The Xbox One has seen a pretty good year. We’ve been saying that every year since 2014 but the releases have just been ramping up in quality ever since. This year was no different and while the Xbox One’s line-up probably wasn’t as stellar as last year big names, there was still plenty to enjoy and more than enough reason to stick with the platform heading into 2017.
Remedy Entertainment’s long-in-development third person shooter didn’t break the mold but it did successfully fuse TV-style story-telling with incredible visuals. The result was a hybrid entertainment experience done right, even if the controls could have been better. Plus, no one can deny the utter fun that could be had as a literal chrono-master. It also didn’t hurt that each of the star personalities – from Shawn Ashmore to Lance Reddick and Aiden Gillen – contributed very well to making us care about these characters.
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4 returned to many tried and true tenets of the franchise while still progressing forward with its story-telling. The result was a comfortable cast of characters and strong narrative pacing, even if it felt a lot like set-up for later editions in the series. The classic gameplay was still intact and Horde mode served to show us how brutal wave-based PvE should be done (although its slight pay-to-win aspects were annoying).
More of a niche favourite than outright quality performer, ReCore actually came into its own after launch. Many of the central issues were addressed, allowing players to focus on exploring this vast new world from the minds of Keiji Inafune and Joseph Staten. It may not have been Mega Man Legends 3 (though the visuals could have fooled you) but ReCore did provide some fun third person action on Xbox One and Windows 10.
Forza Horizon 3
The Horizon Festival travels to Australia and this time around, you’re the boss. This means you decide where to build new locations, which tournaments to hold (and customize) and how you’re going to expand your circle of fans. Forza Horizon 3 is a testament to the sheer quality and variety that the franchise can offer, setting itself apart from the Motorsport series in many ways. The seamless co-op, awesome range of vehicles (which are very accessible to even your average racer) and sheer fun of the activities makes it easy to pick up and nearly impossible to put down.
Forza Horizon 3
Something about Forza Horizon 3 struck me when the menu loaded up. The transition to beautiful Australia, the buzz building around the Horizon Festival and the sheer realism with which the continent was rendered was only the beginning of an amazing trip. Forza Horizon 3 achieves the difficult task of balancing realism and fun but doesn’t stop there. The Bucket List challenges, Showcase Events, Horizon Blueprint, challenging Drivatars…heck, even going off and exploring vast open fields with Drone Mode for a classic vehicle was fun. Forza Horizon 3 stands out as the best Xbox One game of this year and many more to come.
Note: GamingBolt’s Game of the Year categories, nominations and awards are selected via an internal nomination, voting and debate process. You can check the rest of categories and the respective winners here.