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The Best Xbox One Games of 2016

December 14, 2016

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By: Max Cannon

The Xbox One has been a console with the odds stacked against it from day one. Hardcore gamers were turned away by their initial, but quickly reversed, policies. And casual players didn't want to get on board with the console at the higher price. 2016 has been a turning point for the system as sales have risen following the release of the Xbox One S and 2017 is looking even brighter. There have been a handful of standout games this year that were exclusive to Xbox One and here are some of our favorites.

The redesigned and 4K-ish/HDR capable Xbox One S.The redesigned and 4K-ish/HDR capable Xbox One S.Courtesy of Xbox

1. Quantum Break

Quantum Break was announced next to the Xbox One and it had been a long time coming. Developed by Remedy there was a return to the time based shooting that made them famous with Max Payne. While the TV episodes integrated into the main game weren't as innovative and groundbreaking as hoped for they were far from bad. Using legitimate actors from TV and movies, Shawn Ashmore lead the game as protagonist Jack Joyce.

The shooting felt a little off to me but the game was gorgeous and the story was intriguing. It was satisfying to see Jack Joyce zip around a world split from time and take down the Monarch corporation both through cutscenes and moment to moment gameplay. A franchise was started that seems to have a lot of room to grow. If this is the start of the series, I'd be very interested to see where it grows into.

Quantum Break Xbox One Game Review

 

2. Gears of War 4

Aside from Halo, I would say Gears of War is the most prolific Xbox exclusive. While the original game is known for it's grim tone and muted colors, the franchise has grown brighter and more dynamic as time goes on. Gears of War 4 is a more self-aware entry in the series which injects some much needed levity into the world. By casting Marcus Fenix to the side and starring his son JD Fenix alongside a pair of interesting friends, the game feels fresher than before.

Variety is the spice of the game. Adding new characters, a focus on dynamic set pieces, and various weapons, enemies, and environments, new life is shot into Gears. A campaign that grew better and better with time, I would say it was my favorite shooter campaign that I played on Xbox. If you love Gears of War you'll love this.

Gears of War 4 puts series protagonist Marcus Fenix to the side.Gears of War 4 puts series protagonist Marcus Fenix to the side.Courtesy of Xbox

3. Forza Horizon 3

I'm not typically a fan of racing games but man do I love Forza Horizon 3. I had a ton of fun playing this game and would gladly play any future games in the series. The game is just about having a fun time and shakes the melodramatic opening of the previous games. Players don't feel punished but rewarded for smashing through walls, obstacles, and billboards.

The gorgeous Australian backdrop is a perfect place to play in. Playground Games has really taken its namesake to heart when designing the Forza Horizon series. The cars are pretty, the controls are smooth, and the game is fun to play. What more could you ask for?

Forza Horizon 3 Xbox One Video Review

 

Honorable Mentions:

Have Your Say!

What did you think of our list? What would make your list of best Xbox One exclusives of 2016? Share your comments below!