After more than 32 hours of research and testing, our top pick goes to the NBA 2K20 Xbox One Game as one of the best Xbox One games you can buy today. It packs quite the punch with hyper-realistic graphics (down to beads of sweat on fatigued players), several gameplay modes for enterprising general managers, and a physics engine that mimics player movement after their real-life counterparts.
Choosing the best Xbox game could be a daunting task with hundreds of titles to choose from. Our evaluation focused on gameplay, age appropriateness, graphics, number of modes, storyline, replay value, multiplayer, and controls. Keep reading to learn more about the NBA 2K20 Xbox One Game and the others that made the grade.
Top 7 Best Xbox One Games
#1 NBA 2K20 Xbox One Game
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is one of the best Xbox One games thanks to hyper-realistic gameplay, stunning graphics, and the storyline-heavy MyCareer/MyGM modes, making it great for sports fans who want to become enterprising player and team managers.
- Best basketball game
- Captivating Career Mode
- Highly detailed graphics & physics
- Steep learning curve with Face Scan app
- Some players reported little difference from the 2019 version
- Very long download times
This game offers tons of gameplay modes, including your standard single game and revamped MyCareer mode. MyCareer mode takes the player from draft signing to legacy, providing full editing control over attributes, defensive characteristics, and animations. Game badges are awarded after completing several milestones, which can be redeemed for player upgrades. MyGM and MyLeague modes also allow you to control a team or a franchise throughout one or several seasons. Consider this game more of a fit for ages 12 and up.
This game’s graphics engine is mind-boggling, with the smallest details captured, such as beads of sweat or grimaced expressions after a foul call. All players look identical to their real-life counterparts with very few exceptions, down to mannerisms and shot angles. In-game gameplay is captivating, with Kevin Harlan and Greg Anthony’s commentary synching very well with in-game action without getting too repetitive. If PlayStation is your console of choice, check out the best PS4 games instead.
#2 FIFA 20 Standard Edition – Xbox One Game
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to this Xbox One game’s all new VOLTA mode, sheer number of licensed teams and tournaments, and realistic gameplay, this is the best soccer game.
- Best soccer game
- Highly engaging VOLTA mode
- Fluid mechanics and realistic gameplay
- Some players may find too many microtransactions
- VOLTA could present more dynamic options after losses
- Defensive AI could be improved
The gameplay is very fluid with a slightly tweaked engine from last year’s game. Mechanics are on point – players move with stunning fluidity and inertia is felt, making it harder to spam goals. Like our #1 pick NBA 2K20, the game owns the rights to hundreds of licenses around teams and tournaments, making this the most realistic soccer simulation. Stadium sounds, down to goal posts smacks, chants, and referee whistles, sound very realistic.
Our favorite feature with this game is VOLTA mode, a street soccer simulation that takes a customized player from the streets to professional leagues through a series of game challenges, including 3 on 3 ball in hard-scrabble locations like inner-city London or the bright lights of Tokyo. Players also have the choice of creating venues and customizing pitch and wall size. All in all, we recommend this game for players ages 12 and up due to its advanced level controls and expansive menu screens. If this game sounds a little out of your price range, try out one of the best free Windows games.
#3 LEGO Harry Potter: Collection Xbox One Game
Award: BEST FOR ADVENTURE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best Xbox One game for kids, featuring Harry Potter-themed gameplay for people who like to solve puzzles and challenges.
- High engaging adventure game
- Highly engaging VOLTA mode
- Outstanding graphics
- May be too childish for adults
- Can be slow-paced in certain stages
This game is highly engaging using puzzles. In the lead up to battle Lord Voldemort, players control Lego characters and solve puzzles to discover new levels and unlock characters. Entire scenes are also beautifully presented with entire depictions built using Lego bricks. Two players can also play at a single time in co-op mode with an intuitive split-screen dynamic.
We love the fact all scenes are immersed and easily integrated with. Graphics are also sharp, especially in handheld mode. Though the game captures all seven books in the series well, we wish it could be a bit more challenging, as it tended to be linear at times. For more great titles check out some of the overall best video games.
#4 Just Dance 2020 Xbox One Game
Award: BEST FITNESS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best multiplayer video game for active people thanks to 500 songs and a fun in-game award system that awards badges for completing dance moves successfully.
- Excellent award system
- Very entertaining Kids Mode
- Massive song library & variety of dance moves
- Menu system could be more intuitive
- Requires membership for additional songs
- Some players cited too many kiddy songs
This game feels like you’re being productive by getting you off the couch and actually moving. Plus, this game is super fun and appropriate for young people (ages 10 and up). The premise is simple – play a song and match your own dance moves to the game’s own dance sequences, depicted using silhouette figures with icons and arrows guiding you to the next move. Points are awarded based on accuracy, with accolades such as “Super” and “Megastar” flashing on the screen to the winners.
One of our favorite features is this game’s award system. The goal is to rack up as many points as possible to achieve the status of ‘Megastar’. Many side challenges award mojo, which can be redeemed for in-game prizes. There is even a ‘Sweat Mode’ which estimates calorie burn. With so many modes to choose from, we never felt bored with more than 8 hours of gameplay over a week-long period. If you’re looking to game on the go, try one of the best iPad games.
#5 Kingdom Hearts III Xbox One Game
Award: EXCELLENT ROLE-PLAYING GAME
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is one of the best role-playing games for the Xbox One, great for Disney and Final Fantasy fans who like a mix of strategy and button mashing.
- Best on a budget
- Expansive worlds
- Great graphics and sound
- The pacing could be quicker at times
- May have too many cut-scenes for some people
- Some users reported low difficulty level
We love this game’s controls and menu system, which uses a combination of attack buttons and more strategic items such as magic to blitz through challenges – ideal for kids ages 12 and up. The gameplay is a fun mix of strategy and attacking, where you are executing different keyblade combinations to unlock new moves or fighting the Heartless at a moments notice. Unlike NBA 2K20 and FIFA’s multiple game modes, this game offers a single story mode, which is best for players who enjoy a more linear experience. But, it is comparable to some of the best Xbox One games of 2014.
The immersion into Disney’s world is incredible. Common Disney attractions serve as backdrops. Popular Disney characters such as Goofy and Donald can even be recruited to attack the enemy. Graphics are very crisp and capture the magic of the Disney brand very well. We were very impressed with how well rounded this game is. This title will have even the best board games collecting dust.
#6 Hello Neighbor Xbox One Game
Award: BEST STRATEGY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is one of the best Xbox games for older adults, a first person horror game great for solving complicated puzzles using stealth tactics and lots of thinking.
- Great for older adults
- Lots of twist and turns; a thinking game
- Smart AI main character full of surprises
- Controls could be a bit more intuitive
- Difficulty level could be a bit intense at times
- Occasional glitches (e.g. characters running through walls)
The goal of Hello Neighbor is to sneak into a neighbor’s house and avoid detection using an endless array of options, such as setting traps and solving puzzles. Gameplay becomes progressively more challenging as the neighbor adapts his behavior based on your previous actions. We feel the game’s biggest strength is its AI.
Graphics are also on point, offering more of a cartoonish, Pixar vibe. The focus is definitely more on gameplay than the graphics. There is only one mode (storyline) and it doesn’t offer the same open world experience as our #7 pick Grand Theft Auto V or the reward system of our #4 pick Just Dance 2020 Xbox One Game. It is a game clearly designed for more strategic thinkers looking for a challenge. Compare this to any of the best open world games for Xbox One.
#7 Grand Theft Auto V Premium Edition Xbox One Game
Award: BEST MULTI-PLAYER
WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to mission based and open world gameplay, this action game is best for players who prefer a vivid storyline and die-hard action shooter.
- Unparalleled story mode
- Very realistic graphics and long run time
- Open world environment
- May be too violent for some players
- Cannot go inside of buildings
- Some players reported too many cutscenes
The goal of this Xbox One game is to complete a series of missions that award money and prestige to three hardened criminals. Missions usually consist of heists, stunt races, and assassinations, with the goal of climbing through the ranks and being recognized by other members of the criminal underworld. Gameplay is very immersive, taking place in an open-world environment that allows players to interact with passersby and steal any car or plane in sight. Game play modes are plentiful, including story line mode, side missions, and an expansive multiplayer option good enough for us to consider it the best multiplayer video game.
In terms of graphics, this Xbox One game shines, with a high level of detail on foregrounds and backgrounds. Smoking gun barrels, ripples of water, and tree leaves are depicted with stunning accuracy. In-game physics are also solid with passersby flying off of speed vehicle hoods with stunning realism. Given the high level of violence, we recommend this game for players ages 14 and up.
How We Decided
In determining the best Xbox One game to buy, we explored gameplay, age appropriateness, graphics, number of modes, storyline, replay value (online multiplayer was a large part of this) , and controls.
Gameplay should be captivating and enthralling, preferably using parallels to the real world and hyperrealism with player physics and motion. It should also be challenging, with milestones to aim for. For example, our # pick Just Dance 2020 uses a comprehensive reward system that allows players to “unlock” features by nailing dance modes.
Graphics are key, with vivid and detailed representations a must. We love our #1 pick NBA 2K20 for this reason, with minute details such as beads of sweat and hardwood floors captured well. The number of modes is also an extension of gameplay, which our #2 pick FIFA 20 Standard Edition does really well with the introduction of VOLTA’s streetball mode.
We are also big fans of storylines to keep players engaged. For example, our #7 pick Grand Theft Auto series follows the lives of three criminals as they participate in shoot to kill and robbery missions. It is a sordid tale in betrayal, violence, and the gritty life, which we appreciate. Lastly, look for intuitive controls. With the exception of Just Dance, all of our picks have controls that are easily in master in less than five minutes.
Best Xbox One Games Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
Gameplay should be immersive, ideal with open-world formats that allow players to explore the environment. If no open-world format, we love solid in-game mechanics with realistic player motion and depictions. There should be several modes, each with varying difficulty levels and types of missions to keep all kinds of players from the cerebral to the button masher fully engaged.
- Age Appropriateness
Our recommendations try to shoot for games that can be enjoyed by the widest range of people. With few exceptions (e.g. Grand Theft Auto for young children) and some of the more strategic games like Kingdom of Hearts and Hello Neighbor, most could be enjoyed by casual or serious gamers of all ages.
The greater the detail, the greater the graphics. We love to see hyper-realistic expressions, even in cartoon characters. NBA 2K20 does this exceptionally well with realistic player depictions that match their real-life counterparts. This is especially a selling point for the best Xbox One games for casual gamers.
- Number of Modes
The more modes, the more likely it’ll capture a wider audience. Whether it is a story mode or straight button masher mode, there should be enough to present a challenge for most players.
A game is only as valuable as its storyline. Our #7 pick Grand Theft Auto is arguably the most engaging one, presented in a gritty urban world where three criminals take on challenges and meet the baddest killers along the way.
- Replay Value
We love the best Xbox One games with high replay value. At a minimum, games should be engaging enough to play for 50 hours, which is made possible by having multiple game modes/unparalleled story mode, along with a comprehensive in-game award and multi-player system that keeps players on high alert.
Our criteria also factored in multiplayer. We love Grand Theft Auto V for this reason, with up to 20 players allowed to reign terror in an open world environment with no lag and no reason in keeping their fellow players alive.
Controls should be simple enough as to not cause frustration. Except for Just Dance, all are heavily control based.