Although Microsoft has spent a majority of this generation focusing on acquiring studios and developing services such as Xbox Game Pass, they don’t appear to be leaving the console market anytime soon. Slated to release in Holiday 2020, the Xbox Series X will serve as Microsoft’s next flagship console where players can experience the best upcoming games.
Here, we’ll be highlighting the games you can look forward to playing on your Series X in 2020 and beyond. Make sure to check back as we’ll be updating this list in the future with new entries. Lastly, if you would like to receive more gaming recommendations, consider reading through our other curated lists:
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Microsoft has been surprisingly tight-lipped regarding the next Halo entry, considering they plan to launch it alongside the Series X later this year. Halo: Infinite will be the sixth mainline entry in the first-person shooter franchise and was one of the first games to be confirmed as a next-gen title.
Xbox One owners need not fret as Infinite will be coming to both platforms on day one. Current speculation suggests the game’s story is set during the “Reclaimer Saga” of Halo and plans to tell a more serious story centered on Master Chief and Cortana’s relationship. Additionally, it will see the debut of 343’s new Slipspace Engine, which was developed alongside Halo: Infinite.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
Hellblade II was announced during the Game Awards 2019 following the reveal of the Series X’s name and design. The sequel sees British studio Ninja Theory back at the helm for what appears to be a much darker and atmospheric game, which is saying a lot considering the first Hellblade was already pretty grim.
The announcement trailer doesn’t give too much away besides confirming the game will be coming to both Series X and PC. There’s an emphasis on rituals being performed, traveling across stunning landscapes, and an encounter with a massive creature. The game will take advantage of the Series X’s more powerful hardware and should pair nicely with Ninja Theory’s impressive facial rendering technology.
We first caught wind of Rare’s next project back at X019 where a cinematic trailer introduced us to Everwild. The game is still early into development so there’s not much information at the moment. However, current speculation indicates it will be a cross-gen exclusive and launch on both Series X and Xbox One.
The trailer depicts a vibrant ecosystem brimming with flora and fauna. Additionally, this world appears to also be occupied by humans who share a deep connection with the creatures of Everwild. Considering this is a Rare developed game, we have high hopes it’ll deliver the distinct charm the studio is known for.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
In 2019, German developer Daedalic Entertainment announced they were making a licensed game set within The Lord of the Rings universe for next-gen gaming consoles. The new title is described as an action-adventure game that intends to “tell Gollum’s story from a perspective never seen before, in any storytelling medium, all the while staying true to the legendary books of J.R.R. Tolkien.”
With the success of other LOTR spin-offs such as Shadow of Mordor and its subsequent sequel Shadow of War, it’s clear that there’s an audience of players who would jump at the chance to explore Middle-earth from a new point-of-view. Gollum is scheduled to release sometime in 2021 for Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC.
The Elder Scrolls 6
Even though Bethesda is more occupied with Elder Scrolls: Online and the latest flavor of the month Fallout 76 controversy, they still like to occasionally remind us Elder Scrolls 6 is coming. That being said, we haven’t received an update since 2018, so it’s likely Bethesda will have something to show at E3 2020. Whether it’s a release date, gameplay, or another cinematic, rest assured the game will be coming to next-gen consoles.
Current speculation suggests ES6 might be set in the Skyrim-adjacent region High Rock based on the announcement trailer depicting a mountainous northern province. It’s also rumored that the ongoing conflict with the Thalmor may be a key element in the game’s plot.
Chances are we won’t receive an update regarding Bethesda’s latest project for at least a few years as the company already has enough on their plate with the upcoming Elder Scrolls 6. This leads us to believe Starfield will most definitely release on the next consoles, which includes the Xbox Series X.
So far, all we know about the game is that it’s a single-player RPG set in outer space. Starfield will be Bethesda’s first new IP in over 25 years and has the potential of becoming the third pillar in their RPG catalog along with Fallout and Elder Scrolls.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Originally scheduled to release in March 2020, Watch Dogs: Legion was one of many Ubisoft games to be delayed until the next financial year (April 2020 – March 2021). This was then followed by an announcement from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirming it will be available on both current and next-gen consoles.
The sequel introduces a host of new features, including the ability to play as any NPC you encounter in the open-world as you rebel against a private military that has seized control over London. Characters will possess special skills that affect different aspects of gameplay such as hacking, combat, driving, etc. An online co-op mode is being included where players can team up to tackle missions and other activities.
Gods & Monsters
Another game to receive the delay hammer from Ubisoft is Gods & Monsters, which made its first appearance during E3 2019. Described by Ubisoft as a “storybook adventure,” the game appears to be taking some cues from Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey in terms of setting while its painterly art style evokes memories of playing Breath of the Wild.
You play as a long-since forgotten hero who’s been tasked with saving the Greek gods following a cataclysmic defeat at the hands of Typhon, a massive giant with a snake-like tail and one of Greek mythology’s deadliest creatures. Just like with Watch Dogs: Legion, we can expect Gods & Monsters to release anywhere between April 2020 to March 2021 for Xbox One and PS4 as well as Series X and PS5.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
The last game to be delayed following its announcement at E3 2019 is Rainbow Six Quarantine. Although Ubisoft never confirmed a release date, many were expecting to get their hands on the shooter relatively soon. However, there’s a high chance they’ll have to wait upwards of a year since the game has been delayed in the same manner as Legion and Gods & Monsters.
It’s also one of the titles mentioned in Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot’s announcement concerning cross-generational titles. Described as a “3-player tactical co-op FPS,” RSQ appears to be incorporating elements of horror, with the teaser trailer depicting zombie-like creatures. Additionally, the player character is infected with some kind of illness which is likely connected to the zombies.
Arguably the biggest early release of 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 has some pretty big shoes to fill. After all, CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3 is considered to be one of the best games of the last decade and has set the bar extremely high for the Polish developer’s next project. While the game’s Xbox One release has been pushed back to September 2020, chances are it will come to the Series X as well.
Described as a first-person action RPG, the game is set in a dystopian future where the lines between human and AI have become blurred more than ever. Taking on the role of a customizable protagonist named V, players will make their way through Night City, a sprawling open-world overflowing with technology, crime, and neon.
If any game from this generation deserves a next-gen rerelease, it’s Control. The game was a hot mess at launch, with many players experiencing issues ranging from frame rate stuttering to hard crashes on every platform. Remedy has been working hard to improve the game’s performance and after a few patches, things have greatly improved.
Control also happens to be one of the first releases from a major studio to support real-time ray-tracing; a feature we already know is being utilized by next-gen consoles. This would make Remedy’s supernatural thriller a great showcase for testing the capabilities of the new hardware.
Last year, Electronic Arts announced that Battlefield 6 was currently being designed for next-gen consoles. While they haven’t confirmed which platforms are being considered, it’ll most likely be available on the Xbox Series X.
This is another one of those next-gen titles we probably won’t hear about for a while, at least until the new consoles build a large enough install-base. It’ll be interesting to see what plans EA Dice has in store for the series but if there’s ever been a better time to wipe the slate clean, it’s at the start of a new console generation.
There are a handful of leaks suggesting Playground Games, the studio behind Forza Horizons, has been assigned by Xbox to work on the next Fable game. If true, this will be the first new mainline entry in over a decade. Any details should be taken with a grain of salt but there are some interesting rumors worth noting.
The main one being that Fable 4 will feature a fully-explorable open-world where players can team up with friends to build towns and take on sidequests. The main story is rumored to involve traveling back in time to prevent a “mad king” from using the Tattered Spire to destroy Albion and Aurora.