Xbox One System & Controller

2018 was a growing year for the Xbox. After a sluggish start, Microsoft is doubling down in the race to secure first-party studios and put out great exclusives. Along with the release of the ultra-powerful Xbox One X in late 2017, even more gamers are jumping on board for amazing experiences with the best Xbox One games.

There are some fantastic Xbox games out this year—some exclusive to the Xbox One, and some that simply look better on Xbox One X than any other console. Here is a stellar selection of the best Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your list.

Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your listForza Horizon 4

Developer: Playground Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Racing
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Forza Horizon 4 is probably my favourite Xbox One exclusive games. Its awesome blend of realistic graphics and arcade style racing action keeps me coming back again and again. With constantly changing seasons and new dynamic activities, the fun never seems to end.

The game features over 450 cars for players to collect, modify and drive—all with a stunning level of detail. Set against the gorgeous scenery of Great Britain, this is easily one of the most breathtaking racing experiences in gaming. Every car has a unique feel, and every activity offers something a little different.

Whether you want to cruise solo around the map, or take part in any number of multiplayer activities, there is just so much to do in Forza Horizon 4. This is one title that will deliver its value in replayability many times over.

Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your listSea of Thieves

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Sandbox
Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen 13+)

Rare is a developer with a long history of creating critical and commercial successes. Some might argue that Microsoft did not put the studio to its best use after scooping it up in 2002—delegating it to niche projects for the essentially defunct Kinect peripheral. However, Rare is finally back on track with one of the biggest Xbox exclusives of 2018—the online pirate adventure Sea of Thieves.

In Sea of Thieves you’ll sail the seas in a vast open world, on the hunt for treasure and fame. You can certainly forge out on your own, but the best pirate adventures to be had involve teaming up with a crew of fellow scallywags. Follow your map, dig for treasure, and try to make it back to shore without other pirates stealing your booty.

Sea of Thieves is full of real world players who may prove to be allies or enemies. There are no rules and countless adventures and secrets waiting for you no matter how you choose to approach your exploration of the high seas.

Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your listState of Decay 2

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Survival
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

State of Decay 2 is another open world adventure game. However, unlike Sea of Thieves, you won’t be seeking wealth and renown. Rather, the name of the game in State of Decay 2 is simply survival.

There is no saving the world in this game, only saving yourself for as long as you can. Playing solo or in co-op mode with up to three friends, you must navigate the zombie apocalypse. Scrounge up enough supplies to survive, and build a community that might just be able to hold off impending doom one day at a time.

Neither is there a singular protagonist in State of Decay 2. Recruit new survivors and upgrade traits and abilities to benefit the group as a whole in your bid to see if you possess the skills of a true leader. Can you make the right decisions to keep people alive in the face of the undead? Unique choices mean that no two experiences are ever alike.

Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your listAssassin’s Creed Odyssey

Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action role-playing, stealth
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is definitely a front runner for my own personal game of the year. It features an enormous open world to explore, with stunning graphics and immersive environments that look incredible, particularly on Xbox One X. Yet most importantly, it’s just plain fun.

The funny thing about the evolution of the Assassin’s Creed series is that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey isn’t really a game about an assassin. Sure, stealth is an option—but your skills as a flat-out butt-kicking mercenary are equally impressive. Whenever a stealth approach goes south, (and it usually does), that’s when the real Spartan-stomping action begins.

It’s certainly not a bad thing, as I’ve been saying—the frantic action of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is some of the most fun I’ve had in 2018. It’s definitely worth checking out this new direction for the series, because Ubisoft is nailing all the best parts of an open-world action RPG.

Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your listRed Dead Redemption 2

Developers: Rockstar Studios
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Genre: Action-adventure
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

Last but certainly not least, no must-play list for 2018 is complete without its most hotly anticipated release—Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar Studios has a reputation for creating some of the most massively unique, innovating, and immersive experiences in gaming, and Red Dead Redemption 2 does not disappoint.

From its cinematic storytelling to its nearly unfathomable attention to detail, Red Dead Redemption 2 is arguably leagues above any other game in terms of pushing the boundaries of what a video game is. Some might even contend that the pace of the game suffers for it. Regardless, its sheer level of innovation still has to be experienced just to be believed.

All this, and Red Dead Redemption 2 is still just getting started. While the game currently only features its single-player mode, the impending release of Red Dead Redemption 2 Online (included with purchase of the game) means that people will still be talking about this game for years to come.

Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your list

These are some of the biggest and most popular gaming titles gracing the Xbox One in 2018. Pick up any title from our collection of the best Xbox One games for the Xbox gamer on your list and you’re guaranteed to make someone happy this holiday season.

Click here to see the full line of video game software available at

Dave is an avid gamer, a musician/songwriter/recording artist, and an ardent reader with a degree in the Classics but a love for comics too. When he's not gigging with the band or pulling books at his local comic shop, he can usually be found gaming on any platform, from consoles to PC to his self-built personal arcade cabinet.


  1. Earlier this year I let me XBox Live Gold lapse because I found I didn’t have time to play online with my friends much anymore. I am interested in Sea of Thieves, but I think that until I get Gold back I’ll have to leave that one alone.

    I’ve tried some Assassin’s Creed games in the past, but they have never grabbed my attention. While Odyssey looks good I’m not sure it is one that I’m interested in.

    The Xbox game that I most want to play is Ori and the Blind Forest. I know it is a couple years old, but I never got around to picking it up. With the sequel coming (hopefully) soon that is one game that would bring me back to playing more of my XBox.

    Other good gift ideas on the XBox are subscriptions to XBox Live Gold and Game Pass. XBox Live Gold doesn’t only let you play games online, it also allows you to add up to 4 digital games to your library every month. That’s 4 games you can play without having to pay for them. Game Pass grants you access to a growing library of games that you can play whenever you want as long as you keep your subscription active.

    Great article! I hope it gives people good ideas of games to pick up this holiday season!

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