Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase on Thursday ran down a lineup of games coming to the Xbox Series X, the company’s next console scheduled to arrive this holiday season. Unlike its competitors, though, Microsoft has emphasized throughout the run-up to this new console that these games will be playable even if you don’t pick up that piece of hardware right away.
All of the games announced at this show will be on Xbox Game Pass at launch, and many of them will be released on the Xbox One. If you have a decent computer with Windows 10 and a willingness to subscribe to Game Pass, all of these games will be available to you.
In Thursday’s stream, Microsoft showed off 22 different games that will appear on Xbox consoles, including 10 brand-new game announcements. Let’s run them down.
Master Chief gets to be the first name on the program at this show, perhaps because he’s the star. 343 Industries’ crack at a new Halo campaign is set to debut this fall, and the lengthy trailer showed us a bit more of the story and a lot more gameplay. Most importantly, the Chief got to show off his new grappling hook.
Halo Infinite, which the studio has described as a “spiritual reboot” that aims to please both Halo newcomers and old-timers, will be bigger than previous entries in the franchise. Footage of the game shown during Thursday’s livestream displayed a map with multiple quest markers on it, suggesting more of an open world than previous Halo games have had. But just how big is this world, exactly? Is it ... “infinite”? We don’t know yet, but we do know that Master Chief will get to drive a Warthog over some otherworldly cliffsides, and again, there’s that grappling hook. So that’s something.
Halo Infinite will be on Game Pass at launch, and it’ll be on the Xbox Series X, the Xbox One, and Windows. It’s also now listed on Steam.
As Dusk Falls
Indie studio Interior/Night, headed up by ex-Quantic Dream lead game designer Caroline Marchal, showed off a moody trailer for its debut game about two families locked in turmoil.
Obsidian Entertainment is brewing up a new first-person fantasy role-playing game, and it’s set in the world of Pillars of Eternity.
Playground Games debuted a very brief teaser for the next Fable game, which apparently won’t have a number in the title.
Just like the next Fable, the next Forza Motorsport game won’t have a number in the title. Turn 10’s similarly brief teaser showed us a few cars and not much else, although Xbox head Phil Spencer said the game will deliver ray tracing and native 4K at 60 frames per second.
The creators of SteamWorld have a new game in the works. The all-new adventure from Image and Form and Thunderful Publishing will invite players to explore, battle alien enemies, and solve puzzles on a strange planet.
Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis
Sega announced that the latest entry in its long-running free-to-play online action role-playing game is coming to Xbox Series X.
This game was first announced as being in development back in 2010, but then it got shelved, more than once. In 2018, GSC Game World’s Twitter account revealed that the game would exist after all, including the text “126.96.36.199.” to suggest the sequel would finally arrive in 2021. Thursday’s Xbox Games Showcase confirmed that this long-awaited follow-up will come to the Xbox Series X.
State of Decay 3
Undead Labs revealed that it’s working on another entry in the State of Decay series.
Tetris Effect: Connected
This new version of Tetris Effect by Enhance Games will include co-operative and multiplayer modes, both local and online.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Fatshark, the studio behind Vermintide, has announced a new Warhammer 40K adventure. This one’s a four-player co-op game.
The original CrossFire became the most-played game by worldwide player count, but at this point, it’s over a decade old. Smilegate has rebuilt the game in Unreal Engine 4 and will be releasing it with a new campaign made by Control developer Remedy Entertainment.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light
Bungie’s next chapter in the Destiny 2 world will be on Xboxes, but more importantly, Game Pass members will get it too. The Game Pass subscription will have all of the game’s standard edition expansions (not including seasonal content, though). That does include Beyond Light, which is slated for a November release.
Rare is still working on its mysterious game set in a magical wilderness, with a Breath-of-the-Wild-meets-Monster-Hunter vibe.
Obsidian Entertainment’s co-op survival adventure about exploring a backyard at the size of an ant enters early access on July 28.
Bloober Team has this dark mystery game in the works for a holiday 2020 release.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon
With the Peril on Gorgon expansion, Obsidian will add a chunk of new content to The Outer Worlds.
Double Fine’s much-awaited sequel to Psychonauts will feature the vocal and musical stylings of Jack Black, who will sing a song as a brain in a jar. The Xbox Games Showcase featured a long trailer for the game that showed some psychedelic segments.
Tell Me Why
Dontnod Entertainment, of Life Is Strange fame, is still working on its Xbox Game Studios exclusive about twins with a supernatural bond.
Square Enix has a theatrical action platformer in the works set in an imaginary land called Wonderworld.
Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition
Dragon Quest? On Xbox? It’s true.
Cococucumber’s turn-based adventure game is aiming for a 2021 release.
Also aiming for 2021, this TwistedRed game is a free-to-play online competitive first-person shooter.
Hello Neighbor 2
Eerie Guest Studios is still working on the follow-up to the 2017 survival stealth game.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Ubisoft is still working on its next Watch Dogs title, with a little bit more of it shown during the livestream pre-show.
Games getting “optimized” for the Xbox Series X
With all these games appearing on Game Pass at launch, you might be wondering to yourself, “Why would I even get an Xbox Series X?” If you have a powerful PC, that’s a fair question. But if you don’t, then this list of games getting “optimized” — or updated in some way — for the Xbox Series X might tempt you: Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Gears Tactics, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Sea of Thieves.
Several other games have already been described as being built for and “optimized” for the Xbox Series X (although, again, they’ll be on Game Pass). Here’s that list: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Bright Memory Infinite, Call of the Sea, Chorus, Dirt 5, Madden NFL 21, Scarlet Nexus, Scorn, Second Extinction, The Ascent, Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2, Watch Dogs Legion, and Yakuza: Like A Dragon.