As we move into 2018, it’s time for a look at the biggest and brightest Xbox games on the horizon.
In 2017, Microsoft launched the Xbox One X and closed the gap between itself and Sony’s PlayStation 4 platform. The X is a 6TF beast that can provide higher-fidelity visuals than any other video game console on the market today, but it’s no good if it doesn’t have the games to showcase that power. Thankfully, there are many promising titles on the horizon.
Here’s a list of some of the most promising, and most anticipated Xbox One games for 2018 and beyond.
Ashen was one of the more striking reveals from E3 2015, but we haven’t heard a great deal about the game since. We know that Ashen is a connected action RPG, taking place in a dangerous world full of deadly creatures and treacherous dungeons. Ashen is a harsh world where “nothing lasts,” as players seek to find a home and build a community.
I was lucky enough to go hands on with a demo of Ashen, and it was by far my favorite game of E3 2017. This is definitely one to watch.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an upcoming RPG that focuses on historical accuracy with an almost sim-like approach to combat and interaction.
Launching in February 2018, Kingdom Come revolves around the realistic setting of Bohemia in ancient Europe. It follows the tale of a blacksmith’s son, whose family perishes in a bloody civil war. You will ascend to knighthood, and carve out a treacherous path of revenge, where your decisions have real consequences.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Very little is known about Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar Games, but if it’s anything like Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar’s signature game), you can expect it to be a blockbuster.
Gearing up to launch in 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 will continue the Rockstar tradition of huge open world gameplay and gritty storytelling. Recent rumors suggest it could feature multiple protagonists like GTAV, and will also sport persistent multiplayer features that have kept GTAV relevant years after its launch.
Red Dead Redemption 2 has been delayed until Spring 2018, but if you keep track of any one game on this list, make it this one.
Crackdown 3 is another Xbox Play Anywhere exclusive which will push the tech of gaming to a new level. Leveraging processing power streamed from the Microsoft Cloud — Crackdown 3 will feature unprecedented destruction physics, allowing players to level entire cities with realistic demolitions.
Set for launch in early 2018, Crackdown 3 is one for fans of over-the-top open-world action.
Another Xbox exclusive title suffering from delay syndrome is Capybara Games’ Below. Revealed at E3 2013, Below touts difficult rogue-like gameplay with a classic Zelda-like action RPG style.
Originally planned for a 2016 launch, Capybara Games took Below back into the shadows, deciding to polish the game’s systems before announcing a firm launch date. Hopefully, we’ll see more of what lies Below in 2018.
Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is an upcoming connected-world pirate game from the whimsical minds of Rare.
In Sea of Thieves, pirate crews of up to four players can work together to man upgradeable ships, plunder piles of pirate gold, defeat giant sea monsters, and even sink other players’ vessels. Sea of Thieves is always-online and brings all the chaos of dynamic multiplayer gameplay with it.
Sea of Thieves is in active development, targeting a 2018 launch date for Xbox One and the Windows 10 Store.
Darksiders survived the death of THQ, rising from its grave under Nordic Games, now known as THQ Nordic.
Darksiders I and II saw rereleases on Xbox One, bringing the Zelda-like action RPG format to a new generation. While the future of the franchise seemed uncertain for a while, we now know that Darksiders III is in production.
Darksiders III takes place on an apocalyptic Earth, where the forces of heaven and hell rage for control of the realm. The Four Horsemen of the apocalypse are charged to maintain the balance between good and evil, and in Darksiders III, it’ll fall to Fury to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins and their hellish minions.
Vampyr comes from the brains behind the wildly successful Life is Strange, and it’s heading to Xbox One, PS4 and PC sometime in 2018.
Taking place during an early-1900s flu epidemic, fresh vampire Dr. Jonathan Reid must navigate a dark action RPG world on his quest to find out who infected him, and why. A branching narrative, moral decisions, heavy ARPG combat, and gothic visuals make Vampyr one to watch in 2018.
State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 is among the most compelling exclusives on its way to Xbox One and Windows 10 this year, following up the previous game’s successful run on the Xbox 360 arcade.
Taking place in an open-world zombie apocalypse, State of Decay revolves around base building, resource scavenging and management, RPG progression systems, and slaughtering hordes of the undead. State of Decay 2 will feature four-player co-op with a massively expanded scope, and it will land somewhere in 2018.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 will be the latest entry rom Ubisoft’s acclaimed FPS franchise, and it’s set to take place in Montana, USA.
Very little is known about how Ubisoft will mix up Far Cry’s gameplay mechanics for its latest installment, but we know that character customization will play a role and that you will take on a deadly religious cult that has taken control of the area.
Far Cry 5 is targeting a 2018 launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can preorder now for around $60.
See at Microsoft Store
If you enjoyed Cities: Skylines, this has to be on your radar. Surviving Mars is a city builder from the developers behind Tropico and the publisher behind hit strategy and management games like Stellaris and Cities: Skylines.
As its name suggests, Surviving Mars is all about setting up and managing your own colony on the red planet, navigating all the complexities of space colonization along the way. You’ll have to ensure your colonists have adequate supplies of food, water, and oxygen, lest they succumb to the vacuum of space.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ is an upcoming fighting game based on the popular anime/manga saga of the same name.
Utilizing gorgeous cel-shaded visuals that closely emulate the anime, Dragon Ball FighterZ will feature dozens of popular characters from the entire Dragon Ball series, from Frieza, to Goku, and beyond. Early impressions of the game point to tight fighting mechanics and rewarding combat features, so if you’re a fan of fighting games, you can pre-order this one now for $59.99.
See at Microsoft Store
Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hotly anticipated titles on this list, and also one of the furthest out, but we might hear more about it in 2018 (hopefully). Cyberpunk 2077 is an enigmatic project from CD Projekt RED, famed for The Witcher series. Cyberpunk 2077, as its name implies, will be a sci-fi adventure RPG, but very little is known about the game beyond that.
It could be another year or two before Cyberpunk 2077 hits store shelves, but if it’s anything like The Witcher 3 in terms of scale and depth, it will likely be a monumental achievement.
4A Games have returned to the fold with Metro Exodus, the latest in their series of leading apocalyptic shooters.
Metro Exodus exploded onto the scene at E3 2017, with one of the most stunning trailers of the show. It looks as though the nuclear wastes of Russia have begun to heal, to some degree, with more activity on the surface world.
Metro takes place in a reality where an unknown catastrophe rendered the surface inhospitable, forcing humanity to live underground. Strange demons and supernatural phenomena harass the survivors, as Artyom’s Rangers attempt to defend them. Definitely one to watch.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Ori and the Blind Forest is a smash-hit platformer from Moon Studios, and the team is already working on a follow-up with no announced launch window.
Ori and the Blind Forest was a tight and rewarding platformer, featuring gorgeous art work and award-winning music. Players guided Ori on a quest to save his forest from destruction in a hand-painted Metroidvania-style world, full of opportunities to explore. Hopefully, Will of the Wisps will continue the tradition.
Code Vein is an upcoming action RPG from Bandai Namco, and some have been referring to it as an “anime Dark Souls,” although it is much more than that.
Set in a dystopia beset by vampires, Code Vein hopes to emulate the responsive combat of Dark Souls, leveraging some of the RPG and plot features of the game director’s cult hit God Eater. This will also be Xbox One X enhanced, and is definitely one to watch.
The Darwin Project
The Darwin Project is an upcoming battle royale-style title that features visceral combat and environmental survival.
The environment is deadly cold in The Darwin Project, so players are required to craft fires and clothing in addition to weaponry. Following footprints in the snow, stalking other players, and fighting over resources all form the basis of play, in a game that was teased with Mixer streamer integration out of the box. This is definitely one to watch.
Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World is the first entry in this legendary series to come to Xbox One, and it lands in January 2018.
Monster Hunter, as its name suggests, is all about battling gigantic creatures in a sizeable open world. Players will be able to team up with three friends to take on increasingly difficult monsters for increasingly powerful loot. Monster Hunter: World looks like it could be huge (literally), so keep an eye out. You can pre-order the game now for $59.99.
See at Microsoft Store
Iron Galaxy, known recently for its work on Killer Instinct, has now turned its talents to Extinction, an upcoming open world action game that features gigantic enemies.
Playing as Avil, it’s up to you to defend humanity from this new threat, in a world filled with monsters. Extinction’s world will feature relentless verticality, agile combat, and what the developer calls a rich story campaign. It’s coming to Xbox in early 2018, so keep your eyes peeled.
From the wonderful minds that brought us Sniper Elite and Zombie Army Trilogy, Rebellion’s next outing should be a riot for fans of 4-player co-operative shooters.
Strange Brigade is a comedic horde shooter similar to Left 4 Dead, where teams of up to four heroes will face off against various horror tropes, diving through mummy infested tombs, battling ancient warriors, complete with a 1930’s radio drama narration and aesthetic. Certainly one for Indiana Jones fans, and it’ll drop in 2018.
Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic is an upcoming sci-fi shooter from Ghost Ship Games, formed, in part, from the remnants of Microsoft Studios’ Press Play.
Formerly a concept dubbed Project Dwarka, Deep Rock Galactic has now evolved into one of the most unique titles on this list, blending procedural mining gameplay similar to Minecraft, combined with high-octane 4-player horde shooting like Left 4 Dead. Definitely one to keep an eye on in 2018.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a long-in-development side-scrolling action game from the creative minds behind Castlevania.
Dubbed as a spiritual successor, Bloodstained is a vibrant and violent “Metroidvania” type title that focuses on exploration, upgrades, and twisted creatures with a delightful 2.5D anime art style. Hopefully, finally, we’ll see it emerge in 2018.
Agony is an upcoming first-person survival horror game set in the depths of Hell. Agony is notable for its utterly insane art direction, that is as grotesque and twisted as you might hope for a game set in the realm of Satan.
Madmind Studio is comprised of just nine developers, according to the game’s website, but Agony looks truly stunning in all of its trailers. Agony looks like it could be one to watch for horror fans in 2018.
System Shock was a landmark shooter from the mid-90s that is credited with influencing titles like Deus Ex and Bioshock, as well as dozens of others.
Nightdive Studios is currently remaking the entire game for the modern era, built by a team of industry veterans.
System Shock takes place aboard a futuristic space station beset by rogue A.I., roaming cyborgs, and angry mutants. Hopefully, Nightdive can recapture the magic that made System Shock such a legendary title.
Jurassic World Evolution
Dropping in summer 2018, Jurassic World Evolution is a theme park simulator inspired by the legendary dinosaur franchise.
Built by the team behind Planet Coaster, Jurassic World Evolution will allow players to build and design their very own dinosaur park, complete with all the potential hazards that go with it. Definitely one to watch.
Call of Cthulhu
Focus Home Interactive is publishing a survival horror title based on the legendary Lovecraftian Cthulhu mythos.
Based on an investigative tabletop RPG, Call of Cthulhu promises an entirely new story inspired by some of H.P. Lovecraft’s most notable works. Decisions made by the player will affect the outcome of the story, as well as unique mechanics that govern the player character’s sanity. Call of Cthulhu should drop some time in 2018.
Our wallets weep
We’ve already seen reams of great games recently hit Xbox One, and the backlog looks as though it’ll just keep growing. The future of Xbox is definitely looking rather stunning, particularly when you factor in possible 4K versions for the Xbox One X. But what games are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments, and maybe we’ll add them in here in a future update!
Update December 29, 2017: We’ve updated this list to include even more promising upcoming Xbox games, including Bloodstained, Jurassic Park World, Call of Cthulhu, System Shock, and Agony.
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