With the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the next frontier of video games has begun: The Next Generation. With new technology ushering in a brand-new set of standards to measure games on, we’ll quickly leave behind the games of the past. So with that said, now was the perfect time for the staff at Rocket Chainsaw to put their heads together and determine our top 10 Xbox exclusives of this generation.
There are some provisos in how we selected games for this list. Given Xbox’s policy of releasing all of their games on PC, it was determined that console exclusivity at the time of selection would determine a game’s eligibility. This means that games like Sea of Thieves were eligible for this list, while others such as Ori and the Blind Forest are instead counted as multi-platform releases due to their Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4 releases, despite being published by Xbox Game Studios.
The Xbox One console generation was a tale of two halves for Xbox, with the console’s record launch sales quickly fizzling out after investments were made in media, as opposed to games. With plenty of vitriol and disappointment levied at the company due to their lack of games and closure of studios like Lionhead, it wasn’t until Phil Spencer took over that the brand began to recover. Now, with myriad new studios under their wing and the creation of Game Pass, Xbox once again looks to be on the right track to success. Now, without further ado, here are Rocket Chainsaw’s top 10 Xbox exclusives of the generation:
Tenth Place: Rare Replay
Coming in at number 10 in our top 10 Xbox exclusives of the generation is an amazing collection of older generation titles from Rare. Filled with ports of titles from our childhoods like Banzo-Kazooie and Viva Pinata, Rare Replay was a trip down memory lane. Additionally, Rare Replay also included a whole heap of additional content, included concept art, music tracks, videos and more that transform this into more than a simple collection and into one of the best Xbox exclusives of the generation.
Equal Eighth Place: Quantum Break & Sea of Thieves
From the masters of the cinematic shooter over at Remedy comes Quantum Break, a shooter that blended cool time warping mechanics with interesting live-action story segments. The game looked (and still looks) nothing short of amazing and it was a truly unique game and IP in a time when Xbox was branching out early in the generation.
Sea of Thieves had a rough launch, with little in the way of content within its immense sandbox to make it truly of interest. However, much like other living games this generation, Rare stuck with it and added new content over time. Now, the incredibly strong base mechanics, amazing water physics and sense of adventure are backed by interesting quests and stories that elevate it to another level.
Seventh Place: Forza Motorsport 7
The first of the eminent Forza/Halo/Gears trio of IPs in our top 10 Xbox exclusives of the generation comes in the form of Forza Motorsport 7. The final Forza Motorsport game released for the Xbox One, it was the culmination of a generations worth of improvements and advancements made by Turn 10. With massive numbers of cars, amazing physics and plenty of accessibility options, Forza Motorsport 7 is the ultimate Forza Motorsport game so far.
Sixth Place: Titanfall
The story of Titanfall is a long and winding one. Developed by Respawn, a studio founded by the two head honchos of Infinity Ward, and funded by EA, the game was supposedly almost cancelled until Xbox stepped in to foot the bill for the remaining development time needed. It was an astute decision, as Titanfall quickly became one of the big success stories of the early generation. Built on a base of fast-moving Pilots who can summon giant mechanical Titans, it was a game of multiple parts that was unlike anything else. Still one of the best feeling and moving first person shooters of the generation, Titanfall is more than welcome on this list.
Fifth Place: Halo: The Master Chief Collection
The second collection of past generation titles in our list of the top 10 Xbox exclusives comes in the form of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Up until the last couple of years there was no way The Master Chief Collection would have made it onto this list, with immense issues with the game that took developer 343 years to correct. Throughout the following years, 343 spent countless hours and resources rebuilding much of the game’s backend, correcting the problems to make it what it was always meant to be: the ultimate love letter to the Halo franchise.
Fourth Place: Sunset Overdrive
Sunset Overdrive is easily the most unique and unusual game in this list. Perennial partners of PlayStation, Insomniac Games branched out to work with other publishers for a relatively short, but fruitful period of time. Sunset Overdrive was the ultimate culmination of that period, with the game’s flowing movement systems (a precursor to Spider-Man’s constant flow of motion), crazy weapons and irreverent storytelling combining to create a memorable and entertaining game that was the best Xbox exclusive new IP of the generation.
Third Place: Gears 5
The Coalition’s sophomore effort with the Gears of War franchise is also their best. Moving away from the constant corridors we were familiar with and opening the game up with open-world hubs, Gears 5 is the first evolution the franchise has had in years. Combined with the technical mastery shown with the game’s amazing visuals, incredibly solid shooting and an incredibly personal and interesting story, Gears 5 is an amazing game.
Second Place: Forza Horizon 4
What is possibly the most surprising aspect of Forza Horizon 4’s inclusion on this list is the fact that it wasn’t at number one. Playground Games have absolutely cemented themselves as Xbox’s best developer this generation and made Forza Horizon the best current racing franchise. Taking place in a vision of the UK, Forza Horizon 4 is filled with the series signature crazy races, festival atmosphere, engaging and fun car physics and new character customisation options. Pipped at the line by another game, Forza Horizon 4 is a worthy runner up in our top 10 Xbox exclusives of the generation list.
First Place: Forza Horizon 3
Playground Games completes the one-two punch at the top of this list with Forza Horizon 3. Maybe we’re slightly biased by the game being set in Australia, but Forza Horizon 3 just scraped past Forza Horizon 4 for the win. Racing through the rainforest and seeing the immediately recognisable plants before passing into the outback was incredibly nostalgic and something little seen in games. Now unfortunately delisted digitally and only available if you hunt down (a currently easy to find) second hand physical copy, Forza Horizon 3 is both the best Forza Horizon game and the best Xbox exclusive of the generation.
There you have it, the top 10 Xbox exclusives of this generation as determined by Rocket Chainsaw. Stay tuned later this week for our top 10 PlayStation exclusives of the generation and our top 10 multiplatform games of the generation.