Top 10 Xbox One Games of 2018

As of December 18, 2018

Years after launch, the Xbox One is still playing catch-up to the PlayStation 4. In 2018, we tracked 622 games, together with some DLCs and expansions, released on the Microsoft console. 93 of them received a playscore®, and here are the ten highest-rated.

Pit People

#10 Pit People

Developed by The Behemoth
Released on Mar 2, 2018
8.43
playscore

From the makers of the intense hilarity that is BattleBlock Theater, The Behemoth shows off their comedic mastery with this action packed strategy RPG. Rendered in their signature cartoon style, Pit People offers a deliberately anachronistic RPG experience packed with idiosyncratic doodle gore together with traditional turn-based combat.

Erring more on the side of fun and action, it has earned the ire of RPG fans who were disappointed with their lack of an actual leveling system, the uniformity of their weapon types, and their combat system that leaves too much in the hands of luck and AI algorithms. Considering their full-nonsense style, one can be forgiven for filing it under the game's many quirks.

Their shallow RPG elements aside, Pit People is accessible and packed with content as catering to both strategy newbies with their easy to pick up gameplay and masochistic challenge seekers with Insane difficulties and permadeath.

Subnautica

#9 Subnautica

Released on Dec 4, 2018
8.45
playscore

What does thalassophobia feel like? The answer is just right here. Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s underwater survival open-world game is a stuff of nightmares. It’s not a horror game, per se. It’s an endless subaquatic adventure where players explore, craft stuff, and survive any living horrors under the watery abyss.

The moment players descend into the depths, it’s an quest to stay alive by building submarines, bases, collecting resources and more. Think of it as No Man’s Sky, but underwater. The game is lauded for its detailed environments, sound design, and fantastic underwater exploration. But given that this not a triple A game, there’s always bugs floating under the water. It’s forgivable.

It’s basically what Subnautica is all about. For others, it’s a paradise of aquatic proportions. For some, it’s an underwater nightmare that fuels your fear of the unknown. The ocean is such a strange and scary place and that’s what makes the game so impressive.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

#8 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Developed by Ubisoft Quebec
Released on Oct 5, 2018
8.45
playscore

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise has come a long way. From the limitations of previous platforms and up to the point where every best thing about the series since day one made it to their latest entry. This technical advancement included some of their worst as well, but the game did not disappoint.

Every gamer’s history lesson, Assassin’s Creed is not afraid to showcase the best thing about iconic historical events and tweaking a little bit in between. That’s where Odyssey comes in. Players enter Ancient Greece. Ubisoft’s attention to detail once again exceeds everyone’s expectations. It’s the biggest map of the AC series since Origins and it’s populated with side-quests, collectible items, and the good ol’ Ubisoft bugs.

Continuing their RPG elements from Origins, players make tough choices that impact the story. Players can also equip powerful items found in the game’s massive world with the right progression requirements. Although it received a bit of flak due to its “heavy grinding” elements, it doesn’t fall short on everything else. It’s the best AC game so far.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

#7 Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Developed by Ninja Theory
Released on Apr 11, 2018
8.55
playscore

Kicking ass with a low budget, Ninja Theory shows the world what sheer talent and vision and can do. Formed from a team of twenty or some bright-eyed developers, they described their game as an independent Triple A game--and for many, that seems to ring true. Bringing in their knowledge from their earlier DmC reboot and pairing it with Bafta nominated Antoniades' writing, Hellblade Senua is a true videogame marvel. It combines Nordic and Celtic mythology to tell the hellish adventures of a woman haunted by psychosis and suffering through a necrotic arm.

The protagonist's vulnerabilities being front and center in the game's narrative, it has led to some criticism about how her mental illnesses were portrayed--forwarding Senua's psychosis as some kind of doubled edged superpower. Representational nuances aside, Hellblade managed to incorporate these into the gameplay, creating a full sensory experience for players.

Dead Cells

#6 Dead Cells

Developed by Motion Twin
Released on Aug 7, 2018
8.65
playscore

Live and die, and live and die again. Motion Twin’s indie roguelike metroidvania and hack and slash hybrid is taking over all our lists. Originally inspired from The Binding of Isaac and Team Fortress, that game pivoted and tried something new with an even intense action-adventure experience.

Considered as one of the best single-player indie games of this year, Dead Cells is a fantastic 2D roguelike experience that contains hours and hours of non-stop fighting.

The developer Motion Twin makes sure each player finds new surprises in each run. If it's not new, exotic weapons, then it's the visceral thrill of their slick and smooth combat. There’s gonna be a few rage quits along the way, and it’s never an easy task. But learning the ropes after every defeat is the main reason why this game is well-received.

Celeste

#5 Celeste

Developed by Matt Thorson
Released on Jan 26, 2018
8.75
playscore

Following Hellblade's lead in this list, Celeste is a shining example of how to do it the right way. An indie 2D platformer, it combines the platforming expertise of Towerfall Ascension's Matt Thorson and Skytorn's Noel Berry. Together they tell the story of Madeline's uphill battle towards the top of Celeste mountain. The mountain is the metaphor, as one critic says, and it's a good one. Keeping with the masochistic trends of today's crop of platformers, it may have been a little too frustrating for some.

But, within its punishing platforming gameplay, Celeste weaves in a lesson on mental health and the upward struggle of overcoming it. It also pays to consider its variety and inventiveness as it mixes up their Jump, Dash, and Climb in a way that feels fresh every time. The atmosphere, formed by its charming visuals and heartwarming score, adds to its overall appeal.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition

#4 Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition

Developed by Larian Studios
Released on Aug 31, 2018
8.94
playscore

Divinity's first entry impressed, the sequel astounded, and with this Definitive Edition, Larian Studios left RPG fans frothing at the mouth about its endless positives. Known for opening up creative possibilities in their Divinity Series, the relative newcomer that is Larian Studios has effectively cemented their RPG legacy. Bringing the emergent quality of pen and paper RPGs to the digital form, Divinity is praised for its interactive, elemental environments, customizations, and captivating storylines.

The richness of its universe is a feat in RPG experience. Adding to it is the sequel's multiplayer capabilities and Game Master mode that opens players up to creating their very own stories. With the Definitive Edition, the polished gem shines brighter as it fleshes out its already intricate storylines while adding a fresh perspective on multiplayer and singleplayer. Though console controls aren't perfect, it's worth learning the quirks to experience the role-playing majesty.

Red Dead Redemption 2

#3 Red Dead Redemption 2

Developed by Rockstar Games
Released on Oct 26, 2018
8.98
playscore

It may not be Game of the Year, but Rockstar's latest entry to their Western open world series may be the go to Wild West title for years to come. Released in October 2018--a whopping eight years since the original game--Rockstar took their time in crafting Red Dead's second installment and boy was it worth the wait. With titles like Grand Theft Auto under their belt, the company has been known for the detail of their vast open worlds.

That reputation is carried over into Red Dead Redemption which boasts stunning detail in terms of visuals as well as historical accuracy. Despite its vastness, RDR2 never comes up short in story, wildlife, quests, and points of exploration. Everything that was good about the world they've created-- from horseback riding, gunplay, and combat--has been duly refined. Depicting the rough ugliness of their setting with such beauty and nuance, Arthur's adventures are as much yours as it is his. A true achievement in the genre.

NieR Automata: BECOME AS GODS Edition

#2 NieR Automata: BECOME AS GODS Edition

Developed by Platinum Games
Released on Apr 24, 2018
9.04
playscore

Yoko Taro’s inventive spin-off to the Drakengard series is a dangerous game to play for players suffering from existential crisis. Kidding aside, it’s an absolute unit of a game especially for players looking for a good story, intense hack and slash action and of course the wide selection of appealing characters.

BECOME AS GODS Edition is the definitive version of the Nier Automata experience. Story remains the same but the DLC’s are now bundled up together in the same disc. As usual, players assume the role of the YorHA units and other robots as they investigate the now desolate Earth to quell a mysterious alien invasion… and at the same time searching for humanity.

Multiple endings, dystopian themes, transhumanism, open-world, etc. There’s just so many good things that make NieR Automata a one of a kind action-JRPG experience. We don’t need to talk too much about the game, we don’t want to spoil it for everyone else.

Forza Horizon 4

#1 Forza Horizon 4

Developed by Playground Games
Released on Oct 2, 2018
9.24
playscore

A culmination of Microsoft’s technological feats, sponsorships and years and years of listening and ignoring their fanbase. Forza Horizon 4 is a crowning achievement of the racing genre as it transcends the conventional rules of the genre. Its stunning open world design, shared-world experience and its massive collection of over 400 licensed cars is but a start to its already wonderful white-knuckling experience.

For starters, the game is an absolute gem. Roam around the United Kingdom such as Edinburgh, Lake District, Cotsworlds, and so much more.

Its dynamic weather lets players witness the changing of the seasons while drifting through the horizon. For example, when it’s winter, the lakes will freeze and allow players to freely explore regions not normally accessible on occassions. With these features, the game received universal acclaim praising all the good things coming from it. It also won numerous awards, so there’s no surprise to that.

To view the complete, updated ranking of this year's releases, visit our list of the best Xbox One Games of 2018.

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