Looking for some extraterrestrial adventures? There’s nothing more exciting than exploring brave new worlds beyond our own, but who knows what kind of alien lifeforms you might encounter on your travels? Some of the greatest games feature alien adventures of all kinds, and with entire new civilisations to get to know, it can be difficult to know where to begin. If you’re looking for a game that’s more than a little bit out of this world, check out this list of the 12 best alien games for Xbox One. Get ready to make contact with some seriously strange new lifeforms, from the silly to the downright scary. All of these games are playable on Xbox One, with some of the older titles accessible via backwards compatibility.
#12 XCOM 2
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer Firaxis Games:
Release Date: February 2016
In XCOM 2, players will find themselves living in a world that lost an alien war and is now under total control of the invading alien force. It’ll be down to players to reinvigorate humanity’s ability to fight back by developing a global resistance to the Earth’s new alien overlords. XCOM 2 makes use of turn-based and strategy mechanics in which players control their squad of soldiers, so if you’re a fan of strategic gameplay then this particular alien game will be right up your street. This is a game all about coordination, missions and tactical combat choices, all amidst an ever-present alien threat that puts players firmly in an underdog position.
#11 Halo Franchise
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Bungie (2001–2010), Ensemble Studios (2009), 343 Industries (2011–present), Creative Assembly
Release Date: 2001-present
An iconic and longstanding video game series (and now a TV show), the Halo franchise is probably one of Xbox’s cornerstone IPs and has garnered a huge player base over its twenty-year-long lifespan. The Halo games take place in a futuristic view of the 26th century and centre upon a militaristic sci-fi-themed conflict between humankind and a number of different hostile alien species. At the heart of these adventures is Master Chief John-117, the franchise’s protagonist and playable character, who players will take on adventures across a range of worlds in their fight against the various invading alien forces. There are a lot of games to dive into with the Halo franchise, so if you’re looking for an epic, ongoing series and you want to blast some aliens FPS-style, check out these titles.
#10 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Release Date: November 2019
Set in the Star Wars universe and taking place across different planets that exist within the Galactic Empire, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is packed with a range of alien lifeforms for players to discover, including the legendary Wookiee race. Players will also be able to visit the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk, as well as learn more about the ancient space-faring alien species known as the Zeffonians, who originated from the planet Zeffo, another new world that players will be able to explore in this game. If you’re looking for an otherworldly adventure that’s steeped in Star Wars lore and mythology, this is the game for you.
#9 Aliens: Fireteam Elite
Publisher: Cold Iron Studios, Focus Entertainment
Developer: Cold Iron Studios
Release Date: August 2021
Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a multiplayer shooter that’s in third-person, which definitely eases the stress factor a bit as opposed to Alien: Isolation. This game is also more action-based than the horror and survival mechanics used in Alien: Isolation and sees players working through a number of mission campaigns that focus on fighting off and destroying the titular alien Xenomorphs that have taken over a refinery station in orbit. Players will also be able to explore different environments on the planet LV-895 as well as the space station while trying to fend off the seemingly endless alien threat. Built for multiplayer, this is a good choice if you want the action of blasting aliens into bits with friends without the abject fear that comes with trying to survive one all alone.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Arkane Studios
Release Date: May 2017
Prey is another sci-fi shooter that takes place in an alternate timeline in which an alien species known as the Typhon are captured and imprisoned by two of the Earth’s governments. Sometime later, players will find themselves aboard a futuristic space station that’s orbiting the Earth. During the course of the game, the space station finds itself at the heart of a hostile alien outbreak, and players need to find a way to escape, evade, fight and survive against an enemy that can shapeshift and use psychic powers as well as attacking physically. In Prey, players can explore the space station in a fairly open-world style but will need to be aware of the constant threat around them that can strike at any moment. It’s a great game for those who enjoy stealth gameplay and the chance to defeat some incredibly creepy predators.
#7 No Man’s Sky
Publisher: Hello Games
Developer: Hello Games
Release Date: July 2018
Exploration, survival and crafting are at the heart of this infinitely massive galactic adventure, but also key to the game’s sense of fascination are the aliens players will encounter. In No Man’s Sky, players are able to learn about a number of different races and are encouraged to steadily decrypt their language through the discovery of artefacts and by engaging in conversation with the different species as best they can. As they progress through their journey and learn more alien words, the powers of communication between alien species will be unlocked, making for an interesting and realistic experience of learning from another culture. No Man’s Sky is a gorgeous spacefaring game, and it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into how to interact with the alien lifeforms players may meet on their travels.
Publisher: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Release Date: December 2014
Set on Planet 4546B, Subnautica introduces players to a brand new alien world after their spaceship crashes onto the planet’s surface. As the only survivor of the crash, it’s up to the player to dive into the ocean depths of the planet in order to explore and find ways to survive in this strange new world. Packed with a range of new alien creatures in its watery toolbox, Subnautica is a great example of exploration in alien games that doesn’t need to involve shooter mechanics in order to be both engaging and satisfying. The underwater twist is also an interesting concept; when you think of aliens, you naturally picture a game based in space. Subnautica turns that idea on its head and is very successful in doing so.
#5 Subnautica: Below Zero
Publisher: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Release Date: January 2019
A direct sequel to Subnatica, Subnautica: Below Zero takes place back on the freezing oceanic alien planet known as Planet 4546B. In this game, players will need to keep their wits about them as they try to survive both the harsh environment and the alien creatures they’ll encounter during their adventures. The game’s open-world setting is designed to encourage exploration and resource gathering, whilst trying to solve the central mystery surrounding the playable character. As one of the more uniquely located alien games on this list, Subnautica: Below Zero revisits the watery world of both friendly and hostile alien lifeforms to learn about, as well as some gorgeous environmental design that players who enjoy open-world adventuring will love.
#4 Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: May 2021
A game that’s quintessentially alien-based has to be Mass Effect Legendary Edition. This spacefaring adventure comprises all three games in the Mass Effect franchise, remastered for the current console generation. In Mass Effect Legendary Edition, players can step into the shoes of iconic Commander Shepard as they journey through space on various galaxy-saving missions, during the course of which they’ll get to meet and learn about a number of alien races. The various friendly members of these alien factions are well-written and engaging, in addition to the hostile alien races players will have to fight against in the course of their adventures. If you’re looking for a game that gives aliens a more interesting narrative, then Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a great starting point.
#3 Alien: Isolation
Developer: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive
Release Date: October 2014
In Alien: Isolation, players will have to endure a constant atmosphere of threat and fear as they try to survive and escape the space station that’s been taken over by a ferocious alien. Fans familiar with the Alien franchise will know just how terrifying the titular alien Xenomorph creature is, so this is a space-based survival game with a heavy dose of horror thrown in for good measure. During the course of the game, players will need to try and outsmart the creature by using stealth and common sense to avoid the alien, which cannot be defeated and relies on its enhanced senses of sight and hearing to hunt for the player at all times. It’s a super creepy but excellent game that makes aliens seem truly terrifying.
#2 Destroy All Humans!
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Black Forest Games
Release Date: July 2020
In Destroy All Humans! players will take on the role of alien creature Crypto, who makes it down to Earth in the 1950s with the mission of gathering human DNA. The game is mission-based in design but definitely allows a great deal of player freedom when exploring and investigating different areas of your newfound setting on Earth. As Crypto, players will be able to make use of a variety of extraterrestrial weapons and abilities on your mission to harvest human DNA, all of which make for a pretty funny, unique and engaging take on the ‘alien game’ concept. The humour injection in Destroy All Humans! sets it aside from some of the other titles on this list, making it one of the must-play alien games.
#1 Dead Space Franchise
Publisher: Electronic Arts,
Developer: EA Redwood Shores, Visceral Games, Sumo Digital, IronMonkey Studios, Motive Studios
Release Date: 2008-present
The Dead Space games centre on a survival horror premise that’s set in space. During the course of the different games (Dead Space, Dead Space 2, Dead Space 3), players will be able to explore different environments such as a mining spaceship that’s under attack from deadly alien monsters, a hospital ward in a space station located in the remnants of one of Saturn’s moons, and on a new planet that’s thought to be the source of the alien threat. These games are frequently referred to as masterpieces, with the first game widely considered as being one of the greatest video games of all time. If you enjoy survival horror and are looking for a hefty dose of alien threat added in for good measure, you need to play the original Dead Space trilogy. A remake of the original Dead Space game is also currently in the works and is planned for release in January.