The 9 Best Xbox One Shooter Games to Buy in 2019

Play shooter games with the best graphics, sound, goriness and more

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Gameplay: Destiny 2

Fans of the original Destiny had to wait a little longer than anticipated for a sequel, but the wait was worth it. Destiny 2 vastly improves on the mechanics and gameplay of the original, which was no easy task. Gameplay once again takes place in the distant future, where an alien army is intent on invading the solar system and wiping out humanity. It isn’t exactly a steep departure from the original storyline, but that really doesn’t matter.

Destiny 2 has a cinematic storyline and unique missions, but your minute-to-minute mission is shooting alien invaders. Like most shooting games, things get more intense as you advance farther into the campaign and encounter new bosses and storylines to follow. This game demands strategy and patience, and its reward is a whole lot of fun. 

Take a peek at some of the other best Xbox One games you can buy.

Best Graphics: Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront 2 has something for everyone: beautiful cinematic gameplay, lots of action, and a heavy dose of Star Wars nostalgia. Completely revamped from the first-generation game, it introduces a fan favorite single player campaign. Dropped into gorgeous landscapes on both familiar and unfamiliar worlds in Star Wars lore, players fight for both the empire and the resistance. Whether you’re lost in forests of Endor or making strafing runs on a Star Destroyer, everything looks and feels like a movie. Plus, you’re playing as some of the galaxy’s greatest heroes.

Running at 1080p at 60fps on the Xbox One, the framerate holds stead during even the most intense battle scenes. For Xbox One X owners, the graphics are even better with maxed-out Full 4K resolution. Wielding a lightsaber as Luke Skywalker at that level of resolution may actually feel like you’re in the movies. And that’s part of what makes Battlefront 2 a cinematic video game masterpiece.       

Best Action: Call of Duty Black Ops 4

Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII

 Best Buy

If you want a game that’s full of non-stop action and outstanding graphics, look no further than Call of Duty Black Ops 4. For the first time in the Call of Duty series, there is no single player campaign — for some, that might be a deal breaker. But for others, the three available game modes will definitely be enough. Multiplayer is the game’s strongest mode and it's exactly what you’d expect. Game options like “Team Deathmatch” require you to pick a class of player (specialist, gunner, sniper, etc.) and then it’s run-and-gun to your heart's content. You control the speed of the action and develop your own winning strategy.  

The remaining two modes, “Zombies” and the new “Blackout” mode, will also keep your heart pumping. “Zombies” is exactly what it sounds like. And “Blackout” is very much like Fortnite’s “Battle Royale” mode, where it’s every player for themselves. 

Check out our other reviews of the best Xbox One war games available on the market today.

Best Cooperative: Halo Master Chief Collection

Halo Master Chief Collection
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The Halo Master Chief Collection is a great title to have in your Xbox One collection for a number of reasons: It is four separate games with complete single-player campaigns and four distinct versions of multiplayer all in one package, and they all look awesome and play great. But we’re singling it out for its best-in-class co-op play.

Being able to experience Master Chief’s story all the way from landing on the first mysterious alien Halo ring through the events back on Earth in Halo 4 (which in turn lead up to Halo 5) in one seamless experience alongside your friends is simply amazing. All four of the story campaigns are playable cooperatively with at least two players in local split-screen or online, and Halo 3 and Halo 4 offer four-player online co-op.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best split-screen Xbox One games.

Best Open World: Far Cry 5

There’s no shortage of open world games on the Xbox One, but few can compete with Far Cry 5’s outstanding combination of beautiful graphics and endlessly varied gameplay. As an open world game set in the Montana wilderness, you’re free to explore to your heart’s content. You play as a sheriff’s deputy, out to investigate some weird cult activity in the woods. Gameplay is less run-and-gun and more tactics and strategy. Battle wild animals, deal with some very strange people, and explore immersive natural environments. There are so many different things to do, it’s easy to get distracted from the main campaign. And it takes more than 25 hours to complete if you don’t get sidetracked. 

Best Story: Tom Clancy’s The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division
Courtesy of Amazon.com

While a lot of shooter fans ignore the single-player campaign and jump right into multiplayer, there are still some solid stories being told in the genre. The best recent story comes from Tom Clancy’s: The Division. 

The Division takes place in Manhattan after it has been decimated by a virus that was intentionally distributed through infected money on Black Friday. Most surviving civilians have been evacuated, but bodies still line the streets. And gangs, as well as other dangerous elements, have emerged in the chaos (the perpetrator of the viral infection is still at large).

Interestingly, The Division doesn’t simply tell the overall story of the infection and your allies’ task of curing it, but it also tells smaller stories of individual citizens. For example, you’ll find cell phone messages between people scattered all over the city and you can eventually piece these individual messages together into full conversations that tell you exactly what happened to normal people on the ground when the outbreak happened. These side stories are easy to miss completely but are some of the best parts of The Division.

See more reviews of our favorite Xbox One RPG games available for purchase.

Best Sound: Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein-The New Order
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When it comes to shooters, the quality of the sound isn’t measured by how pretty the sweeping orchestral music might be, but rather by the room shaking bass of an explosion and the satisfying crack of gunfire echoing across a battlefield. Shooting games just feel better to play when what you’re doing sounds loud, powerful and dangerous, and few shooters deliver those raw visceral thrills quite as well as Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Taking place in an alternate history 1960s Europe where Germany won World War II, you take on Nazi enemies with some of the loudest and meanest sounding shotguns and machine guns in all of gaming. The music in The New Order is a surprising mix of industrial heavy metal and even dubstep rather than the patriotic marches you might expect. But the game also has lots of quiet moments with no music at all, and it allows the great weapon and explosion sound effects to tell the story and convey emotions instead. Turn up the surround volume or use good headphones because Wolfenstein: The New Order’s sound design will blow you away.

Best Casual Play: Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2
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Most shooters are designed with teen and adult hardcore gamers in mind, which means they aren’t always the most appropriate or accessible for younger players or more casual gamers who don’t want to take the game quite so seriously. If you’d like to play an online shooter but prefer a more easygoing family-friendly experience, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is a great choice.

These backyard battles between technology-driven zombies and noble plants protecting nature are generally not too intense, so players of any skill level can jump in and have a good time. The cute and funny cast of plant and zombie characters are not only undeniably charming and funny, but they all have unique and distinct play styles and abilities. That means anyone can find a role they like, whether it is a frontline attacker, medic or support class.

Garden Warfare 2 is playable both online against other players or in single-player and local split-screen, thanks to computer-controlled bots that can be added to all of the game modes.

Best Shock Factor: Gears of War Ultimate Edition

Gears of War Ultimate Edition
Courtesy of Amazon.com

In the early days of the shooter genre, the unflinching depiction of violence and gore in games were a huge shock and had a big impact on the popularity of the genre. Things have changed since then, however, and most modern shooters have stepped back a bit from having gore for gore’s sake, but there are still some games carrying the flag for good, old-fashioned ultra-violence like Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

Gears of War’s story of alien monsters emerging from underground paves the way for some of the most brutal action of any game on Xbox One. Enemies and allies are blown apart by explosives and riddled with bullets. One of the coolest weapons in the game is an assault rifle with a built-in chainsaw, so you can only imagine what it’s capable of in close quarters. A common way to finish off a wounded opponent is with a stomp to their head into the ground. Of course, there’s more to games (including this one) than just violence, but sometimes that’s just what you’re in the mood for, and Gears of War Ultimate Edition will more than satisfy.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best Xbox One fantasy games.