Whatoplay presents 10 of the best Xbox One titles from the first half of 2021. All arranged by playscores. To check out our full list, visit our page on all the best Xbox One games of 2021.
Square Enix’s looter-shooter was something we didn’t expect from a Publisher known for great JRPG stories. Outriders had a polarizing launch. On one hand, it was met with praise due to its focused gameplay and satisfying endgame. But on the other hand, it was also criticized for being a vague attempt at a shooter with a severe lack of road map. While it’s not a live service game like Destiny 2 and Warframe, it still has its own strengths to show, but compared to all the shooters on the market, it’s pretty mediocre with a playscore of 7.65.
A sequel to CI Games’ glorified first-person shooter. Contracts 2 puts you right in the face of danger, requiring you to show off your hardened assassin skills once more. Travel to the Middle East and fulfill your objectives. If you’ve ever played a Sniper game before, this one’s no different. Take out your targets with surgical precision from a thousand miles away and use a variety of tools at your disposal. Mix and match close-quarters and ranged combat to overcome numerous challenges. A playscore of 7.75.
This annual celebration of all things baseball gets the optimal experience for Xbox consoles. The Show 21 is designed for baseball fans who want the complete next-gen experience. Don’t worry, for old-gen consoles like the Xbox One, the game runs fine even without the visual improvements. The game is streamlined to cater to new players, with tutorials for all would-be baseball fans that may not even know what it is. It receives a playscore of 8.32.
Unknown Worlds’ latest takes us once again into the deep dark underwater abyss. Below Zero takes place years after the first game and this time it comes with a cohesive story. Help the protagonist find the answers to all her questions as she survives the harsh and terrifying alien planet. The usual Subnautica gameplay is still around; scanning underwater creatures, crafting, and running away from horrifying leviathans never gets old. Subnautica Below Zero gets a playscore of 8.36.
Yoko Taro’s bizarre science fiction series goes back to its PlayStation 2 roots. The first chapter of the NieR series is more than just a Remaster. It’s a fresh re-telling of the events before NieR Automata’s story, featuring a not-so-familiar protagonist for anyone who’s only played Automata. Despite its ‘prequel’ nametag, its combat is made better by following Automata’s stylish hack and slash action. The story, while impressive, might leave more questions than answers, especially when you’re new to the series. A playscore of 8.43.
The biggest CAPCOM game in recent memory is a sequel to their first-person survival horror series. Ethan Winters is back and this time he’s on the hunt to find his missing daughter. Help him as he navigates around this creepy Village teeming with different kinds of abominations. The game runs well on old-gen platforms, especially on the Xbox One. The RE Engine is fully optimized to give players the best survival-horror experience. A playscore of 8.54.
4. HITMAN 3
IO Interactive’s final entry to their assassination series ends with a bang. It’s the best-looking HITMAN game to grace the consoles and it offers enough content for players. Travel around the world to fulfill a laundry list of objectives. There is no correct way to fulfill your mission, and all that trial and error can give you hours and hours of fun. The game is at its best on the Series X and S machines. But the Xbox One’s version still runs like a charm from start to finish. It receives a playscore of 8.60.
3. It Takes Two
A new cooperative adventure from the minds behind A Way Out. It Takes Two is a hilarious two-player game to play with your special someone or a friend. Help Cody and May fix their marriage problems by finding their way around surreal landscapes, each with a gameplay gimmick of their own. Work together in a not-so-recommended marriage therapy by solving puzzles and jumping from platform to platform. It’s a lengthy experience, so make sure you and your partner find the time to finish it! It receives a playscore of 8.70.
The sequel to Tarsier Studios’ horror-platformer no longer follows the yellow-raincoat girl we’re familiar with. Instead, we’re stepping into the shoes of Mono, a secondary character turned protagonist. Help him make his way around this surreal and nightmarish world and escape from the many monsters that haunt him. As a sequel, it did give us a new perspective on its universe, but there isn’t much in the way of innovations, aside from its bigger set-pieces. A playscore of 8.83.
It’s currently the best game for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. BioWare’s epic three-part space opera is an experience worth diving into. Any fan of science fiction stories will find something for them in this massive trilogy. Follow Commander Shepard as he goes on a race against time to save the Galaxy from the Reaper invasion. Throughout your journey, you’ll meet a memorable cast of characters while traveling from planet to planet in search of answers. This Legendary Edition provides a complete visual upgrade, quality of life improvements for old and new players, and streamlined controls that make it accessible for everyone. A playscore of 9.02.