The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launched in late 2020 to much praise, and a steady stream of high-quality console experiences have been showcasing the power of the hardware ever since. As we look beyond into 2022, we're on the hunt for games with the potential to sit up there with the best Xbox games and best PC games of all time, and these are the titles we think that may fit the bill, and deserve your undivided attention.
Also, be sure to check out our separate Xbox Game Studios rumors article for upcoming unannounced games.
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!
Rainbow Six Extraction (Jan. 20, 2022)
Rainbow Six Extraction 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 has slipped to 2022.
It was revealed that Rainbow Six Extraction will launch into Xbox Game Pass on Jan. 20.
Dying Light 2 (Feb. 4, 2022)
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 first game's zombie-apocalyptic events, 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. The game recently saw a delay into February 2022, providing extra time to deliver a polished release.
Elden Ring (Feb. 25, 2022)
Elden Ring is the next game from Hidetaka Miyazaki and FromSoftware, known for games like Dark Souls and Sekiro. Elden Ring takes the popular Soulslike formula and injects it into a large and perilous open world, penned in collaboration with Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin.
The highly anticipated title launches on Feb. 25, 2022, and looks like it could easily sit among this year's game of the year nominations.
Weird West (March 2022)
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's looking to bring a new take to the open-world formula when it launches in March.
Trek to Yomi (Spring 2022)
Trek to Yomi is an upcoming samurai action game, inspired by classic samurai movies from the likes of Akira Kurosawa. A young swordsman named Hiroki swears to avenge his dying master, on a mission that blurs the lines between the living and the dead.
Trek to Yomi sports a unique monochromatic aesthetic, with brutal side-scrolling combat that looks every bit as stylish as it does satisfying.
Tunic (March 2022)
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. Tunic is now slated to launch in March 2022.
Starfield (Nov. 11, 2022)
Microsoft grabbed Starfield with its ground-shaking purchase of Bethesda in 2020. Starfield is a singleplayer sci-fi RPG set in space, although almost nothing is known about the game so far. We know that Starfield will launch in 2022.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (December 2022)
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.
At the start of 2022, it was revealed STALKER 2 is sadly being delayed until the end of the year.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (2022)
From the developers of Vermintide, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is an upcoming 4-player co-op shooter that shares familiarity with the likes of Left4Dead. Set in the harrowing universe of Warhammer 40K, players battle a heretical cult known as the Admonition, hellbent on taking over the planet Atoma Prime. Battle all sorts of Chaos monstrosities in this class-based evolving shooter, which also arrives first on Xbox Series X/S consoles as a timed exclusive.
War Hospital (2022)
War Hospital is an evocative strategy game that puts you in command of a hospital in World War 1. You'll be tasked with healing the wounded in dire conditions, in a game that seems to draw inspiration from the likes of Frostpunk.
A Plague Tale: Requiem (2022)
A Plague Tale: Requiem is the next installment in the Plague Tale franchise, and it's launching directly onto Xbox Game Pass in 2022. A Plague Tale: Requiem is a next-gen-only affair, following Amicia and Hugo on an all-new quest in a plagued, infested world.
Scorn (Fall 2022)
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.
Release date to be confirmed
From Arkane we have Redfall, an upcoming co-operative shooter/immersive sim, where you go toe to toe with vampiric forces of darkness. Not a huge amount is known about Redfall, besides the fact it's Xbox and Windows exclusive. It's expected to launch sometime in 2022, but it's as of yet unconfirmed.
Deathloop was commissioned as a PlayStation-timed exclusive, but with the exclusivity period set to end in 2022, you can expect to see it on Xbox sooner rather than later.
Deathloop is a puzzle FPS, where players examine time loops to make a series of assassinations in a set time limit.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is from the legendary mind of Shinji Mikami, famed for work on The Evil Within and Resident Evil. Not a huge amount is known about Ghostwire, but this is another PlayStation-timed exclusive ... at least for now. With Microsoft now owning Tango Gameworks, much like Deathloop, you can expect to see this game on Xbox in 2023 most likely.
Contraband is an upcoming Xbox exclusive developed in partnership with Avalanche, known for Mad Max and Just Cause.
Contraband has been described to us as a multiplayer smuggler sandbox, where players come together to plan heists and execute them, in a vehicular-combat extravaganza. There's no known planned launch window for Contraband as of yet.
Pragmata is an upcoming title from Capcom set in an extraordinary futuristic setting. Almost nothing is known about the game, besides the fact it's coming to next-gen systems and looks incredibly sleek.
There Is No Light
There Is No Light is a Kickstarter success story coming to Xbox and PC later in 2021. This self-proclaimed "brutal" action game sports a gothic retro-pixel art style and looks to have tight (and gory) combat. Escape a deadly cult, and kill hordes of enemies while doing so.
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 The Last Night is seeking investment due to some developmental issues.
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.
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 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.
Diablo 4 was revealed at BlizzCon 2019, and what a reveal it was.
Ditching the previous game's cartoony, colorful aesthetic, 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.
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.
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 studio's independent nature. Now, as part of Microsoft, Hellblade II may push further into more action-oriented territory.
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.
Forza Motorsport 8
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 8 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 awhile 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, which has grown into a huge studio over the past few years.
Elder Scrolls VI
Like Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI is now part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios, alongside Bethesda's acquisition. And just like Starfield, almost nothing is known about the game. It will be singleplayer and a traditional Elder Scrolls-style open RPG, but we may be waiting a long while to see this game materialize.
At the 2020 Game Awards, Microsoft unveiled the long-rumored project of The Initiative — a full reboot of Rare's classic sci-fi spy adventure Perfect Dark. Details are scant on exactly how Perfect Dark will look and play, but we've heard it will take cues from the gadgetry of Perfect Dark Zero and may draw comparisons to the likes of Splinter Cell: Conviction for stylish stealth-action gameplay.
Randomly and out of the blue, Microsoft and ZeniMax's Machine Games revealed that the studio known for Wolfenstein's popular reboot is building an Indiana Jones games, in partnership with Disney's revived Lucasfilms' Games division. There are practically no details about this whatsoever, but we're already hyped. I wouldn't expect to see this game any time soon, though.
What are you hyped for?
We've already seen reams of great games recently hit Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Series S, 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 new-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 here in a future update.