With over 10 million PlayStation 4’s sold and a quality 2014 lineup, which you can read more about here, Sony hopes to destroy the competition over the next few months. That won’t stop Microsoft from putting up its virtual fists and squaring off against its rival in the console war that began in 2001 with the original Xbox and is currently over a decade long. PS4 may have the momentum, but the Xbox One is one heck of a machine with several games to choose from this holiday season, from both Microsoft and third parties.
With this in mind, here’s a look at the Xbox One games you’ll choose from. How does Microsoft’s lineup compare to Sony’s? Let us know what you think.
Xbox One bundles lead the charge
Some call the plethora of forthcoming Xbox One bundles a desperation move on Microsoft’s part, and we couldn’t disagree more. The company’s decision to release different system bundles will appeal to a variety of consumers interested in owning the console.
We already covered each bundle in-depth, but at a glance, there’s a Madden NFL 15 bundle launching August 26, followed by a special Sunset Overdrive package with white console and controller October 28. Then you have perhaps the biggest, coolest bundle of them all for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on November 4. Not only do you score a special edition Xbox One with a 1 terabyte hard drive and matching controller (the latter will also be sold separately), but also exclusive digital content. Still, that white Xbox One is dead sexy. We still can’t decide which one we want.
Granted, Sony will strike back on September 9 with the Destiny PS4 bundle, but with different Xbox One packages to choose from (there’s even a FIFA 15 bundle in the UK), Microsoft may have a slight advantage when it comes to choice.
Microsoft’s First Party Lineup
The shining jewel is without question Microsoft and 343 Studios’ Halo: The Master Chief Collection, slated to arrive November 11; we still can’t believe there’s no Xbox One bundle launching alongside it. You receive Halo Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4 on a single disc, re-mastered to take advantage of the Xbox One. Halo 2 in particular, which now features enhanced graphics that make it look superior to its now dated counterpart; you can even switch between old and new visuals on the fly. You’re free to play each title out of sequence, from beginning to end or certain parts (all tank missions) with a cool filtering system. In addition, each game’s multiplayer options remain intact, and there are over 100 maps to choose from. Finally, you receive access to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta launching in December, along with the Halo: Nightfall digital series. It’s a wonderful compilation no Xbox fan should miss.
Before hooking up with Master Chief, though, you have a date with Forza Horizon 2 on September 30. You’ll embark upon an exotic tour of Europe in well over 200 muscle cars, completing missions, taking in the pretty scenery and connecting with others around the world for some friendly competition, all in stunning 1080p. Each car looks outstanding, while the realistic weather effects and day/night cycle help elevate this game to the front of the Xbox One lineup. That said, we have high hopes for this open world racer.
From there, Insomniac Games drops Sunset Overdrive on October 28. This third person adventure reminds us of Sega’s Jet Grind Radio and Jet Set Radio Future games with rail grinding, eye-popping colors and unique artwork, except you have access to a variety of weapons and there are thousands of slobbering mutants in need of a beat down. Microsoft apparently has a ton of confidence in this title, especially since it’s part of the aforementioned Xbox One bundle, so we expect great things.
Bring on that Third Party Support
As expected, plenty of third parties will release games for Xbox One, and the list mirrors the one for PS4. You’ll score touchdowns in Madden NFL 15 August 26, find the back of the net in EA Sports’ NHL 15 and slaughter aliens in Activision’s Destiny September 9. From there, Sega unleashes Alien: Isolation October 7, while Ubisoft plans to indulge your sense of adventure with Assassin’s Creed Unity October 28 (2K Games’ WWE 2K15 debuts the same day) and Far Cry 4 on November 18. Activision returns with Skylanders: Trap Team October 5 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare November 4, while EA strikes again with FIFA 15 September 23 and Middle Earth: Shadow or Mordor September 30.
There are plenty of games in between. Dunk with authority in 2K Sports’ NBA 15 October 7, slay creatures in Bethesda’s The Evil Within October 14, drive coast to coast in Ubisoft’s The Crew November 11 and strategize with EA’s Dragon Age: Inquisition November 18. We also imagine there are an untold number of digital titles on Xbox Live.
There you have it, a quick look at the Xbox One 2014 holiday lineup. At least we know one thing: we’ll need a long vacation to play everything.