The 13 Best Games to Buy for Xbox One in 2018

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.

Best Zombie: State of Decay 2

The Walking Dead it is not, but if you’re on the hunt for your own zombie killing experience, there’s no better option for the Xbox One than State of Decay 2. Unsurprisingly billed as a survival game that takes place during yet another zombie apocalypse, players begin the game by being responsible for a pair of characters that each have their own unique skills. From there, it’s your job to move along a set map that’s lined with helpful resources and encounter new survivors whom you can even take control of.

Of course, throughout the game, there are plenty of challenges to face like a member of your survivor group getting infected leaving you to scramble for medicine or the onset of panic when a car runs out of gas. Players are tasked with taking on regular hordes of zombies in order to accomplish short- and long-term goals while your team's morale rises and falls with each mission. While the single-player gameplay is strong, it’s the inclusion of four-player co-op that really makes State of Decay 2 stand out as you can invite three friends to play and work together to survive.    

Best RPG: Monster Hunter: World

Dare we call Monster Hunter: World the best RPG ever? While that might be far-fetched to some and outrageous to others, the implausibly deep and rewarding gameplay serves as a lesson for what all future RPG games should strive to be. It's a dazzling mix of engaging storylines and challenging tasks — not to mention the way in which the game utilizes a near-perfect method to introduce beginners to individual systems.

In the beginning, new players are free to roam the beautifully rendered environments to get a feel for the lay of the land. Meanwhile, additional graphics options also allow you to metaphorically pump up the volume by adjusting frame rates and resolution to test the visual limits of the Xbox One. As worlds change from one to the next, Monster Hunter constantly feels new and exciting — especially during combat where leveling up your player isn’t the main goal. Instead, the focus is on hunting and defeating the dinosaurs, accruing more weapons, and enduring the epic battles that ensue during both the single-player and cooperative multiplayer modes.

Best Shooter: Gears of War 4

Choosing the best shooting game on any platform is a bit like being asked to choose your favorite child. The depth of options makes it nearly impossible — unless you're presented with a choice like Gears of War 4, that is. More than two years after its release, few games on the Xbox One provide the type of depth that has enriched the Gears of War series as the 4th entry does the near impossible and raises the bar with two-player co-op done via split-screen or over Xbox Live.

Like its three predecessors, players control the main character and, in traditional Gears of War style, gameplay consists of taking cover and moving from place to place engaging enemies with a multitude of weapons. The storyline paces along at a nice clip and moves the series in a new direction as the previous main character’s son is now a part of a splinter group vying for control of the planet. The movie-like dialogue is well written and the game is visually intriguing but really it's all about raining down destruction and perfecting your headshot. 

Best Educational: Minecraft

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.

Best Family-Friendly: Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2

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.

Best Multiplayer: Destiny: The Taken King

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.

Best Single-Player: Quantum Break

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.

Best Value: Rare Replay

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.

Best Party/Family Game: Family Fun Pack Conquest Edition

Whipping out old board games is a mess and so yesteryear, so what better way to save time, money and cleanup effort on your part than with the Xbox One’s best party game: Family Fun Pack Conquest Edition? The game is great for large groups of families and small parties and includes iconic Hasbro board games such as RISK, Battleship, Monopoly and Scrabble.

With up to six players both offline and online, Family Fun Pack Conquest Edition allocates enough space so everyone can get in on the action, including Mom and Dad. True to form, gameplay operates the same as its real-life board game counterparts, where players take turns in rolling dice with familiar game pieces, as well as settings in high definition 3D graphics and fun animations. The game also includes an online experience, so players can hop into games with friends no matter where they are.

Best Driving Game: Forza Horizon 2

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.

Best Graphics: Halo 5: Guardians

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.

Best Cooperative: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

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.

Best Remaster: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

If you ever wondered what made Call of Duty the defining series that it is, look no further than Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The game finally returns with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, and builds on the original with extensive graphics, rendering, animation, as well as lighting enhancements for the Xbox One.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered gives players the chance to relive those exciting intense moments they experienced in the original game with its various cinematic action sequences, character dialogue and unveiling movie-like plot. Many fans of the series will be excited to know the game’s online multiplayer comes with a smoother, more stabilized and less buggy competitive matchmaking that improves on its former self. Original players of its first release praise its remastering and resurrecting an original that newcomers can enjoy.