10 Xbox One Exclusive Games You Can't Miss Playing

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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ea.com ubisoft.com playstation.com

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Compared to the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One doesn't have that many exclusives. This is far from a problem, as Microsoft prioritizes quality of titles over quantity. So if you've just bought this console or are thinking about buying one, you need to know all about the best exclusives offered by the One to its players.

Anyone who is a fan of racing games, for example, has several incredible options within the Forza franchise. If you prefer shooters, both Halo and Gears of War are titles you need to play. So, to make your life easier in this search for exclusive Xbox One games, we bring you 10 unmissable games in the list below.



Rice: Son of Rome

Son of Rome is unfortunately a title that is greatly underestimated by Xbox One owners. While it brings elements belonging to other games into its gameplay, it is a unique game in its own right. Mainly because there is hardly any other major game that tackles the Roman Empire the way Ryse does.

In control of Marius Titus, a Roman general, we follow a journey in search of revenge for the death of his family. The story begins in Rome, and Marius is defending the city from a barbaric invasion carried out by the Celts. In the midst of this combat and the attempt to protect Emperor Nero, the general begins to tell his story.

We are then taken to the events that led Marius to fight the Celts. We started as a soldier who has just finished his training. Carrying various weapons throughout the gameplay, we will face many enemies of Rome. Combat is hack n' slash style, which encourages the creation of attack combos. You can use swords, spears and shields. In the midst of fights, you can give orders to uncontrollable characters. If you have Kinect, you can use your voice to give these commands.



Ryse: Son of Rome features famous mechanics in other titles, such as the quick-time events in God of War III. This happens when some enemies are able to suffer executions. Pressing the right buttons will start a sequence. The more perfect the sequence and execution, the more rewards you get.

Also featuring a multiplayer mode, in which players face each other in the Coliseum in Rome, Ryse reveals itself as a very complete game. It's not perfect, far from it, but it's an Xbox One exclusive that you need to give it a go.

You should play this game if:

  • Enjoy historically inspired games
  • Want good combat dynamics

2. Quantum Break

Quantum Break is another title that has received mixed attention from Xbox One gamers. This is most likely due to the fact that this game is quite "different". Its gameplay and mission structure proposal is nothing that people are used to in shooters and action games.

First, because Quantum Break moves with time. Not exactly time travel, but time itself. The protagonist Jack Joyce gains the power to control him after a scientific experiment goes wrong. Antagonist, Paul Serene, responsible for the experiment and founder of the company that developed it, is the one you need to fight, having the same powers.

Quantum Break gameplay gives players a lot of skills in terms of combat. In addition to the use of firearms and hand-to-hand combat, controlling the weather is a big advantage. You can freeze it if you want, and you can use it to teleport close to enemies. With these special abilities, fighting styles are as varied as possible.



This title also features a system of choices, which interferes with the progression of the game. This is related to another very special feature of the game. All the important characters of Quantum Break are played by real and famous actors. At the end of each mission, these actors appear, as if it were a TV series within the game, following the actions taken by the player in their gameplay.

Despite the mixed reviews, this is an Xbox One exclusive that can't be overlooked. It's a good quality shooter, with a very well built movement and interaction mechanics. In addition, the feeling that we are in a movie is interesting and brings an innovative perspective to the title.

You should play this game if:

  • If you like games with themes that involve time travel
  • Wanting to try a "different" shooter

3.State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 is that game that every fan of The Walking Dead or World War Z will love. Anyone who ever wanted to know what it was like to survive a zombie apocalypse, building a base, collecting resources and facing off against humans and creatures, needs this title. So if you have an Xbox One, consider yourself lucky.

The word that defines State of Decay 2 is community. The objective is for you to build and manage a base with survivors of the apocalypse. Managing this community is quite challenging. Searching for resources and collecting them is as necessary as meeting the needs and demands of the people living at your base.


Right at the beginning of the game there is a good tutorial that will teach you how to deal with zombies. Once you go through this step, you must choose a location on the map to set up your base. Do not underestimate this choice. You can scan areas with binoculars to see what's nearby. This makes it easier later on when you go after resources. And, of course, be smart and choose a high place!


Once that's done, now it's time to survive. State of Decay seems to offer a very realistic picture of what a zombie apocalypse would look like. Your characters have to deal with hunger, cold, and lack of sleep. These issues affect their productivity and can ultimately lead to their death. As it is a really survival game and it takes place in a real time world, you need to be very attentive and not let your survivors stand still for too long.

There are a number of missions you must complete. The game never ends as there will always be zombies to kill and resources to collect. It is a very fun game that offers a unique experience in the midst of games of the genre.

You should play this game if:

  • Be a zombie
  • Want to know what it's like to survive an apocalypse in the best World War Z style

4. Killer Instinct

Anyone who liked to play in the arcades of the 1990s certainly played the first Killer Instinct, released in 1994. The current game, exclusive to Xbox One, is a reboot of the franchise for new generations of console. And we can say that it is very well developed, bringing all the classic mechanics and gameplay that made the series known.

The 8th generation Killer Instinct is a fighting game based on combos mechanics. There are the moves that start the combos, the ones that follow them up and, finally, the finishers. There are still Ultra Combos, which are special moves used only to end a match with victory.

This game brings two new features to Killer Instinct. Combo Breakers serve to end the opponent's sequential attacks. Just push the right buttons at the right time. Counter Breakers are used to prevent combos from being broken. As you can see, the fights in this game can be really frantic.

Killer Instinct still brings a feature present in other fighting games of the current generation. Instinct mode uses a special gauge, which when filled releases a unique skill for each player. It is intended to complement each character's fighting styles and attacks.

The game is divided by Seasons. Each Season adds characters and game modes. There are 29 playable characters in total. The first two Seasons feature story modes, with each fighter having their own narrative. The acts throughout these modes influence the end of the game.

You should play this game if:

  • Is a fan of Killer Instinct's early arcade games
  • Want a well-developed story mode fighting game

5. Gears of War 4

The Gears of War franchise is one of the most famous on Xbox One. Its popularity and success among gamers has led to the creation of several quality titles. Gears of War 4 is the latest, although its sequel is already in development. Regarding the third title, it doesn't bring much innovation, which doesn't mean it isn't a great game.

It features JD Fenix ‚Äč‚Äčas the protagonist. The game takes place chronologically 25 years after everything that happened in Gears 3. Past events have led the people of planet Sera to adapt to a new way of life. Fossil fuels no longer exist, and now people have to deal with deadly wind storms that hit the entire planet.

The entire plot of the game revolves around the fact that the few survivors on Sera were confined in cities with high walls. There are some, however, who have rebelled against this martial law, becoming rebels. Fenix's goal is to fight this group and stop more people from rebelling against the system.

Game mechanics haven't changed much from the previous title. There are still good weapon options to choose from, with the addition of some very useful new models, such as a slashing blade launcher. It is possible to engage in melee combat, and there is a way to eliminate enemies using sneak attacks. Storms in their varying levels of strength affect fights and especially the weapon aiming system.

You should play this game if:

  • Played previous titles in the Gears of War series
  • Interested in shooters with high-tech weapons

6. Sea of ‚Äč‚ÄčThieves

Anyone who has always wanted to experience the life of a sea pirate really needs to play Sea of ‚Äč‚ÄčThieves. It's a more cooperative game than single player, mainly because up to four people can sail together on the same ship. The fun thing is that they are divided between functions. One is responsible for the cannons, another for maneuvering the boat, there are those who keep an eye on the map and so on.

The game world is open and there isn't exactly a campaign or narrative to follow. The idea is to explore, loot, capture and sink other people's ships. It is possible to encounter other pirates controlled by other groups of players as you explore. All the gold you get is used to change the appearance of the boat and its weapons.

The ultimate goal of Sea of ‚Äč‚ÄčThieves is to become a legend of the seas. What many players and even the expert critics complain is that there is a lack of content in the game. Becoming the most feared pirate in the game is not a very specific task. While it may sometimes feel like this title is an "unfinished" title, don't give up on it and give it a chance.

You should play this game if:

  • Want a quality pirate game
  • Interested in open sea navigation

7. Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is one of the more unique exclusives on the list. It is a third-person shooter, which takes place in the fictional town of Sunset City. The player takes control of a former employee of a liquor manufacturer. That company, FizzCo, did not follow safety protocols when producing its products. As a result, their flagship drink, Overcharge Delirium XT, has become so toxic that it has turned customers into monsters.

The objective, therefore, is to clean up this "dirt" left by FizzCo. The protagonist can be customized the way the player wants at the beginning of the game. He has access to many types of weapons, having other abilities at his disposal, such as the use of jumps, acrobatics and parkour techniques to face enemies.

Enemies can be humans, FizzCo robots and the ODs, the mutated monsters that the drinker has turned into. There is a narrative thread that serves as the background for the player's adventures through Sunset City. While interesting, it's not the most important aspect of the game. Sunset Overdrive's cartoonish look and all the good humor of the fights are its strong points.

Those who don't give up a multiplayer mode will also find that in this game. Sunset Overdrive also has a style meter, whose bar fills up as the player performs amazing moves at various times in the game.

You should play this game if:

  • Enjoying a shooter experience with more humor instead of seriousness
  • Want an action game with a wide choice of weapons.

8. Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest is an art game. Made entirely in 2D, it has very beautiful graphics, drawn, almost like a large moving watercolor. This makes it the least "commercial" game on this list, mainly because its gameplay is quite simple, paying even greater attention to the narrative and visual aspects.

There are two protagonists, forming a pair. Sein is the Spirit Tree's light and eyes, while Ori is a guardian spirit. Sein is capable of launching flames to destroy enemies and objects that are in the way. Ori is already more responsible for movement, as he climbs, jumps and jumps.

This title is easy to play and doesn't require much skill from the players. The main objective is to bring splendor to the forest in which the characters live. Recovering and restoring the ecosystem requires the player to recover the three elements that balance the game world: heat, water and wind.

Ori and the Blind Forest brings all its value precisely in this quest to balance nature. It's a beautiful game not only visually, but also in everything it conveys to players during gameplay. Very worth the purchase!

You should play this game if:

  • Enjoying more artistic games
  • Want a game focused on an ecological theme

9. Halo 5: Guardians

The fifth game in the successful Halo franchise is the first not to be R-rated. But that's not why Halo 5: Guardians is less explosive and harsh than previous titles. In it, Master Chief disappeared on a mission. Now Fire Team Osiris needs to find and capture him. In this way, the plot of the game follows two different narrative lines.

In terms of gameplay, new mechanics were introduced to replace others. Armor abilities, for example, cease to exist, giving way to Spartan abilities. All soldiers' equipment, but mainly armor, received improvements.

Now the movement system is more fluid and allows more flights, jumps and attacks using energy released by this armor. In fact, these new features are context dependent. Evasion, defense or attack will trigger specific armor moves.

In general terms, Halo 5: Guardians doesn't really break new ground. The fighting continues with the same frantic intensity, and the Master Chief remains the same powerful soldier as ever. The narrative follows the events of Halo 4, but also doesn't provide much depth. However, if you want action in the best style of the franchise, you should certainly buy this title.

You should play this game if:

  • Likes Halo series games
  • Likes games with tech wars

10. Forza Horizon 4

If you thought that in this list of Xbox One exclusives there wouldn't be at least one title from the Forza series, don't worry. Not only do we bring you one, we possibly bring you one of the best racing games ever created. With an open world system that seeks to represent some locations in the UK, there are more than 450 licensed cars to choose from for virtual drivers in Forza Horizon 4.

The open world of Forza Horizon 4 is synchronized and shared, that is: up to 72 players are shared on the same server. But it is also possible to play in offline mode, for those who prefer. With that in mind, the game allows players to create their own tracks through a creation and editing system.

The game has a seasons change system. It is fixed, that is: all players on a server are exposed to the same type of weather at the same time. Each season lasts a week, speaking in real time. Players also have the opportunity to purchase garages, which provide items and cars.

Completing the daily, weekly and monthly challenges also grants you new vehicles. There are a number of modes and challenges that players can engage in to compete for unique prizes. Additional content can be downloaded, also providing new vehicles.

Along with Forza Motorsport 7, Horizon 4 is one of the most celebrated racing titles on all consoles. The gameplay options are many. They cater to all types of riders. So whether you are an experienced virtual driver or not, purchasing this game is almost a must for anyone who has an Xbox One!

You should play this game if:

  • love racing games
  • Want an open world racing game

See the best games available for Xbox One!

Also find out which are the great PlayStation 4 exclusives!

Xbox 360 free games

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