After spending an entire console-generation playing catch-up with Sony, Microsoft has no plans to let Sony gain the upper hand as far as games go this time around. They’ve even confirmed numerous Xbox Series X exclusive gaming titles with more expected. Therefore, in this article, we have created a list of the best Xbox Series X Exclusives so far. And of course, these games will be available on the Xbox Series S as well.
With that said, Microsoft does have other things going for them. Case in point, the Xbox Games Pass. Plus, the Xbox Series X has better backward-compatibility. Not to mention, the Xbox Series S looks like a great option for console gamers on a budget. Now let’s get into these Xbox Series X, Series S exclusives.
When it comes to first-party Xbox titles, none can get bigger than Halo.
The franchise is arguably responsible for putting the original Xbox on the map way back in 2001. In fact, it’s essentially synonymous to the Xbox brand. However, despite its popularity during the 2000s, Halo wasn’t able to maintain the momentum. As a result, it didn’t really much of an impact in the 2010s.
It also didn’t help that Halo 5 Guardians was both a commercial and critical success. Fans, in particular, were left disappointed with the less-than-stellar gameplay and lackluster campaign of Halo 5 Guardians.
The eventual release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the PC on Steam could help reinvigorate mainstream interest in the franchise. However, a successful release in Halo Infinite could be what really restores the AAA title to its former status.
Unfortunately, we can’t really say much about Halo Infinite just yet. Outside of being a cross-generational title and a “spiritual reboot”, Microsoft has so far remained mum regarding the details surrounding the highly anticipated Halo title.
If it’s any consolation though, we do know for sure that Halo infinite will be one beautiful game. This is because it will take full advantage of the additional processing power available on the Xbox Series X.
As Dusk Falls
Designed by Caroline Marchal, founder of INTERIOR/NIGHT and the lead game designer of critically-acclaimed narrative-heavy titles like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, the interactive drama As Dusk Falls has some serious pedigree backing it.
It’s not just Marchal who’s working on it. It also features people from Quantic Dream, as well as other known Sony Studios.
A story-driven video game that feels more like watching a movie, As Dusk Falls is set during the 1999 when two failies find themselves in the same motel in the deserts of Arizona. From then on, the story goes back and forth between the past and future. It’ll see players switch between characters as it encompasses events that transpired over a period of 30 years.
Every in-game decision made in As Dusk Falls will reportedly carry consequences and affect the personalies and perspectives of the characters.
The developers claim that, in doing so, the way to push the “boundaries of the interactive genre” and have players wrestling with existential and important questions.
Obsidian Entertainment (Pillars of Eternity) has got a brand new fantasy RPG title in Avowed. Thes aid game will take place in the same world as that of Pillars of Eternity, Eora.
At first glance, Avowed feels awfully familiar. It doesn’t feel like Pillars of Eternity. Instead, it feels like a darker version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This is an apt comparison. Obsidian has had a lot of success in recent years putting their own spin in classic RPG titles.
Little else is known about the setting in Avowed other than it feels like Obsidian Entertainment’s attempt to create and expand their own in-game universe.
Other rumors floating around regarding Avowed include details regarding what its combat will be like. The rumors, which come from job listings posted by Obsidian Entertainment, referenced numerous things. This includes a possible day and night cycle, branching dialogue, and emphasis on first-person melee combat while utilizing first and third person animations.
Crossfire is an online FPS shooter that you’ve probably never heard of, and most likely never will get a chance to play. However, despite being relatively unheard of, it’s made history as the world’s most played video game, with a player count of 1 billion users across 80 countries.
This popularity is arguably what prompted a more modern, console version of the title.
Named CrossFireX, the all-new shooter will reportedly borrow elements from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for its multiplayer component. However, for its single-player campaign, the developers will attempt to follow the same formula that led to the success of franchises like Resident Evil and Metal Gear.
The single-player campaign will feature the conflict between Black List and Global Risk, the world’s two-most prominent private military factions.
Not much else is known about CrossFireX as of the moment.
TwistedRed might be a small video game development company, but they sure do have lofty ambitions. Case in point, they’re working on ExoMecha.
Taking a concept that’s seemingly built for video game success, ExoMecha is a free-to-play first-person shooter featuring players duking it out against each other in an exotic locale known as the planet OMECHA where they’re free to raise all hell using their giant mechs and a wide assortment of weapons.
Rare is back with yet another ambitious action-adventure title. However, unlike their previous success, Sea of Thieves, their latest title, Everwild, will be on land. Or, at least, that’s what we can take from the trailers they have released so far.
A more fantasy oriented title, Everwild will supposedly explore existential questions like “What does it mean to be in nature?” and will reportedly feature co-op gameplay.
As for what exactly Everwild will be all about, the main story will revolve around humans with an affinity to nature. These people are referred to as “Eternals”. Their task is then to nurture the wildlife of the world. This involves travelling all over and observing the magical creatures that inhabit the land, occassionally conducting rituals and saving the said creatures.
Everwild’s trailers also show the animals contributing to the gameplay, as they’ve been shown to take down trees and even carry supplies.
Is it F4ble, signifying that it’s the fourth title in the Fable franchise? Or is just Fable, which means that we’re about to see a reboot?
At this point, we don’t have enough to go on. First revealed at the July Xbox Games Showcase, Fable marks a “new beginning” for the franchise with Playground Games (known best for their work on the Forza Horizon games) at the helm.
Unfortunately, the released trailer doesn’t really give much info outside of hints of Fable being an open-world title.
That, and of course, Fable’s famoed offbeat sense of humor carrying over.
Microsoft doesn’t seem like it plans on making a “better” Forza Motorsport title. Instead, the new Forza Motorsport game is going to be a “reimagining of the series”, which might help explain why it’s not a numbered title release.
With that said, expect breathtaking and lifetime graphics to be the high point of the title.
Forza Motorsport will reportedly support 4K visuals at 60fps for the Xbox Series X and will take advantage of the next-gen console’s improved hardware capabilities. This includes ray-tracing, which should allow it to utilize lighting and reflections better for a more realistic and lifelike graphics.
Outside of being a good-looking title, Turn 10 has remained mum on what to expect from Forza Motorsport.
Was it ever really a surprise that Gears 5 would make its way on our list?
The latest instalment in the Gears of War franchise will get a much-improved look for the Xbox Series X courtesy of Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system. Already released for the Xbox One, Gears 5 will have access to better hardware on the Xbox Series X. This includes 60-fps cutscenes, among many other things.
As for the story itself, Gears 5 is set just right after Gears of War 4, albeit the focus this time around will be more on Kait Diaz, who first appeared in Gears of War 4.
Gears 5 is arguably the biggest game in the franchise yet. It’s got a larger map and far more content. Also, in addition to this, Gears 5 will let players bring along two other people to provide crowd control support for the main character.
Gears 5 also introduces a new game mode in “Escape” where players will have to fight their way outside from inside a Swarm hive as they attempt to destroy it.
Gears 5 was already a beautiful game for the Xbox One and Xbox One X.
Adding the Xbox Series X to the mix, along with its 4K 60fps capabilities, should only add to the eye candy.
Call of the Sea
What would you do if your spouse was lost in the South Pacific?
Most women would mourn, but eventually, move on. After all, the South Pacific is not a small place. Not Nora though, because, nothing will apparently stop her from trying to figure out what happened to his late husband.
Set in the 1930s, the plot of Call of the Sea is interesting, but not as much compared to its graphics.
Atypically beautiful, Call of the Sea mixes painting-like graphics with next-generation weather and lighting effects to achieve something that would have probably been impossible to do years ago.
Hello Neighbor 2
2017’s Hello Neighbor infuriated and confused many gamers with its ever-adapting AI that forced players to try out every tactic possible in order to get through.
The stealth-horror title was a breath of fresh air in a genre that was admittedly starting to grow stale. Now, it’s back. Hello Neighbor 2 will reportedly follow-up on the events of the first title.
Following the disappearance of the creepy neighbor after you finished sneaking through his house in Hello Neighbors, the sequel will have you tracking him down to find out what happened to him. In your pursuit, you’ll find yourself being the hunted, as a mysterious creature lurks nearby, stalking your every move.
In true Hello Neighbor fashion, the said stalker will feature the same advanced and self-learning AI as that of the neighbor.
Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis
Not to be confused as a sequel or a replacement, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is a stand-alone free-to-play MMORPG intended to work alongside the currently available Phantasy Star Online 2.
To that end, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will feature an all-new story taking place a thuosand years following the events of Phantasy Star Online 2.
According to Sega, their latest MMORPG will be an “open-field online RPG”, which is a radically different take from their previous works. This means that you can expect a world that you can fully explore. This should work similar to that of Monster Hunter: World. The in-game world will reportedly even feature its own day and night cycle.
In addition to the understandable graphics overhaul, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will have a much more robust character creation engine.
Gamers can also take their characters back and forth between New Genesis and Phantasy Star Online 2, albeit theré’ll be tons of things that you can’t carry over in between games.
What do you get when you create a video game that draws heavy inspiration from the works of H.G Geiger?
You know, the same guy responsible for giving us the nightmarish set pieces of Alien.
Well, you don’t need to look far to find out the answer to that question. This is because Ebb Software’s Scorn is it.
The developers describe Scorn as an “atmospheric first-person horror adventure”, and thanks to the trailer that showed us a glimpse of what to expect from the game, we know for sure that they’ve succeeded in making sure that the game fits the description down to the very T.
Unfortunately, it’ll be a while before we get more details about Scorn.
For now, what we can deduce is that this Xbox Series X exclusive seems to be a cross between fantasy horror and sci-fi, which is a combination that has always done well as far as inducing nightmares go.
In a world of battle royale titles, Second Extinction will attempt to separate itself as a three-man co-op shooter where players find themselves fighting for survival against waves of giant mutated reptiles.
Yes. If that’s not obvious by now, we’re talking about dinosaurs.
Players will get to choose from a number of survivors, each of which equipped with their own unique set of abilities, skills, and weapons. There’ll also be what’s known as the “War Effort” feature where players join together to complete missions and activities to lower the threat level of each region on the game’s world.
It seems that Capcom is aiming for total cooperation from gamers in Second Extinction, which would be fun to see if it works out or not.
Hopefully, if this sparks some interest, Capcom decides to work on a new Dino Crisis title next.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade was arguably the best game you hadn’t heard of released for the previous console generations.
While it was deemed a commercial and critical success, not a lot of gamers had a chance to play Senua’s Saga: Hellblade, which is a shame.
The dark fantasy action-adventure title drew heavily from Celtic culture and Norse mythology. It used this inspiration to great effect to deliver a narrative that also managed to blend several genres together. This includes everything from psychological horror and puzzle-solving, among many others.
The game was unique in that it featured a protagonist suffering from intense psychosis. This manifested itself in numerous ways. This includes frequent hallucinations and delusions of voices inside her head, as well as memories from her horrible past.
Judging from what we’ve seen so far, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is looking to feature even more of the same thing. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is because the first title was widely praised for its actor’s live-action performances and how well it depicted mental illness in psychosis patients.
With Ninja Theory now having the full financial backing of Microsoft to develop the sequel on top of the power of the Xbox Series X, expect Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II to deliver one hell of a trip once it arrives.
The fourth game in the STALKER franchise, Stalker 2 comes years after the last entry to the series.
According to the FAQ section on the game’s website, the game will have an “epic, non-linear story” where your decisions and choices will have both long-term and short-term effects. However, what the website failed to answer was exactly what the game will be all about.
Perhaps the mystery is all for the better. After all, surviving is so much harder when you don’t know what to look forward to.
As for the setting, Stalker 2 will take players back to the same alternate reality. Instead of surrounding the area of Chernobyl with radiation, the said disaster created what’s known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The area is filled with mutated creatures and other kinds of anomalies.
Expect to see more government conspiracy theories with the release of Stalker 2, as well as alternative endings.
Considering the franchise’s affinity for open-ended stories and non-linear progression, expect Stalker 2 to be a prettier take on what many consider as the Dark Souls of first person shooter games.
State of Decay 3
State of Decay 3 was one of the more surprising announcements for the Xbox Series X.
As of this moment, the developers, Undead Labs, are still busy producing content for State of Decay 2. The open world zombie survival video game currently has three DLCs available, all of which are available via the recently-released Juggernaut Edition.
Perhaps this explains why, outside of the trailer, we know nothing of State of Decay 3 so far.
Of course, if the two previous titles are any indication, State of Decay 3 should serve as a bigger and prettier take on what’s arguably the most successful zombie apocalypse group survival simulator available today.
Tell Me Why
From the makers of Life is Strange (and its sequel), comes Tell me Why, another narrative-heavy drama featuring tough choices and arguably even tougher consequences.
Tell Me Why’s story will revolve around Alyson and Tyler Ronan. The two are twins who will meet for the first time in a decade. They’ve long since parted ways, but must try to get along with each other. This is after the death of their mother, Mary-Ann Ronan, and what they decide to do to their childhood home.
The game will have players change between characters, as each one has a different recollection of certain events growing up.
Players will then have to make decisions based on whose memories they trust the most.
Spanning across multiple episodes, decisions in Tell Me Why won’t carry serious world-ending consequences. However, each choice made will have serious repurcussions. More importantly, it’s this grounded and realistic setting that should make Tell Me Why a sleeper hit for the Xbox Series X.
Add The Ascent to the growing number of games exploring a cyberpunk theme.
Don’t worry. We’re not complaining. We’re actually pretty excited. After all, this cyberpunk RPG shooter boasts some serious pedigree. Although Neon Giant is a relatively new video game development company, the people behind it aren’t. In fact, they’ve worked on some pretty big names, like Gears of War, Bulletstorm, DOOM, and Wolfenstein.
As for the gameplay, The Ascent will feature a group known as the Ascent Group who owns everyone.
Yes, you read that right.
As expected in a dystopian setting, everything that can go wrong did go wrong. As a result, the society created and owned by the Ascent Group is quickly spiraling towards chaos if it already hasn’t.
Now, it’s your job to try and establish some semblance of order into it all.
A classic tale of small town kids attempting to save their town, Echo Generation feels a lot like shows like Stranger Things. However, instead of going for realism, it tries to keep itself kid-friendly by using Minecraft-like graphics.
And, oh, did we mentioned that it’s an RPG title with turn-based combat?
Developed by indie studio, Cococucumber, Echo Generation doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything new. Rather, it’s simply taking what has worked in the past, like giving off some serious old-school 80’s horror vibes, and what appeals to the current audience.
The popular trope among today’s teens should combine together with traditional RPG elements like leveling up and taking on big baddies.
What do you happens to the world when pollution takes over?
We don’t really know, but the setting of The Gunk comes pretty close to giving us a glimpse.
Featuring a duo of explorers tasked to explore a world full of gunk, the two will have to gather and craft whatever they can to survive the planet’s terrifying inhabitants. Naturally, this third-person action-adventure title will come with its fair share of challenging puzzles.
The plot will reportedly revolve around attempting to find out what happened to the planet and its previous inhabitants while attempting to save it from the titular gunk that has overcome it.
Players will be armed with a pair of gloves and the power to manipulate environments through various crafted items.
Anyone who says that there’s a severe lack of psychological horror titles for the next-gen consoles need only to take a look at the trailer for The Medium.
The Medium is developed by the same people who worked on 2019’s Blair Witch title. They’ll also be aided by Akira Yamaoka, a composer who worked on the Silent Hill franchise back when it was still considered good.
The game will be set in Krakow, Poland back in the 1980s where players will take control of a spiritual medium going by the name of Marianne. The said medium reportedly borders this world and the afterlife, which pretty much seals the deal on how scary and terrifying this title is going to be.
Considering how much more lifelike next-gen graphics are going to be, The Medium will definitely benefit from the added power of the Xbox Series X.
Prepare to be scared out of your wits.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Think Left 4 Dead, but instead of zombies, you’ve got creepy crawlies and all sorts of mutants. That’s basically what Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is. Or, at the very least, that’s what it looks like initially.
Dig deeper, and you’ll find that, much like any other Warhammer 40,000 title, Darktide is rich in lore and history.
Darktide will be set in massive self-sufficient supercity located undergrown known as the Hive. There, people live their entire lives underground. However, as safe as these cities are, the deeper areas are prone to having issues with mutant and demons, which is where our group of soldiers come in.
Judging from the trailer, we know that the protagonists serve under the secret organization known as the Imperial Inquisition. Othe rtakeaways include facing off against Poxwalkers and the possibility of Nurgle, the demon god, being the big baddie behind the infestations of Hive Tertium.
Orphan of the Machine
Dynamic Voltage Games, a one-man development team, is set to work on an ambitious title and one of the first-ever next-gen titles to try and see if a Metroidvania will work on next-gen graphics.
Obviously, this is an indie title. However, the past decade has proven to us that the underdogs need not be underestimated. Not especially when a game is all about a dolphin fighting against robots.
Yes. You read that right.
A weird premise, for sure, and one that’s shrouded in a lot of mystery, but it could also be one that could very well prove us all wrong.
It’s clear that Microsoft wants the Xbox Series X to do better than the Xbox One did. This time around, they’ve got far more exclusives lined up, and are working closely together with more developers, both big names and indie ones.
Whether or not these moves will pay off is something that only time will tell. What we do know is that the lack of exclusives is not going to be a problem with the Xbox Series X and Series S.
Microsoft desperately lacks something that can go toe-to-toe with the God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn franchises that Sony has going for them, and while their exclusives are excellent, they’re mostly unproven or underrated franchises that might or might not be enough to help the Xbox Series X get the sales push that it needs.
Hopefully, we’ll see more and more Xbox Series X exclusives in the future.