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Xbox exclusives - playable and new exclusives in 2024

Check out the current list of Xbox exclusives for the Series X|S and Game Pass, including iconic FPS games and epic open-world racers.

Xbox exclusives: An image of a Pal from Palworld and a Constellation member in Starfield.

When it comes to Xbox exclusives, the list is plentiful. Whether it’s racing across a desert in a Ferrari, or discovering alien planets as an intrepid space explorer, there are so many amazing Xbox exclusives to enjoy.

In any discussion about the best Xbox games ever, exclusive franchises like Halo and Forza will always crop up. While having strong exclusives is a great boon for any console owner, Microsoft sweetens the deal even further by making all of its exclusives day-one Xbox Game Pass games. However, throughout 2024, it has been far more willing to strip games like Hi-Fi Rush of their ‘exclusive’ status and release them on rival platforms. So, this guide will let you know which games are still Xbox exclusives right now and give you a look ahead at some of the biggest exclusive new Xbox games on the horizon.

The biggest Xbox exclusives are:

Xbox exclusives: Person floating in Starfield holding a rifle

1. Starfield

The epic intergalactic action RPG from Bethesda.

Space… the final frontier. But even if it is the final frontier, it certainly has a lot to do in it. Starfield is the first new IP from Bethesda Game Studios, known for its incredible RPGs like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, in over 25 years. In Starfield, you’re a normal day-to-day space rock miner when you stumble upon an artifact with a connection to the secrets of the universe, causing you to join the Constellation group in the hopes of discovering the meaning of, well, everything.

Away from the main story and faction quests, there’s plenty to do across this vast galaxy, from building your own base at the best Starfield outpost locations to setting up your perfect Starfield crew to travel the cosmos with you.

Our Starfield review said that “while it has weak spots and doesn’t push many boundaries, Starfield is still an excellent RPG experience”. If you’ve been looking for a great role-playing experience set among the stars, Starfield is the game for you.

Xbox exclusives: Car racing down road in Fall in Forza Horizon 4

2. Forza Horizon 4

The UK-based open-world driving sim from Playground Games.

One of the best Xbox racing games ever, Forza Horizon 4 takes you to the not-so-sunny locale of Great Britain. The Forza Horizon series is the king of open-world racing – so much so that you’ll find yet another Horizon game further down this list – but FH4 has a unique feel and vibe to it thanks to its less-than-exotic (but still stunningly-beautiful) setting.

There’s a lot of freedom, from the cars that you pick, to which challenges you decide to take on. If you prefer street races, drag races, or simply checking out the various points of interest around Forza Horizon 4’s map, developer Playground Games has made sure that everything is enjoyable.

Fortunately, while you will see other players driving across the world, you don’t need to race with others. All of the activities and events, from races to challenges, can be played and enjoyed solo and offline.

Xbox exclusives: Cars driving on a mountainous road in Forza Horzion 5

3. Forza Horizon 5

The latest (and greatest) game in the amazing Forza Horizon series.

Forza Horizon 5 was one of the first big Xbox exclusives of the Series X|S generation, and it really highlights the power of these consoles. In FH5, you’re transported to a fictionalized version of Mexico, which gives you deserts, beaches, jungles, cities, and even a volcano for you to race across.

As well as giving you a larger and more beautiful world to explore compared to its predecessor, Forza Horizon 5 also goes bigger and better when it comes to content. An enormous garage of over 700 vehicles and counting, dozens of activity types ranging from street race championships to stunt jumps, and weekly updates that deliver new cars, challenges, and more. Oh, and there’s a heap of user-generated content as well, ranging from player-designed liveries through to entire custom races.

Back in 2021 when the game launched, we called it “one of the most fun and polished games” of the year in our Forza Horizon 5 review, and that still rings true to this day.

Xbox exclusives: Cars racing on a track in Forza Motorsport

4. Forza Motorsport

The hyper-realistic racing sim in the Forza series.

If you prefer traditional racing, Forza Motorsport is the reboot of the more realism-driven Forza series, dropping the number in the titles in favor of bringing in newcomers. This is the first Forza game that is designed to fully utlilize the power of the Xbox Series X|S, dropping the Xbox One for a current-gen-only experience that makes it one of the best racing games out right now.

Compared to the Forza Horizon series, Forza Motorsport is focused on being a true sim-racing game. Track racing, realistic physics, and enormous depths of customization and tuning is what Motorsport is all about. If you’re looking for a true adrenaline-pumping racing game, Forza Motorsport is your best bet on the Series X|S consoles.

With over 500 cars and plenty of dynamic tracks, which offer various racing layouts and different weather conditions, there’s plenty of variety and content on offer. And don’t worry if you’re not a fan of competitive races, as you can also play with friends with Free Play or blast through loads of single-player content at your own pace and skill level.

Xbox exclusives: Kait and her squard walking in Gears 5

5. Gears 5

The latest third-person shooter in the iconic Gears of War series.

While Gears 5 is the fifth main installment of the Gears of War franchise (why they decided to drop the ‘of War’ part, we’ll never understand), it offers a handy catch-up for newcomers or any fans who have missed out on past games.

For the first time in the series, Gears 5 focuses on its new female lead Kait Diaz, as she learns about her heritage, with her discovering the origins of the Locust Horde that have threatened humanity generations prior.

If you’re a fan of shooters, Gears 5 is a must-play, with a tightly-packed but excellent campaign that’ll keep you hooked for around 10-12 hours. If you love what you play, you can indulge in some amazing multiplayer action too.

Xbox exclusives: Halo Infinite key art

6. Halo: Infinite

The latest Halo game, and the first with open-world gameplay.

The sixth mainline installment in a long-running FPS franchise is a big moment, and Halo: Infinite has nailed it by bringing classic Halo into the modern era. Unlike previous Halo games, Infinite brings an open world to its campaign instead of linear missions. While it certainly felt, initially, like Infinite was rushed out the door in the early days of the Series X|S consoles, its gameplay has been tight as a drum since day one. As The Loadout’s Aaron Down put it in our original Halo Infinite review, “it has done a great job of creating a solid experience for new and returning players alike”.

Despite a rocky start to life though, Halo Infinite is now the best it’s ever been, with plenty of new content, the jaw-dropping Forge mode that lets you make and play custom maps and experiences, and many more refinements and fresh features.

Multiplayer is also free for anyone to jump into, regardless of whether you’re a Game Pass subscriber or not, and we highly recommend giving it a go.

Xbox exclusives: Master Chief walking towards an alien in Master Chief collection

7. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

A fantastic collection of six enhanced Halo games.

For those wanting to either reminisce about the good ol’ days of Halo or catch up on the story before jumping into Infinite, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is made for you. It brings together the first four mainline Halo games, as well as two spin-offs, with updated visuals, gameplay improvements, and more. While The Master Chief Collection is missing Halo 5, it is available separately on Game Pass, so that means every mainline Halo game is available to play on the service.

Playing through the entire Master Chief Collection is an amazing time, as you get to watch over a decade of videogame history and some great Halo storylines unfold before you. You don’t have to experience all of this heavenly Halo action solo either – multiplayer and campaign co-op are also supported. It’s the complete package for one of the best franchises in gaming.

Xbox exclusives: Squad in gears tactics preparing for combat

8. Gears Tactics

A tactical prequel to the beloved Gears of War series.

A prequel to the first game in the series, Gears Tactics takes the iconic shooter and turns it into a turn-based strategy game for Xbox players. The genre may have changed, but the intensity and rush of adrenaline you feel in other Gears games remains here.

While strategy games can feel daunting to get into for a lot of players, Gears Tactics is relatively accessible and is a great way to experience the beloved series in a new way. It’s also a faster-paced and more character-driven experience compared to other strategy games for those who prefer something closer to an action game. And for those new to the genre, you can get a reward for Gears 5 if you give the game a try.

The story takes place years prior to the first game when the Locust Horde first emerged to exterminate humanity. You’ll need to lead a squad of individuals in a broken world, in an attempt to stop a villain who is creating monsters that further threaten what’s left of humankind

Xbox exclusives: Microsoft Flight Simulator plane flying in the sky

9. Microsoft Flight Simulator

A fantastic modern take on the classic Microsoft Flight Simulator series.

While some may not even describe it as a proper ‘game’, everyone should experience Microsoft Flight Simulator, the latest entry into the long-running series which started in the 1980s. If you’ve ever wondered how hard it must be to land a jumbo jet, or if you want to take a flight path over your own home, then this remarkable piece of software lets you do those things and much more.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is incredible, simply because it is a technical marvel. It uses Bing Maps to showcase the world while using Microsoft Azure’s AI to create a simulated representation of Earth. Not only that, but there’s an abundance of details that make it feel like a true aviation simulator, at least for those of us with no experience flying a plane.

xbox exclusives: an image of pals in palworld.

10. Palworld

A bizarre but brilliant Pokémon-like survival game.

Palworld needs to be seen to be believed. You’ve likely heard that Pocketpair’s open-world RPG is essentially ‘Pokémon with guns’ and well, that’s a fair assessment. You’ll be wandering around tropical islands, capturing over 100 different pals, but you won’t just be using them in battle. Once you’ve found your footing, they can help you craft items, mine resources, and maintain your base. It’s a little freaky seeing these often cute creatures forced into doing your dirty work, but that’s part of Palworld’s very odd charm.

Be warned: the game is still technically in early access, and can get a bit ropey when it comes to performance (especially on the Series S, in our experience). However, the lunacy of it all, and it’s genuinely engaging open world, outweigh the bugs and crashes.

With up to 4-player co-op, you can have a blast with your friends too. Better yet, Xbox Game Pass owners can give the Pokémon-adjascent game a blast for free. Alternatively, there’s a free trial to take advantage of too. 

Xbox exclusives: An image of Jack Joyce in Quantum Break.

11. Quantum Break

A third-person shooter with breath-taking time manipulation.

If you’ve played Alan Wake 2 or Control, then you really need to play Quantum Break too. While the legal rights around the game mean it can’t take place in the Remedy Connected Universe, there’s loads of clues that basically suggest it does. Quantum Break is a time-warping third-person shooter, equipped with Remedy’s best-in-class combat and a mind-splitting story to boot. It even has a fully produced TV show to watch alongside it.

You’ll master all sorts of time-related abilities, as protagonist Jack Joyce (portrayed by Shawn Ashmore) attempts to stop the nefarious Monarch Solutions from severely impacting the future. That’s after a time-travel experiment goes wrong, of course. The good news is you can play Quantum Break right now on Xbox Game Pass, so don’t hesitate to give it a go.

Xbox exclusives: A character grinding on a rollercoaster track with rockets flying nearby in Sunset Overdrive.

12. Sunset Overdrive

An incredibly stylish action-adventure game by the one and only Insomniac Games.

That’s right, from the creative minds over at Insomniac, the studio behind superb PS5 exclusives like Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank, comes an exceptional and action-packed adventure. As you might expect from this prestigious developer, Sunset Overdrive is absolutely oozing style, and most importantly, fun gameplay.

From it’s remarkably amusing and over-the-top narrative to its hyper-colorful art style, it’s hard to not have a massive grin on your face when playing. After a new energy drink causes people to turn into zombies, you’ll have to figure out how to save the day, all while causing as much chaos as you can. During gameplay, you’ll zip, dash, grind, and wall-run through Sunset City thanks to its slick and satisfying movement, though this should be no surprise considering how well Insomniac nailed the movement of Spider-Man. As for combat, this is similarly bombastic, giving you access to absurd weaponry, from record disc flingers to massive rocket launchers that work wonders with the movement system and level design.

Seriously, you don’t want to miss out on one of the best Xbox open world games – arguably one of the best open world games of all time. Play Sunset Overdrive and, like us, you’ll be eagerly awaiting a sequel that sadly doesn’t look like it will ever happen.

Xbox exclusives: A camp with a fire in the centre that's been set up in the middle of a forest. A dinosaur-like creature with leaves instead of spines stands next to the camp

13. Valheim

A survival game sensation.

Valheim is yet another excellent exclusive survival game that Xbox players can taunt their PlayStation and Nintendo counterparts with. Playing either solo or in a server with up to nine others, Valheim places you into an enchanting but dangerous procedurally-generated world split into various distinct regions.

Valheim is heavily inspired by Norse mythology, and your customizable character is a Viking that is trying to survive in this afterlife realm to prove they are worthy for the halls of Valhalla. As well as building up a strong defensive base to withstand raids of enemies, each region of has a notorious Valheim boss that needs slaying.

The great thing about Valheim, in our view, is that it’s not heavily-laden with mandatory survival game parameters like hunger, thirst, and tiredness. You’ve got a health bar and a stamina bar, and that’s it. Foraging, hunting, and farming are still required to get food which you can then eat to replenish your health and stamina, but that’s all you need to keep an eye on most of the time. Resources also need to be gathered or mined so that you can build up your base and craft weapons.

Despite being out on PC since 2021 and Xbox consoles since 2023, Valheim is still technically in early access as a ‘Game Preview’. However, there is still a lot of content on offer that will keep you hooked for dozens (maybe even hundreds) of hours.

Xbox exclusives: the tiny Ori stands before a molten temple

14. Ori and the Blind Forest

A heartstring-tugging platforming Metroidvania banger.

Few games perfectly blend the coziness of dense woodland with the challenge of frenetic platforming quite like Ori and the Blind Forest. Moon Studios’ modern classic is a tour de force in 2D sidescrolling design, replete with stunning visuals and an orchestrated soundtrack that will make you feel things you didn’t think you could.

Set in the dying forest of Nibel, tiny spirit guardian Ori must set out on a grand adventure to take down an avian threat and rescue their homeland. Though it’s quite tricky to get down some of the timings at first, once you’re locked in, you’re good to go.

Xbox exclusives: the tiny Ori with a giant green luminous spider

15. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

One of the best Metroidvania sequels ever.

What’s better than Ori and the Blind Forest? The sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest, that’s what. Ori and the Will of the Wisps basically takes everything wonderful in the first game and dials it up to 11, while fixing some of the grumbles players had with its predecessor.

No sooner has Ori saved their forest, but disaster has once again struck the tiny spirit guardian’s home. This time around, Ori mustn’t only seek to fix what is broken, but they’ll also discover their true destiny – riveting stuff. Just do us a favor and keep a few tissues nearby, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Xbox exclusives: a group of animals, including a dinosaur and a unicorn, beating each other up

16. Party Animals

Physics-based party mayhem for all.

CHAOS. DESTRUCTION. DOGE. Wait. What? It’s Party Animals time, baby, and if you’re a fan of physics-based shenanigans (looking at you, Human Fall Flat) but in a more party-based package à la Gang Beasts, then Party Animals is the Xbox exclusive for you.

Across multiple incredibly dangerous arenas, you and your pals must either work for or against each other to be the last one(s) standing in this incredibly fun party pawler – sorry, brawler. What’s even better is you’ll be able to do so while playing as your favorite animal (*cough* otter supremacy *cough*).

Xbox exclusives: Senua looking at the camera, covered in dirt, in Hellblade 2.

17. Hellblade 2

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is a visually stunning psychological action game with haunting horror elements.

2017’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a surprise hit, expertly making use of binaural audio to present the psyche of a Norse woman as she ventured into Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover. Sounds awesome, right?

The long-awaited sequel, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, this time is a much more human tale, as Senua heads to Midgard (Iceland). On a journey to save those fallen victim to tyranny, Senua must overcome the horrors within and without to succeed. Hellblade games are very cinematic and have short run times, but while they’ll never beat the ‘walking simulator’ allegations, you still have testing third-person combat and puzzles to solve as well.

The binarual audio and psychological horror elements from the first game are intensified this time around, as they are paired with even more impressive visuals. Hellblade 2 will certainly go down as one of the best-looking games of this console generation.

Xbox exclusives: A player holding a weapon at the ready and following two characters walking through a dilapidated village in Stalker 2.

18. Stalker 2

Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl is a survival-FPS sequel a decade in the making and arrives this September.

As a long-awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed Stalker, Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl takes survival horror to a new level. Set in the post-apocalyptic Chornobly Exclusion Zone, you’ll get to experience a non-linear story that explores this intriguing location and ultimately decide its fate.

With punchy gunplay and survival aspects, Stalker 2 is set to be a powerful first-person shooter horror game weaving in elements of the immersive sim genre. If you’re looking for a more mature and impactful Fallout, then Stalker 2 should be on your radar.

Check out our Stalker 2 release date to find out exactly when it’s dropping and learn even more details about the game. 

Xbox exclusives: Indiana Jones points at a roughly drawn diagram while talking to a woman

19. Indiana Jones and the Great Circle

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is an action adventure game featuring everyone’s favorite explorer that’s launching in late 2024.

We’re getting a new Indiana Jones game! And it’s Xbox exclusive! Nice. Machine Games, the studio behind the Quake and Wolfenstein series, is set to deliver one of the biggest licensed games of the year. Set between the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, the game’s story will take you to various destinations around the world to understand the Great Circle – a series of places that, when connected together on a map, produce a perfect circle.

The new Indiana Jones game will be mostly first-person (which is to be expected from Machine Games). Puzzle solving, stealth, and combat (which includes some awesome whip action) will all happen from Indi’s perspective, while cutscenes and some traversal segments will have a third-person perspective.

The Great Circle promises to deliver all the thrills you’d want and expect from the movies – except for one. While Indi retains the look of a young Harrison Ford, he won’t be voiced by him – step up videogame voice actor veteran, Troy Baker.

Xbox exclusives: Vin Diesel's character and his daughter riding on the back of a dinosaur in Ark 2.

20. Ark 2

The sequel to one of the most popular survival games ever that’s slated for a late 2024 release.

There’s nothing quite like Ark. Sure, it’s always been rather janky, but being able to tame an army of dinosaurs and wage war on other players is simply too much fun. Well, Ark 2 is expected to offer a much more polished and massively-expanded experience.

Bringing in Fast & Furious actor Vin Diesel, who portrays protagonist Santiago, Ark 2 features an “epoch-spanning adventure” as he sets about protecting his daughter in this dangerous, dinosaur-inhabited world.

Outside of the story mode, we can expect even more of what makes Ark so appealing – dinosaurs and survival mechanics. Movement is receiving a full overhaul with advanced traversal moves like mantling, climbing, parkour, sliding, and swinging. Likewise, combat is getting several big changes that’ll make it feel closer to a third-person Souls like game.

If you want to dig further into this weird dino survival game, keep up with the latest Ark 2 release date information.

Xbox exclusives: The player holding an axe in their right hand and firing a spell from their left at a nearby enemy in Avowed.

21. Avowed

Obsidian’s exciting fantasy RPG that will release towards the end of 2024.

Avowed is an upcoming action RPG by the legendary Obsidian Entertainment, known for the likes of Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity, and The Outer Worlds.

Avowed is being widely described as Obsidian’s spin on Skyrim, and to an extent that’s true. However, it’s really a first-person extension of the universe it already built in Pillars of Eternity. It’s set in the same world of Eora, and more specifically a biologically-diverse area known as the Living Lands. Many of races and other regions that are encountered and talked about in Avowed also come from Pillars lore.

What sets Avowed apart the most though is its combat system. At a glance it looks like your pretty standard first-person RPG affair – swords, shields, parries, you know the vibe. However, with magic spells, firearms, and companions thrown into the mix, it’s a lot deeper than you’d expect.

You can learn more about the upcoming RPG in our Avowed release date guide.

Xbox exclusives: A man with brown-framed glasses looks up with his mouth open

22. Fable

The upcoming reboot of an adored RPG series.

It’s been well over a decade since the last new mainline Fable game, and when a beloved series has been down and out for that long, it calls for one thing: a reboot.

That’s exactly what we’re getting with the new Fable game, which looks to take the series renowned British humor and wit, fantasy landscapes, and RPG mechanics and drag them into the current console generation.

We’re yet to see any gameplay of the new Fable, but the two cinematic trailers we’ve had so far suggest it’s going to look stunning. The game is being developed by Playground Games, the team behind one of the most stunning open-world racing games ever in Forza Horizon 5, so that’s also a very good omen.

Check out more details and keep up to date with the latest news in our Fable release date guide. 

Xbox exclusives: A feminine character wearing a warm coat and beanie in a winter forest from State of Decay 3.

23. State of Decay 3

The upcoming evolution of the State of Decay series.

Zombie games aren’t often known for their innovation, yet the State of Decay series masterfully captured the apocalypse through its unique survivor system and base building.

With State of Decay 3 in the works, we’re in store for even more of the intense zombie action. Though details are currently light on the anticipated sequel, we imagine the many features from its predecessor will return. For example, the survivor system has become somewhat of a staple for the series, with each survivor having but one life. If you die, you’ll lose access to that survivor for good, making every moment extremely tense and engaging. Likewise, base building and upgrades will no doubt return with several improvements.

In its third outing, we’re hoping these pillars return better than ever, but to also see a handful of exciting new features that can make it a true Xbox hit. With the power of the Series X, there’s certainly a lot of potential.

Find out more about the State of Decay 3 release date and the latest news on the game itself.

Xbox exclusives: An image of hills and open plains during the day from The Elder Scrolls 6.

24. The Elder Scrolls 6

Bethesda’s long-awaited Skyrim successor.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim launched way back in 2011 and we’re still playing it now well over a decade later. However, it’s more than time for a new entry in the seminal RPG series from Bethesda. While it’s still a long way off, as our Elder Scrolls 6 release date guides explains, we couldn’t be more excited. Say what you will about Starfield’s brave departure from Bethesda’s history, but The Elder Scrolls 6, or whatever it will end up being called, is the next big thing.

In the meantime, we’ll be adventuring all across Tamriel in the The Elder Scrolls Online, and we recommend you give it a go too while you wait. With The Elder Scrolls 6 setting still unknown, ESO will let you have a glimpse at all the locations in Tamriel, set around a millennia before the events of Skyrim.

So, those are some of the biggest current and upcoming Xbox console exclusives right now. Over time, we’ve had to remove the likes of Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of Thieves as they’ve branched out onto other platforms, and there’s a very good chance some others on this list will follow suit in the future. However, Microsoft’s vast collection of first-party studios is working full-steam ahead to bring more new exclusives to Xbox gamers.

Be sure to check out our guides on the best gaming TVs and best Xbox headsets so that you can enjoy these excellent exclusives in the greatest possible quality.