story mode element is slick if a little forgettable, but with a new layout for The Neighborhood social hub, tons of new mini-games, a new 3v3 mode for Pro-Am and some welcome tweaks to MyTeam (such as Position Lock for negating over-stacked card combos) b-ball fans will have plenty to keep them playing.
Much like the Motorsport on which its based, Milestone Team's MXGP remains a very niche racing series. One that balances realistic physics with a game all about doing big jumps off muddy hills and flying off your bike on a first corner pileup. Five games into the series and the Italian studio continues to tweak its racing model, as well as adding in much wanted modes and features for MXGP 2019.
First off, MXGP 2019 has a Track Editor (something the series has needed for years), so you can finally build, share and race on user-created tracks. There's also a new training hub - now known as the Playground - which enables you to create custom race checkpoints via the Waypoint mode, as well as a means of learning to handle different engine strokes in varying track conditions. There's even up to date rider likenesses and team details.
Coming from the studio behind May Payne, Alan Wake and Quantum Break, Control is a mind-bending survival horror and third-person shooter. You play Jesse Faden, a recruit working for the Federal Bureau of Control, a secretive agency that studies paranormal activity.
When the agency's 'Oldest House' HQ in New York City goes into lockdown, it's up to Jesse to explore its ever-changing corridors and solve the mystery at its heart. You'll be able to unleash Jesse's paranormal powers, such as mind-control and levitation, as well as utilising more traditional shooter weapons to fight back against the malevolent forms of the Hiss.
From the makers of the Darksiders series (including last year's criminally underrated Darksiders III) comes Remnant: From the Ashes, a new three-player co-op shooter that takes that tried and tested formula (open-ended maps, XP levelling, upgradeable gear and more) and gives it a fantastical twist.
Turns out a nightmarish horror from another dimension has attacked the Earth, ravaging it into a familiar post-apocalyptic state. The last remnant of mankind now has to use the same technology to travel to other worlds, find new weapons and hunt down the source of this eldritch enemy. It's very silly, and not particularly revolutionary, but it's a fun alternative to The Division games or World War Z.
If you've got a taste for games with a focus on investigations and solving mysteries, then the Ukrainian developer behind the most recent Sherlock Holmes games has just the thing. The Sinking City takes that same template - you attempting to solve an over-arcing mystery by gathering clues and speaking to locales - but infuses it with a horror twist.
The titular city is being engulfed by the waves, like an overtly Gothic Venice, and our hero must attempt to unravel the cause while maintaining his own sanity. Witnessing acts of horror will cause you grip on reality to weaken, so you'll need to marshal your senses or risk descending into madness.
The Age of Wonders series is back, bringing its 4X grand strategy gameplay to PC and consoles with the sci-fi themed politics of Age of Wonders: Planetfall. Following the same vein as other popular titles in the genre, such as Europa Universalis, Planetfall uses a procedurally-generated map where six factions are vying for control by any means necessary.
You can choose to follow the route of trade deals and diplomacy, using natural resources to power your faction, or you can go the route of the warmongering tyrant and build an intergalactic navy capable of destroying anyone who dares defy you. Each of the six factions has its own unique units, and there's a huge amount of depth to be found in both its turn-based combat and its political agency.
The new NFL season is due to start at the beginning of September, and that means it must be time for a new Madden. The annual American football simulator franchise returns with - shock horror - Madden NFL 20, which retains that familiar tactical sports sim with some welcome new features (including a replacement for the story mode and some special player abilities).
Face of the Franchise: QB1 isn't a follow-up to the narrative-driven The Longshot series; instead, it's more of a revival of Superstar mode, where you'll guide a created player from the college level to the NFL. There 10 licensed college franchises featured in the mode so gridiron super-fans will love that extra authenticity. There's also a new Superstar X-Factor system, which introduces special unique traits for some of the league's biggest and best players.
When Bethesda isn't giving us some of the best RPG experiences outside of The Witcher, it's serving up shooters like no one's business. We've already had Rage 2, and with DOOM Eternal looming on the horizon, the third full entry in the alt-history Wolfenstein series is ready to unleash its own kind of unique ultraviolence. Starring the daughters of main hero BJ Blazkowicz, this '80s set tale brings co-op gameplay to the series for the first time.
You can either play with a friend or team-up with the AI, offering far more agency when it comes to tackling missions and taking down tougher foes. Missions are also more open-ended in their design, offering a more Dishonored style approach where tactics involving stealth or all-out gunfights can be utilised. It's kind of change the series has been crying out for, presenting far more replay value as a result.
On the days where Rambo is busy exploding people with a 50. cal at close range, there's Visily. A former Russian merc, our bearded barbarian seemingly knows more ways to kill people than John Wick. When his old life comes back to ruin his new one among some Shao Lin monks, our boy responds in kind. In other words, it's a top-down brawler where you kill people in increasingly brutal and gory ways. Tapping into the likes of Loaded, Redeemer: Enhanced Edition simply lets you loose with a variety of murder means.
The Enhanced Edition brings a number of new additions to the blood-soaked table, namely the introduction of local co-op for double the death-dealing. On top of that, there's a new perk system for enhancing your kill skills and even more ways to to dispatch your foes in the heat of battle. It's a very uncomplicated game that doesn't ever try to be more than it is, but with a few new features included this is easily the best version of Redeemer yet.
The topic of mental health is no longer taboo for video game developers, with the likes of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and What Remains of Edith Finch offering brave new interpretations of how frail and fragile our minds can be. Sea of Solitude continues this trend, presenting an action adventure that mixes stealth, platforming and exploration.
There's a constant sense of isolation that pervades every part of Sea of Solitude, as you guide Kay - a young woman who awakes on a boat in a dark ocean, her own body now blackened and feathered to a monstrous degree - on a journey to find a bigger boat. She'll encounter monsters that represent the trauma she's carrying around with her, and while these elements are 'gamified' to make them fit into a traditional interactive experience, none them feel trite or cheap.
Sports simulations are quite niche in their own right - even the likes of FIFA and Madden only have dedicated followings in certain regions - but then there are super-niche sims that bring far more obscure sports to life in virtual form. The Tour de France games have been going for years, and the latest addition brings with it some welcome new changes.
Online competitions have now been introduced with two-to-four-player tournaments available, while more realistic and reactive AI makes solo play much more of a challenge. Talking of Challenges, this new iteration features special modes such as Descent and Sprint. You can now race through the Le Tour des Flandres (one of the oldest races in the pro cycling calendar) and enjoy all the major landmarks of the TdF race.
With the likes of Milestone churning out a racing game every other month, it's often easy to forget there other developers out there still producing motorsport sims worth your time and hard-earned money. British studio Codemasters is still very much a petrolhead, and it's latest addition to its officially licensed F1 series - F1 2019 - is proof that such a pedigree always shines through.
This year's iteration now includes a full simulation of the F2 championship, which is used to great effect in the redesigned career mode. With more of a narrative focus than previous years, you'll guide a driver through their early career all the way into F1 stardom, with scripted drama with your long-standing rivals keeping things theatrical on the way. When paired with an excellent driving model - which will satisfy both hardcore racing sim players and more arcade-focused newbies - F1 2019 proves itself to be something truly special.
With Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy having proved such a hit, Activision is back at it again with its 'modern remake of a PS1 classic' formula. This time it's the turn of Crash Team Racing - one of the few arcade racers to even come close to the majesty of Mario Kart 64 - and its packed with all the old tracks and racers your remember.
Even if you missed it the first time round, you're still in for a treat. With a modern visual makeover, you can power slide around every corner and attempt to claim a podium finish on some of the most ridiculous tracks you've ever played. You'll get access to both online and local multiplayer, and additional tracks and karts from Crash Nitro Kart.
The new entry in the annual MotoGP series has sped into view, and it's bringing with it tons of new content and modes to keep you playing long into 2019 and beyond. The game's AI has been overhauled to make it smarter and more reactive to your race style, while an improved approach to multiplayer - with dedicated servers and a new Race Director mode for overseeing an entire online race - shows Milestone is really pushing itself to enhance the full racing experience.
You can play as every rider from the new season across MotoGP and all the other major two-wheeled pro racing tournaments, as well as over 50 riders from MotoGP's history (including more than 35 extra bikes and three additional historical tracks). With 19 modern tracks, you'll also get to ride in the new MotoE race type.
While it's had a few growing pains over the years, ZeniMax Studios' large-scale MMO has gradually been refining itself with two major expansions - Morrowind and Summerset - and now it's time for the latest chunk of content, entitled Elsweyr, to finally leave the clutches of PC exclusivity and make its way to consoles. And it's bringing with it a raft of additional content.
Set in the humid lands of the cat-like Khajiit people, Elsweyr adds in an extra 30 hours of new questlines and gameplay content, which you can undertake alone or with in tandem with other players in your region. There are plans for new world events, where you'll battle massive dragons and reap considerable rewards, while the introduction of the new necromancer class will bring more unique powers to those that like a spell-based loadout.
French developer Asobo Studio was previously known for porting licensed tie ins from other studios to further platforms, so no one quite expected it to come along with its own unique IP. By diving into the history of its own nation, A Plague Tale: Innocence tasks you with guiding in two young children through the war-torn streets and countryside of France in 1349.
With the Inquisition on their tale at every turn, the duo must work together to evade their pursuers and the hordes of ravenous rats that swarm the countryside. You'll need to use your wits, stealth, your sling and torches to use your environment - and those rats - to your advantage. It's an unexpected little adventure, and one well worth your time on Xbox One.
If you're still reeling from the abomination that was Sonic the Hedgehog's CGI makeover for his upcoming big screen debut, Sumo Digital has just the pick-me-up. Team Sonic Racing follows on from the brilliant Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, offering a slick and rewarding kart racer that gives non-Nintendo players a fine Mario Kart alternative.
The big selling point from here is the ability to team up with other racers to create speed co-operative speed boosts or unleash powers that will leave your fellow racers reeling. You play solo or against other players in online and local races, including local splitscreen multiplayer for some old school couchplay competitions.
While no one quite expected Bethesda to sign off on a sequel to the disappointing Rage, Rage 2 actually does a great job of shaking off the forgettable nature of its predecessor and embrace a new approach that is all about empowering you with incredible powers and over-the-top weapons.
This new found joy of bloody murder is partnerned with an open-world wasteland, which can be traversed with a series of Mad Max-style vehicles. Within the wastes you take on gangs and cults, as well as mutants and the game's big bad, the Authority, using your nanite powers and big guns to creatively wipe them out.
Examples of the nanite powers you get access to include the ability to warp distances in a second, fire enemies into the air and even power slam into the ground to turn a crowd of foes into a pool of gore. Rage 2's pick and mix approach to abilities is reminiscent of Bulletstorm, while the more tongue-in-cheek take on an open-world definitely has a Borderlands vibe about.
As a single-player experience, Rage 2 offers tons of creative ways to unleash hell in shooter form, and the refreshing lack of dour seriousness makes picking it up and immediately having a blast easy and fun.
Final Fantasy XII is considered one of the greatest additions to the age-old JRPG franchise, and fans the world over were jumping for joy when they heard it was getting a remaster of the Japanese update. However, considering it's been exclusive to PS4 for years, Xbox One and Switch fans have been forced to look on with envy.
Well, that exclusivity has come to an end and The Zodiac Age is finally making its way to other platforms. This updated version of the PS2 classic has an improved character levelling system, a new auto-save feature and an extended soundtrack. It's the very best version of FFXII, so if you've held off playing it, now is the perfect time to right that wrong.
Fade to Silence has no desire to contain itself to just one genre. It's an amalgam of ideas from all manner of places, and while they don't always gel as well as they should, the result is something that's both immensely challenging and rewarding in its own way. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where a bitter eternal winter has descended, you'll play a settler attempting to build and protect a home while gathering resources.
There are all manner of dangers out there in the tundra, but it's the cold itself that's constantly trying to kill you. Find yourself lost and alone in a blizzard, and much like the original Lost Planet, you'll soon freeze to death. Recruit new follewers to unlock better gear, but lose them and you'll put yourself at risk. You can even use sleds pulled by wolves to travel a vast and dangerous open-world. Better wrap up warm for this one!
Mortal Kombat 11 is exactly what you're expecting it to be. A big, bold and bloody 2.5D fighting game full of gruesome Fatalities and Brutalities and enough gore to make Eli Roth green at the gills. This latest addition introduces the armour personalisation from Injustice 2 while adding in new Fatal Blows (which are made available when your health drops below 30%) and Krushing Blows (a cinematic set of moves similar to Super Moves from the Injustice games).
There lots of modes to keep you interested, including a story mode that uses time travel to visit some of the key points in the series' long history, as well as the usual arcade-style towers, an online mode for testing your might against the worlds' best fighters and much more.
Once upon a time, there was always a snooker game or two out for consoles and PC, but it's actually been almost eight years since the last licensed title from the world of baize. Snooker 19 aims to make up for that drought with a package chock full of content. There are 128 official pro players to choose from as well as lots of real-life locations from around the world (including China Open at Beijing’s Olympic Gymnasium and the one and only Crucible Theatre).
Developed by Lab42 (a studio previously known for porting some of the recent Yakuza games to PC), Snooker 19 will feature a proper simulated experience, with each player taking to the snooker table with the same style and attributes of their real-life counterparts. You can play offline against the AI or test your snooker skills online against the world's best players.
While the series has gone onto bigger and better things - including the brilliant Assassin's Creed Odyssey from last year - classic entries such as ACIII still have plenty to offer. Assassin's Creed III Remastered takes the original bloody action-adventure and applies a visual upgrade to textures and lighting and adds in some much needed quality of life features to gameplay.
On top of that, this remaster also includes all three of the DLC episodes (which sees an alt-history tale where George Washington has named himself king) and a copy of Assassin's Creed III: Liberation HD as standard (a game that was originally designed for PS Vita). Much like Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection, this is a must for any fans who missed the games the first time around.
The latest release from Square Enix isn't Kingdom Hearts or Tomb Raider related, instead it's focused on a new IP all about fighting mechs in a war-torn fictional setting. Bringing together some veteran names from the world of Japanese games development - including Toshifumi Nabeshima (director, Armored Core series), Yoji Shinkawa from Kojima Productions (character designer, Metal Gear Solid series), and Takayuki Yanase (mech designer, Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Xenoblade Chronicles X) - Left Alive has a lot going for it.
You'll have three different characters - each playing a different role in the conflict on Nova Slava in 2127 - so expect plenty of branching storylines along an extensive story. Add in plenty of customisation options and a health mix of stealth and third-person shooter gunplay and you're left with an intriguing prospect.
In many ways, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the ideal successor to both Bloodborne and the Souls series. You'll explore open-ended environments full of secrets and shortcuts and battle tough and brutal enemies around every corner, but you'll also do so with a constant sense of offence. Sword fights are only one by striking a killing blow, so knowing when to move in for the kill is a constant requirement.
At the same time, Sekiro feels intrinsically different from its virtual ancestors. The setting - inspired by the history and myths of Japan - is a world away from DS' medieval fantasy and Bloodborne's Victorian-style horror, and it's alive with shinobi, samurai and monsters galore. You can scale buildings in seconds, opening up exploration completely, and you can even employ stealth when you need to bypass tougher enemies. There's even an element of Tenchu there, for those still pining for a current-gen return to Feudal Japan stealth.
Dead or Alive is back. No, not with another volleyball game that's definitely not about volleyball. This is a proper entry in the main series and its bringing that familiar 3D fighting action to Xbox One. Unlike Tekken, Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, DOA is all about parrying with a 'rock, paper, scissors' approach full of counters and second-guessing. DOA6 continues this formula with gusto.
The latest mainline entry keeps that aggressive and tactical 1v1 fighting setup, but introduces more chances to escape and break combos. For less experienced players, this means you'll have more lifelines (such as using your Break Gauge special attack bar) to avoid an annoying one-sided beating. There are loads of modes to choose from as well, so if you're looking for a fighter with plenty of content, this is the game for you. There is a lot of DLC, but most of it is costumes, so don't feel the need to spend loads extra once you've bought a copy.
Capcom continues its run of good form with the revival of DMC proper. Devil May Cry 5 is a considerable step up from DMC4, and even takes note of the ultra-dark/ultra-silly presentation of the DmC: Devil May Cry reboot and melds it into one heart-pumping experience. You can still chain combs with your guns, swords and magical powers, but now you get to choose from a variety of new characters, including V and his ability to summon shadowy familiars.
By harking back to the basic principles of chaining combos in waves of arcade action, DMC5 recaptures the magic that made the original games to popular. And with some of the best visuals Capcom has ever produced - which look frankly incredible running on Xbox One X - this is easily one of the best games on Xbox right now.
While 2014's Trials Fusion was a well-received entry in the series, it lacked the spark that had made the previous entry - Trials Evolution - so beloved with fans. Dial the clock forwards to 2019 and the franchise is back, doing away with the futuristic aesthetic and tapping back into the silly extreme sports magic that made the earlier games so popular. From the endless creativity of its tracks, to the gradual gradient of its difficulty spikes, there's just so much to enjoy here.
With the power of Xbox One and Xbox One X, you're getting the best looking version of the game yet. You also get access to a vast tutorial mode making this a great jumping on point for new players, support for local and online races as well as access to the comprehensive Track Editor so you can build and share your own devilish creations with the rest of the Trials community.
Far Cry New Dawn isn't a 'full' entry in Ubisoft Montreal's open-world shooter series - it's more of a spin-off in a similar vein to Far Cry Primal. Serving as a sequel of sorts to Far Cry 5, you'll return to Montana in the wake of an apocalypse where nature has begun to reclaim the land. The result is a colourful new take on familiar locales, complete with all the pretty pink flowers you could ask for.
By stripping away some of the systems that bogged FC5 down (such as the bounty system that saw you endlessly hunted down), New Dawn offers a smaller yet more refined experience. You can now capture outposts and use fuel to upgrade your base, or strip it down outright then lose it to the new enemy faction, The Highwaymen. You can then retake it for even more fuel - if you're willing to endure a tougher fight. From crafting to companions, it's an ideal jumping on point for any new potential fans.
Anthem sees developer Bioware combining its expertise with MMOs and single-player RPG worlds to create something that's both new and instantly familiar. As a Freelancer - a mercenary with a flying mechanical suit and plenty of firepower - you'll defend the last cities of mankind against all manner of monstrous foes.
Flying your javelin is about the closest thing you can get to being Iron Man right now in game form, and nothing beats boosting into battle before unleashing the power of your Ultimate attack. There are four suits to choose from, countless customisation options and an engaging story to unravel.
Crackdown 3 seemed like it would be stuck in development hell forever, plagued with delays and problems since its initial reveal five years ago. But the wait is finally over, and while its cloud-based destruction physics aren't quite as revolutionary as we'd been promised (they're also only for the multiplayer Wrecking Zone mode) it's still quite something to destroy entire buildings at will.
The campaign can be played solo or in co-op, with all the usual hallmarks of the Crackdown franchise. You'll level up your agility, marksmanship and driving skills by jumping, shooting and driving through anything that moves. It's no great leap for the series, but it's a super-powered playground that's a riot to explore and destroy.
While previous Metro games have been heavily confined to the claustrophobic ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow and its underground metro system, in Metro Exodus the player breaks free from these confines and proceeds to head out across Russia aboard a militarised train called the Aurora.
Despite the new expansive setting, which looks simply gorgeous on the 4A Engine, the soul of what made the first two Metro games good - so, the RPG elements and detailed micro-actions that are necessary to survive, such as maintaining and upgrading your weapons, changing the filter on your gas mask, and using the day and night cycle to your advantage - remain very firmly in-tact.
Gun play also feels pleasingly deadly, with weapons packing real punch and a realistic sense of potential very immediate death, while the world and narrative is strong for a FPS, which once more is indebted to Dmitry Glukhovsky's original novels.
One of the best Xbox games released so far in 2019 and the best Metro game released to date, too.
It's been a long time since the last proper instalment in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. In fact, some other series have come and gone in their entirety while we've waited for Sora and co to return to our consoles of choice. Well, the wait is finally over - and while Kingdom Hearts 3 offers a story as convoluted as its predecessors, it balances it out with some of the largest and most rewarding locales yet.
From Frozen and Toy Story to Winnie the Pooh and Big Hero 6, KH3 has some of the most elaborate and authentic Disney-inspired worlds yet. We weren't sure if this third entry could live up to the magic of KH2, but those extra years in development have done this adventure the world of good.
Having found a return to form with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard two years ago, Capcom's long-running survival horror series continues that trend with a full remake of the seminal classic, Resident Evil 2. Over 20 years on, this version sees Raccoon City and its zombie infestation completely rebuilt in a new engine with all the lighting, particle effect and camera angle improvements those two decades provide.
Capcom has managed to retain the sense of dread that made the original so popular, while adding in enough improvements to help shake off the handful of issues that haven't aged well. With lots of DLC - including that released at the time an some brand new stories - this is a must for anyone who likes a strong dose of fear with their gaming exploits.
With a visual aesthetic not too dissimilar to Arkane's Dishonored series, The Council: Complete Edition is an episodic interactive mystery experience where you'll meet such characters as George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte and more. You can choose between different classes, each with their own balance of charisma, perception and dialogue skills.
Each one will help you solve the mystery of The Council in multiple ways, with multiple branching paths depending on your decisions. A slow burner, but one for fans of games that take their time to unfold.
It's been almost 12 years since the last numbered instalment in the Ace Combat series (although many consider spin-off Assault Horizon to be a proper entry), but while the franchise has been busy with portable and free-to-play instalments, it's finally ready to make its debut on current-gen hardware.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown includes the simulation style flight controls from the previous games, while including arcade controls better suited to new players. There's a full campaign of dogfighting antics, as well as support for multiplayer will deathmatches and a battle royale mode. That's right, battle royale in the sky with fighter planes.
First-person survival horror games are nothing new on Xbox One - just see Resident Evil 7 and Outlast for proof of that - but Hello Neighbor brings a new take on the genre with a greater focus on stealth, puzzle solving and some neat twists where reality and dreams seemingly collide.
With its cartoonish aesthetic and almost child-like quality, Hello Neighbor builds tension as you sneak into the home of one Mr Wilson to uncover a secret in his basement. Just hope he doesn't find you while you're there...
Xbox One already has quite a few 'walking simulators' to its name, but to simply classify What Remains of Edith Finch as such would be doing this incredibly unique video game a true disservice. As the titular character, you'll explore your family home and uncover the truth behind a curse that's seemingly caused every other member of your bloodline to die in unusual ways.
The storytelling techniques and mechanics are so deftly weaved together that you won't even see the tragic revelations coming. It's not a particularly long game, but it's one that will stay with you long after you've finished it.
While Microsoft's ID@Xbox indie development program hasn't spawned a title to rival the success of Cuphead (the biggest indie hits have been on Switch and on PC), it did help usher in one of latest and most anticipated independently-made games of the year: Below.
This action-adventure roguelike that uses a charming use of light and darkness in its visuals with a brutal (but ultimately fair) approach to exploration and combat. Death is permanent, but learn the beats of its mechanics and Below yields a top-down survival experience that manages to breath new life into a progressively stale genre.
Co-op play is often added in as a second or third thought these days, but not for A Way Out. Coming from a team that previously worked on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons over at Starbreeze, this engaging tale is all about two convicts who escape from prison and must go on the run and evade capture.
You play online or locally, with the screen splitting every time one player leaves the side of the other. Puzzles and obstacles can be overcome by working together with a big focus on stealth and tense chases. It's unlike anything else released recently and is well-worth a play.
As this feature can attest, recently there have been some truly amazing triple-A releases, but there's also been plenty of smaller titles that are just as deserving of your time, money and attention. Ashen is one, and it brings a different spin on the age-old medieval RPG formula.
It takes that familiar Souls combat model - with light attacks, heavy attacks and a stamina metre - but removes the need to explore linear environments and instead presents more open locales where the course of your journey is up to you. You can recruit NPC companions, much like Dragon's Dogma, but you'll occasionally meet other players. Question is, will they form an alliance or attempt to kill you?
Such is the wave of high-quality games we've had this year that some games that would've shined in less packed years have been lost in the sheer wealth of incoming titles. One of those games is The Crew 2 and it's definitely worth a play, especially if you love arcade racing games.
Embracing Ubisoft's love of content-filled open-worlds, you can race sports cars, muscle cars, off-road vehicles, stunt planes, speed boats and so much more. It's a bright, vibrant and empowering experience, and it's just a new Demolition Derby expansion so there's even more to do! Don't sleep on this one this Xmas!