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Are PS5 fans about to learn that Xbox does actually have good games?

Xbox fans might not be happy about losing exclusives, but maybe a large portion of the gaming world will finally see what Xbox has delivered.

A trio of headshots: Marcus from Gears 5, Senua from Hellblade, and the main character from HiFi Rush.
Image credit: VG247

Xbox really shot itself in the foot. Let’s just say that the company chose the worst time in video game history to deliver an underpowered, miss-messaged, device-laden console in the Xbox One. Riding high off the Xbox 360, Xbox was poised to go to-to-toe with Sony’s PS4, and then... it didn’t.

A whole generation of good-will was gone in the blink of an eye, and Sony ran away with a huge audience now locked in to a digital library future. The result of all this, a generation-long denouncement by gamers for crimes against... well, gamers, is a feeling among some that the Xbox doesn’t have many good games.

Let’s assume Xbox is bringing its games to PS5, Switch, and future non-Xbox consoles. It’s still rumor at this point, and we don’t know to what extent the Xbox-owned library will match what’s released on its own consoles, but we’ll play along as something is clearly afoot.

If you have been dismissive of the Xbox over its history, firmly committed to PlayStation or Nintendo as the true chosen ones of the video game world, you are in for quite the surprise. Xbox has lots of great (some amazing) games.

Prepare yourself for some lists. I’m not going to include any new-era Activision Blizzard games in this, as it’s not really Xbox yet, although obviously PS5 fans in particular will be very pleased if those games continue to launch on that console. The following list is just my curated list of banging ‘exclusive’ (read, also on PC, maybe) Xbox games that have released since the Xbox One that you’d be an absolute fool to ignore.

Hi-Fi Rush food court fight with Invaders Must Die soundtrack
Bethesda can still release a low-key banger when no-one's expecting it to. | Image credit: Microsoft
  • Starfield – Metacritic 83
  • Pentiment – Metacritic 86
  • Grounded – Metacritic 82
  • Halo Infinite – Metacritic 87
  • Forza Horizon 5 – Metacritic 92
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator – Metacritic 91
  • State of Decay 2 – Metacritic 66, but in my opinion way better than that
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection – Metacritic 85
  • Forza Horizon 4 – Metacritic 92
  • Gears 5 – Metacritic 84
  • Gears Tactics – Metacritic 80
  • Sea of Thieves – Metacritic 69, but the game is substantially improved five years on
  • Halo Wars 2 – Metacritic 79
  • Gears of War 4 – Metacritic 84
  • Forza Horizon 3 – Metacritic 91
  • ReCore – Metacritic 63, but revised since release
  • Quantum Break – Metacritic 77, but I love it
  • Halo 5: Guardians – Metacritic 84
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition – Metacritic 82
  • Rare Replay – Metacritic 84

There are plenty of other Xbox games that already hit other consoles (such as Deathloop, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Psychonauts 2), but I think this list fills a fairly large gap on PlayStation.

I don’t think Sony has a strong pure first-person or third-person shooter that can match Halo or Gears, for example. Sony doesn’t have an exclusive and unique live service game as strong as Sea of Thieves, or an open-world racing franchise like Forza Horizon. Grounded flies under the radar but is legitimately a brilliant survival game.

Looking ahead, and this list once again doesn’t include any Activision Blizzard titles as we really don’t know much about what’s coming, Xbox players (and potentially PlayStation/Nintendo fans) have a lot to look forward to.

  • Clockwork Revolution
  • Contraband
  • Everwild
  • Fable
  • The Outer Worlds 2
  • Perfect Dark
  • South of Midnight
  • State of Decay 3
  • Avowed
  • Senua's Saga: Hellblade II
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024
  • Towerborne
  • Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
  • The Elder Scrolls 6
Indiana Jones and the Great Circle
It's an Indy game, not an indie game. | Image credit: Microsoft/Bethesda/MachineGames

Of course, a list of ‘exclusives’ published by Xbox doesn’t paint the whole picture of what it’s like being an Xbox owner, but any suggestion that this group of players have been feeding off scraps is way off the mark. If the rumors are true, the rest of you might soon see that Xbox owners have had their fair share of quality. Who knows, if Microsoft plays its cards right and delivers a smart strategy, putting Xbox games out into the wider market might in fact make Xbox more popular than ever.

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