You've just acquired a shiny new Xbox One and you're excited to hunker down and start gaming until your eyes bleed. There's just one major problem: what games should you be playing? Never fear, the gang at Arcade Sushi is here to help you out. We put our heads together to compile this thorough list of the best games currently available for the Xbox One. This list will constantly be updated with the top games on the system, so you'll never have to worry about being out of the loop.
Keep an eye on this page as more games come out to see which games unseat the current Top 20, but for now use think of this as the definitive guide to Xbox One games you must own, and get going.
Volgarr the Viking
Crazy Viking Studios
Volgarr is not for the weak of heart. This is a brutal, trying action platformer that will test the mettle of every person that presses start, but playing through it is an absolute blast. Developed by the aptly named Crazy Viking Studios, Volgarr puts the player into the boots of a Viking warrior and throws every type of enemy imaginable in his way. Only the most patient and skilled players will make it through this onslaught, but the feelings of nostalgia brought on by this window into the "golden age" of arcades make Volgarr worth a run through or two.
At first glance Child of Light looks as though it belongs in a children's story book, yet it's actually one of the best turn-based RPGs to hit the gaming world in quite some time. A beautiful world ripped right from a child's fantasy book, dialogue written entirely in poetic verse, and an epic score are highlights of Ubisoft Montreal's ode to the classic RPG. Anyone who grew up on Final Fantasy or games of that ilk should venture to the world of Lemuria and see what the game has to offer, as we're pretty confident that those who do won't want to leave.
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
The episodic adventure format has been popularized by Telltale Games, but Swery65 proves that he can tell a great story in this style, too. D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die follows a detective with the strange supernatural ability to travel back in time, using it to solve the mystery of his wife's murder. D4 mixes the same quick decision formula that Telltale is known for with a brand of weirdness that only Swery and his team could pull off. The first two episodes end on a major cliffhanger, so get in now to be prepared for the rest of D4 when it drops this fall.
Metro 2033 and its sequel Last Light reached near-cult status on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, so there's a good chance most of those reading this never tried the original releases. Metro Redux bundles both games together in one package, enhancing both the graphics and gameplay in ways that make both games even better than before. Series vets can choose which game's format they prefer and use it in both titles, while new players can figure out what's best for them and play on. The graphical upgrade makes the Russian underground seem even more mysterious, creating an even more intense and suspenseful mood. These are two games not to be missed, and now they're in one package that makes finding them easier.
This paragraph could be summed up in two simple words: "it's Minecraft." Everyone has played or at least heard about Markus "Notch" Persson's sandbox game, and the Xbox One version seems like the same old game. The power of the new console, however, allows for much bigger worlds in which to build and survive, enhanced online multiplayer allowing up to eight players in one game, and four-player split-screen multiplayer for those who prefer to share a couch. Everything else is the same, and it's hard to find fault in the incredibly fun and creative experience. This is a must-buy for Xbox One owners with children of their own, as the potential for family fun is off the charts.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
The rebirth of Lara Croft wowed the gaming world in 2013, but 2014 saw an enhanced version of the reboot launched on the Xbox One. This Definitive Edition sets the standard for last generation games coming to the new consoles, improving the original experience in every way. The wilderness is even more lush and green, the campfires roar more realistically than ever, and Lara herself looks more like a real person than ever before. The core experience didn't change much, but it didn't have to since the game was great to begin with. Reliving Lara Croft's return to glory has never been better than this definitive edition.
Zombies. Thousands of zombies coming from every corner, all focused on one singular goal: eating poor Nick Ramos's face. Dead Rising 3 takes the same basic concept from the previous titles and stretches it out to an entire urban playground of undead destruction. Los Perdidos is a huge place and more zombies than we've ever seen before walk the streets, and they're dangerous enough without having to worry about new psychopaths looming in the city as well. Dead Rising 3 is the trademark Dead Rising experience cranked up to eleven, and fans of zombies or action need to visit Los Perdidos.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
While the latest Assassin's Creed entry didn't exactly woo the gaming masses, the first ever Assassin's Creed on the Xbox One made plenty of waves. With Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Ubisoft transports the world of Assassins and Templars onto the high seas, infusing it with swashbuckling privateers and a new tropical Caribbean setting. The naval battles introduced in Assassin's Creed III are greatly enhanced, and the story incorporates both past and present in a way that could set up the future of the entire series, but we're still waiting to find out. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag serves as a fantastic starting point for new-generation assassinations with a quality that we hope can be achieved again and soon.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
For the many players out there that just can't make a suitable gaming PC, playing Diablo was all but a pipe dream until Blizzard announced a console release for Diablo III. The Ultimate Evil Edition for Xbox One sweetens the pot by including the expansion Reaper of Souls with the original game on one disc at purchase. Even with all of that content we could have never imagined how well Diablo transitioned from PC to console. Blizzard created a control scheme that works incredibly well, allowing Xbox owners quick and natural movement as they fight against the devil's hordes. We're mighty impressed with this PC stalwart's turn on the console, and we're wondering when Blizzard with experiment with other franchises on consoles too.
The Walking Dead, Season 2
We spent the first season of Telltale's The Walking Dead trying to protect young Clementine from the dangers of the zombified world, but ultimately that task ended up costing Lee Everett his life. Telltale decided it was time players take matters into their own hands, putting us in control of Clementine herself for the second season. What follows is the story of a girl transformed from the scared child we first found alone in a treehouse to a grizzled survivor who knows her way around the world of the undead. Clementine's story can follow many paths, but the emotional impact of the narrative and the choices the player makes throughout will stick with us for a long time coming. We're counting down the days until Season Three, whenever that happens.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
It should come at no surprise that a Call of Duty game makes this list, as we are talking about one of the most successful franchises in video games. Advanced Warfare, the first CoD game developed by Sledgehammer Games, takes the familiar experience and escalates it with deep multiplayer customization, a fantastic campaign story, and some of the most impressive cutscene visuasl we've ever seen. We also love Kevin Spacey's performance as Jonathan Irons as well as the facial capture technology that brought him, Troy Baker, and the rest of the cast right into the game. If this is the first effort Sledgehammer brings to Call of Duty, we're really looking forward to turn two.
Cowering behind a stack of crates in a long desolate hallway, Amanda Ripley peeks out and watches the path for a while. All seems clear for the moment, but just as she decides to move a black behemoth appears and searches for a new victim. If this creatures sees Amanda she's already dead, so she must be as careful and cautious as possible in her quest to find out what happened to her mother. Oh, and the monster's movements and appearances are completely random, meaning that predicting movements is impossible. Reading this situation is tense, but playing through it is the definition of tension and suspense, and it's what makes Alien: Isolation so good.
The Wolf Among Us
Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? At the beginning of The Wolf Among Us, not many of the citizens of Fabletown hold Bigby Wolf in high regard, let alone fear him. Despite the resistance, Bigby must solve a series of heinous murders through careful investigation strategy. He'll meet countless other Fables throughout his investigation, including Snow White, Bloody Mary, Georgie Porgie, and more. Telltale threads an amazing tale of intrigue through player decisions, leaving us with more questions than answers even as the final credits roll. We don't know if we'll get another season of The Wolf Among Us, but we sure hope so.
The Himalayan town of Pyrat is dangerous enough with its animal inhabitants, it doesn't need a armed-to-the-teeth militia ran by a psychopathic self-appointed dictator. Alas, that's the situation we find ourselves in when playing Far Cry 4, as we must traverse this gorgeous mountain environment while fighting the forces of Pagan Min and his crew. As we mentioned there's also elephants, tigers, and other fauna to contend with, but we can also influence an alliance with the animal kingdom during major battles, and there's few things more satisfying than leading an elephant into an enemy camp and smashing everyone and everything in our path. We never knew what we'd find in Far Cry 4, but we certainly found a lot of fun.
"Prepare for Titanfall!" We heard that phrase a lot as we battled against friends and players online but we never tired of it, probably because the saying was immediately followed by a giant mech dropping onto the battlefield at our beck and call. We could hop in and pilot it if we wanted to, or we could set it to autopilot and let it fight for itself while we set up diversionary tactics elsewhere. Even without the mech we could wall-run and double jump, giving us more mobility than we've ever had in a first-person shooter before. Titanfall was the first major Xbox One exclusive when it launched in March, and it set the bar for the rest extremely high.
Sunset Overdrive is the video game equivalent of pure madness. Sunset City is overrun with neon-glowing monsters fueled by a toxic energy drink and the creators of that drink are trying to erase the evidence by killing everything in sight. It's up to Player (that's the character's name, seriously) to save the day with an insane arsenal of weaponry like a fire-spewing shotgun and a TNT-strapped teddy bear launcher. Sunset Overdrive is loaded with references to other games and pop culture, and we remember smiling and laughing when we saw a few of them. We love a game that's made just to be fun and doesn't take itself too seriously, and Sunset Overdrive is definitely that kind of game.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
A lot of readers are now wondering why this made the list considering the matchmaking problems that have plagued it since launch. We agree that online issues are frustrating, but there's a lot more to this package than just server errors. This is a digital Halo encyclopedia containing all four core games in the series, and we're allowed to mix and match our experience however we wish. Custom mission playlists let us choose our favorite scenes, or we can play them as we did all those years ago. Better still is Halo 2 Anniversary Edition, a brilliant re-imagining of one of the most influential games of the 2000s. The multiplayer might be borked sometimes, but when it does works it's incredible and the single-player more than makes up for the problems online. This is still a great collection, and the Halo fans out there need to make this part of their libraries.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is the Lord of the Rings game we've always wanted. Heck, we would have been satisfied with just running around Mordor fighting Orcs and Uruks with our awesome ranger and Wraith skills, but the Nemesis system enhances the experience even more. If we're killed in battle, that particular enemy is promoted and gains more power in the ranks of Sauron's army, and revenge becomes ever more difficult than the original battle. Also, some of the execution techniques we can pull off on this monstrous jerks are some of the most brutal kills we've ever seen in a video game, but we figure that's why they're called "Brutalize" moves. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor belongs in every Xbox One owner's collection.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto enhanced for a new set of consoles was enough for us to jump in and try it again, but then Rockstar went and made the first-person view mode GTA fans have wanted forever. This completely changes the GTA experience for the better, allowing us to see first-hand the mayhem we're causing through the streets of Los Santos. The main game changes very little from the original release on the last console generation, but that story was good enough for a second play through if it means doing so in the first-person mode. Even if you already played GTA, make sure to try it again on the new consoles. We doubt anyone will be disappointed.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Plenty of games let players control their own paths, making big choices throughout the game that influence where the story progresses. Few games do it like Dragon Age: Inquisition which gives dominion over the entire game world. Every choice made, every ally who joins, and every enemy slain has some effect over the world of the Inquisition, putting control of the experience firmly in the player's hands where it belongs. It doesn't hurt that fighting dragons is incredibly epic and there's 200+ hours of content to sift through before the adventure ends either. Dragon Age: Inquisition is the fantasy game enthusiast's dream game, and players can easily get lost in its wonder and scale. Don't be surprised if a half-hour mission turns into six hours of exploration and combat.
Next: Best Games of 2014