Best-Selling Xbox One Games: Top List Ranked 
While the spotlight has now shifted to the innovative Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s latest addition to its console lineup, it’s crucial not to overlook the achievements and contributions of its predecessor, the Xbox One. The fourth console by Microsoft represents a monumental leap forward in gaming technology, yet the legacy of what the Xbox One accomplished should not be overshadowed amidst the excitement surrounding the new era of Xbox consoles. Beneath the shadow of its underwhelming sales, the Xbox One harbored a treasure trove of exceptional games. This article delves into the top-selling Xbox One games, shedding light on their popularity and impact within the gaming community.
Upon its launch, the Xbox One presented a solid gaming console. However, it was the introduction of Xbox Game Pass in 2017 that truly transformed its popularity. This innovative subscription service offered gamers a vast library of games at a fixed monthly fee, reshaping the gaming landscape. Despite the availability of this service, the best original Xbox One games continued to achieve strong sales, underscoring the enduring appeal of these standout titles.
The Top 10 Best Selling Xbox One Games of All Time
Halo 5: Guardians
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Developer: 343 Industries
Sales: 5 Million copies
Halo 5: Guardians introduced a dual narrative campaign, allowing players to experience the story from the perspectives of both Master Chief and Spartan Locke. This storytelling approach added depth to the narrative, offering contrasting viewpoints and motivations. The best original Xbox One game emphasized multiplayer gameplay, featuring various competitive modes such as Arena and Warzone, aiming to cater to both competitive and casual players. As with previous Halo games, Halo 5: Guardians expanded upon the rich lore and universe of the Halo series, introducing new characters and plot elements that contributed to the overarching story.
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Sales: 5.03 Million copies
Set in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by nuclear war, Fallout 4 takes place in the Commonwealth, an area encompassing what was once the northeastern United States. The game follows the player character’s quest to find their missing son in this grim and immersive environment. Fallout 4 introduced a robust companion system, allowing players to recruit various characters throughout their journey, each with their own distinct personalities, abilities, and questlines. Departing from previous titles, one of the best selling games, Fallout 4 introduced a dynamic dialogue system that aimed to offer more responsive and immersive conversations, allowing players to shape their character’s interactions and decisions.
Release Date: October 21, 2016
Sales: 5.13 Million copies
Unlike many other shooters at the time, Battlefield 1 opted for a World War I setting, offering a refreshing departure from contemporary warfare themes. It immersed players in the gritty, trench warfare of the Great War, showcasing diverse battlefields and weaponry from the era. Battlefield 1 continued the series’ tradition of large-scale multiplayer battles, with expansive maps accommodating up to 64 players. The game offered various modes, including Conquest, Operations, and Team Deathmatch, providing diverse gameplay experiences. Battlefield 1 introduced dynamic weather systems and destructible environments, adding unpredictability and strategic depth to battles. Players had to adapt to changing weather conditions and utilize the destructible terrain to their advantage.
Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Sales: 5.22 Million copies
Departing from its traditional settings of first-person shooters , Advanced Warfare shifted the series into a futuristic milieu, featuring high-tech gadgets, advanced weaponry, and exoskeletons that granted players enhanced abilities. The game’s single-player campaign followed the story of Jack Mitchell, a soldier working for a private military corporation led by Jonathan Irons. The narrative explored themes of power, corruption, and the consequences of advanced technology in warfare.
Minecraft: Xbox One Edition
Release Date: September 5, 2014
Developer: 4J Studios
Sales: 5.54 Million copies
Minecraft: Xbox One Edition brought the wildly popular sandbox game to the Xbox One console, offering improved graphics, larger world sizes, and expanded multiplayer capabilities compared to its predecessor on Xbox 360. The Xbox One Edition supported both online multiplayer and split-screen multiplayer for up to four players, allowing friends to collaborate or compete within the same world. Despite subsequent editions and versions of Minecraft, the Xbox One Edition remained popular among players who favored the console experience and continued to enjoy the game’s open-ended creativity and exploration.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Release Date: October 26, 2018
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Sales: 5.77 Million copies
Set in 1899 in the American Wild West, Red Dead Redemption 2 served as a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption game. It followed the story of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang. The game featured an incredibly detailed and expansive open world, showcasing diverse landscapes, towns, wildlife, and a dynamic weather system that affected gameplay and visuals. Red Dead Redemption 2 was lauded for its meticulous attention to detail, offering a living, breathing world with realistic interactions, from hunting and fishing to engaging in random encounters and exploring the wilderness.
Call Of Duty: WW2
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Sales: 6.23 Million copies
Call of Duty: WWII marked a return to the series’ roots, setting the game during the iconic events of World War II after several years of focusing on modern or futuristic settings. The game featured a single-player campaign that followed the story of Private Ronald “Red” Daniels, a young recruit in the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division, depicting iconic battles across Europe, including the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The multiplayer mode offered various maps, modes, and a new narrative-driven feature called War Mode, which presented objective-based missions inspired by real events from World War II.
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Sales: 7.37 Million copies
The third Call of Duty game on this top-selling Xbox One games list, set in a futuristic world, the game featured a narrative set in 2065, exploring advanced warfare, robotics, and bioaugmentation, creating a unique and sci-fi-themed installment in the Call of Duty series. The game’s campaign could be played solo or cooperatively with up to four players. It delved into a convoluted narrative involving secret military projects, mind control, and ethical dilemmas surrounding technological advancements. Black Ops III introduced the “Specialist” system, offering players unique characters, each with their own distinct abilities and weapons, adding diversity and strategy to multiplayer matches.
Release Date: December 12, 2017
Developer: PUBG Corporation
Sales: 8 Million copies
PUBG is credited with popularizing the battle royale genre in gaming. It dropped players onto an island where they competed against each other in a last-person-standing format, scavenging for weapons and supplies while the play area continuously shrank. The game supported up to 100 players in a single match, providing intense and dynamic gameplay as participants fought to be the sole survivor. PUBG garnered a massive following worldwide, becoming a cultural phenomenon and influencing gaming trends, leading to the rise of the battle royale genre and inspiring other popular games in the genre.
Grand Theft Auto V
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Developer: Rockstar North
Sales: 8.72 Million copies
The best-selling Xbox One game, GTA V introduced a unique storytelling mechanic featuring three protagonists: Michael, a retired bank robber; Franklin, a street hustler; and Trevor, a volatile and unpredictable criminal. Players could switch between these characters throughout the game. The game included elaborate heist missions, allowing players to plan and execute complex robberies and other criminal activities, providing a high-stakes and cinematic gameplay experience. The game featured GTA Online, an expansive multiplayer mode allowing players to engage in various activities, missions, and heists with friends or other players in a persistent online world.
Best-Selling Xbox One Games and the Quest for First-Party Excellence
The list of the best-selling Xbox One games showcases a diverse range of titles that have captured the attention of gamers worldwide. However, notably absent from the lineup are several Microsoft first-party exclusives, shedding light on a perceived weakness in the Xbox One generation concerning exclusive titles. While these best-selling Xbox One games have undoubtedly made a significant impact on the platform, the absence of a substantial number of first-party exclusives has been a notable aspect of the console’s landscape. Nevertheless, these games, despite their origin, have undeniably left an indelible mark in gaming history, standing as the best of the best in terms of sales on the Xbox One platform.
Why aren’t there more Microsoft first-party exclusives among the best-selling Xbox One games?
Microsoft’s focus on first-party exclusives during the Xbox One era wasn’t as robust compared to other titles. While they did have notable exclusives like “Halo” and “Gears of War,” these titles didn’t rank as high in sales compared to other multi-platform games dominating the charts. This underlines the significance of a strong exclusive lineup in defining a console’s success.
What impact did the absence of first-party exclusives have on the Xbox One’s popularity?
The absence of a substantial number of high-selling first-party exclusives was a significant factor in shaping the Xbox One’s market position. While the console offered a range of multi-platform titles and exclusives, the lack of a diverse lineup of standout Microsoft exclusives might have impacted its competitive edge against rival consoles.
Has Microsoft addressed this issue in subsequent console releases?
Yes, Microsoft has acknowledged the importance of strong first-party titles. With the launch of subsequent consoles like the Xbox Series X|S, they’ve been actively working to build a more robust lineup of exclusive games. Initiatives like Xbox Game Studios and strategic acquisitions of game development studios aim to bolster their arsenal of exclusive titles, aiming to enhance the overall gaming experience on their platforms.