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The Top 5 8th Generation Exclusives… So Far (2016 Update)

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Did you know that we are 5 years into the 8th generation on consoles? That’s pretty amazing when you think about it. There have been plenty of great games (and not so great) that have crossed our consoles since, but which where the real gems? Well, I’m about to dive in and take a quick look at 5 of the top exclusive games for this generation.

Bloodborne

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When it was first announced that From Software was going to make PS4 owners have to learn to “git gud”, many people in the industry expected Bloodborne to end up being a solid, but niche title. I remember getting my review copy and playing it, only to make to the big bonfire before dying my first time and thinking “this is pretty good”. Then, as I started to talk with my peers, they all seemed in agreement. I expected to see my glowing review of the title contrast against the court of public opinion, because once the public gets the game all sorts of bug can show up. Turns out they loved it as well. Not only was Bloodborne the first truly accessible “Souls” game, but it improved upon the original formula in so many ways that I could write a solo article on how good the game is. If you haven’t played it, get on it.

Bravely Default

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I grew up on Final Fantasy games. With that being said, what we call a “Final Fantasy game” these days is quite a disgrace to the namesake. I played the Bravely Default demo and was completely overwhelmed at first. It seemed too hard, battles were too common and it just felt off. Then I got my RPG-legs back after realizing I had to play the game like a traditional RPG. When the game launched, I actually purchased the Collector’s Edition just so I could get the awesome soundtrack with it. 60-80 hours later, I had beat the game and was able to sit back and soak in just how good the story, battle system and quality of Bravely Default was. If you like RPG games and you have a 3DS, try to see if you can find it out there, also make sure you pick up the sequel, Bravely Second, this Friday.

Killer Instinct

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This is one of the biggest gems of the current console generation. While it may not be the prettiest fighting game out there, it certainly slightly edges out Mortal Kombat X as the best fighter this console generation. That is saying a lot with a new Street Fighter, Guilty Gear and even my personal favorite, Blazblue out on the market. Killet Instict perfectly tapped into what made it so good on both the SNES and N64, while implementing great free to play elements into the game for those not brave enough to buy the game at full price. With ongoing support and more characters being added all the time, this is the go-to fighting game if you want a traditional fighter.

Ori and the Blind Forest

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I first saw this game at E3 2014 and was immediately smitten with it. The beautiful graphics, ambient soundtrack and awesome platforming scratched an itch I didn’t really know I had. Once I was able to get some real quality time with Ori, I also realized it filled that Metroidvania void that was left in my soul ever since Konami stopped making good Castlevanias (that would after Order of Ecclesia for those keeping score). Seriously though, Ori is as beautiful of a game as it is fun. I’ve put a few days time total into the game and I am still quite a ways from 100%, I really want to go back and finish it when I have some extra time. If you haven’t given it a try yet, you’ll understand how I feel once you’ve played it.

Smash Brothers Wii U

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I feel like including Smash is technically cheating. Almost every Smash has been pure gold for Nintendo and with a streamlined roster and truly balanced mechanics, this one really is the icing on the cake for the series so far. Outside of an unhealthy Amiibo addiction, Smash also has included probably some of the most unique and awesome characters from the entire series. Bayonetta, Cloud, Megaman and Ryu all guest star on Nintendo’s premiere title and look awesome while doing it. New characters like Shulk or Palutena add interesting elements into the game and the online is simply divine. Nintendo has a whole slew of great exclusives, but this is one that almost everyone can universally find enjoyment in. Also, they brought back based-Roy, that’s all that matters.

There was one more game that I wanted to include on this list, but after deliberation I don’t think it is fair to include since it was originally a PS3 title. The Last of Us was truly an amazing game and from start to finish had me on the edge of my seat. I considered adding it to the list, but I was told by several of you that you wouldn’t consider it a current gen title, fair enough. I do want to give it an honorable mention though.

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With this year alone, we still have some amazing console exclusives coming down the pipe. I’m hearing amazing things about the newly released Ratchet and Clank, Gears of War 4 is shaping up to be what Halo 5 wasn’t and I’m still not 100% sure what No Man’s Sky is, but it sure looks cool.

Do you agree with my picks? Think you can choose better? I’d love to see what you think!

Josh Knowles
7 year veteran of the video game journalism industry. Guinness World Record holder, Wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad & husband.
About the author

Josh Knowles

7 year veteran of the video game journalism industry. Guinness World Record holder, Wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad & husband.
  • Edonus

    No Halo 5….. the writer is not qualified to give information on videogames. The MP alone is more refined and gives more content than 98% of the games released. If you as a person don’t like it that is fine (I don’t like COD know COD is a solid game) but when you say “Best” all your quirks and qualms have to take a step back.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Halo 5? You mean that game that was divisive to the fans and has done more poorly than any numbered entry before it?

      How can you call such a title the best?

      • Edonus

        No…. I was referring to the game with unparalleled gaming refinement and tons of content that made it one of the most successful Esport events eve and is currently sitting between 5-6 million units sold.
        You call the thing that perform and do the best the best….. not rely on the internet to tell you what is an isn’t.

        • J.j. Barrington

          So who decides that it performs and does “better?”

          1. Esports isn’t an indicator that the game is a massive success. And, in fact, you can ignore fully half the game(the campaign many fans didn’t like) and still make it as an esport. Seriously, how does that determine anything?

          2. Since Microsoft has been getting its ass handed to it this generation, they stopped giving sales numbers. That said, Halo was #1 in October, #8 in November, and GONE from NPD by December. We know the XB1 isn’t very successful outside of the US(and to a lesser extent, the UK), so while there might have been more digital sales than ever for a Halo title, it obviously didn’t do the numbers of most other games in the franchise. Xbox-friendly VGChartz has it at less than 4 million; it’d need about a third of its sales to be digital to reach 5. And even if it did, that’s a poor showing for a Halo at this point, and not at all indicative of the “unparalleled gaming refinement” BS you just spouted about.

          Just let it go. Halo isn’t what it once was, and as such, isn’t one of the best exclusives this gen. Or are you gonna ignore the poor reception of the campaign, which is also a part of the game.

          Wait, why am I wasting my time with you?

          • Edonus

            1) I never said Esport was an indicator of success……. I said it Esports broadcast was a success. I cant argue about what people like and don’t like. I personally liked the campaign…. but that is an opinion just like others. What is not an opinion is that the game had a full 4 player co op….. the graphics were great and it stayed solid 60 fps for 95+% of the game and it told a full story and still had the same refined gameplay that has made it a success. These things cant be argued. I like the Halo 5 story better than the COD AW story and that is what most complaints I have have been…… but are these people playing a video game or reading a book. As a game the Halo % campaign is top notch.
            2) You know we only have two official statements relating to the sells of Halo 5. One was when it launched it was the highest earning Halo ever at over $400 million….. Two was that that all of the Xbox One games from that holiday season sold over 1 million units.
            Everything else is pure speculation…… I speculate from the numbers they gave and are floating around Halo 5 is sitting around well over 5 million units sold and probably closer to 6.4 and will be at 8-10 by next holiday season.
            In truth you whole argument boils down to “Halo 5 didn’t sell a lot of console because MS didn’t say so”. Which disregards MS saying they wont be releasing sales numbers anymore….. Oh and the fact that they never released Halo sales figures directly ever… they gave the revenue earnings and the sites just did the math. This gen thee is a clear bias against MS so the sites did a negative rumor speculation because they wanted you to click on their websites…… And it worked. Now you are on the internet arguing with speculated facts. You are even still using VGchartz as a pure source. They aren’t MS friendly…. they made an article pushing that false analysis…. and actually lots of those false analysis were based off of the VGchartz article…..and for the record there are no X1 friendly sites that aren’t straight Xbox….. they want those Sony pony clicks to much.

    • Orion Pax

      how’s that 3 hour long misleading advertised campaign?

      • Edonus

        Since I don’t play advertisements, I play games…. I beat the campaign with in a couple days a few times with a few different groups since you know dedicated server full co op campaign…… Since then its been all about easily the best MP experience this gen. Everything else is step down…. if you want the best FPS you are playing Halo 5….. You might not want the best and that’s fine…. you always go watch more advertisements to show your support for game you like instead of playing them.

        • Orion Pax

          did i was you about mp coop or servers? i asked you how is that SOLO 3 HOUR MISLEADING ADVERTISED CAMPAIGN?

  • Hank Hill

    My top 5.

    Bloodborne
    Bayonetta 2
    Smash 4
    Mario Kart 8
    Super Mario 3D World

    Xbox One is my console of choice, but honestly there hasn’t been anything spectacular as far as exclusives go yet.

    • Edonus

      You must suck at Halo and haven’t played Sunset Overdrive yet.

      • Hank Hill

        I’ve played both, would you like to see my Gamertag? I didn’t say the games were bad, just not spectacular. No main line Halo has been bad imo, but Halo 5 is defiantly worse than any of the previous entries and Sunset Overdrive was not anything special. You should really try playing more games, there is more out there than just Xbox.

        • Edonus

          Are you any good at Halo 5, I am no Platinum status player but I avg. around 17 kills a game in arena. Halo is a hardcore game that has become way less casual. Casuals can hop in but they never get anywhere….. you have to put in work to get good at Halo and that’s what makes it the best.
          Sunset Overdrive?….. Nothing special?…. I would have to question your judgement on that one. What you said sounds like the equivalent of Lamborghinis aren’t really that fast. Sunset Overdrive is one of my favorite games this gen…… but that again my opinion. Sunset Overdrive is easily one of the best designed games ever made. You see how people are loving the new R&C…… Insomniac moved some of what the did in Sunset Overdrive to that game. Sunset has a giant open world rendered great, constantly full of enemies with tons of variety, it was written good, the creativity in the combat is excellent it even has a co op mode on dedicated servers that has several players in an open world with tons of enemies pouring in with effects and particles effects that are only matched by Infamous and Quantum Beak.
          I question if you actually played it.

          • Hank Hill

            Yeah I’m good at it and probably better than you are. And I don’t know why you speak so highly of Sunset Overdrive, it received mostly 7’s and 8’s from critics and didn’t sell very well, so if it’s a Lamborghini, it must be a 1983 Lamborghini Jalpa, which isn’t fast. “Insomniac moved some of what the did in Sunset Overdrive to that game” what did they move to it? You do realize that game is a remake right? These Xbox games are beyond great to you because you don’t play many other games, but in reality there is much better to play elsewhere. And again I have played Sunset Overdrive, my Gamertag is: BloodDripsDown, feel free to message me to verify.

  • Orange Lada

    Splatoon, Bayonetta 2, Mariokart 8, Bloodborne, does Last of Us count?