Our eyes are on 2021’s most anticipated games (at least when we’re not trying to figure out where to buy the PS5). We’ve just reached the start of a new console generation, which is filled with promise and potential. Many of these games look to thrive by leveraging the powerful hardware of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
The most interesting titles on our radar are sequels with a lot to prove, such as God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon Zero West and Resident Evil: Village, which look to put some of our favorite characters back in jeopardy.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
When it comes to showing off the true power of the new generation of consoles, we have one game on our minds: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. This title is one of the most anticipated PS5 games because of how its story will showcase the system’s performance. As seen in the gameplay trailer, our heroes will be dimension-hopping their way through all sorts of worlds to stop Dr. Nefarious.
This wild gameplay, where our heroes go on an interdimensional road trip will showcase the PS5’s super-fast load times, as you simply jump through rifts seamlessly. In this Ratchet & Clank game, the first one since 2016, we’ll even see Ratchet discover that he’s not the last Lombax standing, thanks to alternate realities.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will arrive in 2021 on PS5.
Agent 47 is coming back, and he’s going to lead the charge in 2021. Currently due in January, Hitman 3 will take the efficient assassin to iconic locations such as Marrakesh’s spice market stalls and Colombia’s rainforests as we reach the conclusion of the globe-trotting “World of Assassination” trilogy. To end it all, Agent 47’s targeting the partners of Providence, the ancient secret society that’s pulling the puppet strings behind the scenes during the story so far.
And don’t expect to be stuck staring at Agent 47’s cue-ball dome. Hitman 3 is going to be available in VR, along with the first two chapters of the trilogy. Yes, you too can walk in Agent 47’s finely tailored suits.
Hitman 3 will arrive on January 20 for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
Far Cry 6
When it comes to cinematic gaming, Far Cry 6 looks like a must-play. Beloved actor Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) is the star of the game, portraying the villainous dictator Anton Castillo, who rules Yara, “a tropical paradise frozen in time.” His son Diego will follow in his footsteps, but along the way, they’ll have a local uprising to deal with.
That’s where you come in, as Yaran guerilla fighter Dani Rojas, a member of the fight to take the Castillos down. Settings in the game will include Esperanza — Yara’s capital city — as well as jungles and beaches.
Far Cry 6 will arrive on February 18 on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Amazon Luna.
Horizon Forbidden West
One of the most anticipated games of the PS5’s first full year, Horizon Forbidden West sees Aloy (the protagonist for Horizon Zero Dawn) continue to explore the remains of Earth, which is filled with dangerous machines she’ll have to shoot down. As its name suggests, Horizon Forbidden West will take Aloy to famous San Francisco locations, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Ferry Building and the Transamerica Pyramid.
We expect that Horizon Forbidden West’s bow-and-arrow mechanics will take full advantage of the DualSense controller’s feedback and tricks. Mathijs De Jonge, the game’s director, hyped up the title a bit, saying we should expect a much larger game than HZD, and one that will make the most of the PS5’s blazing-fast SSD.
Horizon Forbidden West will arrive in 2021 on the PS4 and PS5.
Prince of Persia Sands of Time remake
The Prince is back! Ubisoft announced that it would be giving Prince of Persia: Sands of Time a rebirth fit for a … prince. Check out how the game’s 2003 graphics are gone, and replaced with slick modern-gen looks:
Originally scheduled to arrive in January 2021, the Prince of Persia Sands of Time remake was pushed back by two months. Hopefully, this delay means we get a finished, un-buggy game. There’s no real reason why this should be a Cyberpunk 2077-level catastrophe.
Prince of Persia Sands of Time remake will arrive in March on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in March 2021.
Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village has everything. As seen in a creepy new trailer, this new chapter of the survival horror franchise takes place in an unsettling gothic village that’s beset by vampires, werewolves, familiar faces and a whole new side of series hero Chris Redfield.
Resident Evil: Village will also see more series continuity. Ethan Winters and his wife Mia survived the horrors of RE:7 only to wind up in this terrifying new township. And it seems like they’ll have to stop Chris Redfield, who has turned a bit evil.
Resident Evil Village will arrive in 2021 on the PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Gran Turismo 7
Gran Turismo 7 has high expectations riding on its proverbial chassis. Not only will it seek to showcase the power of the PS5 — something this series has done historically on Sony consoles — but the game will also try to thread the needle between the traditional aspects that made the series what it is, and multiplayer/esports content to grow the audience.
After Polyphony practically rewrote the book with GT Sport, Gran Turismo 7 looks to be less controversial. Expect a full single-player campaign, as well as the return of fan favorite tracks such as Trial Mountain, and even a track that looks like El Capitan.
Gran Turismo 7 will arrive in 2021 on the PS5.
Fans of the Harry Potter books and movies can finally enroll in wizarding school themselves. The long-rumored Hogwarts Legacy is an upcoming RPG that puts you under the Sorting Hat to discover which house you belong in.
There, you’ll learn spells, make potions, deal with magical beasts and even find yourself in some drama with other students, as the trailer revealed there’s a masked kid (or group thereof) stirring up trouble. Oh, and don’t expect Mr. Potter to be in attendance, the game takes place long before Harry arrives.
Hogwarts Legacy arrives in 2021, and it’s coming to PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
God of War: Ragnarok
Details are sparse, but we do know that Kratos will return to the PS5 (and maybe the PS4) in 2021. God of War: Ragnarok, the successor to the smash hit 2018 game God of War, was revealed at a PlayStation 5 showcase event, and is one of the most anticipated games of 2021.
But since all we’ve got is a very thin preview trailer, it’s time to play sleuth. The trailer notes that “Ragnarök is coming,” and while that may just refer to the title of the game, it could also be a much more scary harbinger. Ragnarök is the Norse mythology’s end of days, which would be a mighty setup for the next adventure of Krators and Atreus. As the end of God of War hinted, Thor is coming for Kratos, so get ready to fight lightning with brawn.
God of War: Ragnarok will arrive in 2021 on the PlayStation 5 (and possibly the PS4, it’s not confirmed).
The fine folks at Double Fine are back with a sequel to the beloved Psychonauts, and like many games on this list, it’s going to emerge in 2021 after a series of delays. Originally scheduled for 2020, this beautiful return to form from Tim Schaefer & co. is now bringing its wonder a little later than expected, so we’ll (hopefully) get a smoother launch.
We don’t know many spoilers about the game, but we do know that Jack Black voices the mysterious Mote of Light, and that (naturally) he will be singing in the game as well.
Psychonauts 2 will arrive in 2021 on the PX, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PS4.
Persona 5 Strikers
The Phantom Thieves are back again, but this time Joker and the gang are moving away from the RPG format and into a hack-and-slash adventure. From Omega Force (the folks behind similar games such as the Dynasty Warriors series) comes Persona 5 Strikers, in which the P5 cast reunites to stop another possible calamity.
The returning characters include Joker, Morgana, Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke, Makoto, Futaba and Haru, and the game doesn’t reflect the story of Persona 5 Royal. The warning of a potential catastrophe comes from the returning character Lavenza, which spurs Joker, Ryuji and Morgana to seek the help of a personal assistant named EMMA. Along the way, they run across a massively popular pop star named Alice Hiiragi, and it looks to be an excellent continuation of the Persona 5 story, which makes it one of 2021’s most anticipated games for JRPG fans.
Persona 5 Strikers will arrive on February 23 on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch and PC.
What if you had just one job, and you just couldn’t get it done — no matter how many times you tried? And what if that job was killing one of your fellow assassins? That’s the trouble plaguing Colt and Juliana, who are stuck in this murderous cycle together. And, wouldn’t you know it: One of them doesn’t want to leave.
Yes, for some reason Juliana actually wants to keep this “deathloop” going, while Colt aims to free himself. Developer Arkane (Dishonored) looks to give you a lot of freedom, despite how the game focuses on one mission and one mission only: Kill or be killed.
Deathloop will arrive on May 20 on the PS5.
We’re going back to Arkham, but without Batman in tow. Gotham Knights sees Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin forced to defend their home turf without the Caped Crusader, who has apparently been killed (we’ll believe that when we see it).
And, unfortunately for our heroes, they have a big challenge: the Court of Owls, an iconic set of baddies from the recent Batman comics, must be stopped. On the bright side, up to two players can team up together to protect Gotham in an online co-op mode.
Gotham Knights arrives in 2021 on PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC.
Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Scheduled for a vague “2021” window, Lord of the Rings: Gollum is a stealth game that puts you behind the nervous hands and feet of the titular corrupted Hobbit. And of course, since Gollum doesn’t have the weaponry or brawn of the other LOTR characters, navigating Mordor without attracting the attention of dangerous orcs, ringwraiths and other powerful enemies depends on your ability to stay hidden..
The other weapon in Gollum’s arsenal is his wit, as dialogue decisions will determine your path through the game, presenting forks in the road. The game’s trailer doesn’t give a whole lot away, but does pile on the atmospherics, as if fans didn’t know what to expect from the former Sméagol’s first video game of his own.
Gollum will arrive in 2021 on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox One.