Microsoft still plans to launch Xbox Series X in time for the 2020 holiday season, and the lineup of launch titles has become much clearer as we get closer to its launch. The lineup includes some heavy-hitters like Halo Infinite that everyone should be excited for, but since the May 7 Inside Xbox digital presentation, not we know plenty of other games to expect on the console.
As of now, there's simply too much crossover between the Xbox Series X launch lineup and games already on (or coming to) the Xbox One. This throws the need for a totally new console into question as almost every "launch title" will also be available to play on Xbox One. This is made even worse by the fact that many of the most enticing games will also be available on the PlayStation 5. So even if there's some impressive third-party support, you’ll just have to decide if the visual enhancements are worth the upgrade.
Why pay several hundred dollars for a new console right away when most or all of these launch titles will be available on the Xbox One?
With the advent of Smart Delivery — allowing gamers to play upgraded Xbox One games on the Xbox Series X for free — gamers have nothing to lose by buying games on the last-gen console and waiting for the next-gen price to drop. You only have to buy a game once in the new Xbox ecosystem, and while this is definitely a boon to gamers, will these upgraded last-gen games truly show what Xbox Series X can do?
For now, we can look forward to the following 21 games that are all also going to be available on Xbox One.
17. Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Sega has confirmed that Yakuza: Like A Dragon, the next entry in its popular Japanese crime drama series, is going to be available for Xbox Series X right at launch. While this game is an RPG instead of an action beat 'em up like previous Yakuza games, Like a Dragon still retains the series' charm. The game will support Smart Delivery and cross-saving with the Xbox One version of the game.
16. The Ascent
Finding a nice middle area between Cyberpunk 2077 and Diablo, The Ascent is an impressive-looking top-down action RPG. The game follows a group of people trying to keep a city in check after The Ascent Group, a corporation that owned a lot of the city, was abruptly shut down. This should help scratch the sci-fi itch that the lack of a next-gen version of Cyberpunk will leave at the system's launch.
15. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Hardsuit Labs and Paradox's sequel to the cult classic vampire RPG was supposed to come out for current-gen consoles during Q1 2020 but was delayed before it could make that window. It's now become clear that Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 was delayed so it could be optimized for next-gen consoles like Xbox Series X. The game still on track to release in 2020, so it's safe to assume it will be there during the launch window of Microsoft's new console.
14. Madden NFL 21
EA used Microsoft's presentation to show off Madden NFL 21, the next entry in its annual football game series. The reveal trailer didn't show much gameplay, but Head of Xbox Partnerships Sarah Bond said that the game will "leverage new technology in exciting ways that benefit their fans." It will support Smart Delivery for players who get Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One by December 31, 2020, and upgrade before March 31, 2021.
13. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Ubisoft will have a stacked lineup for the launch of Xbox Series X as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will also be released this fall. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is set during the time of the Vikings, and will provide a detailed look at their culture and invasion of England.
The game will follow in the footsteps of the latest games in the series, providing an expansive open world and large-scale battles for players to take a part in. While the game is still coming out on Xbox One, the Xbox Series X version will almost certainly have better visuals and frame rates.
12. Observer: System Redux
Bloober Team, who are known for titles like Layers of Fear and Blair Witch, are remastering Observer for next-gen consoles. This is a cyberpunk horror game that follows a detective named Dan Lazarski who can hack people’s minds. It was well-received upon its release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2017, and is now being polished for a next-gen launch.
11. The Medium
Bloober Team is also working on a new game called The Medium that takes clear inspiration from Silent Hill. It's sent in Poland and follows a medium who is connected to both the real world and spirit world and appears to be a console exclusive for Xbox Series X, at least for now.
10. WRC 9
While the latest racing game in this long-running series is coming out for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in September, an Xbox Series X version of WRC 9 is also in the cards. This version doesn’t currently have a release window, but as the game will already be out on some platforms by the time Xbox Series X comes out, it should hopefully be on there around launch.
Speaking about the next-gen version of WRC 9, WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Cieslastated “the introduction of new-generation gaming consoles is a wonderfully exciting step and we’re delighted WRC 9 will be the first rally game to become available to gamers on such platforms.”
9. Call of Duty: Warzone
Free-to-play Call of Duty battle royale spinoff Call of Duty: Warzone has already amassed tens of millions of players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and next-gen versions already seem to be on the docket. While Activision hadn’t commented on an Xbox Series X version when the game was released in March, Infinity Ward's Taylor Kurosaki let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview with GamerGen.
“I know that our plan is Warzone is going to be around for quite some time, so as soon as those new systems are out and available I’m sure we’ll support them,” he said. Hopefully, we can expect the game to run better and have some nice visual enhancements on Xbox Series X, though there is a chance that it’s only available via backward compatibility.
8. Halo Infinite
The shining beacon in the launch lineup of the Xbox Series X, 343 Industries' Halo Infinite is the most promising game in the entire list of launch titles. The developers have been working on this game for almost five years, and it has been envisioned as a reimagining of the long-running Halo franchise that may even spice up the sci-fi first-person shooter with some light RPG elements.
The downside is that the game will also be available for Xbox One, which might hamper its scope. That being said, its one of the few Microsoft titles we know about that is expressly being created with next-gen in mind, so it will most likely be one of the best Xbox Series X games when the console launches.
7. Dirt 5
Yet another racing game will be on Xbox Series X at launch: Dirt 5. Developed by Codemasters, this game is set to take advantage of next-gen consoles by including four-player split-screen. Dirt 5 also has a career mode that adapts to the player's choices and performance and features famous voice actors like Troy Baker and Nolan North.
6. Call of the Sea
Call of the Sea is one of the few indies games that was shown off during the May 7 showcase, and it feels like a mix of Pixar's Up and BioShock. It's a first-person adventure puzzle game that follows a woman looking for her husband on a mysterious island in the 1930s. As the game progresses, you'll learn more about her husband's expedition and the civilization that called the island home. Call of the Sea will support Smart Delivery and will be part of Xbox Game Pass at launch.
5. Rainbow Six Siege
Ubisoft confirmed in February that its popular competitive shooter Rainbow Six Siege would be available on both PS5 and Xbox Series X at launch: "What I can tell you is that we are going to be on [the consoles] from launch," Director Leroy Athanassoff told Windows Central.
This one's another cut-and-dry port, but Ubisoft is looking into crossplay to keep the community going strong for this online tactical shooter.
Outriders, an exciting new shooter from People Can Fly and Square Enix with serious Destiny vibes was confirmed to be launching across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X back in February. While neither the developer or publisher has delved into the next-gen enhancements yet, Outriders is pegged for a holiday 2020 release when next-gen consoles launch.
This increases the likelihood that this game will be released alongside these new platforms, and that would essentially make this a major new third party game at launch, even if it's also available on the PS5. There's a decent amount of hype surrounding Outriders, so assuming it does launch with both consoles, it comes down to whether or not Microsoft releases its next-gen console before Sony's.
3. Watch Dogs: Legion
Watch Dogs: Legion was originally slated for release late in 2019, but it was delayed after Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint flopped alongside the next title on this list. In this action-adventure game that takes place in a fictional version of London as an open world, members of a hacker group work to take down the authoritarian regime.
While the developers are taking the extra months of development to polish the game, Ubisoft has also indicated that Watch Dogs: Legion is now coming to next-gen consoles as well. As such, it is likely that Watch_Dogs Legion will come to Xbox Series X as well as Xbox One. This is probably another game that will take advantage of the Xbox Series X's Smart Delivery.
2. Gods & Monsters
Gods & Monsters is a new IP from Ubisoft and is very much in the same situation as Watch Dogs: Legion: It was supposed to come out in February but was pushed back for more polish and so the developer could also work on a next-gen release.
If Ubisoft wants to come out swinging with a new IP when next-gen consoles roll around, Gods & Monsters will most likely be on Xbox Series X at launch. It's said to be an open-world action-adventure game where the player fighters mythological monsters in a beautiful fantasy realm.
1. Senua's Saga: Hellblade II
Microsoft unveiled Ninja Theory's Senua's Saga: Hellblade II during the Game Awards 2019 alongside the Xbox Series X. It's certainly impressive when it comes to visuals, and its developers have teased that the game will "show how madness and suffering shapes myths, gods and religions" in a dark fantasy action-adventure game.
It is worth noting that this game may not be a launch title as Phil Spencer said that Hellblade II was in "early development" when it was revealed. We also don't know if it will come to Xbox One like other Xbox Series X games. It seems totally possible that Senua's Saga: Hellblade II might be the first game that will release only on Xbox Series X and not the Xbox One.
Bonus: Backward Compatible Xbox One Games
Xbox Series X is poised to be backward compatible with games from every single system that Microsoft has released. While promoting the new console, the upgrades that come with some of them have already been shown off. Gears 5 was the main title Microsoft focused on for its March 16 console specs reveal. It will be playable at 4K and 60 FPS normally, though the team is aiming to support 120 FPS in multiplayer modes. It will also feature improved load times as well as contact shadows to add depth to objects and self-shadow lighting on shrubbery with the help of ray-tracing.
The March 16 specs announcement used Minecraft to highlight how ray tracing tech can make even a world made of blocks look more realistic and State of Decay 2 to demonstrate the improved loading times. If you have a lot of Xbox One games, it's good to know that some of them will be upgraded for Xbox Series X.