The 25 best Xbox One games that every collection needs

UPDATED: All the latest and greatest picks for Microsoft's console

Whether you have the original Xbox One or the upgraded Xbox One S, one thing is for sure: you'll want to play the best of the best games around right now. Right?

Of course. And we're here to help with that endeavour, with our newly-updated list of the 25 best Xbox One games to play today. You'll find a broad selection of titles within, from big-budget shooters to mesmerising indie charmers – and everything in between.

And, while our list does tend towards newer releases, since we refresh the selection regularly and tend to replace older picks with comparable recent selections, you'll also find some older Xbox One favorites you might've missed the first time around.

FORZA MOTORSPORT 7

It looks more beautiful than the Mona Lisa in motion on an Xbox One X, but the seventh main entry in the Forza series is so much more than a 4K tech demo. With a garage filled to bursting point with 700 of the most iconic cars ever driven, and an all-new dynamic weather system that can see bright sunshine one lap and torrential rain the next, there’s a huge amount of variety to keep you racking up those laps.

Really though, it’s the fantastic balance between beginner-friendly arcade inspired driving and hardcore, simulation-style road battles that’ll keep you coming back for more, slowly disabling the assists until you’ve mastered the road.

THE WITCHER III: WILD HUNT

We enjoyed 2014's Dragon Age: Inquisition, but it's The Witcher III: Wild Hunt that easily takes the crown for the most stunning and enthralling fantasy adventure today. It's a vast and memorable quest across a compelling land, filled with interesting characters, quests, and combat.

Even the add-on content is brilliant. Wild Hunt requires a big commitment, for sure, but this fantastic role-player can easily eat up all your time if you let it.

DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ

Forget about the years of lame, awkward Dragon Ball Zfighting games – actually, chances are you already have. But that won't happen with Dragon Ball FighterZ, easily the best game to ever bear the name of the beloved anime franchise.

FighterZ keeps all of the show's wild kinetic energy, from the big spiky hair to the enormous fireballs, and presents it with some of the most incredible animation we've ever seen. But the game's real feat is keeping things approachable and fun: you don't have to be an arcade stick-wielding guru to enjoy and excel in this team battler. It's better than we ever expected.

OVERWATCH

Overwatch is the current breakout, must-play multiplayer smash - and Blizzard's shooter shows no signs of slowing down.

With continual tweaks, gradual new hero additions and big eSports plans on the horizon, now's the time to climb aboard.

Even with a colourful and cartoonish look, Overwatch delivers some of the most satisfyingly intense combat available today, with the team-based battles finding the sweet spot between frantic blasting and smart, strategic team play.

Buy Overwatch here from the Xbox Store

Buy Overwatch here from Amazon

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ASSASSIN'S CREED ORIGINS

Ubisoft's open-world historical action series had become a bit routine in its later entries, yet rather hit-or-miss in execution. Luckily, the series finally skipped a year and it's come back stronger than we've seen in ages with Assassin's Creed Origins.

As the title suggests, Origins winds back the clock further than previous entries, taking place in Ancient Egypt and telling the story of the first Assassins. But it's also a strong descriptor for this game being essentially a fresh start for the franchise, since it overhauls some of the rougher elements of the past games (like combat) while delivering a compelling new environment and hugely impressive graphics. It's definitely an Xbox One X showcase, but you ought to be impressed with it on any version.

CUPHEAD

Brilliantly, infuriatingly, delightfully difficult - not a combination you’d normally expect, but this fantastic retro throwback manages it. Cuphead is part boss rush, part run-and-gun side scrolling shooter, a love letter to both 16-bit classics like Gunstar Heroes, and the hand-drawn animation style of the 1930s.

Think Steamboat Mickey meets Dynamite Heddy, where every creature has wide eyes and can’t stay in one place without bopping along to a vaudeville tune - anthropomorphic dinner sets included. The music, art and animation create something truly special, but it's the way learn patterns and adapt your play style to progress past increasingly tougher bosses that gives that warm fuzzy feeling every time you pick up the controller.

MONSTER HUNTER WORLD

Monster Hunter fans are a hardcore collective of sorts, and the series never really found a wide following outside of Japan – until now, that is. Capcom took all the fun things about the old games, chiseled away the rough exterior, and made a game that's much more accessible and inviting than ever before.

Of course, it's still all about teaming up to battle enormous monsters with outsized weapons, and that's still a blast. But compared to the past games, Monster Hunter World feels much less obtuse, plus it's significantly larger and dramatically prettier thanks to current-gen consoles. If you've ever been curious, now's the time to jump on.

GEARS OF WAR 4

Halo 5: Guardians might not have been the most rousing Xbox One return for one of Microsoft's flagship shooter series, but that's not a problem with Gears of War 4. It's the same old song and dance, for the most part, albeit with an incredible level of polish and pure, dumb fun.

Gears 4 picks up 25 years after the last numbered entry, as new hero JD Fenix continues where dad Marcus left off, wielding the chainsaw-bladed Lancer for the future of mankind.

Frantic stop-and-pop shooting paired with dazzling graphics help this old favourite feel fresh again.

Buy Gears of War 4 here from the Xbox Store

Buy Gears of War 4 here from Amazon

FORTNITE

Battle royale sensation Fortnite is the biggest thing in gaming right about now, and there's good reason for it: the 100-player showdowns are incredibly addictive, plus the friendly free-to-play design means you can play and play without paying a cent. Well, unless you want the coolest gear.

Unlike the super serious PlayerUnknown's Batlegrounds(a.k.a. PUBG, also on this list), Fortnite's intense action is slathered in an alluring cartoonish sheen, plus this playground is filled with wacky elements like shopping carts and rockets you can ride around. The ability to build structures on the fly also adds another component besides the frantic blasting, giving it a unique edge over PUBG.

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BATTLEFIELD 1

Historical shooters were… well, mostly left in the past after Call of Duty embraced Modern Warfare, but EA delivers one of the best FPS experiences in recent memory with Battlefield 1.

With the brutal skirmishes of World War I as its setting, Battlefield 1 delivers a stirring and thankfully respectful campaign, while the 64-player online blowouts are unsurprisingly spectacular and sure to keep us playing for ages. Grab your steed (or zeppelin) and get out there, soldier.

Buy Battlefield 1 here from the Xbox Store

Buy Battlefield 1 here from Amazon

CELESTE

Celeste looks like a long-lost Super Nintendo game pulled from some vault in 2018, but in truth, this new indie game has been hailed by many as a modern masterpiece.

Madeline is the small sprite heroine, and she's attempting to climb the treacherous Celeste Mountain while also battling depression and anxiety, which manifest themselves in the emotional dialogue and even mission design. That gives a relatable edge to the quest, but Celeste also soars on the back of its pitch-perfect platforming, which is tough but designed to drop you back into the action immediately so that you can learn from your mistakes.

Don't make the mistake of overlooking one of the Xbox One's best digital picks.

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FALLOUT 4

There are prettier games on the Xbox One – quite a few, actually – but what Fallout 4 lacks in graphical sheen, it makes up for with just about everything else.

Building upon the beloved foundation of Fallout 3, the latest drops you into a post-apocalyptic Boston as you explore the wasteland, take on exciting and varied quests, and pour hours into building your own weapons and fortresses. The scale is incredible, and so too is the fun.

Buy Fallout 4 here from the Xbox Store

Buy Fallout 4 here from Amazon

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ROCKET LEAGUE

Given all the shooters and action games on this list, it's nice sometimes to just have some silly fun. For that, we constantly turn to Rocket League.

It's just like FIFA, only instead of human players each team is made up of jet-powered cars that flip, fly and somersault the ball into a goal. On second thoughts, perhaps 'just like' is pushing it.

You'll zip around the stadium with your teammates, bumping the ball, performing headers, and working together to score epic goals and launch incredible saves, and the result feels inspired and deeply competitive. And now it has a basketball mode, too. Utterly delightful.

Buy Rocket League here from the Xbox Store

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS

It's the biggest game in the world right now, racking up more than 30 million paying customers in less than a year – and now PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is on Xbox One. Despite its ultra-awkward name and early performance issues on console, PUBG totally lives up to the hype.

What's the big deal? Well, it's basically Battle Royale brought to life as an online shootout. You'll drop onto an island with 99 of your closest enemies and then gradually pick each other off until one person remains. It's methodical but intense, and has become the obsession of choice for millions of players. Won't you join them on the battleground, then?

INSIDE

Playdead's Limbo is one of the most distinctive games of the last decade, sowing strong emotions in players despite the mute hero and entirely monochromatic look - and now Inside takes that premise and really kicks things up a notch.

This side-scrolling, puzzle-infused platform game keeps the shadowy aesthetic and general premise, but delivers bigger environmental conundrums, richer gameplay amidst the levels, and a campaign that can be incredibly disturbing in turns.

What's Inside? You really should find out.

Buy Inside here from the Xbox Store

RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER

Building on the brilliant 2013 reboot, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers another captivating Lara Croft adventure – this time exclusive for Xbox and PC players. Like the last game, it's more of a gung-ho action affair than the earlier entries, smartly taking Uncharted as an obvious role model.

Still, Rise strikes a fair compromise, delivering several fantastic tombs to explore at your leisure, and giving you the option to go stealthy rather than slay every last goon in sight.

Buy Rise of the Tomb Raider here from the Xbox Store

Buy Rise of the Tomb Raider here from Amazon

ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST

Has a game ever been so emotionally crushing in its opening minutes? Ori and the Blind Forest is content to punch you in the heart immediately, but stick around and you'll find an amazing side-scrolling platform adventure.

It has familiar Metroid-like underpinnings, letting you unlock more of the world as your nimble creature gains more abilities, but the fluid movement gives it a unique feel. And the absolutely stunning animation and beautiful soundtrack only add to the emotional heft created by the story.

Buy Ori and the Blind Forest here from the Xbox Store

Buy Ori and the Blind Forest here from Amazon

FORZA HORIZON 3

Enjoyed zipping around the Franco-Italian countryside in Forza Horizon 2? Well, you'll find plenty to love in Horizon 3, most notably a brand new location: the diverse terrain of Australia, spanning mud, sand, streets, and fields alike.

Everything looks spectacular, and even more so with HDR support on the Xbox One S – but, while the basic approach is delivering more of the same for the series, the sheer quantity of events and objectives is massive, and it's an absolute blast throughout. Really dazzling stuff, plus there's some brilliant Hot Wheels DLC to snag if you ever run out of things to do.

SEA OF THIEVES

We're of two minds about Sea of Thieves, the latest original creation from legendary studio Rare. On one hand, there's a fair bit of tedium in the mix, some of the concepts aren't fully realised, and it feels a little thin on content.

And yet when this hilarious pirate game finds its stride – when questing online, getting into raucous battles with random crews, and taking in the gorgeous waves while gulping grog – there's nothing else quite like it. If that sounds remotely appealing, then you might get a big kick out of this odd little game. Hopefully it gets even better over time.

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XCOM 2

XCOM might have begun life on computers, but the Xbox One version of XCOM 2 shows that this turn-based strategy juggernaut is just as amazing with a controller and your telly.

XCOM 2 takes everything that worked so well in the brilliant XCOM: Enemy Unknown and kicks it up a notch, whether it's the increased variety of missions and battlefields or the added tactics for bashing alien occupiers to bits.

It's also incredibly hard - but you didn't expect a fight against oppressive extraterrestrials to be easy, did you?

Buy XCOM 2 here from the Xbox Store

Buy XCOM 2 here from Amazon

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FAR CRY 5

Far Cry's winning template has been to find somewhere exotic, craft a wild premise around it, and set you loose amidst wild animals and even wilder enemies for open-world chaos. Far Cry 5 does much the same… but this time it's set in Montana in the United States.

Sound a bit mundane? Not when you encounter the violent religious cult members that you've been sent to tame. As ever, the fun in Far Cry 5 is in the environment itself, which is full of zany and unexpected things to do whether you're on foot with a firearm or raining down gunfire from a helicopter hovering up above. Also, you can befriend a bear named Cheeseburger. Sold!

INJUSTICE 2

Street Fighter V is the toast of the fighting game community – but the Xbox One doesn't have it. Luckily, Microsoft's console has something a bit more extraordinary in Injustice 2, the fantastic superhero fighter that hails from NetherRealm Studios, the team behind Mortal Kombat.

Whether or not you played the last-gen original, prepare to be impressed by Injustice 2. It's a better vision of the DC Comics world than the recent movies have mustered (aside from Wonder Woman, of course), with an intriguing single-player story mode and a beefy cast of characters, and the combat fundamentals are completely on point. Every hero and villain feels nicely distinct, but they're all amazingly powerful and astounding to see/play in action.

FIFA 18

Another year, another FIFA – right? Assuming you haven't yet gotten your fill of EA Sports' annual favourite, like so many millions of footie-hungry fans have not, then you'll probably want FIFA 18 as well.

What makes the latest FIFA the best edition to date? Well, it's absolutely gorgeous, particularly if you're lucky enough to wield the souped-up Xbox One X. It also brings a raft of small, but meaningful enhancements to the on-the-pitch play, brings back last year's story mode with a new chapter, and has enough modes to keep you busy 'til FIFA 19 inevitably releases. And that's the point, isn't it?

GRAND THEFT AUTO V

Yes, we know, you already played Grand Theft Auto V on Xbox 360. Well don't let that put you off playing it again. Here are some reasons why you should give it a second twirl.

1) It's one of the greatest games of all time.

2) It looks even better than before (and it was already pretty damn good).

3) It has a new FPS mode - and it's genius.

4) It's one of the greatest games of all time.

Thank you for reading.

Buy Grand Theft Auto V here from the Xbox Store

Buy Grand Theft Auto V here from Amazon

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