Top 10 Xbox One Games Confirmed for 2018
Ten reasons for Xbox fans to be hopeful about 2018
This year has been interesting for the Xbox One platform to say the least. On the one hand, fans decried the lack of heavy-hitting Xbox One exclusives — it’s notable that both Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves saw further delays, pushing them both into 2018.
But the situation wasn’t entirely grim. The Xbox One X launched this year, and several developers have been quick to patch games to take advantage of the console’s additional horsepower. While some games are still at their optimum on PS4 Pro, numerous titles are definitely best-experienced on a combination of the Xbox One X and a 4K TV. If you’re interested in a break down of how the Xbox One X compares to PS4 Pro at the moment, I recommend checking out the following Digital Foundry video, which has a great run down:
As well, there were a number of big releases on Xbox One this year, including titles like Forza Motorsport 7 and Cuphead, as well as several other indie exclusives.
And so, as 2017 ends and we start looking to the new year, it’s worth considering what’s on the horizon for Xbox One. It turns out that 2018 is looking pretty good for Xbox One, both in terms of exclusive and multiplatform releases.
Whether you’re an existing Xbox One owner or you’re thinking about buying a shiny new Xbox One X in the new year, here are our top 10 confirmed titles coming out in 2018 for Xbox One (in no particular order).
One thing I should note: games that are released on Xbox One and PC have still been marked as exclusive in this list, as Xbox One will be their only console release.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Developed by Rockstar San Diego
There are inevitably going to be some double-ups with our PlayStation 4 top 10; Red Dead Redemption 2 simply has to be here, though.
The original game was released back in 2010 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and it was a massive hit.
The next title in the series is a prequel to Red Dead Redemption and follows the adventures of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and member of the Dutch van der Linde gang.
Very little is known about the game at this stage, but the two trailers released so far have been dissected to within an inch of their lives by eager gamers. Some possible revelations include the introduction of genuine seasons and weather patterns, as well as the potential for a much, much larger open world than Rockstar has ever delivered before.
I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises to come; Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t actually very far off, either. It’s due to be released on PS4 and Xbox One in Q2 next year.
State of Decay 2
Developed by Undead Labs
I can’t wait for State of Decay 2. The original game was released on Xbox 360 way back in 2013, and I spent countless hours playing it. The gameplay loop was highly addictive: you are responsible for a group of survivors in a post-zombie-apocalypse world where you can build and develop a base that houses a growing community. The world was enormous (apparently it had around 8 square kilometres of playable area) and it was great fun to balance scavenging for resources with combat, missions, and careful development of your base to provide for the community’s needs.
The sequel is, in a sense, more of the same — only significantly expanded and refined, with an even greater emphasis on player choice as a driver of the plot. Each mission provides several options for resolution, which are further complicated (or enhanced) by the game’s multiplayer component, which allows friends to drop in and out of your game (and, in true State of Decay fashion, if you die in a friend’s game…you die in your own, too; permadeath is still here in a big way).
State of Decay 2 is due for release in Q2 2018.
Jurassic World Evolution
Developed by Frontier Developments
This one might seem like an odd choice for a top 10 list, but I couldn’t resist putting it here because in this case, two things I care about are combined: theme park simulators and Jurassic Park.
What makes this game stand out above other simulators, though? Well, for starters, the talented folks at Frontier Developments are behind this one. This team is responsible for the wonderful Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise, which is one those franchises that I can spend hours and hours tinkering with. Frontier Developments are also experienced with porting titles to Xbox hardware, so I’m hopeful that Jurassic World Evolution will see a solid Xbox One port — it’ll be especially interesting to see what the Xbox One X optimisations are (if any).
Of course, the premise here is simple: build your own Jurassic World theme park. As well as managing the park (and making sure those dinoaurs don’t escape and maul the guests), you’ll also be able to develop your own creatures and develop parks across multiple locations (the surrounding islands of the fictional Muertes Archipelago will be playabe).
Jurassic World Evolution is due for release in Q2/Q3 2018.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Developed by Moon Studios
Ori and the Blind Forest is one of my favourite games in recent memory. Frankly, it’s one of the main reasons why I picked up an Xbox One to begin with. Developed by Moon Studios, Ori and the Blind Forest is breathtakingly beautiful Metroidvania-style game with jaw-dropping art design and one of the most incredible soundtracks I’ve heard in a game in years.
It’s no surprise, then, that the sequel — Ori and the Will of the Wisps — is on my top 10 list for Xbox One in 2018.
In Will of the Wisps, you’ll take control of Ori again, along with Sein (a white guardian spirit known as the “light and eyes” of the Forests’s Spirit Tree) — as with the original game, you’ll be doing plenty of platforming and exploration through stunning landscapes to progress. Most interestingly, Moon Studios says that “Will of the Wisps should be to Blind Forest what Super Mario Bros. 3 was to the original Super Mario Bros.”. I can’t wait.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is expected to be released sometime in 2018.
Sea of Thieves
Developed by Rare
Here’s a game that feels like it’s been in development forever. First announced way back in June 2015, Rare’s Sea of Thieves has been a long wait, but all indications so far suggest that it’ll be well worth that long wait when it’s finally released.
The fundamental premise of Sea of Thieves is fairly straightforward, but its wide scope and open-ended nature are likely to make for an exciting and varied experience for each player. Sea of Thieves is essentially an open-world universe where groups of players explore the world via pirate ships; it’s a shared-world experience, which means that many groups of players are likely to encounter each other on their travels. As well, navigating your pirate ship is an exercise in team work itself; each player will assume different roles on the ship and will be responsible for different aspects (for example, hoisting sales, navigating, and firing cannons are all separate duties).
Sea of Thieves is due for release on 20th March 2018.
The Last Night
Developed by Odd Tales
This title was first revealed at Microsoft’s E3 2017 presentation, and it immediately caught my attention. The art design is incredible, with a sophisticated blend of 2D pixel art and 3D environments.
In terms of gameplay, The Last Night is fundamentally a “cinematic platformer”, although we don’t really know much more than that right now. The protagonist, Charlie, lives in a cyberpunk-style futuristic society where technology of various kinds has taken over all menial work, apparently leaving a large contingent of the population to a lower-class existence. We know that Charlie can speak with NPCs and engage in combat — it also looks like stealth may factor heavily into the experience, too.
Hopefully this game turns out to be as great as the trailer suggests (and I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to seeing this game in native 4K on Xbox One X).
The Last Night is due for release sometime in 2018.
Monster Hunter: World
Developed by Capcom
I have to admit that my sole experience with the legendary Monster Hunter series is the recent playable demo for Monster Hunter: World. I’ve never particularly had interest in the franchise, but Monster Hunter: World definitely has my attention. Perhaps it will attract many new fans to the series? Time will tell.
In any case, Monster Hunter: World is an open-world action role-playing game where, fundamentally, you are tasked with hunting and then killing or capturing a wide variety of creatures for research purposes. What’s fascinating is that tracking and taking down each creature is both an exercise in careful strategy as well as raw combat. You have to pay great attention to the clothing you wear and the equipment you take with you on the hunt, as well as the kind of bait and tools you might need to use (depending on the creature, and the terrain as well).
What I find really cool here is that the world is incredibly dynamic — it features a realistic day/night cycle and a dynamic weather cycle, which itself influences the behaviour of the various creatures you are hunting, and which can significantly turn the tide of combat, as well. Environments are destructible to a degree, which means that you can break some walls to open up new pathways, and you might even find that water from one area will flood another area after you break a barrier — this might wash creatures from one area to another, or might provide a handy escape route.
Finally, you can play with up to four players cooperatively, which I’m pretty excited about.
Monster Hunter: World is coming soon, too; it’s due for release on January 26th, 2018.
Developed by BioWare
Here’s another big game that was revealed at E3 2017. This game has already apparently been controversial for some in the BioWare community, in part because it doesn’t appear to be the single-player, story-driven experience that many fans expect from BioWare games. There are even suggestions that some of the most talented BioWare Montreal developers were pulled off Mass Effect: Andromeda to work on Anthem, leading to the idea that “Anthem killed Mass Effect: Andromeda”.
In any case, I’m not prepared to be that melodramatic, largely because Anthemlooks fantastic. It promises a lot, too: a massive, seamless world that is “shared” with many other players in real-time. The idea is that you could easily see other people — even squads of other players — exploring the world around you. Of course, you can create your own squads, and your friends can seamlessly join your game at any time.
Anthem looks to me like a combination of Mass Effect, Destiny and The Division, which sounds pretty intriguing. At this stage, not very much is known about it though — you play as a Freelancer who occupies an exosuit called a Javelin, which enables you to explore (and fight) on hostile worlds.
I have high hopes for this one. But we’ll be waiting a while; Anthem is currently slated for release in Q4 2018 — but I won’t be holding my breath, and I won’t be surprised if it slips into 2019.
Developed by Sumo Digital, Reagent Games, Ruffian Games, and Cloudgine
Speaking of never-ending development cycles, Crackdown 3 seems to have been in some form of development hell for a while — it was first debuted at E3 in 2014 and is still in development.
When you consider the technology behind the game though, its long development cycle doesn’t seem so surprising; it leverages technology created by a company called Cloudgine, which specialises in allowing game developers to take advantage of cloud computing features to enhance their games. In Crackdown 3’s case, Microsoft Azure is being used to facilitate a powerful destruction engine that apparently enables “everything” in the game world to be destroyed — this is significant, given the massive size and scale of the cities in Crackdown 3.
From a gameplay standpoint, the most enticing aspect here is the ability to drop a large number of players into a huge city and watch the sparks fly. It’s simple, but if the developers get it right, Crackdown 3 could be a major demonstration of next-generation cloud technology powering game systems that were simply never possible before.
Crackdown 3 is due for release sometime in 2018.
Developed by Capybara Games
Given that long development cycles have been a running theme of this article, it seems fitting that I’m ending with Below, which was first announced at Microsoft’s E3 2013 event. It’s worth noting that while the game may be released in 2018, it has apparently been indefinitely delayed due to developer Capybara Games focusing on OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes for Cartoon Network.
Nevertheless, I want to feature Below here because I still find it intriguing, and I’m hoping to hear more news about it next year.
Below is a roguelike adventure game viewed from a top-down perspective. All environments are randomly generated, and your focus is squarely on survival — this game is intentionally difficult, and features tough combat and permadeath. Thankfully, Capybara plans to include a multiplayer mode of some sort, so I’m hopeful that cooperative play will be an option here.
As with my other top 10 lists, there are a number of games that didn’t make the cut that I’m still looking forward to. I’m keen to play System Shock 2 Remastered, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Metal Gear Survive, and Owlboy just to name a few.
In this case though, I’m most keen to see what kinds of Xbox One X-specific enhancements we might see for some of these games. When it comes to multiplatform titles released in 2018, Xbox One X may occasionally be the best way to experience those games, and that is certainly likely to influence which versions people buy.
Thanks for reading, I hope you liked our list; if you have any other suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments below.