The Best Xbox Third Person Shooters Available in 2018

By Mark Delaney, 1 year ago
Continuing our trend of highlighting the best of the best, one genre at a time, this week we're looking at the crowded field of third person shooters. As always, we can't simply include every great game from the genre, so we've tried to narrow things down to some of our (and our community's) favorites, based on ratings and reviews.

The Xbox One is home to plenty of worthwhile third person shooters and the best thing about them is how varied they are. There's something for everyone in this genre and if you have a wide range of tastes, there's even more for you. These are our picks for the best third person shooters on Xbox in 2018.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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The Phantom Pain is the kind of game that actually feels as if every seemingly insignificant gameplay detail actually has a real purpose. Every mission, side-op and minute spent assigning staff back at Mother Base makes a real difference to what can or cannot be achieved out on the field. At its core, it is still a stealth-action game, but it never ties you down to just being stealthy. Every mission can be approached in a multitude of different ways and it's left up to the player how to progress. The more manageable approach to storytelling may not seem true to the Metal Gear Solid series to date, but it fits in well with the game's more flexible approach, which lets people attack the game head on or play in smaller bites without needing to worry that at any moment they may have to set aside an hour purely to watch a surprise cutscene.

Download from Microsoft Store

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

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Gears of War: Ultimate Edition stands as a shining example of how a remaster should be done. From the ground up the game has been redesigned to make it look and feel perfectly at home on the Xbox One, and The Coalition have managed to combine remaining true to the original game, whilst at the same time adding improvements. By staying true to the original Gears there are moments where the game shows its age, but they aren’t frequent enough to spoil the overall experience, and you’ll be more surprised by how well the story and gameplay mechanics stand up to today’s standards, and quiet often overshadow them. If you're not a fan of third person shooters or the previous Gears of War games, there's nothing for you here, but for everyone else the name says it all, this is the Ultimate way to experience Gears of War, whether you're a newcomer to the franchise, or if you’re looking for any excuse to return to Sera and chainsaw Locust’s into tiny pieces, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a must play.

Download from Microsoft Store

Sunset Overdrive

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Sunset Overdrive is like nothing else on this list. It's a completely mad, colorful, over the top shooter mixed with stylish, cartoonish parkour. Bouncing off cars, grinding power lines, and the signature wild weaponry of an Insomniac game make Sunset an unforgettable experience only they could deliver. If the gruff anti-heroes of most games on this list have you down, the color infusion of this Xbox One exclusive will certainly pick you up. It also includes a few story DLC chapters delivering more of the game's meta humor as well as the Choas Squad multiplayer mode, which is worth checking out if you can find a good team. If you haven't played this yet, we can't recommend anything on this list more highly.

Download from Microsoft Store

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 has managed to take all of the best bits from the first game, build on them and then add more good things on top of them. All of our favourite characters are back, whilst the newer characters that have been introduced are fun to play. One of the biggest improvements is the addition of the Backyard Battleground hub base, and the addition of the single player focused quests, missions and collectibles means that this game appeals to both single and multiplayer gamers more than ever. The bright colours and fun gameplay are ever present and there isn't a lot going wrong here apart from some issues with the sound and music. For fans of the first Garden Warfare game, this sequel is a must play. For those who haven't had the chance to experience the plants and zombies war yet, it's hard to find a reason not to recommend this game.

Download from Microsoft Store

Quantum Break

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Thus far as a studio, Remedy has a long history of creating games that focus on two key ideas: providing unconventional gameplay that brings something new to shooters and presenting it in a story rich with characters, background lore, and more than a few twists. Quantum Break hits on both of these tenets and does so in what feels like their most well-rounded game to date. The time manipulation powers are as special as Max Payne's "bullet time" or Alan Wake's fighting with light. The time travel storyline is one that lends itself to discussion, speculation, and adoration among genre fans. Both of these things are then aided by a great cast and truly stunning audio and visual design. Not without missteps, Quantum Break is still an exceptional title that takes chances and looks like the makings of a successful new franchise. In short, it's a hell of a time.

Download from Microsoft Store

Watch_Dogs 2

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Watch_Dogs 2 definitely improves on its predecessor in almost every way. Marcus is a much more enjoyable person with whom to spend time and even though DedSec is hipster central, it's a fun journey that you'll have here. There's a better city to explore this time around and a whole bunch of exciting missions to find and complete, as well as the feeling of saving and changing lives as you do so. Unfortunately, there are still some minor bugs scattered about and the issues with the multiplayer means that the seamless experience that we were promised has not quite hit its mark. These issues aside, Watch_Dogs 2 is easily recommendable for anyone who liked the premise of the first one but longed for improvements. This is the new reality, so don't miss a chance to be a part of it.

Download from Microsoft Store

Tom Clancy's The Division

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The Division’s dense and stunningly recreated version of New York City provides an interesting environment for you to explore, and the overall story arc ties each of its components together in a cohesive way. There are a few bugs here and there but none of them feel game breaking or detracted from the overall enjoyment of the game. As a cover-based shooter it’s more than competent and will provide an entertaining and worthwhile experience for those of you that want to play through the story and then move on to the next game. If the enticement of better loot and stat optimization catches hold of you however, there’s a chance that The Division may well become your next addiction.

Download from Microsoft Store

Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Crystal Dynamics had great success in rebooting Tomb Raider back in 2013. Rise of the Tomb Raider takes another positive step forward and continues the development of Lara Croft while providing another solid adventure. There is a good bit of fun to be had in climbing, swinging, and exploring, but above all it's Lara's continued characterization that's worth the trip. She's on her way to redefining her legacy as one of gaming's most famous faces, and before you dive into this fall's threequel, make sure you've played what came before.

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Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 promised a new beginning — a new cast of characters, a new threat to humanity and the chance for a new developer to make its mark. While the gameplay and storyline certainly aren't lacking and will likely keep Gears fans amused, The Coalition seems reluctant to let the past go and to move on. Away from the campaign, there are tweaks to competitive multiplayer that include a couple of new game modes, but the real focus of the title is the improved Horde mode. It delivers a lot of what fans have always loved about Gears, sometimes perhaps even to a fault. But if you can't get enough of the gnasher and other iconic weapons, characters, and roadie-running, Gears 4 is exactly what you need.

Download from Microsoft Store

Just Cause 3

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Just Cause 3 delivers in everything that it set out to do and doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not. It’s a solid and light-hearted game that offers a sprawling open-world playground for you to explore and destroy in as many creative and humorous ways as you can imagine. There are bugs that need to be addressed, it lacks the depth of other games in its genre, and it can be repetitive over long periods of play, but in short bursts of a couple of hours or so there’s no hiding from the fact that being given the freedom to blow things up to your heart's content provides some of the most chaotic fun you’ll find on the Xbox One right now.

Download from Microsoft Store

Sniper Elite 4

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Sniper Elite 4 is a game that mainly succeeds at what it sets out to be. Thanks to an emphasis on freedom, you'll be able to play however you want. Sniping can be frustrating but ultimately effective if you want to make it work, while players who prefer less precise strategies will find a home here too. The entire game can be played with a friend and it's a fantastic co-op experience thanks to the many ways you can tackle a mission. If you hear the premise of Sniper Elite 4 and your first thought is "Wow does that sound awesome," then you're probably right.

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 most kinds of games, and is the host of the community game club TA Playlist. Outside of gaming, he likes bicycling, binge-watching, and spending time with his family. He almost never writes in the third person.