So cinematic experiences like DriveClub, inFamous, GT: Sport, God of War, Gravity Rush 2, Knack, Dreams, Horizon, MLB, Hot Shots Golf, The Last Guardian, Days Gone can't top MS vaulted first party of Gears, Halo, Forza, Sea of Thieves & Crackdown?
MS first party has been subpar this gen, there is simply no way around it, the only new IP coming out is Sea of Thieves. Halo + Gears are not even made by the original developers, don't know why we'd give MS first party a ton of credit, as both games are underperforming sales wise & have seen their lowest metascore for the mainline games. MS has not created many exciting IP's on their own IN THREE GENS. How this reminds you of Nintendo, well, that is a mystery.
What? Does that even matter when the core game is intact?
Gears is made by the same person that envisioned the mechanics of the first one. You wouldn't know that though.
People give MS first party ton of credit because they emphasize a lot on gameplay. They have fantastic MP games for every genre they're on, not every publisher can say that.
Original developers is not one person.
MS first party offerings for three gens have been poor. That's the bigger picture the majority of XOne users here ignore. Forza has been their only internal project that has reached commercial + critical success.
Gears + Halo are bought & so is Minecraft. So basically, three of the biggest IP's MS own, do not originate from their internal studios. The same can't be said about Sony or Nintendo.
Also, before the "Sony bought __________ so doesn't that count as third party?" rebuttal comes around, Sony Japan, PD, Santa Monica, Sony London, GG, among closed studios like Zipper, had critical + commercial successes, and they were all internally constructed studios.
Even for the 360 the majority of criticially praised (*timed) + successful exclusives were third party: Halo, Gears, ME, Bioshock, L4D, Fable. MS, without third party exclusives, just don't have an appealing exclusive lineup, for any gen they've competed in.