The 5 Best Xbox One Exclusives Games in 2020

Let’s face it, this generation wasn’t all that great for Microsoft and Xbox fans. Sure, the Xbox One has sold over 46 million units by now, which are good numbers. But if you compare it to the PS4 and even Nintendo Switch, it’s not all that impressive. Despite that, Xbox is an extremely popular platform, especially in the West. We know there’s a lot of debate about exclusives, and how Microsoft lacks in that department.

However, I think people can be a bit ignorant about the platform itself. Sure, Sony might have all the bid budget cinematic experiences, but that doesn’t Xbox doesn’t have much to offer. In fact, there are a lot of gems hidden in the platform which need some light shone on them.

That is why today we’re looking at five of the best Xbox One exclusive games in 2020. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

1. Gears 5

Gears of War is just as it sounds. A cover based shooter game that involves battling alien monsters using some of the most impressive weapons you will come across when playing shooter games. Gears 5 is the newest installment in the series, and it’s a really great package overall.

The campaign is what people will be into the most. I will not go into the nitty-gritty details, as the fanbase is quite sensitive to spoilers. Now, if you’re a new-comer to the series, you might be thinking that you’ll have to play all the previous games to fully understand this story.

Gears 5

Gears 5 provides a nice recap for the previous game, so it is quite beginner-friendly. So you can skip Gears of War 4 in theory, but you’ll still need to know about the plot for the previous 3 games. Apart from that, the world-building and lore in this game are excellent. Gears 5 is sort of aftermath to first three games and its much more interesting than the previous installment.

While Gears 5 mostly focuses on linear story missions, the developers decided to integrate a semi open-world feel as well. I say “Semi” because sometimes the game drops you into traversable open environments to help the game with its pacing. There are a couple of vehicles you can screw around with, and the exploring (while not the most engaging at times) is fun.

But more than anything, Gears 5 is absolutely beautiful. The world, the character models, the atmosphere, the tension building, it’s all there, and it’s done very well. It takes a few more risks than the previous game, especially in the narrative, and it pays off in the end.

Developer: The Coalition

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release Date: September 2019

2. Forza Motorsport 7

This has to be the hardest choice I made on this list. It was either Forza Motorsport 7 or Forza Horizon 4 and the fact that FH4 is the latest of the two did not do much to help. However, I finally decided to go with FM7. Why? It has more racing cars and many people swear that it has a better Multiplayer mode of the two.

The racing genre does not have very many variations like the shooter which makes it very easy to directly compare the exclusive Xbox one games to the exclusive PS4 games. And is it turns out Xbox emerges as the winner here thanks to Forza Motorsport 7. PS4 gamers have Gran Turismo which although great, can’t hold a candle to Motorsport 7.

Forza Motorsport 7

This racing simulator by Turn 10 Studios features over 700 cars including your favorite brands such as Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Porsches. The realism in this game is so real that you will actually have problems distinguishing it from a TV show or movie. And this rawness can be felt even in the controls. You cannot even begin to imagine the thrill if you happen to own a steering wheel accessory. And as if that’s not enough this game offers true 4K performance at 60fps.

FM7 has a career mode that will have you racing in different racing environments including indie tracks. And to add more flair to it, you will be attending interviews. There will also be occasional wars between brands. Then finally we have the split screen mode where you can challenge your friend to a duel. Full disclosure, a lot of friendships have been broken here.

Developer: Turn 10 Studios

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release Date: October 2017

3. Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is one of those fun games that you can play on a boring Sunday afternoon and it will immediately lift your moods. The only problem is that you may find yourself still playing in the early hours of Monday morning. It has some weak attempts of humour that reminds me of ‘Ratchet and Clank’ but even when you are not laughing at the actual joke you can’t help smiling at the absurdity of it.

The game casts you as an employee of an energy drink company whose drinks are turning the citizens into monsters although unknowingly. One of the highlights of this game has to be vibrant colours. Even the monsters are orange.

It’s an open world game so you have a lot of ground to cover.

Sunset Overdrive

However, instead of using cars to move around the city as is mostly the case with open world games, Sunset Overdrive will have you skating, wall sprinting, and zippy zip-lining. And if you thought the whole game concept was crazy, wait until you see some of the weapons that are available for selection.

Developer: Insomniac Games, Blind Squirrel Games

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release Date: October 2014

4. Halo 5: Guardians

When Xbox was first launched and was struggling to compete with Sony’s PlayStation, it was the Halo game that gave it bragging rights. And ever since, it continues to be the best exclusive FPS game you can play on Xbox. It is now in its 5th version and includes a ton of excellent upgrades which makes it the best Halo game so far.

Although the developers, 343 makers, have removed the local coop mode, they have more than compensated with their massive campaign and extensive online multiplayer mode. The campaign mode follows the Osiris team led by Spartan Jameson Locke as they try to find the Blue team comprising of Master Chief and 3 other of his Spartan comrades.

Halo 5 Guardians

However, I feel that 343 makers could have done a better job developing the game characters in this installment of the game. This is because you will have to rely on the knowledge you have of them from the previous halo series to some extent which could be limiting to those playing it for the first time. But I will have to give it to them. Transforming Master Chief to a villain, he who has been the hero in all the other halo series was a major feat.

The online multiplayer mode is not lacking in terms of thrill too. You will especially love the large-scale warzone that allows players to fight against each other in teams of up to 12 people each. The temperatures are also bound to rise higher as the game combines the player vs player mode with the player vs environment to intensify the challenge while providing some heavy artillery such as rocket launchers to choose from.

Developer: 343 Industries

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release Date: October 2015

5. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

For the fifth spot I was torn between Ori and the Blind Forest and Cuphead but in the end, I went with the former. Not that they can be directly compared seeing that Cuphead is a run-and-gun game while Ori is an exploration game but they are both 2D platformers and I could only review one of those.

The game follows Ori a cute human-bunny creature as he traverses through a dying (blind) forest in search of Kuro the Villain. It is Kuro who poisoned the magical tree that keeps the forest alive. Ori is accompanied in his quest by Sein, a benevolent spirit that rescued him when his mother died. The spirit acts as Ori’s guide giving him valuable advice and also teaching him how to defend himself from the dangers of the forest.

Ori and the Blind Forest

While the initial release of this game was a blast, the new Definitive Edition takes it to a new level. It comes with new areas to explore, new abilities like light burst and the story has also been enhanced. The difficulty modes have also been revamped to make it more challenging. Unlike in the original edition, you can now easily fast travel to the areas that you have already explored.

Although the visuals are highly engaging and the characters well animated it is the gameplay that will have you hooked to this game. You will enjoy overcoming the various challenges to unlock new worlds and discover hidden items. Oh, then there is the beautiful soundtrack that eases you into the game session. I am a number one FPS fan but I was really impressed by how easily I grew into this game.

Developer: Gareth Coker

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Release Date: 2015 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and we get a commission on purchases made through our links.

Kamil Anwar

A former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.