2018 promises to be an interesting year in the game world, with upcoming releases including Red Dead Redemption 2, Crackdown 3 and more - we’ve listed some of the most anticipated games of 2018 if you’re looking ahead - and we'll be adding some to this list as we get the chance to play them.
Still, now’s the perfect time to catch up on the best Xbox One games you might've missed the first time around - and remember to check for some of the best games deals around if you’re planning to pick anything up.
Forza Motorsport 7
Forza 7 is the ultimate driving game for Xbox and PC gamers. It adds realistic elements to the game without making it as punishing as the majority of driving sims, providing the perfect balance for gamers. It’s a stunning game not only in terms of the cars but the weather system, environments and even the tracks themselves, and the built-in photo mode shows it all off perfectly.
Combine that with perfect handling, even when using a controller, and you’ve got a racing game that you’ll sink a lot of time into.
Find out more in our Forza Motorsport 7 review.
Assassin's Creed: Origins
Following a 'year off' after the release of AC: Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed Origins was released in late 2017. We think it's hands-down the most in-depth and enjoyable title in the Assassin’s Creed series so far, and ancient Egypt is the perfect location to showcase it.
The redesigned combat mechanics make battles fun while still providing a challenge and a tactical element for those that want to exercise their minds. Senu, the Eagle, is a fantastic Egyptian take on Eagle Vision and compliments gameplay perfectly.
Combine that with a detailed and vibrant environment and a storyline that Hollywood writers would be proud of, and you’ve got one of the best games of 2017.
Find out more in our full Assassin's Creed Origins review.
Battlefield 1 sees the iconic FPS series go back to basics. Worlds away from the modern, gadget-filled battles of recent franchise entries, or the cops-versus-robbers shootouts of Battlefield Hardline, BF1 instead takes the First World War for its setting.
The historical theme is no gimmick either, and developer DICE makes the most of the unique opportunities it offers for both storytelling and gameplay.
Battlefield 1’s single-player is split up into six separate War Stories’, each of which follows a different protagonist and explores a different element of WWI combat, from trench warfare to tanks and early airships. There’s an emphasis all the way through on the horrors of war, backed up by sobering statistics and facts about the real-life conflict.
The historical weapons also have their impact on the game’s multiplayer, encouraging close-quarters and melee combat, subtly shifting the tactics needed to win. There’s limited weapon customisation though, and the vehicles are as primitive and simple as the period requires.
Stunning graphics and expansive, detailed maps seal the deal, making Battlefield 1 one of 2016’s best games on any console.
Reviving the long-dormant XCOM strategy series with 2012’s Enemy Unknown was no easy feat, so there were always high hopes for 2017's sequel, the more simply named XCOM 2, but it’s hard to imagine anyone was disappointed by it.
Set years after the first game, in a world in which humanity lost its initial war against the alien invaders, the XCOM team is no longer a massive interplanetary defence force, but instead a small band of renegades and outlaws.
That changes the scope of many missions, which are now built around a new stealth mechanic that allows you to move your team into an optimum position and launch an ambush on the first unsuspecting enemies you find.
Missions are also likely to boast secondary objectives, and some set strict time limits, forcing you to abandon the safety of cover and dash forward across the map in order to succeed in time.
Maps are generated procedurally, meaning there’s more variation than before, and they’re packed with new enemy types - including a few re-purposed from the original ‘90s series like the Viper.
XCOM 2 is the rare sequel that feels better than the original in just about every way - and the original was already fantastic, so that’s really saying something.
With its first game, Limbo, developer Playdead proved it was at the top of the puzzle-platformer genre. Somehow, against the odds, it’s done one better with the impeccable Inside.
Things kick off with you controlling a young boy trying to sneak into some sort of dystopian factory/facility/lab. As you sneak from left to right in an oppressive dark world you have to evade guards, dogs, and a particularly aggressive pig until you make your way inside and it all gets a lot weirder.
Saying too much would spoil a lot of the game’s best surprises, but the plot is gradually (and wordlessly) revealed as you best the game’s intricate physics puzzles and escape various threats, all building towards a final act that’s just, well, insane. Utterly insane.
The puzzles are smart and challenging, but rarely frustrating, holding you up for just long enough to satisfy when you figure them out, without ever becoming an irritation.
The game is also visually stunning, adding more detail than Limbo’s stark silhouettes. It still keeps things simple though, bolstered by impressive lighting effects and characterful animations.
Inside is intelligent and original, and at just £15 remains one of the most memorable gameplay experiences of the year.
Set at the height of the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918 London, you play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, a renowned doctor, scientist and now, vampire. You're tasked with helping the 60 night-dwelling residents of London stay healthy, while also trying to find out where the virus originated - and how to stop it from spreading.
If you’re looking for a semi-open world, story-focused RPG, Vampyr is a solid option. It offers in-depth conversation options, game-changing choices to make and an intriguing storyline full of plot twists and betrayal.
But it’s much more than that too; combat is satisfying, especially as you unlock new vampiric abilities and upgrade your weaponry, and the world feels more alive than most open world games.
Every person you see has a name, a story and relationships with other characters in the game, and deciding to feed on them can have a knock-on effect on the community and availability of quests. It makes you second guess your every move, and will leave you wondering if you made the right choice long after it was made.
But it’s the way that Vampyr makes you feel bad for killing citizens that makes it impressive – I’ve never felt more guilty playing a game in my life.
Find out more in our Vampyr review.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The first-person perspective may be new to the series, but most of the rest of Resident Evil 7 is a return to its roots. Creepy mansion? Check. Sparse ammo? Check. Green herbs that magically heal even the gravest of wounds? Check, check, and check.
It's not all old hat though. For one thing, there are no zombies. Instead you're up against some fungal nasties called the Moulded and some rather homicidal hillbillies. Oh, and did we mention that they're nigh-on invincible cannibals too?
It doesn't always work (the boss battles fall a bit flat, but that's really par for the course with Resident Evil games), but when it does it's fantastic. Every sound, every movement, and even every door is a fresh source of horror, making this a shoo-in for 'least relaxing game of 2017'.
Resident Evil 7 never feels quite as innovative as we thought it might be, and its influences are obvious (check out Amnesia and Alien: Isolation if you haven't yet), but it's hard to argue with the end result: unspeakable terror.
Read more in our Resident Evil 7 review.
The first thing you notice about Superhot is its striking visual style, in which the world is reduced to shades of white, broken only by black guns and bright red baddies - and bullets. The visuals are brilliant, unforgettable, and somehow the least interesting part of the game.
Superhot is a first-person shooter, but not like any you’ve played before. Time in the game only moves when you do, slowing to a crawl whenever you stand still, making each level a series of tiny strategic encounters.
You pause, evaluate the room, and plan a move to avoid incoming attackers and hopefully take a couple out. Then you pause again, re-evaluate, and form a new plan, clearing the encounter by increments, surviving so long as you master the split-second timing.
There’s a surprisingly sinister campaign, which delves into some very meta storytelling, backed up by a number of challenge modes to further test your skills.
There’s a diverse array of guns, explosive, and melee weapons, including a fair few improvised weapons you can grab to throw at enemies. One of the game’s most fun maneuvers sees you stun enemies to disarm them, stealing their weapon in the process.
Superhot is one of those rare games that feels genuinely new, and unlike anything that’s come before it.
Metal Gear Survive
Metal Gear Survive takes place following the events of Ground Zeroes, and is technically a spin-off from the MGSV timeline. Essentially, a wormhole appears and promptly sucks Motherbase into its churning maw and end up in a desolate dimension where you’re forced to survive.
You’ll find new features when compared to previous MGS games, most notably the introduction of a hunger and thirst system that really limits -ahem-, that really enhances the survival experience. Your character levels up and unlocks new talents as you progress through the game, and the growing library of things to craft should keep you busy for a while.
But while some of these activities are certainly enjoyable, there is a lot of busy work required before you can progress through the story. Finding food on top of scavenging for materials so you can actually play the game gets a lot less interesting after you’ve done it for the fifth time. And when that’s combined with oxygen consumption in the dust, you’ll find yourself heading back to Base Camp fairly often to replenish your stats.
But despite the frustrations, fans of Metal Gear V will feel right at home here with the game’s tone and feel. The wanderers being dangerous up close, and a need to be more tactical makes a nice difference to other zombie titles that encourage you to hack and slash. If you’re a fan of zombie games and the Metal Gear series, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
Read more in our full Metal Gear Survive review.
Call of Duty: WW2
Call of Duty WW2 takes the CoD franchise back to its roots. During the campaign you’ll storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day before fighting your way across Europe, experiencing events of the second world war including the Battle of the Bulge and The Rhine through the eyes of a solider.
Clocking in at around six hours of play time, the intense campaign is packed with intense close-quarters combat and spectacular events, all enhanced with impressive sound design and incredible visuals. It’s a stunning game with detailed environments – even the facial animations are detailed.
The multiplayer boasts 10 diverse maps across Europe, featuring maps with tight corners and enclosed areas perfect for shotguns or submachine guns to open maps ideal for patient snipers. A big change is the removal of Classes. They’ve been replaced with Divisions, each with unique unlockable benefits like SMG suppressors or bayonet charges.
But while the changes are welcome, we can’t help but feel it’s a little underwhelming compared to other games like Battlefield 1 with huge multiplayer modes and various vehicles to use, especially with CoD’s 12-player limit.
There’s also a Nazi Zombies mode with a great new co-op campaign mode, featuring an original story separate from the campaign.
Read more in our full Call of Duty: WW2 review.
State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 takes place 18 months into the zombie apocalypse, and it's up to you to bring together a community of survivors, build up your base and find a potential cure for mankind. It's no easy feat, and the various challenges you'll come across while scavenging the environment for useful equipment and materials can be the difference between life and death for your survivors.
We mean that in a literal sense, as State of Decay 2 uses a permadeath system. That means that if you make a bad call and one of your survivors gets eaten by a horde of zombies, they're gone. Not only that, but you'll lose access to their unique skillset that could provide specific upgrades for your base.
Resource collecting and scavenging is a huge part of State of Decay 2, and it's what you'll find yourself doing most of the time. It can get a bit repetitive if you're playing alone, but the good news is that State of Decay 2 provides four-player co-op that should provide more naturally-occurring events for you to deal with.
But while the concept is great, the number of bugs found in the game at present ruin the overall zombie-killing experience. It's good, but it won't be great until Undead Labs work out all the kinks!
Find out more in our full State of Decay 2 review.