Skip to main content

The five big Xbox Series X games you should keep an eye on

Now that you have your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S secured — assuming you managed to successfully navigate the pre-order process — it’s time to start loading up on games that will show it in the best light. Just one problem. They will be hard to find for a while.

The delay of Halo Infinite, the still-pending status of the Bethesda acquisition, and the development pace of other internal studios means Microsoft’s new console will be relying on third-party games and the financial appeal of Game Pass as it kicks off the next console generation.

But the midterm forecast is a lot rosier. Just as the PlayStation 5 has a robust line of upcoming games, the Xbox Series X has some doozies of its own, which won’t be available on Sony or Nintendo’s consoles.

Here are the most exciting titles headed to next-generation Xbox systems — and when you might expect them.

The Medium

The Medium - Dual Reality Trailer

This psychological horror game turned heads when it was unveiled in May, and it is one of two Xbox exclusives that will drop in the Xbox Series X/S launch window (with Tetris Effect: Connected being the second). It’s a unique game, which the developers say is only possible with the Series X’s technological advances.

You’ll explore two realities at the same time — the physical and spiritual worlds. Developed by Bloober Team and featuring a score composed by Akira Yamaoka, known for his work on Silent Hill, it’s a creepy game that shows how different things can be when seen from a new perspective.

(Release Date: December 10, 2020)

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice fire

Ninja Theory’s next entry in the Hellblade saga was first revealed last December during The Game Awards. And so far, the developer has kept a tight lock on the details. We know it will be set in Iceland. And we know it uses Epic’s Unreal Engine 5. But plot? Hooks? Story angles? Not a peep.

The original Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice might offer some hints, though. That title won raves for its exploration of mental illness, which Senua viewed as a curse placed on her. The original action/adventure game followed her journey to the underworld to rescue the soul of her dead lover. Don’t be surprised if the goddess Hela makes an appearance once again.

(Release date: TBD)


Fable - Official Announce Trailer

It’s been 10 years since a core Fable game has been released, and the franchise has suffered a bit as Microsoft has taken it in other directions. All we’ve seen so far of the new Fable (aka Fable 4) is a teaser that really said nothing, but confirmed the game’s humor hadn’t been abandoned.

The team behind the Forza Horizon franchise is in charge this time, though, and it’s calling this game “a new beginning for the legendary franchise.”

(Release date: TBD)

Forza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport - Official Announce Trailer

Most people expected Forza Motorsport, the eighth entry in this venerated series, to be a launch title for the Series X. It’s unknown if that was a false assumption or if the pandemic caused production delays, but the fanbase is hoping for big things for this game, the first Forza Motorsport title since 2017.

Developer Turn 10 Studios has only offered a one-minute teaser so far, showcasing the (admittedly impressive) graphics and lots of “Vroom” sound effects. Last December, Turn 10 Creative Director Chris Esaki announced on the Forza Monthly live show that “the overall product and where we’re going with it is such a vastly different and amazing experience,” implying this will be a bigger leap forward than the past few installments.

(Release date: TBD)

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite - Official Gameplay Reveal Trailer

This, of course, is the game everyone’s waiting for. Announced initially as a launch title, then delayed to a new undisclosed date, it’s billed as the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet. Halo 5: Guardians fell flat with fans, though, and it’s looking like production on Infinite wasn’t measuring up either. The game was hardly a cinematic showcase when it had a live gameplay demo in July. And Microsoft has since bought on Joseph Staten, the former lead writer and cinematic director of the Halo series at Bungie, as the game’s campaign project lead.

The story will seemingly continue the tale that began in Halo 5 when Cortana returned with an army of Forerunner war machines called Guardians and began a quest to conquer the galaxy. The Banished faction appears to be the enemy this time around and appears to be allied with someone (or something) called the Harbinger. The action will take place, at least in part, on a Halo ring — and the game’s multiplayer portion will be released as a free-to-play game, with a framerate of 120fps on the Series X.

(Release date: TBD)

Editors' Recommendations

Chris Morris
Chris Morris has covered consumer technology and the video game industry since 1996, offering analysis of news and trends and…
Valheim finally comes to Xbox next month with full crossplay
Valheim player standing in a field.

Iron Gate Studio and Coffee Stain Publishing confirmed that the Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One versions of Valheim will finally launch on March 14. The early access Xbox Game Preview title will be included as part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription when it releases on consoles, as it is already available via the PC version of the service.

The announcement came as part of IGN's 2023 Fan Fest event. In addition to a release date announcement, we also saw a gameplay trailer showing it running on Xbox Series X, which seemed on par with how the game runs on higher-end PCs. We also learned that Valheim will support full crossplay between PC and Xbox consoles when it finally launches. This release marks the first time Valheim will be available on console since the fantasy survival game rose to popularity in early 2021. For the time being, this also means that Valheim is an Xbox console exclusive.

Read more
Hi-Fi Rush director reveals the secret to making a great music game
Chai points a finger gun at a robot in Hi-Fi Rush.

I’ve never played a rhythm game that keeps me on beat as well as Hi-Fi Rush. While I’m a musically inclined person who fronts his own band, even I have trouble keeping time in music games. I’ll inevitably start to drag behind notes and then speed up too much to overcompensate. Sometimes I lose the music altogether and need to stop clicking entirely just to rediscover the beat. But in Hi-Fi Rush, I always feel like I’m completely locked in as I attack, dodge, and zip to the sound of early 2000s alt-rock.

That’s no accident. For Game Director John Johanas and a small development team within Tango Gameworks, “accessibility” was a keyword when embarking on the unique passion project. Johanas knew that rhythm isn’t something that comes naturally to every player, putting a natural barrier to entry over any game that requires precise beat-matching and button timing. If Hi-Fi Rush was going to be a fun and welcoming experience for a wider range of players, it would require a more flexible approach to design.

Read more
MLB The Show 23 returns to Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch this March
Jazz Chisholm's cover art for MLB The Show 23.

Sony San Diego Studios announced MLB The Show 23 today, and confirmed that it will launch across all major PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo systems on March 28. 
No new platforms were added this year, so PC players aren't getting in on the fun. Still, this announcement makes it clear that MLB The Show is a multiplatform series across PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo platforms for the foreseeable future. Xbox's version of the trailer also confirms that MLB The Show 23 will be on Xbox Game Pass at launch, making this first-party Sony series a day-one Game Pass title three years in a row. 
MLB The Show 23 - Cover Athlete Reveal
As is typically the case with sports games, MLB The Show 23's reveal was primarily focused on its cover athlete. We learned that Jazz Chisholm Jr., a second baseman for the Miami Marlins, will grace the cover of the game. Like last year, the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch versions of the game will cost $60, while players  on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S without Xbox Game Pass will need to pay $70. So far, no new gameplay features have been teased, although a blog post confirms that cross-platform multiplayer, saves, and progression across all versions of the game will return this year. 
So far, there's not a lot that actually seems new about MLB The Show 23, but this reveal concludes the genesis of a new era for the long-running baseball series. MLB The Show 23 will be released for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch on March 28. 

Read more