There are many iconic games with themes that will resonate most with adults, and Xbox fans have access to quite a few. It can be challenging for younger players to appreciate, comprehend, or even process some themes. This list will concentrate on stories and material with various moods that adults will likely enjoy a bit more.
That includes titles that would otherwise be too dramatic, abstract, or horrific. It may also regard something that requires too much patience, both in regard to pacing and difficulty. Each selection is also intended to partly represent broader genres and ideas, in order to avoid redundancy. Some games were omitted based on the Xbox port performance.
This iconic puzzle platformer is equally beautiful and bleak. It remains a highlight of the entire gaming industry, but it launched years ago, and some players may have accidentally overlooked it. Limbo is a crushing, forthright confrontation of death, as per the title.
The puzzles are fairly punishing, resulting in a lot of trial and error through grisly deaths. However, the story is also quite straightforward and short. You can likely complete the entire game in a couple of hours, which is easier to fit into work schedules.
This sci-fi horror indie has retro visuals and slow pacing that young gamers may not enjoy. It’s a bloody, psychological story that is largely atmospheric and thrives on mystery. You will spend much of the game in suspense, as you explore a stark environment and contend with tense violence.
As a result, you often need to double back on your path. This is a patient, quiet game with sudden scares that demand quick thinking and reflexes. There is a stifling dread throughout, and Signalis’ more subtle dystopian themes could go unnoticed without an adult’s context. This is an ideal game for adults to revisit on any platform, let alone Xbox.
8. Fall of Porcupine
This remarkable indie explores the challenges and flaws of a healthcare system. Players actually need to go to work, succeed in a tough environment, and make life sim decisions based on their morals or attitude. The general sense of responsibility is strong in Fall of Porcupine, though balanced out by its cozy art design and characters.
The gameplay is narratively driven, with a variety of minigames sprinkled throughout. Beyond the opening level, the game probably isn’t interactive or fast-paced enough for younger players, either. While this game is frequently compared to Night in the Woods, it has a unique and compelling premise, and crafts genuine emotional connection with the NPCs.
Xbox doesn’t offer very many grand strategy games, which is unfortunate, because the genre is excellent for adults. Grand strategy isn’t just extraordinarily complex, but it’s also dense, requiring extensive hours of gameplay and a wide range of management skills.
Many such games deal with mature concepts like diplomacy. There are often multiple paths to victory, and each of them will surely take strenuous planning. But grand strategy games are also typically best for PC users. Fortunately, Stellaris was successfully ported onto Xbox. It functions smoothly, which is quite rare, and it’s available on Game Pass.
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
For those in search of a mature shooter, the campaign in Modern Warfare II tackles some fairly adult material. The story confronts terrorism, cartels, and even some political intrigue. These concepts are inspired by real-world issues. They may be too intense or complicated for younger players who would only enjoy the accessible shooting elements.
Modern Warfare II’s realistic threats and death are balanced with fast-paced action spectacle. This makes it an ideal escapism for players who need to unwind after a hard day’s work. Many adults have also probably grown up with Call of Duty games, making it a nostalgic Xbox experience. The next installment is coming soon.
5. Cities: Skylines
This has remained the definitive city builder for most fans of the genre. It’s an elaborate web of epic management, and without a friendly or pop culture theme, younger players likely won’t get as much out of this one. Cities: Skylines has been renowned for its depth and realism, both of which are more interesting for adults.
There are many mature aspects of broader city life that players need to consider in order to make everything function successfully. It’s important to note that Cities: Skylines II also happens to be right around the corner, with even more ambitious mechanics and new layers of complexity.
Xbox games don’t necessarily have to be totally serious and dreary for adults to enjoy them. It Takes Two is a brilliant blend of slapstick comedy, wacky platforming, and emotionally complex concepts. The story may deal with divorce and lifestyle, but it confronts those problems with surprisingly digestible dialogue and imagery.
Younger players could easily overlook the more sensitive topics in It Takes Two thanks to its fantasy world, full of color and fast-paced mayhem. However, adults will enjoy its other layers and subtext about realistic relationships and parenthood.
3. Life is Strange
With just a touch of the supernatural, Life is Strange is an emotionally charged game about consequences. This story-driven adventure is superbly nuanced and well-performed. Its subtlety makes every outcome more impactful and deeply relatable. You will feel compelled to discover every ending, just in search of more content.
Fortunately, the series has expanded since the original first launched, so the investment is even richer than ever. This game is an exercise in considerable sincerity, which adults are sure to respect, and the Xbox port is decent.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
The meticulous realism in this epic drama is likely to bore most younger players, who might expect a simple series of gunfights in their westerns. For those who enjoyed the original game, this sequel plays a bit differently, such as adding elevated sim mechanics.
However, this also results in an exceptionally immersive world. The goal is to enjoy spending countless hours lost in its smaller details. The story can still be exhilarating though, with surprising depth and memorable characters. It is both a clever deconstruction and celebration of the genre.
1. Elden Ring
Widely considered the magnum opus of FromSoftware games, this massively popular hit is a must-have Xbox RPG for adults. While this is an obvious choice, the sheer scope of its characters, storytelling, and world are nothing short of phenomenal. It has somehow lived up to its overwhelming hype.
Fans of the series will be pleased with its many novelties, but the game also features the best qualities of all the preceding installments. Older players will enjoy that Elden Ring is set in such a stark, compelling world, and remains no less difficult than the series’ notorious reputation implies.
Adults deserve to unwind with a few Xbox games too, and there are plenty of titles that provide more complex, terrifying, or difficult experiences. Tell us which games and genres you have grown to enjoy as you’ve gotten older!