Heading into its second full year, the Xbox Series X|S looks ready for a slew of games to join their already impressive roster in 2022. There are exciting exclusives, long-awaited sequels and more in store for the next twelve months on Microsoft’s flagship console. With so much coming up, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of what exactly to expect throughout the next twelve months.
It’s worth noting that all these games are poised to release in the next year, but delays are more common than ever, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see one or two of these titles pushed further back. With that said, these are our top picks for the most hyped Xbox games arriving in 2022.
Bethesda launches their first new franchise in over 25 years with Starfield, their upcoming outer-space action RPG game. Described by director Todd Howard as ‘Skyrim in space’, players are eagerly awaiting a new experience from the company well known for making some of the best expansive open-world RPG games in recent history.
While there’s still a while to wait for the November 11th launch date, Starfield is bound to be one of the biggest releases in the next year. If previous successes are anything to go by, we expect Bethesda to land themselves on multiple Game of the Year lists for their first foray into sci-fi.
One of next year’s most anticipated games across nearly all platforms, Elden Ring is an unavoidable inclusion in this list. From the minds of Souls series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and writer of Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin, this title looks to create a massive RPG experience with an engaging narrative at its core. The recent Beta was so popular that online scalpers took to selling access codes for extortionate amounts online, so it’s fair to say that hype train is steaming into 2022 for this one.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
This spin-off of Rainbow Six Siege, Extraction, sees returning operators go from dealing with domestic threats to galactic ones in a fight to save the world from an invading alien race. Coming off the back of the massive success of Rainbow Six games in the last half a decade, this title promises an exhilarating twist on the now well-known formula. It’s also one of the earliest launching Xbox games in 2022, with a release date set for January 20th.
Move over Harry Potter. You’re the hero in this long-awaited addition to the Wizarding World. The scope of Hogwarts Legacy looks to be truly awe-inspiring, with the developer recently having shown off a little more of the magical environments. You can expect everything from potion making to dragon taming in this open-world RPG set years before the boy who lived set foot on the grounds of the world’s most famous wizarding school.
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Hogwarts isn’t the only much-loved fantasy world to bring players back in 2022. Middle Earth invites you once again, but this time as the famous Hobbit botherer himself, Gollum. Set before the events of The Lord of the Rings, in this action-adventure, you’ll get to experience the character’s journeys as never before seen in the films, as he traipses across the vast landscape in search for his precious.
From what we’ve seen in a recent gameplay trailer, we’re most looking forward to the visual variation in the many lands across Middle Earth. Previous Lord of the Ring games always have had excellent playability but have often been a little greyer and darker than we’d have liked. This time around, though, it looks like J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy world has been realised to a level never before seen in any of the series’ video game imaginings.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
Senua returns in a follow-up to one of 2018’s most surprising hits with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. The original had an intriguing design, innovative gameplay mechanics, and stellar storytelling, and we’re hoping that another helping is on its way with this sequel.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the second title in the series except that it sees Senua travel to Iceland, and the game has been designed on Unreal Engine 5. Still, we’re pretty optimistic about what those landscapes and technical possibilities might offer the narrative and gameplay experience.
With so many high-intensity triple-A games arriving on Xbox in 2022, Party Animals stands out as looking like one of the following year’s more light-hearted experiences. This physics-based brawler/party game looks set to give Fall Guys and Gang Beasts a run for their money, with its own brand of chaotic online multiplayer. So if you’re looking for a game to cause some havoc at next year’s Christmas party, this might be the one for you.
Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Zombies? Yes. Parkour? Yes. We’re sold. Following on from 2015’s original, Dying Light 2 Stay Human promises an even more action-packed world of the undead, finally releasing next year. Picking up 20 years after the end of the first title, players must make the most of daylight as they battle new and old types of undead enemies in a battle to try and save humanity. With a whole host of ways to adventure the open world and weapons to employ, we can’t wait to run for our lives all over again.
From the mind that gave us indie game-changers Limbo and Inside, we’ll be treated to another introspective adventure exclusively for Microsoft consoles in 2022. Somerville sees you take control of a small family trying to find safety in a post-apocalyptic world, with mom, dad, and the dog all included as playable characters.
The most recent trailer shown at 2021’s Game Awards didn’t give too much about the game away but did introduce players to the atmospheric game world they’ll be thrust into on launch. Following the runaway success of other games under the watchful eye of producer Dino Patti, this indie might be the one to challenge some of its triple-A rivals heading into awards season next year.
In this new RPG of epic proportions, players will find a fantasy world of warring factions and monsters. While we’re still waiting for concrete news concerning the next Elder Scrolls game, Obsidian Entertainment seems eager to challenge Bethesda with its own first-person fantasy adventure, Avowed. We still know very little about the game, but if it can pull off its premise, it might just be one of the dark horse games on Xbox in 2022.
Those are our definitive picks for the most anticipated Xbox Series X|S games in 2022. We’ve also made lists for upcoming Nintendo Switch releases, as well as those on the PS5, so check those out if you’re a multi-platform gamer. Or, if you’re looking for something to play in the meantime, see our round-up of must-play games currently available on Xbox Games Pass.