The best upcoming Xbox One games for 2018 and beyond


Release date: 2018

Genre: Horror  

What is it? Gore. So much gore, in a horror game from Madmind Studio

What to look out for: Resident Evil 7 has already set a high bar for grotesque horror in 2017, but from the looks of it, Agony is going to make it look positively tame by comparison. Where do we start? The flesh staircase? The stained glass windows replacing the  glass with mauled human corpses? The ravenous, skin-eating demons? When it comes to depicting a martyr's journey through the classic Catholic conception of hell as a first-person adventure, Agony goes for the gusto. Anyone who's ever wished for a version of Doom that looked like it was conceived by 1985 Clive Barker, this is the game for you.

Metro Exodus

Release date: 2018   

Genre: FPS / action-adventure 

What is it? A return to the notoriously difficult wasteland of Metro, with the low-tech combat and grueling survival management that the previous games are famous for. 

What to look out for: Revisiting the Russian wasteland, Metro Exodus looks remarkably colourful for a post-apocalyptic game, but the creatures look just as deadly as before. If the previous games are anything to go by, we're in for a well-written treat, rife with studies of human survival and tense combat. Details about the story elements are few and far between at the moment, but the train that rampaged its way through the end of the trailer might suggest that you'll be travelling around Russia on the railroad for some of the game.  

Kingdom Hearts 3

Release date: 2018

Genre: Action-RPG

What is it? The long awaited next chapter in Disney and Square Enix's absurdly charming, long-running RPG collaboration.

What to look out for: If you think the wait for Final Fantasy 15 is bad, the time spent anticipating Sora and Mickey's latest quest is downright agonising. We've waited for this direct sequel for seven years, through an entire console generation, sifting through portable game after portable game to finally get our bone. The lore is jumbled and messy, and the direction of the new game is nigh impossible to predict, but one fact remains: Kingdom Hearts 3 is real, and it is coming. Hard facts are somewhat scarce, but we know Sora picks up another Master's keyblade on Destiny Island, three-character parties return, while different worlds have their own Keyblade transformations - like the sword morphing into a rocket launcher. Bosses also give Sora the chance to use Attraction Flow summons, a set of finishers that sound like exhausting Disneyland rides. We hope Scar returns so we can fire some 'Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters' into his furry face. 

Cyberpunk 2077

Release date: TBD

Genre: RPG

What is it? The Witcher meets Deus Ex in a sci-fi RPG where advanced technology has both cured and cursed humanity.

What to look out for: And you thought The Witcher was big. CD Projekt RED has already confirmed that its next game is "far, far bigger" than Geralt's last hurrah, another open-world RPG taken from an unusual source - in this case a pen-and-paper role playing game last heard of a decade ago. Details are short, as you might expect from a game initially announced five years before its release, but we know it takes place in an open world called Night City, where the residents speak a variety of non-English languages. The original Cyberpunk games featured cybernetic augmentations, corp-hacking, high tech weaponry and cool, cool 1980s sunglasses, so expect all of that, and more.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps 

Release date: TBD
Genre: Action-adventure exploration platformer 

What is it? The sequel to one of the Xbox One’s finest – and most unexpected – games to date. 

What to look out for: The original game, Ori and the Blind Forest, immediately stood out among the Xbox One’s indie line-up by being distinctly not much like a stereotypical Xbox One game at all. Delicate, atmospheric, lushly presented, and dripping with dreamlike whimsy, Moon Studios’ iteration on the exploring, platforming, ability-growing model cemented by Metroid is executed with almost enough charm to be a Nintendo game itself. We don’t know a huge amount about the sequel yet – all we’ve seen is an announcement trailer at Microsoft’s  E3 2017 press conference – but we do know that it will take Ori beyond the first game’s titular tree village, and out to investigate larger mysteries in the wider world. 

Beyond Good & Evil 2 

Release date: TBD

Genre: Action-adventure, space exploration    

What is it? The long (looooooong) awaited prequel to the last-last-gen classic. 

What to look out for: Space monkeys. A vast sector of the universe to explore with your ever-expanding ship crew. Gameplay that scales from ground-level, action-adventure to full-scale, interstellar flight. A densely textured, philosophically fuelled civilisation that explores slavery, control, genetic engineering, cultural cross-pollination, and all the long-term, spiralling knock-on effects that come with that. It might have taken the best part of 15 years to appear, but Michel Ancel’s follow-up looks so, so much grander, more exciting, and more thoughtful than we ever imagined it could be. 


Release date: TBC

Genre: Survival / action 

What is it? An undead open-world survival sim where your fellow opportunistic humans pose more threat than the undead hordes.  

What to look out for: DayZ may never be truly finished, so the idea of having an actual full-game release date for its incoming console version is almost laughable - but we at least know it's heading to Xbox One at some point, continuing its slow metamorphosis from Arma mod to world's premier survival experience.  You join a server covered in bloodthirsty zombies and, usually, even more bloodthirsty human players, then attempt to live for as long as possible. Scavenge, build, ambush, run, feel very, very bad about our species. All in a day's work. Right now, the priority for Bohemia Interactive seems to be on finally getting the game of out Steam Early Access and working on the PS4 version, so you should probably make your delicious braaaaains concentrate on other upcoming Xbox One games for the time being.


Release date: TBC

Genre: Action-RPG   

What is it? Dark Souls meets Limbo, in a world where anyone can be a friend.  

What to look out for: One of the most visually distinctive upcoming indie Xbox exclusives, Ashen’s dark, shadow-draped world is a brutally unforgiving place. Filled with deadly monster and deep, gloomy dungeons only carefully curated gear, a thoughtful approach to combat, and a healthy dose of self-preservation will get you through, it does, however, have one specific ray of light. A friendly – and clever – approach to co-op. Some of Ashen’s dungeons can only be unlocked by two players working in unison, but there’s no painting of signs, ringing of bells, or periods of indefinite waiting for a partner. The game will simply buddy you up with someone, who will then take on the role of a nearby NPC, Quantum Leap-style. What we’ve seen of Ashen’s combat already looks gratifyingly tactical and methodical, and that situation should only exacerbate once multiple players are involved.