Xbox Series X Exclusives: Microsoft received criticism and anger from fans and reviewers alike for their exclusive portfolio this generation, and the company ultimately took steps to ease that tension. Microsoft has been patiently laying a solid groundwork to support the growth of its first-party roster and Game Pass subscription service.
Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox One with the most varied roster of titles in the console’s history, thanks to the involvement of 23 first-party companies. But if you’re searching for exclusive next-gen games, the returns on these purchases may be slow in coming. Many titles have been verified to be in development, but we do not anticipate seeing them any time soon.
We decided to update this list with the latest titles coming out for the Xbox Series X/S. (and PC). In order to highlight the future current-gen titles coming to Xbox, we also excluded any games currently available from the list.
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Obsidian has been working diligently on Avowed since its reveal in 2021, so much so that the studio has been mostly silent on the subject ever since, leaving fans to worry about when we will next see the project and if it will be released at all.
Confirmed: Xbox has at least 42 announced upcoming exclusives / first-party games. #XboxSeriesX is out to be the exclusives machine next-gen. pic.twitter.com/mmgYLJ3THI
— Xbox News (@_XboxNews) October 14, 2020
A purportedly leaked screenshot that made the rounds on Twitter is the only new information we have about Avowed. Nothing is official or set in stone at this time, so we’ll all have to wait and see what Obsidian does next. It’s possible that it will be included in Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards ceremony at the end of the year.
Bethesda Game Studio has pushed back the release of Starfield, an ambitious role-playing game originally scheduled for this year’s fourth quarter, to the first half of 2023. Whatever day it comes out, fans of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout will be there to check out what these developers have cooked up for the current generation of gaming consoles.
The vastness of Starfield’s universe and the difficulty of its goals are both major draws and major deterrents. Whether they stick the landing or crash horrendously, having such a bold initiative from a AAA firm is relieving to see, and we hope it stimulates other devs to push out of their comfort zone from time to time.
Fable is another title that hasn’t been exhibited or talked about much since its reveal in 2020, and that’s for a good reason. The team over at Playground Games refuses to show the game off “until it’s ready,” and we respect that greatly. Even if it will be a while before we can see anything, it’s great to see that the crew is working diligently on it without being distracted by making trailers that may not be representative of the end result.
We don’t know when the next generation of Fable will come out or what year it will be released, but we’re excited to see what Playground Games does with the franchise.
Seeing a lot of Xbox fans going into damage control mode over the announcement that the Xbox Series X won't have any "exclusive" games within the first 1-2 years.
I don't blame them. That sucks ass. Knowing every 1st party game has to run on an OG Xbox One…ouch. pic.twitter.com/ovvtJeQ4Ez
— MBG (@xMBGx) January 10, 2020
Frazz Motocross (2023)
Turn 10 Studios’ previous game was Forza Motorsport 7 five years ago in 2017. Their next game, simply dubbed Forza Motorsport, will be released in the Spring of next year, representing six years overall between projects, the longest in the studio’s history. During that time, the team has been working hard on making a current-gen-only title for the Xbox Series consoles and PC.
Forza Motorsport will feature real-time ray tracing and outstanding visuals, making it arguably one of the most anticipated simulation racing titles on the horizon. There’s nothing quite like a Forza game, especially the Motorsport series, and we cannot wait to see what Turn 10 has been cooking up for us to feast on next year.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
Another exclusive Xbox Series X/S title, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 has no set release window or date. It shouldn’t take too much longer, at least based on the gameplay trailer shown at last year’s The Game Awards. While it can easily skip next year, we say give Team Ninja all the time they need to build yet another knockout title as they did with the original Hellblade.
Since all of the game’s reveal videos have been somewhat terrifying, Team Ninja’s claim that “Hellblade 2 will make Hellblade look like an indie game” is both encouraging and a little concerning.
The Elder Scrolls 6
In 2018, Todd Howard revealed that The Elder Scrolls 6 was in pre-production, and… it still is and will continue to be till after Starfield is released. The game’s setting is yet unknown, but judging by how Starfield and other Bethesda IPs have been handled, it will likely be a Series X/S and PC exclusive. This game won’t be released until at least 2027, and that’s being generous.
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Studio Wildcard revealed two years ago at The Game Awards the development of a sequel to the critically acclaimed survival game Ark: Survival Evolved. This version, though, stars Vin Diesel, and it’s awesome in all the greatest ways. Ark 2, being a current-gen-only title, intends to offer much-needed upgrades to the game and a nice graphics overhaul along with it.
The release date for Ark 2 is slated for sometime in 2019, however exactly when is still up in the air. A lot about the project is currently a mystery, but we should learn more about it shortly and see a gameplay teaser if it is scheduled for release in 2023.
The Stalker 2: Chornobyl’s Heart
After a long hiatus of 13 years, the GSC Game World of Ukraine is hard at work on Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl. With the invasion of Russia, however, the game was delayed until 2023 rather than 2022. Despite speculation to the contrary, the team has confirmed the game’s release date of 2023.
GSC Game World has announced Stalker 2 is made on Unreal Engine 5 and would feature 4K and ray tracing capabilities, making it easily one of the most anticipated Xbox Series X/S releases for next year. Despite the fact that we still don’t have a firm date, we’re relieved to see the team intact and dedicated to the product after all the commotion.
It's Official! #DeveloperDirect, presented by Xbox and Bethesda, featuring major updates from Minecraft Legends, Redfall, Forza Motorsport, and The Elder Scrolls Online.
Tune in January 25 at 3pm ET!pic.twitter.com/QqhFtbXqEN
— 🇩🇴 Xbox_Serious_X|S 🇺🇸 (@Xbox_Series_XS) January 11, 2023
In the same boat as Starfield, Redfall has also seen its release date pushed back from this year to the beginning of 2019. Unfortunately, we have no idea when, but a new gameplay clip suggests it will be out shortly. We have high hopes for this open-world first-person shooter because Arkane Studios has been on fire as of late.
With Starfield and Redfall leading the push in the first half of 2023, Bethesda will be in a hot spot from the get-go as they prepare for a large 2023 lineup. Redfall is exactly the type of cooperative, modern, open-world first-person shooter that we’ve been craving.
Third Act of Decay
Strangely, Microsoft has been silent since announcing the State of Decay 3 at E3 in 2020. Undead Labs hasn’t demonstrated or revealed anything, other than the fact that it runs on Unreal Engine 5 and that The Coalition is involved in its development. We don’t even have a release year, let alone a window, and terrible allegations have been made against the studio, so we have no idea when we might see anything.
Volume 2 of “The Outer Worlds”
Obsidian claims that development on The Outer Worlds 2 started in 2020, two years after the original game was released in 2019. Given that the game was only recently unveiled, this is a fascinating development. There is currently no set release window or estimated release year for The Outer Worlds 2, although we wouldn’t be surprised if it came out much sooner than expected.
Two years ago, Microsoft’s new “AAAA” studio (The Initiative) announced Perfect Dark as their first project, but since then, we haven’t heard anything about it. Crystal Dynamics, the studio responsible for the Tomb Raider series, is now in charge of the project, sparking widespread speculation that The Initiative was having trouble finishing the game.
The head of Xbox Game Studios, however, has assured everyone that the wait will be worthwhile by saying that development is proceeding smoothly. The release date for Perfect Dark has not been set, but we hope it will be sooner rather than later.
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Rare’s stunning co-op adventure game, Everwild, maybe a bit of a disaster behind the scenes, according to sources, which is disappointing given how much buzz has been surrounding it. A next-gen exclusive from Rare seems like it would be amazing, and by the looks of the gameplay demonstrations, it probably would be. We are not aware of any foreseeable release date for Everwild at this moment, and that is how we would like to keep it. Basically, all we want is that Rare to take their time and make the best game they can.
Playstation "Blocking Rights" strike again?
Dead Space Remake had a 120fps mode for Xbox Series X until today.
The question is… Did Jim pay EA to remove a mode the PS5 couldn't run? pic.twitter.com/sb2JBYkeaW
— 🇩🇴 Xbox_Serious_X|S 🇺🇸 (@Xbox_Series_XS) January 14, 2023
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
The release date for Warhammer 40,000: Darktide has been pushed back from its original announcement during Microsoft’s E3 Showcase two years ago to this coming November 30. Demos and playtests of this next-gen first-person shooter action game have been so thrilling that we can’t wait for its official release.
Fans of the Warhammer series or first-person shooters, in general, should be excited about Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, as it promises to set the bar high for current-gen exclusive shooters and give fans of the genre something to spend countless hours into.
Frequently asked questions
Are there any games exclusive to Xbox Series X?
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice 2 will be Xbox Series X-exclusive. Sony and Nintendo fans who loved Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II will need a Microsoft console to play it.
What console has better exclusives?
PlayStation had over 280 exclusive first- and third-party titles in 2021, approximately five times more than Xbox. Sony and Nintendo’s exclusive first-party games are among Europe’s and the world’s best-selling.
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