The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are here, launched in late 2020 to much praise. One universal question mark hangs over the games line-up, which hasn't exactly been stellar. Still, there are plenty of games worthy of being in our round-up of best Xbox One games and best Xbox Series X, Series S games that launched towards the end of 2020, and hopefully, even more so in 2021 and beyond.
When you look at Microsoft's purchase of Zenimax, and the announced games from both first and third party, the landscape becomes quite impressive, and all the more exciting.
If you're a game developer or publisher and would like to see your game listed here, get in touch with me via email: jez at windowscentral.com!
Cyberpunk 2077 (December 10, 2020)
Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hotly anticipated titles on this list, and also one of the furthest out. Cyberpunk 2077 is an enigmatic project from CD Projekt RED, famed for The Witcher series. Cyberpunk 2077, as its name implies, will be a sci-fi adventure RPG, but very little is known about the game beyond that. Cyberpunk 2077 will be played from a first-person perspective, in a rich and futuristic world.
It could be a while before Cyberpunk 2077 hits store shelves, but if it's anything like The Witcher 3 in terms of scale and depth, it will likely be a monumental achievement.
Empire of Sin (Q4, 2020)
Empire of Sin is an upcoming tactical simulation game from Romero Games, in which you build up your very own crime syndicate.
Playing as a range of notorious gangsters from the noir prohibition era, you'll start from the ground floor in 1920s Chicago, working your way up through the various warring criminal factions to take command of the city's underworld. Manage your henchmen, do battle in XCOM-style tactical segments, and manage your business's economy, coming to Xbox and PC in early December 2020.
12 Minutes (Q4, 2020)
12 Minutes is an upcoming thriller that takes place over the course of 12 minutes, in a deadly time loop. Set in a single apartment, you'll experience a star-studded cast that includes Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe, experiencing the same 12 Minutes over and over, as a hitman enters your apartment. This intriguing thriller remains shrouded in mystery but looks to be one of the more unique games hitting Xbox later this year.
The Ascent (2020)
Although there's no firm launch date, The Ascent should be dropping "some time" in 2020, probably towards the Holiday season. The Ascent is an Xbox Series X and PC title, with a gorgeous cyberpunk aesthetic and solo and co-op action RPG gameplay.
Dragon Quest XI (December 4, 2020)
In a shock announcement during the Xbox July 2020 Showcase, Microsoft and Square Enix revealed that Dragon Quest XI is coming to Xbox and PC Game Pass on December 4, 2020.
Dragon Quest is a legendary JRPG series that is most commonly associated with PlayStation and Nintendo platforms. The franchise is bright and vibrant, with recurring monsters and lore, similarly to the Final Fantasy series, despite being standalone titles.
Iron Harvest (TBC, 2020)
Iron Harvest is an upcoming RTS set in an alternative 1920 period of war.
Built-in collaboration with professional strategy game players, Iron Harvest, is all about steampunk mechs battling it out across Europe in a post-industrial revolution era war for supremacy.
The game is slated for a September 2020 launch on PC, but it's unknown whether it's hitting consoles on the same date. Although it is confirmed to be on the way to Xbox alongside PC and PS4.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey (Early 2021)
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is the next expansion for Elite Dangerous, and while it isn't a standalone title, the expansion is massive and represents Frontier's most ambitious project to date. Odyssey will finally give you the ability to exit your starship and take on FPS missions across a variety of environments.
Frontier will release more details in the coming months, but if you're a fan of Elite Dangerous, keep your eye on this one.
Hitman 3 (January, 2021)
Hitman 3 is the next installment in the legendary stealth 'em up assassination franchise. However, not a great deal is known about what's new for the game, besides this incredibly slick teaser trailer.
The Medium (Q1, 2020)
The Medium is an upcoming game from Bloober Team, the minds behind popular horror titles like Observer, Layers of Fear, and Blair Witch. Enlisting the legendary musical efforts of Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka, The Medium tells a twisted tale of a psychic, haunted by visions of a grisly murder.
The Medium seems to be exclusive to the next-gen Xbox Series X, and will also hit PC.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition (Spring, 2021)
Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3 are getting a big remaster in 2021, targeting a Spring release window.
Mass Effect is an essential space opera third-person shooter, with heavy RPG mechanics and a choice-driven narrative. It was one of, if not, the best series of games on the Xbox 360, and it's coming back with tweaked visuals and unlocked resolution and frame rates for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S and X consoles.
Song of Iron (2021)
Song of Iron is an upcoming side-scrolling adventure game coming to Xbox via ID@Xbox. This indie game already looks like it punches far above its weight in terms of quality, and you should keep your eye on it.
Pragmata is an upcoming title from Capcom, set in a truly strange futuristic setting. Almost nothing is known about the game, besides the fact it's coming to next-gen systems and looks incredibly sleek.
Halo Infinite (2021)
We know next to nothing about Halo Infinite, besides the fact it's the next big entry in Microsoft's flagship shooter saga. Taking place after the events of Halo 5 and Halo Wars 2, Halo Infinite will continue the story that left the galaxy in peril at the hands of the all-powerful Guardians. Halo Infinite was delayed out of 2020 after negative reactions to the game's visual quality.
Resident Evil Village (2021)
Resident Evil Village is effectively Resident Evil 8 and follows Ethan from Resident Evil 7 into a depraved new nightmare. Retaining the first-person perspective, Resident Evil Village features the return of Chris Redfield, as well as all sorts of new biohazards to give you nightmares. RE:V looks like a next-gen exclusive too, hitting Xbox Series X, PC, and PS5 only.
Rainbow Six Quarantine (2021)
Rainbow Six Quarantine is an upcoming sci-fi horror take on Rainbow Six Siege, pitting players in a tactical scenario against infected, mutated humans. Besides fragments of leaked info, not a great deal is known about the game, although its planned release date may have slipped to 2021 as per recent earnings call info from Ubisoft.
Release date TBC
Scorn is an upcoming horror title that leans heavily into H.R. Giger's art styles to create its grotesque world. Not a huge amount is known about the game besides the fact that it is firmly survival horror, set in a first-person, and is exclusive to Xbox Series X and PC.
The Last Night
The Last Night is an upcoming "2D open-world" title from Odd Tales Games. The neon-blasted cyberpunk title features action-infiltration oriented gameplay, complete with a branching narrative and stunning art that combines retro-2D sprites and modern lighting, with 3D elements.
There's no launch date listed at the time of writing, but as of writing, The Last Night is seeking investment due to some developmental issues.
Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 was revealed at E3 2018 and looks set to build upon everything that made the original so awesome.
Set long after the zombie-apocalyptic events of the first game, Dying Light 2 is set in a Mad Max-like world where humanity is trying to rebuild. Undead mutants still lurk in the dark underbelly of the city, but the biggest threat is now violent human factions, which you can work with, or against, in a new dynamic narrative system.
There's no set launch date as of yet, but we're excited to see where the next Dying Light will take us.
The next title from Rare was revealed in late 2019, showing us another gorgeous and colorful world from the British studio. Very little is known about Everwild, but the trailer seems to indicate that it's some form of multiplayer experience, complete with stealth mechanics and uniquely gorgeous creatures.
Disco Elysium is an award-winning isometric RPG where you play as a detective.
Disco Elysium hinges primarily on player choice, with gameplay that revolves largely around dialogue choices, skill checks, and exploration. Your decisions ultimately decide what kind of cop you'll turn out to be, and all the consequences that come along with it.
The game is already available on PC and will hit Xbox sometime in 2020.
Tales of Arise
This upcoming action game was announced at E3 2019 and looks like one to watch for fans of JRPGs.
Part of the famed Tales series, Arise is being built by a team of series veterans and newcomers, to revitalize the franchise and attempt to appeal to new audiences with a darker aesthetic. It is targetting a 2020 launch.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Although it made its maiden flight first on PC on August 18, 2020, Flight Simulator is confirmed to be hitting Xbox as well in the future.
Microsoft Flight Simulator does precisely what it says on the tin, albeit with some cloud-powered features that quite literally elevate it above similar games. Utilizing real-time map data and AI-generated graphics, Microsoft Flight Simulator is looking to push the genre to all-new heights. I'm riding high on these flight puns.
Not a great deal is known about what you do in Weird West, but the developer pedigree and slick trailer alone makes it quite interesting.
Built by the co-developers of Prey and Dishonored, Weird West is self-described as an action RPG fantasy western, where werewolves, cultists, and other occult beings lurk in the shadows of the frontiers. It has no known launch window as of yet, but it seems well worth keeping an eye on.
Announced at Blizzcon 2019, Overwatch 2 finally adds a story mode to the colorful hero shooter, filling in some of the gaps in the game's lore.
While Overwatch 2 will be a separate game with its own content, Blizzard won't be splitting up the playerbase between the first and second games, instead of uniting both in the same multiplayer pool with the same heroes. There's no known launch window at this point, but we'll be sure to update you when there is.
Psychonauts 2 is an upcoming 3D puzzle platformer from Double Fine, set in Tim Burton-esque nightmarish mindscapes.
Players control Raz, a psychonaut who's job is to navigate the minds of various deranged (and not so deranged?) characters. Raz has a variety of psychic powers that he can use to manipulate the environment to help players progress. The game is slated to launch sometime in 2020.
Diablo 4 was revealed at Blizzcon 2019, and what a reveal it was.
Ditching the cartoony, colorful aesthetic of the previous game, Diablo 4 goes all-in on a haunting, gothic realism, and brutal violence. Blizzard notes that Diablo II has been the template for the franchise's fourth installment, both in tone and in the game's more methodical pacing.
There's no known launch window as of yet. We'll probably be waiting a long time for this one.
Tunic is an upcoming old school dungeon crawler in the vein of the OG Zelda games.
Taking control of a cutesy fox warrior, it's on you to brave ancient ruins, battle swarms of spooky dudes, and get piles of loot. There's no known launch date for Tunic as of yet, but it looks rather intriguing.
Senua's Saga: Hellblade II
Another huge surprise announcement recently was that of Hellblade II, built from the ground up for the next-gen Xbox Series X. The in-engine trailer showcases the insane visuals Ninja Theory will achieve when the game hits the Xbox Series X, presumably in or around its Holiday 2020 launch window.
Little is known about the game, but Senua is a Pict warrior who navigates the horrors of Helheim to rescue the soul of a loved one. The game pushed extremely incredible visuals for its time, with stunning atmospherics, but was a bit limited in scope due to the independent nature of the studio. Now, as part of Microsoft, Hellblade II may push further into more action-oriented territory.
Echo Generation is a nostalgic horror strategy game with vibrant, unique 3D-pixel-style art and turn-based combat. Set in the early 90s, you and a group of kids embark on an adventure to hunt down and investigate a mysterious series of supernatural events. Echo Generation should launch some time in 2021 for Xbox One, Series X, and Steam.
Avowed was revealed at Microsoft's July Xbox showcase and is a next-gen Xbox Series X RPG experience from Obsidian, set in the Pillars of Eternity universe. Not a huge amount is known about the game, save for the fact it will have first-person gameplay Elder Scrolls-style, and has a slick cinematic trailer to keep us appetized.
Microsoft and Turn 10 are rebuilding the Forza engine from the ground up, aiming to launch as an Xbox Series X exclusive in the future. Forza Motorsport may be something of a reboot of sorts, dropping the numbered entries. Not a huge amount is known about the game, but we may be waiting until 2022 before we get our steering wheels on this one.
State of Decay 3
State of Decay 3 is also a bit of an enigma, offering us a cinematic trailer and not much else. Set in a more wintry environment, there are possibilities that you'll have to manage your internal temperature in addition to other survival needs, as the plague seems to have now spread to animals and not just humans.
Microsoft finally revealed Fable after years of rumors and speculation. Fable is being built for Xbox Series X and PC, and will showcase the talents of Playground Games, who have grown into an incredibly large studio over the past few years.
Microsoft also unveiled STALKER 2 at their July showcase as a timed exclusive for Xbox Series X and PC. STALKER is an open-world shooter with survival elements, tasking players to navigate a radiated Chernobyl filled with physics anomalies and other threats, lurking in the dark.
Microsoft grabbed Starfield with its ground-shaking purchase of Bethesda in 2020. Starfield is a single-player sci-fi RPG, set in space, although almost nothing is known about the game so far.
Elder Scrolls VI
Just like Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI is now part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios, alongside the acquisition of Bethesda. And just like Starfield, almost nothing is known about the game. It will be single-player, and a traditional Elder Scrolls-style open RPG, but we may be waiting a far while to see this game materialize.
What are you hyped for?
We've already seen reams of great games recently hit Xbox One, and the backlog looks as though it'll just keep growing. The future of Xbox definitely looks stunning, particularly when you factor in what developers will be able to achieve with next-gen systems like the Xbox Series X. But what games are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments, and maybe we'll add them in here in a future update.
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