With upcoming releases including Anthem and more - we’ve listed some of the most anticipated games if you’re looking ahead - 2019 is set to be a great year for Xbox One gaming.
Still, now’s the perfect time to catch up on the best Xbox One games you might've missed the first time around - and remember to check for some of the best games deals around if you’re planning to pick anything up.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption was a phenomenal open world game for its time, and is one of few games that has stood the test of time, so it should come as no surprise that Red Dead Redemption 2 has set a new standard for open world games.
The open world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is sprawling and varied, but it’s the finer details of the open world that make it feel dynamic and lived-in. You can have impromptu conversations with passers-by, intimidate witnesses to crimes to avoid becoming wanted and, when you want a little R&R, you have can hunt over 200 species of animal, go fishing or play dominoes with other gang members at camp.
We’ve been stopped by outlaws trying to rob us, we’ve helped a woman being attacked in her home, we’ve helped convicts escape prison carts and more – all while randomly exploring the open world out-of-mission.
The missions are action-packed, story-driven and wildly varied – from high-pressure missions like robbing a train to more relaxed missions where you simply go fishing – the game offers something new at every turn. And with so many intricate game systems at play, from weapon degradation to a stunning weather system, Red Dead Redemption 2 may ruin every other open world game for you.
Metro Exodus is the third and final instalment of the hugely popular Metro series, and it's safe to say that it's the best to date. Exodus sees Artyom and the Spartan Rangers ditch the dark, dank Metro system to embark on a cross-country mission with the aim of finding other explorers and settling down somewhere safe. Of course, being a Metro game, it doesn't quite go to plan.
It's the first in the series to offer an open-world format, with four unique environments full of post-apocalyptic points of interest and, of course, dangerous mutated animals to avoid. But despite offering several open world areas to explore, Metro Exodus doesn't lose that panicked, claustrophobic feel that is so synonymous with the series.
It's stunningly good-looking too, offering a truly beautiful glimpse at post-apocalyptic Russia. Essentially, if you're on the market for a tight, story-driven open world shooter that'll make you scream like a kid then Metro Exodus is the game for you.
Read our full Metro Exodus review
Forza Horizon 4
Set in an idealistic version of the UK, this all-encompassing racer is an absolute blast. It's gorgeous visuals, wonderful soundtrack and wealth of stuff to do means Horizon 4 sets the new benchmark for open-world multiplayer car games.
And a car game it is. Although you'll spend most of your time racing, there's just as much pleasure to be had taking photos of your most treasured cars, modifying them, upgrading them and even just taking a drive around Edinburgh or the winding country roads of the Lake District.
With changing seasons comes not only a completely different look and feel to the map, but also different driving conditions. And that means you have four different ways to play each and every race.
Add in the fact that Horizon is now online, with real people driving around the countryside with you, and it's about as close as you'll get to drifting a Bugatti Chiron with your mates at the local roundabout.
Read our full Forza Horizon 4 review
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
If Assassin's Creed Origins served as a soft reboot for a series in desperate need of some change, Odyssey is a subtler update, but bold in its own way. There's no major reinvention here, but it tweaks the Origins formula, doubling down on that game's changes to move even further from the franchise roots.
You play as an ancient Greek mercenary, or misthios, navigating the Peloponnesian War as you fight to stop a sinister and secretive cult, merrily assassinating along the way.
The core combat and stealth mechanics set in Origins are back, but this time you get more flexibility in how your skills develop thanks to three branching upgrade trees and upgradable, customisable weaponry and armour.
Those RPG elements carry across to character too. Not only do you get to choose between a male or female character, but there's branching dialogue, romance options, and the chance to make decisions with major impact on the ongoing story.
Read our full Assassin's Creed Odyssey review
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But maybe add some new modes. FIFA 19 improves again, with offline multiplayer rejuvenating the mates-in-the-living-room FIFA experience in a way it hasn't done for a while.
Online remains excellent too, and with Champions League rights nabbed from PES, FIFA 19 is looking like the best football game ever. In game mechanics are improved with first touches and ground passes more fluid.
You might be able to score a few more overhead kicks than is realistic, but you came here for the escapism and FIFA 19 delivers in droves.
Read our full FIFA 19 review
Reviving the long-dormant XCOM strategy series with 2012’s Enemy Unknown was no easy feat, so there were always high hopes for 2017's sequel, the more simply named XCOM 2, but it’s hard to imagine anyone was disappointed by it.
Set years after the first game, in a world in which humanity lost its initial war against the alien invaders, the XCOM team is no longer a massive interplanetary defence force, but instead a small band of renegades and outlaws.
That changes the scope of many missions, which are now built around a new stealth mechanic that allows you to move your team into an optimum position and launch an ambush on the first unsuspecting enemies you find.
Missions are also likely to boast secondary objectives, and some set strict time limits, forcing you to abandon the safety of cover and dash forward across the map in order to succeed in time.
Maps are generated procedurally, meaning there’s more variation than before, and they’re packed with new enemy types - including a few re-purposed from the original ‘90s series like the Viper.
XCOM 2 is the rare sequel that feels better than the original in just about every way - and the original was already fantastic, so that’s really saying something.
Forza Motorsport 7
Forza 7 is the ultimate driving game for Xbox and PC gamers. It adds realistic elements to the game without making it as punishing as the majority of driving sims, providing the perfect balance for gamers. It’s a stunning game not only in terms of the cars but the weather system, environments and even the tracks themselves, and the built-in photo mode shows it all off perfectly.
Combine that with perfect handling, even when using a controller, and you’ve got a racing game that you’ll sink a lot of time into.
Read our full Forza Motorsport 7 review
With its first game, Limbo, developer Playdead proved it was at the top of the puzzle-platformer genre. Somehow, against the odds, it’s done one better with the impeccable Inside.
Things kick off with you controlling a young boy trying to sneak into some sort of dystopian factory/facility/lab. As you sneak from left to right in an oppressive dark world you have to evade guards, dogs, and a particularly aggressive pig until you make your way inside and it all gets a lot weirder.
Saying too much would spoil a lot of the game’s best surprises, but the plot is gradually (and wordlessly) revealed as you best the game’s intricate physics puzzles and escape various threats, all building towards a final act that’s just, well, insane. Utterly insane.
The puzzles are smart and challenging, but rarely frustrating, holding you up for just long enough to satisfy when you figure them out, without ever becoming an irritation.
The game is also visually stunning, adding more detail than Limbo’s stark silhouettes. It still keeps things simple though, bolstered by impressive lighting effects and characterful animations.
Inside is intelligent and original, and at just £15 remains one of the most memorable gameplay experiences of the year.
Resident Evil 2
We loved Resident Evil 7, but we're afraid that the remake of 1998 classic Resident Evil 2 has supplanted it in our hearts (and braaaaaains) as the connoisseur's modern Resi game.
This smart, loving remake knows exactly what to keep and what to ditch from the source material, modernising the controls, graphics, and storytelling without ever sacrificing the tone - or heart - of the franchise.
Returning players will find everything they love from classic Resi intact: labyrinthine, interlocking maps; scarce ammo; plentiful (but not too plentiful) undead forces; and the cheesiest dialogue known to man.
On the other hand the controls and camera have been updated to make the game smoother and more dynamic - without losing the element of fear those sluggish controls added - while mechanics like the hulking, relentless Tyrant have been updated to take into account the excellent work of more recent games like Alien: Isolation.
This is exactly how remakes are meant to be done, surpassing the original in more ways than just updated graphics, and comfortably rivals the best that Resident Evil has ever been.
Read more in our Resident Evil 2 review.
Read our full Resident Evil 2 review
Anthem is the complete opposite of a traditional BioWare game; it boasts a flawless combat and movement systems, but lacks in the story department. The world of Anthem is intriguing and there’s a lot that the developers can do in future content updates, but the base story didn’t really resonate with us as much as we’d expected.
But the combat and movement systems make this game an absolute joy to play; the novelty of flying around the battlefield conjuring thunder strikes and raining down artillery on swathes of enemies below hasn’t worn off yet, and we don’t see it doing so for some time.
It’s a similar story with end-game content; there’s a good base to work with, and although the content is a little light at the moment, EA has big plans for the future of Anthem and has committed to free content updates for the foreseeable future.
Read our full Anthem review
Far Cry New Dawn
Far Cry New Dawn not only answers the burning questions gamers had after playing Far Cry 5, but it’s a fun, engaging game that stands on its own and gives a hint at the RPG-heavy direction that future games in the series may be heading – and we love it. The heavier focus on RPG elements like ranked enemies provides a new depth to the game, which should stop the game becoming same-y over time.
It’s certainly more than a simple reskin; there are new mechanics, activities and places to explore despite being built on the same map as Far Cry 5. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that the environment is almost unrecognisable, with the exception of a handful of ruined landmarks of course.
For the price, it's definitely worth picking up.
Read our full Far Cry New Dawn review
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider wraps up the Origins trilogy that kicked off back in 2013, and is the darkest yet. While other games saw Lara climb to victory, Shadow of the Tomb Raider documents her plunge into the darkness, both physically and mentally.
You can properly explore caves thanks to new spelunking mechanics, allowing you to rappel into caverns, climb on rocky surfaces and swing across vast drops for great rewards. You can also swim for the first time, allowing you to explore the depths and the mysteries (and dangers) it contains.
Psychological warfare plays a huge part in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, allowing you to scare your enemies into becoming distracted and vulnerable. Using updated stealth mechanics, Lara can sneak up unnoticed and take out a whole squad of Trinity soldiers without being noticed. The takedowns are pretty gruesome too.
The Challenge Tombs are not only the most challenging to date; they're larger, more complex and deadlier than ever, with timing playing a crucial part. Miss one step and you'll fall to your untimely death. Yep, it's a pretty dark game this time around!
Read our full Shadow of the Tomb Raider review
Set at the height of the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918 London, you play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, a renowned doctor, scientist and now, vampire. You're tasked with helping the 60 night-dwelling residents of London stay healthy, while also trying to find out where the virus originated - and how to stop it from spreading.
If you’re looking for a semi-open world, story-focused RPG, Vampyr is a solid option. It offers in-depth conversation options, game-changing choices to make and an intriguing storyline full of plot twists and betrayal.
But it’s much more than that too; combat is satisfying, especially as you unlock new vampiric abilities and upgrade your weaponry, and the world feels more alive than most open world games.
Every person you see has a name, a story and relationships with other characters in the game, and deciding to feed on them can have a knock-on effect on the community and availability of quests. It makes you second guess your every move, and will leave you wondering if you made the right choice long after it was made.
But it’s the way that Vampyr makes you feel bad for killing citizens that makes it impressive – I’ve never felt more guilty playing a game in my life.
Read our full Vampyr review
The first thing you notice about Superhot is its striking visual style, in which the world is reduced to shades of white, broken only by black guns and bright red baddies - and bullets. The visuals are brilliant, unforgettable, and somehow the least interesting part of the game.
Superhot is a first-person shooter, but not like any you’ve played before. Time in the game only moves when you do, slowing to a crawl whenever you stand still, making each level a series of tiny strategic encounters.
You pause, evaluate the room, and plan a move to avoid incoming attackers and hopefully take a couple out. Then you pause again, re-evaluate, and form a new plan, clearing the encounter by increments, surviving so long as you master the split-second timing.
There’s a surprisingly sinister campaign, which delves into some very meta storytelling, backed up by a number of challenge modes to further test your skills.
There’s a diverse array of guns, explosive, and melee weapons, including a fair few improvised weapons you can grab to throw at enemies. One of the game’s most fun manoeuvres sees you stun enemies to disarm them, stealing their weapon in the process.
Superhot is one of those rare games that feels genuinely new, and unlike anything that’s come before it.
Metal Gear Survive
Metal Gear Survive takes place following the events of Ground Zeroes, and is technically a spin-off from the MGSV timeline. Essentially, a wormhole appears and promptly sucks Motherbase into its churning maw and end up in a desolate dimension where you’re forced to survive.
You’ll find new features when compared to previous MGS games, most notably the introduction of a hunger and thirst system that really limits -ahem-, that really enhances the survival experience. Your character levels up and unlocks new talents as you progress through the game, and the growing library of things to craft should keep you busy for a while.
But while some of these activities are certainly enjoyable, there is a lot of busy work required before you can progress through the story. Finding food on top of scavenging for materials so you can actually play the game gets a lot less interesting after you’ve done it for the fifth time. And when that’s combined with oxygen consumption in the dust, you’ll find yourself heading back to Base Camp fairly often to replenish your stats.
But despite the frustrations, fans of Metal Gear V will feel right at home here with the game’s tone and feel. The wanderers being dangerous up close, and a need to be more tactical makes a nice difference to other zombie titles that encourage you to hack and slash. If you’re a fan of zombie games and the Metal Gear series, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
Read our full Metal Gear Survive review
Call of Duty: WW2
Call of Duty WW2 takes the CoD franchise back to its roots. During the campaign you’ll storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day before fighting your way across Europe, experiencing events of the second world war including the Battle of the Bulge and The Rhine through the eyes of a solider.
Clocking in at around six hours of play time, the intense campaign is packed with intense close-quarters combat and spectacular events, all enhanced with impressive sound design and incredible visuals. It’s a stunning game with detailed environments – even the facial animations are detailed.
The multiplayer boasts 10 diverse maps across Europe, featuring maps with tight corners and enclosed areas perfect for shotguns or submachine guns to open maps ideal for patient snipers. A big change is the removal of Classes. They’ve been replaced with Divisions, each with unique unlockable benefits like SMG suppressors or bayonet charges.
But while the changes are welcome, we can’t help but feel it’s a little underwhelming compared to other games like Battlefield 1 with huge multiplayer modes and various vehicles to use, especially with CoD’s 12-player limit.
There’s also a Nazi Zombies mode with a great new co-op campaign mode, featuring an original story separate from the campaign.
Read our full Call of Duty: WW2 review
State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 takes place 18 months into the zombie apocalypse, and it's up to you to bring together a community of survivors, build up your base and find a potential cure for mankind. It's no easy feat, and the various challenges you'll come across while scavenging the environment for useful equipment and materials can be the difference between life and death for your survivors.
We mean that in a literal sense, as State of Decay 2 uses a permadeath system. That means that if you make a bad call and one of your survivors gets eaten by a horde of zombies, they're gone. Not only that, but you'll lose access to their unique skillset that could provide specific upgrades for your base.
Resource collecting and scavenging is a huge part of State of Decay 2, and it's what you'll find yourself doing most of the time. It can get a bit repetitive if you're playing alone, but the good news is that State of Decay 2 provides four-player co-op that should provide more naturally-occurring events for you to deal with.
Read our full State of Decay 2 review
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