Most Anticipated Games – 2021 Edition

Unfortunately 2020 was a year to forget but in a year of bad moments, video games stood out as a highlight. Despite working from home and manufacturing limitations, we still saw the launch of three next generation consoles and numerous incredible games.

With 2020 now coming to an end though, it’s time to look forward to 2021 and ten games that I am most excited to play.

Halo Infinite

Expected Launch – Fall 2021

Expected Platforms – Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

2020 was meant to be a big year for Halo, but after a lacklustre demo in July the decision was made by Microsoft and 343 Industries to delay the launch. This of course took it out of the much-anticipated launch window of the Xbox Series X/S and left many wondering where the series goes from here. Microsoft and 343 however seem to have embraced the delay, reassuring fans that they are fully committed to delivering the Halo experience players deserve.

With a full year more development time, I am extremely interested to see how Halo Infinite turns out and wonder if it can meet the lofty expectations that the franchise has built over the past two decades.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Expected Launch – Spring 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC

Lego games have almost become a genre unto themselves since Traveller’s Tales released their first instalment in 2005 with Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. It only seems appropriate then, that 16 years later TT would look to make the biggest evolution to their tried and tested formula with the franchise that started it all. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga may look similar to other Lego games, but TT have redesigned the formula from the ground up to feature an open world, over the shoulder combat and more free roam space combat. All of this combined with content from the nine films in the Skywalker Saga, means this is shaping up to be the most unique and content filled Lego in years.

Riders Republic

Expected Launch – February 25th 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

Ubisoft dropped a surprise at the end of their September Ubisoft Forward event with the reveal of Riders Republic. Riders Republic is seemingly the evolution from Steep, the 2016 open world ski/snowboarding game, but this time players will enter a massive multiplayer world and compete across the American National parks on skis, bikes and wingsuits. Ubisoft has promised races with 50+ participants as well as team races and trick competitions. If Ubisoft can deliver on the vision outlined in the reveal trailer then this could very well become the social hub of 2021 much like Call of Duty Warzone and Among Us have in 2020.

Gran Turismo 7

Expected Launch – 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 5

Racing games have traditionally been used to showcase a new console generations technical prowess so it was no surprise to see Gran Turismo 7 revealed at PlayStation’s June event. With Gran Turismo 6 releasing seven years ago and Gran Turismo Sport three years ago it is certainly time for us to see the next full instalment from Polyphony Digital. Based on the trailer footage we can expect to see stunning visual and faithfully recreated cars all taking advantage of the PlayStation 5’s power including ray tracing and adaptive triggers.

Gran Turismo 7 is set to include highlight features and modes from previous instalments while still pushing the series forward. With 4K HDR at a targeted 60fps this could really be a highlight for the PS5 in 2021.

Gotham Knights

Expected Launch – 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

WB Montreal is taking us back to Gotham with the latest Batman game, Gotham Knights. Unlike the previous Arkham games however, players won’t be taking control of the caped crusader but rather four of his allies. Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood and Nightwing will be the stars of this game in a world where Batman is dead. Players will be able to control the members of the Bat family in an open world RPG in either single player or team up with a friend for co-op action.

This looks to be an interesting deviation from the classic formula that Rocksteady Studios made us love with the Arkham games while still staying true to the elements that made those games special.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Expected Launch – Spring 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 5

Insomniac Games have established themselves as one of Sony’s premier studios over the past few years with 2016’s Ratchet & Clank, 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man and 2020’s Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. While the Spider-Man games have received PlayStation 5 upgrades, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be their first title developed exclusively for Sony’s latest console.

Insomniac look to be flexing their development muscle with the next gen features too. Lightning quick loads between worlds, stunning visual and clever use of the DualSense adaptive triggers means that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart could very well become the first true showcase of what the PS5 can deliver.

Hogwarts Legacy

Expected Launch – 2021

Update: Unfortunately Hogwarts Legacy has been delayed to 2022

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

Growing up in the 1990’s the world of Harry Potter has been a huge part of my life and is easily one of my favourite franchises (despite its creator doing her best to ruin its and her reputation with hateful comments). When the ‘Harry Potter RPG’ leaked in 2018 it immediately became one of my most anticipated games, especially with how much I enjoyed the licenced games based on the films. With the official reveal at the September PlayStation event that excitement only grew when I saw how faithfully they seem to have recreated Hogwarts.

Set in the 1800’s, Hogwarts Legacy will see you choose your house and develop your skills as a witch or wizard in all the ways you would expect at Hogwarts. With millions of fans across the world this game will come with lofty expectations but if it can stick the landing it may well end up being a massive hit in 2021 and set the stage for future sequels.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Expected Launch – 1st Quarter 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC

Kena: Bridge of Spirits was one of the big surprises out of June PlayStation event. Amongst the big hitters of Spider-Man, Demon’s Souls and Gran Turismo, Kena: Bridge of Spirits shone through with its gorgeous ‘Pixar’ esc art style. Developed by Ember Lab, you will take control of Kena as you explore and tackle enemies with fast past combat.

While there will be bigger games in 2021, if Kena: Bridge of Spirits lives up to what is showcased in their trailer, it could turn out to be one of the years surprise hits.

Horizon Forbidden West

Expected Launch – 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

We were first introduced to Aloy in 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn and she quickly became a PlayStation icon. 2021 will once again see us take control of Aloy as she battles epic mechanical dinosaurs and beasts across stunning landscapes. Horizon Zero Dawn raised the bar for console visuals and I wouldn’t be surprised if Horizon Forbidden West pushes the boundaries once again for what we can expect on PlayStation 5 going forward.

Guerrilla Games broke away from what they knew with Killzone when they made Horizon Zero Dawn and if we go off of history, the second instalments in series are usually more refined and polished compared to the originals. With how incredible Guerrilla made Horizon Zero Dawn this could mean that Horizon Forbidden West ends up not only being one of the best games of 2021 but potentially, one of the best PlayStation exclusives of all time.

God of War Sequel (Ragnarök)

Expected Launch – 2021

Expected Platforms – PlayStation 5

This one may be cheating as everyone, myself included, is extremely sceptical that this game will actually release in 2021 given how development of games was effected in 2020. If Sony Santa Monica does in fact manage to release this title next year, then it is unquestionable in the running for game of the year especially with how incredible 2018’s God of War turned out.

What is slightly more up in the air is if this is a full sequel or more of a 1.5, similar to how Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales delivered a full experience all be it smaller in scale compared to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man. One thing is for sure though, be it a ten hour experience or a thirty hour epic, Sony Santa Monica have shown that they can make an incredible game and I can’t wait to see how the sequel turns out.

If 2021 manages to deliver all of these games and if they live up to expectations, then we could be in for one of the best years in video game history. With plenty more games rumoured to be releasing too there is lots to look forward to, regardless of which platform you play on. Be sure to check back for coverage on all of these games as well as other big releases throughout the year. For now though let me know your most anticipated games in the comments below.

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