At E3, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer proudly declared 2015 as having the strongest lineup in Xbox history. With heavy hitters released such as Forza Motorsport 6, Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and more, it’s a claim that’s hard to argue with.
Moreover, Microsoft also claims that 2016 will be even bigger for Xbox. As we look ahead to the biggest games that are in store for Xbox gamers next year, it becomes apparent that the execs at Xbox aren’t just blowing smoke. These five games in particular have caught our eye as Xbox One exclusives that have the most potential.
Crackdown 3 had been rumored for the Xbox One since the console’s unveiling, and when Microsoft finally released the first footage of the game, fans were not disappointed. After a second entry that was met with lukewarm critical reception, Crackdown 3 is poised to put the young franchise back on track with a focus on co-op, multiplayer, and 100% destructible environments.
After Microsoft acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise, The Coalition (formerly known as Black Tusk Studios) quickly went to work on a fifth entry in the critically-acclaimed series. E3 2015 saw a stunning gameplay reveal of Gears of War 4, which is looking to bring back the grimmer horror elements and 2-player co-op that helped make the original such a hit in the first place.
The people behind hit games such as Alan Wake and Max Payne are set to release what is possibly their most ambitious project yet with Quantum Break. Quantum Break is looking to combine gaming and television in a big way, boasting a star-studded cast that includes Shawn Ashmore from X-Men, along with actors from shows such as Game of Thrones and The Wire. After a number of delays, Quantum Break is finally set to release for the Xbox One on April 5th, 2016.
As is the case with Quantum Break, one of the biggest Xbox One exclusives coming next year is from a third-party studio. Platinum Games is developing a new action RPG called Scalebound, which will allow gamers to take the skies on the backs of dragons, and battle enemies with the help of friends in 4-player co-op. Scalebound‘s Gamescom 2015 trailer impressed many, and hopefully Platinum Games can stick the landing when the game releases next year.
After years of remastering their classic games, working on Kinect-only titles, and making Avatars, Rare is finally back with their biggest game since 2008. The game in question, Sea of Thieves, will allow players to carve out their own unique tales on the high seas with friends in a pirate-themed multiplayer adventure. Fans responded well to the E3 2015 Sea of Thieves trailer, so hopefully we see more of Rare’s next game sooner rather than later.
As these five games illustrate, 2016 is shaping up to be another banner year for the Xbox One. While the system definitely had a rocky start thanks to a very misguided E3 2013 presentation, it now has a fairly extensive library of quality games, and many more are on the way. If the five games listed here all manage to avoid delay and live up to the hype, then 2016 could possibly be the best year for Xbox One to date.
Which Xbox One exclusives are you looking forward to next year? Are you interested in other games not listed here, such as Keiji Inafune’s ReCore? Are you looking forward to some of the console exclusive indie titles hitting Xbox One next year, like Below and Cuphead? Sound off in the comments below and talk with us about all the exciting games coming to Xbox One in 2016.