My oh my has this been a long strange journey this past decade. It has been a fantastic journey for video games, including Xbox exclusives. Fans were excited for sequels to their favorite titles and not to mention a brand new console drop in 2013 with the Xbox One. We are ending on a high note as they announce the upcoming Xbox Series X for the holidays of 2020, kicking off the new decade in style. We decided to honor the past by looking back at our favorite Xbox exclusives released over the last decade.
Note, we understand that many of these have had releases on multiple platforms in the years after their release or released alongside a Microsoft PC version.
2010 Mass Effect 2
Kicking off our list is one of the first releases of the new decade, Mass Effect 2. From BioWare and Electronic Arts, the action role playing game followed in the prequel’s footsteps and continued building on the world. It was praised for its voice acting and diverse characters, story telling and the overall art design. Replaying this game never ever gets old and spawned more from the Mass Effect franchise and spin offs, but this is still one of the best.
2011 Gears of War 3
If there is anything that Xbox really knows how to get right, it is shooter games and Gears of War games. Epic Games and Microsoft Studios’ Gears of War 3 is no exception to this. It featured terrific voice acting, visuals, music and a story line from Karen Traviss. While it did not venture mechanically from its predecessors it was a solid release and addition to the Gears of War family.
Gears of War 3 is playable on the Xbox One with backwards compatibility from the Xbox 360.
2012 Halo 4
Can you believe that Halo 4 happens to be the 7th installment in the Halo franchise? The return of Master Chief had fans beyond excited and the story line gave us a look into the relationship between him and Cortana. The debut game from 343 Industries was a great addition to the franchise and went on to develop more games within the franchise.
Halo 4 is playable on the Xbox One with backwards compatibility from the Xbox 360 and will be playable in the near future on PC through Steam.
2013 Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising 3 released alongside the Xbox One and the action adventure game showcased some of the best specs the console could show. Capcom was able to create a sequel that surpassed the others. They created a world larger than both the originals combined, updated and built on the crafting system and even added more zombies. And who doesn’t want more zombies?
Dead Rising 3 is available to play now on PC through Steam and the Xbox One.
2014 Sunset Overdrive
Insomniac Games Sunset Overdrive wasn’t named IGN’s best Xbox game of the year for nothing! The open world environment led to mechanics that worked well with the story they created. Moving about the city seems natural as players interact with those who have been mutated by the contaminated energy drink. The punk rock style is really what won me over, the visuals and music is what makes it so memorable.
Sunset Overdrive is available on PC through Steam and the Xbox One.
2015 Ori and the Blind Forest
Moon Studios struck gold with Ori and the Blind Forest and no one can tell me otherwise. The platform adventure tells such a beautiful story using music and visuals that my words alone could not do justice. The hand drawn art complements the tale and will keep players invested even through all the deaths I am sure you will face. And while I do hate to constantly die in video games, it always felt like an accomplishment whenever I was able to get past a tough spot.
2016 Quantum Break
Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break redefined how a time change mechanic can work in an action best video game. Not to mention the cinematics are beyond stunning and work well with progressing the story. The graphics in game are just beyond fantastic and helped continue the growth in what we seen today.
Quantum Break is available to play on PC through Steam and the Xbox One.
It is not coincidence that Cuphead is on another decade in review list. The work that went into creating the game was beyond what I could have ever imagined. The story and mechanics only continue to give the game another level of excitement. It should really be on everyone’s must play list.
Cuphead is available to play on PC through Steam, the Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.
2018 Forza Horizon 4
Well, 2018 wasn’t great for Xbox exclusives, but it was a great year for Forza. The racing franchise has always had some heavy hitters, but Forza Horizon 4 introduced changes to weather and changing seasons in a British picturesque countryside. It also features over 450 cars and included DLCs that added in even more.
Forza Horizon 4 is available to play on PC through the Microsoft store and the Xbox One.
2019 Gears 5
While Gears 5 didn’t venture to far from the Gears of War pattern, it still gave us a great story that focused on Kait Diaz and her past. The voice acting, world, and graphics were beautifully done. It did hit a few hiccups at launch, but the Coalition worked quickly to fix what needed to be done. It is interesting to see where the franchise will go from here!
Gears 5 is available to play now on PC through Steam and on the Xbox One.
Honorable mentions Halo 5: Guardians (2015), Fantasia: Music Evolved (2014), State of Decay 2 (2018), Ryse: Son of Rome (2013) and Sea of Thieves (2018).
This article was first published on 12/19/19
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