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Microsoft killed Xbox One (and we're not remotely surprised)

Xbox One official photo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft quietly discontinued Xbox One at the end of 2020 to focus on production of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Microsoft is brutal when it comes to moving on, so we're not surprised its maligned console is killed to give Xbox Series X/S a clear run. This comes a day after Sony said it will produce 1 million PlayStation 4 consoles this year.

The difference in approaches could be due to the short supply of PlayStation 5 consoles, compared to Microsoft's ability to produce its next-gen console, the Xbox Series X/S, in greater numbers. If you're looking to replace your Xbox One, Microsoft has more stock coming, and you can pre-order an Xbox Series X to guarantee a console. Or you could checkout the best Xbox deals with our tracker.

Is it sad news Xbox One is dead? Kinda. The console may have been a big ugly box that always played catch-up to PlayStation 4 and its eye-catching optical illusion design, but it had some killer games of its own. Thanks to Microsoft's commitment to backwards compatibility – the ability to play all old Microsoft games on Xbox Series X/S – we can mourn Xbox One's death but celebrate and still play its best games.

Below we've compiled a definitive list of the five best Xbox One exclusive games you can still play, on your shiny new Xbox Series X/S.

Xbox One's 5 best games

Horizon 5 screenshot

Horizon 5 launched for both Xbox One and Series X/S (Image credit: Microsoft)

01. Forza Horizon 5

The ultimate open world racer, and it looks amazing

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Playground Games
Original release: 4 November 2021
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful graphics, the best on Xbox+100s of cars to race and collect+Best car simulation in games 
Reasons to avoid
-Not too different to Forza 4

Drive and race the roads, beaches and tracks of a fictionalised Mexico in Xbox's exclusive open world racer. Forza Horizon 5 looks fantastic, and saw over 10 million players take to its race ways in its first week. Even if you don't like racing games you should boot up Forza 5 to marvel at its graphics.

Gears 5 official still

Gears 5 is saw the return of the famous shooter series (Image credit: Microsoft)

02. Gears 5

One of the best shooters on Xbox

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: The Coalition
Original release: 4 September 2019
Reasons to buy
+Upgraded for Xbox Series X/S+Stunning graphics+All games available on Game Pass
Reasons to avoid
-Shooting and more shooting

This console-exclusive may leave newcomers floundering trying to work out its story and lore (luckily every Gears of war game is on Game Pass so you can catch up) but it's a visual powerhouse. Playing on Xbox Series X/S cover-shooter Gears 5 gets a 4K Ultra HD upgrade and 120fps increase. It's one of the old console's best.

Sea of Thieves official screen

The emergent pirate sim is one of Xbox's best games (Image credit: Microsoft)

03. Sea of Thieves

It's the pirates life do you and your friends

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Rare
Original release: 20 March 2018
Reasons to buy
+A vast world to explore+One of the best multiplayer games+Updated with regular events
Reasons to avoid
-Only fun with friends

Iconic developer Rare's emergent pirate adventure offers fully-realised cartoon oceans to sail, hunting for treasures, battling rivals, and teaming up with other players. With all the talk of the metaverse, it's games like Sea of Thieves that are showing where the future of interaction is going; live your best pirate life in one of video games' best adventures to share with friends.

Psychonauts 2 official screen

Psychonauts 2 is one of consoles best platfomers (Image credit: Microsoft)

04. Psychonauts 2

The mind-bending platfomer is a must-play on Xbox

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Double Fine
Original release: 25 August 2021
Reasons to buy
+Mind-bending imaginative visuals+Inventive platforming gameplay+Handy recap feature
Reasons to avoid
-You hate platform games

Over 16 years after the original Psychonauts released on Xbox this sequel landed in the summer of 2021, and its was worth the wait. Playable on Xbox Series X/S this platform adventure takes you inside character's minds to play through levels inspired by their id. It's Tim Burton-like visual direction is great, but it's Psychonauts 2's constant invention that keeps you playing.

Halo collection official screen

Get up to speed with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Image credit: Microsoft)

05. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Catch up on Xbox's greatest series with this compilation

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer : 343 Industries, Bungie, various
Original release: 11 November 2014
Reasons to buy
+Six games for the price of one+Some of the best shooters on console+Remasters feature upgrades
Reasons to avoid
-Some older games lack features

One of video games greatest series can be played in its entirety on Xbox Series X/S. The Halo: Master Chief Collection released on Xbox One but can now be played on the latest console, via Game Pass or bought phyisically. This collection contains the original Halo up until Halo 4 (Halo 5 is separate) and its spin-offs. All get visual upgrades as they're remasters, as well as frame rate improvements on Xbox Series X/S.

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Ian Dean

Ian Dean is Digital Arts Editor on Creative Bloq and the Editor of ImagineFX magazine. With over 25 years' experience in both print and online journalism, Ian has worked on many leading video game and digital art brands, including Official PlayStation Magazine, 3D World and GamesRadar. With a passion for video games and art, Ian combines his interests to run ImagineFX, the world's leading digital art magazine for fantasy, sci-fi, video game, film, and animation artists. In his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, teaches himself ZBrush, and plays PS5.