The Xbox Series X and its next-gen cohort, the PS5 are due out later this year, and preliminary reports and a few leaks suggest that Microsoft is coming out swinging this console generation, and could make up the ground it lost to Sony with aggressive pricing and customer-friendly features like Smart Delivery making the upgrade to a new console easy-breezy.
In the meantime, we still have a year left to adore our current-gen consoles, making it high time to countdown the best titles reaching Xbox One shores this year! You’ll likely even be able to play these bad boys on the Xbox Series X, so there's no reason to wait!
[SEE ALSO: THE 2020 ULTIMATE BINGE-WATCH AND PLAY GUIDE BY INVERSE]
10. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Release Date – March 11, 2020
After waiting years for the return of the most gorgeous Metroidvania, Ori and the magical forest are coming back! They’ve gotten even more magical, increasing Ori’s ability selection and throwing in even better developers. The game will be partially developed by AM2R creator Milton Gusati. If you don’t know of it, AM2R is one of the most prolific fan games around, a brilliant remake of the beloved Metroid 2.
When it launched, AM2R received universal acclaim, but distribution was promptly stopped by the litigious Nintendo. Back in 2017, the devs revealed Ori would see major improvements for Xbox One X, so there's a lot to look forward to here.
9. Doom Eternal
Release Date — March 20, 2020
From our experience demoing the game, Doom Eternal is shaping up to be a must-buy on at least one platform. The Doom franchise has become like Mission: Impossible films: by all appearances, they should be terrible, but once you’ve dipped your toes into the experience, they prove to be gripping and action-packed. Soon enough, you’re humming the heavy metal songs in your sleep.
8. Bleeding Edge
Release Date – March 24, 2020
Early in the Xbox One’s lifetime, the console was known as a one-stop-shop for fighting games like Killer Instinct. It seems Microsoft is trying to revive that vibe with a modern twist: 4vs4 Arenas!
You play on a team of four heroes against another quartet. Fights are primarily comprised of physical attacks, distinguishing the game popular from hero shooters like Overwatch and Paladins. Bleeding Edge is the first game developed by Ninja Theory (the studio behind Devil May Cry 2013 and Hellblade) since it was purchased by Microsoft, and it's shaping up to be one of the best-looking exclusives this year.
7. Resident Evil 3 Remake
Release Date — April 3, 2020
The horror classic first debuted way back in the PS1 heyday of 1999, and now it’s back with a full remake and all sorts of modern whips and jingles. On the heels of the runaway success of the RE2 remake last year, know you'll be able to follow Jill Valentine as she navigates the horrors created by biotech meddling.
Featuring new graphics, weapons, controls, camera perspectives, and a built-in multiplayer mode, Resident Evil 3 Remake is shaping up to be one of the best horror titles this year. In addition to Xbox One, RE3R will be released on PC and PS4.
6. Gears Tactics
Release Date – April 28, 2020
In the past, Microsoft has found success in translating their popular shooters to birds-eye tactical games, like the Halo Wars series. Now they’re back at it with Gears Tactics. The title is a turn-based strategy game, perfect for anyone hankering for another XCOM game.
Tactics also expands on new lore introduced by Xbox One’s Gears sequel trilogy. It takes place 12 years before the first game, focusing on Gabriel Diaz and his squad, as well as the Head Locust Scientist, Ukkon. If you’ve ever been interested in delving into the Gears EU, this acts as the perfect gateway by delivering more obscure lore in an accessible way.
5. Marvel’s Avengers
Release Date — September 4, 2020
For the last decade, the Avengers have been all the rage in the MCU. So a game like this has been a long time coming — and it’s totally worth it the wait. From what we played at NYCC, this game slaps. The combat is varied enough to keep anyone engaged, drawing from multiple popular titles over the last decade, and featuring characters that so many people love.
Although there won’t be couch co-op, the online experience looks exciting and varied. You can play as various avengers with up to four of your friends. The initial narrative seems to focus on the nefarious group called AIM and one popular villain that is a big surprise, but the developers at Crystal Dynamics have every intention of expanding this universe in the years ahead. Either way, this will be a game you’ll want to keep up with. It might even feel like the next Destiny in more ways than one.
4. Cyberpunk 2077
Release Date — September 17, 2020
People love customization, RPGs, and Keanu Reeves. With these three elements, CD Projekt Red has probably already struck gold with Cyberpunk 2077.
CDPR drew an ample crowd when they released the intricately detailed Witcher 3 in May 2015. With Cyberpunk 2077, the developer looks to double-down on that sense of immersion with a fully customizable world. The whole thing takes place in a cyberpunk future called Night City, and you will quite literally shape the world around you, which means this might be the most choice-driven game in history. This makes sense, given that it’s based on a tabletop game. In this first-person RPG, you’ll have space to customize your guns, appearance, and allies. (I just want to customize my clock so it’s September already.)
3. 12 Minutes
Release Date — 2020
In the last few years, Annapurna Interactive has released an impressive selection of critical darlings like Florence, Kentucky Route Zero, and Gone Home. They’re looking to recreate that success with 12 Minutes.
It’s a time-sensitive game that takes place over the course of – you guessed it – 12 minutes. At the end of each interval, you’re reset to a starting point, able to progress with the new information learned via your previous 12-minute stint. The game is said to take six to eight hours to complete. Critics have compared the title favorably to classics like Majora’s Mask. There isn’t much combat here, but this Xbox exclusive is certainly one to watch if you enjoy single-player narratives.
Release Date — Holiday 2020
Outriders looks simply amazing. Developed by People Can Fly, the folks behind Epic’s one-off but frequently re-released Bulletstorm, Outriders looks like a mix between Anthem and Destiny, with hardcore vibes akin to Gears of War.
Outriders is a third-person co-op shooter combining grounded, realistic environments that you might find in the Battlefield franchise with foes and weaponry that would be at home in Halo or X-Com. The unlikely pairing makes for a game that Inverse thinks could easily slay other sci-fi shooters like Anthem or Destiny occupying the same live-service space in gaming. Outriders will also come to Xbox Series X this holiday season.
1. Halo Infinite
Release Date — Holiday 2020
Despite not being the monolith it once was, Halo is still the reason Xbox exists. The game plans to bring the franchise back to its roots by placing Master Chief back into the fray. If you haven’t kept up with Halo since the chief departed, you’re in luck, Infinite is a spiritual reboot of the franchise.
According to the E3 Trailer, Master Chief has been tasked with reuniting a divided human race. This version of Master Chief will also be uniting Microsoft’s player base. Due out at the end of the year, Infinite will be available on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X, bridging Microsoft’s past and future.