The Xbox One. A wonderful machine that acts as your TV, your browser, and your complete home entertainment system. Above all though, it’s a game console, hidden in the shadows of its Sony counterpart since release, the Xbox One still offers plenty of fantastic games at an incredible standard. Here at OnlySP we’ve attempted to whittle down the top 5 Single Player games to play on Microsoft’s flagship console that are currently available. In no particular order…
Ori and the Blind Forest
Recent years have seen a rise of side-scrolling 2D platformers, with games such as Shovel Knight, Rayman Origins/Legends, Guacamelee and most recently Unravel, among many others. The best of them all though was released in 2015 and follows the story of Ori, a small rabbit-like creature who attempts to restore light to the Nibel Forest. An emotional introduction soon leads to a connection between the player and Ori and with the help of Sein, a small being of light, jumps, climbs and blasts his way through the Blind Forest.
Ori and the Blind Forest is not an easy game and will test your patience at times, but the pay-off is worth your effort just to see what beautiful scenery hides around the next corner. Ori has been compared to Studio Ghibli’s creations, especially when looking at Noru who acts as Ori’s guardian, which is huge praise indeed but also well-deserved. A menacing enemy in the form of Kuro, a large dark owl who is concerned solely with protecting her nest, watches Ori’s every move towards the finale and reflects the theme of the game which is one of love and protection.
Often still advertised on the Xbox Store’s home page even almost a year after release, Ori and the Blind Forest is certainly one of those games every Xbox One owner should play and could easily make a case as the number one game for Microsoft’s big black box.
Sunset Overdrive is fun, fast, chaotic and incredibly colorful, making for a brilliant adventure that will keep you laughing for weeks. Developed by Insomniac Games who previously worked solely on PlayStation titles such as Ratchet and Clank and Resistance, the fourth wall isn’t just broken but completely destroyed while traversing Sunset City in a multitude of methods.
The plotl revolves around the over-distribution of a new energy drink called OverCharge Delirium (or ironically OCD for short) which results in the whole metropolis overdosing on the crazy rule-breaking beverage and mutating into zombie-like beasts. The protagonist is a customizable employee of the drink’s manufacturers, FizzCo, and is tasked with searching for an escape from the quarantined city. Doing so involves many intricate and over-the-top methods of transportation including rail-grinding, wall-running, zip-lining, dashing through the air, bouncing on certain items as well as slowing down time and changing direction in mid-air.
Combat comes in the form of third-person shooting with completely zany and often humongous weapons. Taking on enemies toe-to-toe at ground level is not advised so the player’s acrobatic abilities are utilized to take out the bad guys. Sunset Overdrive is an incredibly enjoyable adventure that will let you forget any worries in the real world, while maintaining good combat and a fun story with RPG elements.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara’s latest adventure takes her to the snowy mountains of Siberia to uncover secrets her father had been searching for years before. After the initial Tomb Raider reboot in 2013 where Lara was still a novice adventurer thrown into danger against her will, she now possesses the skill and prowess that shot her to global fame back in the 90s adaptations, where her mind and body are now fully prepared for what lies ahead.
Dealing with mystical forces, both dangerous and allied, Lara finds herself wrapped in a action-packed, semi open-world and ultimately revengeful escapade that leads to an almost one-woman army trudging through the beautiful landscapes as she attempts to discover the legendary city of Kitezh. Brilliantly voiced and acted by Camilla Luddington, Lara truly is the star yet again, looking better than ever in a world just as gorgeous as Ms. Croft.
The biggest complaint found in the Tomb Raider reboot was the lack of actual Tomb raiding. No problem for Rise of the Tomb Raider, where plenty of tombs are available this time to uncover the secrets and upgrades to Lara’s arsenal. With multiple optional tombs in each area, each with its own unique puzzle, there is plenty to keep old-school fans entertained as well as newcomers to the series. Rise of the Tomb Raider is possibly the best-looking game on Xbox One, as well as hugely entertaining to play as well.
Rare are among the most popular of game developers around, having been the home of multiple classic adventures dating back to the early 1980’s. In celebration of their 30th anniversary they released a collection of their greatest games on one disc exclusively for Xbox One. Rare Replay is the final product of this brilliant throwback and includes some of the greatest games of all time (Banjo-Kazooie a personal favorite of mine).
Despite the age of most of the titles on offer, their timeless attribute lives up to the billing even in this generation of gaming with all the games largely untouched from their original outings (bugs and all!) with the only added features being universal to all, such as cheat modes and a snapshot mode. On top of this the player can unlock certain behind-the-scenes features such as developer interviews from the British-based company.
With titles like Perfect Dark Zero, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Banjo-Tooie and RC Pro Am making the cut of 30 games, there’s hours upon hours of fun to be had no matter what genre you enjoy. Chances are your favorite will be here anyway.
Forza Horizon 2
An open-world racing game designed for everyone. Don’t know the difference between four wheel drive and two wheel drive? Doesn’t matter – you can still enjoy Forza Horizon 2 without any real love for cars or racing in general. Are you a professional mechanic going on 30 years? Excellent, you’ll still have everything you need in a simulation that includes over 200 licensed cars gliding though an area around three times the size of the original Forza Horizon.
Set across Southern France and Northern Italy during another ‘Horizon Festival’, dynamic weather is introduced for the first time to the series by Playground Games as well as the option for day and night races and events. If you don’t fancy competitively racing for a while then just take your motor for a spin over the luscious landscape and incredible vistas of the Côte d’Azur, Provence or Tuscany.
You cross objectives off your in-game ‘Bucket List’ which includes plenty of challenges for the player to complete. While racing, pulling off tricks such as drifting or air-time will deliver points than can be spent on perks to make life a bit easier for yourself. This is the game for racing and non-racing fans alike, and the best racing game on Xbox One in this author’s opinion.
So that’s our list of the top 5 Xbox One games. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to follow us on Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) and Facebook where you can also sound off your opinions. The PS4 version of this article will be available soon.
The opinions in this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization.