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2016 has been an excellent year for the Xbox One, with the console really coming into its stride after a rocky launch.
Here are what I consider to be the flat-out best 10 games published on Microsoft’s machine this year.
10: Forza Horizon 3
Simply of the best driving games of all time. Horizon 3 builds on the foundation laid by the last 2 games and just makes everything bigger, better and more beautiful. The scope of the customisation options is staggering, and the inclusion of proper off-road racing is the icing on the cake. It’s a must for all racing fans.
One of the unexpectedly brilliant games of the year, Overwatch is the most addictive shooter since the first Modern Warfare. The gunplay is just spot-on, the gameplay is fast and frantic and the graphics are just lovely. Overwatch is a must for any shooter fan.
8: Rocket League
The most addictive game of the year. Rocket League is the ultimate ‘just one more go’ game, with matches just the right length to tempt you for one more play. The gameplay is easy to pick up but tricky to master, it’s such a pure and simple experience that it never feels like a chore to play. Even if you don’t like soccer, give it a try.
7: Gears of War 4
I was really glad this game way good. After the series appeared to lose its way with Judgment, it goes back to its roots nicely here with 4, offering tight gameplay and stunning visuals. If you’ve ever enjoyed a Gears game there’s a strong chance you’ll enjoy this.
6: Titanfall 2
Criminally under-appreciated on launch, Titanfall 2 is actually the best single player FPS experience released so far this gen. The gameplay builds on the already solid foundation laid by the first game, adding new gameplay features that make playing it infinitely more varied than its predecessor. The multiplayer isn’t bad either.
5: Dark Souls 3
A fitting end to one of the best series in gaming. Dark Souls 3 doesn’t do anything revolutionary, instead building on and refining a winning formula established in its predecessors. Still equally punishing and rewarding, Dark Souls 3 is a satisfying and beautifully dark game. It’s essential.
4: Battlefield 1
DICE surprised many by taking their flagship franchise back to 1914, but what a decision it turned out to be. Battlefield One has an atmosphere unlike any other game, transporting you back to a time explored often in the world of videogames, and for the most part it succeeds in making you feel like you’re there. The fabulous multiplayer will keep you hooked for months.
Time only moved when you move – such a clever mechanic, and it’s executed perfectly in Superhot. The stylised graphics are a thorwback to another persona favourite of mine, Killer7, but Superhot is superior to that game in every way, with tight mechanics, a cool story and superbly satisfying gunplay. A must for shooter fans.
2: Dishonored 2
The original Dishonored was one of the best new IPs to appear in the last generation, introducing us to a wonderful universe and beautifully polished gameplay. Dishonored 2 builds on its foundation and gives us more of what we loved – varied and deep gameplay, choices that actually matter and top-of-the-range presentation. Superb.
The surprise of the year for me – in many ways Doom had no right to be this good. Fast-paced, beautiful and brutally gory – the latest Doom manages to combine everything great about the original with slick modern gameplay we’ve come to expect from first person shooters today. A real challenge and a joy to play from start to finish.
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