Microsoft has so many games in development, Xbox Game Studios is a force that powers Xbox Game Pass. You would think that this would stop Microsoft from investing in third party studios but many of 2021’s exclusive experiences on Xbox are from Xbox Publishing. Here is a look at what 2021 will bring!
There is a lot still missing for 2021, Microsoft confirmed this a few days ago. It also remains to be seen which of the heavy announced hitters will release in 2021. I think it is safe to say that Hellblade 2, Fable, Avowed, Everwild, Perfect Dark, or State of Decay 3 will be for later but what about the Forza franchise or Starfield? One thing is clear, Xbox is unleashed! Never before have so many games been announced, never before did Xbox have 23 creative exclusive studios, it is a great time to be an Xbox gamer. 2021 is rock-solid and I can’t wait to play the games on this list.
Did we miss one? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter and I will update this list.
(Xbox Series X|S) The Medium, January starts great with Bloober Team’s The Medium. a psychological horror game that features two worlds at the same time. It was actually first announced in 2012 but was put on hold to wait for better technology. The supernatural gameplay promises to be original and impressive, giving Xbox Series X|S a perfect start in 2021. (Xbox game Pass)
(Xbox One (?) Xbox Series X|S) Halo Infinite, The reveal could have been better. That’s the least you could say. however, this is without a doubt the biggest Xbox exclusive from 2021 and maybe even for the Xbox generation. A lot is happening around Halo and having a totally free-to-play online mode confirms that they are aiming for a big return. This will lure millions of Xbox gamers, let’s hope that the return of Master Chief will be a great one. (Xbox Game Pass)
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) The Ascent, Developed by a small team, Ascent looks absolutely stunning. This Diablo-inspired top-down action RPG has destructive environments, cover systems, hacking abilities, and more importantly local and online co-op for four players. (Xbox Game Pass)
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) The Gunk, the makers behind SteamWorld Dig are behind the Gunk and the reveal gameplay was incredible. It was Thunderful themselves who contacted Microsoft to see if they could make a deal to create this tricky game.
(Xbox Series X|S) Scorn, exploring a living structure in a non-linear fashion is what Scorn is about. This horror game looks visually stunning in the lastest gameplay trailer and should be out early 2021. (Xbox game Pass)
(Xbox Series X|S) Flight Simulation, 2021 will finally be the year that console gamers can play Flight Simulation. It will be interesting to see how this will run on Series X|S as the pc visuals are absolutely insane and stunning. (Xbox Game Pass)
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) Echo Generation, you have to investigate mysterious and supernatural events in a turn-based stylized adventure world. The mix between retro pixels and realistic graphics makes Echo Generation a game that stands out.
(Xbox Series X|S) Sable, Originally scheduled for 2019, Sable is finally releasing in 2021. This exploration game focusses completely on puzzle-solving. There is no combat or even a story, it features heavy customizable options to imagine your own story while playing.
(Xbox Series X|S) S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Who saw this coming? S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 being exclusive is one of the best examples that Microsoft is investing a lot of money in Xbox Publishing. This franchise will be the first time it hits Xbox and I’m sure the playerbase will gladly embrace it. (Xbox Game Pass)
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) CrossfireX, after playing the beta recently I was completely hooked for this free-to-play game. Remedy that’s behind the paid single player has my interest as this is one of my favorite developers. (Xbox Game Pass)
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) Tunic, announced on the Xbox stage at Gamescom in 2018 this cute little platfoom game has been on many wishlists. The cute visuals and addictive gameplay makes this an interesting game.
(Xbox Series X|S) Second Extinction, as if battling dinosaurs wasn’t enough, mutated electric raptors or behemoth T-Rexes stand in your way. This 3 player co-op game from Avalanche is another surprising exclusive. (Xbox Game Pass)
(Xbox Series X|S) Bright Memory: Infinite, you can play episode one on Xbox, just called Bright Memory but Infinite is promising to be so much more. This completely remade game adds a full-lenght story, many new sections and interesting gameplay elements.
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) As Dusk Falls, this interactive drama is one of my most anticipated games for 2021. Taking inspiration from Heavy Rain or Until Dawn. Visually it looks a lot like a visual novel with some incredible cutscenes. Not much is known about the story but looking at the trailers it is very promising. (Xbox Game Pass)
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) 12 minutes, Taking place exclusively in an apartment suite it forces the player to play the same 12 minutes loop over and over again to resolve a mystery. Played in top-down perspective this exclusive is one of the more original concepts and on my most anticipated list!
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) Exo one, in this game you investigate an alien signal, it calls itself a surreal exoplanetary exploration game. It comes down to controlling a disc-looking ship, while this won’t be selling a lot of Xbox consoles I am still curious to play this odd-looking game.
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) ExoMecha, A free-to-play FPS battle royale game with mechs. We’re a bit unsure how it is going to turn out but it looks promising.
(Xbox Series X|S) Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, Fight together with your friends against hordes of enemies in this new Warhammer 40,000 experience. We recently saw the gameplay trailer at The Game Awards and the gameplay looks really fun!
(Xbox Series X|S) MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Xbox and mech-games. They have a strong and special relation. The news that Mechwarrior 5 is heading to Xbox was a pretty exciting day for many Xbox gamers, myself included!
(Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) Grounded, this is already a pretty popular game on Xbox Preview. Grounded is releasing in 2021 and has the potential to become the next Sea of Thieves when it comes to monthly active players. It looks incredible and the gameplay is deep and addictive, I am pretty sure this will be a fan-favorite for many Xbox gamers. (Xbox Game Pass)
It is almost scary how much Xbox Game Studios has in development, Xbox has never been this future-proof and with such a diverse game line-up. Beyond 2021 Xbox al ready has ARK 2, Fable, Avowed, Everwild, Hellblade 2, State of Decay 3, Forza Horizon 5, Project Mara and unannounced games from The Coalition, InXile, Compulsion Games, Double Fine and of course the massive acquisition of Bethesda Games.