5 Big Xbox Series X Games to 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 Series X/S 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

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

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

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

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)

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