So with the Xbox One roughly about two and a half years old, I decided to take a little look at what some of my favourite games have been on the system so far. I'm not ranking the games from 1 to 3, but rather just highlighting the few games that I find myself going back to time and time again. Like music and movies, everyone has their own personal favourites, these things are a matter of personal taste, some people might agree with me but of course most people out there will not. Lets begin.
Developed by RedLynx and published by Ubisoft, this is gaming Marmite, you either love it or hate it. My love affair with Trials began way back in 2009 when Trials HD was released on the Xbox 360. For those of you that have never played or seen it in action, I suppose the best way to describe would be that it's a motorbike racing/platform game that requires precise control to navigate the tracks and the ability not to smash your joypad though the TV as you try time and again to beat the times set to acquire the top medals in the game and to get yourself higher and higher up the world leaderboards in the process.
Trials is easy to pick up and play but also incredibly hard to master, the controls are simple enough, you have a brake and an accelerator, the ability to either lean forwards or backwards on the bike and a selection of bikes that differ in weight and speed to mix it up a bit, but in order to get the best times you'll end up using the same bike for most of the game when you unlock it. What makes this game great though, is the tracks themselves. At the start, the game will ease you in gently, you'll only be able to choose one bike and the first group of tracks are simple enough to get through, but also designed in a certain way to teach you the basic controls of the bike.
The learning curve remains steady enough throughout the game until you get to the Extreme tracks, from the Beginner tracks at the start to the Hard tracks later on, the game never seems to jump to much in difficulty, sure it gets a lot harder as you progress but as I said, it's a steady curve. However, the jump from the Hard tracks to the Extreme tracks is bloody massive. Trials is a masterpiece, it's not for everyone but it is worth checking out if you've never played it, it's highly addictive if you get into it and very rewarding if you stick at it. When you get your first Platinum Medal on one of the Extreme Tracks, it will all have been worth it, it's a magical feeling and a brilliant game. From Trials HD and Trials Evolution on the 360, to Trials Fusion on the Xbox One, I'd say I've spent over 20 days of my life playing this series, that's 20 days of pure gaming bliss.
Video By IGN
Developed by Frontier Developments and released in October 2015 on the Xbox One, Elite Dangerous is an open world, space trading, space dog fighting, flight sim masterpiece. It's also massive, it's a 1:1 representation of our very own Milky Way system, Elite contains over 400 billion stars that are waiting to be discovered, that's right, 400 billion stars, most with their very own planets and moons, you could start playing Elite on the day you were born and play it non stop till the day you die and you would still be nowhere near seeing everything it has to offer, the scale of it is simply mind boggling.
First things first, Elite is not an easy game to just pick up and play, the controls resemble those you might find on a flight simulator, my first ten hours or so were spent just learning to fly my ship in a straight line. I'd advise everyone thinking about buying this to go through the tutorial first, maybe go through it twice in fact. Once you get the hang of your first ship though, this game takes on a whole new dimension. When you set out for the first time, you are given a fairly basic ship with limited jump range and basic weapons. As you do some missions and trade a few bits and bobs you'll get enough cash to upgrade your ship and in time you'll have enough to buy a brand new better ship.
Elite is completely open ended to play. If you want to go explore and seek out new stars systems or maybe you want to travel from one side of the Milky Way to the other, you are free to do so, when you return to civilisation you can sell all the astronomical data that you have acquired along your epic journey. If you want to set up trade routes, you can buy ships with massive cargo holds so that you can maximise the profits you make. If you want to become a pirate, again your free to do so, you can upgrade your ship to have better weapons and shields, being a pirate certainly will increase the chances of you getting shot at a lot more often.
To this day the scale of Elite still leaves me speechless. Making your first ever jump to another star system is one of those very special moments in gaming, your jaw will hit the ground. Even more so than Trials, this game is not for everyone. So people will find it boring or repetitive or simply just to hard to play at the start, but for me it ticks all the boxes. I've pumped a few days worth of gameplay into this and I'm still only scratching the surface, I'm not bored yet, not even nearly, with so much to do and see I think I'll be still playing Elite for years to come.
Video By IGN
Developed and published by Konami, Pro Evo 2016 is the best football game I have ever played. It is almost perfect. I have played countless football games over the past 25 years or so, for me Pro Evo 2016 is the high point for footie sims. I have no problem with Fifa, it does an awful lot right but Pro Evo wipes the floor with it when it comes to the action on the pitch. It may not have all the licenses and teams but when it comes to football art, Pro Evo has always painted the prettier pictures, it allows you to build up play and cut teams apart in a way that, for me at least, Fifa has just never managed.
I'm lucky to an extent, I don't know how everyone goes about playing this, but I live with another football mad bloke who also enjoys the brilliance that Pro Evo has to offer. We always play co op Master League, playing by yourself can become boring no matter what your playing, be it Fifa or Pro Evo, but co op play is an utter joy, you have to take into account how your teammate plays and make your runs off the ball accordingly or play that killer through ball to match their run, it works fantastically well and when you play a sequence of one touch triangles to rip your opponents apart and bury it in the back of the net, you both get to punch the air in delight.
Like Trials and Elite, the reason this game is on this list is because of the sheer amount of time that I've poured into it, hundreds and hundreds of hours spent building teams and perfecting formations and tactics to kill of sides in the Master League. To be honest, I don't spent a lot of time playing the multiplayer side of it, but what I have played has being great fun. I know that Fifa kills this when it comes to sales and in fairness I don't see that changing anytime soon, but Pro Evo 2016 has already turned a few Fifa heads and I think for the first time in years, when both games launch later this year, I think we might see Pro Evo close that gap on it's big budget rival a little bit more.
Video By IGN
So there you go folks, my top 3 on the Xbox One so far in terms of hours spent playing. I'm sure others out there will have different opinions and ploughed many days of you own lives into your own favourite titles. Remember, it doesn't matter what you play, as long as your having fun doing it.