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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.

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.

Forza Motorsport

It might not come as a surprise that a new Forza Motorsport title is coming to the Xbox Series X. What might throw you for a loop, however, is that this next entry in the series won't come bearing the number "8." This one is simply called Forza Motorsport. Microsoft's long-running sim racing series is getting a reboot, ladies and gentlemen.

All anyone's seen of the new Forza Motorsport so far came during Microsoft's Xbox show in July 2020. The reveal trailer showed off some slick-looking cars, amazingly detailed environments, and all the fancy lighting that ray-tracing makes possible. What didn't make an appearance, unfortunately, was a release date. Microsoft claims this one is still in "early development," so it's not entirely clear when you'll be able to hit the track in your finely tuned racing machine.

Forza Motorsport may not be a launch title, but one thing does seem certain: it's worth keeping an eye on. It could be the game that best sells the power of the Xbox Series X.

Fable

The Fable franchise has sure been through the wringer, hasn't it? Between the closure of Lionhead Studios and the cancellation of titles like Fable Legends, it looked like Fable was set to fade from existence. That would've been a huge loss for the Xbox brand, as earlier entries were key parts of both the Xbox and Xbox 360 libraries.

Fortunately, Fable is poised to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Hopefully, that phoenix doesn't get immediately gobbled up by a frog. Playground Games — the studio best known for Forza Horizonwill revive Fable in what appears to be a reboot of the fantasy franchise. Little has been seen of the new title so far, other than a trailer that does more to paint a portrait of the world than show off gameplay. But if this new Fable game is half as well received as Playground's racers, it could still end up being pretty solid.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves is a few years old at this point, but support for the title shows no signs of slowing down. Microsoft announced its swashbuckling pirate adventure will be getting an Xbox Series X upgrade when the console launches, allowing the game to take full advantage of the new system's power.

What will this upgrade entail? It's not entirely clear at this point. Microsoft hasn't talked in detail about what kind of enhancements Sea of Thieves might see, but if fans are lucky, some graphical touch-ups and improved load times could be part of the mix.

Te best part? Those who already own Sea of Thieves won't have to pay anything extra, thanks to Microsoft's Smart Delivery feature. Whether you're a seasoned treasure hunter or a novice looking to jump in, Sea of Thieves on Xbox Series X might offer the best version of what Microsoft calls the "essential pirate experience."

Everwild

What does the world know about Everwild so far? To start, it's a new intellectual property. Second, it's being developed by Rare. Third, there's a trailer that many are still trying to wrap their heads around. Honestly, that's about it.

Everwild has the look of a fantasy adventure title. The game's tagline reads, "Unique and unforgettable experiences await in a natural and magical world." The trailer certainly delivers on the promise of magic. There are also some adorable animals. But what will players do in Everwild, exactly? That question remains unanswered.

Some might view a title like Everwild with some skepticism. After all, games that look pretty don't always play that way. This project is attached to Rare, however, so perhaps it warrants some benefit of the doubt. There's no word yet on when Everwild might see a release, but you definitely shouldn't expect it for the Xbox Series X's launch. This one is still very much in development.

As Dusk Falls

If you're a fan of narrative adventures like Heavy Rain or Detroit: Become Human, you might really vibe with As Dusk Falls. This Xbox Series X title reportedly falls right in line with that kind of "interactive storytelling," and there's a reason for that — it was made by former Quantic Dreams developers.

According to Caroline Marchal, the founder of As Dusk Falls developer Interior Night, the game centers around "two families whose trajectories collide in the Arizona desert in 1999." What makes the story differ from a lot of other titles out there is how it unfolds. As Dusk Falls doesn't go from beginning to end; instead, she says, it "starts in the middle, gradually widening outward to encompass multiple points of view over a thirty year span."

As Dusk Falls promises a uniquely told tale in a very unique-looking world. Sadly, it's not yet known when the game might release, but it could be one to watch out for when it arrives on the Xbox Series X.

Avowed

One look at the trailer for Avowed and you might have the urge to repeat "Skyrim" like Ace Ventura repeats "Shikaka." The two games do appear to share the same genre and a very similar aesthetic. When you think about who is developing Avowed, however, that might not come as a total shock. Bethesda-style games aren't new to this studio.

Obsidian Entertainment is the company behind Avowed, and if that name rings a bell, look to recent releases like The Outer Worlds, or past projects like Fallout: New Vegas. In the latter, Obsidian literally took a Bethesda franchise and ran with it. In the former, Obsidian evolved that idea into what Engadget called "Fallout in space."

What will Avowed have in store for players? The aforementioned trailer doesn't give much away. Based on Obsidian's track record, though, it might be a mistake to expect a straight Skyrim clone. You'll have to wait for more information on Avowed to get a better sense of what it offers, though — the game is still in development.

Tell Me Why

Dontnod Entertainment is already well known for Life is Strange and Life is Strange 2. Perhaps that's why there's a lot of buzz around the studio's latest project, Tell Me Why.

By all indicationsTell Me Why will provide an experience fans of past Dontnod titles are familiar with. It'll be a narrative-driven experience about two twins named Allison and Tyler who, upon seeing each other for the first time in many years, "realize that their shared past" in a desolate part of Alaska "may not be as they remember it." Key choices will apparently affect how the story plays out, and there'll be an interesting mechanic, too. Just as Life is Strange used time control as a twist, the "supernatural Bond" between the twins in Tell Me Why will play a role.

Now here's where things get confusing. As far as Microsoft's July 2020 stream is concerned, the game is coming to Xbox Series X. However, some possibly outdated info elsewhere on Microsoft's website doesn't list an Xbox Series X version. Hopefully, Microsoft will offer some clarity in the future. In the meantime, the first episode of Tell Me Why is set to release for Xbox One and PC on Aug. 27, 2020.

Psychonauts 2

Those who enjoy weird games have likely played a Double Fine title or two. As Microsoft mentioned when announcing its acquisition of the studio, Double Fine "has been a beacon of creativity and spirit in game development," providing players with positively out-there experiences. There was the original Psychonauts many years back, and in 2021, the Xbox Series X will receive its long-awaited sequelPsychonauts 2.

What should you expect if you're new to the Psychonauts universe? Microsoft's own description of the title is pretty telling. The platformer reportedly delivers "mind-bendy worlds, memorable characters, and Tim Schafer's characteristic mix of snappy comedy and grand adventure." On top of that, the Gameplay Music Trailer from the July Xbox show revealed Jack Black as a talking orb of light. How do you beat that?

As mentioned earlier, you'll be able to play Psychonauts 2 sometime in 2021. You'll have to wait a bit longer for an exact release date, unfortunately.

CrossfireX

A quick glance at CrossfireX might have you thinking it's the next entry in the Call of Duty franchise. If you largely tune out of those titles, there's one reason you should pay attention to this game: Remedy Entertainment. The studio behind titles like Alan WakeQuantum Break and Control is working on the campaign for CrossfireX, which may indicate there's more to it besides the standard first-person shooter fare.

Sadly, the campaign's description does a lot to make it sound like "just another military shooter." That tiny rundown talks vaguely about something called "Operation Spectre," another outfit called "Black List," and "exploring the backstory of the Black List-Global Risk conflict." The campaign trailer packs in a lot of action-heavy sequences and a few scenes of dialogue, but again, doesn't seem to show anything you wouldn't find in Call of Duty.

But Remedy is known for breaking the mold in ways that sometimes surprise people. That's why you should still keep an eye on CrossfireX — or at the very least, its campaign — when it arrives. A release date has not been announced as of yet, though a beta did take place in mid-2020. So, perhaps a release is right around the corner.

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.

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.

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. There could be a very big announcement on the horizon.