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Plugged In

Five must-have Xbox One games

Plugged In

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(Credit: Microsoft)

Once you get your Xbox One - you are getting one, aren't you?! - it's time to start loading up on games that will showcase it in the best light.

Just as the PlayStation 4 has games that shine on that system, Microsoft's new console has some doozies of its own - many of which aren't available anywhere else. And with Microsoft's increased focus on a wide audience, there's something available for just about every gamer.

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Forza Motorsports 5 - Racing fans love to debate which series is more realistic: Microsoft's Forza franchise or Sony's Gran Turismo. Microsoft makes a strong argument this year, showcasing 200 cars from over 50 manufacturers - including the McLaren P1 - and 14 circuits from around the world. There's also the Drivatar feature, which, despite its ridiculous name, is pretty cool: user driver data is tracked as you play and a digital clone is created, which can compete in races in career mode or online against opponents. It's a new twist on AI that could revolutionize the field.

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Dead Rising 3 - You want zombies? Microsoft has got all sorts of 'em for you. The Xbox One will populate your screen with three times as many of the undead as you've seen in any console game before. And the game expands on the crafting system introduced with the last installment, letting you build all sorts of unique weapons and vehicles. Dead Rising 3 also incorporates Kinect, letting you yell at the shuffling horde to distract or attract them.

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Zoo Tycoon - We know. You're scratching you head over this one. We are too, in fact. But while it's not for everyone, this zoo simulation game is a) great for kids and b) actually better than you'd expect for adults. It's cute, charming and more addictive than it has any right to be. Few titles are able to straddle the line between a kiddy game and an entertaining strategic experience - especially outside the world of Nintendo. Zoo Tycoon does so wonderfully.

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Killer Instinct - It's been a while since this seminal fighting game (first developed by Rare Ltd.) has seen the light of day, but its fan base hasn't dwindled. With the Xbox One version of the game, Microsoft is experimenting with various distribution models. There's a free-to-play version, where you can buy the characters you want. The "Combo Breaker Pack" has all six launch characters - and access to the first two that will be rolled out later - for $20. Plus, the $40 "Ultra Edition" includes all eight characters, 16 additional character accessory packs, eight additional costumes and a playable emulation of the original Killer Instinct arcade game.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts - It's not exclusive to the Xbox One - and, frankly, it's not the most popular installment in the series' history - but if you're planning to buy a next gen Call of Duty game, it's wiser to do so on Microsoft's platform. That's because a licensing deal with Activision ensures that DLC for the game will come first to Xbox Live. The fact that it looks incredible is just icing on the cake.

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