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5 Best On-Rails Shooters on Xbox Series X/S

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Best On-Rails Shooters on Xbox Series X/S

Nothing is as loud as the bickering of an incoming train. Its sounding alarm is so loud, you’ll have to hear it from miles away and get off the rails before it arrives. But that’s the ‘way of the train,’ a wild invention that can only stick to its dedicated path. The same concept has been applied in gaming, where developers design on-rails shooters to restrict your movement and navigation to their heart’s desire. You needn’t worry about where to go next, as the game will move your avatar for you. What you need to focus on, however, is the often-swarming hordes of enemies streaming at you from all corners of life. 

‘Target and shoot,’ is the mantra in on-rails shooters, and your job is often to clear as many enemies as you can, usually before the clock runs out. But on-rails shooters don’t always have to involve shooting. They can, alternatively, feature some form of targeting, provided the core concept is the same. Looking to dive into some heart-pumping target and shooting practice? Well, these best on-rails shooters on Xbox Series X/S should get you quickly up to speed.

5. Battle Stations Blockade

Battle Stations Blockade Trailer

For some reason, commanding a gunboat has always seemed so fun. Well, at least in the pirate movies. If you’ve ever wanted to commandeer your own ship, though, the Battle Stations Blockade could be your new guilty pleasure. It tasks you with arming the turrets on your gunboat and taking aim against dangerous foes amid treacherous waters. It’s an intense 3D on-rails arcade shooter that doesn’t leave anything chance, embodying a stunning and vibrant voxel art style and a wide range of weapons to tinker around with.

You can choose to go at it solo or team up with friends in a local co-op. Either way, it packs plenty of opportunities for fun with a familiar gameplay system that shouldn’t take long to master. So, what are you waiting for? You have your orders and a pair of turrets waiting for your push of the button to cue in the fireworks parade.

4. Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission: Remake

Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission VR | Gameplay Trailer | Virtuallyz & Microids

Diehard on-rails shooter fans will know the genre is as old as time as far as video game history is concerned. Many on-rails shooters are from the ‘90s and hardly have a contemporary version remade for modern systems. Lucky for you, Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission, one of the founding games of the genre, has a remake out now on the Xbox Series. The remake does a great job of retaining the original version’s DNA. From the action frontier to the ‘80s film atmosphere, the remake remains true to the original.

However, the remake does reinterpret the original by enhancing its graphics with a new design. So, while you won’t have to forego non-stop action like the old, you do enjoy an action-packed atmosphere that breathes new life into the game’s sense of immersion.

3. The House of the Dead: Remake

The House of the Dead Remake Launch Trailer || Xbox Series X|S

Still on the cult classics that shaped the rail shooter genre, you may remember The House of the Dead from the ‘90s. It’s been remade for modern systems, though, but it still sticks to its guns. As the name goes, your job is to kill everything that’s hungry for your brain. No undead creatures should be left alive to tell the tale. Unlike many rail shooters, The House of the Dead Remake is more in-depth. It keeps you busy with all sorts of errands, whether solo or in a team of up to two players.

You can use the enemies for target practice, shooting them down as they spawn. Meanwhile, you’ll need to rescue researchers while collecting bonus items and battling bosses. Furthermore, the remake takes the gameplay up a notch, injecting a whole new entourage and switching up the gameplay for a contemporary audience. So, if you’re craving a return to the classic arcade era, The House of the Dead Remake is possibly the best option to scratch that itch for you.

2. Aaero: Complete Edition

Aaero - Xbox One - Launch Trailer

Who said on-rails shooters on Xbox Series X/S have to be gloomy? Aaero’s world is one stunning and stylized environment, with ribbons of light winding their way through the universe. You’ll fly a ship through tunnels and outdoor stages, following musical ribbons while blasting enemies into oblivion. It’s the perfect way to really sink into the game’s rhythm and feel the beat coursing through your veins. All along, facing strange enemies and going up against formidable bosses while synergizing the action to a bopping licensed soundtrack.

Tagged as a rhythm rail shooter, Aaero finds the perfect balance between high-speed, sci-fi shooting action and an incredible soundtrack to pace yourself. And with the Aaero: Complete Edition, you’ll enjoy a more definitive experience, thanks to access to all additional DLC content, including the 1000DaysWasted: Drum & Bass Pack, the Monstercat Pack, and the Comet, Phaser and Sol ship skins.

1. Panzer Dragoon: Remake

Panzer Dragoon: Remake || Xbox One Trailer

If you love Panzer Dragon, an enhanced graphics and control version awaits you in the remake. Not to worry, though, as the remake stays true to the original, thus giving you the same action-packed experience curated for the modern world. The remake rebuilds all seven levels from the ground up. Further, it adds plenty of additional detail for extra immersion.

Panzer Dragon: Remake is also like Aaero in the sense of curating a fantasy world different from the norm. You’re whisked away to a faraway, lone planet. Once there, you run into two ancient dragons, one friendly, the other not so friendly. Your job is to wield a deadly gun while flying aboard your armored blue dragon. The prototype dragon mustn’t reach the tower. 

Meanwhile, evil giant dragonflies, giant sandworms, lethal battleships, and man-sized wasps all stand in your way. It’s your job to stop the dragon in any way possible, even if it means dying while trying.

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our on-rails shooters on Xbox Series X/S? Are there more on-rails shooters we should know about? Let us know over on our socials here.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.