Next-Gen Gaming

Here's every Xbox Series X launch game Microsoft just announced

If only they'd announced Kinectimals 2.

Today, during its Games Showcase livestream, Microsoft announced a slew of new titles coming to Xbox Series X in the fall or (likely) sometime next year. While it certainly didn't get us to the hype levels that Sony achieved during its PlayStation 5 rollout, the Xbox team gave us a solid reason not to count them out during the upcoming console war. The best part of today's announcement, better than any Halo or Fable game, is that Game Pass subscribers will be able to play every single release shown today as part of their subscription. Damn. That's tight.

  • Halo: InfiniteMicrosoft’s great hope for the Xbox brand maintaining its cachet rests on Master Chief’s bulky green shoulders. Unsurprisingly, the graphics have been given a modern coat of paint and gameplay looks as tight as ever, but the amount of notes taken from Doom’s book will certainly raise eyebrows. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is just how… conventionally Halo it all is. Picture exactly what a Halo game in 2020 would be like. That’s what this is. No more, no less. Holiday 2020.
  • State of Decay 3 Oh, deer. A zombie survival game with a non-white, non-male protagonist? Take our goddamn money now.
  • Forza MotorsportThe in-engine graphics for the compulsory racing launch game, Forza Motorsport, are jaw-dropping. They’re stunning and nearly photo-realistic. What’s another word we can use? Shocking? They’re shocking. This is next-gen. A feast for the eyes.
  • EverwildRare seems to finally be being given something to actually do with their latest project. It's a cross between Fern Gully, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but set in somewhere that looks a lot like New Zealand, which… we’re not complaining! Also there’s more zombie deer? More zombie deer!
  • Tell Me WhyDontNod, the team behind Life is Strange, has created a prestige television show that would fit in on, like, Hulu and made it into a video game. David Cage is somewhere furious about all this.
  • Ori and the Blind ForestMoon Studios showed off Ori and the Blind Forest in 4K and 120fps which is cool but nothing to write home about. Yawn.
  • The Outer Worlds: Peril on GorgonThis is an expansion pack for The Outer Worlds, a game with style and energy to spare. Cool! Dropping September 9th.
  • GroundedDreamworks called and it wants its sense of humor back. This is some A Bug’s Life / Honey I Shunk the Kids / Toy Story nonsense that would look a lot more fun if it were 25% less delighted with itself. You can get your hands on it July 28th.
  • AvowedObsidian’s next open-world entry that will sell four separate copies of this exact same game to each fan over the next decade. Obsidian continues to seemingly exist as a huge middle finger to everyone's favorite punching bag, Bethesda — which is why we love it! So far, though, this is just a sword and sorcery/Skyrim-like RPG with castles and bows and arrows and blah, blah, blah. You know the drill.
  • As Dusk Falls Int./Night showed an interactive drama that looks like a graphic novel set in the American Southwest. It’s very pretty — but we’re not exactly sure how you actually play it?
  • Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2Ninja Theory continues to flaunt the gorgeous Hellblade 2, set in Iceland. They’re extremely proud of a “development diary” they’ve posted online which is just a slideshow from their work-sponsored vacation to the country. Cool?
  • Psychonauts 2 Take an edible for this next one. Double Fine is showing off one of the most anticipated cult releases of gaming history. How it took so long for Psychonauts to get a true sequel we will never know but expect its audience to not shut up about how underrated it is for decades to come. And fair enough, since this acid trip looks like a masterpiece.
  • Destiny 2Bungie is bringing Destiny 2 over. Eh. K.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 A first-person shooter survival horror game set in Chernobyl, Russia is oddly perfect for this apocalyptic moment in history. We will absolutely be picking this up as long as our actual reality doesn't resemble it too much come fall.
  • Warhammer 40,000: DarktideIn 2021 we’ll be getting Fatshark’s third game in the Warhammer series. It seems like we'll be controlling Inquisitorial Acolytes on this outing but we really don't know anything else.
  • Tetris Effect: ConnectedTetris Effect absolutely fucking rules and we won’t hear a negative word about it so don't even try.
  • The Gunk It’s good to see another BIPOC female-led game but there’s not much to say about this one in particular — besides that we're on an alien world and the antagonist seems to be some kind of Blob-like creature.
  • The MediumAnother grimdark story from the David Cage school of storytelling. This one has a Life is Strange / Control style gimmick that allows to player to see two different versions of the plot as it plays out, one supernatural and one less so. While it's very pretty, gameplay will hopefully feel better than this trailer is making it out to be.
  • New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2It is no secret that I simp for Sega, my one true game daddy. This looks to be the next fun MMORPG looter in its series (by way of Monster Hunter) starring an androgynously beautiful anime man. Is it a new game or a remaster and expansion of the original? Nobody seems to be able to tell us. Thanks again to Breath of the Wild for its art style!
  • Crossfire XWhat if you were playing yet another game like Control but you were in an Iron Man suit and it’s also Call of Duty. Is that something you would like? Then you like this!
  • FablePlayground Games got the oh-so-coveted “one more thing” slot for this absolutely stunning tongue-in-cheek trailer for the next sequel (reboot?) in the Fable franchise. Fans are currently, and will continue to be, losing their minds over this announcement. Will this entry finally be the game that delivers on the franchise’s sky-high concept of good vs. evil? We’re praying.

Microsoft also announced that other existing games Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 4, and Gears 5 will also be coming to its new box, naturally. What else will the future hold? Perhaps quite a bit more, as Microsoft used its final moments today to tease another Game Showcase event that will highlight further titles in the next few months. Hopefully, we'll finally get Kameo: Elements of Power 2. (Jk, jk. We really want some Banjo-Kazooie.)