The upcoming Xbox One games for 2016 and beyond

Xbox One has, slowly but surely, rallied to a position of strength over the last year. Thanks to a renewed focus on [whisper it] actual games, a massively improved, streamlined piece of hardware in the Xbox One S, and the humble, focused leadership of Phil Spencer, Microsoft is very much back on track in this console race.

With Kinect a distant dream, it's time to focus on the most exciting upcoming Xbox One Games of 2016 and beyond. Microsoft's investment in killer first-party exclusives is starting to pay off, with the likes of Forza Horizon 3, Gears Of War 4, and Sea of Thieves, while traditional cross-platform hits like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 ensure Xbox One enters the festive season in fine form. Our list of the best upcoming Xbox One games of 2016 is in chronological order, moving deeper into the year as we go. We'll be updating this article regularly, and the next big game you can look forward to is…

Battlefield 1

Release date: October 21
Genre:
First-person shooter

What is it?
A sizeable shakeup for EA's biggest shooter series, which sees the franchise ditch modern times in favour of WWI battles.

What to look out for:
Ok, so this launched a few days ago, but is worth re-surfacing. After detours into cops-vs-robbers and Star Wars, Battlefield 1 is getting back to the series' roots. The latest entry is set in World War I, which means out go the police tazers and pepper spray, and in come cavalry charges, bayonets, flame throwers, biplanes and janky tanks. DICE has so far presented a gritty, guttural experience of the trenches, yet the focus on America's part in the conflict, specifically the Harlem Hell Fighters contribution, should offer a perspective that's never been told in a war game before.

The multiplayer looks set to be a phenomenon too, with over 13 million players logging into the recent beta. If DICE and EA can avoid the server issues that have plagued the series' past, Battlefield 1's eight distinct classes, more open maps, vehicular mayhem and peerless brand of seesawing skirmishes should ensure it's the online game to beat this Christmas. 

Titanfall 2

Release date: October 28
Genre:
First-person shooter

What is it?
A frantic multiplayer blaster where teams of soldiers pilot giant mechs and pummel the robotic snot out of each other.

What to look out for:
The first Titanfall was not the commercial success Respawn wanted it to be, which may explain why Titanfall 2 feels like such a radical shakeup. While the changes seen in the recent tech test may have angered fans of the original, you can't say the mech murder-'em-up isn't afraid to change its formula. To counter-balance the new grapple hook that lets you yank pilots street-sized distances in a blink, the default movement speed has been slowed to make shootouts less twitchy. The headline giant bots have also been tweaked; now they're rewarded to players who complete objectives, rather than simply respawning on a timer.

Oh, and there's a story too. You may not have asked for more plot from your giant robot-on-robot shooter, but Respawn is making a campaign that combines linear narrative-driven sequences with more traditional open-ended battles. Some of the tweaks are controversial, but there's no denying Titanfall 2 will stand out from the shooter crowd.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Release date: November 4
Genre:
First-person shooter

What is it?
The biggest games franchise on Earth leaves terra firma behind as it blasts off towards space shootouts.

What to look out for:
Shooting! In! Spaaaaace! Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is committing to a futuristic setting, and so far the trailer is promising players everything from spaceships to jetpacks. Other than honing in on the intergalactic theme, Infinite Warfare looks like it's retreading well-worn ground. That said, the addition of Jon Snow actor Kit Harrington should spice up the plot, while punchy UFC badass Conor McGregor could make for quite the intimidating henchman.

For those who want a stroll down shooter memory lane, the special editions of Infinite Warfare come with the long-awaited Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, which include both the breakthrough campaign and the beloved multiplayer of the Captain Price classic. Just try to look shocked when that nuke bit happens again, alright? 

Dishonored 2

Release Date: November 11
Genre:
Stealth

What is it?
The sneaky sequel to 2012's best new IP puts you back in control of everyone's favourite teleporting hitman.

What to look out for:
The supernaturally powered master assassin, Corvo Attano, is back, ready to feed guards to hordes of rats and make enemies shoot themselves in the face, via Dishonored 2. More than a decade after the events of the first game, Corvo has taken the young Empress Emily Kaldwin under his wing, after she's dethroned. In order to defeat the usurpers, Corvo and Emily team up as the contract killer instructs his new protege in the arts of sneaky-sneak, stabby-stab.

Players will have the option to play as either Emily or Corvo, with each character having separate powers at their disposal. You can expect Corvo to use his classic blink, telekinetic, and mind control abilities, but Emily's powers appear to be completely new. She seems to be able to transform into an ink-y shadow-like form that can, more than likely, dismember enemies in brutal fashion.

Final Fantasy 15

Release date: November 29
Genre:
JRPG

What is it?
The much delayed, sinfully pretty latest entry for the most legendary RPG series on the planet.

What to look out for:
Despite being delayed roughly 143 times, Final Fantasy 15 is looking goooood. The September release date looked locked down, but Square Enix recently decided to push Prince Noctis and his boy band wannabe chums' JRPG back until late November, to avoid releasing an overly hefty day-one patch.

September's Tokyo Game Show wheeled out an impressive 30 minute demo that once again emphasised just how darn sumptuous the game's art design is. Still, it's a little too early to say whether the series' new Active Cross Battle system will please diehard fans of traditional turn-based scraps. Whether the combat proves divisive or not, we just want Square to finally push FF XV out the door, because we're beyond ready to indulge in a unashamedly campy road trip around the gloriously verdant landscapes of Eos. 

Steep

Release Date: December 2
Genre:
Extreme sports

What is it?
A snowy extreme sports sandbox where you can ski, snowboard and act like a flying rodent to your heart's content.

What to expect:
This game is for all the thrill seekers out there. In Steep, you have an entire mountain range open for you to explore as you see fit, and what better way to see the sights than while performing death-defying stunts? You can strap on a snowboard to carve a path down the slopes (or ski if that's your thing), put on a wingsuit and pretend to be a giant flying squirrel, or paraglide hundreds of feet off the ground.

The entire open world can also be shared with other players online, so you can take on course challenges and record extreme trick videos in coordination with your friends on the mountain. Open-world action sports games are a relatively fresh concept, so it's definitely going to be interesting to see how the gaming community takes to the new sense of freedom.

Dead Rising 4

Release Date: December 6
Genre:
Sandbox

What is it?
The fourth entry in Capcom's zombie-eviscerating open-world series brings its original leading man back to the undead fore.

What do look out for:
What do you get the photojournalist who has everything for Christmas? Why, another comically dark zombie outbreak, of course. Frank West returns from the original game in Dead Rising 4, as he revisits Willamette, Colorado during Kris Kringle's favourite season.

Undead Santa appears to be stuffing the gift of meandering freedom inside his stack, as the series' divisive timers have been stripped out, allowing Frank to mow the zombie hordes down at his leisure. Speaking of which, there are more decomposing coffin-dodgers on-screen than ever before, while Dead Rising's absurdly charming irreverence is sure to return. West can also take wacky selfies thanks to his cell phone, perfect for those moments you're decapitating the undead with a candy cane crossbow. To further spread that festive Microsoft cheer, the publisher has confirmed Dead Rising 4 will be a console-exclusive on Xbox One for a full year.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paid maker of words, goes by many names: Meiksy… Macklespammer… Big Hungry Joe. Obsessive fan of Metal Gear Solid, Nathan Drake's digital pecks and Dino Crisis 2. Loves Jurassic Park so much, may burst at any moment.

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