By Pranay Parab and Rishi Alwani | Updated: 19 December 2018 20:03 IST
Forza Horizon 4, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Ashen are among our picks for best Xbox One game of 2018.
The best Xbox One games of 2018 include Forza Horizon 4
We also included Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for all-round excellence
One of our picks is an underrated exclusive
The state of Xbox One in India is nothing to be proud of, what with quite a few games such as Below and Fortnite never showing up on the Xbox India store. However, we still enjoyed enough games on the platform to make a solid list of our favourites. The bulk of these games are available on PS4 and Windows PC but play best on the Xbox One X. There are a few exclusives on this list, which is to be expected since Microsoft's list of Xbox One exclusives has dried up in recent memory what with the likes of Crackdown 3 repeatedly delayed and Scalebound cancelled.
The Xbox One family of consoles could see a shot in the arm with Halo: Infinite and Gears of War 5 slated for 2019 but till they arrive, here's the best of the Xbox One in 2018.
Best Xbox One games of 2018
Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 (Review) rolled out of Microsoft's shop this year and it blew us away. We really thought Forza Horizon 3 had it all, but this iteration takes that to the next level. This is due to an exceptionally cool weather system that impacts how you drive in addition to an emphasis on changing seasons compelling you to swap between different rides ever so often. Throw in some over the top challenges like racing against giant hovercraft and Forza Horizon 4 is currently hands-down the best arcade racing game across platforms.
Forza Horizon 4 makes it to our shortlist for the best Xbox One game of 2018
Forza Horizon 4 looks fantastic, has a great progression system, has a lot of different cars and race modes, and is just so much fun to play. Sure it's missing mainstays like the Mitsubishi Lancer and Toyota Celica but there's little else that stands in the way of it being the best Xbox One game you should play this year.
State of Decay 2 may not be the first game that comes to mind when you think Xbox One, but it's a game we enjoyed playing a lot. We aren't huge fans of zombie games partly because they've been done to death, but in State of Decay 2 we really enjoyed building our base for a community of survivors and managing their needs in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.
State of Decay 2 makes it to our shortlist for the best Xbox One game of 2018
The characters in this game have excellent backstories and we felt like stocking up our base to keep their morale up throughout the game. That's not to mention the combat in State of Decay 2, which feels satisfying. There were some concerns with its performance on the Xbox One X at launch, particularly with regards to its frame rate, though they seem to have been ironed out by now, making worth a look in.
You play as an assassin (who'd have thought just looking at the name of the game, right?) and one of the levels is set in Mumbai, which is great. The Mumbai mission stands out thanks to the attention to detail paid to its environments from quaint, cramped barber shops to sprawling train yards. Hitman 2 (Review) does most things right and adds a bunch of new stealth controls for those of you who love finishing entire levels without killing anyone unnecessarily.
Hitman 2 makes it to our shortlist for the best Xbox One game of 2018
This game's great because the combat is good, the level design is top-notch, and the fact that you can play the levels from Hitman 2016 in this game. Granted the story is on the weaker story which matters little when the levels are as detailed and immersive as they are, although we're surprised to see developer IO Interactive stick to the same draconian DRM that locks you out of content if you're not playing it online.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey (Review) is set in ancient Greece and it's one of the best titles in the series. There are several new things that we loved — the ability to choose between a male or female protagonist and your choices influencing the game's plot. Naval battles while present in previous games feels a lot more impactful and fun to partake in here as well.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey makes it to our shortlist for the best Xbox One game of 2018
Assassin's Creed Odyssey's combat is excellent too, whether you prefer melee or ranged attacks or simply kicking enemies off a cliff like in 300. The Assassin's Creed games have always been fun to play but Assassin's Creed Odyssey's combination of action and role-playing mechanics make it one of the franchise's highlights.
Ashen is an anomaly. On the surface it follows the well-worn Dark Souls formula to the letter with a minimalist story and tough as nails combat. However the game offers you an AI-controlled companion to help out or if you're online, a human player joins your quest. While Dark Souls purists will take pleasure in switching off this feature, we prefer keeping it on because it makes for a more accessible experience, particularly if you're not that good at playing Soulslike games.
Ashen makes it to our shortlist for the best Xbox One game of 2018
Other additions include a home camp that gets more features as you recruit characters to your cause, allowing you to get better gear and partake in side-quests that flesh out the game world.
Red Dead Redemption 2: Brimming with detail, Red Dead Redemption 2 is as opulent a game as it gets with a beautiful game world, nuanced characters, and a story, though slow to pick up, turns into riveting tale. Pity then that the online aspects of the game mimic predatory micro-transaction business models that would make Star Wars Battlefront 2 in its early days seem fair. Buy: Red Dead Redemption 2
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition: It's rare to see a fantasy role-playing game this well-written, particularly when most video games this generation focus on visceral, immediate gameplay. Divinity 2 is a throwback to the golden age of computer role-playing games with complexity and masterful story-telling in equal doses. The Xbox One X version gets our nod for its stunning visuals and control scheme that works as well as its 2017 PC release. Buy: Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition.
PUBG 1.0: If you're playing PUBG on a console, the Xbox One version is the best way to go. It performs very well apart from minor frame drops while paradropping to the island, which is a lot better than the PS4 version of the game. Buy: PUBG 1.0.
Far Cry 5: While we have some reservations about Far Cry 5's micro-transactions, we loved its gameplay, visuals, and progression system. It's not the best Far Cry ever made, but it's definitely very enjoyable. Buy: Far Cry 5.
Which is your favourite Xbox One game of 2018? Let us know via the comments.
If you're a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360's gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week's episode by hitting the play button below.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.