It’s an excellent time to own an Xbox One. And if you don’t have one yet, the upcoming release of the Xbox Series X is the best opportunity for newcomers to join in at an affordable price. Whether you’re new to the party or you’ve had your gamertag since the days of Halo 2, we Xbox fanboys have got a slew of exciting releases and long-awaited games on our horizon. To ensure we’re all on the same page, let’s take a look at the best upcoming Xbox games between the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X. Prepare your wallets…

PART I: Best Upcoming Xbox One Games

Has it really been seven years since the Xbox One launched? Is this what it’s like to be old? 

Despite the looming page of history turning to the chapter of the Xbox Series X, the Xbox One won’t be riding off into the sunset just yet. Microsoft has expressed a commitment to “cross-compatibility” and “cross-buy” between consoles — meaning that games made for the Xbox Series X are likely to receive a remastered version for the Xbox One, and vice-versa. In other words, we’ve got Xbox One and Xbox Series X games to show you.

For these first few games, let’s check out the best upcoming Xbox One games that we know for sure will make it to the 8th gen console.

1. Cyberpunk 2077

Release Date: November 19th, 2020

The masterminds behind The Witcher series have foreseen the near future. And it’s filled with cybernetics, neon signs, and guns. Lots of guns. 

Oh, and Keanu Reeves too. 

Cyberpunk 2077 is set to be the definitive cyberpunk flavored open-world RPG. It’s got everything fans of the genre could hope for: a bleak, dystopian future, populated with rebellious hackers resisting an authoritarian bureaucracy. And despite the crushing hand of megacorporations, every citizen openly carries firearms — because if you run into trouble amid the rat nests of streets and dingy alleys, no one is coming to save you.

The game boasts branching storylines, a robust character customization system, and more biomechanical augmentations than you can shake a steel-plated fist at. Upgrade your weapons, download improved hacking skills, and become superhuman in your quest to rise above the muck and mire. 

And CD Projekt Red is at the helm. Need I say more? 

The Xbox Series X version will be releasing at some point in 2021. But if you already have an Xbox One, you’re likely as impatient as I am to start prowling the streets of Night City. Come November 19th, it’s time to wake up. We have a city to burn. 

2. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Release Date: November 17th, 2020

Time to pillage and plunder ye olde England. 

In Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you play as a Viking raider / legendary assassin in the ninth-century. If you’ve played any of the Assassin’s Creed games before now, you know that you’re in for a thick slice of history with a splash of your victim’s blood. But the core game adds more than a few twists this time to spice up the soup. 

Lead a band of bloodthirsty Viking warriors in sieges against the armies and castles of the Saxons. Plundering the unwary brings back memories of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, and the combat promises to be as kinetic and versatile as ever. And the best part? At the end of the day, you can sail home to your own little patch of Viking heaven in the form of a player-grown settlement. Do a little base building, trick out your raiding parties, and generally make merry on the eve of wanton destruction. You can even send your Viking raiders to help your friends for a bonus! 

Whether this is your first Assassin’s Creed or your twenty-second, set sail for glory on November 17th. 

3. Star Wars: Squadrons

Release Date: October 2nd, 2020

When I was young, I was a big fan of games like Descent, Mechwarrior, and Red Baron. The common thread? All of them were better with a joystick. But then Lucasarts released a little game called X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, and everything changed. The chance to live out my wildest Star Wars dreams in my very own A-Wing? I simply couldn’t put it down.

Then there wasn’t another game like it for two decades. It became a bundle of dusty memories deep in my subconscious. A faint hope, lurking, waiting for a new title that could grant me the same thrill. 

Enter Star Wars: Squadrons — time to dust off the ‘ol muscle memory and fly as you’ve never flown before. 

Pilot your favorite starfighters from the Star Wars franchise. Live out epic space battles between X-Wings and Tie Fighters, Star Destroyers, and Republic Corvettes. Join the graceful ballet of green and red laser bolts against the black of space. And play through the campaign as a pilot for either the Rebel Alliance or Galactic Empire — all from your Xbox One. 

If you’re a fan of flight sims or Star Wars, you’re bound to have a blast. And if you found the starfighters in Battlefront 2 to be lacking that certain magic you recall from the films, you might find what you’re looking for here. It launches at the leading edge of the holiday season this year, on October 2nd.

PART II: Best Upcoming Xbox Series X Games

I’ll admit that I’m biased. The last PlayStation I meaningfully gamed on was a PS1. I picked up the first Xbox midway through its life cycle (for Halo, of course), and I’ve only owned Xboxes ever since. And a Gamecube, Wii, and Switch besides — but we all know Nintendo does its own thing while Microsoft and Sony duke it out in the main arena. Did I miss out on some stellar next-gen gaming experiences? Sure. I’m not blind to the quality work put out for the PlayStation.

But Halo. Full stop. And blockbuster franchises like Call of DutyGrand Theft Auto, and others are multiplatform anyway. So in the end, it comes down to taste — wherever your gamerscore or trophies reside, that’s likely the platform you’ll stick with. But haven’t you wondered what it would be like to jump the fence to where the dashboard is greener? 

With the Xbox Series X, we’re as close as ever to seeing a compact and affordable gaming computer purring away in our media centers. We’re not here to talk specs; you can check those out on your own. We’re here to talk games. Specifically, the best upcoming Xbox Series X games. The ones bound to leverage the hardware to its fullest potential while consuming every waking and should-be-sleeping moment of your time. 

4. Halo: Infinite

Release Date: Holiday 2020

I’m not going to do something silly like hold this back until the end. It’s almost time to finish the fight — perhaps for the last time. 

Microsoft has committed an incredible amount of resources to the Halo series. It’s now a sprawling, interconnected web of novels, movies, and miniseries in addition to the games themselves. A science-fiction epic to stand the test of time. The next generation will experience Halo the same way Gen Z and Millennials have Star Wars — and when they reach the end of the protagonist’s journey, what will they find? 

That’s the question on everyone’s minds as we eagerly await more details on the gateway game between Master Chief’s solo story and the rest of the Halo universe. The choice to do away with the numbers was deliberate and calculated on the part of 343 Industries. Regardless of what happens, after this, Halo will never be the same. In the absence of gameplay footage or additional details, there are more questions than answers in fans’ minds. 

But we do know a few things: the shiny new Slipspace engine will power the game, there’s bound to be incredible multiplayer and co-op, and we’ll kick-off an entirely new generation of gaming in style with the Chief.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

5. Starfield

Release Date: 2021

If you’re eager to blaze a trail through the stars, Starfield should be on your radar. 

For all their “quirks,” every Bethesda game has a certain irresistible charm. They wear their aspirations on their sleeve. And you know what? Sometimes you really can climb that mountain. 

Jokes aside, stepping away from the fantasy trappings of The Elder Scrolls for a spacefaring adventure is a welcome breath of fresh air. Like Halo: Infinite, we have more questions than answers at this point in Starfield’s development cycle. The teaser boasts appropriately ethereal and brass-heavy music, coupled with a planetary sunrise straight out of Mass Effect’s playbook. It’s immediately enticing, and bound to be a game to devour (and occasionally groan at) once it releases for the Xbox Series X. When it comes to the best upcoming Xbox games 2021, Starfield should be at the top of your list. 

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