It’s crazy to think 2021 is already here. Heck, we’re already almost in February! But the best part about a new year is new games, and the staff here at Gaming Trend has banded together to give you our list of what we think are the most anticipated titles of 2021! We did in fact vote on these and compile the list ourselves, so we apologize if a game you’re looking forward to is missing. If you would, drop a comment to us on Twitter @GamingTrend and we’ll see if we can’t get some coverage going on it as the year progresses!
Honorable mention: Atomic Heart
One day, one day, Atomic Heart will be out and I’ll be playing it. But until that day I’ll just be telling you about this Bioshock-esque title. Video games are such a cool thing because there’s so much you can do there you wouldn’t see anywhere else, and Atomic Heart fits that perfectly. The game takes place in an alternate universe Soviet 1955, and you’ll play as an off his rocker KGB agent sent to figure out why a manufacturing facility has fallen silent. From the trailers it looks like we’re in for a lot of blood, crazy abilities, ridiculous bosses, and a bunch of action RPG crafting and combat.
Honorable mention: Monster Hunter Rise
It’s pretty incredible that Capcom has gone from people begging for proper Monster Hunter titles to dropping World and now Rise. The grinding RPG series is great on PS4 and Xbox One, and know it’s the Switch’s turn to get an in-depth version. A demo for Rise released recently as well, and if the reactions to that are any indication, Capcom better start working on World 2 right now. Thankfully for those hungry to kill some monsters and build things with their bones, Monster Hunter Rise is right around the corner in March.
Honorable mention: Bayonetta 3
It’s Bayonetta. Look, if you aren’t already excited for this I don’t know what to tell you. We haven’t seen anything about this game since its initial reveal but if you’ve played any other game by Platinum led by Hideki Kamia you’re already stoked for another campy character action game starring everyone’s favorite Witch.
Honorable mention: No More Heroes 3
No More Heroes 3 will no doubt see the crownless king once again climbing the ranks of the UAA, but it’s always been a fun excuse to battle some wacky and oddly philosophical characters. The second game was already a huge improvement on the combat, so hopefully 3 gives us a similar leap in quality since the Wii. Also, playable Shinobu again.
After Greedfall I’m always down for whatever comes from developer Spiders, and SteelRising looks absolutely ridiculous, but in an awesome way. Honestly, there is so little in the way of what this actually is, but according to the Spiders website King Louis the XVIth is terrorizing the citizens of Paris with an automata army. That sentence alone has me excited for this action RPG. Spiders is no stranger to original settings, like Greedfall’s mystical colonial one, and robot revolution sounds exactly like the cup of tea I’ll throw in the harbor.
If you are a fan of H.R. Giger’s biomechanical horror shows, or artist Zdzisław Beksiński’s twisted creations, you are going to love Ebb Software’s upcoming hellscape, Scorn. It’s hard to even describe this one, but with the Xbox Series X trailer, it’s clear that it will be one to remember. This one is going to be very rated M.
37. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Paradox and developer Hardsuit Labs looks to tackle a sequel to one of the most beloved Action-RPG titles of the last few decades. While it has hit the rocks pretty hard, being delayed into the myst, this game will give us Bruja, Tremere, Toreador, Ventrue, Malkavians, and two yet-to-be-revealed clans, but that’s not how you’ll start. No, you are a freshly-turned thinblood. Sucks to be you, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Let’s hope this one gets back on track and hits us just as hard as the original.
36. Skull & Bones
For one reason or another since being announced Skull & Bones has been delayed multiple times. But, that doesn’t even make a dent on the hype train (or ship) that this game has garnered. Drawing inspiration from AC IV: Black Flag, developer Ubisoft Singapore is set to deliver an exciting naval combat experience across an open world. It’s the Golden Age of Piracy, and we’re keen to get our boots wet.
Um, kitty game?! GAME OF THE YEAR! This indie game is bound to catch a lot of attention (and mice?) just based around the fact a cat is your main character. But this isn’t the only thing interesting about it, given the world seems to be inhabited by robots. This setting looks to be fantastic to explore, and it sounds like there’s going to be plenty of puzzle solving as well as some fast-paced action scenes to get into. Paws crossed it comes out soon.
34. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2
I don’t know much about this one, but every trailer leaves me wanting to know more. Here’s what we do know, huge open-world, non-linear story with multiple endings, immersive sim and horror with a thick atmosphere. The trailers also show an insane level of visuals, and it’s coming exclusively to Xbox Series consoles and PCs with ray-tracing and 4k in tow, along with a day one drop onto Game Pass.
People Can Fly come up with really interesting ideas, but unfortunately they haven’t gotten the support they deserve. Bulletstorm is an awesome concept, and while it’s tough to speak of Gears Of War Judgment in the presence of a Gears fan, it did something different that isn’t given enough recognition. These talented devs are getting a chance to blow us away with a new IP in Outriders, and I can definitely say I’m loving what I’m seeing. This third person shooter packs a bunch of powers and weaponry in a fantastic setting, and I can’t wait to try the demo later in February. Did I mention the game is completely cross platform? Even if your buddy is playing Stadia and you’re on a PS4, you can still play together.
32. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
As someone who 100% 3D World back on the Wii U (yes, even getting every character to the top of every flagpole), we’re excited to revisit the fun and quirky levels of the Sprixie Kingdom. With Bowser’s Fury looking more like an Odyssey follow up, we’re more than ready to dive right in.
“The crash, the attack, my death.” These are the words spoken at the beginning of the announcement trailer for Returnal, and boy do they get me fired up for what’s coming. This is the studio behind the likes of Super Stardust and Resogun, and it’s awesome to see them getting the chance to build a triple A game. Returnal’s roguelite element, combined with a bullet-hell combat loop with tons of weapon customization makes this thriller narrative all the more interesting.
30. New World
Amazon’s first foray into the MMO space, and the newest showcase of their Lumberyard Engine, New World casts the player as an explorer on Aeternum, a semi-colonial world awash with mysteries and monsters to discover. We’ve had a few bites at this one in Alpha and Beta, and its complete avoidance of traditional class systems and advancement tropes looks to make this game more fast-paced and unique. With a whole world of PVP, territory wars, and group questing to check out in the near future, we are excited to see if this can finally dethrone the current king of MMOs.
29. Resident Evil Village
Inb4 someone starts thirsting for the tall vampire lady. Seriously, y’all need help. Anyway, Resident Evil Village is shaping up to be another hit from Capcom, and they keep checking off all the right boxes. You again play as Ethan Winters, this time searching a castle for your kidnapped daughter. Just what lies in store for him? Well, if the recent showcase tells us anything, a whole lot of pain, agony, and jump scares. That and vampire ladies who want to hurt us. Just a heads up for all you PS5 owners, there’s a little demo you can try now, and everyone will have a demo coming later this spring.
Let me say it one more time for the people in the back, I’m more excited for this than Elder Scrolls VI. While the likes of Skyrim and Fallout 4 are superb (all bugs aside), the sci-fi genre has always been more my speed. Starfield will hopefully scratch that Mass Effect itch, and while we still don’t know much about it don’t be surprised if we don’t see our first look this summer with a fall release date.
27. The Ruined King: A League of Legends Story
Airship Syndicate, the studio behind Battle Chasers and Darksiders Genesis is making a League of Legends RPG. If it turns out to be half as stylish and entertaining as Airship Syndicate’s other titles, this may become the easiest way to get to know some of the characters and locations in Riot’s popular MOBA.
26. Rainbow Six Quarantine
Rainbow Six Quarantine looks to turn a limited-time mode from Rainbow Six: Siege into a full cooperative game similar to Left 4 Dead but with Siege characters. While an alien virus epidemic is different in tone from previous Rainbow Six games, teamwork and tension should remain. Expect this game late 2021.
25. Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Developer Daedalic Entertainment, most famous for the beloved Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, Deponia, and State of Mind titles, is bringing us what has to be one of the bigger mysteries on this list. As the titular character is far from a combat-focused character, this could be a heavy stealth game, a horror game, a psychological thriller as Gollum / Smeagol fights his internal struggle, all of these, or none of them. It’s exciting to be surprised, and this one looks to deliver exactly that.
This game’s announcement trailer definitely belongs in the “what did I just watch” category, but it’s that kind of weirdness that I can get behind. For how ridiculous the trailer was, the game falls back into one of the older genres we have in gaming, simulation. That’s not to say we’re in for the same old same old, as you’re going to push forward a culture and succeed in the game based on fame, not just fighting other peoples. As Amplitude’s studio head Romain de Waubert de Genlis said, “You can’t win history, that’s not what happens.”
23. The Medium
Third-person psychological horror that features patented dual-reality gameplay, what’s not to be hyped for? While this might be Bloober Team’s most optimistic project yet, psychological horror is a genre players can trust they can deliver on. I think it’s safe to say it’ll be one hell of an unnerving experience.
22. Kena: Bridge Of Spirits
The absolute darling of the PS5’s first showcase, Kena is one of the most beautiful looking indie games I’ve seen in awhile. Developer Ember Lab is probably most famously known as the studio who made Terrible Fate, a stunning CG Majora’s Mask fan film. Everything we’ve seen of this adventure looks amazing, and I’m sure if Kena keeps the rumored March date I’ll be glued to my controller until it’s finished.
21. Metroid Prime 4
Metroid Prime 4 doesn’t have a release date and is, likely, far from finished, but any year it’s not playable is a year to anticipate its arrival. Development has been unstable but with franchise veteran Kensuke Tanabe and Retro Studios involved, hopefully there’s more to look forward to this year.
It may look like it’s titled Chorvs, but trust me, it’s Chorus. Weird font aside this space combat game looks to follow in the steps of the recent Everspace, although there seems to be more of a focus on the action genre and narrative rather than the roguelike elements of Everspace. One thing I do like from what we’ve been told is you only have one ship you’re working with, but tons of weapons and abilities to work with in order to become the ultimate living weapon.
19. Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2: proclaimed to include more narrative and more single-player. The graphical enhancements are a welcome addition, but our hope is that single-player is more than glorified Archive events. Blizzard hasn’t officially announced a 2021 launch, but Overwatch is feeling stale, so 2021 is a good time for an upgrade.
18. Diablo IV
With a spine-chilling CGI intro to whet our appetite, Diablo IV is another game that is being developed in the open. The team has been ultra-transparent, posting updates on a monthly basis, and what they’ve had to show so far has been stellar. Coupled with a magnificent statue of the title’s apparent antagonist, this looks to be the first title not powered by the titular Lord of Hell. With an expanded open world, wider multiplayer, and a few familiar faces, we are looking forward to Blizzcon 2021 to see this one cracked wide open. Stay a while and listen!
17. Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite’s anticipation is fueled by so many questions: How will Master Chief deal with Cortana’s rampancy? What can we expect from an open-world concept – a first for the franchise? What will multiplayer play like? How will Infinite perform across four different consoles? Hopefully we’ll have answers this Fall.
16. Psychonauts 2
Anybody else been waiting a long time for this one? With delay after delay in the backburner, it looks like our psychic protagonist Raz is finally almost here. This third-person platformer looks just as insane as it always has, jumping in between creepy mental worlds to save the universe. I don’t know about you, but something about that level we’ve seen with the teeth is unnerving.
15. Gotham Knights
Thank goodness, we are finally getting a new Batman game. Sure, it’s not from our favorite people over at Rocksteady, but WB Montreal is as criminally underrated as Arkham Origins. They’re also changing the way we’ll play this one, with four player online co-op being an option for the first time in the series. My biggest question is, “Is Batman really dead?”. Also, dibs on Red Hood.
14. Hitman 3
This one is technically already here, but that doesn’t mean we suddenly stopped being excited about it! It’s incredible how IO Interactive comes up with these amazing settings, but even more so the ridiculousness of the scenarios. Killing a guy with a piano and getting away unnoticed is every bit as engaging as disguising yourself as a hairdresser and killing the target during a routine shampoo, so all credit to the design team for that. And not only that, but I can do this all in PSVR as well? Totally awesome. There’s every chance this is Agent 47’s final adventure, and it’s packed with so much content I don’t see this ending any way other than a bang.
13. Far Cry 6
Just around the corner (May 25th, 2021), this story will tell the story of the notorious drug kingpin Antón Castillo, and his son Diego. Antón will face a guerrilla uprising, and through their suppression, teach his son to be just like him. The important takeaway, however, is that Guns for Hire returns courtesy of the best dog, Chorizo. Regal as he rides in his doggie wheelchair, it will become my entire mission in life to ensure this dog comes to no harm.
12. Fable (Hopefully!)
It’s been a really long time since we headed to the world of Albion, and from the short CG trailer we’ve seen we’re in for a treat. The trademark humor is on full display, and the hope is most of the colonial RPG concepts will stay intact as well. This is probably not coming out in 2021, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t super excited about it and hoping it manages to come out just a little bit earlier.
11. GhostWire: Tokyo
Most of us don’t know much about GhostWire: Tokyo with it slipping in along with Deathloop into our upcoming releases, but that’s okay! Tango Gameworks, who you might know from the Evil Within series, have chosen to simply put their heads down and keep at work on this one rather than go crazy with release trailers. What’s really crazy is the premise, Tokyo has been overrun by the supernatural and 99% of the people inhabiting it have vanished. It may also look like a horror game, but this first person action game seems to have a bit more Dishonored to it than Evil Within. All I know is, hopefully in the midst of the silence this unique game makes it’s supposed October 2020 debut.
10. Hollow Knight: Silksong
We don’t know if this will actually come out this year and for good reason, Team Cherry appears to be following a “it’ll be done when it’s done” approach to follow up their metroidvania masterpiece, Hollow Knight. With Silksong putting you in the cape of coolest character Hornet, we can’t wait to dive back into Hollow Knight’s cute and creepy world.
9. Dragon Age 4
We don’t know a great deal about Dragon Age 4, other than that it’ll spell the return of hero-turned-villain Solas. Bioware Lead writer Patrick Weeks said the story answers the question “What happens when you don’t ahve power?” and “What happens when the people in charge aren’t willing to address the issues?”. If I’m hypothesizing, this is going to put the player in a position to topple the powers that be, giving us choices that have a real impact. With only a few pieces of concept art, it’s anyone’s guess — I just know we are excited to see what’s next.
8. Bravely Default II
The demo may have left us a bit lukewarm on Bravely Default II, but let’s be real here: it’s still a Bravely Default game and will probably be awesome. It follows a new cast of characters in a new world and adds several new jobs as well as a few returning ones. If you like turn based games, keep an eye on this one.
7. Back 4 Blood
Turtle Rock Studios aims to reanimate its original zombie concept and inject it with modern gameplay concepts. It’s essentially Left 4 Dead 3, and based on our alpha preview, it looks like it will be a worthy successor. Back 4 Blood is scheduled to launch June 22.
6. Baldur’s Gate III
It’s rare that the universe converges in such a way as to give us the perfect match between developer and project, but that’s exactly what has happened. Veteran RPG team Larian Studios has taken on the impossible task of delivering the next chapter in the legendary Baldur’s Gate series. Developing in the open courtesy of Early Access, Baldur’s Gate III is already, to use the parlance from our preview, “Beyond every expectation”. Given how closely Larian is listening, feel free to jump in and help them build the best Baldur’s Gate possible — where are my D&D hardcore folks?
5. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
It’s hard to say much about the incredible staying power of this dynamic duo, but here they are again ready to wreck some bad guys. This new adventure looks to take full advantage of the speed of the PS5’s SSD, entering a rift loads the next area in a flash. But I think we’re all more excited at the prospect of the Lady Lombax, and what her place is in the middle of these dimensions smashing together. The good news is, SHE’S A PLAYABLE CHARACTER!
4. Horizon Forbidden West
This is a sequel nearly everyone has been asking for since the original release on PlayStation 4. I myself thought this would be one of the first IPs Sony would look to bring to the PS5, and I’m happy to say I was right. The scale looks like it’s steadily growing, and our journey west will be filled with new stories of a virus infecting the environment, new weapons and abilities for best girl Aloy, and of course a ton of new robot creatures.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
I really don’t have to say anything but the title to get you excited for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. We don’t know much of anything about this one. Honestly, we’re just assuming the game will play similar to the original breathtakingly gorgeous and humongous open world action adventure. For all we know Nintendo is planning to pull a Majora’s Mask, but whatever they do, we’ll be patiently waiting with legal tender in hand.
Arkane Studios is no stranger to making something unique, as their most recent release of the Dishonored games have shown. But Deathloop seems to take the cake. This single and multiplayer experience looks ridiculous, with powers and weapons galore. The time loop concept sounds extremely interesting, and I can’t wait to live, die, and repeat until I fire that last shot.
1. God of War 2021
There may not be a more anticipated sequel than the one to the reboot of the God Of War series. Sony Santa Monica took so many risks in what they did, changing the formula of the original action game into one of the biggest properties in gaming, and it paid off with multiple Game Of The Year awards. The question remains, how in the world do they one up themselves? All we know for sure is that “Ragnarok is coming”.