The 10 Best Xbox One Shooter Games of 2019

See which titles you won't want to stop playing

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Halo: Master Chief Collection

Halo: Master Chief Collection

Courtesy of Amazon

Despite some hiccups upon its initial release, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has grown into one of the most spectacular shooter experiences that you will find on the Xbox One platform. Comprised of every mainline installment of the Halo series up to Halo 4, The Master Chief Collection supplies literally hundreds of hours of quality entertainment, with a variety of modes at your disposal to boot.

If you want to engage in one of gaming’s most spectacular sagas, just jump into any of the four main campaigns, fully remastered to take advantage of the Xbox One platform. And if you are itching to work together with a friend, you can even play every single campaign online or with split-screen mode (up to four players).

If you are in the mood for a little competition, dive into the collection’s massive arsenal of multiplayer options, featuring every single map from Halo 1 to 4 (and even the later games’ popular Forge mode, which lets you play on user-created maps of your very own). Pound for pound, you won’t find a more satisfying shooter experience on the Xbox One than Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Most Popular: Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII

There is simply no avoiding the supernova of popularity that is the Call of Duty (COD) franchise. It's the best-selling first-person shooting series of all time, and every year seems to one-up the previous entry. Black Ops IIII is the first COD title to bring a dedicated battle royale mode to the table, here called Blackout, and has you (or your team) taking on dozens of other players in an ever enclosing ring of death to become the last one standing. The new mode receives regular updates so each match is unique and different no matter how many times you queue it up.

Black Ops IIII also has the most elaborate and fleshed out Zombie maps this time around, with multiple campaigns full of characters, upgrades, items, unlocks, and secrets to discover. And if that wasn't enough, you also get traditional multiplayer to sink your teeth into. An immense amount of guns, levels, maps, perks, kill streaks, and characters are on display here, and even though it's been out for a while, there is always more being delivered by developer Treyarch.

For a completely different list of great shooters, check out our list of the best PlayStation 4 shooters.

Best Story: Bioshock: The Collection

While there can be plenty of fun in playing a game simply for the visceral thrill of shooting virtual things, for a shooter to really transcend its genre, it has to hit equally as hard in the narrative department. And when it comes to storytelling in shooters, let alone video games in general, one would be remiss not to mention both Bioshock and Bioshock: Infinite, contained in one set via Bioshock: The Collection.

The original Bioshock, released in 2007, takes you into the atmospheric and beautiful failed utopia of Rapture, an undersea would-be paradise now left in ruin. Your silent protagonist, Jack, traverses the game’s incredible landscapes in hopes of finding a way home, all while following the instructions of the mysterious man known only as Atlas. Bioshock’s story earned high marks upon its release, but it’s really the game’s sequel, Bioshock: Infinite, that took the franchise’s narrative aspirations to new heights (literally and figuratively).

Infinite takes place in the flying city of Columbia, a staggering blend of sci-fi trappings and mind-bending metafiction. The story of Booker and Elizabeth unfolds in the game’s main campaign, and the twists and turns will leave you breathless. So the fact you can get it and the equally great originally all in one bundle makes for quite the deal.

Want to take a look at some other offbeat options for your console? See our guide to the best Xbox One puzzle games.

Best Co-Op: Gears of War 4

The Gears of War franchise has always been known for its intense, cooperation-heavy gameplay. Even with the series getting something of a soft reboot, including a brand new squad of characters and a massive 25-year time jump from the previous game, co-op is very much on Gears of War 4's mind. The whole campaign is once again entirely playable with a friend in either local split-screen or online co-operative multiplayer, and you’re going to need the help if you hope to make your way through the brutal, often challenging, world of Gears of War.

Featuring mind-blowing visuals (especially if you utilize the full power of the Xbox One X) and a plethora of interesting and varied missions, it’s nearly impossible not to be wowed as you make your way through the game’s immense world of Sera. New additions to the series include a variable weather system that constantly keeps you on your toes, and new weapon types such as the Dropshot explosive drill and Buzzkill ricocheting sawblades.

But of course, what people love about the Gears of War series (the shooting mechanics, the intricate gore, and chainsaws attached to guns) is very much front and center here. And there's no better way to bask in those pleasantries than with a friend at your side.

Read more reviews of the best split-screen Xbox One games available to purchase online.

Best Multiplayer: Titanfall 2

If you’re looking for a multiplayer game with a more competitive edge, then your best bet today on the Xbox One system would have to be Respawn’s Titanfall 2. The sequel to the 2013 original (no slouch in its own regard), Titanfall 2 takes everything that worked in the first game and amplifies it tenfold.

The fast-paced movement system is as fluid as ever, and the ways in which you travel the game’s many maps somehow become a delight all on its own. You can run on walls, slide down hills, swing around buildings, and jump off skyscrapers to your heart's content. The guns feel comfortable and responsive, an absolute necessity when you are in the heat of battle.

And then you have the Titans, gigantic robotic mechs that fall from the sky on command, which is Titanfall's main claim to fame. The Titans add a whole new level of variety to pretty much every single match and, with their awesome tools at your disposal, you will never fail to be entertained.

Add in a large smattering of guns and other unlockables to the mix, and you have the recipe for a multiplayer experience that can provide hundreds of hours of satisfaction.

Best Battle Royale: Apex Legends

The battle royale subgenre of shooters has taken the world by storm in the past few years, with games like Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds capturing the public consciousness in ways video games, let alone shooters, rarely do. But it's really one of the newest challengers for the battle royale crown that takes the cake as the best currently available on the Xbox One: Respawn’s Apex Legends.

A pseudo-extension of the Titanfall universe, Apex Legends operates similarly to many other games in the Battle Royale genre: you jump from an aircraft, land in an isolated, huge map, and fight to survive by picking up distinct gear and weapons, using it to take down your enemies until you (or in Apex Legend’s case, your three-man squad) are the only ones left standing. But it's the game’s rock-solid shooting mechanics, responsive movement system, and unique class abilities that really put Apex Legends ahead of the battle royale pack.

Best Comedy: Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Video games should be fun, first and foremost, something that the Borderlands games have never once forgotten about. As you traverse the insane planet that is Pandora, you are absolutely bombarded with a collection of insanely funny characters, hilarious situations, and memorable lines of dialogue. When even the descriptions of weapons and enemies can elicit huge laughs, you know the people at Gearbox Software are doing something right. They bundled two great games into one handsome collection, which contains both a remastered version of Borderlands 2 and its follow-up, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

The Borderlands games are known for their sardonic sense of humor, but the levity is matched by airtight combat, millions of guns to collect and trade, loot chests to find, and lots of bosses to take down. And the co-operative gameplay (available in both split-screen and online configurations) makes the experience all the better.

Very few shooters are as inherently enjoyable as Borderlands games are, and with the long-awaited Borderlands 3 finally releasing, there hasn’t been a better time than now to pick up Borderlands: The Handsome Jack Collection.

Best RPG: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Not all role-playing games involve swords and sorcery in a medieval time period. Perhaps the best example of how different an RPG can be is the creative and inventive Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the latest mainline entry in the long-running series.

Deus Ex is a first-person shooter, yes, and a very good one at that, but going in guns blazing is the quickest way to fail a mission. You play as Adam Jensen, an agent who augmented his body with cybernetic abilities, and your task is to solve the case of a train bombing in Prague while uncovering a massive web of conspiracy theories and secret organizations pulling all the strings.

First and foremost, Deus Ex is an RPG and contains all the hallmarks of the genre: experience grind, customizable superpowers, wide open skill trees, an adaptable narrative, dialogue trees, and branching choices that affect multiple endings.

With the main story lasting dozens of hours, plus a huge selection of side missions at your disposal and two full-fledged downloadable add-on packs, there’s plenty of content in Mankind Divided that will have you toiling in Prague for years to come.

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

Best Stealth: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

While the appeal of most shooters is the opportunity to take down as many enemies as possible (and do it in the coolest ways imaginable), sometimes, you need a slower approach simply for the sake of balance. Running and gunning can get old after a while, but operating as a ninja assassin and covertly taking out your foes from the shadows can yield its own unique pleasures. And you won’t find that experience distilled more perfectly than with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Series creator and video game legend Hideo Kojima’s swan song for the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a quasi-open world title that throws you in the role of Punished “Venom” Snake as he ventures across Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and Angola in the year 1984. Fueled by a quest for vengeance, you control Snake as he does everything in his power to strike back against the people that destroyed his organization and left him for dead.

Immersive third-person shooting mechanics are a plus here, but it’s really the game’s main operations, which force you to think on your feet and devise strategies on the fly to take down your enemy, that make Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain soar. The tagline of the entire series is simple: “Tactical. Action. Espionage.” And never have three words done such a more apt job of explaining the appeal of a game as dynamic and cerebral as this one.

Best Open World: Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games have been making open world video games longer than every video game studio in existence, so it should come as no surprise at this point that they know what they doing in that department. Still, that doesn’t take away from the achievements of their latest magnum opus, Red Dead Redemption 2. Featuring a huge world to explore and what feels like an endless amount of tasks at your disposal, it is not hard at all to get lost within the massive, immersive realm that Rockstar has built.

Thankfully, a wonderful story filled with a captivating cast of characters keeps things grounded, as does the game’s commitment to realism. Once again at the forefront is Red Dead’s famous “Dead Eye” system, in which the game completely slows down time in order for you to select the most accurate (and often most brutal) ways to take down your enemies. Not only does this make for a clean, smooth shooting experience, but it also channels the feelings of being an Old West gunslinger in ways that are, frankly, just oh-so-very cool. And if that’s not the appeal of a great shooter, then what is?

Check out our guide to the best Xbox One games you can buy today. 

Our Process

Our writers spent 100 hours playing the most popular Xbox One shooter games on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different games overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 30 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 9 of the games themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.