The 10 Best Games to Buy for Xbox One in 2017

Buy the top multi-player, cooperative, family-friendly games (and more)

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With countless games available both at retailers and as digital downloads for Xbox One, selecting the best game to buy is a real challenge. We tried to take the guesswork out of game buying by giving you our picks for the best Xbox One games across a wide spectrum of criteria including best graphics, best soundtrack, best online multiplayer, best family games and more. No matter what you’re looking for, the Xbox One has a game (or several) that won't disappoint.

The best single-player focused game on Xbox One is Remedy’s Quantum Break. Through an accident during a time travel experiment, time itself is falling apart and it is up to you to fix it and save the world from certain destruction in a story that spans seventeen years. Time travel stories are always extremely risky as plot holes and contradictions and confusion are pretty much guaranteed to happen, but Quantum Break manages to craft a thrilling and coherent time travel story that keeps you on the edge of your seat right up until the final sequence. Not only is the story masterfully done, but the gameplay – a mix of third-person-shooting and light puzzle solving using time powers – evolves over the course of the game as well and peaks at just the right times to ensure you’re fully engaged in both the gameplay and story. For a pure single-player experience, Quantum Break is tough to beat.

In terms of both quality and quantity of online multiplayer offerings, you really can’t do better than Bungie and Activision’s Destiny. Set in a sci-fi future where a mysterious and highly advanced alien device appeared on Earth, you play a guardian sworn to protect it as well as other planets in the solar system from hostile alien races pursuing the device. And the Destiny you’ll play today isn’t the same Destiny some players got bored with shortly after launch. The Destiny of today, thanks to the massive Taken King expansion and other updates, is feature-rich, balanced and offers a wide variety of modes to play. There is the traditional deathmatch-style multiplayer with a number of game types, of course, but also a number of cooperative modes with both random players as well as friends that make Destiny one of the most fully-featured online multiplayer games ever. It is also one of the tightest-feeling, best playing FPS on Xbox One, which certainly doesn’t hurt.

For sheer gaming value, you can’t beat Rare Replay. For $30 or less, you get access to 30 classic games from veteran game developer Rareware. Not all of the games are winners, of course, but the vast majority of the titles on offer are absolutely worth playing. There are a lot of genres represented as well, so whether you’re in the mood for a fighter, racer, beat-em-up, space shooter, 3D platformer, multiplayer FPS, or zoo sim (plus more!), Rare Replay will have something fun for you to play. Parents will love Rare Replay for the nostalgia factor, as you’ve likely played many of these games in the past, but kids will love it as well because the games really do hold up even today.

Having a get together with a group that doesn’t normally play games but you want to change that? The Jackbox Party Pack and its wacky selection of games might be the answer. Even non-gamers can have fun with the trivia game You Don’t Know Jack, drawing game Drawful, and bluffing game Fibbage XL. The secret is that you don’t need controllers and everyone can actually play the games on their smart phone or tablet. Depending on your sense of humor, these games can be absolutely hilarious and they only get better and funnier when more people are involved. Drawful and Fibbage XL in particular will surely have everyone cracking up.

It is easy to call Minecraft “educational”, but it can’t be understated just how much you can learn by playing it. Everyone knows Minecraft teaches simple things like counting and building, but it can also help players learn more complicated things like design and architecture, and even how to build electrical circuits. Geology and other things in the natural real world can be learned through Minecraft as well; physics concepts such as gravity are also on constant display. Simply put, Minecraft is more than just a game about punching trees and fighting zombies at night.

Racing fans have a lot of options on Xbox One as there are a number of games that will satisfy arcade-style and simulation racing fans alike.  Forza Horizon 2 combines the best of both of those styles to give you a racer that skirts the line of being realistic while also being accessible enough that anyone can pick up the controller and play. Every moment with Forza Horizon 2 is a thrill as you tear across a huge open-world chunk of gorgeous European countryside in the hottest supercars in the world. It controls amazingly well, looks and sounds incredible, and offers up a stunning amount of content.

Xbox One has a ton of games for older teens and adults, but it has plenty of family-friendly titles as well, with our favorite being Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. We know the name doesn't scream "family-friendly," but hear us out. All of the characters are cute and funny and cartoonish plant and zombie characters, and while it is a shooter game, it is no more violent than a typical cartoon. The online community is generally pretty laid back and not too serious or overly competitive, so you can jump in as a beginner and have fun right away. The game does require you to be connected to Xbox Live to play, but you don’t have to play with other human players online if you don’t want to as all of the modes have computer controlled bots to play against either solo or in split screen. It is a game that anyone of any skill level can have a great time with, which is why it is not only one of the best family friendly games on Xbox One, but one of our favorite Xbox One games overall.

There are many great looking games on Xbox One, but for us, the one that is the most consistently impressive is Halo 5: Guardians. Halo 5 features a wide variety of sci-fi settings and they all look great thanks to a wonderfully detailed art style, fantastic realistic lighting and the Xbox One’s ability to push an astounding number of particles and effects onscreen all at once. The fact that it looks so good while throwing dozens of highly detailed characters and vehicles at you all at once and maintaining a steady 60FPS frame-rate is also seriously extraordinary. The cutscenes are also noteworthy as they feature some of the most realistic and best looking character models of any game yet. If you’re looking for an Xbox One game to make onlookers say “Wow”, Halo 5: Guardians is a solid choice.

Playing competitive multiplayer is fun and all, but sometimes you just want to kick back and play cooperatively with your friends instead.  Our favorite Xbox One co-op game is Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition.  Diablo III is a dark medieval fantasy action RPG where you wander around and eradicate countless enemies – demons, spiders and other horrors – all in the hope that they drop a new weapon or piece of armor that is better than what you’re already using. It is an addictive formula that gets even better when you add more people because additional players not only make the game more challenging and fun, but also increases the amount and quality of loot you can pick up.  Working cooperatively with your friends is always a blast, and Diablo III pairs that with an addictive loot system that will keep you hooked.

Ori and the Blind Forest could have easily been the winner of any of these categories (and perhaps is actually the best Xbox One game overall), but we’re going to single it out for its absolutely incredible orchestral musical score. The game tells an emotional and heartwarming (and occasionally heartbreaking) story of a mystical forest realm being torn apart by darkness. As the titular character, Ori, you must seek out and destroy the darkness in order to save the world. There isn’t any spoken dialogue and instead the game expertly uses the music to convey a wide swath of emotions. Whether it is during the action-packed and challenging 2-D platforming gameplay or an emotional story scene, the music is always absolutely perfect. From the moment the game starts and you hear the incredible main menu theme, you know you are in for something special and it only gets better from there.

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