This year has been one of the most special ones we’ve seen for the Xbox brand. It arguably has had the best year from an exclusive standpoint, putting Sony to shame with games the likes of Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The Xbox One may not be selling the most units, but it’s clear that it has some of the best games.
When people think about why they want to purchase a console, there are a number of determining factors that come to mind. For most people who buy a console though, the answer to that is which console has the best games. Personally, both consoles have amazing games to choose from, but the Xbox One has had an exceptional year, not just because it has received a small handful of exclusives, but because they have received some of the highest scores of the year.
The original Forza Horizon was an extremely popular game among Xbox owners and it was a no-brainer for Microsoft to bring back the series again in Forza Horizon 2. We’ll tell you why this open-world racer was one of the best we’ve seen all year and an 86 Metacritic score helps back that up.
The game that was a personal favorite was Sunset Overdrive. Ever since it was introduced back in 2013, this game was one I couldn’t take my eyes off of and it proved to be well worth the attention. The newest IP to come out of Insomniac Games is a smash-hit and I mean that in more than just one context.
Finally, Halo 5: Guardians will be launching sometime next year. Most Xbox owners can’t wait until then to get some Master Chief action, so Microsoft has you covered. Halo: The Master Chief Collection encompasses each of the first four iterations in the Halo series and provides unbelievable value. There may not be another game you can buy that guarantees this much play time, and even if you’ve already played the first four, who doesn’t need a refresher?
Microsoft has had an outstanding 2014. They’ve published some of the best games we’ve seen all year and the Xbox One is a must-have because of it. Games are why you want a console, so allow me to tell you about these incredible games.
‘Forza Horizon 2’
The racing genre has been one of the most active genres in the gaming industry this year. Sure, the open-world category has been full, but it always is. Racing has seen more than a handful of games launch this year, but none have come close to delivering the type of fun that Forza Horizon 2 delivered.
This open-world racer brings players to some of the most gorgeous environments we’ve seen in any racer. The terrain is absolutely stunning to race through. Players will truly love speeding through colorful fields and rain-covered streets.
This is by far the most fun to be had in any racer. The gameplay itself is addicting and impossible to just walk away from. Leveling up so you can spin the wheel of bonuses only motivates players to play more and more. From more currency to make in-game purchases to winning cars, the wheel is an addicting instance.
How perks are implemented in the game allows people to choose benefits that will help enhance their play style strengths or weaknesses. From the UI and how everything appears on-screen, Forza Horizon 2 is truly a masterful experience and one that any racing fan needs to experience.
Earning experience points for different styles of driving is an incredibly addicting aspect of this game. Finding a high point in the world and jumping it to grab some towering air is a blast, just like drifting for dozens and dozens of yards is. Forza Horizon 2 looks to reward players for being adventurous, and never, ever feels punishing.
As someone who isn’t a major racing fan, I was a bit shy to approach this game, but having played it thoroughly, it’s a personal favorite. Not only is Forza Horizon 2 one of the best racers in 2014, it’s one of the best 2014 games period.
Insomniac Games has a strong pedigree of creating some of the most fun, enjoyable and entertaining games in the industry. They continued their sterling reputation when they released Sunset Overdrive. This is by far the most fun I have had playing a game this entire generation. It is unmatched, unparallelled and unquestionably a Game of the Year candidate.
Set in the fictional world of Sunset City, Sunset Overdrive brings players into the colorful, hopeful world of the Apocalypse. Depression, fear and anguish be dammed, this game is about enjoying your time during the end of the world, not loathing it.
In what is one of the most innovative gameplay styles I’ve seen in years, Sunset Overdrive delivers a skateboard-like, free-running style of play. Whether your grinding on a rail or sprinting across a wall, you are always taking down enemies that keep you on your toes.
This is a high-octane, thrill ride that does take sometime to get used to. That’s what is so brilliant about Sunset‘s gameplay. It is something new, different and a combination of fun and intense gameplay. This game isn’t one you can just walk into and be an expert at immediately. You need to learn the mechanics and what makes things tick. It doesn’t take that long to master and when you have mastered this game, there’s no better feeling.
As you progress through the game, you are challenged to upgrade and customize your character at your own will. Being who you are is what this game is about and expressing that through your amps, clothes and weapons is all part of that.
With such a wide array of diverse gameplay, deep customization and an immersive world, Sunset Overdrive is a bonafide system seller for Xbox One. This game is worth the squeeze and so much more. Bravo Insomniac Games, this is a remarkable masterpiece and we hope to see more from this series in the future.
‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’
Halo is one of the most infamous gaming franchises and is responsible for helping to grow the very business we all enjoy. Without it, gaming would not be as big as it is. In order to celebrate this, Microsoft has released Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which brings together all four of Halo’s iterations into one game.
The first Halo received the anniversary treatment a few years back and it shows in The Master Chief Collection. While it’s not the best looking game on the Xbox One, it looks incredible when you compare it to the original Xbox version. Gameplay is an incredibly fun time and delivers a sweet, sweet dose of nostalgia for fans.
Halo 2 has also received the anniversary treatment, but this one has been optimized for the Xbox One. Visuals have been upgraded in an astounding way and it’s almost like rediscovering Halo 2 all over again. From vegetation inside and out, realism has been packed into this world. Cinematics have received a dramatic upgrade and are next-generation beautiful.
Halo 3 and Halo 4 have stellar visuals in their own right. Both games produced some of the most memorable instances we saw during all of the last generation. The gameplay is phenomenal and the story is as good as it was when they launched years ago. There is a whole lot right with these two iterations and do a fine job of setting up players for the upcoming game, Halo 5: Guardians.
When we look at this game’s multiplayer, it’s obvious it has been having its issues. Long queue times for players has been just one of the problems plaguing the mode currently, and it was recently revealed that the game won’t receive an update as soon as people thought. Strictly from a multiplayer standpoint, the game does need work, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering this collection on your Xbox One.
After all, it would be weird to have an Xbox One and not have Halo on it. The four game series is an absolute steal at the price Microsoft is retailing it for. The amount of content in this one unit is absolutely mind-blowing and staggering. Reliving incredible moments is something the industry does quite often and you can do so with Halo: The Master Chief Collection.