The 11 Best Games For The Xbox OneS

You're heading to the store to get an Xbox One right now, and need to know which games to get. (Land the plane, first, of course.) Or you're at work or in school, daydreaming about what you want to play next. Or maybe you're suiting up for a battle in the console war, cinching on your armor and trying to remember which games will best help you make the argument for Microsoft's new console. We are here to help.

As with most new consoles, the selection of games on Xbox One is a bit limited. The selection of good games? Even more so. Below, find a list of the games we recommend for Microsoft's machine. We will, of course, be updating this list regularly as more games are released for the Xbox One. We eventually cap these lists at 12 games, adding and subtracting as need be. For now...

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

It'd be easy to dismiss the zombie horde-simulator Dead Rising 3 as a simple case of quantity over quality. Happily, despite the undeniably impressive hordes of the undead the game regularly throws on screen, Dead Rising 3 is as mechanically refined as the series has ever been. It's set in the walled-off sandbox of Los Perdidos, a thinly veiled Los Angeles stand-in that has become overrun with the undead. The gameworld isn't as big as you might expect, but it compensates for its stature with a welcome variety and verticality that makes it easy to spend hours just exploring. Dead Rising 3 is at its considerable best when arming you one of its hundreds of craftable weapons and tasking you with making your way through a horde of slow-moving shamblers, sort of like the world's best limb-lopping football running back. It rarely, if ever, gets old.

A Good Match For: Fans of wanton zombie destruction, B-movie enthusiasts, completionists, anyone who's ever wanted to drive a flamethrower-enhanced steamroller through a crowd of the undead.

Not a Good Match For: The squeamish or the easily frustrated. Dead Rising 3 falls down when it comes time to fight the game's bosses, dated-feeling damage-sponges who are likely to try the patience of even the most dedicated gamer.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

We were expecting LEGO Marvel Super Heroes to be a lot of fun; the LEGO games' brand of chaotic action and meta-humor seemed a good fit for the sprawling Marvel universe. What we weren't expecting was a game this massive in scope, this ambitious, and this impressive. Not only does Super Heroes let you swing through an open-world Manhattan as Spider-Man or tear through the air as Iron Man, the game's hub is on the SHIELD Helicarrier, and you can play as Squirrel Girl. Super Heroes provides the freedom of a Grand Theft Auto with the characters of Marvel comics, with a seemingly endless supply of in-jokes and references for true believers.

A Good Match For: Comics fans, people who liked the Avengers movie, anyone who's ever wanted to fly around New York City as Iron Man, LEGO enthusiasts.

Not a Good Match For: Fans of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, people who hate The Avengers, and those who want precision controls, particularly in the air.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

After years of changes both minor and major, the Assassin's Creed series had begun to feel in a rut. Finally this year, with the pirate-themed Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the series has taken a major and unequivocal step forward. It doesn't lose all of the series' bad habits—hello, follow missions—but it improves many longstanding problems with better stealth, easier-to-navigate cities, and sidequests that actually feel like they help make your character more powerful. Best of all, it adds naval combat and a vast Caribbean overworld that make the game feel like, in the words of Luke Plunkett, "Wind Waker for grown-ups."

The next-gen version of the game looks incredibly good, and while the Xbox One version lacks the PS4's 1080p resolution, it still looks plenty nice. Add on the excellent single-player expansion Freedom Cry and Assassin's Creed IV becomes a cinch to recommend.

A Good Match For: Pirate fans; history buffs; anyone who's ever wanted to pull up alongside a British frigate, grab a rope and swing from one deck to the other before fighting their way up the deck to take on the captain. Basically, anyone who's ever wanted to be a pirate.

Not a Good Match For: Those who demand precision controls. The on-foot controls in Black Flag are probably the best of the series, but they're still a far cry from where a third-person stealth/platformer should be. It's time for a crouch button, Ubisoft.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for the game.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

Strider isn't really one for ceremony: You're thrown into the action with essentially no narrative BS or tutorial, nothing like that. You're a guy with a sword, your job is to wreck all the cyber-soldiers and other various bad guys in your way. Then again, do you really need any more story than that? Not really, not when the game is as fundamentally enjoyable as Strider—which really just feels right. It plays like a particularly groovy memory of the classic NES version, a sort ofNinja Gaiden meets Super Metroid thing that, well, is about as cool as that description sounds.

A Good Match For: Fans of ninjas, fans of robots, fans of Strider.

Not a Good Match For: Those looking for something casual to pick up and play; Strider is never unfairly punishing, but it can be a difficult game.

Watch our impressions of the game.

Purchase From: Available digitally from the Xbox One Store

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

Hey, what's this golf game doing on our list? It's not here to enable us to make a "hole in Xbox One" pun, because that just doesn't make sense. It's on here, because, what do you know?, it's a good arcade golf game that is greatly improved by Xbox Live. You ostensibly play Powerstar Golf solo, but the game persistently pulls in shot info from your friends and strangers, showing you where your friends' best shots every time you're about to swing a club. You'll constantly know how your friends fared and how far off the world record you are. You can also play rounds against ghosts of your friends' players or borrow their customized caddies.

Powerstar plays a bit like Sony's Hot Shots Golf, eschewing visual realism and letting you earn and arm your golfer with special shot abilities. Powerstar incorporates a role-playing-game-style leveling system that also will keep you playing.

A Good Match For: Xbox One gamers looking for something a bit less violent and pretty well connected in a passive-online social-networking kind of way (as opposed to an active head-to-head multiplayer way). Think of it is a game that gets much of the good out of Xbox Live without any of the awfulness.

Not a Good Match For: Seekers of the cutting edge. Powerstar Golf rounds out an Xbox One library, but it's not the game you'll be bragging about or feeling gets the most out of your system. Also, you might not love the game's randomized/optional-microtransaction approach to obtaining new gear and skills.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Available digitally from the Xbox One online store.

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

Need for Speed: Rivals takes the trademark speed-obsessed arcade racing of the Need for Speed series and dials up the jerk-o-meter, casting players as either a street-racer or a cop out to ruin one another's fun. It's one of the most gorgeous next-gen games out there, offering solid performance and beautiful 1080p graphics, sure. But the real draw is the gameplay, that trademark sense of speed that'll have you whooping and fist-pumping as you pull off impossible jumps and daring escapes. Easily one of the most flat-out enjoyable next-gen games available, and a great showcase for new gaming hardware.

A Good Match For: Speed freaks, jerks, people who like ramping a car off of a cliff while pop music plays, anarchists.

Not a Good Match For: Anybody who wants a game with characters they care about. Everyone in Rivals is a jerk, and the dialogue is just so, so awful.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

The sequel Popcap's much-loved ball-plonking simulator Peggle is basically… well, it's basically more Peggle. But that's no bad thing, particularly when dipped in the sort of shiny production values seen in the new console version. Shimmering surround-sound and a lovely, adaptive musical score all help amplify the game—Peggle might not need big-budget production values, but it benefits from them nonetheless. The recent free addition of local multiplayer makes an already fun game even more fun. Peggle 2 may not be the ultimate way to show off your new next-gen console's horsepower, but it's one of the most laid-back and pleasing ways to enjoy the system.

A Good Match For: Peggle nuts, anyone looking for a fun way to kill time with a friend, classical music fans.

Not a Good Match For: Anyone looking for a hardcore graphics showcase for the Xbox One, Beethoven-haters.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Available digitally from the Xbox One store.

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

One of the showpieces of the Xbox One, Ryse: Son of Rome looks great and plays pretty well. The graphics likely have broader appeal, but there is decent depth to the game's reaction/combo-based combat system. The game tells the story of a Roman soldier who becomes disaffected by the rule of the emperor Nero. While the narrative beats may not surprise, the game's setting is fresh and helps Ryse feel like a worthwhile vacation from drearier blockbuster adventures. A co-op multiplayer arena battle mode extends the value of the game.

Ryse is incredibly gory, by the way. That may or may not be your thing. We don't recommend it for the gore, but we can't deny that there's a satisfying crunch to the combat that makes this game one of the more fun and spectacular Xbox One games available at launch.

A Good Match For: People who like the spectacle of a Call of Duty or even a God of War campaign but would like a change of scenery.

Not a Good Match For: People who are looking for more than a rental's worth of content.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

Who is Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for? It's for people who A) like Plants vs. Zombies and B) like hardcore online multiplayer shooters. Basically, weirdoes. Not a huge group, but if you fall within that small sliver of the venn diagram, you'll find a game that's easy to love and difficult to stop playing. The Xbox One version comes with an extra mode that lets you and a split-screen buddy fight off waves of oncoming zombies, Gears of War horde style. Goofy and rambunctious like a Saturday morning cartoon; and just as colorfully violent, too.

A Good Match For: Shooter fans or the shooter-curious; Garden Warfare is a great way to get into online multiplayer.

Not a Good Match For: Casual players who love Plants vs. Zombies but have never played/don't like online multiplayer games.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Study our tips for playing the game.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

Who needs arms and legs to be the star of a brilliant platformer? Not Rayman. The second game in the resurrected cartoon action franchise still sports an incredibly lush art style but also shows off sharp ideas and a ton of variety. It makes the leap to next-gen consoles in predictably fine fashion, with an absurd amount of slappy, goofy game to go around.

A Good Match for: Co-op fanatics. Legends is a very good game for solo play but it's great for folks to team up and take on.

Not a Good Match for: Those wanting turn-your-brain-off platforming. Rayman Legends' occasionally challenging difficulty requires quick reflexes. For the most part, there's no coasting here.

Read our review.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

Everyone likes Die Hard, right? What if instead of a dangerous skyscraper with a Japanese name, that movie had taken place on a dangerous island with a Japanese name? What if instead of John McClane with no shoes, it had starred Lara Croft with no sleeves? "Now I have a bow and arrow… ho ho ho." And so we have Tomb Raider, an action-minded reboot that forcefully injects new life into the beleaguered Tomb Raider franchise. The "definitive" next-gen version of the game is just that, a better-looking version of last year's already good-looking game.

A Good Match For: Bow-hunting enthusiasts, wolf-haters, anyone who wants a game that'll show off the graphical prowess of their new next-gen console.

Not a Good Match For: The squeamish, wolf-lovers, those who have already played the 2013 game. The Definitive Edition is lovely looking, but it doesn't add any new gameplay or feel all that different from the game that came out last year.

Read our review of the original and our thoughts on the Definitive Edition.

Watch it in action.

Purchase From: Amazon | Wal-Mart | Best Buy | Gamestop

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:

Update 3/10/2014: Four games walk on to the list: Rayman Legends, Strider, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and the newly multiplayer'd Peggle 2 bring our grand total of games up to eleven. One more and we'll be at twelve, and will have to start cutting games to make additions.

Update 2/14/2014: Our first addition to the Xbox One Bests list is the lovely-looking Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition. Go, Lara, Go.

The 11 Best Games For The Xbox One

Want more of the best games on each system? Check out our complete directory:

The Best PC GamesThe Best PS4 GamesThe Best Xbox One GamesThe Best Wii U GamesThe Best 3DS GamesThe Best PS Vita GamesThe Best Xbox 360 GamesThe Best PS3 GamesThe Best Wii GamesThe Best iPhone GamesThe Best iPad GamesThe Best Android GamesThe Best PSP GamesThe Best Facebook GamesThe Best DS GamesThe Best Mac GamesThe Best Browser GamesThe Best PC Mods