The Xbox eco-system may have been thought of as the multiplayer machine during the 360 days, yet it didn’t take long for Xbox One to evolve into a brilliant platform in which to enjoy great first-party and multi-platform single-player adventures as well. Sadly, Xbox One’s tenure came to an end in 2020 and was replaced by the Xbox Series S|X, so we thought it worth celebrating the 10 best single-player Xbox One games with an official ranking. These are the titles ideal for those wanting to get be gripped by a solo narrative.
Whether you’re into assassin simulators that provide infinite kill opportunities or physics-bending third-person action games unafraid to toy with reality, Xbox One is full of great solo ventures set to delight players that like an engrossing narrative. Better yet, we’ll even pull in the best price for each game featured below currently available, saving you time and money if you’re yet to check them out. So, here goes, these are the 10 best single-player Xbox One games you can play.
10. Hitman 2
Piggybacking off of the success of 2016’s wildly successful Hitman reboot, the sequel did away with the episodic release structure to launch as a full game. Thank heavens, too, because Hitman 2 is the best the series has ever been, dropping the precise Agent 47 into all manner of tropical, luscious or sometimes bitter locations and giving players near endless ways to take out targets.
One minute you might be in Miami tampering with an F1 car, the next you’ll be invading a beach-side home. Every chapter in Hitman 2 is its own playground of potential chaos and destruction, but then there’s always the option to play it sneaky too. What’s more, Hitman 2 looks absolutely fantastic on either Xbox One S or Xbox One X, using the hardware’s full graphical capabilities to make these many destinations engross and entice you further before you make your kill.
9. Quantum Break
The first exclusive title to make our list of the 10 best single-player Xbox One games, Quantum Break was the long-awaited follow-up to Remedy’s other Xbox exclusive release, Alan Wake, casting players as a time-bending action dude. The protagonist’s powers range from “Time Blast”, which freezes time around enemies so he can rush them, all the way to “Time Dodge” that sees him easily dodge incoming fire. These supernatural powers combine with tight third-person shooting action to make Quantum Break a must play Xbox One game for solo players.
It’s not just action spectacle players of Quantum Break can look forward to, though, but also a gripping narrative. Gameplay segments are actually punctuated by live-action episodes of a TV show that shows events from the perspectives of the bad guys, changing slightly depending on the decisions you make. This makes Quantum Break a gameplay experience like no other, allowing it to easily make our list.
8. Sunset Overdrive
Before developer Insomniac Games went off to make Marvel’s Spider-Man on that rival console platform, they were having fun with zany humour and inventive traversal in 2014 Xbox exclusive Sunset Overdrive. Taking place in a version of the near future where an infected soda drink has turned people into mutants, it’s your job to scurry along rooftops and skid along ziplines to aid regular citizens in need of your help.
A lot of your time in Sunset Overdrive is spent getting to grips with creative weaponry, bouncing on car roofs and gunning down legions of mutants. The plot might be nonsensical and the characters a little paper thin, but the truth is that this is more than made up for by a vibrant world, cool weapons and the ability to get around without ever having to touch the ground. You won’t be able to play it anywhere else, so don’t miss out on Sunset Overdrive as one of the 10 best single-player Xbox One games.
The second game from Remedy to appear on this list after Quantum Break, Control may have only released last year but already its earned its place as one of the most interesting single-player narratives. You play as Jesse Faden, an unassuming woman who happens across a mysterious organisation while in search of here lost brother. What follows is a spiral trap of weird themes and supernatural gunplay, all as you plunge deeper into the building known only as The Oldest House.
Jessie acquires various upgrades during her search, including the ability to fly up and hover in addition to telekinesis. These you use to do battle with an evil alien force known as The Hiss that have invaded The Oldest House, testing your ability to survive. Control makes our list of the 10 best single-player Xbox One games simply because it’s unlike anything else, being a different kind of third-person shooter that has you guessing from beginning to end.
6. Halo 5: Guardians
Living up to the highs of Halo 1, 2 and 3 was always going to be a tricky task, and while Halo 5: Guardians might not quite be as epic as those games it’s still a well-rounded sci-fi shooting experience – some would say the best on the Xbox One platform. It follows the Chief’s journey to track down the construct of his AI partner, while the other half focusses on Fireteam Osiris’ attempts to locate the Spartan soldier. Halo 5 sets the foundation for quite the confrontation.
Alongside this epic campaign, however, is more of the trademark multiplayer action the Halo series is famous for, but we still also considered it one of the 10 best single-player Xbox One games. The campaign portion doesn’t outstay its welcome, but what is there is action-packed, thrilling, and features some of the tightest first-person gunplay console players can pick up. Don’t miss out on it.
5. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
If you thought the expansive worlds of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey was big, take a breath because Valhalla raises the bar and scope once again by setting you off within an incredibly rich version of 9th century England. It centres on all-new protagonist Eivor – playable male or female – who ventures to the English isle in search of a new home. This involves raiding Anglo-Saxon camps, taking down templar enemies and building up your own settlement of Ravensthorpe to truly live the ideal life of a Viking.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla even finds time to shake up the series format, doing away with the emphasis on finding new weapons and loot by instead letting you continually upgrade your existing equipment. Discovering elements in the world also feels more natural this time around thanks to a less cluttered map; you instead head towards different coloured markers and find a surprise every time. This combines with a more brutal take on combat to really immerse you in the pillaging lifestyle. It’s instantly one of the 10 best single-player Xbox One games as the series has never been better.
4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Xbox One players had been left wanting for a great single-player Star Wars games for the entire generation, but in 2019 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order arrived to change all that. Developed by the folks behind Titanfall and Apex Legends, it tells the story of a young padawan who has forgotten the ways of the force in light of Order 66’s events. He’s soon pulled out of hiding, however, taken on a mission to protect the next generation of jedi.
Combat is a lot more tactical and slow-paced compared to previous Star Wars games where you play a jedi, with players forced to approach enemies wisely rather than hurl them endlessly in the hopes of succeeding. This eventually combines with a suite of force powers like push, freeze and double jump to give you the feeling that Cal Kestis is again learning how to become one with the force. Not only is it one of the best single-player Xbox One games, but one of the best Star Wars games period.
3. Red Dead Redemption 2
If you thought Rockstar outdid themselves with the incredibly realistic portrayal of America in GTA V, wait until you roll the clock back and step into the Old West as seen in Red Dead Redemption 2. This second game is actually a prequel to the 2010 original, depicting events leading up to the time where John Marston is forced to hunt former members of his gang. This time you step into the shoes of Arthur Morgan, a rough and tough outlaw fighting to survive against the twilight cowboy years.
Red Dead Redemption 2 might set you off within a fully functioning adaptation of The Frontier, but there’s a strong emphasis on narrative here. Arthur is a man just trying to make ends meet, and as the campaign advances, you really grow to know him and all his various relationships with his fellow gang members. Needless to say, if you want to truly get lost within another place and time, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best single-player Xbox One games.
2. The Outer Worlds
People had been craving a satirical Western RPG ever since Fallout Vegas nigh perfected the concept way back during the Xbox 360 era. So, with Fallout 76’s live-service model disappointing players, Obsidian Entertainment took things into their own hands to create a spiritual successor. The result is The Outer Worlds, a space-set adventure where you can upgrade and customise your character while getting to know new companions and embark on a far-future set adventure.
You play as one of the last survivors of a colony ship, swiftly awoken by a mad scientist who tasks you with securing enough resources to wake up the remaining colonists. What follows is a witty and eccentric journey that works out to be one of the best single-player Xbox One games, working as a full-fledged RPG yet functioning well enough as a traditional first-person shooter to cater for all crowds.
1. Gears 5
Following on from the success of Gears of War 4, fans were left waiting with bated breath at how that game’s crazy cliffhanger would be handled in the follow-up. Gears 5 luckily didn’t disappoint, seeing the Fenix family take a backseat to instead focus on new character Kait Diaz that must dip into her Locust history to work out where she comes from. It’s the same epic-feeling cover shooting action fans will love, albeit with a story that’s a lot more personal.
Better still, Gears 5 introduced a whole host of new mechanics never seen before in the series. Firstly, levels are no longer entirely linear, with the game’s two centre chapters setting you off within ice and desert-like locations where you can explore at your own place. Then, your AI assistant Jack is now handier than ever, equipped with several attack abilities to let you take down enemies more tactically. It simply doesn’t get any better than Gears 5, hence why it tops our list of the 10 best single-player Xbox One games.
Already played a bunch of the single-player Xbox One games listed above or simply are craving more solo-centric goodness? Below you’ll find a list of honourable mentions, those Xbox One titles that just barely missed our list but are still perfectly primed to scratch that single-player itch. Also, as before, you’ll find the lowest current price for each listed underneath.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara’s rebooted adventures may have first kicked off in 2013, but this 2015 sequel improved upon the foundation set there to create one of the most fun action-adventure experiences around. As the title suggests, rise of the Tomb Raider places you in Lara’s shoes while she is still on the up and up, tasking you with survive the Siberian wilderness while fending off the evil Trinity organisation. Explore, survive and take down – Rise of the Tomb Raider is rebooted perfection.
Grand Theft Auto V
While it’s hard to imagine any Xbox One player still not having played GTA V by this point, we’d be remiss not to at least include it in our honourable mentions. You’ll explore this unbelievably vibrant rendition of Los Santos, committing crimes, pulling off heists and just generally walking on the opposite side of the law as any one of the game’s three distinct characters. GTA V is the true open-world promise brought to life, proving nobody does it quite like Rockstar.
The Witcher 3
Arguably even trouncing Skyrim for the title of best Fantasy RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the sprawling story of titular monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, who must make his way through The Continent in the hopes of tracking down his ward. Doing so involves taking on contracts, travelling across country, always engaging with some of the best mission design ever pulled off in a modern open world game. Single-player Xbox One games don’t get too much better than this.
This gory and rumbunctious follow-up to 2016’s Doom didn’t disappoint when it released on Xbox One earlier this year. Equipping the player with all manner of effective weaponry and a chainsaw, Doom Eternal challenges them to rip and tear their way through an Earth that is being ravaged by hell. The highly lauded ‘push-forward’ com bat system, in which players are encouraged to be aggressive in combat, returns to truly make the demons fear you. Solo Xbox One players will find a lot of joy in Doom Eternal.
Watch Dogs 2
While Watch Dogs: Legion may have allowed players to explore a dystopian London by “hacking anything and becoming anyone”, Ubisoft’s open-world hackathon first found its groove with Marcus Holloway’s adventure set in contemporary San Francisco. Watch Dogs 2 is truly a hacker’s paradise, letting you take control as a DedSec Operative by remotely controlling cars, cameras and other digital products. Open-world games on Xbox One don’t get much better than Watch Dogs 2 – especially for single-player gamers.
Batman: Arkham Knight
If you’re an Xbox One players that’s ever wanted to convincingly step into the shoes of DC’s Dark Knight, Batman: Arkham Knight is the third-person action game for you. While technically the third game in Rocksteady’s acclaimed series, players new and familiar can jump right in to experience satisfying free-flow combat and become immersed within a version of Gotham taken hold by Scarecrow. Featuring the voices of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, Batman: Arkham Knight is a Triple-A single-player Xbox One game that impresses.