Microsoft doesn’t make this list very easy for a couple of reasons, neither of them good. Firstly, none of its upcoming games are technically exclusive, they will all be coming to PC as part of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere program. Glossing over this technicality, the second reason is that actually finding five promising upcoming exclusives is a challenge. Three of these games were on the list for 2017's Most Anticipated, while a fourth (Scalebound) was cancelled. With other platforms it can be difficult to trim the list down, on Xbox One we struggled to bump it up. Let’s hope 2018 ends up a little rosier for Xbox fans than it seems…

Crackdown 3

It should be in our super-powered fists right now, but following Microsoft’s delay we’re still waiting on Crackdown 3 with no estimated date in sight. Still, not enough games take destruction seriously, and if there’s one game that does, it’s Crackdown 3. The power of the cloud indeed. Details are still worryingly thin on the ground regarding Crackdown 3 but the basic core is likely to remain the same - beating up thugs and terrorists at innumerable costs to the local city council.

Sea of Thieves

Once an absolute heavyweight of the console gaming world, Microsoft’s acquisition of Rare has seen them slowly, inexorably, into obscurity. Sea of Thieves is a beacon of light though, the one great hope that could well turn it around for Rare. Bang on trend, Sea of Thieves is online co-op, games as a service, pirateering on the high seas. A recipe of buried treasure, sinking galleons and stuffing yourself into cannons for long distance travel makes Sea of Thieves difficult to resist. Bonus points for being a new IP as well, currently looking like the jewel in Microsoft’s rather threadbare crown. Oh, and did we mention that gorgeous water tech...

State of Decay 2

It’s the year 2017, and a small pocket of humanity still isn’t bored of zombies. They have a seemingly insatiable appetite for the undead, eagerly turning in to the latest episode of The Walking Dead to find out the next story of how a man gets away from a zombie by running away or shooting them. For those people, there’s State of Decay 2. Microsoft’s rule to live by is always bigger and better, and State of Decay 2 looks to deliver on that front. It features a huge open-world, co-operative play with up to three players, and an in-depth look at living life as a survivalist community in a harsh apocalypse.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Blind Forest was nothing less than a sublime Metroidvania, both from a design standpoint and its unparalleled 2D art. Ori and the Will of the Wisps looks to be very much a case of more of the same, but when the same is this good, who’s complaining.

Below

Below is Xbox’s mystical unicorn, rolled out with much pomp and fanfare at every possible opportunity but still seemingly so far from release. It’s the type of game attracting huge crowds nestled away in the corner of some convention, but no one has any idea what it’s actually about. Below’s a top-down roguelike at heart, one in which a diminutive warrior must explore the depths of a remote island. Each level is randomly generated and there is permadeath, resulting in a game which leans on absolutely mastering its combat in order to progress.