Ever since the very beginning of gaming, exclusives have been something players have had to deal with. Every console has games that simply are not available on other platforms. These can be a release that someone like Nintendo develops themselves or a project from a first-party developer. Whatever the case, exclusives are something that every gamer has to take into account when picking a new console.
Although things have changed somewhat over the last decade, exclusives still play a big role. While third-party titles such as Call of Duty and FIFA are big sellers, first-party games still play a role. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony all invest heavily in exclusive titles to try and entice players onto their platforms. This leads to some truly outstanding games that everyone should try. Here are the 10 best console exclusive that you have to play.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
When it comes to party games, there are few fighters that can compete with the Super Smash Bros. series. The latest game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, launched in 2018 to critical acclaim. Containing every single character from previous installments along with a few new ones, it is the franchise’s most definitive entry. Combined with great stages and online multiplayer, this is an incredibly fun title that you simply have to try out.
The Gears franchise has long been associated with the Xbox platform. While some of the more recent releases have fallen flat, Gears 5 sets the ship on course once again. Refining the cover-based shooting mechanics wasn’t enough. So the developers put more emphasis on the story for this 2019 release. Combine that with the excellent multiplayer, new game modes like Escape, and an open-world campaign, and this is the best Xbox exclusive.
Shadow of the Colossus (2018)
Shadow of the Colossus (2005) was one of the PlayStation 2’s best games. That’s high praise considering the huge library the console had. It is little wonder, then, that a remake made its way to the PlayStation 4 in 2018. Fortunately, the remaster keeps the atmosphere and gameplay of the original, while giving the visuals an impressive overhaul. The simplicity of the game along with its touching but haunting story makes it a must-play.
Super Mario Odyssey
A list of console exclusives wouldn’t be complete without a Mario entry. Launching in 2017, Super Mario Odyssey is the Nintendo Switch game that put the console on the map. Nintendo always uses the Mario franchise to experiment and innovate. With this latest release, they tried a completely new approach with a hat-based mechanic to take over enemies. Although a bit unintuitive at first, the ability to swap into the bodies of enemies quickly became second nature. Super Mario Odyssey is simply an absolute blast to play.
God of War (2018)
While God of War has previously been associated with graphic violence and intense combat, things changed in 2018. The developers took the franchise in a new direction, attempting to tell a deep story. There is no doubt that the emotional and interesting plot gave more impact to the actions of Kratos. Of course, there are still plenty of gruesome fights to keep things exciting as well. Ultimately, God of War ends up being one of the PlayStation 4’s very best games.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart has long been the king of the kart racers and the latest installment is no exception. Originally released in 2014 for the Wii U, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the Nintendo Switch version. Released in 2017, it features everything from the base game along with DLC and better performance and visuals. That’s a lot of content, including 48 tracks and a wide range of playable characters. Racing is rarely as much fun as this, especially when playing local multiplayer with friends and family.
Although the comic genre has grown spectacularly in the movie industry, there are still very few great comic games. The only real example from recent years has been the Arkham series of Batman games. So when Insomniac revealed they were working on a Spider-Man game, fans were excited but also cautious. They didn’t have to be because the 2018 title exceeded every expectation. Marvel’s Spider-Man features great gameplay, superb visuals, and lots of content to keep fans exploring. It’s easily one of the best games of the last few years and a new standard for the superhero genre.
PlatinumGames has always had a strong relationship with Nintendo. The studio’s latest release for the Nintendo Switch in 2019 was the long-awaited Astral Chain. Although it has impressive visuals and an interesting story, what sets out this is the sheer variety in combat. The core mechanic of the legion you control opens up plenty of different opportunities for fighting enemies. So much so that the combat never gets dull. Astral Chain ends up being one of the best and most unique exclusives available.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
After working on Killzone for more than a decade, Guerilla Games went in a bold new direction in 2017. Horizon: Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game that not only features stunning graphics but also tight and refined gameplay. Fighting against an army of giant robots in a dystopian future is just as exhilarating as it sounds. The large open world just begs to be explored and the combat is second to none. All of this makes it an exclusive that has to be played.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a new direction for this famous action-adventure franchise. Releasing in 2017 alongside the Nintendo Switch, it quickly became a critical and commercial success. Instead of the dungeon-based linear approach of previous entries in the series, it takes a more open approach. This not only gave players more choice but opened up brand new gameplay experiences. Arguably the best Zelda games in more than a decade and one of the best exclusives of the generation.
What is the best console exclusive that you’ve ever played? Tell us in the comments below!