Fortnite’s dominance on Xbox One’s most-played chart, and gaming as a whole, began in late 2017. And this week, Gears 5 did what plenty of big games couldn’t do. Knock Fortnite off its pedestal. Red Dead Redemption 2 didn’t do it. Call of Duty didn’t do it. Forza didn’t do it. But Gears 5 did. Here’s a look at the top games on Xbox One right now.
Specific numbers are hard to come by, but the top spot does explain one of my only problems with Gears 5. The servers have been a mess. I tried getting into a match of Escape last night only for my character to get stuck at the beginning. Happened three straight times before I decided to give up and finish the campaign. But hey, if you’re going to have server problems at launch, it’s always nice when it’s because too many people are trying to play.
Microsoft and The Coalition have to be stoked with the reception from critics and fans. I’m going to give the multiplayer a fair shake before I post my review, but I loved damn near every minute of the campaign. The Gears formula is alive and well with The Coalition adding meaningful tweaks to the gameplay loop and showing current hardware can still impress. The new cast introduced in Gears 4 gets fleshed out even more, and old favorites deliver plenty of memorable moments.
Will Gears 5’s spot at the top last? Probably not. The year’s big releases are just getting started. But it does show Fortnite’s popularity is waning, at least on Xbox. There are plenty of potential reasons. A whole bunch of fans loathed Fortnite’s mech. Its popularity on Twitch took a bit of a hit following the release of World of Warcraft Classic as big streamers went to that. And maybe folks are looking for something new.
Gears 5 hits at the perfect time for me. I’ve been ping-ponging between Battle Royales for most of the year. I love the genre, but I’m also burned out on it. Gears 5 brings the familiar gameplay with fantastic new additions wrapped in one hell of a package. Plus, it’s on Game Pass. Everyone who took advantage of the $1 Game Pass Ultimate promo is getting one hell of a game for damn near nothing.
Gears 5 deserves all the success it’s getting. The folks at The Coalition show the franchise is in great hands. I’m crossing my fingers that this (along with the Forza franchises) marks a turning point for Microsoft’s AAA first-party output.
We’ll see how long Gears 5 can last in the top spot. With Fortnite now appearing vulnerable, expect a lot of movement throughout the rest of the year in Xbox One’s top 10 most played games.