2021 will be a fantastic year to be an Xbox fan. The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have launched, so we’re officially going full steam ahead into the next generation of gaming. Catch ya later, 2020!
Of course, no matter the year, it’s always about the games. In 2021, creators around the world will tap deeper into the power of Xbox Series X|S and bring a massive variety of content to Xbox players. We anticipate this to be the most exciting generation yet for developers and players alike, with something for every kind of gamer. While we have so much more in store, both from our talented partners and our creative teams at Microsoft, we figured that now would be the perfect time to take a closer look at the announced games that are launching as console exclusives on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.
Adios – 2021
Adios is a cinematic first-person game about sticking to a complicated decision. You have decided that you’re no longer okay with letting the mob use your pigs to dispose of bodies. When your old friend – a hitman – arrives with his assistant to deliver another body, you finally tell them that you’re done. Your friend doesn’t want you to stop. He knows that there’s no such thing as quitting, so he’ll try to convince you that you’re making a mistake. How you respond will determine the rest of your life.
The Artful Escape – 2021
Developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur and published by Annapurna Interactive, The Artful Escape tells the story of Francis Vendetti as he embarks on a multidimensional journey to create his stage persona. On the eve of his first performance, Francis battles with the legacy of a dead folk legend and the cosmic wanderings of his own imagination. The Artful Escape is an action-adventure, narrative driven, musical-laser-light-battle kind of game with dazzling visuals, awesome music, and a soulful message about what it means to find your true self.
The Ascent – 2021
The mega corporation that owns you and everyone, The Ascent Group, has just collapsed. Confusion and chaos ensue, security and order are in disarray, and without protection, everyone is left to fend for themselves. Stop gangs and hostile corporations from taking over and discover what really happened in this solo and co-op action RPG set in a cyberpunk world. Developed by Neon Giant and published by Curve Digital, The Ascent will target 60 FPS and full 4K on the Xbox Series X for an amazing gameplay experience.
The Big Con – 2021
Flex your inner teenager in The Big Con, an adventure game where you hustle across the country as a teen trying to save your family’s video store. In classic 90s con movie style, you’ll persuade and pilfer your way to greatness using a whack of potential grifts. You’ll play as Ali, a high school junior gone AWOL from band camp seeking revenge on the loan sharks that threaten her mom’s video store. Maybe you’ll profit from the latest collectible plushie craze and make an interesting friend or two along the way.
CrossfireX – 2021
With 650 million registered players over its 10-year history, Crossfire is one of the most-played PC games in the world. Now, the legendary franchise comes to Xbox as a fast-paced, first-person shooter with a variety of exhilarating multiplayer modes and an epic cinematic campaign. Explore the global conflict between the world’s two most formidable private military factions, Black List and Global Risk, as you pick a side and battle players in an epic global conflict across a variety of classic and innovative multiplayer modes for players of all skill levels and interests.
Dead Static Drive – 2021
Grab your bat, steal a car, and take your chances against the unearthly horrors found along Route 666. Top-down driving meets survival horror in this innovative new game from Team Fanclub. Dead Static Drive is about a nightmare road trip and the extremes of personal circumstances the characters are put into and their emotional reactions. You’ll have to choose who you can trust as you fight the horrors barely concealed underneath everyday domestic life.
Echo Generation – 2021
Echo Generation follows a gang of kids through otherworldly adventures as they investigate mysterious and supernatural events in their hometown that will change the course of their lives forever. The game is set in 1993, in one of those hazy, hot summers where it seems like the world is yours to discover and everything seems possible. School’s out and your crew sets out to explore your hometown on a mission to find the source of the mysterious crash in the nearby cornfield. Will you brave the supernatural to find the truth?
ExoMecha – 2021
A free-to-play online competitive first-person shooter, ExoMecha takes place on the recently discovered planet of Omecha, where multiple species from across the galaxy are waring with each other, hoping to seize control of the planet’s abundant resources. ExoMecha thrusts players into an immersive experience thanks to its high-quality visuals, flexible gameplay, giant mechs, special gadgets and abilities, massive boss battles, and unique gameplay.
Exo One – 2021
A strange signal… an alien craft… Exo One is a gravity-defying, interplanetary journey through space and time that’s part of a mysterious narrative that unfolds around you. Master a truly unique traversal system and move through enigmatic and desolate alien landscapes in ways you’ve never experienced; Using gravity and momentum to reach colossal speeds and exhilarating heights. Exo One features atmospheric, diffused visuals that are merged with otherworldly sound effects and a hypnotic electric guitar soundtrack to create something truly otherworldly.
The Gunk – 2021
From the creators of the SteamWorld franchise comes a completely new game, The Gunk. Embark on a new adventure as two friends who run a small scavenging outfit, and who travel from one space rock to another in search of resources they can harvest and sell. One day, they land on a planet that looks dead from a distance but is covered in a slimy parasite that corrupts its vibrant nature and wildlife. You’ll encounter terrifying enemies and challenging puzzles on your quest to unravel the mystery of that vast and exotic forgotten planet, all while saving it in the process.
Halo Infinite – 2021
The legendary Halo series returns with the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet. When all hope is lost and humanity’s fate hangs in the balance, the Master Chief is ready to confront the most ruthless foe he’s ever faced. Begin anew and step inside the armor of humanity’s greatest hero to experience an epic adventure and finally explore the scale of the Halo ring itself. Halo Infinite is the most ambitious Halo game ever made, with an environment several times larger than the last two Halo games combined. Players can explore an expansive landscape filled with sprawling natural wonder, mystery, and a story that welcomes those new to the franchise as well as continues the Master Chief’s saga for our most dedicated fans.
The Last Stop – 2021
A new game from Variable State, creators of the award-winning Virginia, The Last Stop is a single-player third-person adventure set in present-day London, where you play as three separate characters whose worlds collide during a supernatural crisis. In the three stories, you’ll meet Donna, a spaced-out high schooler who feels trapped by her stifling home life; John, an overworked middle-aged single dad; and Meena, a ruthlessly ambitious professional who struggles to find the same satisfaction with her family that she does in the thrill of her work. Last Stop is an anthology connecting three stories in one, centered on secret lives, the ties that bind, and how magic can be found in the mundane.
Lake – 2021
It’s September 1, 1986. You take on the role of forty-something Meredith Weiss, who returns from the big city to her quiet hometown. She exchanges her busy career at a software company to fill in for her dad, the local mail carrier. During her two-week stay in beautiful Providence Oaks, Oregon, she runs into a few familiar faces as well as plenty of new folk. You’ll get to decide who to talk to and who to befriend (or even start a romantic relationship with). Whatever happens, at the end of her stint, she’ll have to make up her mind: Return to her demanding job in the big city, or stay in the town she grew up in?
Little Witch in the Woods – 2021
Little Witch in the Woods is a fantasy role playing game where you get to live the life of a witch. You’ll play as Ellie, a little witch that has just come to a new town, and you are set to be a part of a “witch’s house.” However, when you arrive, it appears that the town is near empty, and the witch’s house is in disrepair. Your ultimate goal is to mastery witchery, by learning potions as an apprentice at the witches house and gathering materials from across the land, a magical and mystical place full of unique experiences.
The Medium – January 28
In this third-person psychological horror game, you’ll discover a dark mystery only a medium can solve. Travel to an abandoned communist resort and use your unique psychic abilities to uncover its deeply disturbing secrets, solve dual-reality puzzles, survive encounters with sinister spirits, and explore two realities at the same time. You’ll delve deep into a mature and morally ambiguous story, where nothing is what it seems, and everything has another side. As a medium, you can see, hear, and experience more than others, and with every new perspective you will change your perception of what happened at the Niwa resort.
Microsoft Flight Simulator – Summer 2021
Already a massive hit on the PC, Microsoft Flight Simulator is the next generation of one of the world’s most beloved simulation franchises, and this Summer it will be touching down on Xbox Series X|S. From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying day or night and face realistic, challenging weather conditions. From world updates to DLC bundles, simmers on Xbox Series X|S can expect the same level of depth as the PC version, allowing them to experience the most authentic and realistic flight simulator we have ever created.
Psychonauts 2 – 2021
OK, this one’s not technically a console exclusive, but it’s launching into Xbox Game Pass, so we couldn’t miss out on including it. Razputin Aquato, the hero of the beloved DoubleFine Productions platformer Psychonauts, returns in this action-and humor-packed sequel. A trained acrobat and powerful young psychic, Raz has finally realized his lifelong dream of joining the international psychic espionage organization known as the Psychonauts! But these psychic super spies are in trouble. Their leader hasn’t been the same since he was kidnapped, and what’s worse, there’s a mole hiding in headquarters. Raz must use his powers to stop the mole before they execute their secret plan: Bring the murderous psychic villain, Maligula, back from the dead!
RPG Time – 2021
School’s out! Meet us in an empty classroom for a grand adventure with a young aspiring game developer and his very own RPG. You’re sure to be dazzled by his hand-drawn creations as you journey into the surprising and magical world of imagination. Forget about homework, come play on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S exclusively with Smart Delivery.
Sable – 2021
Sable is a coming-of-age tale of discovery through exploration across a strikingly rendered open world desert. Go on a deeply personal journey across an alien planet as the young Sable, exploring ancient monuments, ruined architecture, and ships fallen from the cosmos, all while learning the history of its inhabitants and discovering her place in the world. Only the inquisitive mind will come to understand the lessons held within the sandy confines of the planet’s secrets: lessons of life, family, and being a part of something greater than one’s self.
Scorn – 2021
An atmospheric first-person horror adventure, Scorn is set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestry. It is designed around the idea of “being thrown into the world,” as the player is isolated and lost inside a dream-like setting, allowing them to explore different interconnected regions in a non-linear fashion. Every location contains its own theme, puzzles, and characters that are integral in creating a cohesive world. Players will quickly learn that even the unsettling environment is a character itself.
She Dreams Elsewhere – 2021
This is a surreal adventure RPG about dreams and the extent to which they mirror reality. You play as Thalia, an anxiety-ridden, comatose woman on a journey to confront the nightmares preventing her from awakening, while also finding out how exactly this mess happened in the first place. Combining a deeply personal narrative with a thematic focus on emotions, mental health and self-identity, She Dreams Elsewhere features a surreal, visually striking world brimming with mystery that begs you to explore its every detail.
Shredders – 2021
Inspired by the classic snowboarding game Amped, Shredders puts you on top of the coolest slopes, freeride spots, and snowparks aiming to recreate the sheer joy of riding down a mountain. Shredders will deliver high-end graphics, next-gen physics, and a perfect blend of fun and realism, all in a social context. While the game’s developers say Shredders has “multiplayer baked into its core,” you can also carve your way down the mountain by yourself if you prefer. See you on the slopes!
Song of Iron – 2021
Song of Iron is a moody and provoking action adventure. A dive into a dark Nordic world full of mystery and danger. Your journey will take you far across the land of myths toward the home of the gods. Fight your way through man, monster, and nature itself in this gritty adventure where combat is intense, visceral, and dangerous. Use a bow, axe, and shield to fight back but take care: Weapons can be lost, arrows will run out, and shields will be broken. With the blood of your ancestors and valor regained along the way you can fight on!
Tunic – 2021
Tunic is an action-adventure game about a small fox in a big world, who must explore the countryside, fight monsters, and discover secrets. Crafted to evoke feelings of classic action-adventure games, Tunic will challenge the player with unique items, skillful combat techniques, and arcane mysteries as our hero forges their way through an intriguing new world.
Twelve Minutes – 2021
Billed as an interactive thriller, Twelve Minutes will blend the genres of film and games by featuring an ensemble cast of extraordinary actors (including James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe) that are perfect for bringing the game’s nuanced and complex characters into the world. A romantic evening with your wife turns into a violent invasion, as a man breaks into your home, accuses your wife of murder, and beats you to death… only for you to wake up and find yourself stuck in the same twelve-minute time loop, doomed to relive the same terror again and again.
Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy – 2021
Unexplored 2 is an action-RPG that aims to capture the same sense of adventure and wonder as a tabletop RPG. Explore beautiful landscapes and discover hidden marvels. Encounter magical creatures and dangerous foes. Make brave choices and put your faith in good fortune. Featuring a unique legacy system, advanced procedural generation technology, and rich, generative storytelling, Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy is an adventure like no other.
Warhammer 40K: Darktide – 2021
From the developers of the best-selling and award-winning franchise Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide and Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is a visceral 4-player co-op action game set in the hive city of Tertium. Fight together with your friends against hordes of enemies in this new Warhammer 40K experience. Built on the legacy of Vermintide 2’s highly-praised melee combat, Darktide introduces deep and balanced gunplay to the mix. Master the balance between ranged and melee combat as you fight through a slew of enemies, feeling the impact of each swing of your chainsword or blazing gunfire from your lasgun.
Way to the Woods – 2021
A Deer and Fawn must embark on a journey through an abandoned world of the unknown to get home. A third person adventure game solo developed by Anthony Tan, featuring music from Aivi & Surasshu, composers for the show Steven Universe. Unravel the mystery of Cat Town, evade a hounding pack of wolves, and find your light to explore a world filled with the relics of the old gods: humanity.
The Wild at Heart – 2021
Take command of a magical swarm of curious creatures in this story-rich, action-adventure game about childhood escapism. Battle precarious wildlife and supernatural foes, construct and craft new pathways, and discover the secrets of aunique and sequestered world rich with centuries full of lore. Woods, caves, coastline, ancient shrines… The Deep Woods is full of puzzles to be solved and secrets waiting to be uncovered.
The Yakuza Remastered Collection – January 28 / Yakuza 6: The Song of Life – March 25
These ones aren’t technically exclusive, but it’s the first time these games are coming to Xbox and Xbox Game Pass, so we’re pretty excited. The Yakuza games have been making a big splash on Xbox recently, especially once the most recent titles hit Xbox Game Pass last year, and the critically acclaimed Yakuza Like a Dragon launched alongside Xbox Series X|S. Later this month, The Yakuza Remastered Collection, which gathers Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5 will land on Xbox Game Pass. Then, in March, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will be added to the service, completing the Kazuma Kiryu story arc of the Yakuza saga. This means that fans will finally be able to play the entire saga of The Dragon of Dojima, from Yakuza 0 to Yakuza 6, with one Xbox Game Pass subscription!