As an Xbox gamer, for the past 9 years, I have looked over at the PlayStation in jealousy on one or two occasions. But the most jealous that I’ve ever been was when PlayStation managed to bag The Last of Us as an exclusive. The game was a critical success, and the gamers just couldn’t get enough of it. Whilst I loved my Xbox 360, I did wish that I could have played The Last of Us, and I looked over at those PlayStation gamers with jealous envy. But it made me wonder, when will Xbox get its ‘The Last of Us’? That one game which epitomises a console and encourages the jealous glare of those stuck on the other platforms?
The Xbox One has had some great exclusives thus far, from triple A titles like Halo 5, to indie classics like Ori and the Blind Forrest (which technically is cross platform on the PC and Xbox 360, but it’s difficult to find exclusives which aren’t across the whole Microsoft family). But I wouldn’t say that any of those games packed the punch of The Last of Us. Even last generation I definitely feel that, in the battle of the exclusives, Sony pulled one over Microsoft with The Last of Us – nothing compared. Sure, the 360 also had some fantastic exclusives – like Left4Dead and Crackdown – but nothing as universally loved as The Last of Us.
So will Xbox have a game this generation, as widely loved and respected as The Last of Us was in the previous generation? It’s definitely possible. There are some great looking new ‘big’ exclusives lined up for the next few years on the Xbox One, including Quantum Break, Sea of Thieves, ReCore, and Scalebound (not to mention your staples, like Crackdown 3, Gears 4, the next inevitable Halo and Fable Legends). There are also some fantastic looking indie games coming to the Xbox One too, including Below, Cuphead and Superhot to name but a few. Any one of those games could end up getting the acclaim and accolades that The Last of Us managed last generation – some more than others, perhaps. Were I a betting man, I’d probably put my money on Cuphead, Below or ReCore, as they all seem quite unique in their own way.
But, that’s not to say that the PS4 doesn’t have its share of contenders. Games like Firewatch (also on PC) are already making headlines, and No Man’s Sky has been making headlines for well over a year (and it’s an indie title which hasn’t yet been released). I’m sure we’ll also see a Last of Us 2, which could either flop or be sensational – alongside other great exclusives. So the battle is definitely raging on. Plus, you never know, maybe the WiiU will come in from nowhere and sweep the opposition off of their feet – and us gamers along with them.
When The Last of Us was first released, I think that people knew from the off that it was something special. A game like that only comes around once ever few years, one that is so widely accepted as a piece of magic – even by those who aren’t able to play it. I think we’ll know when this generation’s magic game comes along, and I’m truly excited to see what it’ll be (and which console it’ll be on!).
If you had to guess which upcoming title could be this generation’s shining star, which would it be? Maybe I’ve already mentioned it, maybe I completely overlooked it, or maybe you think it’s yet to come – let me know in the comments below!