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The Xbox Series X games we're most excited about

(Image credit: Xbox/YouTube)

Xbox revealed more than a dozen new games for Xbox Series X at its games showcase event on Thursday. It kicked things off with 8 minutes of Halo Infinite gameplay consisting of a Warthog ride, Master Chief's cool new grappling hook tool, some gorgeous scenery and nasty Banished enemies, including the Brute boss Escharum.  

While Halo Infinite gave us one of our few looks at actual Xbox Series X gameplay (although it was technically run on PC), there were plenty of other highlights. Those include cinematic trailers for the new Forza Motorsport, Avowed and State of Decay 3. We also got a teaser for Fable, a new DLC for Destiny 2 and tidbits about Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2.

But which of the games shown at Xbox's Series X showcase is the Laptop Mag staff most excited about? As we did after the PS5 games event, we've put together our list of the Xbox Series X games we're looking forward to the most.

Phillip Tracy, editor

Halo Infinite

No surprise here, the folks at Laptop Mag are pretty stoked about Halo Infinite. What is surprising — and I need you to keep this a secret — is that I've never owned a Halo game before. Sure, I've casually played multiplayer rounds with friends, but I've never stepped into the boots of Master Chief in a Halo campaign. 

With that off my chest, I'm really excited to see what all the fuss is about. And although the reaction from people about the Halo Infinite trailer was mixed, it seems like it'll capture the magic of what made this franchise so popular in the first place.

Forza Motorsport

This is easy: I like racing games and Forza Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 4 are among the best. I could pump the brakes there but Turn 10 deserves some credit for putting together a graphically breathtaking clip. From the reflections of a driver against the door panels of a squeaky-clean supercar to the bolts, tubes, cylinders, and other mechanical doodads in a closeup engine shot, the next Forza appears to take photorealistic graphical fidelity to the next level. 

Sadly, we didn't get to see any gameplay, which is especially disappointing considering the PS5's Gran Turismo gameplay trailer seemed to go on forever. Oh well! I have no doubts that the next Forza Motorsport (whatever it'll be called) will move the already critically-acclaimed franchise up a gear. 

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

I know nothing about Warhammer or the studio behind it, but what I do know is that the trailer for Warhammer 40,000: Darktide looks really cool. A quick search shows that FatShark's games have ranged from unplayable duds (see Escape Dead Island) to well received. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is a sequel to Warhammer: Vermintide 2, the studio's most recent and best-received game set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. 

The gripping trailer for Darktide shows a recon squad of Imperial Guardsman in a dark, crumbling structure. Eerie silence broken only by heavy breathing adds suspense as a narrator gives background about the dreary situation: "We sent a recon squad into sub-level six of the hive to determine the full extent of the unrest." Next is a shot of a soldier holding a bloody wound and a quick view of a badass sci-fi weapon. When the soldiers turned, we got one of the best moments of Xbox's Series X game event: a glimpse at a crowd of zombie-like creatures behind which stands a massive beast. Bring it on.

Rami Tabari, Staff writer 

Avowed

Obsidian Entertainment is finally making an epic first-person RPG that takes some heavy inspiration from Elder Scrolls, which makes sense since Obsidian actually created a well-received Bethesda title: Fallout New Vegas. I’m super hyped to experience an Elder Scrolls-esque game from Obsidian since it’ll likely be better developed than Elder Scrolls VI (sorry not sorry, Bethesda). 

Not only that, but it takes place in the world of Eora, which is the same universe that the Pillars of Eternity franchise takes place in. As an avid fan of Critical Role, it’s entirely possible that the cast of the show, or maybe even their characters, will be in the game. In Pillars of Eternity II, Vox Machina, the main cast of Critical Role’s Campaign 1, were included in the game as playable characters for free. The hype is real for not only Obsidian fans, but also Critical Role fans.

Mohammad Tabari, Intern 

Fable

After more than a decade of waiting, Fable is finally returning in a reboot of the game’s world. Since Fable 3 wasn’t so great, it’s exciting to see a new studio take a crack at the iconic franchise. Playground Games is famous for its incredible work on the critically acclaimed Forza Horizon series, and although some fans are cautious about it jumping from a racing game to an action RPG, it’s quite clear the company has an incredibly talented staff. 

Most of all, I’m hoping that the freeform nature of the franchise remains intact. With Fable II especially, it often felt like there were dozens of unorthodox paths to take that would lead to surprisingly satisfying outcomes. 

Everwild

Coming off of the continuous success of Sea of Thieves, Rare has been teasing Everwild, a game seemingly focused around exploration and the preservation of nature. Additionally, both trailers showcase a group of four characters traveling together and doing druidic things like commanding the winds and restoring wildlife.

Outside of these minor details, Rare is being very mysterious about what the actual game will play like. As a result of this lack of information, I’m hoping Everwild provides an incredibly magical co-op experience ripe with lovable critters and gorgeous environments to explore, restore and adore.

Sean Riley, Freelance writer  

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2

I have no experience with the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, but the eerie Chernobyl setting caught my attention. Digging a little deeper and discovering that it’s a series that has essentially been on hold for over a decade after three popular releases between 2007 and 2009 has me hooked. Based on the trailer, the new game isn’t making any serious departures from the originals but that won't be a problem given that it will be 12 years since the last game was released.

The game takes place in The Zone, an area around Chernobyl where a lab of scientists conducted experiments with psychic abilities that ultimately lead to disaster and mutations. As a stalker, you are trying to locate valuable artifacts within the Zone, which involves getting past the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a foe that maintains a perimeter around the area to keep people like you out. Previous installments in the series were first-person shooters and we expect the same this time around. The original games were praised for the overall tone and interesting storylines, which certainly comes through in the trailer. This will be the first time the series appears on consoles and I can’t wait to see more. 

Echo Generation

This game was part of the pre-show for the Xbox Series X games event and while, at first glance, it looks like someone made a Stranger Things game, the blocky, Lego game like art style combined with the vibe, synth music and “Hockey smash” attack all sold me on it being something I want to keep tabs on ahead of its launch in 2021.

The game, set in the summer of 1993, has you looking into a mysterious crash site near your hometown that has led to monsters, robots and all manner of creepiness going on. You need to explore and recruit friends from around town to get to the bottom of things and you’ll use a mix of real-time and turn-based combat to deal with any unfriendly encounters.