In 2017, Microsoft launched the Xbox One X and closed the hardware gap (and then some) between itself and Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) platform. The X is a beast of a box that can provide higher-fidelity visuals than any other video game console on the market today, but it’s no good if it doesn’t have the games to showcase that power. Thankfully, there are many promising titles available now, and on the horizon.
Here’s a list of some of the most promising, and most anticipated Xbox One games for the rest of 2018 and beyond.
Ashen was one of the more striking reveals from E3 2015, but we haven’t heard a great deal about the game since. We know that Ashen is a connected action RPG, taking place in a dangerous world full of deadly creatures and treacherous dungeons. Ashen is a harsh world where “nothing lasts,” as players seek to find a home and build a community.
Last year, I went hands-on with a demo of Ashen, and it was by far my favorite game of E3 2017. This is definitely one to watch.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Very little is known about Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar Games, but if it’s anything like Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV, Rockstar’s signature game), you can expect it to be a blockbuster.
Gearing up to launch in 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 will continue the Rockstar tradition of huge open-world gameplay and gritty storytelling. Recent rumors suggest it could feature multiple protagonists like GTAV, and will also sport persistent multiplayer features that have kept GTA relevant years after its launch.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is supposed to land on Oct 26, 2018. If you keep track of any one game on this list, make it this one.
Crackdown 3 is another Xbox Play Anywhere exclusive that will push the tech of gaming to a new level. Leveraging processing power streamed from the Microsoft Cloud, Crackdown 3 will feature unprecedented destruction physics, allowing players to level entire cities with realistic demolitions.
Crackdown 3 has suffered multiple delays, and at this point, we have no idea when it will come out. Crackdown 3 is one for fans of over-the-top open-world action.
Taking the flagship EA franchise to World War 2, Battlefield V is an interesting title for a few reasons.
EA is dropping the player base-fragmenting Premium season pass and its associated map packs. Instead, all post-launch content will arrive for free. Additionally, it appears EA is doing away with any form of gambling “loot crates,” which is no doubt a reaction to the chaos it created with Battlefront II’s pay-to-win microtransactions. Battlefield V, in part, looks like an attempt to atone for EA’s past sins, and it should be as explosive as ever.
While we haven’t seen actual gameplay footage yet, if the teaser trailer above is in any way representative of the final product, BFV could be a big hit this holiday season. BFV is targeting an Oct 19, 2018, launch.
Another Xbox exclusive title suffering from delay syndrome is Capybara Games’ Below. Revealed at E3 2013, Below touts difficult rogue-like gameplay with a classic Zelda-like action RPG style.
Originally planned for a 2016 launch, Capybara Games took Below back into the shadows, deciding to polish the game’s systems before announcing a firm launch date. Below is now expected to launch at some point in 2018.
Darksiders survived the death of THQ, rising from its grave under Nordic Games, now known as THQ Nordic.
Darksiders I and II saw rereleases on Xbox One, bringing the Zelda-like action RPG format to a new generation. While the future of the franchise seemed uncertain for a while, we now know that Darksiders III is in production.
Darksiders III takes place on an apocalyptic Earth, where the forces of heaven and hell rage for control of the realm. The Four Horsemen of the apocalypse are charged to maintain the balance between good and evil, and in Darksiders III, it’ll fall to Fury to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins and their hellish minions.
Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hotly anticipated titles on this list, and also one of the furthest out, but we might hear more about it in 2018 (hopefully). Cyberpunk 2077 is an enigmatic project from CD Projekt RED, famed for The Witcher series. Cyberpunk 2077, as its name implies, will be a sci-fi adventure RPG, but very little is known about the game beyond that.
It could be a while before Cyberpunk 2077 hits store shelves, but if it’s anything like The Witcher 3 in terms of scale and depth, it will likely be a monumental achievement.
4A Games has returned to the fold with Metro Exodus, the latest in its series of leading apocalyptic shooters.
Metro Exodus exploded onto the scene at E3 2017, with one of the most stunning trailers of the show. It looks as though the nuclear wastes of Russia have begun to heal, to some degree, with more activity on the surface world.
Metro takes place in a reality where an unknown catastrophe rendered the surface inhospitable, forcing humanity to live underground. Strange demons and supernatural phenomena harass the survivors, as Artyom’s Rangers attempt to defend them. This is definitely another one to watch.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The next entry in the modern series of Tomb Raider is set for a September 2018 launch, following the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Lara travels to Latin America on the hunt for lost relics and inadvertently triggers a world-threatening event. Eidos Montreal has assumed development from Crystal Dynamics. The game looks as though it will explore a darker tone. We should hear more at E3 2018.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Blind Forest is a smash-hit platformer from Moon Studios, and the team is already working on a follow-up with no announced launch window.
Ori and the Blind Forest was a tight and rewarding platformer, featuring gorgeous artwork and award-winning music. Players guided Ori on a quest to save his forest from destruction in a hand-painted Metroidvania-style world, full of opportunities to explore. Hopefully, Will of the Wisps will continue the tradition.
Code Vein is an upcoming action RPG from Bandai Namco, and some have been referring to it as an “anime Dark Souls,” although it is much more than that.
Set in a dystopia beset by vampires, Code Vein hopes to emulate the responsive combat of Dark Souls, leveraging some of the RPG and plot features of the game director’s cult hit God Eater. This will also be Xbox One X Enhanced and is definitely one to watch.
From the wonderful minds that brought us Sniper Elite and Zombie Army Trilogy, Rebellion’s next outing should be a riot for fans of four-player cooperative shooters.
Strange Brigade is a comedic horde shooter similar to Left 4 Dead, where teams of up to four heroes will face off against various horror tropes, diving through mummy infested tombs, battling ancient warriors, complete with a 1930s radio drama narration and aesthetic. This is certainly one for Indiana Jones fans, and it should drop in 2018.
Anthem is the next big game from Bioware, famed for Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
Anthem has reportedly been referred to as a “Destiny killer” internally, sporting a connected multiplayer RPG world with signature Bioware storytelling.
We don’t know a huge amount about Anthem, but the reveal trailer was certainly exciting. Hopefully, we’ll see it live up to expectations.
Jurassic World Evolution
Dropping in summer 2018, Jurassic World Evolution is a theme-park simulator inspired by the legendary dinosaur franchise.
Built by the team behind Planet Coaster, Jurassic World Evolution will allow players to build and design their very own dinosaur parks, complete with all the potential hazards that go with it.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a long-in-development side-scrolling action game from the creative minds behind Castlevania.
Dubbed as a spiritual successor, Bloodstained is a vibrant and violent Metroidvania-type title that focuses on exploration, upgrades, and twisted creatures with a delightful 2.5D anime art style. Hopefully, finally, we’ll see it emerge in 2018.
Call of Cthulhu
Focus Home Interactive is publishing a survival horror title based on the legendary Lovecraftian Cthulhu mythos.
Based on an investigative tabletop RPG, Call of Cthulhu promises an entirely new story inspired by some of H.P. Lovecraft’s most notable works. Decisions made by the player will affect the outcome of the story, as well as unique mechanics that govern the player character’s sanity. Call of Cthulhu should drop sometime in 2018.
The Division 2
Ubisoft recently revealed that The Division 2 is on the way, poised for a full reveal at E3 2018.
The Division is set in a post-crisis New York City, where a deadly plague has killed millions. With the government paralyzed, a secret military organization known as “The Division” sweeps into the city in an attempt to restore order. The first game was a Diablo-esque loot ’em up with four-player co-op, RPG systems, and PvP. Given how much success Ubisoft has had lately with Assassin’s Creed: Origins, a resurgent For Honor, and the continuing performance of Rainbow Six Siege, expectations are riding high for The Division 2.
After leaks and some epic viral teasing from Bethesda, RAGE 2 was revealed in all of its technicolor glory.
RAGE 2 takes place in the same ravaged world as the first game, following an apocalyptic asteroid impact with Earth. Some escaped the fire in cryostasis on satellites, while others remained on Earth, forced to scavenge for scraps.
RAGE is pretty much Mad Max meets Fallout, with vehicular combat and over-the-top FPS violence, and it’s expected in 2019.
What say you?
We’ve already seen reams of great games recently hit Xbox One, and the backlog looks as though it’ll just keep growing. The future of Xbox definitely looks stunning, particularly when you factor in possible 4K versions for the Xbox One X. But what games are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments, and maybe we’ll add them in here in a future update.
Updated May 29, 2018: We updated this list to remove now-launched games, and add new ones such as Anthem, The Division 2, and Battlefield V.