The best upcoming Xbox Series X games

The Xbox Series X and Series S are now on the market, bringing better resolution, higher frame rates, and ray tracing to gamers around the world. These upcoming Xbox Series X games promise to show off all those bells and whistles in fun, new experiences.

If you’re eager to find out what Microsoft has in store for the years ahead, we’ve rounded up every game confirmed so far, including new offerings, franchise installments, and ports of existing titles. We’re looking beyond the first-party projects here to encompass all the great games coming to this powerful new piece of gaming hardware.

Further reading

Optimized games available at launch

Xbox Series X Optimized

Xbox Series X and Series S hit store shelves without a major exclusive launch title. To make up for that, it came with over 30 games that are “optimized” for the new hardware. Existing games like Fortnite will be available to play one day 1 with some form of next-generation improvements, though it’s not clear what those updates are for each game.

These games will be available to players in a few different ways. Games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla utilize the consoles’ Smart Delivery feature, giving players who own the game on Xbox One a free upgrade. Some of these upgraded games will be available via Game Pass, including first-party titles like Gears Tactics and Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Smart Delivery)
  • Borderlands 3 (Smart Delivery)
  • Bright Memory 1.0
  • Cuisine Royale (Smart Delivery)
  • Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • DIRT 5 (Smart Delivery)
  • Enlisted
  • Evergate
  • The Falconeer (Smart Delivery)
  • Fortnite
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Gears 5 (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Grounded (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • King Oddball (Smart Delivery)
  • Maneater (Smart Delivery)
  • Manifold Garden (Smart Delivery)
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Planet Coaster (Smart Delivery)
  • Sea of Thieves (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery)
  • War Thunder (Smart Delivery)
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (Smart Delivery)
  • WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship (Smart Delivery)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
  • Yes, Your Grace (Smart Delivery)

Confirmed new games

These games are coming to the Xbox Series X/S, but they are not slated for launch. Some titles may be coming to other console platforms, as well, and most will also come to the PC.

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite is the next chapter in the Halo franchise, and although it was announced as a launch title, the game has been delayed until the holidays in 2021. It’s one of the most anticipated Series X releases as of right now, one that continues the story of Halo 5: Guardians. From what we’ve heard thus far, it seems to be even more ambitious than previous games in the series, powered by the 343’s new Slipspace Engine. The Slipspace Engine breathes new life into the Halo universe, as it better conveys the characters’ emotions. We also know that the game is larger than the previous two Halo games combined, at least according to Microsoft’s July 20/20 Series X event.

Starfield

Starfield

Starfield is Bethesda’s first original RPG in 25 years. Bethesda has not revealed much outside of a teaser shown at E3 2018 and a second one at E3 2021. We don’t have many of the important details yet, but we do know that the game will be a single-player experience and come exclusively to Xbox on November 11.

State of Decay 3

State of Decay 3

State of Decay 3 exists, and that’s about all we know. A follow-up to Undead Labs’ open-world zombie game a few years ago, State of Decay 3 is launching exclusively on Xbox Series X and PC and will be coming to Game Pass on release day.

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Motorsport

A new Forza game is hardly a surprise, but we’re getting another entry in the series with Forza Horizon 5. This time, you will be racing through the dusty trails, mountains, roads, and iconic locations of Mexico. If you’re a racing game fan, you probably already know whether this game will be for you or not. It will arrive on November 9.

Avowed

Avowed

Avowed is probably still a few years off, especially with The Outer Worlds DLC shipping soon. We know, however, that it’s coming, and it’s coming exclusively to Xbox Series X and PC. It’s a presumably open-world, first-person RPG similar to Skyrim. The game takes place in Eora, the same world as Pillars of Eternity, and features melee combat and spell-casting, at least based on the teaser.

The Outer Worlds 2

Only just revealed at E3 2021, The Outer Worlds 2 is the next installment to the small, well-received sci-fi RPG from Obsidian entertainment. We only got the smallest of announcement trailers, but based on just that, we know that the same level of humor and self-awareness will be in the sequel. Despite being a sequel, the game will focus on a brand new cast in all-new environments. The teaser ends without a release date, so this one may take quite a while to arrive.

As Dusk Falls

As Dusk Falls

As Dusk Falls is the first game from Interior Night, a U.K.-based studio made up of former Sony and Quantic Dream developers (known for work on Detroit: Become Human and Beyond Two Souls). True to form, As Dusk Falls is a narrative-driven adventure game involving two families over the course of two generations. We haven’t seen any gameplay, but it looks like As Dusk Falls could use hand-painted images to tell its story, like a beautiful graphic novel playing out on screen. We’ll know when the game launches on Xbox Series X, PC, and Xbox One, probably in 2021.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2

Microsoft didn’t show much of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in its initial showcase, but at E3 2021, we got a new name, a first look at some gameplay, and the release date of April 28 for the Series X. A PC exclusive series for many years, this survival horror shooter will likely stretch the limits of the Series X when it launches. If you need more horsepower, it’s coming to PC, too.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide

Warhammer 40K: Darktide

We still don’t know much about Warhammer 40K: Darktide, but it comes from Vermintide developer Fatshark, so that provides a pretty big clue. It’s a four-player co-op shooter where you take on mobs of enemies, similar to Left 4 Dead. It’s launching as a timed-exclusive on PC and Xbox Series X, though we don’t have a release window yet.

The Gunk

The Gunk

The Gunk is a new action-adventure game from Steamworld developer Image and Form. As the studio’s first foray into the 3D realm, it’ll be interesting to see how The Gunk turns out when it launches as a timed-exclusive on Series X, Xbox One, and PC in September 2021.

Fable

Fable

The Fable franchise is getting a reboot with Fable, developed by Forza Horizon studio Playground Games. We don’t know much about the game, short of a vague announcement trailer shown during Microsoft’s July Xbox Series X showcase. We don’t have a release date yet, so it’ll likely be many moons before we dive back into the fantasy world Lionhead created years ago. We do know, however, that the game is coming to Xbox Series X and PC, and that it’s launching on Game Pass.

Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2
Microsoft

Psychonauts is back, and Double Fine Productions is in charge of developing the once-dormant, Xbox-exclusive series. In this installment, Raz must use his power to bring Maligula back from the dead. Psychonauts 2 will launch on Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux on August 25.

Crossfire X

Crossfire X
Microsoft

Crossfire X, a PC classic, was originally planned to make its way to Xbox consoles in 2020 but was delayed into 2021 due to development issues. Crossfire is an FPS that pits two private military factions against one another, allowing you to choose a side and complete missions curated for that particular faction. The new campaign, developed by famed Control and Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment, is launching on Xbox One and Series X this year, though it doesn’t appear to be coming to Game Pass.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II

Senua's Saga: Hellblade II

Hellblade II is the next entry in the Hellblade franchise from developer Ninja Theory. Senua’s Saga is a direct sequel to Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice, which focused on a broken Celtic warrior who was haunted by visions and voices in her head as she fought for the soul of her lover. The developers of the first game tapped neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis to create the eeriness of the first Hellblade, which we expect to carry on in the second.

A Plague Tale Requiem

The sequel to the hit indie title A Plague Tale: Innocence, this game has a lot of similarities to the Senua games. It is a smaller, more focused title with an emphasis on story, strong combat design, and graphical design that is almost unbelievable for the size of the team. The game will be a direct follow-up to the first game, following Amicia and Hugo, and will arrive sometime in 2022.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a narrative-focused adventure game that focuses on the events that occur between Gollum finding the One Ring and the start of the Lord of the Rings story we all know and love. Deadalic Entertainment inked a deal with Middle-Earth Enterprises to develop this project, meaning the game will be more akin to the books, not the movies.

Everwild

Everwild
Microsoft

Announced during the XO19 event by Microsoft, Everwild is the new title from Rare Studios. Everwild is an adventure game with a similar art style to that of Rare’s Sea of Thieves. There has not been a confirmed release date or much information about the gameplay. However, check out the trailer for Everwild to get a glimpse of what the game will look like graphically.

Bright Memory Infinite

Bright Memory Infinite

Bright Memory Infinite is a sci-shooter with an episodic twist. The game, developed by indie Chinese studio FYQD Studio, takes the FPS genre and adds close-quarters combat, delivering fast-paced action as you take on the role of Shelia, an employee of the Science Research Organization tasked with stopping a military organization from acquiring a legendary ancient power that can reawaken the dead.

Early episodes of the game have been available through Steam’s Early Access program since last year and have received positive reviews from critics. The original Bright Memory was developed by a single person, showcasing the power of Unreal Engine for solo developers. There were plenty of bugs and instruction issues — mainly because of poor translation — but we expect those issues to be cleaned up when the game launches for current-gen consoles and Series X later in 2021.

Scorn

Scorn

First-person horror game Scorn drops players into a nightmarish, puzzle-filled world. The game has been in the works since 2013 and is finally being released as the ultimate horror experience on Xbox. According to developer Ebb Software, the world of Scorn draws visual inspiration from Swiss painter H.R. Giger and Polish painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, and conceptual inspiration has come from works by notable writers Franz Kafka, Thomas Ligotti, and J.G. Ballard, among others. Basically, this is going to be a nightmarish experience like no other.

The Ascent

The Ascent
Microsoft

The Ascent is a cyberpunk action RPG that can be taken on solo or with friends. On the world of Veles, players start as a worker at The Ascent Group, a dystopian mega-corporation that essentially owns everything — and everyone. One day, however, the corporation shuts down for unknown reasons, and the metropolis you live in plunges into chaos, leaving you and your friends to survive, fight crime syndicates, and stop other corporations from moving in and staking claim to your district.

You’re able to fully customize your character’s appearance, skills, and abilities throughout the game as you work to defeat rival corporations. Shooting and looting are staples, but there are plenty of strategies involved when squaring up against your enemies and finding their weaknesses. Pick it up on your Xbox or as part of Game Pass on July 29.

Chorus

Chorus
Microsoft

Chorus is a modern take on the classic space shooters developed by Deep Silver. The title is expected to be a fast-paced, single-player experience, one that pits you against hordes of enemy starfighters, large battleships, and unknown Void entities. You can play as one of two characters: An ace pilot and ex-cultist named Nara or Forsaken, a sentient AI starfighter. Throughout the game, you will be able to unlock devastating weapons, mind-bending abilities, and engage in zero-g combat.

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 6
EA

EA has only trickled out info about Battlefield 2042, a high-action FPS, but this E3, we learned some key details. The most contentious fact is that the game will not feature a single-player campaign, opting to focus only on multiplayer with games capping out at a total of 126 players on PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. A new dynamic and destructive weather system is the latest showcase for the game, which will hit your Xbox on October 22.

Microman

Microman
Steam

In the aptly titled Microman, you play as a janitor shrunk to the size of an ant. The premise is pretty basic — you fight for your life against ants, spiders, frogs, and rats as you attempt to return to normal — but some mechanics might push the simulator a bit further. You can utilize butterflies as transportation, for instance, or make use of various utensils as weapons. Developer Glob Games claims the concept to be reminiscent of Marvel’s Ant-Man or Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which, on the surface, seems fair.

Rainbow Six Extraction

Rainbow Six Extraction

Ubisoft took its time sharing info about Rainbow Six Extraction, previously subtitled Quarantine, until this year’s E3. We now know that the tactical shooter will feature various operators from Rainbow Six Siege and that they’ll face off against the mutated, alien parasite. The entire game is inspired by the popular mode called Outbreak that was only available for a short time in Rainbow Six Siege. A new, distinct team is developing Rainbow Six Extraction at Ubisoft, so, while it’s a member of the Rainbow Six lineup, we’re expecting a different vibe.

Scarlet Nexus

Scarlet Nexus

Scarlet Nexus is an action JRPG from the minds behind Tales of Vesperia. It’s set in a distant future, one where people showcase extrasensory powers thanks to a psionic hormone found in the human brain. As humanity grapples with this step in human evolution, the world is attacked by mutants, known as Others, who are hungry for human brains. The deranged mutants cannot be stopped with traditional weapons, however, leaving gifted psionics as the world’s only defense.

As Other Suppression Force recruit Yuito Sumeragi, you explore the advanced city of New Himuka and uncover the mysteries of a Brain Punk, fighting off mutants with your extrasensory powers.

The Second Extinction

The Second Extinction

The Second Extinction is an FPS developed by Systemic Reaction. Teamwork is vital in this co-op title, and you must use a unique set of weapons, abilities, and skills as you work to eradicate mutated dinosaurs and reclaim Earth through a series of short guerilla missions. While details remain slim, initial trailers and news have compared the forthcoming title to the Left 4 Dead series.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Microsoft

Set in a dark and reimagined Seattle, Bloodlines 2 is the sequel to a 2004 cult classic. In this action RPG, you play as a human who is killed and revived as a thinblood — aka a relatively weak vampire. You can customize your character via a handful of upgradable disciplines and even pledge your allegiance to a vampire clan and navigate the World of Darkness, an alternative Earth where vampires, werewolves, demons, and other creatures shape human history. Vampires must stay hidden from the human race as much as they can, but rogue vampires have been publicly attacking the population of Seattle and causing tension between the city’s clans. Your decisions will change the balance of power in the city.

Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6

Far Cry 6 is coming to next-gen, and even better, it supports Smart Delivery. Starring Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame, the game follows Danny, a revolutionist who has joined ranks with the people of Yara to overthrow dictator Anton Castillo (played by Esposito). The game was originally set to launch on February 18 but has been delayed to October 7.

Gotham Knights

Gotham Knights

A spiritual successor to the Batman: Arkham series, Gotham Knights is a co-op action RPG starring Batgirl, Red Hood, Robin, and Nightwing. The game is slated to launch sometime in 2021 on Xbox Series X. Although a successor to the Arkham games, Gotham Knights isn’t being developed by Rocksteady Studios (we’ll get to what that team is working on in a moment). Instead Warner Bros Montreal, the studio behind Arkham Origins, is at the helm.

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy

The long-rumored open-world Harry Potter game is finally here, and it has a name. Hogwarts Legacy is set in the world of Harry Potter, of course, but new developer Portkey Games appears to be taking the story in a different direction. Although the game was announced during Sony’s September PS5 event, Hogwarts Legacy is also launching on Series X. We don’t know when that’s happening, though.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

Rocksteady isn’t making Gotham Knights because it’s busy working on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It’s one of a few confirmed next-gen exclusives, launching on Series X in 2022. We don’t know much about the game yet, but it takes place in the Batman: Arkham universe and is set in an open-world Metropolis. We also know the four playable characters in the game: Harley Quinn, King Shark, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang.

TemTem

TemTem

TemTem has been in early access for a while on PC. For those unaware, it’s basically Pokémon as an MMO. The gameplay loop sees you running around various islands, hunting and catching monsters while leveling up the monsters you already have. The game was originally slated to launch this year on PS4 and Xbox One, but the current-gen versions were canceled to focus on Series X and PS5. Currently, TemTem is set to launch in 2021.

Unconfirmed new games

These games are not confirmed for Xbox Series X/S, but they presumably will be coming to the console.

Dragon Age 4

Dragon Age 4

Technically, Dragon Age 4 isn’t confirmed for Xbox Series X. It’s just confirmed as a “next-gen experience.” As a massive third-party IP, though, it’ll probably launch on Series X. We don’t have a release date or really any information about the next Dragon Age game, but don’t expect it soon. At best, the release date won’t be until 2022 or 2023.

The Elder Scrolls VI

The Elder Scrolls VI
Bethesda

Just like StarfieldElder Scrolls VI was announced at E3 2018 and is still years away from release. In fact, Pete Hines of Bethesda recently revealed on Twitter that the Elder Scrolls VI wouldn’t launch until after Starfield. With the Xbox Series X, we can expect more expansive maps and faster loading times, though there is no definitive date as to when we might set foot once again on the continent of Tamriel.

Elden Ring

Elden Ring
Microsoft

Elden Ring, a forthcoming game from Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones), is a title still shrouded in mystery. Although little is known about the forthcoming fantasy epic, Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s largest game to date, one that promises Dark Souls-like combat and vibrant storytelling. Elden Ring has been in development since the final DLC of Dark Souls 3, yet there’s no word on when we will see gameplay. It’s currently slated for current-gen systems, potentially in the latter half of 2021 but we can only hope.

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