Top 10 Must-Play Games on Xbox One This Year

Xbox has been a powerhouse in the gaming world, captivating the hearts of millions with its best in class technology and immersive gaming experiences. The platform has consistently delivered top-notch games that redefine the boundaries of entertainment. In this compilation, we dive into the best Xbox games, curating a list of the 10 ultimate gaming gems that promise to elevate your gaming adventures. Whether you’re playing on the original Xbox One or the 4K-capable Xbox One X, these games remain highly playable and engaging, showcasing the best that Xbox has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • The Xbox One continues to offer an expansive library of games, appealing to a wide range of players and preferences.
  • Backwards compatibility remains a key feature of the Xbox ecosystem, ensuring that the best Xbox One games are playable on newer consoles.
  • This list includes a variety of genres, demonstrating the versatility and depth of the Xbox One gaming catalog.
  • The games featured are a mix of blockbuster titles and critically acclaimed hits, each offering a unique gaming experience.
  • These must-play games are chosen based on their popularity, critical reception, and the unique experiences they provide to gamers.

1. Forza Horizon 5

1. Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 is not just a visual spectacle but also a comprehensive racing experience that caters to all types of players. The game’s expansive open-world and freedom of gameplay ensure that whether you’re in for competitive racing or a leisurely drive across Mexico’s diverse landscapes, you’re in for a treat.

The game boasts a vast array of cars and events, allowing players to engage in races, time trials, and stunt jumps. The attention to detail in vehicle models and environments is a testament to the developers’ dedication.

Forza Horizon 5 is a testament to the evolution of racing games, offering a blend of high-octane racing and exploration.

Despite the praise, some users have expressed concerns over the game’s event variety and multiplayer aspects. However, these do not overshadow the overall quality of the game, which is available on Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

2. Elden Ring

2. Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a testament to FromSoftware’s mastery in creating challenging yet deeply rewarding gameplay experiences. The open-world design and narrative depth take the Soulslike genre to new heights, offering a vast landscape filled with secrets to uncover and formidable foes to conquer.

Elden Ring is simply a game that the player naturally adapts to their own style of play. Challenging at times, vicious at others, but mostly incredibly fun.

The upcoming expansion, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree, promises to extend the adventure with new areas, weapons, and even more challenging bosses. Set to release on June 21, 2024, this DLC is eagerly awaited by fans eager to delve deeper into the Lands Between.

Here’s a quick look at what players love about Elden Ring:

  • Giant open world to explore
  • Rewarding and punishing combat
  • Vast content to engage with
  • Open-class development tree for character customization

However, it’s not without its challenges. Some fights are known to be particularly difficult, testing the mettle of even the most seasoned gamers. Despite this, the game has secured its place as a must-play title on Xbox One this year.

3. Resident Evil 4

3. Resident Evil 4

The remake of Resident Evil 4 is a testament to the enduring legacy of the franchise, offering a fresh take on the classic that both newcomers and veterans will appreciate. With its smart modernisations and a visual overhaul, the game is scarier and punchier than ever before.

The graphical overhaul is immediately apparent, leveraging the power of the Xbox Series X and S for next-gen lighting and more realistic character models. This, coupled with gameplay tweaks, results in a more cohesive and immersive experience.

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect:

  • Revamped story with a stronger link to Resident Evil 2
  • Tons of replayability with unlockables and higher difficulties
  • The Mercenaries mode for arcade-style gunplay

While the game sets a high bar for remakes, it’s not without its flaws. Some players have noted minor performance issues in Resolution mode, and certain fights can be particularly challenging. Despite these hiccups, Resident Evil 4 remains a must-play title on Xbox One this year.

4. Microsoft Flight Simulator

4. Microsoft Flight Simulator

The Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 edition is set to redefine the boundaries of virtual aviation. With its unparalleled photorealistic visuals and the most approachable gameplay in the series, it promises a genuinely thrilling experience as you seek out landmarks across the globe. This iteration is not just a game; it’s an expansive experience that will evolve over time, leveraging cloud data and machine learning to enhance its already fabulous visual, physical, and control base.

Despite its grandeur, players should be aware of a few caveats. Initial loading times can be quite lengthy, and some technical issues may occasionally mar the experience. However, these are small prices to pay for what is arguably the best way to experience flight without leaving your home.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a testament to the evolution of simulation technology, offering a relaxing way to tour the globe from the comfort of your couch.

For those new to the series or returning veterans, the game is surprisingly easy to play with various control methods, including a controller or keyboard. It’s a title that sets a new benchmark not just for the series, but for simulation games as a whole.

5. Psychonauts 2

5. Psychonauts 2

After a long wait, Psychonauts 2 has proven to be a superb sequel, delighting fans with its quirky and engaging story. The game is a platform-adventure that stands out with its psychedelic visuals and mind-bending levels. Players can enjoy a mix of puzzles, collectibles, and mysteries that make for a truly immersive experience.

Psychonauts 2 is a testament to Double Fine’s creativity, offering a unique blend of humor and heartfelt storytelling.

Here are some key features that make Psychonauts 2 a must-play:

  • Quirky, fun story with a distinct aesthetic in each world
  • Solid puzzle and platforming mechanics
  • Appeals to both adults and kids
  • Emotional depth through exploration of characters’ psyches

While the game does have a retro feel to its combat, it doesn’t detract from the overall experience. Psychonauts 2 is not just fun to play but also packs an emotional punch, making it an ideal choice for fans of the original and newcomers alike.

6. It Takes Two

6. It Takes Two

Released on March 25, 2021, by Hazelight Studios, It Takes Two stands out as a multiplayer action-adventure game that requires two players to experience its full potential. The game’s foundation is built on cooperation, offering a unique gaming experience that is rare in today’s market. With its engaging narrative and constantly evolving gameplay, players are treated to a journey filled with whimsy and variety.

It Takes Two is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings joy and whimsy to players, ensuring a memorable adventure with every session.

While the game may not showcase the graphical capabilities of the Xbox One like other titles, its strong platforming mechanics and family-friendly nature make it a hit for a wide audience. The game’s inventive metaphors and original story add to its charm, making it a standout title on this list.


  • Well-told narrative
  • Engaging and constantly changing gameplay
  • Jaw-dropping scenery


  • The scene with Cutie the elephant
  • Occasionally less than stellar voice acting

7. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

7. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga stands out as the best Xbox game for the whole family, offering a humorous take on the beloved franchise. The game’s storyline is praised for its wit, and the gameplay is accessible enough to be enjoyed by players of all ages, especially those fond of Jedi lore.

The Skywalker Saga is a celebration of the Lego Star Wars series’ history and the iconic films that inspired it.

While the game is not without its flaws, such as mundane space battles and occasional camera issues, it compensates with massive levels and revamped combat that keeps players engaged. Co-op mode is highlighted as an absolute blast, ensuring that the fun can be shared.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Engaging co-op Mundane space battles
Massive levels Camera issues
Revamped combat

Overall, the game provides enough content to keep players entertained for weeks, making it a must-play title on the Xbox One.

8. Starfield

8. Starfield

Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield is a monumental leap into the cosmos, marking the company’s first new universe in over 25 years. Released on September 6, 2023, this sci-fi RPG has captivated players with its vast expanse of space and the freedom to carve their own path among the stars.

With more than 1,000 planets to discover, the game offers an unparalleled level of exploration and adventure. Whether you choose to become a feared space pirate or a dedicated explorer, Starfield’s sandbox universe is your oyster.

Despite some criticism for its story campaign and the tedium of space travel, the game’s depth and the sheer volume of content ensure that your journey doesn’t end with the main story. Here’s a quick look at what to expect:

  • Release date: September 6, 2023
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Available on Game Pass

While some players find the overencumbered system frustrating, the game’s expansive universe and the ability to play for hours on end post-campaign make it a must-play title on Xbox One this year.

9. Halo Infinite

9. Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite marks a grand return to the beloved franchise, offering both long-time fans and newcomers an expansive experience. The open-world campaign sets a new standard for the series, with Master Chief exploring the vastness of a Halo ring, filled with secrets and dangers.

The game’s multiplayer continues the legacy of intense competition, with fair starts and on-map equipment. The addition of the Grappleshot brings a fresh dynamic to combat, allowing players to swiftly close in on enemies for exhilarating encounters.

Despite some criticisms, such as generic open-world sections and anti-climactic story moments, the game’s strengths lie in its deep player customization and the earnable cosmetic items that keep players engaged. Halo Infinite is not just an Xbox console exclusive; it’s a testament to the console’s capabilities, supporting up to 120Hz in multiplayer and a dynamic 4K resolution at 60fps on the Xbox Series X.


Aspect Detail
Language English
Release Date 8 December 2021
Item Weight 85 g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 17.1 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm

For those seeking a blend of nostalgia and innovation, Halo Infinite is a must-play title on the Xbox One this year.

10. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

10. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Embark on a cosmic journey with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a third-person action game that delivers an exceptional narrative experience. The game stands out with its best-in-class storytelling, featuring a mix of familiar faces and lesser-known characters like Fin Fang Foom and Lady Hellbender, adding depth to the expansive Marvel universe.

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros:
    • Best story of any Marvel game
    • Excellent dialogue captures the essence of the characters
    • Wonderfully detailed planets to explore
  • Cons:
    • Glitches make the game feel rough around the edges
    • Combat can be overly chaotic

Despite some technical glitches and chaotic combat, the game’s strengths lie in its engaging story and character development. The dialogue is particularly noteworthy, capturing the unique personalities of the Guardians. Players can look forward to exploring beautifully crafted planets, each brimming with detail and life.

While the game may have its flaws, the overall experience is a thrilling ride through the Marvel cosmos, ensuring that fans and newcomers alike will find something to love.


As we wrap up our journey through the top 10 must-play games on Xbox One this year, it’s clear that the platform continues to offer a diverse and compelling gaming experience. From the adrenaline-pumping action of new releases to the enduring charm of established franchises, there’s something for every type of gamer. Whether you’re a fan of immersive single-player narratives, competitive multiplayer showdowns, or cooperative gameplay with friends, Xbox One’s lineup has you covered. Remember, these titles are not just games; they are gateways to worlds of adventure, strategy, and excitement. So grab your controller, choose your adventure, and dive into the best that Xbox One has to offer this year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top 10 must-play games on Xbox One this year?

The top 10 must-play games on Xbox One this year include Forza Horizon 5, Elden Ring, Resident Evil 4, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Psychonauts 2, It Takes Two, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Starfield, Halo Infinite, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Is Xbox One still supported with new game releases?

Yes, Xbox One continues to be supported with new game releases, and many games are designed to be compatible across the Xbox family of consoles, including Xbox One and the newer Xbox Series X/S models.

Can Xbox One games be played on Xbox Series X/S?

Yes, the majority of Xbox One games can be played on Xbox Series X/S thanks to Microsoft’s commitment to backwards compatibility.

Are there any exclusive games for Xbox One?

While many games are now released across multiple platforms, including PC and Xbox Series X/S, there are still some titles that are exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem, which includes Xbox One.

How does Xbox Game Pass affect the gaming experience on Xbox One?

Xbox Game Pass offers a vast library of games for a monthly subscription fee, including many of the top games listed, which enhances the gaming experience by providing access to a wide range of titles on Xbox One.

What genres do the top Xbox One games cover?

The top Xbox One games cover a variety of genres, including racing, action RPG, horror, flight simulation, platformer, puzzle, adventure, sci-fi, and more, catering to a diverse gaming audience.