Many of the best Xbox One games can be found on Game Pass, Microsoft’s game subscription service that some people love to say is just like Netflix. With tens of millions of active users, Game Pass continues to prove hugely popular among Xbox gamers, giving them access to a catalogue of great games, both big and small.
Perhaps its biggest boon is the day one addition of major new releases, including first party titles. The only downside is that, with so many games up for grabs, it can be a little overwhelming sifting through such a giant list, especially if you’re new to the service.
That said, if you were to subscribe to Game Pass for one month out of the entire year, you can catch up on twelve months’ worth of bangers while only having to pay a few quid! Here are the best Xbox One games to play right now, all of them also playable on Xbox Series X|S (though some are not enhanced for the new generation) and many also available on PC.
The best Xbox One games
Whether you want a fantasy adventure, some high seas action, or simply shoot the nuts off a Nazi, we’ve got you covered with a nice variety of games, all available on Xbox Game Pass.
- Gears 5
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Sniper Elite 5
- Halo Infinite
- Sea of Thieves
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Sunset Overdrive
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Forza Horizon 5
- Ryse: Son of Rome
Not a lot has changed since the Gears of War series debuted on the Xbox 360, but there’s still something incredible fun about the cover-shooting and gnarly takedowns of Gears 5. The second part in a new trilogy of games, you take control of Kait Diaz as she tries to uncover the secrets of her past, flanked by a familiar cast of characters. You can even get through the entire campaign online or in split-screen, which is a nice boost, with plenty of multiplayer action to keep you coming back. Some will have no doubt skipped it, but the Hivebusters expansion shows Gears 5 at its best.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Almost a decade old at this point, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has steadily grown and improved since making its Xbox One debut in 2014. Although you don’t really need to play the series before trying Halo Infinite, if you feel like catching up this is your perfect portal into the Halo universe. Spanning six games, the collection includes remasters of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, with access to Halo 3, ODST, Reach, and Halo 4. Microsoft and 343 have worked hard to make this the definitive package, preserving those solo campaigns and multiplayer modes.
Sniper Elite 5
Despite having reached its fifth numbered instalment, Sniper Elite is still conjuring up new and inventive ideas. World War II’s finest allied marksman, Karl Fairburne, is back once again, this time journeying to France in order to shut down the encroaching Nazi war machine. Sniper Elite 5 refines the series’ stealth action template, giving players more options to clear its sandbox-like levels. One particularly cool new feature has players invade each-other’s sessions, attempting to thwart Karl by sneaking around as Nazi sniper.
After a lengthy hiatus, Master Chief is back in an all-new adventure. Was it worth the wait? While some classic Halo features – such as campaign co-op and Forge mode – have been delayed, we’d still argue it’s the best Halo we’ve had in a long, long time. 343 Industries has finally stepped from beneath Bungie’s shadow, creating an open-world single player story for Halo Infinite that’s a joy to play. The competitive multiplayer has taken fans on a bit of a rollercoaster these past few months though it’s still great fun and free-to-play.
Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is excellent because you can play it in so many different ways. If you want to commit to the life of a pirate, then you can go around stealing loot, raiding ships, and fighting skeletons, but you don’t have to do that. You could alternatively set up a shop cooking food for other players, or just sitting out at sea fishing beneath the moonlight as your friends serenade you and your dog dances. It also happens to have some of the best-looking video game water ever created, so that’s nice if you have to move inland and find yourself missing the wet stuff.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The Ori series is great and has you adventuring around a magical forest as a small spirit trying to save the world. Despite sounding like a perfect game for little ones or new gamers, Ori and the Will of the Wisps actually incredibly tough, so you’ll likely get more out of this if you miss the days when action platformers would throw you into spike pits every few seconds. Also, it’s stunning to look at and has some really great music.
Easily one of the best Xbox One games ever, and it still holds up wonderfully. From Insomniac Games – the creators of Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, and Marvel’s Spider-Man – while they were going through their third party game dev phase, Sunset Overdrive has that same over-the-top energy as you blast your way through its vibrant sandbox. What really set the game apart was how it fused fluid movement with a bonkers arsenal of weapons, making for some zany set piece action. You can clearly see some of the game’s open world design feeding into the vastly more successful Marvel’s Spider-Man.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
The definition of a sleeper hit, A Plague Tale: Innocence was a surprisingly accomplished stealth ’em up with a great story and setting. Hunted by the Inquisition, a young girl must help her brother flee capture as a deadly plague ravages France. It’s a gritty medieval saga well worth checking out, and one with a sequel coming soon. Just a word of caution: if rats really aren’t your thing then maybe give this one a miss…
Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best racing games in out there, and plays pretty well on Xbox One. You’ve never experienced a better-looking racing game than this, and the way the recreation of Mexico weaves from one biome and one event to the next makes it stunning to play too. If you want to make your way around a huge world and just soak in the sheer beauty of it all, Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best Xbox games around for that.
Don’t let Tunic‘s foxy little protagonist fool you. This is a deceptively deep and challenging game inspired by Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series. Players have also likened it to the Dark Souls series thanks to its involved combat sections, though there’s plenty of puzzles to solve too as you explore this beautifully crafted world.
Ryse: Son of Rome
You won’t hear many Xbox fans singing this game’s praises, but Ryse has been a firm favourite here at TheSixthAxis. We simply don’t see games like this any more – linear in design with straightforward combat, boasting AAA presentation value. From the creators of Crysis, you play as Marius – a feared Roman Centurion hunting down feral barbarian tribes within the heart of Britannia. It’s a great romp and one that has an enjoyable – if a little repetitive – combat system at its core.
Those are just some of the best Xbox games you can enjoy via Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft continues to add new titles to this ever-growing catalogue of games, and hopefully some that will appear in this list over the coming months and years.