Looking for the best Xbox games? Good news: Despite transitioning into primarily producing features for the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, Microsoft still plans to support gaming on the Xbox One console. Microsoft is focused on backward and forward compatibility across the entire Xbox lineup, making it possible for gamers to enjoy past classics, even if those gamers have made the switch to one of the next-gen systems. With this streamlined compatibility in mind, Series X and Series S users have no reason not to seek out some of the best Xbox One games, such as "Dishonored 2" and "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice."

To find the best Xbox One games to suit your play style and gaming preferences, look for a game’s genre, online play modes, and whether it’s intended for one player, multiplayer, or co-op play. Take a look at this selection of some of the best Xbox One titles from a range of different genres to find the best Xbox One games for intense, immersive gameplay.

Best Overall: "Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition"
Best Budget: "Doom: Eternal"
Best RPG: "Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition"
Best Racing: "Forza Horizon 4"
Best Co-Op: "Gears 5 Standard Edition"

How We Picked the Best Xbox One Games

Decades of gaming and game reviewing on a personal collection of over eight consoles and a gaming PC, informed this list of the top Xbox One games of 2021. Extensive research into each title also helped in deciding between radically different games competing for the same slot. Some of the top-performing titles that were considered included "Mortal Kombat 11," "Cuphead," and "Devil May Cry 5."

Genre: We selected games from a variety of different genres, given that not every gamer prefers only first-person shooters (FPS) or role-playing games (RPG). For this list we looked for a little bit of everything.

Play Modes: We included games with diverse play modes, including online, offline, single-player, and multiplayer, as some gamers enjoy the quiet personal challenge of an offline, single-player game, while others seek the teamwork and community that comes with online multiplayer games.

Age Rating: Age rating was also noted in order to help parents or guardians decide on whether a game was appropriate for their kids.

We further explain how we test gaming equipment here.

The Best Xbox One Games: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: "Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition"

Outstanding Gameplay. Rock Star Games

Why It Made the Cut: This exciting Western action/adventure game lets players follow storyline missions, chase bounties, and challenge themselves with numerous side quests.

Genre: Action / adventure
Age Rating: M (Mature)—ages 17 and older
Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, offline, and online

Single- and multiplayer modes
Exciting storyline and gameplay
Tons of content to explore

Not suitable for kids

Our pick for the best Xbox one game overall comes from the makers of "Grand Theft Auto" comes "Red Dead Redemption 2," a Western action/adventure title that puts the player in the body of Arthur Mogan, an outlaw from the Van der Linde gang. Players choose to follow an intricate storyline laid out by the game’s writers or head off in their own direction to explore a vast Western wilderness, small townships, and seemingly endless side quests that are sure to provide days’ worth of challenges.

"Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition" features both online and offline modes, as well as a multiplayer mode that allows players to form a posse. Whether a gamer is drawn to the intriguing Western setting or the familiar GTA-style gameplay, "Red Dead Redemption 2" is an Xbox One game held in high regard by the gaming community, with an impressive amount of content to get lost in. It should be noted however that this game received a Mature rating, so it might be a little much for kids.

Best Budget: "Doom: Eternal"

Action Packed. Bethesda

Why It Made the Cut: Our pick for the best budget Xbox one game allows you to challenge the denizens of hell head-on in single-player mode or become the demons to battle other players in multiplayer mode.

- Genre: FPS
- Age Rating: M (mature)—ages 17 and older
- Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, offline, and online

- Single- and multiplayer modes
- Explosive visual gameplay
- Interesting PVP multiplayer mode

- Not suitable for kids

"Doom: Eternal" isn’t just recognizable for the fame of the Doom franchise. This first-person shooter (FPS) stands alone. It’s packed with hours of intense gameplay, giving gamers a huge arsenal of weapons, including melee attacks, guns, and explosive weaponry to take down a variety of enemies. As players progress through the single-player campaign the growth of the character is evident as the challenging early-game enemies gradually become commonplace lackeys that are replaced by a variety of greater threats.

"Doom Eternal" keeps gamers on their toes with a never-ending barrage of demons to slay.  It then takes things a step further with a multiplayer mode that allows the player to become one of several different demons and battle other players while utilizing their demon’s unique abilities and traits. If shooting big, ugly creatures with big, powerful guns seems like a thrill, then "Doom: Eternal" is a title to check out. However, the gory gameplay isn’t suitable for kids.

Best RPG: "Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition"

Intriguing Storyline. Warner Brothers

Why It Made the Cut: Follow the winding story of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as Geralt attempts to find Ciri and keep her safe from the Wild Hunt.

Genre: RPG
Age Rating: M (mature)—ages 17 and older
Play Modes: Single-player and offline

Free game expansions
Immersive storyline and world
Innovative bestiary of creatures
Fun and engaging game mechanics

Not suitable for kids

There are few games that live up to the reputation of "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" and it’s for good reason. With an immersive world, gripping storyline, and challenging gameplay that leaves players wanting more, it’s safe to say that "Witcher 3" is the best RPB game for Xbox one. And CD Projekt Red has helped all of us who couldn’t get enough of the title out with two expansion packs that were made completely free. It’s a rare generous move when compared to hit titles like "Destiny 2," which proceeded to slap hefty price tags on each of its subsequent expansion packs.

Players choose between a wide variety of spells, items, and weapons in a range of different combat scenarios, yet "Witcher 3" is hardly a simple hack-and-slash game. Players also have to use their heads to find the best strategy for defeating enemies before it’s too late. One of the only drawbacks to this fun, entertaining RPG is that its constant gruesome deaths, as well as nudity and adult themes, make it a poor choice for younger gamers. Though in part it’s the gory fight scenes and adult subject matter that make the game such a fan favorite.

Best Racing: "Forza Horizon 4"

Responsive Handling. Electronic Arts

Why It Made the Cut: This customizable racing game features gorgeous settings, online multiplayer or solo campaigns, and an exciting library of cars.

Genre: Racing
Age Rating: EC (Early Childhood) - ages 3 and older
Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, offline, and online

Kid-friendly and fun
Stunning visual settings
Responsive driving controls

High price

This Xbox One console exclusive is the best racing game and an excellent option for gamers that are looking for a title to share with their kids. While the initial gameplay can take some getting used to for inexperienced racing players, the game is kid-friendly, ensuring that parents don’t have any content to worry about, beyond possible fascination with fictional vehicles. Create custom tracks using route-creator mode, then  race on them on online servers with other players. Or hone your skills against the computer in offline play.

"Forza Horizon 4" takes players through a variety of different landscapes across Great Britain, including Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, and Bamburgh. It even has a dynamic weather system that depicts the changing seasons, giving players the opportunity to drive through bright, summer weather or fight difficult winter storms. "Forza Horizon 4" features over 750 different vehicles and players can even purchase homes. This is truly a polished driving game, though the price of this title is higher than many other top games on this list.

Best Co-Op: "Gears 5 Standard Edition"

High-pressure missions keep players on their toes in this immersive third-person shooter.

Why It Made the Cut: This pick for the best co-op game for the Xbox one grants you the opportunity to team up with two other players in local split-screen co-op mode, engage in challenging online multiplayer gameplay, or unravel the storyline in single-player, offline play.

Genre: TPS (Third-person shooter)
Age Rating: M (Mature)—ages 17 and older
Play Modes: Single-player, multiplayer, offline, and online

Three-player couch co-op
Five game modes including a map builder
Eye-catching visuals

 Not suitable for kids

"Gears 5" drops you into the story just a few months after the events of "Gears of War 4." Play as Kait Diaz, a descendant of the Queen of the Locust Horde, as she tries to find the truth behind her family history. "Gears 5" brings back couch co-op to allow up to three people to enjoy split-screen gaming in the same room, and it also offers an online multiplayer mode so that gamers can keep playing together from their own consoles (and couches) after everyone gets home.

"Gears 5" features stunning graphics and innovative costume designs, as well as several different game modes including campaign, escape, versus, horde, and a map builder that gives the player the ability to create custom hive maps to play on their own or share with friends. Like many top games however, "Gears 5" is not appropriate for younger gamers, so parents looking for a birthday or holiday present should look for a title that isn’t quite so viscerally violent such as "Ori and the Will of the Wisps."

Things to Consider Before Buying an Xbox One Game

It’s fun to pick a new title off the shelf and jump in, but if you’re a picky gamer want to be sure that you will enjoy a great Xbox One title then take some time to look for a game that fits the genre, the various play modes, and the age group that you are shopping for.


The genre of an Xbox One game is similar to the genre of a movie, novel, or board game. Interested gamers can find the type of gameplay they want based on their genre, making it easier to find a game that suits their personal tastes without having to read long series of reviews or subscribe to gaming magazines. For instance, "Madden NFL 20" is a popular football game that falls into the simulation and sports genre, while "Apex Legends" is a first-person shooter (FPS). Listed below are the most popular genres and examples of top games in each category.

Action/Adventure: "Assassin’s Creed Odyssey"
First-person shooters (FPS) and third-person shooters (TPS): "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare"
Platformer: "Cuphead"
Puzzles: "Portal 2"
Real-time strategy (RTS): "Warcraft"
Role-playing games (RPG): "Final Fantasy XV"
Sandbox: "Minecraft"
Simulation and sports: "NBA 2K21"
Survival and horror: "Resident Evil: Biohazard"

Single and Multiplayer Modes

Not every person enjoys the challenges of playing with other gamers online. Instead, they might prefer to take on a game that unfolds like a solitary quest, giving them a well-written story to unravel and a world to immerse themselves in. These players should look for single-player RPGs like "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" or "The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim."

Multiplayer gaming can include both split-screen couch co-op, where the players are in the same home and playing with a split-screen, and online multiplayer. In online multiplayer titles, players use their Xbox consoles (or other gaming devices with cross-platform compatibility) to connect with huge communities of players or play co-op with small groups of friends. Most large and small gaming streamers typically specialize in multiplayer games, like Apex Legends, COD, or even Minecraft, which can be set up with a dedicated server for specific players.

However, if you’re an average gamer, simply choose the mode that you enjoy the best, or pick and choose certain games that are better for single-player fun and others that are best enjoyed with two or more additional players. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Age Ratings

As with most media, video games have an age rating system that helps parents and guardians determine whether a specific title is appropriate for younger gamers. Kids should wait a few years to dive into some of the more violent, gruesome, and mature games on this list. Games receive an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating and can also have a Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating, which is the international counterpart to the ESRB.

The ESRB system ranges from EC (Early Childhood) to AO (Adults Only), while the PEGI rating system simply states the suitable age starting from three and ending at 18. When buying for kids you should always check a game’s age rating. If a game received a mature rating but you’re still interested in purchasing it for your kid, it could be worth researching why it received the rating it did. The rating details can typically be found in the game information as well as on the back of the game case.

Online vs. Offline Play

Similar to the opinions held about single-player versus multiplayer titles, gamers can have strong preferences towards online or offline gameplay, while others enjoy both. Online gameplay can expose you to a wide population of gamers and can help to keep a game fresh, with frequent updates, bug fixes, and online challenges. If you're playing online, make sure you've got the best gaming router for your home.

Offline gameplay is familiar for older gamers that grew up playing on Nintendo game systems but can also be appreciated by newer gamers that want to explore the breadth of a well-rendered game world and story without engaging with others. Taking time to engage in an immersive alternative environment can be a wonderful escape from workplaces and daily life.  Consider these options if you’re looking for the best gifts for gamers in your life.


Q: Is Xbox better than PlayStation?

The debate between Xbox and PlayStation has raged since Xbox and PlayStation were first developed. There is no definitive answer. Some players prefer Xbox over PlayStation, while the opposite is also true for other players. Some gamers see the benefits of both systems and enjoy the respective games put out on each console. At the end of the day, Xbox and PlayStation are relatively similar, while the real tension is between PC and console gamers.

Q: What is the most played game right now?

The most played games tend to change periodically, but the top most-played games are currently "COD": "Warzone," "Minecraft," "Red Dead Redemption 2," and "Fortnite."

Q: How can I recycle my old Xbox console?

If you want to upgrade to a new Xbox console or are looking to get rid of an old, used device then you can recycle your console through Best Buy, Microsoft, or even through a local e-waste facility. The NYC Department of Environmental Conservation offers good e-waste return info for gamers.

Q: How much do Xbox One games cost?

An Xbox One game can range in cost from about $20 to over $100 for deluxe or special edition titles. However, since the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles were released, the price for Xbox One games has slowly decreased.

Final Thoughts on the Best Xbox One Games

The outstanding story and immersive gameplay put "Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition" at the top of our list for Xbox One games. But if you prefer to wreak havoc on demon enemies with a wide arsenal of weapons, "Doom: Eternal" is an excellent choice that will give you hours of happy (and gory) gaming.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.

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