There’s absolutely no doubting that the Xbox One is a great console. The power of its hardware is unmatched, and it’s packed with as many features as you could possibly wish for.
It is also, however, getting demolished by its competitors in terms of sales. Despite being released at roughly the same time as the PS4, it has sold less than half the number of units. The Nintendo Switch has been out for less than a year, at the time of writing, but has already sold half as many units as the Xbox One in a fraction of the time.
It’s far, far too early to give up on Microsoft’s console, however. We’d argue that part of the problem so far has been a lack of must-have exclusives. A year of killer, Xbox One-only titles could well be enough to get things back on track.
Fortunately, 2018 is already shaping up to be just such a year. There are a raft of enticing titles coming out, which we simply can’t wait to play. Without further ado, here are the best exclusive games coming to Xbox One in 2018.
This is the big one; the Xbox exclusive which has arguably built up the most buzz heading into 2018.
Sea of Thieves is an online game, in which you and up to three friends play as pirates, doing all those buccaneering things that pirates do: sailing the high seas, battling for booty, and so on. Each of you will also undertake different responsibilities on your ship, from raising and lowering the sails, to steering, to firing the cannons. The gorgeous world is completely open to explore, although you will be guided with a series of quests and combat encounters.
The early feedback for Sea of Thieves has been extremely promising; above all else, it just sounds like an incredibly enjoyable time. In the much underserved sub-genre of pirate games, this might be the title to finally make our swashbuckling childhood dreams into a reality.
The first State of Decay title was an extremely well-executed zombie survival game, which – whilst it never reached the highest levels of fame – actually sold tremendously well. It was the fastest-selling Xbox Live Arcade game ever upon release, and went on to sell a whopping 4.5 million copies. Guess what? After all of that, they’re making a sequel… surprise!
Details are still a little thin on the ground, but for the most part it sounds like State of Decay 2 will stick close to its predecessor. It’ll be a realistic, open-world zombie game, in which you build a safe, thriving community of survivors, with a focus on the personalities of the individual characters. The big twist here is that you won’t be doing it alone. Multiplayer has been added this time around, creating the mouth-watering prospect of desperately holding back the zombie hordes with your buddies.
If we had to bet on a single Xbox One exclusive to bring home the bacon this year, commercially speaking, this would be the one.
Like the previous two games on our list, Crackdown 3 is an open world game. That’s… basically where the similarities end, though.
This game is set in the fictional, futuristic Pacific City, around which you will run, gun, jump and blow up a whole lot of stuff. Between the eye-catching weaponry and explosions, and the wide variety of character abilities, the focus in Crackdown 3 is very much on having as much fun as possible. The game will offer 4K visuals to Xbox One X owners, and – in the multiplayer mode, at least – you’ll effectively get the chance to level the entire city. Oh, and Terry Crews is voicing the main character; what more could you ask for?!
Finally, we end with something very different indeed. This title’s forebear – Ori and the Blind Forest – was an indie darling, which received almost universal acclaim. It was with some excitement, therefore, that Moon Studios’ announcement of a sequel was received.
In terms of its gameplay, the original Ori followed a fairly standard platformer/metroidvania formula. Its brilliance came from… well, everything else! The art style was imaginative, original and achingly gorgeous; the orchestral music was brilliantly arranged and extremely moving; the level design was challenging and intelligent.
We don’t know a huge amount about the sequel yet, but the crucial thing is that most of the original development team have returned, and have even been augmented by new talent. Ori and the Will of the Wisps probably won’t have a huge amount of publicity this year, but try to keep an eye out for it; when all’s said and done, this might just be the best 2018 Xbox One exclusive of the bunch.