Just like its Sony counterpart, the Xbox One is here, only it came a week later. Like most new consoles, when you run out to the store to bring one home, you are going to want a game or two. What good is a new console without games? Well actually, the Xbox One does plenty of other non-gaming stuff, but that’s not what you are buying it for.
How do you choose a game? The fact is, it’s not easy. That’s not because the releases are so good, but because the pickings are actually pretty slim. Still, if you are willing to look, there are a few games that are worth your time, and we’re here to make it easy to decide!
The Launch Lineup
We’ve already examined the PlayStation 4’s launch lineup, and its 23 available games. The Xbox One is hitting the scene with 22 games, so Sony gets and edge in terms of number of releases. There are some games on the Xbox One that are clearly not aimed at hardcore gamers, and while they offer decent quality, we are going to throw them off the list right away. So Xbox Fitness, Zumba, Angry Birds: Star Wars, and others, consider yourself removed from consideration. Here’s a simple list of the games you should actually consider:
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag ($60)
- Battlefield 4 ($60)
- Call of Duty: Ghosts ($60)
- Crimson Dragon ($20)
- Dead Rising 3 ($60)
- FIFA 14 ($60)
- Forza Motorsport 5 ($60)
- Killer Instinct (Free, $20)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes ($60)
- Madden NFL 25 ($60)
- NBA 2K14 ($60)
- Need for Speed: Rivals ($60)
- Powerstar Golf ($20)
- Ryse: Son of Rome ($60)
- Zoo Tycoon ($60)
Sadly, we had to drop some other games, because quite frankly, they are bad. NBA Live is just a terrible excuse for a sports game, Fighter Within is not good, and there are others that you should skip. The ones above are the decent games, but even Crimson Dragon is borderline not worth getting.
Unlike the PS4, the Xbox One is lacking free-to-play titles, with the only exception being Killer Instinct, but you only get one character in the free version, so it actually feels more like a demo. Bottom line, if you want a game to play on your Xbox, it’s going to cost you some hard-earned money.
Which Should You Buy?
In a shocking turn of events, Xbox has been outdone by PS4 in the shooter department, with Sony’s console coming with a solid exclusive in the form of Killzone: Shadow Fall. Of course, the Xbox One still has the big multiplatform releases, and for gamers who are opting with one console or the other, Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts are both great choices. Which shooter you go with is a matter of whether you prefer the twitch gameplay of COD or the large fights in Battlield. They are both good, but BF4 is suffering from technical problems across all platforms. For an on-rails shooter experience similar to Panzer Dragoon, Crimson Dragon is available, but unless you were a hardcore fan, you might want to skip it, as it’s not great.
Sports fans have the same options as on the PS4, with NBA 2K14, FIFA 14, and Madden 25 all bringing solid gameplay to the table. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, so if you are a fan of one of the sports, don’t hesitate to pick them up.
Xbox One has the clear edge in fighting games, as it has the only launch game available between the two consoles in the genre. Killer Instinct is a surprisingly robust game, and you can try it out for free, so it’s definitely worth a download. From there, you can pay $20 to unlock all six characters (and the two additional fighters coming soon), or you can just stick with the free version. Either way, it’s a solid game.
On the family side of things, we have LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Powerstar Golf, and Zoo Tycoon. All three are great games, but Zoo Tycoon offers a lot more for adults, as in addition to some of the cute elements it puts forward for children, it’s also a fairly deep strategy game, so it’s one you can continue to enjoy after the kids have gone to bed. In fact, it’s one of the better launch games between both platforms.
And then there were five. We have Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Need for Speed Rivals, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Right from the start, Ryse is the worst of the five games here, but it looks so good, and it’s not bad enough to completely ignore it, but if a counter-based fight system is what you want, just get Assassin’s Creed IV, as it’s one of the best games in the series, and it looks great on next generation platforms. Need for Speed and Forza are both great racing games with some flaws. In the end, though, the best launch game to get if you want an exclusive is Dead Rising 3. So many of the annoyances from previous games have been streamlined, and it’s just a downright fantastic game. If you don’t care about exclusives, then it’s a toss up between that and ACIV, as they are both fantastic.
Personally, I think the launch lineup on the Xbox One edges out the PlayStation 4, as it offers a greater variety of quality games. Of course, it’s just the launch, and time will tell where we end up down the road. Either way, both systems have some great games, which is rare for a launch of a new console!
Which launch game did you get with your Xbox One? Are you waiting to get a next-generation video game console? Hit the comments section below and let us know!