The Best ID@Xbox Games Available in 2017

By Mark Delaney, 10 days ago
ID@Xbox has become one of Xbox One's greatest attributes since its inception three years ago. Now boasting well over 500 games and counting, ID@Xbox is home to some of the most innovative games, emotional stories, and memorable characters that we've seen this generation.

The rate at which these titles release means this list will surely need updating soon — a certain PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds comes to mind as a likely future addition — but for now, here is our list of the best ID@Xbox games currently available in 2017. As always, this list is made with considerations from both our site reviews and overall community ratings.

Inside

Inside 2

Inside is a game that has to be experienced first-hand to be understood and I’d urge everyone to play it. At three to four hours it is on the short side, but thanks to the thought-provoking and surprising story, tight gameplay and exceptional sound and visual design, Inside will leave a long lasting impression that will more than make it worth its price tag.

Download from Microsoft Store

The Turing Test

The Turing Test

The Turing Test's gameplay mechanics will be familiar to anyone who is well-versed in the genre, but they still deserve accolades all of their own. The story that's told in piecemeal, room by room, is where the game really shines. It's written in a way that reveals a passion for the material from those that worked on the game, using real-life historical context mixed with classic sci-fi tropes that are retold in interesting ways. Where other games often sacrifice gameplay for story, or vice versa, Bulkhead's puzzler presents outstanding cases for both. The Turing Test delivers not just a worthwhile game but an amazing story that will sit with you long after the credits.

Download from Microsoft Store

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a unique game for consoles that you didn't realize that you wanted until you had it. Growing your farm from a small plot of land to a massive industry is a wonderful feeling and the journey is rewarding and worthy of your time. You'll constantly be thinking of new ventures that you can try to make gold; with proper work, those ventures always pay off, which only makes you want to play even more. With plenty of extra activities in which to participate throughout your days, you won't grow bored quickly. While the game isn't perfect — side activities can be dull and there are a few frustrating bugs — Stardew Valley will no doubt remain a staple in my rotation for months to come. It's a game that fully succeeds in its premise and for that it is worthy of your time.

Download from Microsoft Store

Shovel Knight

Battletoads

It can be challenging, frustrating and cause unwanted headaches, but despite all that you'll keep wanting to come back for more. Not everyone will be drawn in by an 8-bit, side-scrolling death fest in this day and age of gaming that seems overwhelmed by retro aesthetic titles, however, Shovel Knight rightly deserves a place among modern games. The amazing soundtrack and rewarding gameplay will spur you on right to the end, and even then you'll probably want to go back for another round of smacking things in the face with a shovel. The inspiration from 8-bit games of the past has caused a great feeling of nostalgia for many, and Shovel Knight is well worth the money and trip down memory lane if you prefer to be challenged on a regular basis. The game is proof that, although 8-bit side-scrollers look old, they certainly aren't outdated.

Download from Microsoft Store

Rocket League

Rocket League

It might have taken a while for Rocket League to appear on the Xbox One, but the wait was worth it. The simplistic design of the game makes it extremely easy to pick up and play for newcomers, while at the same time allowing players to develop their skill and understanding of the game through practice. There is an issue with the game occasionally locking up, but that shouldn’t detract from the enjoyment and excitement that the game provides on a far more often basis. If you've already played the game extensively on other platforms prior to its launch on the Xbox One then there's nothing new on offer. For anyone that hasn’t tried Rocket League yet, it’s an absolute masterpiece of a multiplayer game that really has to be experienced to be truly understood.

Download from Microsoft Store

What Remains of Edith Finch

edith finch

The exceptional story and inventive gameplay design makes Giant Sparrow's title a memorable trailblazer for walking sims. It sets a new bar for what the genre is capable of in its interactivity, and all narrative adventure games that arrive after Edith Finch may now have to consider challenging players with more than diary reading and tape playing. It's said that, in their infancy, each new medium copies the one it's following. In some ways, games are the successor to movies and we've seen plenty of cinematic games that crib the format of feature films. To take nothing away from such games, What Remains of Edith Finch is a shining example of what video games do uniquely well.

Download from Microsoft Store

SUPERHOT

SUPERHOT 3

The SUPERHOT Team managed to take what seems like a fairly simple mechanic and turn it into a game that is full of possibilities. Having all movement synced to that of the player provided a fresh twist on the shooter genre, and real time replays give the player another chance to feel awesome about what they just pulled off. Despite the relatively short length of the main levels, the Challenge and Endless modes should provide most players with plenty to sink their time into. For several reasons, the game is one of the most innovative shooters in years and should provide players with many hours of entertainment.

Download from Microsoft Store

Cuphead

Cuphead screenshot 9

Cuphead is likely to reveal its deliberate frustrations too late for some people. It's hard not to become infatuated with the game's visuals, leaving uninformed buyers lured in by those blatant strengths to discover only then that it revels in its own relentlessness. This, in turn, could leave some wanting a refund and needing a new controller or two. However, for those that go into it with a co-op partner and with the knowledge that its design is as unforgiving as it is beautiful, it will be a unique and rewarding game. Always unabating but never unfair, Cuphead is tough to overcome but even tougher to put down.

Download from Microsoft Store

Thimbleweed Park

Thimbleweed Park screenshots

Thimbleweed Park is a strange ride. It's compelling throughout, with a strange story full of eccentric characters coupled with some very competent and rewarding puzzle construction; arguably the best of its kind, even including the LucasArts classics. It takes a while to get going and stumbles on a few points along the way, particularly with its incessant fourth-wall breaking and a lack of meaningful engagement between the playable characters. As a lovingly-crafted piece of fan service, there are few games out there that can match the level of passion and community spirit on display here, and it proves that there is still a place in the market for some traditional point-and-click puzzling. It's not going to win over staunch critics of the format, but for anyone looking for a fresh twist on a classic genre, Thimbleweed Park is highly recommended.

Download from Microsoft Store

Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancée and son. He almost never writes in the third person.