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The Best Xbox One Exclusives

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The Best Xbox One Exclusives

The Xbox One series of game consoles offer a strong lineup of games that boast amazing graphics, should you get an Xbox One X and its graphic enhancing capabilities. The console has been lauded as one of the two standards of the gaming industry (alongside the PS4), that is, until the launch of newer consoles. And because of these new consoles on the horizon, you can find an Xbox One at lower prices than ever before.

Many of the games released for the Xbox One were exclusives to that gaming platform (though the Xbox Game Pass would eventually allow PC gamers to enjoy them). With that limited release in mind, here are the best Xbox One exclusives released.

01 Halo: The Master Chief Collection

What’s better than one Halo title, you might ask. The answer is all of them, from “Halo: Combat Evolved” all the way to “Halo 4,” which are included in the “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.” The non-Master Chief games aren’t included, so there’s no “Halo 3: ODST” included in this bundle.

The Master Chief Collection allows you to enjoy the classic games in 4K UHD and HDR, should you play it on an Xbox One X. The dated appearance of anything before Halo 4 has now been replaced with new graphics and sounds. This gave the older titles a new life and creates an experience like never before.

Seeing “Combat Evolved Anniversary” and above in beautiful 60 FPS makes the game feel even more immersive when coupled with the graphics overhaul. The “Halo 2: Anniversary Edition” bundled with the Collection even allows you to switch between the remastered game and original 2004 graphics. You can either relive the old days or play in the new and beautiful graphics. You’re not obligated to play in order from Combat Evolved to 4, but you can hop around as you wish.

The Master Menu also has some playlists for that extra challenge hardcore Halo fans crave. In total, you’ll have 45 campaign missions to clear one-by-one if you choose to relive the Master Chief’s journey across the galaxy. If computer-controlled enemies get stale, you can always play the Multiplayer mode. Across the four titles, you get to play more than 100 maps including Spartan Ops.

Originally, the game also came with a live-action digital series called “Halo: Nightfall. “Ridley Scott and David Zucker were co-executive producers for this story aimed at both new fans and old. Whether you played the old games or not, you’ll enjoy Nightfall and learn more about the Halo universe. If you’re a new fan to Halo, this game is a wonderful pick, while old fans will enjoy revisiting the first titles. With the amount of content in the Master Chief Collection, you won’t get bored any time soon. Consider delving into the expansive and deep lore.

Pros

  • Updated graphics
  • Plenty of content
  • Access to all games at once

Cons

  • Sometimes the achievements don’t unlock
  • Split-screen mode isn’t perfect
Halo: The Master Chief Collection

02 Halo 5: Guardians

We can’t go on without mentioning “Halo 5: Guardians,” right? The Master Chief Collection was released to build up anticipation for this title, and the game has quickly become a competitive favorite, eventually developing its own esports scene. The game also looks beautiful and has lots of content to dive into.

“Halo 5: Guardians” follows the tale of the Master Chief, but this time, you get to play in a squad of four Spartans. You can give them orders or let them fight automatically. Spartan Locke is the other protagonist, along with his three Spartan teammates. The older Spartan generation clashes with the newer generation, allowing you to see the Halo universe from two perspectives.

The Master Chief reuniting with his team is a welcome feature, making “Halo 5” quite different from the previous titles. In the past, you would handle enemies on your own, but this game focuses on teamwork. If you want to play the campaign with friends, you can invite them to your party. Any unfilled spot will be occupied by a computer, so you won’t be stuck with only one or two teammates. Don’t worry, the computer is smart enough to not hold you back.

The Multiplayer mode offers a lot of exciting game variations, like Warzone’s 12 vs. 12 format. In this mode, you’re also going to confront AI-controlled enemies who appear on the battlefield. If you prefer the competitive mode, there are four vs. four Arena playlists. This is the mode in which competitive Halo 5 is often played. You’ll rely only on pure skill and instincts to win. One new addition to Halo 5’s gunplay is the use of aim-down-sights. Previously, only certain weapons allowed you to do so.

Now, almost all firearms allow you to aim down the sights for better target acquisition. This is akin to “Call of Duty” and other first-person shooter titles, but it does offer something new to Halo fans. The game’s weapon customization is also quite in-depth, with many variants available. If you enjoy Halo, this latest entry will let you enjoy countless hours of fun. Warzone is quite addictive, and you can always get some good plays. “Halo 5” will satisfy your Halo itch until “Halo Infinite” releases in the near future.

Pros

  • Very fun multiplayer mode
  • Lots of customization in weapons and appearance
  • Amazing graphics

Cons

  • Some fans don’t like the story
  • No split-screen playing
  • The campaign caters to long-time fans more than newcomers
Halo 5: Guardians

03 Ori and the Will of the Wisps

The sequel to the immensely popular game “Ori and the Blind Forest,” “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” is a beautiful game with a heart-wrenching story. Metroidvania platformer gamers will love its gameplay. With multiple 9.0+ reviews, it’s no wonder we included it on our list. Note: The game was originally an Xbox One exclusive, but it has since been released for Windows 10 and the Nintendo Switch.

You’ll play as Ori, a creature trying to discover its true destiny. Run and fight through the 2D platforming world while the game’s widely acclaimed soundtrack helps you immerse yourself in the action. Each track is lovingly composed to match the area, and many fans have fallen in love with the music.

The game’s graphics are a work of art, with amazingly crafted images blending color, lighting, and details all into a gorgeous portrait. Everything looks incredibly well-made, as if an artist spent hours creating the best appearances, even for the enemies and background.

“Ori and the Will of the Wisps” introduces new weapons for different styles of play. This creates plenty of challenges for everyone and gamers will enjoy clearing levels as they see fit. You can change it up for new experiences and experiment with all of them. Everything feels alive, and that helps the player invest themselves even more into the story.

The plot is masterfully written, and you can’t help but laugh and cry along with the cutscenes. Without spoiling things, all we’ll say is that you’ll understand when you play the game. Playing the game feels natural, and after sinking some hours, you’ll find yourself zipping around and thriving in the world. A world where everything tries to kill you becomes your playground. Few games have stolen the hearts of fans like “Ori and the Will of the Wisps.” If you want to get in on the magic yourself, no one’s stopping you. You’ll want to play it again and again in the future.

Pros

  • The game is made with lots of love
  • Story is wonderfully written and animated
  • Gameplay is fun
  • The graphics are beautiful

Cons

  • There were some bugs that required patching
  • You need an internet connection to download some content
Ori and the Will of the Wisps

04 Forza Horizon 4

Racing games continue to be a strong genre, with new titles being released every year. When “Forza Horizon 4” was made available, fans noticed its new seasons-based gameplay. However, the initial appeal of the fast-paced racing action will never go away.

Every week, the game’s open world will experience changes in season, moving through all four of them in Britain. Every new season brings new challenges to clear, such as racing on a frozen lake or splashing mud everywhere during the spring season.

The more you play, the more content you’ll get. Just like in older Forza titles, you need to drive over to a festival site and race. Completing events allows you to build up influence and get new vehicles. You can play with others around the world since the game has new MMO-like features. Usually, you’ll encounter AI representations of other drivers. However, you can choose to play against other real gamers, too.

With the season-based gameplay, every time you go and play online, you’ll be facing new challenges that make the game interesting. The daily and weekly challenges aren’t overwhelming and are quite easy to learn. It makes the seasonal calendar relevant and goes beyond a gimmick. You can’t hit other cars just to troll, because that would be unsportsmanlike. Rather, you can only physically interact with other cars if you’re actively grouped.

Should you choose to play with others, you can play co-op or versus modes. Some of these modes will let you earn points you can use to buy cars. These offerings also change weekly, so you’ll have to gain points before they disappear. With around 450 cars to choose from, you’re bound to find one you like. All of them feel great to race, and the developers made sure you’ll get the sensation of the speed and wind as you try and get first place or record the best time.

If you love racing games, “Forza Horizon 4” is a great Xbox One exclusive. With plenty of cars available and a great seasonal system, you won’t get bored any time soon. The game is exciting enough to sink hours into.

Pros

  • Feels like a good racing game should
  • Unique seasonal aspect
  • Lots of cars to choose from

Cons

  • Top tier cars are hard to get
  • Lots of pointless rewards
Forza Horizon 4

05 Sea of Thieves

You’re not the only one out there who love pirate-themed games, and “Sea of Thieves” can satisfy that itch. “Sea of Thieves” by Rare is a first-person open-world adventure game known for its multiplayer experience and pirate theme. Unlike a true MMO, “Sea of Thieves” is more of an online adventure game.

This means that you don’t get a persistent world. Every new session removes all the loot and items you obtained from the last time you played. The only thing you’ll have left are long-term progression goals, but you’ll get a new ship each time. The ships range from Sloop to Brigantine to Galleon, allowing two, three, and four players to crew it at once, respectively.

You can invite your friends to play with you on any given day. Sailing together is enjoyable, as you have to actively adjust the sails and use a compass. You also have to fire the cannons and repair damage yourself. The game’s not going to do any of that for you. Between the unscripted and totally random sea combat, you won’t find yourself bored. You have to adjust your course as needed. However, there’s a silver lining in working the sailing instruments together: playing in sync unlocks an achievement.

The game allows you to play at your own pace, which means you might forget there’s a story involved. You need to find Tall Tales, and they often begin innocently. Eventually, you’ll discover the lore behind the game. Thankfully, Tall Tales are optional. You can also play the PvP mode, which is one way to progress in the game.

There are five Companies you can use to increase your reputation. Each of them is tied to different game modes too. Sadly, the game can get old, since there aren’t new abilities to unlock, and most items you get are purely cosmetic. The game is pretty stagnant, and the characters aren’t truly memorable. However, “Sea of Thieves” is still a great game to play with friends. You’ll be shooting sea monsters and cutting them up before playing music together. For a pirate game, it’s pretty well done by Rare.

Pros

  • Fun with friends
  • Engaging gameplay

Cons

  • Static skills and abilities
  • Characters are boring
Sea of Thieves

06 Killer Instinct (2013)

”Killer Instinct” is the latest edition in this classic fighting games series. It’s known for its over-the-top gore and deadly fighting combos. The 2013 release has some great features, but will still feel familiar to old KI fans who enjoy the series. Killer Instinct’s combos are fun to mess around with, and the other features – such as the Shadow Meter, Instinct Mode, and Combo Breakers – make the combat very deep.

There’s a lot to learn, even if the roster is quite small. Learning how to play a character isn’t a problem. The Dojo mode can break moves down frame by frame, so you can study how to perform it one step at a time. Timing is important in fighting games, and one mistimed move can cost you the tournament. The announcer used to be one of the series’ key attractions, with his flamboyant voice lines and this 2013 version is no different.

Hearing him belt out “C-c-c combo breaker!” won’t get old, especially to diehard “Killer Instinct” fans and competitors. Fighting games often bring out the worst in people, especially if there’s a ranking system involved for online PvP. Some players disconnect before a match ends to avoid losing points. To handle this, the developers added some measures. Jail mode bans players for 24 hours and gives them a loss. They even get jail bars placed over their player icons.

If you’re new to fighting games or are an old FGC head, “Killer Instinct” is bound to give you lots of fun hours. Of course, some of those hours will be full of tears and shouting, but fighting games players won’t have it any other way.

Pros

  • Maintain the series’ classic feel
  • Comprehensive Dojo mode for training
  • Countermeasures against rage-quitters

Cons

  • Smaller cast
  • No arcade or story mode
  • Need to unlock a lot of the content to access it
Killer Instinct (2013)

Arch

Jun 18, 2021

1911 Articles Published

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We're not just tech junkies, but we're also tech experts. Each and every "Best of.." list on TechJunkie is curated by our content-area subject matter experts to provide a well-rounded, unbiased perspective to help and inform you, our reader. Our lists are constantly reviewed and updated, so you can be sure you're reading relevant and up to date information.

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