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Xbox Series X games that will blow you away

How do you know a new console generation is on the horizon? You see a bunch of cool new video games you won't get to play anytime soon. Come Holiday 2020, gamers will have a beefy new Xbox Series X and some top-shelf titles attempting to show off what it can do. Until then, you're stuck with your older consoles and a thirst for more information.

While the launch of Microsoft's new hardware is months away, several companies haven't been shy about what's in the pipeline. Microsoft itself has confirmed two titles for the Xbox Series X, with one more almost certainly a lock to be there at launch. And a slew of third-parties have also chimed in — either directly or through rumors — to make their presence felt.

It's time to take a look at the Xbox Series X games that will blow you away. They're not necessarily coming in 2020. They may not even arrive in 2021. But these titles all seem destined to make their way to Microsoft's newest Xbox.

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2

If there was ever an indie game striving for a AAA feel, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice met the mark and then some. Developer Ninja Theory crafted a dark, disturbing world oozing with atmosphere, and invited players on Senua's treacherous journey into the very depths of hell to face demons both real and imagined. Ninja Theory's effort was so impressive, in fact, Microsoft moved to buy the studio outright in 2018. Now Ninja Theory sails under the Xbox Game Studios flag, and the highly anticipated sequel to Hellblade is slated to release on both Xbox Series X and PC. 

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 flips the title around a bit, implying you'll be be accompanying Senua on an all-new adventure that takes place after the first game. The spooky trailer shown at The Game Awards 2019 teased armies, giants, and a rather bone-chilling chant. Senua appears ready for war, and thanks to her debut title, she's battle tested. Outside of that brief sneak peek, however, there are no other clues as to what Senua might encounter on her next outing, or when you might get your hands on Hellblade 2.

All that's known right now is that Ninja Theory is hard at work bringing its next masterpiece to life.

Halo Infinite

The story of the Halo franchise contains both monumental successes and missed expectations. The series rocketed to prominence in the early-to-mid 2000s with one of the greatest first-person shooter trilogies in video game history. A spin-off title, Halo: Reach, stuck the landing even without the aid of popular protagonist Master Chief. The next two mainline entries, however, left a lot to be desired, making it clear 343 Industries — the studio behind the latest Halo installments — needed to go back to the drawing board and do something fresh.

You can see the fruits of all that labor in Halo Infinite.

Not much information is available about Halo Infinite at the moment. It's a title that, despite being seen multiple times, is more steeped in mystery than the Xbox Series X it'll eventually call home. While Microsoft has shared the tech specs for its next console, details about the story, modes, and more of its flagship title remain hazy.

All that secrecy appears to be by design, however. Microsoft plans to show off Halo Infinite in a big way at E3 2020, and will likely tout everything the Xbox Series X will make possible in Master Chief's next adventure. Stay tuned for more information.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

After two great releases in Origins and Odyssey, the Assassin's Creed franchise is once again hot. Ubisoft has slowly but surely moved away from the stealth focus of the series. Now Assassin's Creed games are basically open world RPGs, and with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, it doesn't look like Ubisoft will stray from that formula.

If you like Vikings, this game has them. If you've ever wanted to raid and pillage a town, Valhalla will make that dream come true. Playing as either a male or female Eivor, you'll lead your people through Scandinavia and Europe, building your legacy while brutally murdering Saxons. And Eivor can even throw his axe — that is pretty darn cool.

Beyond the promising premise and mechanics, Ubisoft dropped some pretty disappointing information about Valhalla: it'll only run at 30 FPS on the Xbox Series X. Despite this, the Series X version will undoubtedly be a visual masterpiece, and could make the upgrade to Microsoft's next-gen console worth it. Fortunately, the two seem to be launching in close proximity to one another. The Xbox Series X is set to launch in Holiday 2020. As fate would have it, so is Assassin's Creed: Valhalla.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

There was once a time when the Yakuza franchise was a PlayStation exclusive. Fortunately, times have changed. The series is slowly but surely making its way to the Xbox One, and that won't stop when the Xbox Series X launches in the 2020 holiday season.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the latest entry in the beloved franchise. And guess what, Xbox fans? It will be available on the Xbox Series X the day the system goes on sale. This one is a launch title.

Like a Dragon differs quite a bit from the past Yakuza games in that it tosses the beat-em-up style entirely. This latest release is an RPG, though it does take some liberties with the genre. You won't be setting yourself up as a mage or a tank, as those kinds of jobs won't be available to you. You can be a chef, though, which should tell you everything about how silly the Yakuza games can be.

Unfortunately, there's still no release date for the Xbox Series X, making it unclear when you'll get to experience Yakuza: Like a Dragon for yourself. Expect that  news sometime in the months ahead.

Forza Motorsport 8

If there's one thing you can count on with a new Microsoft console, it's that a Forza title will likely be used to showcase its graphical prowess. That was the case with 2013's Forza Motorsport 5, which helped launch the Xbox One; and it was case with Forza Motorsport 7, which accompanied the release of the Xbox One X. The Motorsport sub-series didn't get a release in 2019, which disrupted years of back-and-forth between it and the Horizon brand. That can only mean one thing: Forza Motorsport 8 is being prepped for the launch of the Xbox Series X.

As for what you should expect from Forza Motorsport 8, it seems the team at developer Turn 10 Studios has already semi-confirmed a few details. Work on a "new tyre pressure model" is underway, according to MSPowerUser. Vehicle suspensions are getting a revamp, too. But those are the more boring nuts and bolts of the game, to make an awful mechanic pun. What you'll probably see are gorgeous new tracks, a roster of shiny new cars, and visuals that lap anything previously seen in the Forza series.

Don't be surprised if E3 2020 offers a look at Forza Motorsport 8 running in 4K at 60 frames-per-second. This is the game Microsoft will likely use to sell the power of the Xbox Series X; you'll have to wait and see if it can truly impress.

MLB The Show 21

No, you didn't just stumble onto a piece about PlayStation 5 exclusives by accident. The next entry in the MLB: The Show series could do something neither it or Sony as a publisher have ever done before: put a game on a competing console. It sounds crazy, and you'll no doubt want to pour through the sources to confirm the facts. As per the terms of Sony's new deal with Major League Baseball, MLB: The Show will become a multi-platform franchise.

For those out of the loop, MLB: The Show is a series both developed and published by Sony. It's widely considered the premier baseball sim in existence; so good, in fact, that both 2K and EA have passed on creating any kind of competition. While it's fantastic that the team at Sony San Diego has been nailing the game of baseball, the success of The Show hasn't been great for those on Xbox due to PlayStation exclusivity. With that out of the way, Xbox Series X owners could potentially experience a rock solid baseball sim for the first time.

Keep an eye out for news on MLB: The Show 21 and the platforms it will release on. Don't be surprised, though, if you see Xbox Series X among them.

Scorn

Most horror games give you some kind of idea about what to expect. Resident Evil makes it pretty clear early on you'll be dealing with zombies. Alien: Isolation has the enemy right there in the title. You know an alien is involved, and it's probably not coming to give you a big hug. The idea that these kinds of games set expectations is what makes Scorn so very interesting. Because the more of the game you see in previews, the less you understand it.

Scorn is, as the official Xbox website puts it, "a first-person horror adventure game designed around the idea of being thrown into the world." What kind of world? Well that's unclear, as is the story that'll inevitably unfurl when you start playing. The primary details revealed about Scorn at this point is that it proudly touts H.R. Giger as a huge inspiration, it looks creepy as all hell, and it's coming to Xbox Series X. The developers will undoubtedly share more as time goes on, but for now, Scorn remains a fairly big mystery.

Chorus

Remember when everyone was afraid multiplayer "games as a service" would take over? Those fears have largely been laid to rest by single-player experiences like Marvel's Spider-ManGod of WarControl, and many others. And speaking of Control, there's a new game coming to Xbox Series X that seems to borrow a bit from Remedy Entertainment's smash hit. It's proudly single-player, too.

It's called Chorus, and if you enjoy trippy sci-fi and traveling through space, this one definitely looks like it'll be up your alley. Chorus appears to have taken notes from a few different beloved games. If you enjoy sentient tech companions like Cortana or EDI, lead character Nara's best friend is a ship with a mind of its own. If using abilities in Control or Mass Effect thrilled you, you'll probably be very happy with Nara's skill set.

Best of all: Chorus will make use of all the power afforded to it by the Xbox Series X. That means it'll run in 4K at 60 frames-per-second when it arrives in 2021. Hopefully, it plays as good as it looks and sounds.

The Medium

Bloober Team is a development studio that, for whatever reason, really enjoys making horror games. Do you remember Layers of Fear? That was all Bloober Team. Did you skittishly make your way through the new Blair Witch? That was also put together by the same crew.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Bloober Team's next game slots into the horror category. If you're all about the paranormal, The Medium might be something you'll want to check out.

According to the game's description, The Medium invites you to "become a medium living in two worlds: the real and the spirit one." After you start experiencing visions of a murdered child, you'll be compelled to "travel to an abandoned hotel resort" as you "search for difficult answers." 

From what little has been seen of the game so far, it looks great. It could very well sound great, too. Bloober Team recruited Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka to collaborate on The Medium's soundtrack. Expect those strings to swell at the scariest moment possible.

What's unclear is when you'll be able to play The Medium. It'll enter straight into Xbox Game Pass when it launches, which is a nice perk. Bloober Team just hasn't shared when new owners of the Xbox Series X will be able to get their hands on it.

Fable 4 (or whatever Playground's new game is)

You may not be familiar with the name Playground Games, but you're almost certainly familiar with the studio's work. Did you enjoy Forza Horizon, by chance? What about Forza Horizon 2 or Forza Horizon 3? Did you explore the breathtakingly rendered United Kingdom in Forza Horizon 4? All of those were lovingly built by Playground Games. It's a studio with a whole lot of talent, and one that could probably handle any kind of project sent its way.

You may finally see what Playground Games is really made of once the Xbox Series X arrives. Rumor has it Playground has been tasked with bringing the Fable franchise back from the dead.

Fable is an action RPG series last seen back in 2010 with the release of Fable 3. Since then, the studio behind the original trilogy shut down, and all seemed lost for the property. That changed when Playground opened up a second studio, and word started to get around that Fable 4 was very much a possibility. This mostly stems from rumblings from industry watchers at this point, but all the available information seems to suggest Fable 4 is the next project being worked on by Playground Games.

It's possible Microsoft will officially announce the project at E3 this year as the company stirs up hype for the Xbox Series X. If you're hoping for Fable to reemerge as a prominent Xbox property, you might want to tune in.

The Initiative's secret project

Ever since Microsoft founded the The Initiative back in 2018, clues about what the studio is working on have remained scarce. While teaser tweets from Phil Spencer and job postings have circulated, these details have inspired more questions than answers. It's unclear what The Initiative plans to release at this time, but the studio has hired an awful lot of talent.

That talent could very well take the studio's first project past AAA into AAAA territory, if all goes well.

Microsoft started by hiring the former head of Crystal Dynamics, Darrell Gallagher, to lead the team. Then came the director behind Sunset Overdrive. After that, three designers from Sony's God of War signed on for duty. And the studio is still hiring. The aforementioned lineup alone should impress. The idea that The Initiative could still be on the lookout for even more talent? This implies the studio wants to essentially become the Naughty Dog of Xbox, something the brand desperately needs.

There are all sorts of unsubstantiated rumors floating around about what The Initiative might be working on, but you should likely reserve your judgement for E3. There could be a very big announcement on the horizon.

Sea of Thieves

Yes, Sea of Thieves is already around, and that fact alone makes it a lot less exciting than, say, Fable making a comeback. But the thing about live service games is that they keep on trucking, regardless of how platforms change. Think about World of Warcraft and how many iterations of Windows that title has rolled through. Windows XP? Windows Vista? Windows 7? Windows 8? Windows 10 is here now, and WoW is still a force to be reckoned with.

While Sea of Thieves isn't on that level, it still has quite the dedicated player base. Microsoft will likely give those players — as well as new ones — an incentive to invest in an Xbox Series X.

What could Sea of Thieves do on Microsoft's new machine? All sorts of things. It could run at 60 frames-per-second in 4K, which is something it can't do on any current console. The solid state storage on the Series X could also help decrease load times dramatically. And how about hardware-accelerated ray tracing? Lights and shadows could look superb on the new Xbox. But all that is contingent on Rare actually supporting the system instead of relying on backward compatibility.

Perhaps Sea of Thieves will get some special Xbox Series X treatment at E3. Cross your fingers.

Grand Theft Auto 6

In terms of highly anticipated games, there's nothing bigger than Grand Theft Auto 6. The franchise is a money-maker, and the studio behind it — Rockstar — rarely has a miss. Unfortunately, the developer has not provided any details about the followup, including whether it even exists. Rumors about it are flying around like crazy, and Rockstar certainly has plans for a sixth entry. Yet, no official announcement has come.

Grand Theft Auto 6 will supposedly take place in an all-new city. Some believe the title could have a more futuristic theme than previous installments. You'll likely see some fresh faces as far as characters go. It's possible GTA 6 could be targeting the next generation of consoles. If all of that sounds incredibly vague, that's because it is. A host of leaks have surfaced purporting to contain information about the next GTA. Those are the few consistent bits that have popped up.

Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser is on his way out the door, so his departure could effect development on Grand Theft Auto 6, but again, that's even assuming work has started. You'll likely have to wait some time to get official word from Rockstar; hopefully that word consists of more than a screenshot or two.

Dragon Age 4

There is nothing more concerning than seeing a non-gameplay trailer for a title, and then having to wait years for more news. With that said, we're a little worried about Dragon Age 4. EA released a teaser during The Game Awards back in 2018, but after that, information on BioWare's RPG has come dripping out like molasses.

The game was still in its planning stages back in October 2019. BioWare's had its hands full trying to fix Anthem. Lead producer Fernando Melo left BioWare in 2019. And, as the teaser states, "the Dread Wolf rises." That's not very much info to work with, but until EA comes out and cancels Dragon Age 4 (again), you can assume the project is still in the works.

What can you expect from the Dragon Age 4 story? The only clue at this stage is that the game might focus on the Tevinter Imperium as a central location. Outside of that, however, details remain scarce. EA has made it clear you should not expect to get your hands on Dragon Age 4 until sometime in 2022, which at least means it'll likely show up on the Xbox Series X. You'll have to wait for BioWare or EA to drop some more information to be sure.

Starfield

Bethesda's Starfield may be one of the more intriguing — and mysterious — projects on this list. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the game is based in space (Bethesda has confirmed as much). Nor would you be crazy for thinking this is likely an RPG (as so many Bethesda-developed games are). Outside of that, though? It's hard to say what Starfield is or might be.

The first and last look at Starfield unfolded back at E3 2018. While the game's trailer didn't offer much, Bethesda has at least dropped other tidbits in interviews. Starfield is Bethesda's primary focus. The project has apparently been in the works for a long, long while, too. And here's something crazy: Bethesda's Todd Howard actually made a special trip to SpaceX just to ensure Starfield was getting the space stuff right. That's commitment.

When will you see Starfield? Your guess is as good as any. It probably won't drop anytime soon, though, which makes it a perfect candidate for the Xbox Series X and that other next-gen console currently in the works. If this is remotely close to something like Skyrim in space, it'll likely need all that additional horsepower. Space is big.