The best upcoming Xbox Series X games

The Xbox Series X and Series S have now been out for over a year, bringing better resolution, higher frame rates, and ray tracing to gamers around the world. These upcoming Xbox Series X games promise to continue 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 games screen.

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 (campaign)

Master Chief holding his helmet by his side.

Halo Infinite is the next chapter in the Halo franchise, and although it was announced as a launch title, the game’s campaign has been delayed until December 8, while the multiplayer mode is already available. 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

The Starfield logo in space.

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

A survivor on a snowy cliff.

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.

Avowed

The Avowed logo in dark green space.

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

A space man standing on an alien cliff.

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.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

A banshee from Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.

Kind of a spinoff to a spinoff, Tiny Tina’s Wonderland is a full game based on one of the DLCs for Borderlands 2, where you play as a character participating in a fictional Dungeons and Dragons-type game hosted by the lovably insane Tiny Tina. Despite the fantasy setting, this looks like it has all the trappings of the Borderland games you either love or hate. There are tons of weapons and loot, crass and absurd humor, a colorful and unique world, and more loot. This romp through the twisted world of Tiny Tina’s imagination hits March 25.

As Dusk Falls

A man being held at gunpoint.

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

A character wearing a gas mask in the woods.

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.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Wolverine, Iron Man, and Ghost Rider from Marvel's Midnight Suns.

The Marvel train keeps on trucking with a collaboration no one saw coming. Firaxis, makers of the insanely popular XCOM and XCOM 2 revivals, are taking on the Marvel license with the somewhat niche Midnight Suns. Taking cues from their tactical, turn-based games, this game won’t be nearly as brutal as their prior games in that space. You will lead a team of occult-focused heroes, including fan favorites like Blade and Ghostrider, to face off against a demonic threat. While originally scheduled for early 2022, it has since been delayed until the second half of that year.

Warhammer 40K: Darktide

Three Warhammer marines in a dark hallway.

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.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human

Buildings burning in Dying Light 2.

Before we get off the zombie train, we have one more to hit. This time its a sequel to the surprise hit that mixed zombie survival with first-person parkour elements and somehow stuck the landing. Set 15 years after the original, this game is set in a world where humans have devolved a bit into a kind of “new Dark Ages” as the developers put it. If it is as mechanically fun to simply run, jump, and bash zombies as the original, we’ll be happy. It will squeak in just before the end of 2021 on December 7th.

The Gunk

The Gunk character looking at a strange landscape.

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 December.

Fable

A forest and kingdom landscape.

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.

Elden Ring

A giant battle in Elden Ring.

The team at FromSoftware is back and treating us to a brand new IP. Known for their Dark Souls series, this time, the team has expanded their scope to make a fully open-world experience, along with story contributions from author George R.R. Martin. The combat looks, from what little we’ve seen so far, to be very much familiar to the older Souls games, which fans would no doubt want. Really, we’re just excited for a brand new, ugly, dangerous, and mysterious world to explore and a story to string together. This latest test of wills arrives on February 25.

Crossfire X

The Crossfire X logo.
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 making a pained face.

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

Amica and Hugo looking out over a desolate landscape.

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

TheGollum talking to himself in an orc cave.

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

Three cloaked people in a pink field.
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

A man in a space suit standing on a dock.

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 2022.

Scorn

A twisted corpse in a grey room.

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.

Chorus

A person touching a strange metal triangle.
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.

Microman

A tiny man fighting an ant with a fork.
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

Soldiers shooting aliens while trying to close the doors.

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. This game will hit sometime in January.

Saints Row

The crew of the Saints Row reboot stands against a wall.

The Saints are back in town, but it’s a brand new town and an all-new gang of Saints. This reboot is completely overhauling the story the games had built up, which makes sense considering how impossible it would be to follow up where that story left off. Now, the team wants to make a more grounded story and game, though we still do see plenty of comedy and arcade-style gameplay that set it apart from something trying to be strictly realistic. There’s been a distinct lack of competition for GTA in the third-person, open-world crime space, so we’re glad to see a new attempt to spice up that genre. This reboot will hit on August 23.

Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2

A camp of bums with a burning barrel.
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.

Gotham Knights

Nightwing leaping at the camera.

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

A wizard with a glowing wand looking at Hogwarts.

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

Harley, a shark guy, and deathstroke hanging out.

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.

Perfect Dark

Joanna Dark looking at a pyramid.

The first game from a brand new Microsoft studio called The Initiative was revealed to be a revival of the long-dormant Perfect Dark series. We haven’t seen this espionage sci-fi FPS since Perfect Dark: Zero launched with the Xbox 360, but the original N64 game is still considered one of the all-time greatest FPS games. The game has only had a teaser announcing its existence, so we know next to nothing about it, though we hope it will stay true to the stealth and gadget-based gameplay of the original. For now, we have no clue as to when it will arrive, but it likely won’t be until 2023 at the earliest.

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.

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