Best Cheap Xbox One Games (March 2020 Update)
High Quality, Low Price
Launching back in 2013, the Xbox One has become a solid platform for games of varying types. But with its successor, the Xbox Series X, slated to arrive Holiday 2020, it's now offered us a time to reflect on all the fun times we had with Microsoft's current console, and all the games that landed into the hands of gamers. Whether you've had an Xbox since day one, or just picked one up, it can be difficult decide what games to play. There's certainly plenty to play on Xbox, and your options are good even if you're on a budget.
As the years have gone by, the Xbox Store has gotten more and more crowded, for better and for worse. There's a ton of stuff to look through--be it multiplatform or not--so it can be a hassle if you're simply looking for something good to play without breaking the bank. That's only going to get worse as time goes on, especially in light of the huge number of games that Microsoft showcased during its E3 press conference.
To help you find some quality, budget-priced games, we've taken a look at what the Xbox Store has to offer. From discounted AAA games to newer, smaller-scale titles, we've picked out the best games you can get for $20 or under (around £17) on the Xbox store. We've only looked at digital prices here; there are games you can get on sale at other stores, but these games are consistently this affordable. Be sure to let us know what you think are some of the best deals in the comments below.
For more games on a budget, see our roundups of the best cheap games on PS4 and on Switch. And make sure to check out our gallery of the Xbox One exclusive games confirmed for 2020 as well as the biggest Xbox One games of 2020 for everything coming to the console.
Axiom Verge -- $20 / £16
Axiom Verge is another take on the Metroidvania style, but it distinguishes itself through its wide variety of weapons and tools--most notably, the Address Disruptor, which affects the environment and each enemy type in different ways. It's also a game with an impressive sense of scale and no shortage of secrets to uncover, encouraging multiple playthroughs. Add in an excellent soundtrack and tantalizing story, and there's a lot to like here. | Chris Pereira
Bastion -- $15 / £12
Supergiant Games' debut, Bastion, set the stage for everything else the developer created. This isometric action RPG tells a gripping story of a world destroyed by a catastrophic event referred to as The Calamity in the city of Caelondia. You control Bastion's protagonist, The Kid, who is led by the charismatic narrator named Rucks in a journey to piece the city back together. Very few survivors are left, and hostile monsters litter Caelondia, which is the impetus to put a varied arsenal of melee and projectile weapons to use. The Bastion acts as a sort of home base that slowly comes together as you progress and collect cores at the end of each level.Rucks' deep, instantly recognizable voice (that of Logan Cunningham) adds a level of grandeur to the story that's superbly supported by a truly remarkable soundtrack (by Darren Korb) that's vaguely Celtic, Western, and trip-hop all at the same time. Bastion's fantastical hand-painted art style (by Jen Zee) breathes life into a world nearly devoid of it, torn apart by a conflict of different cultures. These elements came to be staples of Supergiant's work, and Bastion is still a sterling example of the team's ability to craft a game that's both fun and heartfelt. | Michael Higham
Batman: Arkham Knight - ($20 / £ 17)
"What Batman: Arkham Knight does well, however, it does really well. Gotham is a dazzling playground where neon lights pierce through the rain and mist; all it takes is a single glimpse to tell you that this is a city in need. Moreover, many individual elements are so carefully constructed, and presented with such flair, that appreciation is the only reasonable reaction. Yet most of these elements--excellent acting, wonderful animations, moody soundtrack--are ones that Batman: Arkham City also excelled in, making Arkham Knight's missteps all the more noticeable. Rather than escape the pull of the games that spawned it, The Bat's newest adventure refines the fundamentals; it is a safe but satisfying return to the world's most tormented megalopolis."
Read our Batman: Arkham Knight review.
Celeste -- $20 / £16
Celeste may look like another pixelated platformer with a youthful protagonist, but it quickly transforms into a brutal, tightly orchestrated gauntlet of death that only the best players can master. It challenges you to traverse spike-lined caverns with a modest selection of skills, with alternate pathways that push your mettle even further as you strive to acquire every last hidden item. You will die hundreds of times, but with quick restarts and a catchy soundtrack, there's never any downtime to wallow in defeat, only a new opportunity to show the game what you're made of. The action and difficulty curve are accompanied by a surprisingly engaging story that adds just the right amount of context to make your arduous journey feel justified, and to solidify Celeste as one of the biggest surprises so far of 2018. | Peter Brown
Crypt of the NecroDancer -- $15 / £12
Roguelikes (or at least roguelike elements) have been one of the most popular trends in gaming over the past handful of years, but few have taken as interesting of an approach to the genre as Crypt of the NecroDancer. It tasks players with navigating a dungeon to the beat of the music. Rather than simply move in the direction you wish or attack the enemy that's in your path, you and your enemies' actions are tied directly to the (always excellent) soundtrack. It's essential that you always be doing something--not taking an action at the next beat resets your combo, meaning you'll earn less gold or deal less damage, depending on the items you've acquired. Particularly as the music becomes more fast-paced, this lends a real sense of tension and excitement to every moment: you need to constantly be considering your next action while accounting for how nearby enemies will react to your movements. It's an experience with few points of comparison, but it's nonetheless one that you'll certainly want to try. | Chris Pereira
Cuphead - ($20 / £ 17)
"Everything you've heard about Cuphead is true. It is a difficult side-scrolling shooter with relentless boss battles that demand rapid-fire actions and reactions. Think for too long, and you won't stand a chance against the game's toughest enemies. Battles may only last three minutes at most, but they feel far longer when you know that you can only absorb three hits before you have to start from scratch. When you are navigating your way around bullets, smaller enemies, and pitfalls, while simultaneously trying to damage your primary target, toppling Cuphead's imposing bosses is both a monumental and rewarding task."
Read our Cuphead review.
Doom (2016) - ($20 / £ 17)
"But without a doubt, the loud and chaotic campaign is Doom's strongest component. It's straightforward and simple, but it serves its purpose: to thrust you into increasingly dire scenarios fueled by rage and the spirit of heavy metal. Many shooters chase the thrill Doom delivers, but few are as potent in their execution. It captures the essence of what made the classic Doom games touchstones of their day, and translates it to suit modern palates with impressively rendered hellscapes and a steady influx of tantalizing upgrades. Doom is the product of a tradition as old as shooters, and while it's not the model to follow in every case, modern shooters could learn a thing or two from Doom's honed and unadulterated identity."
Read our Doom review.
Don't Starve Together - ($15 / £13)
"The way Don't Starve blends its crafting, exploration, and survival elements makes for an enthralling and unique combination. This game will readily eat up many hours of your time if you let it, but the promise each run holds never seems to pan out thanks to the insidious challenges the game constantly stacks against you. The initial sense of wonder that comes from stumbling upon the surprises and discoveries of this interesting world rapidly fades away when you're stuck tackling the same menial tasks over and over again to regain lost ground for the hundredth time. It's disappointing, because Don't Starve otherwise packs a tremendous amount of charm, depth, and intrigue."
Read our Don't Starve review.
Dying Light - ($20 / £ 17)
"Dying Light succeeds when it remains confident in its systems. The combat isn't as fulfilling as it is in Dead Island--you won't be breaking any arms--but out in that wild world, you aren't meant to wade into the horde anyhow. What drives the action is the promise of discovery and self-improvement. There are locks to pick and supplies to nab before the opposing faction gets to them. The balconies harbor new people to meet, who share their stories if you stick around long enough to hear them. When a zombie or six draw near, you swipe, kick, and bash until the blood is flying and the grunts are silenced, and you can return to your pillaging. Dying Light most often approaches greatness when it allows you to improvise your own tune instead of clumsily trying to conduct the entire orchestra."
Read our Dying Light review.
Enter the Gungeon -- $15 / £11
Being a roguelike-style shooter, Enter the Gungeon naturally draws comparisons to games like The Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne. And while that does offer a decent starting point for understanding what to expect, Enter the Gungeon manages to rise above being a pale imitator. It feels fantastic, with a dodge-roll ability that allows you to satisfyingly evade damage with a well-timed use. There are ridiculous weapons, such as those that fire bees or a gun that shoots guns which themselves fire bullets. The well-crafted procedurally generated environments help to keep each run feeling fresh, as do the wide variety of items and secrets to uncover along the way. And co-op support makes for an especially fun, chaotic experience (although it's unfortunate that the second player isn't able to play as the different characters that the main player has access to). The entire game is also overflowing with personality and color, making for an experience that is as fun to look at as is to play. | Chris Pereira
Halo 5: Guardians -- $20 / £15
Halo 5: Guardians is the biggest and boldest Halo game ever. The campaign tells an intriguing story where Master Chief is could potentially be the bad guy, and another team is tasked to hunt him down. Though the overall narrative did not exactly pay off, the campaign pushed the franchise forward with its more open level design that offered a new feeling of freedom. On the multiplayer side, Halo 5 is arguably the series' strongest offering to date. The core modes like Arena are there and have never been better, and Forge mode has allowed modders to create some truly incredible creations. But what’s more exciting is the 24-player Warzone mode, which gives Halo’s multiplayer a sense of scale that it never had before--and it’s a lot of fun. At $20 (or free with an Xbox Game Pass subscription), Halo 5 is absolutely worth checking out. | Eddie Makuch
Inside -- $20 / £16
Playdead games won the admiration of its now-large audience when it released Limbo, a slow-paced puzzle-platformer that relied heavily on the use of light and negative space. For the studio's follow-up, Inside, it delivered yet another somber world to explore. It presents a tale that unfolds effortlessly before your eyes as you advance from one scene to the next, with nary a word from any of its characters. Through the power of inference and suggestion, you realize the infiltration of a malicious organization and bear witness to its sinister deeds. Inside will test your ability to think creatively, but it's the narrative--and the way it's delivered--that makes it a game worth playing. Inside reinforces the notion that, sometimes, less is more. | Peter Brown
The Sexy Brutale -- $20 / £16
The Sexy Brutale is a quirky little puzzle game co-developed by Tequila Works, the studio behind beautiful adventure game Rime. Its essentially Groundhog Day: The Game--you play through the same day over and over, but with each runthrough you learn more about the creepy mansion you find yourself in. After seeing one character shoot another, you might go and find the gun and prevent the bloody murder by replacing real bullets with blanks. A number of these murders are interconnected--solving one puzzle might prevent one murder, but that could change another branch of time elsewhere in the house. There's no way of preventing every murder in one go, but discovering and tinkering with the different timelines is where the fun lies.And with it being playable on Switch, you can live the same day countless times anywhere you want. Suffice it to say, we've played it over and over again--groundhog day indeed. | Matt Espineli
Stardew Valley -- $15 / £12
Originally released on PC, hit farming sim Stardew Valley has made its way to console with very few compromises (aside from the lack of mods, if that's something you care about). It's an excellent take on the Harvest Moon formula, with a laid-back small-town atmosphere, tons of work to do, and bachelors and bachelorettes to date. But the valley also has its mysteries, and the added intrigue makes it easy to pick up, hard to put down, and rewarding day after day. Even though it has nothing to do with the Harvest Moon franchise, it's easily the best "Harvest Moon" game in years. | Kallie Plagge
Sonic Mania -- $20 / £16
Created by members of the Sonic fan-hack community under Sega's watch, Sonic Mania exudes passion and reverence in its recreation of nostalgic visuals, sounds, and level designs. But the game isn't content with senselessly regurgitating the past; rather, it expands upon the familiar with new ideas of its own and delivers plenty of inventive concepts that diversify and build upon the series' fast-paced level design. Sonic Mania is smart and interpretive in its approach, leveraging the strengths of its design and visuals to craft not only the best Sonic game ever made, but an amazing platforming experience overall. If you've enjoyed Sonic at any point in your life, you owe it to yourself to play Sonic Mania. And even if you're not a longtime fan, the fast-paced platforming on display is a fantastic introduction to Sega's beloved blue blur. | Matt Espineli
Overcooked -- $17 / £13
Overcooked is like a Mario Party mini-game blown up into its own standalone experience in the best way possible. It's a game that becomes exponentially better when played with at least one other person. What starts out as a relatively tame game where you help each other chop some vegetables and get them served on a plate becomes a frantic rush to put out fires, get ingredients distributed between two moving vehicles, and other ridiculous scenarios. | Chris Pereira
Thimbleweed Park -- $20 / £17
Point-and-click adventure games have experienced something of a renaissance in recent years, and Thimbleweed Park--from adventure game legends Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick--is a prime example. The X-Files-inspired journey puts you in the role of two FBI agents that bear more than a passing resemblance to the classic TV show as you relive the glory days of adventure games. Playing on any console means dealing with a gamepad-based control scheme (as opposed to the more natural mouse controls on PC), but Switch makes up for this with touchscreen support when played in handheld mode. | Chris Pereira
Thumper -- $20 / £16
Although it's a game arguably best-suited for VR, Thumper is an incredible experience however you play it. It provides a unique blend of rhythm-based gameplay and action--what the developer calls "rhythm violence"--that provides a far more intense version of the basic mechanics you see in other rhythm games. With an incredible soundtrack and levels well-suited to chasing high scores, Thumper is a game with the potential to stick around on your home screen for a long time. | Chris Pereira
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain -- $20 (not discounted in UK)
You may have heard that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the final Metal Gear game to feature the involvement of series creator Hideo Kojima, has flaws. The last chunk of the game involves replaying earlier missions with small tweaks, and certain late-game story content was consigned to a special edition bonus feature. Despite all of that, The Phantom Pain stands as a seminal example of what an open-world action game can be. While still retaining much of what makes a Metal Gear game so distinct, it presents players with a vast open world and the ability to tackle its challenges in many, many ways.The mechanics of Ground Zeroes have been fine-tuned, and you can leverage them in a multitude of ways as you take part in the game's consistently excellent, thrilling missions. Just as enjoyable are the emergent hijinks you'll encounter along the way, and all of this is made better by the consistent progression of building up your own personal army. Although it's undoubtedly an experience best played after playing making your way through the prior games, The Phantom Pain is a game that everyone should ultimately try. It holds up now, even after a few years; all that's changed is the price tag. | Chris Pereira
Lumines Remastered ($15 / £13.49)
"You wouldn't think a game about arranging colored blocks into rectangles could be this interesting and this engrossing. At the heart of Lumines is an ingenious design, which someone theoretically could have dreamed up years ago, but no one did until now. And at the soul of Lumines is something that you might call completely pure. You wouldn't expect a game like this to incorporate most all of what's good about gaming--the sights, the sounds, the trancelike experience, the option of competition--but Lumines does all that." -- Greg Kasavin (2005 review)
Read our Lumines (2005) review
Lumines Remastered, as the name suggests, is an HD remaster of the classic puzzle game for modern platforms. It also features some small adjustments, including a Trance Vibration option that lets you sync controllers to the music to "feel the bass across your body," as developer Enhance puts it.
N++ ($15 / £13.49)
"[T]he purity of N++ is still its greatest appeal, a stripped-down representation of the skills that many gamers have come to know as innate, given free reign in some of the best level design ideas in the industry. N++ may represent an 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' sort of expansion, but the exhilaration that it continues to offer speaks to the idea that it may have been perfect to begin with." -- Justin Clark
N++ represents the latest and greatest version of the stellar platforming series, packing together a positively massive number of levels--there are more than 4,000 in all, none of them procedurally generated. With local co-op support, online leaderboards, and a stellar soundtrack, N++ has a case as one of the system's best platformers, and it comes in at a budget price.
Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 ($13 / £10)
"Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 creates an exciting dynamic where ghosts are still dangerous, but the overall game is more forgiving than the original--and it’s more entertaining as a result. Arcade ports tend to be games we play in short bursts--mostly for the nostalgia factor. Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 certainly relies on that nostalgia to a point, but it handles the classic game in a way that plays with expectations to surprise you. It’s the same game enhanced in the right directions to be make an old concept fun, innovative, and challenging all over again." -- Jason D'Aprile
Minecraft - ($20 / £ 17)
"Minecraft is dangerous. You can sit down to a new randomly generated world for a quick session only to snap out of the creative haze many hours later to realize you've forgotten to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. There's always just one more tunnel to carve, one more resource to harvest, one more tool to forge, or one more to-scale replica of the Star Trek Enterprise to re-create block by block. The ability to exercise limitless freedom and mold the game's retro fantasy world to your liking is powerfully addictive, and this indie-developed sandbox phenomenon holds a staggering level of depth. Some of the game's elements still feel rough and unfinished, but nevertheless, once Minecraft sinks its hooks into you, it won't let go."
Read our Minecraft review
Rocket League - ($20 / £ 17)
"The joy of Rocket League rests on the countless plans that are conceived and discarded every other second in any given match. Trying to predict where and how the ball will bounce next is a game within the game. Despite the use of cars, Rocket League emulates the emotional surges typical of The Beautiful Game, such as the rush of an unexpected fast break or a well-timed header into a goal. With Rocket League, the promising concept of combining two wonderful things--cars and soccer--is equally magnificent in execution."
Read our Rocket League review.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - ($20 / £ 17)
"PUBG's technical shortcomings can undermine its broader achievements on rare occasions, but they don't override your desire to continue playing. Each phase of a match presents a different type of tension that is equal parts thrilling and terrifying, driven by the insatiable desire to be the last person (or squad) standing. Whether you play solo or in a group, successfully executing adaptive tactics to win intense, high-stakes firefights makes for an incredibly rewarding experience. Every player has unique stories of their most memorable matches, and even after hundreds of hours, PUBG continues to inspire rousing tales of victory and defeat."
Read our PUBG review.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 - ($20 / £ 17)
"As an ode to the ever expanding Marvel universe, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is practically without peer. The characters you'll play, the locations you'll visit, and the references you'll come across span the length and breadth of the comic juggernaut's history in comics, TV, and film, extending to the genesis of Marvel as Timely Comics way back in the forgotten mists of time (the 1930s). In fact, outside of the exclusion of X-Men and Fantastic Four characters (for some undisclosed and surely byzantine legal rights reasons), this game is the most Marvel any Marvel game has been so far."
Read our Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 review.
Titanfall 2 - ($20 / £ 17)
"Titanfall 2 accomplishes several things. It introduces seemingly minor changes to its multiplayer sphere, but results in more fluid pacing and an intelligent gameplay loop. It adds a single-player campaign that builds in momentum with each mission, culminating in a grandiose battles that makes use of both Pilot and Titan combat."
Read our Titanfall 2 review.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - ($20 / £ 17)
"We didn't know it at the time, but Resident Evil 4 was the beginning of the end. Though in many ways the series' best game, it also signaled the start of Resident Evil's transformation from survival-horror into something far scarier: forgettable, derivative action. By contrast, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has been heralded as a return to form--a classic, uncompromising frightfest. And indeed, it is. In place of blockbuster pandering, the game delivers intimate horror with a tightly focused scope and all the trappings you'd expect from a survival game. No superfluous skill trees or meaningless fetch quests, just the stomach-churning tension of guiding a relatively helpless character out of a waking nightmare."
Read our Resident Evil 7 review.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected - ($20 / £17)
"Saints Row IV definitely recycles plenty of ideas from earlier games in the series, but it's also frequently inventive, not just in its shift from absurd crime game to absurd crime game with superpowers, but in the content of its story missions. You play a 2D beat-'em-up, return to the series' Stilwater-set early days, complete a Metal Gear Solid-esque stealth mission, battle a Godzilla-size can of the Saints Flow energy drink, and get embroiled in all manner of other insanity. Almost every core story mission and optional crew loyalty mission has an entertaining concept or a funny surprise in store. However, these missions often focus on the same ho-hum combat you find throughout the game, so even though the ideas on display are varied, the gameplay feels a bit flat. Still, it's well worth playing through the story missions just because of their outrageous scenarios and sharp writing."
Read our Saints Row IV review.
Untitled Goose Game - ($20 / £17)
"The important thing is that Untitled Goose Game is a hoot. It's a comedy game that focuses on making the act of playing it funny, rather than simply being a game that features jokes. Wishing that it was longer speaks to how much fun I had with it. There's nothing else quite like Untitled Goose Game; it's charming and cute despite being mean, and both very silly and very clever. It's also probably the best non-racing game ever to feature a dedicated "honk" button."
Read our Untitled Goose Game review.