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    Just got Xbox One? Ten essential games to play

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    Marie-Ange Demory
    @marie-angedemory

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    Xbox One has been launched in November 2013 and Microsoft has managed to secure a fair amount of quality exclusives over the course of these six years. With games like Halo 5: Guardians and Forza Motorsport 7, the console offers a wide range of great experiences that can only be enjoyed on Xbox and PC thanks to Microsoft's Play Anywhere program.


    But how did such colossal productions come about? Microsoft has often been criticized for its lack of exclusives. Which confirmed by the Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, who has repeatedly declared: “We have to grow and we can't wait to do it. Our ability to create content must be one of our strengths “We haven't always invested in the right way. For this reason we have gone through ups and downs over the years ".


    “This made us realize that we had to stop doing some things to make room for others. “One of the things I wanted to do when I joined the Microsoft family was to improve the library of first party titles. To do this, you had to go back and start from the basics; only in this way was it possible to build something greater. Thus were born exclusives such as: the recent Gears 5, Sea of ​​Thieves and Forza Horizon 4.


    Sure, Xbox One hasn't managed to repeat the extraordinary success of the Xbox 360, but if you've just bought the Xbox One, there are a number of quality games you won't find on any other console. It doesn't matter if they've been critically acclaimed or super underrated. And the great thing is that there is a healthy mix of familiar and totally new franchises, whether you are interested in space shooters or pirate action / adventure sailing the seas.


    So many great games, however, can make it hard to figure out which ones to go first. That's why we put it together a list of the top ten Xbox One exclusives, those that have come into the limelight and therefore deserve our attention.

    So, without further ado, let's get started:

    Halo Wars 2

    The original Halo Wars took Bungie's prestigious space universe in a bold new direction, abandoning classic first-person shootouts for a more tactical gameplay setup that sees us commanding an army of Spartans, two decades before the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo Wars 2 has taken this concept further, offering the right mix of story and real-time strategic mechanics, which has allowed Halo Wars 2 to successfully carve its own niche within the vast Halo universe.

    This second game actually quickly advances events beyond that of Halo 5: Guardians, tasking us with building a base of operations, extracting resources, and generally simply defending territory from enemy forces. It is an extraordinary vision of strategy that allows us to experience the heat of battle from a "bird's eye" perspective. No Halo fan should miss out on one of the best Xbox One exclusive games.

    Halo: Master Chief Collection

    From one Halo game to another, this at first seemed impossible to accomplish. All the Halo chapters, complete with multiplayer and updated graphics, in one package? Halo: Master Chief Collection has delivered on this promise, and is the best solution for any series newcomer to experience the Xbox series feature for the first time. Alternatively it is a great excuse for those who are already familiar with the different chapters to relive the experience again.



    Halo: Master Chief Collection includes Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4. The result is a jamboree of high-value content, with Halo 2 in particular being the pinnacle of the series. This is because Halo 2 is the game that has benefited most from the graphic makeover in this compilation, with updated textures and brand new cutscenes remade by the famous animation studio Blur. If you want to start your Halo experience, look no further, the Master Chief Collection is what you need.

    Sea of ​​Thieves

    While pirate games have never been very successful, that hasn't stopped the legendary Rare game developer (Goldeneye 64, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie) from taking the risk of creating his own adventure on the high seas. That adventure is none other than Sea of ​​Thieves, an Xbox One exclusive that takes us, together with our crew of friends, to sail the ocean, hunting for lost treasures, skeletons, Kraken and sea monsters.

    The whole game exudes a fascinating artistic style, which works wonders by inspiring both children and adults to get on a ship and set sail. From here it's about repelling invading ships, undertaking missions and unlocking new gear to become the most feared pirate the world has ever seen. Sea of ​​Thieves is an online multiplayer game unlike anything we've ever experienced before and is exclusive to Xbox One.

    Forza Motorsport 7

    The latest entry in Turn 10 Studios' hit racing series on Xbox One is the best racing game out there to date. Especially if you are one of those who like to spend time modifying all types of vehicles and then feel their effects on the track; Forza Motorsport 7 will amaze you with its vast fleet of around 700 cars and endless ways to customize it.



    The defining feature of Forza Motorsport's seventh entry is its dynamic weather system, which makes running on snow, battling wind or autumn storms seem more realistic. FM7 is, first and foremost, a racing simulation game, and as such it emphasizes the believable and most faithful aspects of what it means to drive these incredible four-wheeled monsters. You can only do this exclusively on Xbox One.

    Ori and the Blind Forest

    Sometimes it's the smaller games that have the biggest impact. This is the case of Ori and the Blind Forest, an extravagant metroidvania that sees us venture into a magical forest. Being partially inspired by the likes of Rayman, Castlevania and Metroid, Ori and the Blind Forest is a 2D platformer that places an emphasis on finding new skills and empowering the protagonist, which is necessary to access blocked areas.

    Ori and the Blind Forest offers an incredibly unique color palette, with strong neon shades that make the 2D adventure otherworldly, almost fairytale. This is combined with beautiful hand-drawn animations, which help bring the characters to life and add more personality and emotion to the package. It is ultimately an adult story that we never expected from the same platform that features Halo and Gears of War, but there is no doubt that it is one of the best Xbox One exclusives to date.

    Quantum Break

    Ambitiously blending the world of gaming and television, Quantum Break was a particularly daring work by Remedy, developer of Max Payne, Alan Wake and the most recent, Control. The title pushes players to embark on a long-term journey to prevent the end of the world. It's partly third-person shooter and partly procedural drama, with each playable chapter accompanied by a televised episode following the actions of the villains. It's a whole new gaming experience exclusive to Xbox One.

    Quantum Break's near-Hollywood production feature is further enhanced by the appearance of several recognizable actors lending their faces and voices to the game, including Shawn Ashmore (X-Men, The Following) and Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones). , The Wire). Players take on the role of Ashmore's character, Jack, who will have to use his time manipulation powers to stop Gillen's sinister organization from achieving its evil goals.

    Sunset Overdrive

    If you're one of those who don't have time for video games who take themselves too seriously, Sunset Overdrive might be for you. This is because it is an anarchic third-person shooter that allows us to roam a super stylized open world, using all the necessary means to annihilate the mutant enemies that roam the fictional Sunset City. This irreverent approach results in unique gameplay chock full of humor and color.

    Getting around Sunset City is simple and straightforward, thanks to unique and fun maneuvers, expertly crafted to give us a strong sense of freedom which, combined with creative aiming and firing controls, make us a hilarious death machine. Sunset Overdrive never takes itself too seriously, making it one of the freshest and most eye-catching Xbox One exclusives of recent years.

    Halo 5: Guardians

    Master Chief's latest adventure is the most ambitious and sprawling, being the first made from scratch for Xbox One and as such it squeezes the platform to the max. The result is a two-pronged storyline that sees us play the role of Chief and the new character, Commander Locke, which puts a different point of view on the already intriguing storyline of Halo.

    The classic Haloiana-style PVP modes have been successfully recreated, keeping popular modes like Capture the Flag and Team Death Match through a new range of well-designed maps. Halo 5: Guardians is a return to origins for the famous Xbox series, which allows us to shoot through breathtaking environments and memorable sets in a way that respects and pays homage to the previous chapters.

    Gears 5

    It may have only recently come out but Gears 5 has already earned its place on our list and it does so not only thanks to the many multiplayer modes available, but also thanks to one of the most ambitious single-player campaigns ever seen in a Gears of War game. This time, the protagonist is Kait Diaz, whose journey to discover her origins will see her venture into open-world open areas for the first time.

    Gears 5 equally reintroduces the hit multiplayer offerings the series is known for, with the Horde and PVP reaching practically perfection. In addition, there is also a new PVE mode called Escape. This is where we and two of our friends would be called upon to hold off the legions of the Swarm, escaping from the depths of an enemy nest as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is not only the best Gears of War game, but it's also one of the best Xbox One exclusive games.

    Forza Horizon 4

    While some racing games choose to focus on pure simulation, the Horizon series instead allows players to race through landscapes in an arcade mode. Forza Horizon 4 is the last to let us do this, unleashing us in an incredibly realistic rendition of the UK, complete with dynamic weather cycles that will see us drive through snow, sleet, rain and more.

    With over 450 licensed cars just waiting to be found and / or unlocked, the Forza Horizon 4 map is simply packed with events to take part in and locations to see. In addition, we will accumulate experience for everything we do, allowing us to purchase parts that can be applied to any car in the garage. If you are looking for a fun racing game that easily gives you the thrills and thrills of competition, Forza Horizon 4 is the purchase for you and in our opinion represents the best exclusive available on Xbox One and PC to date.

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    Ashen

    Get ready to take on the role of a lonely wanderer in Ashen, an action RPG that offers wonderful experiences shared with other players. It feels like a Dark Souls-style journey through a brutal land full of beasts from the fantasy universe. Occasionally you will find other human players and it will be up to you to decide how to deal with them. Best case scenario: Fight them randomly or you might just ignore them.

    You will need all the help you can get. Fighting in Ashen is not easy. The system is very similar to that of the more famous Souls-Like, which rewards the crafty strategists while punishing the madmen who throw themselves unprepared into the fray. Likewise, players will need to spend some valuable time investing in the crafting system and improving skills. To do this it will be necessary to look for ingredients in the field. The trick: the flora that will probably want to kill you.

    Again, you better befriend a rando (and use your new friend as a diversion). It is this kind of teamwork that elevates Ashen from being a good game to an Xbox exclusive level.

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