Video Games
Video Games

Seven underrated Xbox One games you need to play

Microsoft’s Xbox One console might not be known for exclusives, but there’s plenty of hidden gems tucked in its vast library of games.
Seven underrated Xbox One games you need to play

The Xbox One may have suffered a rough launch, but Microsoft has gradually ballooned its efforts to entice more developers to the platform. While we might have to wait until the next generation for their efforts to fully pay off, for now the platform has become the best place to play third-party titles - especially on the powerful Xbox One X.

Despite lacking high-profile exclusives like Sony’s PlayStation 4 or the Nintendo Switch, the Xbox has a load of backwards compatible titles to choose from too - making it tough to unearth the best titles for your precious time.

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of seven titles we recommend you try out whenever you can. Some are underappreciated, others overlooked, but all offer something to make them worth your time.

Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive
Sunset Overdrive was Microsoft's only exclusive from Insomniac (Picture: Microsoft) 

Insomniac Games may now be a Sony-owned studio, but Xbox fans will always have Sunset Overdrive. It may be a few years old now but there still remains nothing like it on the platform.

Set in the most colourful apocalypse you’ll find in gaming, Sunset Overdrive shows us the danger of heavily caffeinated energy drinks, as they turn humanity into zombies. It’s not all bad, though - your custom character is able to wall-run, swing, slide, climb, and bounce all over the city, all while shotgunning the infected into pools of goo.

Sunset Overdrive also features some of the best respawn animations in gaming - being bought back to life Terminator-style never gets old.

Warframe

Despite launching in 2013 (alongside the new consoles), Warframe maintains a legion of followers to this day - and for good reason.

This free-to-play third-person action title puts you in the boots of a space ninja, capable of running on walls, somersaulting, shooting, firing arrows, sliding, slashing and goodness knows what else. It can be a grind to get started, but once the game opens up it can easily consume your free time, with a loot chase that offers genuine variety in the way you play.

It’s also arguably one of the more generous free-to-play titles, with fresh content being added on a regular basis.

Divinity: Original Sin II

Divinity Original Sin 2
Divinity Original Sin 2 is one of the best RPGs around (Picture: Larian Studios) 

Don’t let Divinity: Original Sin II’s isometric perspective fool you - this is no Diablo-style dungeon crawler (not that we’d mind that, of course).

Original Sin II is an RPG that’s the closest you can get to playing D&D without rolling dice, with a deep lore base standing as the foundation of a believable fantasy world and truly memorable characters. It helps that it’s excellently written, too, and playable entirely in co-op.

The real highlight is combat, which takes place in turns but with the environment taken into account - meaning you can set fire to an area to cause damage, for example.

Also, playing as the Undead means you can’t shop at towns without scaring off the townsfolk so you have to wear a bucket on your head. Instant 10 out of 10.

State of Decay 2

There’s no zombie game quite like State of Decay, and this sequel amps up the role-playing elements to create one of the most unique games on the platform.

State of Decay 2 sets you loose in the zombie apocalypse, but this isn't a typical “one vs thousands of undead” story. Once you die, you’re dead, and you’ll change perspective to another survivor in your camp. In fact, even the camp itself has to be built from scratch.

It launched in a buggy state, but State of Decay 2 is quietly one of the most enjoyable co-op experiences on the platform. As you and your comrades weigh up the potential risks of raiding a group of bandits for supplies - what if one is injured? Do you have the right medication? What if there’s nothing there? What if gunfire attracts zombies? These are all considerations and making split decisions always feels fun.

RAGE 2

Rage 2
Rage 2 released earlier this year, believe it or not (Picture: Bethesda) 

While hardly a hidden gem since it came out earlier this year and was a big AAA-level project, RAGE 2 is still however often forgotten among the quality of what came out in 2019.

As it's now heavily reduced in price, we can’t recommend it enough. It’s open-world is pretty dull, but the gunplay is so good that every battle feels like a reward.

Add some insane superpowers (like a ground pound that can turn mutant monsters into mush) and a bladed boomerang that can lop the heads off of enemies, and it’s hard not to love it - as stupid as it is.

NBA 2K: Playgrounds 2

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2
NBA gets a colourful makeover (Picture: 2K) 

If NBA 2K is too straight-laced for you, then consider NBA 2K: Playgrounds 2 the perfect antidote to that game's photo-real visuals and sweat physics.

Focusing on two-on-two pick up games between bobble-headed caricatures of the NBA's best, Playgrounds 2 has some issues (namely unlocking players via blind packs - although thankfully not through micro-transactions) but offers almost slapstick basketball fun.

The first time you shove an opponent to the ground, lay the ball off to a teammate, before receiving it again for a somersault mid-air dunk - you can't help but smile.

Crackdown 3

Alright, it’s not a great game and it does feel like a game from the Xbox 360, perhaps understandably given the title’s long development cycle.

But, maybe that’s OK - the gradual levelling of your agent from dodging bullets and ducking behind cars, to throwing those same cars at gunships or driving your car up walls is well worth experiencing.

With Xbox Game Pass, there’s really no reason not to at least give it a try if you fancy cheap throwback thrills. 

What do you think of our list? Let us know if there are any under appreciated games that stick out for you!