Best Xbox One games 2014: Next-gen shenanigans
The selection of Xbox One games is still pretty limited, but there are enough options out there to warrant a best Xbox One games 2014 round-up so you know what’s worth buying. Nobody wants to waste their hard-earned on a festering turd of a game. Here are my picks of the bunch, having owned an Xbox One from day one.
Ignore the awful opening song, which is a considerable step down from the intro of Trials Evolution. There’s a treasure trove of fun, satisfaction, pain and misery in a graphically pleasing package to be had. Like the first two games, you have to get from A to B without crashing as fast as possible. You can play against the world, strive for platinum medals on every level or just try to complete the particularly savage Extreme courses. Inferno IV, I’m looking at you.
Child of Light
Role-playing game fans need Child of Light in their life. Honestly, this arcade title is artistically brilliant, surprisingly strategic and worth investing the 12 or so hours needed to finish it. Like with the classic Grandia on PlayStation, games play out in turns, with a time bar indicating when you and your foes next get to attack. In between fights you get to fly around a beautiful, hand-crafted world.
A classic NES beat-’em-up has been given one hell of a graphical makeover for the Xbox One generation – and boy is it a button-mashing blast. Ignore the complaints about Killer Instinct being money-grabbing, you can quite happily get a few hours of 2D beat-’em-up thrills out of the one free character. Get addicted and a mere £11.99 gives you all the new characters including robot death-bringer, Fulgore.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Call of Duty: Ghosts sticks to the drip-feed system we’ve seen since Infinity Ward cottoned on to the addictive nature of online first-person shooting action. On Xbox One it gets shinier visuals – and that’s about it. Admittedly a lazy approach, but trust me when I say this is one of the most complete games in the series. For quick bursts of fast-paced action against the world, there is little else out there that can match it.
Not since the days of World Cup Italia ’90 and FIFA 95 on the Mega Drive have I really cared much about football games. I’d rather be in the pub watching a game. But as footie games go, FIFA 14 on Xbox One is unrivalled. Well it would be, seeing as there’s no other football game out there. Silky smooth visuals, game modes you can get lost in, fluid controls ─ the beautiful game has never been so, well, beautiful.
Once the reserve (sorry) of PC gaming, strategy simulator games are now regularly allowed to venture into console land. Zoo Tycoon is the latest title to do so and is actually pretty fun if you can put up with a somewhat clunky interface. Manage a zoo, look after the animals and rake in serious cash. Roaring entertainment for all ages.
Forza 5 was the crown jewel in the launch line-up. As racers go, nothing looks as good. It’s streets ahead of the Gran Turismo series, which to me has felt stagnant and tedious since the third outing. Any petrolhead gamer needs Forza 5. End of. Even if you dislike Jeremy Clarkson and James May’s dulcet tones as they educate you on certain cars.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Admittedly I was reserved about adding in Ryse: Son of Rome. But there’s something strangely compelling about hacking off limbs in strategic-based combat. Ryse happens to be one of the best looking games on Xbox One, too, making it a great way to show off your new console. Just try to ignore the laugh-out-loud moments of terrible, terrible dialogue.
Dead Rising 3
If the allure of shooting zombies with an array of bizarre weapons still shines bright for you, Dead Rising 3 is worth adding to the collection. Sure, killing the undead gets repetitive and, yes, the story is pretty short, but that’s the price you pay for fun as mindless and predictable as your enemies. At least you get to explore the town a bit in between shootouts.
Rayman Legends stands in a small crowd when it comes to Xbox One platformers. Not that you should care because this is one of the best games of its kind in a long time. Young and old will get sucked into this addictive 2D classic, which involves jumping over obstacles, saving Teensies and completing various brilliant minigames. Probably the most colourful game on Xbox One, too.
Imagine Call of Duty with big robots, the ability to run along walls and jet packs. That’s Titanfall. If you like first-person action, gigantic weapons of mass destruction and maps big enough to make you feel lost, Titanfall should be your first port of call. The gameplay is fresh enough to make it stand apart from its spiritual predecessors.
The Project Spark beta is a blast if you like to build your own mini-games. Watch Dogs is also a good Grand Theft Auto stop-gap until an official Rockstar game arrives. Wolfenstein: The New Order is supposed to be a fun blaster that cares little about originality.