Microsoft broadened the Xbox’s focus from being a games machine with the Xbox 360 to an all-in-one entertainment device with the Xbox One. That strategy may not have attracted gamers in the early days of the new-generation transition, and the console continues to recover from those missteps. Even so, the Xbox One is home to an increasing library of great games. In our continually evolving feature, we’re highlighting the 10 essential games on Xbox One.

Please note that while the list below contains 10 entries, we aren’t actually ranking them – if a game has made it this far (and managed to stay here), it’s a must-play, period. As such, we’ll be listing entries in reverse chronological order. Also, you’ll find rundown of previous entries at the bottom of the list. While those titles have gotten bumped for bigger and better experiences, they are still all great games in their own right and worth exploring if you’re already caught up on the latest hits.

Monster Hunter: World

Release: January 26, 2018

Capcom’s reinvention of the Monster Hunter franchise not only smooths out many of the series’ rough edges but takes things to the next level. With gorgeous visuals, awesome co-op, a rewarding gameplay loop, and satisfying progression mechanics, Monster Hunter: World is the best entry in the beloved series to date.

Click here for our review.


Release: September 29, 2017

Xbox gamers delighted in making a deal with the devil and paid for it in trials by fire. Yes, this 2D action game is challenging, but those who take the time to learn the patterns of the bosses and develop strategies find an undeniably rewarding game.

Click here for our review.


Release: July 25, 2017

Fortnite’s pivot toward the battle royale genre proved successful, as the combination of the intense fight for survival and structure building meshed to create one of the biggest phenomena in gaming history. With continued support through a seasons-based structure, Epic has kept its massive player base happy.

Click here for our review.

Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath

Release: August 24, 2017

A satisfying, free-to-play RPG, Path of Exile’s appearance on Xbox One gives players a deep experience with addictive gameplay loops. Add excellent developer support and you have a game that’s worth braving the steep learning curve.

Click here for our review.


Release: June 19, 2016

Playdead’s follow-up to its beloved platformer Limbo, Inside doubles down on the thrills and mysteries the studio’s previous 2D platformer gave players. Not only that, but Inside defies all expectations to deliver one of the most memorable, jaw-dropping finales in recent memory.

Click here for our review.


Release: May 24, 2016

The Overwatch Blizzard launched in 2016 was great enough to score a 10 from Game Informer’s Daniel Tack and claim “Game of the Year” honors from the magazine, but the version millions of players still enjoy to this day is far superior to the one at launch. With free updates, timed events, and unlockables galore, Blizzard’s supremely balanced first-person hero shooter gives players myriad reasons to come back time and again.

Click here for our review.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Release: May 19, 2015

As one of the greatest role-playing games of all time, CD Projekt Red’s 2015 title is a must-play. Several games attempt to tell stories that incorporate player choice, but The Witcher 3 masterfully weaves in player-driven decisions on an impressively grand scale.

Click here for our review.

Grand Theft Auto V

Release: April 14, 2015

“Epic” doesn’t even begin to describe the scale of Rockstar’s latest Grand Theft Auto game. In addition to a huge single-player story spanning three entertaining characters, Grand Theft Auto V also includes the ever-popular, constantly updated GTA Online for seemingly endless hours.

Click here for our review.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Release: March 11, 2015

Moon Studios’ challenging and beautiful Metroid-inspired title delivers exciting combat, tricky platforming sequences, and excellent progression. Tied together by a touching story, Ori and the Blind Forest is a memorable experience all players can enjoy.

Click here for our review.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

Release: August 19, 2014

Diablo III’s Ultimate Evil Edition adds the Reaper of Souls expansion to meaningfully build upon one of the best dungeon crawlers ever made. Blizzard has also furthered its reputation as one of the premier developers in terms of post-launch improvements and support.

Click here for our review.


The games bumped off our Top 10 in recent updates were: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Destiny, Fallout 4, Batman: Arkham Knight, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive, and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Those are still great games, so give them a try, too!

For more of the Top 10 games for each console, check out our list for PlayStation 4.

The Top 10 Games On Xbox One