It’s a new year, and a whole new slate of games. This will be the first full year with the next-gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. We’ve got highly anticipated sequels with God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West and the long awaited remaster of the Mass Effect trilogy. And we’re all anxiously waiting for an official release announcement for the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

These are the 18 games we’re most looking forward to in 2021.

 

Back 4 Blood

Turtle Rock Studios became a sensation after releasing zombie co-op shooters Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 over a decade ago. Now they’re back to their roots with Back 4 Blood, another co-op shooter that takes the same beloved formula and injects fun new gameplay ideas like drafting cards that modify player and enemy stats and abilities.

Release: June 22 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Balan Wonderworld

From the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog comes a new kid-friendly 3D platformer. Balan Wonderworld stars two new protagonists who explore Wonderworld by collecting magical costumes that grant different abilities. Over 80 costumes can be acquired for a huge amount of gameplay variety.

Release: March 26 (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox)

Bravely Default 2

It’s been almost a decade since the original RPG released on Nintendo 3DS. It was designed as a retro, classic take on the JRPG formula, drawing elements from Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, and a job system allowing you to customize each party member’s abilities. Bravely Default 2 will actually be the third game in the series (following a 2016 sequel) .

Release: Feb. 26 (Switch)

Elden Ring

Elden Ring is on this list because of two names: Hidetaki Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin. A big-budget Souls-like action game in a dark fantasy world made by the fathers of Dark Souls and A Song of Ice and Fire has a lot of fans very excited. Elden Ring was teased back in E3 2019 and we’re due for an update – and hopefully a release date!

Release: TBA

God of War Ragnarok

The most recent God of War (2018) took the aging action series in an exciting new direction, using Norse mythology, and centering the story on series protagonist Kratos’ son Atreus. The game was a triumph of combining a beloved character with modern game design, creating one of the best-selling games on the PlayStation 4. A sequel was recently teased, with runes spelling out the name Ragnarok. Say no more – we’re already sold.

Release: TBA (PlayStation)

Gotham Knights

Move over Batman, it’s time for others to take the spotlight in Gotham. Gotham Knights will utilize the combo-driven, open-world gameplay of the Arkham series with one big twist – Batman is dead, or at least everyone thinks so. Hero work falls on the shoulders of our four protagonists: Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood, each with their own skills and playstyle.

Release: 2021 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Halo Infinite

Microsoft clearly wanted Halo Infinite as a launch title for the Xbox Series X, but it was delayed a full year. Following the lukewarm response to the lengthy gameplay demo released last summer (above), developers pledged to modify the game’s visual style. Infinite stars Master Chief following the events of Halo 5: Guardians, with an aim to return to the series’ roots.

Release: Late 2021 (PC, Xbox)

Hogwarts Legacy

It feels a bit weird to finally get a big-budget Harry Potter RPG this long after the films and books – but better late than never! Hogwarts Legacy is set long before the events in the series – about a hundred years, so you won’t be seeing too many familiar characters, but you will get to adventure in familiar places like Hogsmeade Village and the Forbidden Forest, and develop your very own witch or wizard.

Release: 2021 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Zero Dawn was one of our favorite action games of the last generation, with an intriguing post-apocalyptic world of dinosaur robots, ancient ruins, and tribal humans, and an awesome action heroine with Aloy. The sequel title refers to the ruins of the western United States, as Aloy explores a whole new region, and discovers more hidden secrets about humanity’s downfall.

Release: 2021 (PlayStation)

Humankind

The French developers at Amplitude Studios have quietly crafted some of the best turn-based strategy games of the last decade with the Endless series. With Humankind they’re putting sci-fi and fantasy behind to focus on human culture throughout history, offering a new spin on the classic Civilization gameplay experience.

Release: April 22 (PC)

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

The trailer for Kena: Bridge of Spirits blew us away last summer with its high quality 3D animation. No surprise considering the developer, Ember Lab, worked on animated commericals. Kena is their first video game project

Release: TBA (PC, PlayStation)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel

Nintendo has been frustratingly tight-lipped about this sequel to one of 2017’s best games – and one of the best open-world action games, period. Breath of the Wild 2 isn’t even the official name. The sequel was announced during the Nintendo E3 2019 press conference with a teaser trailer showcasing both Link and Zelda investigating a growing evil.

Release: TBA

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

We’ve been clamoring for years, and BioWare is finally going to deliver in 2021: an HD remaster of the original Mass Effect trilogy. The Legendary Edition will include all DLC and promo packs, along with one of the biggest sci-fi stories of the last generation, optimized for 4K Ultra HD. The perfect thing to get us excited about the next new game in the series.

Release: Spring 2021 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter World was hugely successful for Capcom, introducing a whole new group of fans to the normally handheld-only action series. Monster Hunter Rise is the next big Monster Hunter game, and it’s coming to the Switch, combining the series handheld roots with the popular improvements and designs from World.

Release: March 26 (Switch)

Monster Hunter Stories 2

We loved the first Monster Hunter Stories, a fun mashup of Pokémon-style monster raising and fighting with the awesome beasts of the Monster Hunter series. There’s a lot of love and attention going to Monster Hunter Rise, but we’re excited to raise a new batch of monster-buddies as much as we are to fight them.

Release: Mid 2021 (Switch)

Psychonauts 2

We’ve been patiently waiting the release of cult-classic platformer Psychonauts 2 ever since its multi-million crowd-funding campaign five years ago. The sequel will give us a slightly older Raz, now an official psychonaut agent who delves into the warped minds of others. The first game is noteworthy for its clever level design and trademark humor from Double Fine Studios.

Release: 2021 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Temtem

Temtem is a MMO Pokémon-like monster battler that launched on Early Access nearly one year ago today. All battles are 2v2, adding a new depth to turn-based battles, whether fighting through missions in the campaign, or battling with and against other players.

Release: 2021 (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox)

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2

Psychonauts 2 isn’t the only sequel to a cult classic launching this year. Like the original 2004 game, Bloodlines 2 is a first-person vampire RPG set in modern day Seattle, where you’ll be able to make your own custom vampire, clan, and former background. Join factions, complete quests, and satiate your unholy appetite while hiding what you really are.

Release: 2021 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)


This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over five years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.