In honor of the Xbox Series X/S launches in just under a week, we here at Generation Xbox put together a Top 50 Xbox games of all time. Any game that was ever playable on an Xbox, Xbox 360, or Xbox One is eligible to make the cut. The only thing is we didn’t count collections. Thus, you won’t see Halo: MCC on the list.
Today we will be looking at games 50-31. Friday we will take a look at 30-11, and Monday we will share the top 10 games ever on the Xbox family of consoles. As always, if you disagree with us join the forums and tell us what you think the top 50 games are!
50. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2005)
This was the spark that lit the fire. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was so good in 2005 – there was so much fan demand for another one – that EA actually had a good E3 moment in 2014 when the new one was announced.
The combat was exceptional, and the worlds were great. Wonderful map design along with the visuals and score made Star Wars Battlefront 2 a truly immersive experience, and to this day the most complete Star Wars shooter on consoles.
49. Tomb Raider (2013)
While not the first Tomb Raider game available on the Xbox 360, this game certainly redefined the series and bridged the gap to the next generation. As with past entries, this is a third person action-adventure game and retells the story of Laura Croft. With humble beginnings in academia to fighting for her life on a deserted island, you use a mix of head-on assault and stealth tactics during combat.
Lara is one of the best video game action heroes out there, full stop. The cinematics Tomb Raider are beautiful, and were only enhanced with the 2014 Definitive Edition release on the Xbox One. Spawning two subsequent releases (Rise of the Tomb Raider & Shadow of the Tomb Raider), this entry into a series with nearly 20 games is a must play Xbox title.
48. Batman: Arkham Asylum
As crazy as it seems now, back in 2009 Batman and DC were more popular than the Marvel Franchise. Batman was huge after the mega success of The Dark Knight. And up to this point, we hadn’t seen a super successful superhero video game. That was until Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Batman: Arkham Asylum let you roam around Arkham Asylum beating up baddies, while using the many different gadgets to solve puzzles and kick the crap out of people. While some people appreciated the more open world of the later games, I liked the tight corridors and story of this one. It also managed to have you fight a lot of iconic Batman villains without a convoluted story.
A short but hauntingly beautiful tale of the monsters humans can create. Inside followed the success of Playdead’s previous game Limbo, adopting a similar style and level design whilst also receiving the same critical acclaim as the predecessor. The puzzles are excellent, challenging everything you understand about the game. It excels in making you think outside the box. The story can be confusing, but it too is designed to make you think and that’s part of the charm. Inside challenges the concepts of what a video game can do, proving that the medium isn’t just about action and guns. It’s a little philosophical puzzler and one of the all-time greats.
Some of the best games released on the Xbox One family of consoles were indie games. And no 3rd-party indie game was better than Celeste. The game was absolutely wonderful to look at, listen to, and perhaps most importantly, play. The pixel-art world was absolutely gorgeous and each area had a unique feel. The soundtrack was great too and matched the screens perfectly.
Finally, the gameplay of Celeste was finely tuned and amazingly responsive. Which it needed to be since the platforming is definitely not what I would call easy. With difficulty however comes celebration, and Celeste offered many moments of excitement and triumph. If you like platformers at all you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.
45. Fallout 3
Just over 12 years ago, Fallout made it’s series debut on consoles with Fallout 3. It was a gigantic leap into 3D, leaving behind the 2D overhead view and turn-based controls from prior games. For those unfamiliar, Fallout 3 is an RPG set in post-apocalyptic Washington DC. Your character has seemingly unlimited choices and paths in decisions that affect the greater world around them.
The game has a serious tone, but you can often find dark humor in character dialogue and cutscenes. Players focus on upgrading their skills through Fallout’s ‘S.P.E.C.I.A.L’ system, allowing the option of increasing things like strength, charisma, and intelligence. The combat is best through first-person view, and the ‘VATS’ system offers a unique targeting gunplay mechanic. Fallout 3 paved the way for future entries into the series and is a must play Xbox title for RPG fans.
44. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Assassin’s Creed: Origins redefined the Assassin’s Creed series. It excellently blends the series’ action/stealth roots with RPG mechanics. There are certainly issues, but rarely do we see a company like Ubisoft take such a risk. This risk paid off.
The game takes place in Egypt, a location I hadn’t experienced before in any narrative medium. It is an incredibly detailed world that is so exciting to explore. Whether it’s the vast sweeping deserts, towering Pyramids, ruined temples, or struggling villages, I always found myself in awe of what was before me. Origins really is an unexpected delight that revived a franchise that had been growing monotonous. Ubisoft could’ve alienated their core audience, but instead they elevated the franchise to new heights.
All that really needs to be said about this game is that every frame was drawn by hand. That’s amazingly impressive. Visually, Cuphead harkens back to old time cartoons and delivers a delightful experience to players. But don’t let the look of the game fool you – Cuphead is no joke when it comes to difficulty.
Remember the infamous video of the guy trying to navigate the tutorial? Phil Spencer famously had to tell the team at Studio MDHR to dial back the difficulty on Cuphead a bit, because the game was just too hard. Cuphead is a constant reminder of times past, both in visuals and gameplay. Yes it’s hard, but it’s hard in the same way that NES games were hard. It was refreshing to play a game meant to challenge your abilities and skill, and not encourage you to spend to win.
42. Divinity: Original Sin 2
Frankly, I think Divinity: Original Sin 2 deserves to be higher than 42, but I’ll take it. The fact of the matter is that you can basically do whatever the hell you want in the game. If you see something on fire, guess what? You can use a rain spell to put it out. See a chest on a ledge? You can teleport there.
There are tons of ability and spell combinations in Divinity: Original Sin 2. You are really only limited by your imagination. On top of the wonderful combat (which is difficult even with the amount of choices) and creativity, the story is great. It never delves into clichés and every character is interesting. And if you don’t like a character you can just kill them. As an added bonus, the whole game is playable cooperatively where each of you can make your own decisions dialogue wise and see who comes out ahead.
41. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Brotherhood took what made Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2 great and gave it so much more. With their third entry in the series, Ubisoft delivered a fantastic game that still defines the series today. The story, the characters, the exploration, and the stealth mechanics are all fantastic. Additionally, the new ‘apprentice system’ introduces a fun metagame. Recruiting new assassins off the street is cool, but using them to turn the tide of a battle and fighting alongside your allies is awesome. Brotherhood expanded the scope of the Assassin’s Creed franchise whilst refining the series’ gameplay to make it almost perfect. Smooth controls, thrilling parkour, the beautiful city of Rome packed with activities, and a band of ruthless assassins to fight with – it doesn’t get much better.
40. Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is another one of those wonderful platformers on the Xbox One family. The game is absolutely beautiful with a surprisingly sad story. It also features a spectacular soundtrack that fits perfectly with the areas in the game.
On top of all that, Ori and the Blind Forest features tight platforming and fun combat. It’s a Metroidvania style game where as you earn new abilities you can get to new areas in the world. As someone who doesn’t normally like exploring every piece of the map, I found myself doing just that here.
39. Forza Motorsport 7
Hundreds of cars. Loads of tracks. Dynamic weather. Incredibly high detail, both in and out of the car. What more could you want? Turn 10 delivered the pinnacle of track-racing games with Forza Motorsport 7, offering unlimited fun for both beginners and veterans of the series. It takes everything that made the series so beloved and amplifies it to deliver a truly fantastic experience. Whether you want to race against your friends at high speeds, be a champion in career mode, or just ogle at all those beautiful vehicles, this is the game for you. Turn 10 and Microsoft delivered a must play Xbox title with Forza Motorsport 7, and we can’t wait to see where the series turns next on the Series X/S.
38. Gears of War
I still remember the employee at Gamestop imploring me to play Gears of War when I asked him for a recommendation for a good shooter back in early 2007. He couldn’t stop raving about the game with chainsaw guns. So, I took it home. Man, was Gamestop Guy ever right.
Featuring a revolutionary cover system at the time, along with great characters and colorful language, Gears of War was just different from the types of games we were used to on console. Also, it featured awesome multiplayer, a seriously kick-ass villain, and one of the very best launch trailers ever made for a video game. Remember how gloriously hard the final boss battle was? Oh, and don’t forget: freakin’ chainsaw guns!
37. Max Payne 3
Released towards the end of the Xbox 360 life cycle, Max Payne 3 was the first entry of the series in nearly 10 years. The protagonist Max Payne has left his life – and demons – in New York City to work private security in South America. Older and wiser, Max no longer has to go guns blazing into fights thanks to a new cover mechanic. But don’t fret, bullet time is back and greater than ever! Jump through the air in slow motion to take out enemies while seeing your bullets fly.
The dialogue and cinematics are top-notch in Max Payne 3. Additionally, while the first two games were a single player affair, this installment offers a multiplayer mode. With options like standard fare deathmatch to more strategic missions, there’s something for everyone. Max Payne 3 is a third-person shooter with plenty of action and story for everyone.
36. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The follow-up to the wildly successful Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps delivers another wonderful platforming experience on the Xbox One. The Ori games are among the very best exclusives on the Xbox One, and every part of the experience is hugely satisfying.
Visuals? You’ll be hard pressed to find a game that looks better on the Xbox One. World? The world in Ori and the Will of the Wisps is fantastic, with immersive locales and enemies that raise the urgency. Difficulty? While not as challenging as Cuphead, Ori and the Will of the Wisps delivers an experience that will make you feel accomplished when you defeat a major boss or finally traverse a difficult section successfully. Finally, it’s a game that anyone can enjoy – and almost everyone does.
35. Fallout 4
As with Fallout 3, the follow up mainline entry in the iconic Bethesda series commanded many hours of my free time upon its release. Fallout 4 released on the Xbox One in 2015, and brought with it a much much larger world set in the streets of Boston. While some players may note that the graphics and minor glitches held it back, Fallout 4 shined with in-depth story lines, countless NPC’s, and the ability to scrap resources into goods.
All the fun of character skill development and consequences for your actions returned here, and an overhaul to the ‘VATS’ combat system requires a bit more finesse from players. While the latest game (Fallout 76) has delved into MMO territory, this mainline single player experience is my favorite of the current generation and a must play Xbox title.
Perhaps one of the most creative multiplayer games to hit the market recently, Overwatch brings frenetic gameplay and wacky characters flying into your living room. If you haven’t played or watched it in competitions (one of the biggest e-sport games today), the concept is simple: deathmatch and team-based objective multiplayer with characters all possessing unique skills. The type of precision needed in games like Call of Duty isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for fun in Overwatch. Many of the objective-based games use more strategy than accuracy, and mixing your characters each playthrough keeps things fresh. Overwatch has become a sensation in competitive online gaming, and only continues to grow.
33. Destiny 2
When Bungie delivered Destiny 2, it wasn’t instantly met with love. It had a weird story mode that locked players out of the fun endgame for hours, and even then the experience wasn’t great. However, three years later it is a fantastic example of what a looter-shooter needs to be. It has heaps of incredible weapons to enjoy, satisfying progression, great PVP and PVE combat, and a fun story. Add in the fantastic cast of characters and the promised support for years to come, and there’s so much to love here. With Beyond Light coming soon, there’s no better time to jump into Destiny 2. It’s time to start leveling up to ensure you’re ready for the new adventure. Eyes up, Guardians.
32. Titanfall 2
2016’s Titanfall 2 features one of the best shooter campaigns of this generation. It is a campaign where everything you do has meaning, purpose, and consequence. This is especially impressive considering that the original Titanfall had no campaign at all (no, the thing they called a campaign doesn’t count). Why EA launched this game in-between Battlefield and Call of Duty is perplexing to this day. It never got even a chance to show how amazing it was.
Multiplayer added in more elements from the first, with mixed results. The chaotic, fast-paced action is still there, and the rush of calling in a Titan is still awesome even now. Where multiplayer is concerned though, I found myself wanting the first one more than the multiplayer in Titanfall 2. What puts Respawn’s sequel over the top here is the truly exceptional single-player campaign.
31. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (from here on stated as just Oblivion) has not aged tremendously well. The leveling system is a bit… different, and the facial animations are something. But at the time, the game was absolutely breathtaking for what it could do. The world was absolutely massive, populated with many different kinds of enemies.
There were four major guilds, each with their own set of quests and side quests. And they are arguably more interesting than the sequel provided. Considering that this game released on the Xbox 360 and played well, it’s pretty impressive. On top of that, the two main expansions, The Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine were really well received. The Horse armor DLC, not so much.
What do you think of our Top 50 games on the Xbox family so far? Let us know over on the Generation Xbox Forums! Also be sure to check our homepage later this week as our countdown continues with with games 30 to 11.