2020 has been a bizarre year for everyone. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t completely stop work from continuing on the development of games. There have been some great titles released this year thanks to the hard work of studios across the globe. Thankfully, that also means that 2021 is set to be a bumper year with very little disruption to the launch schedule.
With both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S out, 2021 will see a huge number of next-gen games. There are also big celebrations planned for franchises such as The Legend of Zelda, as well as speculation about an improved Nintendo Switch model. All that means that there are lots of games to get excited about that could be out soon.
Here are our 10 most anticipated video games of 2021.
Considering how popular and successful the Harry Potter franchise is, it’s a surprise that there are no really good games. That could change with Hogwarts Legacy, a new RPG by Avalanche Software announced for 2021. Given the freedom of being set well before the events of the books and movies, it will explore a new cast of characters and locations. The RPG, will of course, also feature Hogwarts school, with players taking on the role of a new student.
12 Minutes has actually been in development for more than four years. However, it first gained widespread attention during Microsoft’s E3 2019 conference. Here, viewers first got to see the unique concept of the game in action. Players must continuously play the same 12 minutes over and over again, trying to solve a mystery. The ultimate aim is to prevent the death of their partner when a police officer knocks at the door. Users can do this by keeping knowledge of the events as the events are reset every 12 minutes. It’s an interesting mechanic that players can fully explore in 2021 now that the game has been delayed.
IO Interactive has done an excellent job bringing back the Hitman series for the modern age. Releasing two previous games in partnership with Square Enix, the developer is now in control of the series. The third title is set to incorporate everything the studio learned from its predecessors. Fans will also get all content immediately, with no episodic releases like with the first two installments. Set to launch on January 20, this will be an early game to check out in 2021.
Resident Evil Village
The Resident Evil franchise is an example of a series that had become stale over time. That all changed with the release of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in 2017. The game breathed fresh life into the horror survival franchise. There have since been two remasters of classic titles and the news about a completely new entry. Resident Evil Village takes Ethan Winter and Chris Redfield exploring a frosty village along with supernatural elements such as witches. It is planned to release in 2021 on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC. You can watch the age-restricted trailer on YouTube here.
Since Rocksteady Games stopped working on the Arkham series, there hasn’t been a good Batman game. Fortunately, WB Interactive is now working on a sequel in the form of Gotham Knights. Rather than just follow the same formula, though, the developer is introducing new characters and mechanics. The gameplay will have a strong multiplayer component this time around. It will also focus heavily on the wider Batman family, as the crime-fighters battle against the Court of Owls.
Blizzard finally announced Diablo IV last year during the BlizzCon event. The sequel will see Lilith, from the second title in the series, back to cause more havoc for players. While there’s been very little shown of the title, the publisher is planning a big reveal during BlizzConline in February. This will likely include new classes, story details, and gameplay changes. But with so many similar titles now on the market, Diablo IV will have to go some way to re-establish itself as the top dungeon crawling series.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
Although Nintendo has not yet announced any news about a possible new release, speculation has continued to grow. With the release of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Nintendo has set out exactly how it intends to celebrate its big franchises. With the action-RPG series also turning 35 in 2021, that could mean remasters of previous releases for the Nintendo Switch. Players are hoping for titles such as Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, and Majora’s Mask. But time will tell what exactly Nintendo will do next year, and it’s possible Breath of the Wild 2 could be released.
Horizon Forbidden West
Guerilla Games switched up from its first-person shooter series Killzone to the action-adventure Horizon Zero Dawn. That game proved to be a big hit with PlayStation 4 players and a sequel is now on the way. Announced this year, Horizon Forbidden West features Aloy once again, battling for survival in a world ruled by huge robots. The developers promise that this sequel will provide some answers to questions raised in the first game. It also looks to explore more of the expansive lore of the in-game world. The game will release on PS4 and PS5.
The Halo series might not have the stature it once did but it is still one of Microsoft’s biggest properties. Originally meant to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S, Halo Infinite was delayed to Fall 2021 following lackluster previews. That means that 343 Industries is now spending almost an extra year on development. With the return of key developers, such as Joseph Staten, there’s some reason to be optimistic about what Halo Infinite could do. Especially when Microsoft will be hoping it will provide people with a reason to buy the latest Xbox consoles.
Although there’s technically still no word on when Elden Ring will release, fans are expecting it to arrive in 2021. Created by the team responsible for Dark Souls and Bloodborne, it will follow a familiar formula. This time around, though, the story has had a helping hand. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has acted as a consultant, exciting fans of FromSoftware. Fans can probably expect the same compelling gameplay and difficult boss fights along with a healthy dose of gory violence.
What are your most anticipated games for 2021? Tell us in the comments below!