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5 Best Xbox One Launch Titles, Ranked



Microsoft's Xbox One launched in 2013 as a revolutionary all-in-one system, boasting not only a myriad of entertainment channels, but a fleshed out library of day one video games. And although its launch roster was a little on the light side compared to its Xbox 360 compadre, it was still enough to convince just shy of 4 million players to take the plunge in its first 30 days on sale.

Of course, the Xbox Series X|S has pretty much stolen the show as of late, though many are still finding time to return to the Xbox One and its precious launch titles. And if that's you, and you're wondering which day one titles perform the best on the hardware, then you'll definitely want to steer towards these five cult classics.

5. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag: World Premiere | Trailer | Ubisoft [NA]

After bathing in the benefits of its former successes, Ubisoft looked to up the ante by taking Assassin's Creed IV to new and exhilarating heights, using the whole of the Carribbean as a watery open world playground for players to voyage across on a quest of mystery and self-discovery. And while it did launch on Xbox 360 just a few weeks prior to its Xbox One version, it was really the latter that carried the torch for the latest stealth-based chapter.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is still seen as one of the best in the saga, especially for its vast open world setting and overwhelmingly high quantity of quests, characters, and encounters. Although a far cry from the scale that the current entries strive for, it is still very much a key segment in the blossoming of the acclaimed franchise. And given its 2013 launch, it still looks surprisingly good on base Xbox One consoles even today.


4. Dead Rising 3

Dead Rising 3 - Cinematic Trailer

Dead Rising first found its niche back in 2006 with the launch of its stupidly addictive debut hack and slash zombie fest. Following that, Capcom only looked to capitalize on the flourishing series, using Frank West and friends to further evolve the saga. Come 2013, and the series finally extended its hand to Dead Rising 3, yet another sandbox survival horror with infinite replayability and conclusions to conjure.

Of course, Dead Rising 3 may have swapped out the characters ever so slightly, but that fleshy award-winning formula most definitely remained the same, which of course worked wonders for Capcom and long-term fans of the series. Humor, gore, and a whole lot of freedom to experiment with deadly tools and hazardous materials? Check, check, and check. It was all present and accounted for, and it looked utterly brilliant on Xbox One.


3. Forza Motorsport 5

Forza Motorsport 5: Announce Trailer

Forza Motorsport has retained its spot as one Xbox's leading franchises for the best part of seventeen years now, with entries dating way back to 2005 on Xbox. Its fifth main chapter, Forza Motorsport 5, launched as part of the Xbox One's opening lineup, which acted as the first major racing game on the system. And for its time, nothing looked cleaner than Turn 10 Studios' attention to detail, which only boosted potential buyers' interest in the Xbox One.

On top of its wide selection of courses and downloadable content, Forza Motorsport 5 also launched with a solid 200 vehicles to collect and experiment with, a lot of which brought out that signature feel-good gameplay that made the series for what it was. And for 2013, nothing in the world looked as refined and as elegant as the series' sixth instalment.


2. Ryse: Son of Rome

Ryse Trailer - Xbox One Launch Trailer

Ryse: Son of Rome was Microsoft's best-kept secret, and was only really acknowledged after it found its place in the weeks following the launch of the Xbox One. Once discovered, the Roman Empire action-adventure title went on to stand as the most memorable day one titles of all time, with its relatively short but gripping episodic narrative packing one of the heftiest punches the genre had ever seen.

Ryse: Son of Rome was a prime choice for Xbox One newcomers who wanted to test the capabilities of the system. And in that regard, the flashy hack and slash world did not disappoint its owners. Thanks to its stunningly crisp visuals and attention to detail, the game went on to accrue a hearty score from both players and critics alike. Even today, nearly a decade after its release, it shines brighter than the vast majority of games in its community. And that's saying something, given how far technology has come since the unveiling of the Xbox One.


1. Call of Duty: Ghosts

Official Reveal Trailer | Call of Duty: Ghosts

Of course, anyone who's ever touched a console will more than likely speak highly of at least one Call of Duty game. And chances are, 2013's Ghosts is the chapter that sprouts to mind for most, if not all fans of the first-person shooter saga. The reason for its higher than unusual praise, of course, boils down to the fact that it released as an Xbox One launch title, and in fact went on to employ features that pushed the new tech way beyond its boundaries.

Call of Duty is something of an innovator, in the fact that it forever works to finesse the formula and develop next-level war simulation experiences, all of which aim to test the capabilities of their respective hardware. And on that note, Ghosts had it dialed. As well as having a superior multiplayer front, the game also went on to employ one of the most immersive campaigns to date. Although not strictly exclusive to Microsoft, the Xbox One stood as a worthy vessel for the near-perfect shooter, and then some.


So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.