Today’s Inside Xbox briefing brought over a dozen new game announcements for Xbox Series X, Microsoft’s next-generation console that is slated to release this fall. It’s been a quiet year for games, both from the COVID-19 pandemic bringing release date delays, and Microsoft and Sony being surprisingly tight-lipped about their next-generation plans.
Slowly, we’re starting to learn what we will be able to play on Xbox Series X, both on launch day and well into 2021. We’ve rounded up all of games confirmed for Xbox Series X, as well as other games that have simply been announced as next-generation releases, yet will likely release on both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Here’s what we know so far:
Neon Giant and Curve Digital’s first game for Xbox Series X is cyberpunk RPG that can be played single-player or with a friend via co-op. The Ascent tells the story of a world that is struggling to survive after a corporation that ran everything suddenly shuts down. Neon Giant is a small indie studio, but the team has worked on triple-A games like Doom, Wolfenstein, Bulletstorm, and Gears of War. The Ascent is also slated to release on Xbox One and PC.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Ubisoft is putting the next installment of Assassin’s Creed on most systems. No release date has been given, but Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will launch on Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Stadia at some point during 2020’s holiday season. This historical adventure is set toward the end of the ninth century and unfolds within a sprawling open world that recreates sections of Norway and England. You control a Viking named Eivor, who can be male or female, and can be customized with the war paint, clothing, and hair of your choosing. This entry again features sailing, and introduces large-scale assaults.
Bright Memory: Infinite
Developed by just one person at FYQD-Studio, Bright Memory: Infinite is a first-person shooter that blends run-and-gun blasting with intense melee combat. Set in the year 2036, two worlds are united by a mysterious force, and the Supernatural Science Research Organization is sent in to separate them.
Call of the Sea
You play as Norah, a woman who is searching for her husband after losing contact with his expedition to a strange island in the South Pacific. Call of the Sea is set in the 1930s, and appears to balance first-person exploration with puzzles. Developer Ray Fury calls it an “otherworldly tale of mystery, adventure, and self-discovery.”
Deep Silver and Fishlabs’ story driven space shooter puts players in control of a pilot named Nara and her sentient starfighter Forsaken. The odd duo is questing to take down a cult that Nara was once a part of. The action appears to blend third-person walking segments with intense aerial and space combat similar to Star Fox. Chorus will release on both Xbox Series X and Xbox One.
CD Projekt Red’s highly anticipated open-world RPG will first come to current-gen systems on September 17, but will be enhanced for Xbox Series X at a later date. The update will be free to people who purchased the game on Xbox One. Cyberpunk 2077 remains the year’s most anticipated game, inviting players into a dark, tech-driven world where augments are rich and difficult choices sculpt the narrative and who you can interact with.
Following in Forza Horizon’s tracks, Dirt 5’s racing unfolds within a joyous festival atmosphere filled with upbeat tempos, fireworks, and vibrant colored streamers. Codemasters says this beautiful racing experience can be played in either 4K at 60 frames per second or in 1080 at 120 frames per second. Voice actors Troy Baker and Nolan North are along for the ride in a narrative-driven career mode that features guided, yet non-linear racing challenges. Dirt 5 features dynamic weather and a stronger focus on multiplayer.
An optimized version of Gears 5 will be available at launch for Xbox Series X. Along with faster load times, the Xbox Series X version features higher resolution textures, higher resolution volumetric fog, and higher particle counts. The Coalition showed off a tech demo that had the opening cutscene running at 60 frames per second in 4K. The team said the game is running at over 100 frames per second on Xbox Series X, and they are striving for 120 frames per second for the multiplayer modes. Gears 5’s update will be free to players who already have the game.
Master Chief is ringing in Xbox Series X’s launch with a new adventure that is designed to be a sort of spiritual reboot for this beloved first-person shooter franchise, but will follow the events that transpired in Halo 5: Guardians. Hardly anything is known about this title yet, but moving away from numbered entries in the series suggests a radical shift in design. We’ll have to wait to see what developer 343 Industries is cooking up, but getting a new Halo on launch day is a hell of a way to introduce a new console. It won’t be exclusive to Series X, however, and will also release on Xbox One and PC.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Daedalic Entertainment is doing something unexpected with J. R. R. Tolkien’s famed fantasy series. Rather than seeing Middle-earth through the eyes of the fellowship or any other heroic figure, this adventure unfolds through the eyes of Gollum, the cave dweller that was corrupted by the One Ring. Envisioning an entire game around this odd character is difficult to do, but Daedalic clearly has an idea in mind and is calling it a “stealth-action adventure.” Little is known about Daedalic’s project, but it will take place in huge environments holding many questlines. Daedalic is eyeing a 2021 release for Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and PC.
Madden NFL 21
The pandemic may lead to a radically different NFL season, but Electronic Arts’ vision is holding true to the sport we all love with hard-hitting action viewed by energetic crowds. Few details are known about how this year’s game will be different than previous iterations, but EA has said that a strong focus is on “what you can feel.” If you purchase Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One by December 31, you can upgrade to the Xbox Series X version for free up until March 31, 2021.
Bloober Team, the studio behind Layers of Fear, Blair Witch, and Observer, now wants players to experience horror within an abandoned hotel in The Medium. Exploration unfolds both in the darkened real world and also the spirit realm. You are hear to investigate a child’s murder. Along with plenty of jump scares, the music is haunting and is created by Bloober Team’s Arkadiusz Reikowski and longtime Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka.
Become the smallest man on Earth in this new adventure game from developer Glob Games. Slated to release on Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and Switch in the second half of 2021, MicroMan fully explores the dangers of being just a few inches tall, including having to use a fork to fend off an ant attack.
Orphan of the Machine
If you like Ecco the Dolphin and Metroid, you should keep an eye on Dynamic Voltage Games’ Orphan of the Machine, which is currently slated to release on Xbox Series X this fall. You are tasked to navigate an underwater labyrinth, gain powers along the way, and battle fish and … robots. We can’t wait to see how the sci-fi elements come into play. In a tweet, Dynamic Voltage Games said “Orphan of the Machine was inspired by many games – a huge inspiration was Metroid. You’re going to have a jellyfish floating though space?! Fine, I’m going to have you fighting robots underwater.”
Square Enix and People Can Fly’s third-person co-op shooter is coming to Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC in the fourth quarter of this year. Outriders blends cover-based shooting with mutant-like powers that are tied to four different classes. You can play as a Pyromancer, a Trickster that can manipulate time, and a Devastator with seismic powers. The fourth class has yet to be revealed, but all of them feature deep skill trees and plenty of loot to obtain. Outriders also delivers a lengthy sci-fi story set on the planet Enoch that begins with your crew hunting for the source of a mysterious signal.
Master the art of psycho-kinesis in Bandai Namco’s futuristic RPG Scarlet Nexus. This stunning looking experience unfolds in a fictional city called New Himuka, a place divided by those who worship technology and those who embrace psychic abilities. You play as Yuito Sumeragi, an ambitious psionic user who wants to become one of the world’s most powerful users. In the trailer, we see he eventually becomes powerful enough to throw cars with his mind. Scarlet Nexus is a part of Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system, meaning if you purchase it on Xbox One, you get the upgraded version on Series X for free.
Heavily inspired by the work of H.R. Giger, Ebb Software’s Scorn is an atmospheric first-person horror shooter set on an alien world. Players can explore this disturbing place in a nonlinear way. Scorn is slated to release on Xbox Series X and PC.
Developed by Systemic Reaction, the Avalanche Studios Group that released Generation Zero, Second Extinction is a first-person shooter with a strong co-op focus. Up the three players can team up to battle waves of mutated dinosaurs. Earth is overrun with these wild thunder lizards and you’ll need to use heavy artillery to mow down aggressive raptors swarms and even rampaging tyrannosaurs.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
We don’t know when Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is slated to release yet, but it’s one of the first games Microsoft used to show off what the Xbox Series X is capable of. The footage above was all captured in-game. Ninja Theory’s work on the first game was nothing short of stunning, and we can’t wait to see where Senua’s story goes next.
Based on Norse mythology, this open-world RPG from developer Pixelmad Studios isn’t slated to launch until the end of 2021, but we’re already getting looks at the game in action. The video above shows Soulborn in an early alpha state. According to developer Pixelmad Studios, players assume the identity of a Soulborn demigod named Brynjar Townshield, who wields Mjölnir and is tasked to prevent another Ragnarök created by the beast Nidhöggr. Mjölnir supposedly comes to life and can transform into weapons and creatures. Soulborn is also in the works for PlayStation 5 and PC.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
The sequel to the 2004 hit game, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 invites players into the dark corners of Seattle, Washington where the nightwalker and ruthless cults reside. Most of the vampiric action unfolds in first person, but the camera pulls out for specific actions, such as showing your created character scurrying up walls. When you begin the game, you have to select your power: bat summoning, levitation, summon mist, and the traditional vampire assortment of attacks.
Launching on current-gen platforms on September 3, WRC 9 will later release on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when they are made available. WRC 9 is said features added realism like tough gravel in certain races. Players can get behind the wheel of cars from Hyundai Motorsport, M-Sport Ford, and Toyota Gazoo, which can be used in new rallies held in Kenya, New Zealand, and Japan. WRC 9 will have an enhanced career mode with a wider variety of events and upgrade options.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Sega is changing up Yakuza’s formula in Like a Dragon. Series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is getting a breather and players will now be asked to control a new character named Ichiban Kasuga. Yakuza’s signature real-time combat is also being retired for RPG-like menu-driven battles. This is the first Yakuza game that will launch on Xbox at the same time as the PlayStation 4 version. Like a Dragon can be played on Xbox One and Series X.
And likely coming to Xbox Series X but not yet confirmed:
While not officially announced for Xbox Series X, EA says the next installment in this long-running competitive shooter series will release on next-generation consoles in the 2022 fiscal year.
The Elder Scrolls 6
With Starfield slated as the next game from Bethesda Game Studios, odds are we won’t see anything soon from The Elder Scrolls 6, but it will be for next-generation machines.
Rare’s next game was announced late last year, and is likely being developed to take advantage of Xbox Series X, but will also release on Xbox One and PC. We don’t know much about this fascinating title, but it appears to deliver co-op play in an open-world fantasy setting.
Gods & Monsters
Ubisoft announced that the Gods & Monsters release date was being pushed back and it would release simultaneously on both current- and next-generation machines. One of those machines will likely be Xbox Series X. Gods & Monsters is the next game from the team behind Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and is described as a storybook adventure that tasks you to save the Greek gods.
Observer: System Redux
Bloober Team’s wild cyberpunk thriller is being overhauled for next-generation machines with expanded gameplay, new story content, and enhanced visuals.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
While Rainbow Six Siege continues to hum along as one of the best competitive shooters out there, Ubisoft is hoping players will have interest in another Rainbow Six game. Quarantine is a three-player co-op experience set in a future where mutated alien parasites infect human hosts. Yes, this Rainbow Six is sci fi.
After spending decades working on Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles, Bethesda Game Studios’ next game is a new IP called Starfield. Nothing is known about it other than it will have a science fiction and be a single-player RPG.
Watch Dogs Legion
Yet another Ubisoft game that was delayed to become a cross-generational release. Watch Dogs Legion is the third entry in this open-world series, and is set in London. Along with plenty of hacking, one of the big hooks of this sequel is the ability to recruit and play as anyone you see in the world.