Most Anticipated Games of 2021


2020 was a solid year for video games. That’s one of the very few silver linings in an otherwise trash year that will be forever remembered in history for all the wrong reasons. But we look to video games as a form of entertainment, art, and escapism. The good news is that the industry shows no signs of stopping, even if it’s temporarily slowing down a little, and the better news is that some awesome and anticipated games are already announced for release over the next 12 months. Sure, some of these will invariably slip down the release date schedule a bit, and some may fall off entirely, but more often than not, more new titles will be announced in the months ahead. So it’s with all that in mind that we look to what we know now, cross our fingers, and hope that these highly anticipated games will be available to play sometime in 2021.

We’ve got nearly 30 games on this list that we’re looking forward to for a variety of reasons. Some, like Horizon: Forbidden West and Resident Evil VIII: Village, are new installments in fan-favorite franchises, while others, like Ghosts ‘n Goblins: Resurrection, fall into the remake/remaster/reboot category of iconic titles. Still others are wholly new creations from AAA and indie studios alike; it’s a great mix with plenty of variety. But not every title can make the list, so we carved some space out for games we have our eyes on if not our pre-orders.

Honorable Mentions:

The following entries should absolutely be on your radar, but since many of them are remakes/remasters, new entries in famous franchises that I’m not super into, or are rather similar to other titles on this list, they’ll just be getting a cursory mention here. YMMV. (Be sure to visit the full list of 2021 (and beyond) release dates here for more.)

  • New World (PC)
  • Hitman III (PS4, PS5)
  • Elder Scrolls Online: Gates of Oblivion (PS5 / PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC/Mac)
  • Outriders (PS5 / PS4, Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One, Stadia, PC: Steam)
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (Switch)
  • Digimon Survive (PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Switch, PC)
  • Evil West (PS5 / PS4, Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One, and PC)
  • GhostWire Tokyo (PS5)
  • Goodbye Volcano High (PS5)
  • In Sound Mind (PC: Steam)
  • The Outlast Trials (PC: Steam)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (Xbox Series X|S, PC)

Our most-anticipated games of 2021 follow below in rough release date order:

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PS4, Switch)

Release Date: Early 2021

A new battlefield appears in the “EDF” series. This time, the world becomes the square Earth. The name of this game is “EARTH DEFENSE FORCE: WORLD BROTHERS”. This game takes place in the 3D voxel world, which everything is made up of square pieces. In this world, the Earth is not round but square. And now, this voxel Earth is fallen apart into square pieces, breaking its blocky peace. But whether round or square, the Earth must be the Earth. So now, the player and the “EARTH DEFENSE FORCE” must rise to the occasion and save the day to restore a shattered Voxel Earth to one peace.

Why We’re Excited: Whether you’ve played an EDF game or not, the premise of controlling elite soldiers to battle waves of invading giant insects is always an enticing one. This spinoff title gets a voxel treatment, however, setting it apart from the main title. Add in the wrinkle of collecting 100 “Brothers & Sisters” to pad out your elite team, and yeah, we’re all-in on this one.

Shadow Man: Remaster (PC)

Release Date: Early 2021

Shadow Man Remastered is coming to PC, Xbox, PS4, and Switch!FEATURED UPDATES: This remaster adds modern resolution support, restores cut content, responsive controls, updated AI, improved gameplay, and features a remastered soundtrack!

Why We’re Excited: This underrated N64 title is getting a much-needed remaster from accomplished master remasterers Nightdive Studios. It’ll allow players to once again take control of the title character, Michael LeRoi, to defend Liveside against supernatural threats using (culturally insensitive?) voodoo powers. This one’s got nostalgia power all over it.

Monster Hunter: Rise (Switch)

Release Date: January 2021 (Switch Demo), March 26th (Switch)

We need you to protect Kamura Village! Wade through the marshy Flooded Forest and confront new monsters, such as the sleep-inducing Somnacanth and the omnivorous trickster Bishaten! Monster Hunter Rise Demo coming January 2021.

Why We’re Excited: The Monster Hunter franchise is a force to be reckoned with, even if the live-action feature film adaptation wasn’t exactly up to the task of capturing that magic. Rise aims to continue what MH titles before it have managed to do: Engage gamers in a content loop that has them hunting more and more difficult monsters in order to harvest their parts and upgrade gear. Rise will fold in existing monsters and weapon sets along with new targets to hunt. Sharpen those blades, hunters! The Demo arrives on Switch this January.

Century: Age of Ashes (Steam: Early Access; PC: Epic Games Store TBD)

Release Date: February 2021

Engage in aerial dragon-on-dragon combat in this multiplayer game coming February 2021.

Why We’re Excited: While Monster Hunter lets you hunt monsters (duh), Century: Age of Ashes lets you ride on dragons as you fly them into combat. Think of it like multiplayer aerial dogfights on dragonback. We’re sold!

Control: Ultimate Edition (PS5, Xbox Series X|S)

Why We’re Excited: Control is one of the best games of 2019. This new version of the award-winning title gets a next-gen re-up along with all existing expansions. That’s a solid deal. So if you haven’t had a chance to play it yet, 2021 is as good a time as any to do so.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection (Switch)

Release Date: February 25, 2021

CHALLENGE AGAIN! Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection brings a haunting new adventure to Nintendo Switch in February 2021!

Why We’re Excited: Talk about Capcom classics. The original title was one of the first games I ever picked up as a kid, and guaranteed that it’s among the first that frustrated me into putting it right back down. Will I pick it up again 35+ years later? (Yikes, how’s that for an age check?) Absolutely!

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (PS5 / PS4, Stadia, PC/Mac: Steam, GOG, Epic Games Store)

Release Date: March 2021

Wanna find your true self? Follow the symphony of voices, seek out the new skin, and pursue your political visions to wild new heights in Disco Elysium – The Final Cut on PlayStation and PC/Mac in March 2021.

Why We’re Excited: This game was a fantastic and wholly unique experience when it debuted late last fall. The only downside: Wall after wall of text with no voice acting. DE did so well, in fact, that the “Final Cut” version will feature full voice acting in addition to other new and upgraded content. Definitely worth the look and, for the first time, listen!

Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4, PS5, PC)

Release Date: March 2021

A story-driven action adventure with a stunning visual aesthetic combining exploration with fast-paced combat. Players find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their abilities and creating new ways to manipulate the environment. Kena: Bridge of Spirits seamlessly blends action and narrative into an unforgettable experience. Travel with Kena, a young Spirit Guide on a quest to uncover the mysterious story surrounding the demise of the village.

Why We’re Excited: As great as it is to play hype realistic games on next-gen consoles and high-end PCs, boy do we love a cutesy game every once in a while. Kena looks beautiful, the playstyle looks breezy, and the story looks downright delightful. New titles are iffy these days, but we’re hoping Kena makes fans out of us on release.

Oddworld: Soulstorm (PS5 / PS4, Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One, PC)

Release Date: Spring 2021

“Witness Abe’s horrifying conflict with a terrifying new machination in this fresh narrative adventure. Oddworld Soulstorm represents a big visual and cinematic leap aiming that breaks new ground for Oddworld. With intelligent new mechanics and twisted new devices which enable highly explosive deviousness. This is a dark parable that tells an epic tale of a volatile society pushed to its limits.”

Why We’re Excited: 2021 looks like a good year for remakes and remasters of beloved titles. Look no further than the under-appreciated Oddworld franchise and this new remake of the original’s sequel/spinoff. Soulstorm will reimagine Abe’s Exoddus, following up on New ‘n’ Tasty, which reimagined Abe’s Oddysee. Got all that straight? If not, no worries, just jump in and use your powers as the Chosen One to free your fellow Mudokons!

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster (Switch)

Release Date: Spring 2021

It’s been 17 years since the original release of Shin Megami Tensei III, known in the U.S. as Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. Now, the apocalyptic legend returns in a full high-definition remake of the classic game, coming to Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in Spring 2021.

Why We’re Excited: I’m new to the SMT franchise, and its related Persona titles, but I’d like to remedy that in 2021. So while it’s probably better to start with the beginning of the massive franchise elsewhere, this is the first title that’s on my radar thanks to the new remaster. Will it live up to the hype? Will I be a new convert to the ways and wonders of SMT? Stay tuned!

Deathloop (PS5)

Release Date: Q2 2021

DEATHLOOP is an innovative first person shooter launching for PlayStation 5 and PC from Arkane Lyon, the award-winning studio behind the critically acclaimed Dishonored franchise. The island of Blackreef. For most of its inhabitants, it’s a paradise. But for Colt, it’s an inescapable prison. Thanks to a mysterious timeloop, he’s reliving the same day, over and over, trying to find a way to break the endless cycle he’s trapped in. As Colt, you’ll have to take out eight targets – including your arch-nemesis Julianna Blake – if you ever want to escape. But remember: It’s a timeloop, so if at first you don’t succeed… die, die again. Visit DEATHLOOP.com to check out more!”

Why We’re Excited: A new, original title with a clever premise? Yes, please! This one has a lot of potential on the streaming circuit as gamers attempt — over and over again, most likely — to dispatch all targets within the allotted amount of time before the loop resets. Add in the fact that an AI or multiplayer component can complicate the player’s task by antagonizing them along the way, and you’ve got fun and frustration all wrapped up in one new promising title.

Far Cry 6 (PS5 / PS4, Xbox Series X / Xbox One, PC, Stadia)

Release Date: Q2 2021

In Far Cry 6, players are immersed in the adrenaline-filled, chaotic world of a modern-day guerrilla revolution. Welcome to Yara, a tropical paradise frozen in time. As dictator of Yara, Anton Castillo is intent on restoring his nation back to its former glory by any means, with his son, Diego, following in his bloody footsteps. Become a guerrilla fighter and burn their regime to the ground. — IGNITE THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM — Dive into a blockbuster experience as Dani Rojas, a local Yaran defending their country from a tyrant’s rule. Join the revolution to push back against the oppressive regime of dictator Anton Castillo and his teenage son Diego, brought to life by Hollywood stars Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad) and Anthony Gonzalez (Coco). — YARA TORN APART — For the first time in Far Cry, experience a sprawling capital city: Esperanza, the most expansive Far Cry playground to date. Take down Anton in the seat of his power by staying hidden or engaging Anton’s army in an all-out firefight in the streets. From taking the reins of a horse to commandeering a tank, choose your favorite ride to fight against the regime or to just travel Yara in style. — BECOME A GUERRILLA — Jump into the action and chaos of guerrilla combat at the heart of a revolution. Employ an arsenal of unique and surprising new weapons, vehicles, and animal companions in a fight against an unyielding military regime. No guerrilla should go it alone, so pair up with an all-new animal companion like Chorizo, the adorable wiener dog who’s as cute as he is lethal.

Why We’re Excited: While Ubisoft didn’t exactly blow me away with their 2020 releases, here’s hoping 2021 will be a little better thanks to a new Far Cry installment. Will it be as wild, as random, as stereotypically American as Far Cry 5? Probably not. And honestly we don’t want a rehash of the previous title. We just hope it’s on the same level of quality, offering hours upon hours of gameplay and entertainment. But this one’s also teetering on the edge of anticipation and can be nudged either way with the next bit of marketing we see.

Back 4 Blood (PS5 / PS4, Xbox ONE / Xbox Series X|S, PC: Steam, Epic Games Store)

Release Date: June 22nd 2021 (Closed Alpha now available)

We never said this fight was going to be easy. On June 22, 2021, Back 4 Blood brings you face-to-face with a new apocalypse on Xbox ONE, Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PS4, Steam, and the Epic Store.

Why We’re Excited: From what we’ve seen so far, both with the gameplay demo and the Closed Alpha, this new title from the Left 4 Dead folks has some promising potential. Looks to be just unabashed fun as you bash in the skulls of any apocalyptic nightmares who dare attack you. We’re in!

Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5)

Release Date: Fall 2021

Horizon Forbidden West continues Aloy’s story as she moves west to a far-future America to brave a majestic, but dangerous frontier where she’ll face awe-inspiring machines and mysterious new threats. Coming to PlayStation 5.

Why We’re Excited: This should be an easy HYPE title for 2021 … as long as it actually arrives in 2021. Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the best games I’ve played in living memory. I’ve been waiting for its follow-up since the moment I beat the original. That time is almost here (we hope)!

Evil Dead: The Game (PS5/PS4, Xbox Series X|S/Xbox One, Switch, PC)

Release Date: 2021 TBD

Announcing Evil Dead: The Game, coming to PS5 and PS4! Take on all comers in co-op and PvP action – Come Get Some in 2021!

Why We’re Excited: Hail to the king, baby!” I mean, look, it’s a game based around the lore and legend of the Evil Dead franchise. It’s got co-op and PvP, it’s got skill trees (which may try to eat you alive if you’re not careful), and iconic characters and gear. This title might have a short shelf life, but it’s sure to be a fun one while we’re at it.

Curse of the Sea Rats (Switch, PS4, Xbox, Steam)

Release Date: 2021 TBD

An epic, ‘Ratoidvania’ platform adventure, boasting lavish production values and stunning hand-drawn animation – where your crew have been turned into rats at the hands of a pirate curse! Choose from four unique characters and explore a rich, non-linear world – either alone or in four-player co-op!

Why We’re Excited: I’ve had my eye on this one for quite some time. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. That’s what drew me into the Kickstarter when it came across my desk. Now, in 2021, we’ll get to see the incredible art in action as Petoons Studios’ new, original title comes to life. I genuinely hope that this game has legs and maybe even kickstarts a new franchise of its own. Fingers crossed!

Gotham Knights

Release Date: 2021 TBD

Batman is dead. It is now up to the Batman Family – Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin – to protect Gotham City, bring hope to its citizens, discipline to its cops, and fear to its criminals. You must evolve into the new Dark Knight and save Gotham from chaos. Your legacy begins now. Step into the Knight.

Why We’re Excited: I mean, you had us at “Batman is dead.” But honestly, Batman’s probably not dead. You’ll get to play as other members of the Bat-family either way. That’s what we’re here for, even if the story ends up being interesting along the way.

Halo Infinite (Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows 10: Microsoft Store & Steam – Game Pass Day 1)

Release Date: 2021 TBD

In Halo Infinite’s campaign, the Master Chief returns when humanity’s fate hangs in the balance to confront the most ruthless foe he’s ever faced – the Banished. The legendary Halo series returns with the most expansive Master Chief story yet. Enjoy a first-look at Halo Infinite campaign gameplay, captured real-time and representative of the experience on Xbox Series X running at 60FPS and up to 4K resolution.

Why We’re Excited: While it was touted as a launch title for Xbox Series X|S (yeah that didn’t happen), hype still remains for yet another entry in the long-running and iconic Halo franchise. That’s really all you need.

Heavenly Bodies (PS4)

Release Date: 2021 TBD

Discover the ever-changing nuances of weightless motion in Heavenly Bodies – coming to PS4 in 2021. Wrangle the hands and arms of a courageous cosmonaut and push, pull and twist your way through a precarious range of physically simulated stellar scenarios where, without gravity, nothing is still, nothing is secure and nothing is simple.

Why We’re Excited: Take a dash of Among Us and bit of Octodad, cook ’em together and you’ve got Heavenly Bodies… sort of.  We don’t really know. What we do know is that we’re sold on the movement mechanics if nothing else. And that’s really all we need to get excited here.

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