ByTim Horton, writer at
Business Development Manager at Universally Speaking. @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

The greatest gaming lineup in Xbox history is set to hit the Xbox One this year. Microsoft have promised us the most critically-acclaimed lineup of exclusives ever.

2015 was a historic year for Xbox, Microsoft have been relentless in building up an incomparable number of exclusive franchises and 2016 is predicted to be the biggest in the giant's history. With more exciting exclusives hitting the scene than ever before, the future is looking extremely bright for Xbox fans.

Every exclusive title that released last year - including – Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition – individually sold over 1 million units. With this type of exclusive pedigree, 2016 promises to be a momentous year for the Xbox gamers.

Here is a list of gaming titles releasing this year that you can only find on Microsoft's Xbox One (and PC). It is worth noting that this list is liable to change as more games are added.

10. Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves is an open world multiplayer epic from UK based studio, Rare. The game essentially revolves around pirates with an almost unlimited scope for adventure. It features a world that will be shared by multiple players, each playing their own game, heading out on their own adventures.

The choice is yours whether you team up, fight others or just flat out ignore them. This is a totally open world where you are the captain and that, I love. Seriously though, Sea of Thieves will have to be a life choice, there is no middle ground here. It is as addictive as it is vast.

Personally, I can't wait to wave goodbye to those pesky land lovers and set out on many a bountiful, plunderous adventure!

9. Crackdown 3

Crackdown 3 is the third edition of the popular sandbox action game Crackdown, from Reagent Games. This latest edition has expanded on the sandbox elements from the previous games by adding an almost unrivaled level of multiplayer destruction. The cityscape will consist of "100 percent destructible environments,".

Jump into the shoes of superhuman/cyborg police officers and take advantage of the lawful authority bestowed upon you to pretty much destroy the entire city in pursuit of justice. Not much is know about the plot at this stage but from what we have been told by Microsoft Studios's creative director Ken Lobb, the game will be set in the future of the first Crackdown but will represent an alternate timeline from that of Crackdown 2.

This is especially delicious news, as I genuinely enjoyed the first Crackdown but felt that the game lacked a little luster in the following installment. Bring on Crackdown 3. As a massive multiplayer fan, I can't wait to see how much carnage I can cause!

8. Killer Instinct: Season 3

The third season of Xbox One's top fighting game returns in Killer Instinct: Season 3. This third season will bring with it a whole new heap of fighters including the rather popular Battletoads.

Microsoft's Killer Instinct is actually a reboot of an earlier Nintendo game. Xbox acquired the rights to the game back in 2013 and have not looked back since. The new series is developed by the highly capable team at Double Helix Games.

Never one to shy away from a fight... er, game, I am extremely stoked to get my hands on this latest offering of hand to hand carnage. Killer Instinct is certainly one of the better arcade fighters on the market and Season 3 should dish out the action in spades.

7. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition brings out the immersive quality of the Gears of War story in beautiful clarity. The Ultimate Edition raises the game into next-gen territory with updated visuals, bonus achievements, new explosive multiplayer maps and modes to name but a literal few.

The Locust Horde have surfaced from deep within the bowels of the earth. No one knows what they are or how they got there but now it seems the planet has a new top dog. Players must take on the role of Marcus Fenix, leading a crack fireteam against the onslaught of merciless monsters.

Gears of War was one the first games I ever played on Xbox - in fact, I believe it was the whole reason I bought an Xbox in the first place. Gears of War was where my love of Xbox truly stems from, battling my way through the locust horde in pursuit of my lost honor was totally mind blowing on the original machine. The ultimate edition is a must for any real Gears of War fan, relive the entire adventure again in 60fps.

6. Gigantic

Gigantic is a team-based third-person shooter from indie studio, Motiga. The game is fast-paced and totally addictive. Each player chooses a character that possesses unique skills and abilities. They must then in their teams of five unite along with a magical creature known as the 'Guardian'. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the opposing team and their guardian.

Gigantic incorporates several game types into one shooter, players can choose and customize their fighting style to suit their individual talents. Become anything from a sniper to a powerful spellcaster - dominate the battlefield your way.

Gigantic has something for everyone and is especially good for the fans of team-based games. Whether you are a lover of the shooters, MMOs, or RPG's you are guaranteed to find something great in this title.

5. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition heralds a stunning return to the ever popular platform adventure from indie developer, Moon Studios. The game will return with even more content, new areas, new puzzles and even more amazing artwork. One of the most popular platforms on the Xbox returns in serious style.

Players step into the spirit of Ori, a white guardian who pairs up with another spirit named Sein. Sein is the light and eyes of the forest's Spirit Tree. It tells a beautiful story as the player advances through the game by solving puzzles and unlocking achievements.

Ori and the Blind Forest received instant critical acclaim with players worldwide praising the visceral beauty of the game. The definitive edition seemed like a no-brainer - the people want more, and I say give it to them.

4. Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy game developed by Creative Assembly that is set within the same universe as the Halo series. The game is the follow-up to Halo Wars and will be crafted and portrayed in the same way.

There is little to no information available as of yet about the background of the new game, but if the previous edition is anything to go by, then we should be in for a treat.

Creative Assembly are responsible for other such gaming gems as Alien Isolation and the Total War series so Halo Wars 2 should be another rip riot.

3. Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 is the fourth in line to the Gears story brought to us by The Coalition (love this studio's name). It will return in stunning definition running at 60fps and is a continuation of the Gears of War trilogy. This will be the first Xbox One dedicated Gears title and Microsoft's first edition after acquiring the rights to the series from Epic.

Again, we are struggling to get specifics when it comes to a storyline, but what we do know is that the development team want to take the series back to the darker days of the original. Inject the fear back into the characters. It seemed that the sense of mystery that surrounded the horde at the beginning of the series brought with it an inherent sense of fear that has been lost.

I'm truly and whole heartedly excited for this one! As an avid fan of the Gears series and with the franchise having been handed over to Microsoft, I can’t wait to see how this new title will play out. Bring on the next in this brilliant series.

2. ReCore

ReCore is one of the most anticipated games to release on the Xbox One in 2016. This upcoming action-adventure comes from the collaborative efforts of Comcept and Armature Studio spearheaded by Joseph Staten, the co-creator of both the Halo and Destiny universes.

No real details to speak of here, but the astounding beauty of the reveal trailer is enough to leave game fans speechless. It is not hard to deduce however that the main protagonist is a female who goes by the name of Joule. Joule may very well be the last human left on the planet, she must with the help of her robot friends, resurrect humanity and save the world – one might say they draw parallels with Destiny the Chief's overall purpose in Halo.

This has certainly made my ‘one to watch’ list for 2016. With the exception of a few others, I believe this could be the best game to release this year. There is no release date either attached to this title. However, word has it that this wonder will launch in the latter half of the year following recent reports of a delay in development.

1. Quantum Break

Quantum Break is a revolutionary entertainment experience that will soon blur the line between television and gaming. With Quantum Break, Remedy Games delivers an action-packed, fast paced game like you have never experienced before. Manipulate time and even the course of a speeding bullet!

Quantum Break is set in the U.S. and centers on a tragic event at a university whose experimentations into time travel go seriously awry. At the epicenter of this tragedy are our protagonists. Aside from the serious rift in time caused by the incident, it also gifts the three main characters the ability to manipulate time itself.

What really pulls me into this game is the obvious links to its predecessor Max Payne. Max Payne was and still is one of my favorite gaming experiences. Almost all the gameplay involves bullet time-based gun-fights with the levels being generally straightforward, whilst occasionally incorporating platforming and puzzle-solving elements. Quantum Break brings the best of this and more to the Xbox One.

More games are sure to be added to this list as the months go by, but as it stands, the list you see above represents the absolute pioneering edge of video game exploration. 2016 promises to deliver a gaming experiences that we are yet to even fathom. I am sure that several VR titles will also be added to this list as the weeks go by.

How's our list looking so far? What titles do you want to see make Xbox Exclusivity?

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