Packaged with a two terabyte hard drive, 4K support for video, and a notable boost of processing power, the Xbox One S is worth picking up if you’ve yet to join the newest generation of console players, or are looking for an addition to your home entertainment setup. But what to play, though? That’s the other half of the equation.
You’re going to need a good collection of games to start things off. Here’s a couple recommendations to get the adrenaline flowing from the very beginning. (Just to clarify: we’re skewing exclusive but including a couple multiplatform titles that should not be missed.)
Halo 5: Guardians
The Halo franchise has been one of the sole reasons to own an Xbox since the first console released. Halo 5: Guardians is the second in the series made by developer 343 Industries following their inheritance from Bungie, and it’s easily one of the best games currently available on the Xbox One.
While the single player campaign is a mixed bag, where Halo 5 excels is multiplayer — namely through 343’s Warzone addition — as well as great cooperative experiences. 343 has also been releasing downloadable content for free, meaning there’s no season pass to purchase. Everyone starts on equal footing, so to speak.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Originally released last year for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the most critically acclaimed games of this console generation. Packed with over 200 hours of content for players to dive into, the game follows Geralt of Rivia as he roams across the Northern Realms in search of his adopted daughter Ciri. That journey means fighting hordes of monsters, humans, and other mythical beasts as well as exploring lost ruins, magical temples, and even traveling between different dimensions. Honestly, it’s difficult to sum up everything The Witcher 3 has to offer, but look at it this way: it’s essentially Game of Thrones in a video game. Sex, blood, violence — The Witcher 3 has it all. And don’t worry about missing the first two games in the franchise if this is your first as there’s a great introduction to the story as it stands.
State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition
Developer Undead Labs originally released State of Decay on the Xbox 360 back in 2013, but it was remastered for Xbox One just last year. Like many other zombie games, the game is all about survival — keeping your various characters alive, fed, and free of infection. The only twist? There’s an infinite number of zombies on the map and a finite number of resources for you to utilize.
Thanks to the limited amount of resources present in the game, State of Decay becomes much more interesting. You’ll have to build up bases, consistently scout for more supplies, and work hard to keep your survivors happy all while stocking up your armory to fight against the hordes roaming the streets. The remaster also comes with all of the DLC and updates, which are great additions to the game that make it a much more enjoyable experience.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Often compared to the likes of Uncharted, Rise of the Tomb Raider is the second game in the reboot of the franchise focused on the beginning of Lara Croft’s adventure. The game follows Lara as she heads to Siberia in search of the legendary city of Kitezh, but more importantly remains one of the best action-adventure games available to date.
Rise of the Tomb Raider focuses on platforming, combat, and puzzles throughout. You’ll be engaging in ridiculous firefights, crafting and upgrading your equipment, and a dynamic weather system that both you and your enemies react to. This time around, Crystal Dynamics also took a few risks instead of tacking on multiplayer, introducing a survival-esque mode called Endurance through DLC. Here, you’ll be facing off against randomly generated levels while collecting artifacts, hunting for food, and killing paramilitary troops. It’s a fantastic twist that actually comes across really well. Plus, they’ll be adding cooperative to it this fall via a free update, so now’s the time to get in on things.