Earlier this week, we started ranking the best 50 games you can play on the Xbox family of consoles. As we get even closer to the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, we continue that celebration of games on Xbox. Today, we take a look at the games 30 to 11 on Xbox, according to our team of editors.
30. Sunset Overdrive
A game that still hasn’t truly gotten a fair shake, Sunset Overdrive is one of the best and most unique exclusives Xbox has had in the past ten years. Insomniac, developers of PlayStation 4’s Spider-Man, did a truly excellent job with Sunset. Traversal around the city was incredible, enemies were fun to fight, and weapons were both funny and a pure joy to use.
Sunset Overdrive was one of the first games that made me want to go around the city and complete all of the collectibles as well as the side missions. Simply traversing around on wires, bouncing off of cars, and using everything in the world to keep moving was fun by itself. Unfortunately, the game was released in between fall release behemoths in 2014, hurting sales and making the new IP struggle enough that it didn’t get a sequel. To this day, it deserves a play through.
29. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider was the follow-up to the 2013 reboot of the franchise, and wow did it ever deliver. This was Lara Croft at her best. Players played through a fun, compelling story while learning new skills, mastering new weapons, and raiding tombs along the way.
The action was intense, and Rise of the Tomb Raider was just non-linear enough to give gamers a real sense of control over their own journey as they guided Lara through her latest adventure. You could invest in the skills you wanted to, making Lara great at the skills that suited how you wanted to play. Also, the tombs were incredibly fun and challenging.
What can I say that has not already been said regarding Fortnite? It’s a phenomena of a game that really united a lot of people in their love for gaming. Or at least this one specific game. Fortnite wasn’t the first-to-market in the Battle Royale gameplay mode, but is without question the most successful. I am 32 years old and have several friends who play Fortnite exclusively (my friends are not children, btw). It’s easy to hate on Fortnite as being a game for kids, but its success paved the way for more creative entries in the genre.
27. DOOM (2016)
DOOM (2016) revived the once-king of the FPS genre, bringing it back with a bloody punch. It successfully delivered the frenetic action of the past games that fans loved in the 90s, whilst updating it in every way. Graphics and sound design were both massively improved over anything players had experienced in previous entries in the series. This thrust DOOM into a top stop amongst the modern FPS genre, as it once was almost 30 years ago. Slaughtering demons never looked so good.
Both the campaign and multiplayer were fantastic, focusing purely on giving the player gory, action-packed fun. Weapons are unlocked fairly quickly, meaning you can focus on obliterating demons and feeling like the badass that DOOM Guy is. Now that it’s under the Xbox Games Studios umbrella, we here at Generation Xbox are excited to see where the franchise goes next.
26. Forza Horizon 4
Racing games can certainly be hit or miss. Many of them have loose stories, endless customization options, and plenty of cars to choose from. But what they don’t often have is a vibrant, open world. And this is what Forza Horizon 4 does so successfully. Turn 10 Studios created a fantastic depiction of the United Kingdom, from the city of Edinburgh to the rolling countryside. What’s more, seasons were introduced in the fourth installment, creating road conditions you must adapt to as they change.
There’s so much to explore in single player, from circuit tracks to off-road cross country racing. There’s even fun Microsoft first party integrations such as a race in the “Halo universe,” with Cortana communicating with you during the race. On top of that, the online multiplayer encourages you to join up with friends or random people to take on team challenges together. All together, this is one of the best games on the Xbox. And the best news is it’s free if you have Xbox Game Pass!
25. Rocket League
Similar to the Fortnite commentary, how can one accurately pack in the greatness of Rocket League in a few short paragraphs? Recently moving to a free-to-play model, many gamers are just now experiencing Rocket League’s unique fun for the first time. Join a team of two other players to compete in this ‘soccer-with-cars’ multiplayer game.
With several game modes, tons of customization options, and a new ‘season-leveling’ system, there are endless hours of fun available in this game. As a bonus, cross-play is enabled so you can play with friends on multiple systems. If you haven’t given it a shot in the past, I highly recommend doing so now that it’s free.
24. Halo: Reach
Halo: Reach was the last Halo made by Bungie before they went on to make the Destiny franchise. And boy was it a swan song. It was a prequel to the original trilogy that managed to tell a fantastic story and set up the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. It also managed to be emotionally gripping including one of the best epilogues of all time.
Shooters rarely manage those emotional moments but Halo: Reach has quite a few. The multiplayer was also wonderful and potentially the best in the franchise depending on who you are talking too. The addition of assassinations for the first time was great and made killing an enemy from behind just that much better.
23. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Few game series have lasted as long and remained at such high quality as Metal Gear Solid. Hideo Kojima’s last work of art before leaving Konami is a truly great one. It offers open world exploration, intense stealth and head-on combat, recruitment of forces, and so, so much more. Given the complex nature of the Metal Gear plots, it’s safe to say newbies can jump in too without feeling like they have missed much. But for series veterans, nice payoffs happen for those paying attention all these years.
My all time favorite Metal Gear game is MGS3: Snake Eater. But when you think through the amount of gameplay components going into MSG V, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t the BEST entry, favorites aside. Writing this blurb has made me nostalgic for Metal Gear, which quietly, is one of it’s best qualities of the series.
22. Left 4 Dead 2
One could argue for either games of the Left 4 Dead franchise to make this list. (Spoilers: This is the only one). However, Left 4 Dead 2 added so many changes that made the experience much better. There were new infected added such as the Spitter, Jockey, and Charger. And there were melee weapons and more guns to choose from.
Left 4 Dead 2‘s campaign was enjoyable either by yourself or cooperatively. However, the real fun was in the multiplayer. No game since has managed to have such fun multiplayer. Both sides play through the same campaign missions alternating as either the special infected or the survivors. No game was ever the same due to human nature and the placement of guns, health items, and the power infected such as the Tanks and Witches.
I played so many hours of multiplayer in the Left 4 Dead franchise, and no multiplayer game has managed keep my attention as much since.. For those that play on PC, the community is still pretty strong including new campaigns made through mods.
Fable was a game full of promises from creator Peter Molyneux. It’s safe to say the final product didn’t quite deliver on what he had planned. But nevertheless, Fable went down in history as one of the great RPG’s. The concept of good and evil at the core of it’s gameplay was fantastic. The idea that you could not only shape the world but also the opinions of those around you was revolutionary. Of course, it wasn’t just cool RPG mechanics that made Fable a big name in the industry. It’s wacky group of characters and delightfully British humour earned it a huge following.
The series only grew from there, but there are some aspects that always bring people back to the original. The combat was especially popular, so of course fans jumped at the chance to relive the experience when Microsoft released Fable Anniversary on the Xbox 360.
Full disclosure – this is among my favorite games of all time. The world of Rapture, the characters, the fact that collectibles offered story details that were meaningful and important. All of those things contributed to Bioshock becoming one of the very best games in a year that is still considered the gold standard for video game excellence, 2007. The best game demo to ever be on Xbox 360 didn’t hurt the game either.
Everything about Bioshock was amazing in 2007, and still fun when you play the remastered edition today. The different powers you acquire each have meaning and purpose both in the world and against the different enemies. The bosses in the game are diabolical, interesting and have the best quality of a great villain – they all believe that they’re right and you’re wrong. The story, to the very end, is exceptional. My only wish is that the sequel was as good.
19. Halo 3
Halo 3 was the first online multiplayer game I ever played, and man was it fun. It’s predecessor – Halo 2 – really set the stage for online console gaming, but my first experience was with Halo 3. Team Slayer was my go-to game mode but later additions of Grifball and Infected were also fun. The Forge mode was fantastic, allowing for people to create some awesome maps. One of the coolest communities I found in Halo 3 was HaloTracks. This was a community that made race tracks in forge mode for players to race on. Many hours were spent in the multiplayer and custom modes.
It’s campaign was great as well; wrapping up a fantastic trilogy. Microsoft even included some special 0 point achievements later after release for doing certain things in the campaign. Achievements such as beating the last mission on Legendary with the Iron Skull using ghosts. That was a fun, albeit long grind.
18. Gears of War 2
The sequel to the 2006 hit that made Gears a tentpole franchise for Xbox, Gears of War 2 expanded on the ultimate bro-shooter in one way that was a little unexpected – character development. There were real moments of feeling in the game, and some that made you feel for the characters. For a game where Marcus Fenix often swears when getting the reload right, Gears of War 2 has a surprising amount of emotional moments.
Of course, the action is still awesome, and the enemies are great once again. Multiplayer in Gears of War 2 is also one of the best Xbox has had, and I honestly wish some current multiplayer games could capture the magic of games like Gears of War 2. All in all, this is my favorite in the series, and it definitely delivers on all fronts. Hell yeah.
17. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic might be the best Star Wars game in existence. It also managed to be one of the best RPG’s on the original Xbox. It told a wonderful and compelling story that also included an amazing twist. The gameplay at the time was fun for both RPG veterans and Star Wars fans alike.
The worlds you could go to were in-depth (at the time) and all looked great (at the time). Unfortunately, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic hasn’t aged wonderfully, but both it and it’s sequel are available through Backwards Compatibility on the Xbox One. Fans of the series have long been pining for a third game, and it’s our hope that one day we might get it. But for now, use Backwards Compatibility to check out one of the best games on the Xbox family of consoles.
16. Perfect Dark
Although Rare’s Perfect Dark originally released on the Nintendo 64 in 2000, it also came out on the Xbox 360 a decade later. It was every bit as fantastic, and thankfully, Perfect Dark’s stellar gameplay lived on. Xbox Live integration improved the already-brilliant experience, as it allowed players to battle each other across the world. This wasn’t the only enhancement to the game though; higher resolution and framerates made Perfect Dark feel better than ever before. This meant players could experience it in the best way possible.
Joanna Dark’s story is one that deserves to be played. It’s brilliant sci-fi narrative is tied into the gameplay perfectly, feeding the player with new and inventive gadgets throughout the main campaign. Throughout the missions, the player gets to journey through various creative locales and meet a colorful cast of characters that showcase Rare’s storytelling ability perfectly.
15. Fallout: New Vegas
A warm spot in many of our hearts, Fallout: New Vegas is a truly great game. At least it was back in 2010 when it was released. And it’s not great because of top-notch graphics or revolutionary gameplay. It’s actually the opposite of that in some ways. But at the core, Fallout: New Vegas offers compelling story lines (including its subsequent DLC packs), and the Fallout gameplay mechanics fans of Fallout 3 loved.
Set in Las Vegas, players embark into their post-apocalyptic journey a number of ways. With multiple paths to end the game, players ultimately make the decisions on the world around them. Additionally, with so many side missions it’s easy to sink dozens if not hundreds of hours into this game. It’s far from perfect, but absolutely our favorite Fallout game here at Generation Xbox.
14. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
In 2007, Activision made the bold decision to move away from the World War II setting for it’s Call of Duty games. While we’re all used to that now, it was a huge departure and a risk when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare launched. Luckily, Activision delivered one of the best console shooters ever made, and the franchise was changed forever.
An unbelievably strong campaign gave birth to some of the most iconic characters in franchise history. Soap is still a favorite all these years later. Multiplayer was nothing short of exceptional, featuring iconic maps and legendary combat. Like Gears of War 2, Call of Duty 4 had something special in multiplayer that I wish more games today could discover. The Modern Warfare series also resulted in the birth of Respawn, which brought us Titanfall and Jedi: Fallen Order. So much good came from Call of Duty 4.
13. Red Dead Redemption
They say you’ll never forget your first. The original Red Dead Redemption was the first open world game that I ever finished, and I have nothing but fond memories of it to this day. In fact, the story, characters, and world of Red Dead Redemption changed my habits as a gamer. With some exceptions, I was very much a shooters and sports games guy before RDR. After it, I fell in love with story driven experiences.
Going back now might make it feel dated, especially in comparison to the excellent Red Dead Redemption 2. But I’ll always remember the fun of guiding John Marston through the West, driven to protect his family. Red Dead Redemption was great because the actions of Marston had weight and urgency to them. What happened mattered to you as a player. Rockstar has always done this well, but in Red Dead Redemption they achieved a new level of excellence.
12. Portal 2
Who would have thought that physics based puzzles would be so fun? Portal did, and it’s sequel Portal 2 managed to improve on the original in almost every way. The dialogue is funny and well written. GLaDOS makes a return and becomes even more likable than she was in the first game. The puzzles are great as well, both managing to keep the simplicity of the first while also expanding on it in cool new ways.
On top of the fun single-player campaign, there’s also a whole different cooperative campaign to complete where you must work together. Portal 2 is playable on the Xbox One through Backwards Compatibility. If you haven’t played it, you owe it to yourself to play one of the best games on the Xbox 360.
11. The Witcher 3
This is the game that boosted CD Projekt Red into the public eye, for good reason. The Witcher franchise had always been popular and was relatively well known, but here’s where all of their efforts paid off. Geralt’s journey came to a thrilling conclusion, influenced by all those tough decisions you made throughout his tale.
However, what made The Witcher 3 special was the world CD Projekt Red crafted. It’s a rich, expansive land filled with the filthiest of villages and the grandest of cities. Adventuring through the world with Roach, Geralt’s trusty horse, is an absolute delight. There are many side quests you’ll find, and this is where The Witcher 3 shines. With deep narratives, most games would reserve similar side quests for a primary questline. The choices you make in these can have a significant impact on the world around you. They make every adventure a wonder, a mystery, and a journey that is unparalleled in most other games. It’s an RPG that is one of the best games on the Xbox One.
What do you think of our list of the best games on the Xbox family of consoles? Let us know over on the Generation Xbox Forums! Also, check back Monday for our Top 10 games on Xbox of all time!