When the Xbox One arrived last November, Microsoft pushed exclusive titles like Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct and Ryse: Son of Rome. The publisher satisfied fans, but there’s much more to the lineup than a handful of exclusive games. Thankfully, there’s more where that came from.
Microsoft recently went on a huge push for original games, and several of them caught the public eye. That said, here are 11 Xbox One exclusives you’ll go nuts for.
Sunset Overdrive (2014)
Insomniac Games’ list of titles is impressive, between the Ratchet and Clank saga, the multiplayer oriented Fuse and the gritty Resistance trilogy. However, with Sunset Overdrive, it’s doing things differently with a free-wheeling approach to action. You’ll battle energy drink-infused aliens with every sort of weapon you can get your hands on, from a teddy bear explosive rifle to a bowling ball cannon. In addition, your mobility is ridiculously loose, as you can get around sliding on wires, running along walls and bouncing off explosive pads.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (November 18th)
The Halo legacy stood tall over the years, even when development shifted from the folks at Bungie to 343 Studios, who proved its worth with the magnificent Halo 4. Now prepare for a double dose of Xbox One goodness, starting with The Master Chief Collection. This package features the first four games in the series, remastered to 60 frames per second and 1080p resolution. On top of that, the multiplayer was reworked, with all the maps and perks you’ve come to expect over the years. Finally, there’s beta access for Halo 5: Guardians. Bottom line, you can’t pass this up.
Halo 5: Guardians (2015)
Even though it’s well over a year away, the next saga in the Halo franchise will easily be one of the most exciting, continuing Master Chief’s quest to find out what happened to his virtual partner Cortana. He’s not the only one hitting the ground running, however, as a mysterious new character will take part in the action with his own story to tell. The beta packaged with the Master Chief Collection, which kicks off this December, should also introduce a whole new level of multiplayer.
Playdead Studios made a name for itself with the remarkable Limbo, a dark and haunting game that made the most of its environment with some great puzzle solving. It looks like the team will apply a similar logic to its forthcoming Xbox One indie title, Inside. Although details are scarce, it appears that you’re once again playing a young, defenseless lad, trying to make his way through the confines of a large, trouble-filled prison. We’ve only seen bits and pieces of this one, but it should have no trouble becoming a classic.
Project Spark (October 2014)
It’s been in beta for what seems like forever, but this October, Microsoft will finally launch the game creation tool Project Spark in all its glory. This build-your-own-adventure title benefits from a terrific user interface, along with various tools that let you do a number of things. In addition, you’ll also be able to play around with Conker, the squirrel from the Xbox/Nintendo 64 release, Bad Fur Day, though he seems much tamer than usual. No matter – imaginative players will have a ball putting stuff together with Spark.
The latest from Platinum Games, the developers of Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, is still a ways off, as only a teaser trailer was shown. Nevertheless, the premise behind Scalebound is rich and promising, revolving around a world of dangerous dragons and the magical knights who ride them. It’s like How to Train Your Dragon, but on a much more epic scale, with the kind of action we’ve come to expect from Platinum. Look for it next year.
You might scratch your head thinking, “What the heck is Cuphead?” This side-scrolling platformer takes the antics you’ve come to expect from games like Mega Man and Contra, but wraps it around multiple pathways that guide your adventure in all new directions. Perhaps the most stunning thing about Cuphead, though, is its art style. It mimics the classic Max Fleischer and old-school Mickey Mouse cartoons almost perfectly, right down to the dizzy animations of bosses and the hampered running style of your main character, Cuphead. This one is sure to be a sleeper hit.
Ori and the Blind Forest (2015)
In order to get a better perspective on what Microsoft wants to do with its independent game line-up, watch the trailer for the heartbreakingly beautiful Ori and the Blind Forest. In this Metroidvania-style adventure, you’ll visit the darkest corners of a forest with a magical little creature, using abilities that can help them unlock new areas and tools they’ll need later on in the game. Ori also looks to have a great story to tell, as you can see in the trailer above. Expect this to be a critical darling when it arrives next year.
Quantum Break (2015)
So what exactly has Remedy been up to since it wrapped up the Alan Wake saga on the Xbox 360? A lot, actually. In Quantum Break, you’ll find an interesting new universe, where the main character guides time and space in certain situations in order to save others. This game was notably absent during Microsoft’s presentation at E3 last month, but it’s still in the works and looks incredibly promising. You can expect it to resurface sometime later in the year, in time for a big unveiling in 2015.
Fable Legends (2015)
Fans of Fable had plenty of opportunities to run around Albion and stir up trouble, but Lionhead Studios is definitely saving the best adventures for Xbox One. In Fable Legends, you’ll be able to take on enemies with the help of friends, or even step into the role of a villain if you feel like squashing heroes flat. Although Legends will abandon the open-world role-playing style players have become accustomed to, it’ll still have plenty of action to go around.
Crackdown 3 (2015)
Agent, you’re back on mission. After the first two Crackdown games made waves on Xbox 360, the franchise continues on Xbox One with an even bigger city to explore, more abilities to unlock and more trouble to get into. The trailer above is all CG, but it gives you an idea of what you can do with your teammates, even if it means driving up the side of a building to bust into someone’s office. We can’t wait!
What about Forza Horizon 2?
We didn’t forget about this open world racer. Thing is, the game will also come Xbox 360, with Sumo Digital taking over development instead of Playground Games. Regardless, the Xbox One version will be superior, with its updated visuals and several racing events exclusive to the platform.