The 10 best Xbox One games under $20 in 2018
Last year we showed you the best Xbox One games on the market for under twenty bucks, and so it’s now time for an update.
One good thing about the games industry today is that prices of new games decrease quicker then ever before, with more and more games competing for your time, attention and money. This means that for every year on the market, the Xbox One gains a slew of quality titles to its library that are available for far less than they launched for.
The following list shows the best cheap Xbox One games available for under $20 in 2018:
10. Injustice 2
The first Injustice came as a pleasant surprise to the fighting game scene, offering a refreshing alternative to the stalwarts of the genre in Tekken and Street Fighter, and putting real pressure on Capcom to deliver with their next Marvel vs Capcom title (spoiler: they didn’t).
The sequel builds on everything the first one did well and just turns everything up to 11, with a plethora of DC characters, a long and excellent single player mode, and the same weighty, solid fighting mechanics that helped the first game stand up in its own right.
A good fit for: Anyone with even a minor affinity for DC Comics and fighting games. Injustice 2 is a love letter to the comic book giant. Fighting game fans looking for a competitive, fresh new franchise.
Not so great for: If you aren’t a fan of fighting games, the DC novelty won’t be enough to convert you if you haven’t been already by other games in the genre.
9. Titanfall 2
The original Titanfall was something of a flawed gem on the Xbox, but its sequel ironed out the wrinkles and delivered one of the best games of 2017.
The campaign is generous in length and diversity, something the original sorely lacked, and delivers a fine 15-hour experience. But the real quality lies is in the multiplayer, which delivers a fresh and exciting experience that comes as a welcome change to the drudgery of the CoD and Battlefield paint-by-numbers formula.
Titanfall 2 is an extremely smooth and well-polished shooter that comes highly recommended for any FPS fan.
A great game for: Online multiplayer fans. Titanfall 2’s online component is amongst the best of this generation.
Not so great for: Fans of lootboxes and micro-transactions.
8. Final Fantasy XV
After what many considered a misstep for the series in Final Fantasy XIII, and with the less said about XIII-2 the better, Square Enix sensibly took their time with XV, with a 5 year gap between it and XIII-2.
Thankfully, the extra time in the oven was well worth the wait. With FFXV Square delivered a sprawling open world with polished combat mechanics and a team of four characters that actually manage to charm you into caring about them.
FFXIV is a majestic experience reminiscent of Final Fantasy X in its scope and wonder. It also looks stunning.
A good fit for: JRPG fans looking for a truly modern experience, with all the trimmings that come with being a JRPG. Anyone yearning for the glory days of Final Fantasy.
Not so great for: People with not a lot of time on their hands. To enjoy FFXIV to the fullest, you need to put in the hours.
7. Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest released during the Xbox Ones difficult early years, and Microsoft would’ve been very relieved it did.
The game sees you control Ori, a white guardian spirit, as you traverse in 2D through an enchanted forest. The platforming mechanics and level design on show here are exceptional, with the player having to use the environment to leap through the foliage, utilising Ori’s nimble and responsive wall-jumping and running to get to the end of each stage.
It just feels fantastic in its simplicity, similar to Rayman Legends in its purity and quality. It also gets pretty damn challenging.
A good fit for: Any fan of the 2D platformer. Players looking for a challenge.
Not so great for: Players looking for an easy ride, as it really does get quite tough.
6. Dark Souls 3
The final game in the Souls series, Dark Souls III represents more than a fitting end to Bandai Namco’s acclaimed series.
Set in the magnificent, sprawling and harrowing Kingdom of Lothric, the gameworld gradually opens up as the player progresses, and folds back on itself in that beautifully satisfying way Dark Souls games are known for – with the areas intertwining and connecting with each other to evoke the sense that the world feel genuine and alive.
The combat is of course the jewel in the game’s crown, with slight adjustments made to the already near-perfect combat system present in the previous games. The player has to learn when to attack, dodge and parry accordingly, with each enemy requiring a different, cautious approach.
The bosses as ever are a highlight, with some truly inspired designs on show. Dark Souls 3 is a superb way to end a beloved series – taking everything good about the game and executing them with style.
A great game for: Anyone looking for a truly rewarding challenge, any fan of action RPGs, patient gamers that appreciate dying is part of the learning experience.
Not so great for: Players looking for a more casual experience.
My personal 2017 game of the year, Cuphead had been in development for years, on account of being made pretty much by just two guys, and every single frame of the game having to be hand-drawn as they painstakingly remained determined to stay true to the 30’s style cartoons the game borrows so much from.
Thankfully, the game is fantastic. A deceptively difficult 2D shooter, you take control of Cuphead (and his bro Mugman if playing co-op) and fight through three islands’ worth of bosses in your quest to collect contracts for the Devil, with whom you’ve managed to get into gambling debt with. Each boss is a visual and aural treat, completely unique and full of character thanks to the love and care that’s been invested in their design.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the genre, Cuphead is worth the price of entry alone purely as a piece of art. Check out our review here.
A good fit for: Fans of a challenge, people who enjoy old-timey cartoon aesthetic, anyone looking for a unique experience.
Not so great for: Someone who appreciates a difficulty curve. Cuphead gets very tough, very quickly.
After the ambitious but ultimately disappointing Doom 3, Bethesda went back to basics with the reboot for the current generation, almost completely throwing out the rulebook of the modern FPS.
You’ll find no reloading, no annoying squadmates, no lootboxes, no QTEs – just pure, run-and-gun demon slaying that made Doom famous in the first place. The gunplay here is intense and brilliant, you’ll zip around the monster-infested levels at 60FPS, destroying demonic beasts with an arsenal of typically exaggerated weaponry.
Doom is a real delight in what’s become an extremely drab and predictable genre.
A good fit for: Players sick of the Call of Duty and Battlefield formulae.
Not so great for: Multiplayer lovers. The multiplayer is serviceable, but the single player is where the game really shines.
3. Rare Replay Collection
There’s a reason I’ve spent days on this game trying to achieve what is technically the hardest Xbox Achievement of all time, and it’s not just because I’m a masochist…
Rare Replay is a wonderful trip back through the decades for one of the UK’s finest developers, with a generous array of 30 games available, from the original Jetpac of 1983 all the way through to the last Viva Pinata game of 2008.
There are certainly a few duds that serve more as a curiosity than a fully fledged enjoyable game, but for every Sabre Wulf there’s a Banjo Kazooie, for every Grabbed by the Ghoulies there’s a Perfect Dark.
It’s the best value game on the Xbox One.
A good fit for: Anyone who grew up with an N64 or a NES, people curious about the studio’s past, or anyone into 3D platformers. Kazooie, Tooie and Conker are three of the best ever.
Not so great for: Fans looking for some truly great retro 2D games. Jetpac and Battletoads aside, Rare’s other efforts in the 80s and 90s were very hit and miss. Also Donkey Kong fans – no Donkey or Diddy games can be found here, and it’s a bit of a hole.
2. Watch Dogs 2
The first Watch Dogs will sadly go down as a title that burned people – not because it was a bad game per se (it was decent enough) but because of the extreme levels of hype Ubisoft drummed up before release, with promises that were vague at best, and downright misleading at worst.
Ubisoft faced a bit of a battle with the sequel then, and thankfully they delivered a clever and stylish game that whilst commercially suffered from the mistakes of its predecessor, it pleased the critics.
The detailed open world of San Francisco is at your disposal, with the infrastructure hacking tools form the first game developed and widened turning SF into a giant sandbox playground. The characters are very hipster but somehow very likeable, again much more so than the moody humorless first game.
Basically think GTA with hacking and coders.
A good fit for: Fans of the first game, those who enjoy approaching combat situations in different ways.
Not so great for: People a little tired of open-world games.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Lauded by many as the best game of all time, the Witcher 3 re-wrote the rules of the open-world action RPG in terms of scope, storytelling, characterisation and world-building.
You take the character of Geralt, a Witcher (think Wizard mercenary?) on a quest to reunite with his long-lost ex across a Grimm-inspired fantasy realm, who turns out to be on the run from The Wild Hunt, a gang of deadly ghouls on horses.
But the main plot is just a drop in the ocean. The Witcher 3 is as deep as it is wide (and it is very wide, one of the biggest gameworlds ever made), every nook and cranny feels like it’s been meticulously designed and crafted, with side-quests so engaging and detailed they trivialise and dwarf main quests in other open-world games.
It effortlessly pulls off things other games have tried hard to do and failed. Decisions actually affecting the gameplay and story is something many games have attempted, but none have executed as subtly and brilliantly as in TW3. Buying a drink for a guy in a bar instead of fighting him when he argues with you might affect an entire subplot when you bump into him guarding a gate to a tower, hours later in the game. Choosing to scold or flirt with a sorceress may determine whether to get to fight her or sleep with her 15 hours of gameplay later.
The more you play the Witcher 3, the more it sucks you in and the more it taints your view other games. it will sharpen your critical lens, as it lets you know that this is what games can achieve.
A good fit for: Any fan of immersive stories, lush and detailed fantastical worlds, and exploration.
Not so great for: People looking for bitesize, casual games, or multiplayer-focused gamers. You should probably still get it though.