The Xbox One is the watercooler successor to the Xbox 360.
The third console from Microsoft had a rough launch. When shown off to the world for the first time, the presentation was more focused on the non-gaming entertainment you could do with the system. What really rubbed people the wrong way was all the anti-consumer features that were going to be included. The system would have to be connected to Microsoft's servers every 12 hours or else the system wouldn't work. The system required the second gen Kinect to always be connected. Used games might be possible, but it would be up to publisher to decide that. Also, the system would not be backwards compatible with any past Xbox 360 or Original Xbox titles. It also forced a rename of the original Xbox, since most people colloquially called it the Xbox One.
After getting thoroughly chewed out by everyone (including a few deep jabs from Sony at E3 2013), Microsoft was force to renege on most of the controversial features. The system still launched at $499 though. Microsoft eventually got wise and got rid of all the people responsible for the controversy. They eventually brought in people who knew the Xbox was a gaming brand first and foremost. They did add a ton of Xbox 360 title to Backwards compatibility and even a few Original Xbox titles. Along the way, Microsoft snatched up a ton of developers to make exclusive games for them. The system even got some decent console exclusives (Cuphead and PUBG).
Eventually,two new redesigns of the system were released. The first was a smaller, more compact version called the Xbox One S. Its 40% smaller, a bit more powerful than the original model, capable of playing 4k Blurays, and was the first Xbox since the original to include an internal power supply. The second was a bit of an overhaul, the One X. This included all the enhancements of the One S, but allowed certain titles to be played in proper 4k resolution and with HDR.
Microsoft has since announced the Xbox Series X for launch in Holiday 2020, but have promised to keep the platform alive. They've gone so far as to say there won't be any exclusive Series X titles for the first few years. Meaning both systems will have the latest first party titles from Microsoft. Certain games will even come with a copy for Series X so you don't have to buy it again.
Xbox Live Gold Required for online play. Can import and use your Xbox 360 profile.
Achievements will be ported from Xbox 360 along with your profile
Mandatory game installs of even disc-based games
Games with Gold: Every month, Xbox Live Gold users will receive two free Xbox One titles and two free Xbox 360 titles, all digitally. The Xbox One titles can be downloaded and played so long as you keep your subscription, while the 360 titles are yours to keep forever. All forthcoming 360 titles will be backwards-compatible, so you basically get four free games every month.
Game Pass: A sort of Netflix for games where you have access to dozens of games. You can download them on your console and play them offline. Games are constantly being added but also being taken out. Microsoft has said that all of their future first party titles will be available day one on Game Pass. List of games
Game Pass Ultimate: Gold + Game Pass for console and PC. Arguably one of the sweetest deals to play a bunch of games without breaking the bank. PC Game Pass is still in beta and the list of games is honestly not that great.
A-on is short for Always Online. For this list it means that the game requires an internet connection to have all it's features. If the game servers or the internet are down then the game will not work correctly. In short, this game will most likely not be functional outside of this console gen as game servers are taken down due to games getting older. For a general rule of thumb, any game that holds multiplayer above single player and any Ubisoft title is suspect to A-on features.
Prequel to ACIII (also technically a sequel if you consider the modern day story), you play as the pirate captain Edward Kenway on his quest for glory and riches, during which he will meddle with both Templar's and Assassin's affairs.
The story is set on XVIII century Caribbean sea with many naval sections. Being a pirate is so fun you'll be sad when you're forced to go onto dry land. The world map is huge and contains lots of additional (mostly filler) stuff to do. Overall it's one of the best entries in the AC franchise.
Note: If you play offline, you will be unable to access certain naval convoys, white whales, and social treasure chests you can only find when your friends find them online.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Fourth entry in the Batman: Arkham series. After Joker's death, Gotham City goes mad as Scarecrow teams up with the mysterious Arkham Knight to wreak havoc. You know the deal by now - punch bad guys, do detective work, punch more bad guys. But this time, you can use the Batmobile, a feature that is great at first until they ask you to keep using it over and over again. Also, Scarecrow-induced hallucinations give you even more Joker screentime, which may or may not tickle your fancy depending on how much you like Mark Hamill. While it has its rough edges, it's still a worthy conclusion to the Batman Arkham series.
Note - As WB Games is publishing this title, there is already a metric fuckload of DLC cut up and sold in tiny bite-sized packages (unless you bought the season pass). Most opinions on the DLC are somewhat mixed, especially concerning how long they are, so I would suggest holding out for the inevitable GOTY edition if you want it THAT much.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend
The spiritual successor sister series to Guilty Gear. Features HD sprites, 3D backgrounds, and loads of animu. CE adds even more characters and balance tweaks, as well as a "visual novel" minigame about the events of its manga spinoff, Remix Heart. inb4 MaiOlev.
Dark Souls III
The final game in the series, this time with Miyazaki back at the helm. Expect a faster pace this time around, as the team was still fresh off of Bloodborne. This one is generally considered better than Dark Souls II (though some may not agree), but not quite as good as DaS 1 nor Demon's Souls.
Ashes of Ariandel is a 3 hour piece of shit with little content and two bosses, while The Ringed City has more to offer with DS2-levels of bullshit difficulty.
The Fire Fades Edition contains all DLC, so if you've waited to get a complete edition while waiting for a reasonable price, then get it now.
Dead or Alive 5: Last Round
You know the deal by now. A solid fighting game surrounded by titties. There's a LOT of DLC for this game, so if you just want some core fighting, you can get the Core Fighters pack for free. Story mode and all characters except six (four constant, two rotating) aren't included here, but if you just like fighting it'll be all right.
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition
A remake of the 2008 release, DMC4SE once again gives you as much sword and gun gameplay as you could want. With dozens of weapons and fighting styles at your disposal, kill a bunch of demons and save the world I guess. Along with the not-emo Dante and original character donut steel Nero, you can now play as Dante's katana-wielding brother Virgil, his mysterious demon love interest Trish, and the gun-mad mercenary Lady. It's no Bayonetta, but it's definitely crazy enough.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
A super fast-paced fighter (think Marvel vs Capcom) with Dragon Ball Z/Super characters, excellent even if you're not a fan of Dragon Ball. Takes some pages from Guilty Gear Xrd, using the same 3D-styled graphics made to look like 2D sprites. Story mode is what you'd expect from fighting games these days but the character interactions are surely entertaining.
It's Fallout. You know what you're going to get. You are placed into a vault at the dawn of nuclear war, and emerge in a post-apocalyptic 50s Americana. Make friends, steal shit, kill a guy, strip him of his clothes, die a lot. Even the side quests are so addictive that you'll forget about completing the main storyline. That said, it's developed by Bethesda, so expect a few glitches and corrupted saves along the way.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
Imagine Crisis Core but better with 14 different playable characters, playable summons, A WORLD MAP, chocobo breeding and a fantastic story. The gameplay is difficult and will kill you if you get careless but is fun and faster than Crisis Core because less "slot machine" bullshit. Much, MUCH, bloodier, gorier and violent than the previous Final Fantasy games.
Has updated graphics compared to the PSP version, as well as the option to change the voices to English or Japanese, no multiplayer (as if anyone cared about it), an exclusive alternate ending, an updated soundtrack and an exclusive demo for Final Fantasy XV for the Day One edition. Keep away from the English dub, it is the worst English dub Square has ever worked on (even worse than Final Fantasy X, but not as bad as FF4 SNES). Has a somewhat spotty translation so get the PSP version if you are willing to pirate and you have PPSSPP or a PSP with CFW.
Forza Horizon 2
Great graphics, superb physics, fun soundtrack, big and pretty open world, lots of cool cars. Very deep upgrading and tuning, shallow visual customization. Top notch career structure with a lot of freedom and incentives to do your own thing. Being Forza, this is loaded with DLC and a little over 1/3 of the cars are inaccessible until you shell out some cash.
Grand Theft Auto V
Open-world Action Adventure
Do I really need to explain to you what GTA is all about? This time, you can play as three different characters, switching them on the fly to play unique missions. Go to strip clubs! Rob banks! Make Jack Thompson pissed!
Halo 5: Guardians
Sequel to the (debatable) abomination that was Halo 4.
The plot is a complete mess and features Cortana becoming a literal AI goddess who slaughters millions of people. Beneath the ridiculous plot you will find some really great gameplay even if it's far from the best in the series.
The main game can be played offline, but you're not likely to buy this for the main game. Most people play Guardians for multiplayer and Forge.
Multiplayer is the best it's ever been, even though it's 100% online matchmaking with zero couch co-op.
The new Forge is one of the best map editors to ever be created for a console game. 343 has been consistently releasing
free updates on a monthly basis and has, so far, patched in almost every feature the community has been asking for. While 343 completely botched Master Chief Collection, they seem to be doing right by their fans with this game.
Be aware that there is a free PC port of the custom games multiplayer (with server browser) and Forge for Windows 10. It doesn't have matchmaking, but as Forge and Multiplayer are the only good parts it may be worth playing.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Compiles Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4 (plus Halo: ODST as DLC) into one big ol' package, as well as featureing new graphics and audio for Halo 2's campaign a la Combat Evolved Anniversary, and unlike CE:A, Halo 2's multiplayer remade in a modern enegine as well.
Obviously, the story modes are still top notch and have loadsacontent. The only downside so far is the multiplayer: sadly, 343 Industries has a knack for making half-baked matchmaking experiences. Maybe they'll patch it, maybe they won't. At this point, most of the major bugs in multiplayer have been patched, but you should still expect up to 10 minute wait times for some matchmaking playlists. The patches have stopped coming and 343 seems to have given up on fixing this mess.
Just Cause 3
If you've played Just Cause 2, you know what you're in for. Nearly everything can be shot or blown up or grappled to. Tie a guy to a plane and take off, with him dragging behind you. Jump out of a helicopter into another helicopter. Unfortunately, the game is still fairly unoptimized, so prepare for a lot of loading screens and overall jankiness.
Mega Man 11
Mega Man returns after a long hiatus on his first 2.5D adventure! Introduces the Double Gear system, which allows to temporarily power up Mega Man's attacks or to slow down time, with the entire game designed after these new abilities, with the tried and true challenging but fair difficulty of the series.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Tactical Espionage Action
The semi-demo "prologue" to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Invade a U.S./Cuban base to save your friends. Additional missions use the same map, but change it so you have to assassinate soldiers/obtain enemy intelligence/save Hideo Kojima, allowing you to play in different ways. Many people complained about the incredibly short playtime of the game (around an hour for the main mission), so rent it first if you're not sure if you want it yet.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Tactical Espionage Action
The continuation of Ground Zeroes. More of an open world Metal Gear this time - you can try to get in without alerting anyone to your presence, and then go in guns blazing after that fails. Catch animals and send them to your Mother Base! Fight alongside a mute sniper in a bikini! Teach a wolf how to CQC! The choices are limitless.
Note: The "sorta" in terms of always-online refers to FOB missions, where you can invade other players' Mother Bases and vice versa. There's also reportedly microtransactions related to base building, so tread with caution.
Shoot 'em Up
The newest entry in the Raiden series, which despite bad initial impressions by shmupfags proves it is a worthy successor to the classic titles.
It is available as retail only in Japan, as the worldwide release is digital-only. However, if you have the Japanese release the game will be automatically updated to your region.
Oh hey, Microsoft remembered Rare developed other things besides Kinect sports titles. For $30, you get thirty of Rare's greatest titles all wrapped up in one package, along with developer interviews, minigames, and all sorts of other bonuses. Keep in mind that some emulation is a bit spotty for some titles (mostly N64 ones), but you also get Grabbed by the Ghoulies in 1080p and 60 FPS so there's that.
Note: An internet connection is required right after download to verify the Xbox 360 titles. This collection can be played offline after said verification, but will not work due to "needing an update" until then.
Another game featuring our favorite limbless hero and friends. Collect Teensies, punch enemies to make them inflate and explode, rescue axe-wielding princesses. If you played Rayman Origins, you can guess what the gameplay's like.
It's an Ubisoft title, though, so expect features like daily challenges to be locked behind online play. All the regular single-player levels are still available, though.
Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
You play as Wei Shen, an undercover cop whose job is to infiltrate a Hong Kong triad. Gameplay is much like Grand Theft Auto, expect with less emphasis on gunplay and more on martial arts. It's basically an HD remake of the last-gen version with all DLC included, and thus falls into the First Rule of HD Remakes: if you already played and beat the original, this version won't put much onto the table.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
You are Geralt of Rivia, a witcher - that is, a monster hunter and mercenary. Travel around the world, helping or hindering others, while fighting the mysterious army known only as "Wild Hunt". While combat may vary in enjoyability from person to person, the real hook is the story: you have 50 hours worth of gameplay, and that's from the side missions alone. Worth a try just to see how much love CD Projekt RED puts in its games.
It's like cawadoody, but with giant robots and parkour. No single player campaign, so you better hope that the game servers stay up longer.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Another (after Legend) complete reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, and far more radical this time. Follows young Lara on her first ever adventure during which she will find herself struggling to survive on a mysterious, mythical island after her ship, on which she travelled along with her crew, gets wrecked. Has a good story and gameplay, pretty graphics and semi-open world with some additional stuff to do. Unfortunately there is little to none actual Tomb Raiding, but you will have plenty of fun nonetheless. Also protip: for maximum fun, try playing with the bow only. Includes all prior downloadable content.
The phrase "Platinum Games does Transformers" is all you need to know about whether you should try this game. Play as the Autobots and get into some signature Platinum CUR-AY-ZEE combat with the Decepticons. Only problem is that, as with many of Platinum's deals with Activision, the game's a little short. So if you're going to buy it at full price, make sure you have the strength to 100% everything and SS-rank every mission, you scrub.
Get a motorcycle. Ride a course. Crash. Try again. Make it to the next checkpoint. Crash. Try again. Think about a cool trick you could make in the level creator. Crash. Repeat. Again, it's a Ubisoft title, so expect some features to be unaccessable if you're not signed into uPlay.