Video games, especially single-player titles, have become a lot more cinematic, with extensive storylines for substantial gameplay hours.
This is what separates them from a bevy of multiplayer games that have taken front and center.
Now without further ado, let’s move onto our list of the best single-player games for Xbox One in 2021. We have ignored remasters and backward compatible titles.
These games are cinematic, boasting fantastic characters and worlds other than at least 50+ hours of gameplay. Enjoy!
Best Single Player Games for Xbox One in 2021
15. Life is Strange
Release Date: January 30, 2015 | Developers: Dontnod Entertainment | Publishers: Square Enix, Feral Interactive, Black Wing Foundation
Life is Strange, a breakout hit of this decade. It is a unique game with a nostalgic and intriguing adventure. It is more of a point and click game but unlike other shooting and melee games on this list.
Max is the main protagonist, a 12th-grade student, and an aspiring photographer. She discovers that she can rewind time, which makes the backdrop for this fun and interesting game. The game revolves around the adventures of Chloe and Max in the game.
If you are looking for a laidback action and intuitive gameplay, this would be a perfect choice for you. What begins as a mere high school drama does spiral into an aptly named video game. With an immersing plot, excellent gameplay, and with its originality, it is one of the best single-player games for Xbox One out there.
Release Date: August 27, 2019 | Developers: Remedy Entertainment | Publishers: 505 Games
Control features a fictional US Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), responsible for investigating para-natural events. It features a sharp storyline and provides the main protagonist with psychic combat abilities, which adds to the overall meaning of this game.
The central protagonist Jesse is the primary force fighting against dark entities known as Hiss. At the beginning of the game, Jesse witnesses the director’s death and is selected as the new director by the Board.
The game then progresses as the dark force possesses most of the bureau agents. Jesse is finally able to rediscover the essence of a superpower and undertakes her new role as the director while defeating the remaining Hiss.
Control features outstanding visual animations. The game provides you with supernatural powers like the X-men.
Players can make use of a large variety of strategies in the game and have the power to control the physical world around them to defend themselves from enemy attacks for highly original and entertaining gameplay.
13. Tom Clancy’s: The Division
Release Date: March 8, 2016 | Developers: Massive Entertainment | Publishers: Ubisoft
The open-world version of Manhattan featured in The Division is realistic with deep RPG elements. The cover-based gunplay with details on minute aspects of muzzle sound and aftershock of firing a gun gives a realistic feel to this game, setting new fps benchmarks.
The plot features a viral outbreak called Dollar flu transmitted through banknotes. The US government activates sleeper agents to reinforce the homeland security, known as the Division.
The objective of these agents is to extract individuals and get them to safety to combat the failing administration of the city. They frequently undertake missions to subdue the active criminal group, Rioters.
The Division forces players to tactically utilize their surroundings. As an agent, the player now has to stop the others from using the reverse-engineered green poison to eradicate human beings as a part of eco-terrorism.
Despite all the complaints regarding the lack of dynamic events, this game has a very engaging storyline and realistic gunplay, definitely one of the best single-player games for consoles.
12. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Release Date: September 1, 2015 | Developers: Kojima Productions | Publishers: Konami
From the moment you hop on your horse to explore the Afghan countryside, Metal Gear V: Phantom Pain will overwhelm you with its open-world freedom.
The plot focuses on the revenge of the main protagonist when his forces are killed during the end of the previous installation Ground Zeroes. In the aftermath of this attack and destruction of MSF, the protagonist wakes up from a 9-year long coma and embarks on the mission.
The character ventures out to exact revenge and helps in leading the newly formed mercenary group, Diamond Dogs. The objective soon shifts towards disabling Metal Gear. Venom Snake is out for his revenge, and it’s all up to you whether he succeeds or dies trying.
The game is based on tactical espionage and one-man stealth action. There are multiple Warcraft concepts that you will find in it. The intricate connection between the storyline and the action-based gameplay aspect of this game elevates it to a completely different plane. This is a must-have on your Xbox One if you prefer open-worlds and strategic gameplay.
11. Far Cry 5
Release Date: March 27, 2018 | Developers: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Toronto | Publishers: Ubisoft
A massive open-world game, and 5th installment in the Far Cry saga that began in 2004, Far Cry 5 was one of the most awaited sequels in 2018. The game mechanics and features are a combination of previous installations, just what brought a large chunk of its previous fans into the fray again. There is a huge scope of outright exploration, that can be even more enjoyable than the primary missions and storyline.
Far Cry 5 takes place in the fictional Montana county, United States. The game focuses on the control of doomsday cult Eden’s Gate over people using psychotropic drugs. It’s an armed terrorist group led by Joseph Seed. The game is based on the violent theme of overthrowing the tyrants by fighting alongside the resistance.
The game features a number of battle arenas including flying and aerial combats. Unlike in the previous installations, you can even tame animals! The stealth effects, object tracking and sounds effect gives a very realistic feel to the overall gameplay. This is one of the best single-player games for Xbox One around, definitely among the most popular ones.
10. Watch Dogs 2
Release Date: November 15, 2016 | Developers: Ubisoft Montreal | Publishers: Ubisoft
Watch Dogs 2 is the 2nd installation of the Watch Dogs series that focuses on objective-based gameplay incorporating action and stealth. The game gives the option to either go stealth or start killing dozens of people to get to the next objective.
It focuses on the quest of its main character Marcus Hollaway, a hacker vigilante who works with a gang called Dedsec Hackers. The game presents them as idealistic activists against the surveillance state. Watch Dogs 2 is filled with interesting plots and new revelations about COS’s Data manipulation program.
Most of the plot revolves around breaking into secure locations and stealing information. Each break-in has multiple approach points, much like Hitman 2, and it’s up to the player to identify and make use of the surroundings. The primary highlight of this game is the map of the San Francisco Bay area, packed with recognizable monuments and buildings. Other than some excellent graphics, Watch Dog 2 is establishing itself as one of the stealth-based sandbox action games in the market.
9. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Release Date: September 12, 2019 | Developers: Eidos Montreal | Publishers: Square Enix
Shadow of the Tomb Raider features an unexpected spin on Lara Croft’s character to make it a more ambitious game in the trio saga of Lara Croft. The game focuses on developing the real aspects of stealth, action, and sound effect with a stunning and graphics-intensive display.
It focuses more on raiding, staying true to its name. There are significantly lesser gunfights as the game has fewer killing-based objectives. The puzzle-based story missions force the player into critical thinking to get past the obstructions.
The story takes place just after the ending of the Rise of the Tomb Raider. Lara and Jonah join forces to combat the paramilitary group, Trinity. At one of the campaigns, Lara finds the Dagger of Chak Chel and ignores the Mayan warning of a permanent solar eclipse. The story progresses with the leader of Trinity reacquiring the dagger from Lara. The leader intends to reunite the dagger with its box to stop the event and gain godly powers.
Shadow of the Tomb Rader is a perfect combination of exploration, critical thinking and stealth based action sequences. It will take you through some of the most treacherous pathways combined with outstanding graphics, some of the best you can get on your Xbox One. Worth playing especially if you’ve played through the previous iterations!
8. Battlefield V
Release Date: November 28, 2018 | Developers: EA Digital Illusions CE AB (DICE) | Publishers: Electronic Arts
Battlefield V puts you right in the middle of World War II as a successor to the storm of steel plot from Battlefield 1. The game itself provides an open world environment and this was one of the most graphics-intensive games in 2020 so you are in for a visual extravaganza.
The Battlefield V single-player campaign relies more on stealth with fewer gun battles. It provides 5 different plots to explore, each focusing on contrasting aspects of war.
The first plot is a prelude to the entire game, a tutorial to train you with the RPG mechanics in the game. The 2nd and 3rd plot relies on lone-man missions mostly with stealth and a little bit of gunfight.
In the third plot, you will get the correct sense of fighting as an army, while the last story explores the tank battles of a Nazi commander. The game tells some touching stories about the impact of war.
The landscape in Battlefield V covers multiple terrains from Riverlands to mountain warfare. You will also enjoy the minutely detailed realism of war, rifle recoil, and flying bullet shells – overkill for some but perfect for others.
All in all, Battlefield V is one of the shooting games out there, and definitely barring its multi-player format, it is among the best single-player games for consoles in 2021 as well.
7. Gears 5
Release Date: September 10, 2019 | Developers: The Coalition | Publishers: Xbox Game Studios
Gears 5 carries on the same theme of this series, which focuses on a battle between humanoid settlers and subterranean creatures called the Locust horde on planet Sera. The game makes use of slow action to killstreaks and conventional crouch and fire techniques.
Gears 5 is a direct successor of the previous installation Gears of War 4 and focuses on the storyline of the character Kait Diaz, a friend of the earlier protagonist JD. Kait is on the mission to find the truth of her inheritance and connection with the Locust Horde. Gears 5 is a progressing story that focuses on the enthralling bond and backstory of characters from the first game, much to the liking of its followers.
The game has some strong RPG mechanics and effectively doubles down on the plots, with a character-focused consequential storyline, this is one of the most versatile game packages in recent memory.
A great third-person shooter to play, Gears 5 is an exciting game and worth spending around 60 hours!
6. Quantum Break
Release Date: April 5, 2016 | Developers: Remedy Entertainment | Publishers: Microsoft Studios
Quantum Break focuses on providing a cinematic shootout experience. This game is a seamless mix of gunplay and TV-style storytelling, a stylish and often exhilarating third-person shooter.
Quantum Break’s time-manipulating in the middle of a fight creates some unique grounds for action sequences. The game heavily emphasizes dialogue delivery and character development in the 20+ hours of gameplay. It focuses extensively on time travel and paradoxes – central to the gameplay and the storyline.
The plot begins with a catastrophic accident at a research lab, which gives Joyce his super ability to manipulate time. As the antagonist is dying from Choron syndrome, the storyline and action progressively multiplies into more difficult situations. Quantum Break concludes with Monarch’s second in command approaching Joyce for a position at Monarch.
Quantum Break is an artistically distinct shooter game with a compelling plot. But what separates this game from the rest is the time-stopping action, nothing like anything you have played yet. You might not like the game size and the comparatively smaller game itself. But for the hours you’re in it, Quantum Break is a unique experience that will make you replay for perfection.
5. Monster Hunter: World
Release Date: January 26, 2018 | Developers: Capcom | Publishers: Capcom
Monster Hunter: World is a part of the fantasy-themed RPG action game by Capcom released in 2018. This iteration provides you with better weapons and skills as it progresses and takes you on a quest for hunting monsters.
The player harvests materials from your prey and uses those materials to make weapons to take down stronger monsters. The simple gameplay helps you quickly expand and develop your in-game capabilities. This goes on a loop and you develop armor and weapons from the loots, thus making easier kills. You will get a total of 14 weapon systems to explore your gameplay.
The plot focuses on the quest of a fleet of monster hunters tracking down ancient beings known as Elder Dragons that change locations to wither and die in the new world. They release bio-energy to initiate the formation of a new life. Somehow the current elder dragon changes course, which releases new monsters in different biomes, threatening the ecological balance. The hunter fleet retries to turn the elder dragon to the right path and prevent cataclysmic events.
Monster Hunter: World has a generous amount of content, which consistently translates into unique gameplays and scenarios beyond the looped monster grinding of the previous iterations. It comes highly reviewed and is easily among the best single players games for Xbox One in 2021.
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Release Date: October 25, 2019 | Developers: Infinity Ward | Publishers: Activision
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the latest installation in the COD series, focuses on combat in 2019. The sixteenth overall installment of Call of Duty takes a step forward towards providing more realistic gameplay and it does deliver. This is arguably the best fps you can play on Xbox One.
The plot begins with a cover operation to intercept a gas shipment. During the following events, the US marine team is ambushed by an invading force that takes away the shipment. As a player, you will have different sequences as a US Marine, Urzig rebel, and SAS operative.
The game focuses on completing missions in the fictional country of Urzikstan, which has been invaded by the Russian military. This game provides a unique perception of the power struggle and the ensuing loss of lives. It retakes several flashback events, one featuring Captain Price helping the young rebel leader, Karim escape.
The end credits show Captain Price discussing the creation of Task Force 141 to prepare for the fight against the Russian terrorist Imran Zakeav, bringing the entire COD series to full circle. This is one of the best single-player games for Xbox One. Period.
3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Release Date: October 5, 2018 | Developers: Ubisoft Quebec | Publishers: Ubisoft
Assassins Creed Odyssey is an action-packed RPG with an extensive storyline, multiple side quests, and arguably the largest video game open worlds yet.
The events in Odyssey take place during 400 BC during the time of the Peloponnesian war. The struggle between Athens and Sparta for dominion over the ancient Greek land is recreated almost perfectly in this graphically intensive masterpiece. You even get naval warfare.
You play as a Spartan descendant of the legendary Leonidas armed with a broken fragment of his spear. The game progresses as till the reunion with your cousin, separated from you at childhood by a dark cult that has secretly enticed the war and aims to win on either side of Athens or Sparta. You become more powerful as you increase your skills empowered by the spear.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best video games in 2020 you can play, a monumental video game worth more than 80 hours of gameplay at least. Although it can be a bit of a stretch to level up for each mission, take a stroll or a boat ride through ancient Greece in case your bored!
2. Red Dead Redemption II
Release Date: October 26, 2018 | Developers: Rockstar Studios | Publishers: Rockstar Games
Red Dead Redemption 2 has picked up rave reviews for its extensive open world, intuitive gameplay, and above all, an arguably picture-perfect rendition of the Wild West.
It is a big open-world game with an incredible story and characters, which develop as you continue with the primary objectives. While a lot of big-sized open-world games make sacrifices in the RPG mechanics, Red Dead Redemption II makes an exception.
The game establishes itself as a western-themed action-adventure game set in the late 19th century. The story features a botched robbery and its fallback on the gang as they try to amass huge wealth and retire. The gang goes through a lot of gory and violent faceoffs with the law and rival gangs. The final scenes of this game foreshadow the events of the predecessor Red Dead Redemption.
But the reason Red Dead Redemption 2 is often rated as one the best games of the decade is because of its exceptional gameplay techniques. You can do nearly anything in it – go camping and live off the land, or simply wile away the days at the tavern. It does share some features with GTA V because of having the same developer, reason more get in!
1. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Release Date: March 19, 2015, | Developers: CD Projekt Red | Publishers: CD Projekt
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is viewed as one of the most realistic serious games delivered in mid-2015 and is a commendable participant in this rundown. In contrast to The Witcher 2, which began as an activity stuffed game, this iteration is a substantial revitalization with a vast open-world and loads of resplendent action.
Witcher 3 has strong RPG mechanics, which makes the game all the more fulfilling. The open-world game spreads through mountains, grasslands, towns, waterways, lakes, and perfectly placed apart.
The entire game centers around Geralt getting things done for others in return for more information on the whereabouts of Jennifer and Ciri. In any case, besides the principal storyline, the side missions, beast refuges, and crook camps are loaded with rich story content.
Excellent graphics, better combat scenarios, and true-blue RPG roots added, Witcher 3 is a video game experience par excellence. This is our best single-player game for Xbox One in 2020. Wherever your royalties, Witcher 3 is another must-have for your Xbox collection.