15 most anticipated games of 2021
Games to watch in 2021 for Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC
Bravely Default 2
Bravely Default 2 is actually the third title in the Bravely Default role-playing game series, following the first Bravely Default and Bravely Second. You don’t have to be familiar with the other two Bravely Default games to jump into this one, though, because it’ll feature a new cast of characters and an unrelated story. The Claytechworks game will be released on Feb. 26 for Nintendo Switch.
Deep Silver’s atmospheric shooter set in outer space puts you in the shoes of Nara, a skilled warrior and a fugitive on the run from a cult. She’s got a sentient spaceship named Forsaken and a set of deadly super-abilities to unleash on anyone who gets in her way. The game’s release window is 2021, and it’s planned to come out on both last-gen and current PlayStation and Xbox consoles, as well as PC.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 will star villain extraordinaire Giancarlo Esposito as a dictator in complete control of a fictional Caribbean island. Players will take control of Dani Rojas, a guerrilla soldier fighting to free the island from the totalitarian regime. Like most Far Cry games, this one will have players taking on enemies in an open world, which Ubisoft describes as “a tropical paradise frozen in time,” with a variety of weapons and tactics. Far Cry 6 is set to come to consoles and PC sometime in 2021.
In Gotham Knights, Batman is dead, and it’s up to the rest of the Bat family — Batgirl, Robin, Red Hood, and Nightwing — to watch over the streets of Gotham. The game’s not set in the world of Rocksteady Games’ Arkham series, although it is being developed by WB Games Montréal, the studio behind Arkham Origins. The action-adventure game will be released for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X; it’s single-player, with the option for two-player co-op.
Gran Turismo 7
Polyphony Digital’s racing sim is back with a numbered sequel in 2021. Gran Turismo 7 promises to be the best looking Gran Turismo yet, with support for 4K, HDR, and 60 fps frame rates, and will be a showcase for the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller with haptic feedback and adaptive trigger features that should make the “real driving simulator” more lifelike than ever. Expect hundreds of cars, super-fast load times, and features from more than two decades of Gran Turismo games in this follow-up to Gran Turismo Sport.
343 Industries’ upcoming Halo game was planned as a launch title for the Xbox Series X in 2020, but instead, it got delayed to sometime in fall 2021. When the studio debuted Halo Infinite gameplay in 2020, fan reactions were mixed, with many comparing its look to Halo: Combat Evolved, the first Halo game that launched with the original Xbox. If you want to ease the wait for Halo: Infinite, at least Halo: Combat Evolved is on Game Pass right now as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Horizon Forbidden West
In 2021, Guerrilla Games will release its sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, the 2017 post-apocalyptic open world game about a warrior woman who starts off looking for her long-lost mother and ends up unraveling the reason why her world is ravaged by mysterious animalistic robots. Ashly Burch returns to voice the heroine Aloy, with Lance Reddick also returning as Sylens, Aloy’s reluctant and mysterious helper in discovering the secrets of the world around them. Horizon Forbidden West will be available on PlayStation 4 and 5, sometime in late 2021.
Developed by Amplitude, the team behind Endless Space 2, Endless Legend, and Dungeon of the Endless, turn-based strategy game Humankind places the player in charge of a growing civilization. As players settle cities, build units, explore, and fight, they take on the cultural auras of various empires throughout history. It’s being published by Sega for Windows PC.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
A follow-up to one of this decade’s most important, interesting, influential, and innovative games should have you very excited. The sequel to Breath of the Wild will be a direct follow-up to the previous game — a rarity in the Legend of Zelda series — and should build on the open-world systems and secret-rich environment of the first game. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has also proven that Nintendo has all kinds of backstory just waiting to be discovered in the Breath of the Wild universe, which means that the sequel should have even more story hidden throughout its world. Breath of the Wild 2 is set to come to Nintendo Switch.
New Pokémon Snap
More than two decades after the original for Nintendo 64, we’re getting a new Pokémon Snap. The first game sent players on an island adventure where they photographed Pokémon in the wild, capturing Pikachu and friends in their natural habitat in a very different kind of rail shooter. The sequel sends players to new islands, where they’ll fill out their “Photodex” with pictures of a wider variety of Pokémon. New Pokémon Snap is being developed by Bandai Namco for Switch.
A cyberpunk story of a different sort, Stray stars a lost stray cat who roams neon-lit city streets, uncovering the mysteries of a world inhabited by droids and deadly creatures on their journey home. Players will be “stealthy, nimble, silly, and sometimes as annoying as possible,” publisher Annapurna Interactive says, as they interact with the cyber-city’s inhuman inhabitants. Stray comes to PlayStation 5 and Windows PC this year.
Persona 5 Strikers
Persona 5 is getting the Hyrule Warriors treatment with Persona 5 Strikers, a Dynasty Warriors-style hack-and-slash role-playing game set six months after the events of Persona 5. The game, developed by Omega Force and P-Studio, has already been out in Japan for a year and is due to be released worldwide on Feb. 23 for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC. Anyone familiar with Dynasty Warriors spin-off titles knows what to expect here: repetitive battles that will either soothe you or bore you, depending on how you feel about the genre, and a story that will probably be the real draw, because it’ll let you spend some more time with Persona 5’s charming cast.
Back 4 Blood
Turtle Rock Studios, the developer behind the original Left 4 Dead, is making the Left 4 Dead 3 that Valve won’t. Back 4 Blood adheres closely to the four-versus-horde formula established by the Left 4 Dead games, but aims to add to the longterm replayability with player progression and unlockable ability perks that will let players customize their survivors. If Turtle Rock can balance the 4v4 competitive side of Back 4 Blood, the component that made the Left 4 Dead games so thrilling, it could be the multiplayer game of the summer. Back 4 Blood is bound for PlayStation and Xbox consoles, as well as PC.
Blizzard hasn’t put a firm release date on Diablo 4 — it rarely does this far out — but the studio’s next hack-and-slash action role-playing game already played great at BlizzCon 2019, so we’re hoping that we’ll get the sequel this year (or at least a beta). Diablo 4 is Blizzard’s attempt to return to the darkness of Diablo 2, while looking beyond that with a bigger, MMO-like scope to the world of Sanctuary. Diablo 4 is also coming alongside a smaller take on Diablo, the pick-up-and-play mobile game, Diablo Immortal.
Nier Replicant Ver. 1.22474487139…
If you played the widely acclaimed 2017 game Nier: Automata but you never played the original Nier, this confusingly titled game is for you. It’s an updated and remastered version of Nier Replicant, which was released only in Japan back in 2010. Nier Replicant was a simultaneous release with Nier Gestalt, but Gestalt was released worldwide, titled simply Nier. The two games had one notable difference: In Replicant, the protagonist was a teenager with a sister named Yonah, and in Gestalt, he was a grown man with a daughter named Yonah. Square Enix’s Replicant remaster comes out on April 23 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.