Which Xbox One consoles are best?
The Xbox One was released in 2013, and between its collection of excellent exclusive games, being the most powerful video game console on the market, and its gigantic library of backward compatible titles from its Xbox 360 and original Xbox predecessors, Microsoft’s third-generation Xbox is the premier console for enjoying the latest games and beloved classics alike.
The Xbox One has been redesigned several times since its launch, and we consider the Xbox One X model to be the best of the best. If you want to get started with captivating games like Halo: Master Chief Collection, Rare Replay, and Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition, but aren’t sure which Xbox One is right for you, we have you covered.
Xbox One models
Original Xbox One
Easily the largest and heaviest of the Xbox One family, the first Xbox One was discontinued shortly after the Xbox One S model was introduced. Since every newer Xbox One features improvements over the original, and brand-new consoles are extremely scarce, we do not recommend purchasing this older black behemoth, but the original Xbox One is the best model for enjoying the also-discontinued Kinect motion tracking controller alongside games like Kinect Sports Rivals.
Xbox One S
Much lighter and 40% smaller than the original, the Xbox One S also sports all-new features, including 4K video streaming, a more vibrant mix of in-game colors with the aid of a High Dynamic Range (HDR) display, and Spatial Audio for the most immersive gaming audio experience around. If you do not own a 4K display and simply want to dive right into the best games Xbox One has to offer, the Xbox One S is worth your consideration.
Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
If you plan on downloading all of your games, streaming TV and movies, and want to save at least $50 on an Xbox One, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is your best bet. The catch? This model does not feature a disc drive. If you’ve been searching for the all-around most affordable Xbox One and aim to take full advantage of Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass, this is an excellent option.
Xbox One X
The only Xbox capable of playing games in true 4K, the Xbox One X is currently the most powerful video game console available. Between a large number of Xbox One X Enhanced games that look even better in 4K and the ability to render even larger worlds, finer detail, smoother animations, and load incredibly quickly, this is certainly the best Xbox One console if you want the greatest gaming experience possible. Although the Xbox One X will still look great on a 1080p display, this premium console is best suited for players with a 4K TV.
What to know before you buy an Xbox One console
While each Xbox One includes a single Xbox Wireless controller, the Xbox One S Two-Controller Bundle is a fantastic option for enjoying multiplayer action the moment you set up the Xbox. Considering that an additional Xbox Wireless controller is normally around $49, this bundle is a fine deal for family gaming.
Most Xbox One bundles include at least one critically acclaimed game, and if you want to hit the ground running with a trio of brilliant games that are exclusive to the Xbox One console, you should give the Xbox One X 2 All-Digital Edition another look. The disc-free console includes download codes for open-world pirate adventure Sea of Thieves, a collection of over 350 customizable cars in Forza Horizon 3, and the internationally loved creation and adventuring phenomenon Minecraft.
Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass trials
Many Xbox One bundles include free trials for Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass, and both services are excellent ways to get the most out of your new Xbox. With Xbox Live, you’ll be able to play with millions of other subscribers, receive four free games each month, and have access to steep discounts on digital titles. Xbox Game Pass is like Netflix for video games, and with more than 100 rotating games to download and play to your heart’s content, it is easy to discover new favorites.
Xbox One console FAQ
Are controllers and other accessories compatible with all versions of the Xbox One?
A. Absolutely! You can even use your Xbox Wireless controller to play PC games. You will need a Kinect adapter if you want to play motion-controlled games on the Xbox One S or Xbox One X, as the newer models do not feature a dedicated Kinect port.
Can I play my collection of Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One?
A. The Xbox One is backward compatible with more than 600 Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, including fan-favorites like Mass Effect, Fable II, Banjo-Kazooie, Halo 3: ODST, and Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
What are some perks that all Xbox One consoles share?
A. Although some individual Xbox One consoles are more powerful than others, each one can pre-install new digital games if you preorder them, store your game saves safely in the cloud, utilize stable Xbox Live servers for smooth and reliable online gameplay, and deliver a premium Dolby Atmos audio experience.
What are the best Xbox One consoles to buy?
Top Xbox One console
Our take: One of the most exciting ways to see what the Xbox One X can do is to join in on the high-intensity action of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS in gorgeous 4K.
What we like: Stunning 4K visuals. Includes PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS download code and black Wireless Controller. Large collection of Xbox One X enhanced games.
What we dislike: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is an intense online survival shooter that isn’t for everyone.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Xbox One console for the money
Our take: The most affordable way to get your hands on an Xbox One is also the perfect fit for anyone who prefers to buy their games digitally.
What we like: Inexpensive. Includes Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. Bonus white wireless controller. Ultra HD video streaming. HDR visuals.
What we dislike: This Xbox One console does not feature a disc drive.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: This Xbox One S bundle’s focus on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live introduce new players to hundreds of games, making it easy to discover new favorites.
What we like: Affordable. Includes three months of Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass. Bonus white Wireless Controller. Over 100 games to play via Xbox Game Pass.
What we dislike: Once the subscriptions run out, Xbox Live is $50 per year, and Xbox Game Pass is $10 per month.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Arnold Carreiro writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.