It seems that Microsoft has learned their lesson this time around.
After spending an entire console-generation playing catch-up with Sony, Microsoft has no plans to let Sony take the W as far as games go this time around. In fact, Microsoft already has a pretty sizable advantage over Sony right now, especially after as confirmed and rumored Xbox Series X games go.
Not to mention, Microsoft already has the Xbox Games Pass, as well as the backward-compatibility of the Xbox Series X.
Considering that Holiday 2020 is still ways away, Microsoft still has a lot of time to come up with an even more sizable list of Xbox Series X launch titles, among other things. But, since that hasn’t happened yet, we’re left with information that’s already confirmed.
With that said, here’s everything we know about every confirmed upcoming Xbox Series X, as well as those rumored to hit Microsoft’s next-generation console.
Unsettling and disturbing seem like the perfect ways to describe the Xbox Series X exclusive, Scorn.
Scorn is said to draw direct inspiration from the works of H. R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński. The former was part of the design team that worked on the original Alien film. Meanwhile, the latter is a Polish artist best known for exploring dystopian surrealism in his works.
Given its inspiration, it seems pretty understandable that Scorn went with that … “aesthetic”.
As a first-person horror game, Scorn clearly wants to take its horror element to the next level. Judging by the trailer alone, it certainly seems like it’s well on its way to accomplishing that.
The Medium (Exclusive)
The Medium is another horror title exclusive to the Xbox Series X. However, unlike Scorn, which obviously is going for a more Alien-like vibe, The Medium is taking a more psychological approach to scaring the wits out of gamers.
Backed by the same people behind 2019’s Blair Witch video game adaption and the haunting scores of the Silent Hill series, The Medium.
As for the gameplay itself, we know a couple of things to expect from The Medium.
In the game, players will reportedly take on the shoes of Marianne, who is a spiritual medium that can act as a bridge between the world of the living and, well, the world of the NOT living. Although we don’t know much beyond that, one thing that’s all but guaranteed at this point is that The Medium will be a terrifying title.
Whether or not it becomes a worthy spiritual successor to the likes of Silent Hill is something that we’ll find out once it launches.
Halo Infinite (Exclusive)
Was this ever really a surprise?
Microsoft may not have featured Master Chief as much on the Xbox One as they did in previous generations, but there’s no way that they would have done the face of Xbox dirty for two generations in the row.
Halo Infinite was pretty much the first title confirmed for the Xbox Series X.
Despite the early confirmation though, we don’t really know a lot about Halo Infinite.
What we do know is that it’s set to be the sixth main entry of the Halo franchise, and will be co-developed by both 343 Industries and SkyBox Labs, which suggests that Microsoft wants Master Chief to make a big and lasting impression on the Xbox Series X once Halo Infinite becomes available.
Just how exactly they plan on doing that remains a mystery to us all.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 (Exclusive)
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade was one of the bigger surprise hits of its generation.
Developed by the much-maligned Ninja Theory studio — the British game developers took the brunt of the arguably undeserved criticism in the dramatic shift that came with the DmC: Devil May Cry “reboot” in 2013 — Senua’s Saga: Hellblade might have just been the game’s best release yet.
Officially labeled as an action-adventure title, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade was much more than that.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade was an amalgamation of multiple gaming genre. This includes anything from hack-and-slash and problem solving to psychological horror. The best part? The game incorporated each genre so well while also delivering arguably one of the most surreal gameplay experiences to date.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 looks to bring the same experience to the next generation, albeit in a more immersive package. At least, graphically.
Call of the Sea (Exclusive)
We don’t really see too many puzzle adventure titles these days. As such, you can only imagine everyone’s excitement when Microsoft showcased one such game during their first-ever 20/20 event.
Call of the Sea is a game set in the 1930s. It will star a woman named Norah who’s on the search for his lost husband.
If it’s not already obvious by now, Call of the Sea is going for a more retro look. However, at the same time, you can’t help but admire the beauty of the graphics.
If nothing else, it’ll be intriguing to see how Raw Fury pulls off a first-person puzzle adventure on a next-gen console.
Second Extinction (Exclusive)
For some reason, developers really aren’t keen on creating a dinosaur game.
Maybe it’s because there have been far too many failures in the past? Well, that’s partly true. After all, outside of Dino Crisis, which wasn’t exactly a perfect franchise, what other notable dinosaur games can you really remember?
Here’s to hoping that Second Extinction adds to that shortlist.
A co-op shooter that lets you play on three-game squads against giant mutated reptiles, Second Extinction is as pretty self-explanatory as it gets.
If nothing else, Second Extinction might just be the catalyst we need for Capcom to work on a new Dino Crisis title.
The Ascent (Exclusive)
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.
Gears 5 (Exclusive)
Microsoft had already made Gears 5 available for the Xbox One X last year, which means that it’s technically not a new game. However, it remains one of the Xbox games out there, and will likely be one of the best Xbox Series X games once it launched on the console.
We already know how much more gorgeous it will look like on next-gen hardware, so don’t expect any surprises there.
But, then again, who knows?
Orphan of the Machine (Exclusive)
Developed by the one-team, Dynamic Voltage Games, Orphan of the Machine is set to be one of the first next-gen Metroidvania titles to be released.
Naturally, this is an indie title. However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past decade, it’s that we should never doubt an underdog. This is especially if it features a story of dolphin fighting robots.
Outside of the video clip showing us what the game will look like, there aren’t that many details available on Orphan of the Machine.
Regardless, we’re pretty sure that the premise alone is well worth the price of admission.
Bright Memory Infinite
Chinese FYQD Studio’s Bright Memory flew under most people’s radars when it released in 2019.
A first-person shooter with melee elements, Bright Memory put players in the shoes of gun-toting and a sword-wielding female protagonist who also happens to have psychokinetic powers, among many other things.
If the trailer is anything to go buy, Bright Memory Infinite looks like it’s going to double-down on what the first title did. This means that gamers can expect even more action featuring swords and shields, as well as assault rifles, and some magic thrown into the mix for good measure.
Reportedly made by a single person, the first in-engine look of Bright Memory Infinite should be enough to get your blood pumping and excited for it.
Death, change, and taxes.
There are only so few things that are certain in life. Those are three are right up there.
So is another NFL game, by the way, particularly, a Madden title.
Having seen an annual release since 1990, no year really ever is complete without a new Madden game, and for the Xbox Series X, we’re going to see American football in all of its next-generation glory thanks to Madden 21.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Ubisoft definitely pushed through with changing their annual release of a new Assassin’s Creed title. However, even though they decided to skip a year with their once yearly franchise, there simply was no way that they’d let a new console-generation launch without having one of their games be part of it all.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is the latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will follow in the footsteps of its past two predecessors, Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.
Instead of focusing on its stealth and action gameplay, the past two titles leaned heavily towards its RPG elements. This was met with a lot of praise from critics and fans alike. As such, it makes sense for Ubisoft to try out the formula once again with Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.
As for the game’s narrative, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will let players live as Vikings in the middle ages.
Forced out of their homeland in Norway, players will have an entirely new playground in England to play with as they look to rummage and pillage their way into establishing a new home for the legendary warrior race.
Cyberpunk 2077 answers a question that no one probably asked before:
“What would happen if you crossed The Witcher and the Deus Ex franchises together?”
A narrative-heavy and story-driven open-world single-player RPG title, Cyberpunk 2077 continues CD Projekt’s affinity for adapting little-known franchises into a video game. But, instead of a book, CD Projekt went with a tabletop RPG in the Cyberpunk franchise this time around.
Set in “Night City”, Cyberpunk 2077 lets players play as a customizable mercenary who’s looking for a rare thingamajig rumored to make people immortal.
Much like with The Witcher franchise, we can expect CD Projekt to work their magic on this title. This means that we can expect multiple playthroughs from the game, with various endings available depending on the chances that you made.
Perhaps the only difference with Cyberpunk 2077 from any of The Witcher games is that you can reportedly play through the game without resorting to killing people.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2
Games with dark humor will definitely get a kick out of this one.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 is a sequel to the criminally-underrated cult-classic Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines.
Thanks to the quirky trailer, we know that the developers haven’t lost their touch yet, as we saw them prominently feature human puppets hanging down from a Christmas Tree.
Set in a world where vampires, werewolves, as well as other creatures of night coexist with the rest of humanity, Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 will let you stalk around as a newly-minted vampire who’s literally out for blood.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Once a PlayStation-exclusive franchise, we’ve seen the Yakuza games make their way to other consoles and platforms in recent years. In a few months, this will include Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which will make its way on the Xbox Series X.
A rather unique take on the Yakuza formula, Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be a role-playing title instead of a beat-em-up.
In the game, players participate in four-person team battles. However, in typical Yakuza fashion, there’s a twist. Because, during battles, players and enemies alike can interact with nearby surroundings and other objects. This creates a more interactive combat system that’s more in line with the Yakuza franchise.
Also returning are the numerous side-quests and side-activities that have since become a staple of the franchise.
Watch Dogs: Legion
A slight departure from the previous Watch Dogs titles, the third installment, Watch Dogs: Legion, will give players, not just one protagonist, but an entire city’s worth of inhabitants to play with and as.
Set in a dystopian London where everything and anything is under the control of an authoritarian regime, Watch Dogs: Legion uses the franchise’s hacking gameplay to help the repressed British people stage an uprising.
True to its name, Watch Dogs: Legion will give you multiple protagonists at your disposal.
Similar to what a singular protagonist would have, each of these people that you can play as has their own backstories, talents, abilities, skills, and more. Not to mention, Watch Dogs: Legion will raise the stakes up a bit by introducing a permadeath mechanic that we haven’t seen from the franchise yet.
Dying Light 2
Set some 15 years after the events of the first game, Dying Light 2 will take players into a new world where society has found itself collapsing back into its old, more savage ways as the zombie outbreak has all but forced humanity to fight amongst themselves in an attempt to survive.
Upon its release, Dying Light was a beautiful game lauded for its combat mechanics and incorporation of parkour in its gameplay.
Now made for the next-generation of consoles, Dying Light 2 will look to improve on what the original did.
Considering that Techland’s low-key been one of the best game developers this decade, there’s little doubt that Dying Light 2 will become a much bigger and more memorable game than the original ever was.
Are you playing as a sentient plane? Or are you playing as a human being?
You know what, at this point, we don’t really care.
Chorus, stylized as Chorvs, is a single-player title where you’re in control of an ace pilot named Nara on board the starfighter, Forsaken, which, by the way, has a mind of its own. Together, the two will hope to take down the very same cult responsible for making Nara who she is today.
Dark, gritty, and mature, watch out for Nara’s story of personal redemption once Chorvs arrives on the Xbox Series X.
Bandai Namco’s newest IP is equal parts Psychonauts and equal parts Grand Theft Auto, dressed in an anime aesthetic.
Featuring a solider named Yuito Sumeragi, Scarlet Nexus is set in the far future where humanity has learned how to harness its latent psychic abilities. This means that the protagonist has some pretty cool psychokinesis powers, which will definitely come in handy as he explores the world and eventually ends up finding out more than he bargained for.
An RPG headed by the same people behind some of the Tales Of games, Scarlet Nexus has the potential to be Bandai Namco’s next big IP.
Until the next expected Forza title comes to the Xbox Series X, gearheads will have to settle with Dirt 5.
As far as consolation prizes go, that’s not even half-bad.
The first racing game officially confirmed for Microsoft’s next-gen console, Dirt 5 will feature tracks from all over the world. This includes world-famous tracks located in places like Brazil, Italy, China, and even New York. More importantly, Dirt 5 will feature a wide roster of characters that players will get a chance to play and tinker with.
For those who aren’t exactly huge fans of the franchise nor cars, Dirt 5 will reportedly feature a career mode with the likes of Nolan North and Troy Baker lending their talents.
With a little bit of something for everybody, Dirt 5 is definitely one to look out for.
A third-person online shooter where loot will play a huge role, Outriders is an all-new IP developed by people with prior experience in hit titles such as Gears of War: Judgment and Bulletstorm.
Outriders isn’t out yet but it’s already drawing comparisons to shooter-looters like Destiny.
Whether or not it can be just as good if not better as Destiny is the question. But, so far, the developers seem intent on turning Outriders into a different kind of online shooter that gamers can actually finish.
With lead writer Joshua Rubin citing classics such as Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness as possible comparisons for the game’s story, we should expect things to get pretty dark quickly in Outriders.
Rumored and Expected
Forza Motorsport 8
For those that don’t know, both Motorsport and Horizon are racing simulators developed for the Xbox consoles.
The main difference between the two is Motorsport is more focused on professional-style track racing. Meanwhile, Horizon revolves around a more open-world setting revolving around a fictional racing and music festival known as the “Horizon Festival”.
Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the next Forza title. However, considering that we’ve seen the developers alternate between the Forza Horizon and Motorsport titles since the start of the last decade and with the latest official release being Forza Horizon 4 in 2018, all signs point to Forza Motorsport 8 coming sooner rather than later.
Fable was one of Microsoft’s most successful video game franchises until it wasn’t.
The first two titles in the Fable series were met with both critical and commercial success. Unfortunately, the third title, Fable 3 wasn’t so lucky. Although many praised its humor and personality, many felt that it didn’t bring too many new things to the table. It also didn’t help that it encountered numerous technical problems.
While Fable 3 wasn’t the last Fable title to release, it was the last notable Fable game before the closure of Lionhead Studios in 2016.
Now, rumor has it that Microsoft wants to bring the Fable series back to its former glory, and this time, they’ve supposedly enlisted help from Playground Games. Although no one has confirmed this yet, Xbox Head, Phil Spencer, did somehow imply this at E3 2018 during Microsoft’s press conference.
It seems that Microsoft’s playing everything close to their chest this time around. We saw very few leaks or rumors going around the games during the very first Xbox 20/20 showcase. We should expect the same going forward.
With that said, it seems pretty clear that Microsoft intends to outdo Sony this time around.
Whereas the lack of exclusives was one of the cruxes of the Xbox One, it seems one of the strengths of the Xbox Series X.
Hopefully, Microsoft can keep this up.
After all, if Sony and Microsoft are focused on trying to outdo each other by delivering the best exclusives on the market, it’s the gaming audience who ends up the winners, and who wouldn’t want that?
Hopefully, we’ll see Microsoft reveal a lot more games for the Xbox Series X as we draw closer to the “Holiday 2020” launch date.