2016 has been a bit of a stellar year for Xbox. Not only has the current console gone from strength to strength, but with a new slim machine on the horizon and a stupidly powerful experience a year or so further down the line, it’s already been a year to remember for Xbox gamers.
But the hardware is nothing without a ton of games to get excited about and the first six months of 2016 have delivered many of those as well. But which have been our favourite titles from the first half of the year? Well this little lot should all be in your collection.
As gamers we’re used to keeping an eye on the next big blockbuster. Rarely though does anything come under the radar and blast into our lives like Rocket League has.
Originally released on other formats, the clamour to see some RC car battles on Xbox One reached fever pitch and couldn’t be ignored by Psyonix. So they didn’t. And it’s been a huge addition to the Xbox One library.
Rocket League on Xbox One has been nothing short of a massive success story and even now, some months after it arrived, the game is continuing to evolve with more content delivered on a regular basis. With the Labs feature keeping players excited and cross network play with PC owners enabling even more fun, there is little chance the Rocket League stadiums will be anything short of bursting at the seams for months to come.
It’s stupidly good fun with some of the most accessible gameplay currently available on Xbox One. With super cool customisations and a number of paid DLC opportunities (can anyone resist the lure of the Batmobile?), if you’re looking for a game that will optimise your online gaming sessions, then Rocket League is it.
Read our review of Rocket League here.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
The last few years have been a tough time for Ubisoft. It can’t be ignored that they took a huge battering from many quarters regarding a few games which were thought to be pretty underwhelming. 2016 though has seen the Big U deliver titles that have been nothing short of stunning. Something which The Division has played a huge role in.
Bringing an immersive storyline and even deeper combat, The Division just oozes quality. With a cover system that works brilliantly, and visual details that blow you away at every opportunity, Ubisoft have delivered a masterpiece. Admittedly there are a few little bugs, but nothing which should be seen as a game changer and whether you’re taking to the streets of New York alone, with friends, or jumping on the back of a stranger, you’re unlikely to find too much that bests it.
With the Dark Zone delivering the ultimate test of your shooting exploits and tempting you in with the very best gear, chances are you’ll keep dipping in and out of Tom Clancy’s The Division for at least the rest of the year. And with the Underground expansion now also taking hold, things are just going to get even bigger, even better and even more tempting than before.
Read our review of The Division here.
DOOM – the game that spawned a thousand clones and a whole new genre in itself. DOOM has in fact got a lot to answer for.
But now the game is back with a complete reboot ready for the modern day gamer. A reboot that brings totally unnecessary violence, bucket loads of machismo and a game that pumps the adrenaline round your body like nothing else. Boy, have id and Bethesda delivered one hell of an experience. An experience that is super fast paced, brings some glorious visuals and gives you the chance to check out some of the most iconic overly powered weapons in gaming history. Oh, and it’s got one hell of a soundtrack to boot.
Multiplayer might be a bit generic, and if you ask us the boss battles are a bit disappointing, but as a solo experience? We’re not sure there is a better first person shooter out there.
Far Cry Primal
The Far Cry series was definitely a bit of a slow burner. The original game was good, but the follow up failed to build on the experience and easily delivered the least exciting of the franchise. When Far Cry 3 came along though, things went through the roof with a huge open-world that delivered a first class story. Something which was built on superbly with Far Cry 4.
Now though, we’ve been taken back to the very beginning – not just of the series, but of time itself – to a world full of woolly mammoths, sabre toothed tigers and the caveman. With humans needing to be on their guard at all times, fighting for survival from one moment to the next, Primal delivers another awesome Far Cry experience. It may lack the tight story of previous titles, and it may not build on Far Cry 4 as much as we would have hoped, but with a million and one missions and objectives to get involved in, a beautiful prehistoric world to explore and some awesome beasts to fight, and tame, Far Cry Primal should definitely be checked out.
10,000BC has never been so inviting.
Read our review of Far Cry Primal here.
Before its release, there was a huge debate running around the gaming communities. Which would be better? Overwatch or the rather similar, Battleborn?
There would be only one winner. And it certainly wasn’t the latter.
Whilst Battleborn has struggled to enthuse gamers, Overwatch hit the headlines by bringing a super colourful, strangely unique world that drips with quality throughout. With a simple but diverse fighting mechanic, and a whole load of varied characters all bringing their own distinct styles and attacks, it delivers in absolute spades. In fact, it delivers such a good experience that even those who would normally struggle to find joy with the online shooting world will be more than happy.
Overwatch really is online shooting at its very best and as long as the content continues to be delivered, should be your go-to shooter for some time yet.
Read our review of Overwatch here.
So there we have it. Five games of the utmost quality that should be in your Xbox One games library right now. Do you agree with our thoughts? Have we missed anything out? What have been your favourites of 2016 so far? Let us know in the comments below and on the usual social channels.
I played The Division for the first time today, and I’m very impressed with the co-op aspect, cool HUD features, gameplay etc. Folks were so hard on Ubi for the 2015 E3 demo vs final product graphics, but I have to say, it’s a beautiful game, and I can’t wait to get deeper into the missions with my buddy!
When it comes to shooters, I’m all about the campaign co-op – an aspect too many games ignore (here’s looking at YOU Battlefield). This really wets my appetite for Ghost Recon Wildlands… can’t wait!
Very good games but I prefer far cry 4 over primal. I probably would have swapped primal for Battleborn.
Far Cry 4 – possibly one of my favourite Xbox games!