Best upcoming Xbox Series X games

Microsoft’s own studio is making many of the new releases  (PA Archive)
Microsoft’s own studio is making many of the new releases (PA Archive)

The Xbox Series X may be the most powerful console around but, two years into its life, the list of titles taking full advantage remains pretty sparse. Fortunately, there are plenty of upcoming Xbox Series X games designed for the hardware.

Below, we’ve highlighted the best upcoming Xbox Series X games for you to mark on your calendar, divided into Xbox and PC exclusives (Microsoft owns both so there’s usually a Windows version), and those you can play elsewhere. What we haven’t included are remakes and remasters, but you can read about the best upcoming video game remakes here.

Many of these titles being made by Microsoft’s own game studios, and will be available free to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on day one. We’ve flagged that where known. Remember, if it works on Series X, it’ll also play on Series S (albeit with no guarantees as to how well it’ll play.)

Without further ado, here are the best upcoming Xbox Series X games we’re looking forward to.

Best upcoming Xbox Series X games: Xbox exclusives

High on Life

High on Life features talking guns (Squanch Games)
High on Life features talking guns (Squanch Games)

“Blade Runner meets The Muppets”, according to design director Erich Mayr, High on Life is the latest game from Squanch Games – the studio set up by Rick & Morty co-creator Justin Roiland.

It’s a science fiction first-person shooter, but with talking guns. Suitably comedic dialogue will be provided by Roiland himself, as well as the likes of JB Smoove (Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Tim Robinson (Detroiters).

Release date: December 13, 2022.

On Game Pass: Yes.

Starfield

Starfield offers more than 1,000 planets to explore (Bethesda)
Starfield offers more than 1,000 planets to explore (Bethesda)

Bethesda’s next life-sapping role-playing game (RPG) isn’t a new Elder Scrolls or Fallout – instead it’s a brand-new franchise called Starfield.

There will be over 1,000 planets to explore as you role play your way through the doubtless expansive storyline, which will be affected by decisions you make along the way.

Release date: Early 2023.

On Game Pass: Yes.

The Outer Worlds 2

The Outer Worlds 2 promises to be as quirky as the original (Obsidian)
The Outer Worlds 2 promises to be as quirky as the original (Obsidian)

Of course, Obsidian – creator of Fallout: New Vegas – already has a Fallout-style RPG set in space called The Outer Worlds. We’re delighted to hear that that’s also getting a sequel, which will be every bit as quirky as the first, judging by the genuinely funny reveal trailer.

As for what it’ll contain and when we can play it, that’s all up in the air. We doubt it’ll beat Starfield to the punch but it will offer something considerably less po-faced when it launches.

Release date: TBA

On Game Pass: Yes.

Forza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport: don’t worry, you didn’t miss 9,  Turn10 Studios skipped it and went straight to X (Turn 10 Studios)
Forza Motorsport: don’t worry, you didn’t miss 9, Turn10 Studios skipped it and went straight to X (Turn 10 Studios)

This should really be Forza Motorsport 9, but for some reason, Turn10 Studios has decided that cutting the number makes sense. Like its predecessors, it will pack addictive, high-speed racing action. And on Xbox Series X, it will be in 4K at 60fps.

Release date: Spring 2023.

On Game Pass: Yes.

State of Decay 3

State of Decay 3: players must concentrate on survival activities as much as zombie bashing (Undead Labs)
State of Decay 3: players must concentrate on survival activities as much as zombie bashing (Undead Labs)

State of Decay – the Xbox console-exclusive zombie survival sim – is coming back for a third iteration. For those unfamiliar, the first two games offered a less glamorous and more stressful look at the world of zombie survival, with base building and scavenging for supplies taking up just as much time as action-hero killing antics.

This time around, it’s not just human zombies you have to look out for, as animals are infected too. There’s no release date yet but this is undoubtedly one to watch.

Release date: TBA.

On Game Pass: Yes.

Redfall

Players must defend Redfall against vampiric visitors (Bethesda)
Players must defend Redfall against vampiric visitors (Bethesda)

Bethesda is doing its best to justify its acquisition by Microsoft with another brand-new franchise: Redfall.

Unlike the games the studio is best known for, Redfield isn’t a single-player RPG and is instead focused on co-operative shooting, with you and your friends tasked with taking on the vampiric forces plaguing the town of Redfall. You’re not relying on garlic here, though: stake guns and UV blasters should help you make light work of the bloodsuckers when Redfall arrives next year.

Release date: 2023.

On Game Pass: Yes.

Fable 4

The new Fable revisits the fantasy world of Albion (Playground Games)
The new Fable revisits the fantasy world of Albion (Playground Games)

After three Fable games appeared on the first two generations of Xbox, we’ve now gone 12 years without a full Fable adventure, following the closure of Lionhead Studios in 2012.

But the series is being rebooted and we’ll finally return to the fantasy world of Albion in the next few years. So far, next to nothing is known about the game, but we’d be very surprised if the trademark humour and good-or-evil decision-making didn’t play a huge part.

Release date: TBA.

On Game Pass: Yes.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is a horror survival game set in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (GSC Game World)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is a horror survival game set in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (GSC Game World)

Speaking of lapsed franchises, it’s been even longer since we’ve seen a S.T.A.L.K.E.R game. Previously a PC-only franchise, the official sequel will also appear on Xbox Series consoles in 2023.

It’s a first-person survival horror title, set in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. Originally intended for release earlier this year, development was pushed back to 2023 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced development of the game to shift from Kyiv to Prague.

Release date: 2023.

On Game Pass: Yes.

The Elder Scrolls 6

Elder Scrolls  skips two games generations (Bethesda)
Elder Scrolls skips two games generations (Bethesda)

Once work on Starfield is wrapped up, Bethesda will be going all out to work on the next Elder Scrolls game, which was announced in 2018.

It’s been over a decade since Skyrim wowed us with its enormous open world on Xbox 360, and we can’t wait to see what can be done two console generations later. Unfortunately, we probably still have some time to wait — this could well be a title for the Xbox Series X’s twilight years.

Release date: TBA.

On Game Pass: Yes.

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones: early sightings indicate it is set in Rome in 1937 (Bethesda)
Indiana Jones: early sightings indicate it is set in Rome in 1937 (Bethesda)

A new Indiana Jones game is on the way! We know next to nothing about it, though the teaser suggests it might be set around Rome in 1937.

It’s being made by Machine Games, best known for its recent Wolfenstein games, so it should be in good hands – whenever we finally see it.

Release date: TBA.

On Game Pass: Yes.

Best upcoming Xbox Series X games: Multi-platform ports

Street Fighter 6

Street Fighter 6: Chun-Li and Ryu reappear for more knockabout brawling (Capcom)
Street Fighter 6: Chun-Li and Ryu reappear for more knockabout brawling (Capcom)

Street Fighter is coming back next year for more one-more-go brawling action. Expect familiar fighters like Chun-Li and Ryu, alongside all-new faces.

What’s also new is a semi-open-world single-player mode for you to work your way through when you want a break from taking a pummelling online. Whether that’ll be integral or quickly forgotten remains to be seen, but we’ll find out in 2023.

Release date: 2023.

On Game Pass: Unknown.

Hollow Knight: Silksong

Hollow Knight Silksong is expected in the summer (Team Cherry)
Hollow Knight Silksong is expected in the summer (Team Cherry)

The original Hollow Knight was a sleeper indie hit and we can’t wait to see what developer Team Cherry does with a sequel.

We can expect more of the same Metroidvania platforming exploration when it launches next year on PC, Xbox and Switch. On Xbox, however, it’s already been confirmed as a day-one Game Pass launch.

Release date: Summer 2023.

On Game Pass: Yes.

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world RPG (Warner Bros.)
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world RPG (Warner Bros.)

There have been many Harry Potter games over the years but the quality hasn’t always lived up to the rich source material of the universe.

Hogwarts Legacy looks to change that – an open-world action RPG in the Harry Potter universe, set about 100 years before more familiar faces would enrol in the prestigious wizarding school. It looks like you’ll be balancing education and saving the world, like any young wizard should.

Release date: 10 February, 2023.

On Game Pass: No.

Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2: the remastered original is also available for those not up to speed with the character (Remedy)
Alan Wake 2: the remastered original is also available for those not up to speed with the character (Remedy)

Alan Wake was one of the better Xbox 360 exclusives back in the day, and the flashlight-wielding, haunted writer is coming back in 2023.

We’re to expect more survival horror elements this time around, apparently, but if you want to catch up on the story beforehand, Alan Wake Remastered is available now on Xbox Series X.

Release date: 2023.

On Game Pass: No.

Ark 2

Vin Diesel is thought to be involved in Ark 2 (Studio Wildcard)
Vin Diesel is thought to be involved in Ark 2 (Studio Wildcard)

Popular dino-survival game Ark is getting a sequel next year — and with none other than Vin Diesel apparently involved, too. We can expect “souls-like melee combat” which is good news for fans of From Software’s famously punishing Dark Souls games.

It’s listed as a console launch exclusive for Xbox Series X, which likely means it’ll appear on PS5 at some point too. Hopefully that means it’ll be part of Game Pass at launch, but we don’t know either way at the time of writing.

Release date: 2023.

On Game Pass: Unknown.

Grand Theft Auto 6

Grand Theft Auto version 6 is likely to be a big step up from 5 (Rockstar Games)
Grand Theft Auto version 6 is likely to be a big step up from 5 (Rockstar Games)

gaming/when-is-gta-6-coming-out-settings-plot-character-rumours-b1015448.html">Grand Theft Auto 6 is probably the Xbox Series X game everyone is waiting for, but sadly that wait is likely to go on a bit longer yet.

Still, the step up from GTA V – which was an Xbox 360 title, lest we forget – should be sizeable. Early footage of the game leaked online in September suggests we’ll return to Vice City with the first playable female character for the franchise.

Release date: TBA.

On Game Pass: Unknown.