The Xbox family of consoles is home to an almost unfathomably large collection of solo gaming experiences that, we think it’s fair to say, vary hugely in quality from title to title. As a result, it can be pretty hard to separate the wheat from the chaff without a guiding hand and so, in order to help you decide which single player experiences are worthy of your valuable time and money, we’ve gone ahead and put together a great big list of what we reckon are the very best single player games currently available to play on your Xbox console.
There’s titles here to suit pretty much every pocket and persuasion, from indie gems to AAA blockbusters, racers, puzzle games, horror, survival, action and much, much more besides. If you’re looking for something to get stuck into on your lonesome, we’ve 100% got you covered.
For your convenience, we’ve also gone ahead and highlighted whether or not each and every listing here is currently available on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service in order to minimise your expenditure and maximise your enjoyment.
So, without further ado, let’s jump in to the very best 75 single player games on Xbox consoles in 2022!
If you’ve never played Alan Wake (he’s a writer don’t you know), then this slick remastered version is the best possible way to experience Remedy’s classic action adventure cheesefest.
For solo players who loves a little bit of (mild) horror, there’s a ton to unpack here with a properly engaging, and massively cheesy, narrative alongside satisfying, if sometimes a tad clunky, exploration and combat gameplay. The remastered enhancements made in this new version bolster the game even further, cementing its position as a guilty gaming pleasure that’s still just as joyous to dig into now as was back in 2010. Did we mention it’s cheesy? Enjoy!
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: Creative Assembly
Creative Assembly and Feral Interactive really set themselves quite the task when they decided to attempt to create an Aliens game that captured the relentless intensity and smothering atmosphere of the original Alien movie. Thankfully, they not only succeeded in 100% nailing it, they ended up making what is arguably the greatest horror game of all time in the process. Yes, Alien Isolation is THAT good.
It’s all about the amazing Xenomorph here, cleverly programmed to go about its business; hunting, barrelling down shafts and vents, reacting to the slightest sound and zeroing in on your location, just like the real thing. Alien Isolation puts you in an exquisite recreation of the movie universe and pits you against the perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. Good luck.
With the sequel on the way in the form of A Plague Tale: Requiem, you should definitely check out this 2019 single player action-adventure from Microsoft Flight Simulator developer, Asobo Studio. A Plague Tale: Innocence is set in France during the Hundred Years’ War, and sees you assume control of teenager Amicia de Rune as she attempts to flee from French Inquisition soldiers alongside her ill brother, Hugo.
If you like a game with a good story and you’re into stealth and survival puzzles, this is definitely one you should have up your list of indie gems to get stuck into.
Released right back at the launch of Xbox Series X and Series S, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of the finest entries in this long-running series to date, sporting hundreds of hours of content and a stunningly detailed – and exhaustively researched – representation of old world England to explore.
Assuming the role of a Viking this time around, the combat here has a satisfyingly chaotic edge, especially once you’ve unlocked some of Eivor’s special abilities and get stuck right into plundering enemy villages with your bloodthirsty crew. The AC games really have excelled since they added RPG-lite elements and smoothed out the rough edges of their combat with the release of Origins back in 2017, and Valhalla is the best representation of this new direction so far. With generous DLC packs expanding the experience and giving you entire new regions – including amazing representations of Ireland and Ragnarok – to explore, this is a game that’s every bit as essential now as it was when it released.
Thomas Happ’s superlative Metroidvania feels like a little bit of a miracle to us. How on earth did one single person manage to create a game with so much depth and detail, an entry in its genre that can sit proudly beside your Metroids and your Hollow Knights? We don’t know, but we’re sure glad he pulled it off.
Axiom Verge is a delight from start to finish, a slick and polished action game with stunning visuals and a cracking atmosphere that reminds of us of the wonderfully oppressive and heavy vibes we got the first time we sat down with Super Metroid. There’s brilliant level design here, plenty of upgrades and skills to unlock and secrets to find as you unravel the mystery at the heart of the story.
With Axiom Verge 2 having recently been released there’s now a whole ton of Happ’s incredible work to dig into but for us the first one is still the best and an experience fans of the Metroidvania genre owe it to themselves to try out.
What list of single player good times would be complete without not just one, but two of the greatest action games of all time. Yes, PlatinumGames really did knock it out of the park with both Bayonetta and Vanquish, they both more than deserve a place on our list, and so it’s nice that we can stick them both in one entry as part of this amazing 10th anniversary collection.
These souped up versions run at a slick 60fps/4K and give players a chance to experience both of these all-timers in the best condition they’ve ever been. Whether you’re here for Bayo’s hack and slash fury or the knee-sliding, gun-toting exploits of chain-smoking Sam Gideon, there’s no denying that what’s packed into this collection is some of the fastest and most frantic action ever delivered to consoles. You can buy them separately if you want to, but we wouldn’t dream of tearing this pair apart!
One thing the indie gaming scene always seems to nail is super tough, highly addictive platformers, and Celeste is perhaps the best of the bunch. What makes Matt Makes Games’ sublime effort so brilliant is how it seamlessly weaves its narrative with gruelling but completely fair platforming that’ll have you pulling your hair out whilst utterly unable to stop diving in for just one more shot.
Every tiny little room here feels like an almost insurmountable obstacle to overcome, acting as analogies for the protagonist’s inner demons, demons she battles as the narrative progresses. It really did hit us on multiple levels and, even without the incredible gameplay, we’d have been pushing through to see the ending. It’s a fantastic platformer, for sure, but an even better story.
Control Ultimate Edition takes what was already a thoroughly excellent game and irons out a handful of irritating technical issues that, on last-gen consoles, somewhat marred our time in the Oldest House. With spectacular ray-tracing, silky smooth framerates, enhanced graphics, an improved map, reworked checkpointing and all available DLC bundled in as well, this feels like Control how it was always meant to be experienced, and what an experience it is.
Remedy’s game is a masterclass in cinematic atmosphere, in slowly and carefully layering combat complexity and flexibility, and in fully drawing you into its delightfully bizarre, Lynchian mystery world. Our time spent in the Oldest House, discovering Objects of Power, facing off against the Hiss in spectacular action sequences and enjoying all of the fantastic acting performances on offer, is one of our gaming highlights of the past few years and it’s a delight to finally experience it all without the constant framerate issues of its original Xbox One version.
Crash Bandicoot finally returned in 2020 with this absolutely brilliant addition to the long-running franchise that never sits still for a second. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is an endlessly inventive, wonderfully colourful and entertaining romp that brings that classic Crash gameplay bang up to date with refined controls and an impressive graphical makeover.
Publisher: Paradox Interactive / Developer: Paradox Development Studio
The critically-acclaimed strategy game Crusader Kings 3 actually launched on PC Game Pass all the way back in September 2020, and that’s probably still the best place to play it (it works best with a keyboard and mouse), but it’s also now been remade for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S with a brand-new control scheme for consoles.
There’s a tough learning curve here but if you can get past that, you’ll find yourself immersed in a deep and hugely fulfilling grand strategy experience unlike any other, in which your goal is to lead your dynasty to greatness in a Middle Ages epic that spans generations. And even if you’re on Xbox One (which the game hasn’t been ported to), you can play Crusader Kings 3 through the magic of Xbox Cloud Gaming, so everyone’s a winner!
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