Achievement unlocked! The official debut of the Xbox One comes with a slew of launch games, including some compelling exclusives.
Not only will more than a dozen retail releases be available at launch, another half dozen games are digital only, including ‘Crimson Dragon’, ‘LocoCycle’, ‘Kinect Sports Rivals Preseason’, ‘Powerstar Golf’, Xbox Fitness’, ‘Zoo Tycoon’ and ‘Zumba Fitness World Party’.
Plus, a single character version of ‘Killer Instinct’ is included for free, which I’m more than curious to play. In fact, I may even spring for the Ultra version to get the old arcade ROM version of the game.
Three of the games (‘Dead Rising 3’, ‘Forza 5’, and ‘RYSE: Son of Rome’) come in “Day One” versions like the console itself, so you can guess which games Microsoft thinks are the highlights.
Here’s a list of every Xbox game that you’re likely to find at retail:
Angry Birds: Star Wars
Just like the PS4 versions, ‘Angry Birds: Star Wars‘ is two things. It’s’ Angry Birds’, which means flinging, combined with the ‘Star Wars’ license. That should tell you everything you need to know.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
I already took the plunge with the PS4 version of ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘. Although I haven’t decided how much I like the game yet, I know that next-gen is the way to go.
I still feel that ‘Battlefield 4‘ needs mouse and keyboard support to really stand above the PC version.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
I’m setting aside the PC version to check out ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts‘ on the Xbox One. This could likely be the definitive version for me. ‘Ghosts’ is already leading all PS4 and Xbox One sales, no doubt helped by having the copy out early.
Dead Rising 3
‘Dead Rising 3‘ looks a bit grittier than I’d prefer, but there’s no doubt that it’s the most intriguing exclusive title, and wants to impress with a high volume of zombies.
‘FIFA’ fans are hardcore, and the next-gen versions of ‘FIFA 14‘offer a bump in production that – while full of sales-speak – is likely way better than sports launch games of yesteryear.
Ubisoft’s ‘Fighter Within‘ seems like a silly fighting game, but it may just be the coolest Kinect game at launch, or at least the coolest one that requires aerobic respiration.
Forza Motorsport 5
It’s really hard to believe that any racing game fans would pass on ‘Forza Motorsport 5‘. Sure, the amount of DLC is getting ridiculous, but racing in 1080p is the way to go.
Just Dance 2014
The ‘Just Dance‘ games must be popular. Ubisoft acts like they’re huge and insists that a version must be made for the launch of every major new platform.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
‘LEGO Marvel Super Heroes‘ is family fun loaded with Marvel Comics characters that rarely come together to this degree. Like the PS4 version, it’s hard to imagine what the Xbox One edition will offer beyond the 360 copy, apart from a bump in resolution. I suppose that a tacit feature addition is possible.
Madden NFL 25
While it’s hard to believe that anyone waited this long to play ‘Madden NFL 25‘, the next-gen editions will likely add in features that have been missed in last-gen versions. While the visual upgrade won’t be staggering, the improved physics should be noticeable.
2K Sports really seems to have put serious work into the next-gen versions of ‘NBA 2K14‘ with the OMG visuals, remade systems and new modes. The Xbox One edition is a must-buy for b-ball fans on the console.
NBA Live 14
For reelz, EA is actually releasing a 5-on-5 NBA game in the form of ‘NBA Live 14‘. Despite being targeted at only the next-gen platforms, EA’s new b-ball game may still be behind the 2K series. Nevertheless, competition is good, especially when it comes to sports titles.
Need for Speed Rivals
My unopened PS4 version of ‘Need for Speed Rivals’ is looking at me with a sad fury. At this point, it’s likely that I’ll play ‘Forza 5’ first.
RYSE: Son of Rome
I’ve been dubious of ‘RYSE: Son of Rome‘ and its Kinect origins. Hopefully, I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the final product.
Skylanders SWAP Force
Along with ‘Angry Birds: Star Wars’ and ‘Lego Marvel Superheroes’, ‘Skylanders SWAP Force‘ is a good choice for children playing the Xbox One – but if you already own ‘SWAP Force’ on the PS3 or 360, a whole new starter kit seems excessive.
That’s it for the launch. Now, which games will you buy and when?
Several of these games are being discounted in Amazon Lightning deals today.
I got Ryse and Forza, but thanks to Amazon’s preorder screwup, my Xbox One won’t be arriving until Monday (and will be a standard version to boot), so I can’t comment on the games yet. Amazon did give me $80 credit over the screw-up, so it made it easier to pull the trigger on a couple of games (which were both $49 at Amazon this weekend).
Yesterday, Microsoft announced they will delay the Belgian release of the Xbox One to September 2014. Almost one full year later compared to America! That was common in the 80’s, but in these days, it’s surely a strange move. France – our sister country on the left – has been playing with an Xbox One since November. Microsoft sure has a lot of balls.