The PS5 and Xbox games to look forward to in 2021

The PS5 and Xbox games to look forward to in 2021

We've picked out the best games coming to PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch in 2021

Along with Amazon and whoever makes hand soap, gaming has been one of the few industries that has emerged from 2020 relatively unscathed – things look rosy, even, with two shiny new consoles and a quite literally captive audience. We’re yet to really see what the PlayStation 5 and new Xboxes can do, and that makes next year particularly exciting.

This is our list of the best games to forward to in 2021. We’ve been quite liberal with inclusions here – some of these titles will inevitably be pushed back beyond 2021, but we'll keep this list up to date with the latest updates and releases.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Despite being one the greatest games of the last generation, Breath of the Wild came with some obvious flaws – repetitive enemy types, irritating rain mechanics, and your bloody hearts not fitting neatly over two bars, driving the perfectionists among us to distraction. Basically, there’s a lot for Nintendo to improve on in a sequel, but since a short trailer at E3 2019, which many fans took as a sign that Ganondorf will return, we haven’t heard much about BotW 2. For now, players will have to content themselves with Hyrule Warriors, a Dynasty Warriors homage based on the art style and combat of the first game.

Release Date TBD on Nintendo Switch

 

Horizon: Forbidden West

A sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn – one of Sony's most beloved new IPs from the PS4 era – was announced back in June 2020 during PlayStation's exciting E3 conference. Horizon Forbidden West continues to follow Aloy's story, picking up after the events of the first game. Newly emboldened and curious to learn more about the post-apocalyptic world around her, Aloy travels to America's decimated wild frontier – and straight into more danger than ever before.
The new western environment takes us to the habitat of imposing new mechanical beasts – including mammoths and alligators, according to the trailer – and will seemingly have a focus on underwater exploration, too. Game director Mathijs de Jonge has already promised that the game will feature practically no loading screens, and we'll get to see how the PS5's DualSense pad deals with Aloy's infamous draw-string bow, too. "The DualSense wireless controller adaptive triggers will help us to make the weapons feel even more unique and satisfying to use," Jonge has stated... and we can't wait to see how that feels.
Release date: 2021
 
 

Hitman 3

 
Agent 47 is coming back, and he's packing his suitcase of lethal gadgets for what's pegged as the most intimate and professional contract in his entire career. IO Interactive's sublime stealth trilogy reaches its conclusion with Hitman 3, and the stakes have never been higher. Expect to unravel an international conspiracy, travel to some mind-blowing locations, and pull off some fiendishly complicated executions.
Trailers and teases so far confirm that we'll be hunting down executive targets in a Dubai skyscraper, an old English manor, a neon-drenched Chinese city, and more besides. Once you consider the option of importing the past two games' locations into the new title, you'll have over 20 playable levels in one game – all brought to life with crisp 4K and in 60fps thanks to IO's impressive Glacier Engine. An essential purchase for stealth fans.
Release date: January 20, 2021. 
 
 

Guilty Gear -Strive-

Guilty Gear -Strive- will be the seventh entry into the fan-favourite series, and demonstrates the technical wizardry of developer Arc System Works unlike any game before. Enjoying mainstream acclaim thanks to its work on DragonBall FighterZ, ArcSys is heading back to familiar territory with a myriad of developmental tricks up its sleeve, resulting in perhaps one of the most stylish, impressive-looking fighting games on the market.
“The trials and tribulations of the series’ heroes and villains will finally be resolved,” Arc System Works teases of its new game, hinting that we'll finally see a conclusion to an off-the-wall anime plot that's been playing out for the better part of 20 years. Come for the flashy, gorgeous cel-shaded graphics, stay for a battle system that's deep enough to challenge even Street Fighter or Tekken.
Release date: April 9, 2021
 
 

Battlefield 6

 
Though most of the details about Battlefield 6 are still shrouded in mystery, we do know a few key elements about the game that have us hyped about EA and DICE's next-gen first-person shooter. As is now tradition for DICE, the game will be seeking to push the new hardware to its limits, with EA already claiming the game will be "targeting new innovation that will be enabled by next-gen platforms".
Recently, we've seen the developer retread familiar ground as it revisits both World Wars (Battlefield 1 and Battlefield 5 taking on WW1 and WW2, respectively). Whether we'll see the new game tackle the Pacific theatre, head to Viet Nam, or opt for a more modern setting has yet to be revealed. Even if the setting isn't to your liking, you can expect DICE's new title to at least be a mind-blowing demonstration of exactly what the Frostbite engine can achieve on the latest hardware. Expect destructibility, lifelike graphics and some gorgeous map design.
Release date: 2021 
 
 

Far Cry 6

Continuing the series' theme of taking place in locations that – just about – skirt the realms of reality, Far Cry 6 takes aim at Cuba. But it's not Cuba, not really – no, this time our protagonist will be 'freedom fighting' in a "tropical paradise frozen in time" called Yara. Under the rule of dictator Anton Castillo (played by Giancarlo Esposito, if you were curious), Far Cry 6 will apparently be a touch more nuanced in its political views than past releases.
 
You enter the fray as a revolution is taking place in Yara, where the people are striving to depose Castillo and his corrupt regime. As a revolutionary, you will assumedly be tasked with leading the uprising – or at least play an integral role in bringing the heat to Castillo and his young son, Diego, who he hopes to raise as a brutal autocrat that will succeed him. Ubisoft promises your character will have more agency than we've seen in Far Cry to date, and that your actions will have repercussions on both the narrative and the world state. Oh, and you can have an angry Dachshund called Chorizo as a companion. If it wasn't GOTY material before, it is now.
Release date: May 2021  
 

Halo Infinite

Out 2021 on Xbox Series X/S

 

Gran Turismo 7

 
It’s not really a new console release without an accompanying slice of car porn, and Gran Turismo 7 promises to have petrolheads sweating into their custom-built racing chairs. The long-running PlayStation franchise always acts as a showcase of the power of a new console, and brings real-time ray tracing, high dynamic range, and a host of other visual improvements that we don’t really understand. It will also take advantage of the PS5’s USP – the DualSense controller – which can change resistance depending on what’s going on in the game, meaning that players will be able to actually feel the difference when driving with anti-lock brakes, for instance.

Out Q1/Q2 on PlayStation 5

 

Deathloop

Arkane Studios, who created the underrated steampunk game Dishonoured, are back with another new world. Deathloop looks great, particularly among the endless sci-fi styled titles we’re currently inundated with. The trailer looks like a 1970s blaxploitation film, with two immortal assassins locked in deadly acrobatic combat. If we’re locked down again next summer, Deathloop might be the title to help us ride out the pain.

Out June on PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Windows

 

Age of Empires 4

The Age of Empires community is currently being showered in riches, with total remasters of all three titles now available. Age of Empires 4, the first totally new title since 2005, looks set to return to the medieval setting of AoE2, the strongest game in the series, and abandon many of the missteps the creators admitted were made in the third iteration. The cartoonish graphics of early gameplay trailers have some fans worried, but there’s plenty of time to change the game’s look before release.

Release Date TBD on Microsoft Windows

 

Monster Hunter Rise

The Monster Hunter series had been a phenomenon in Japan for many years, but it gained worldwide renown with the 2017 release of Monster Hunter World, a title that became Capcom's best selling game of all time. You hunt monsters, find better gear, then hunt harder monsters, all on a sprawling fantasy island. It’s a winning formula, let’s see if they can bring it to Switch. Happily, the graphics look brilliant for a Switch title.

Sable

An astoundingly beautiful looking indie game inspired by Moebius comics and Studio Ghibli. The minimalist art style looks like a moving painting. Developers Shedworks, named because they were initially based out of a garden shed, have said the game features no combat, just a young girl, Sable, trying to pass a rite-of-passage by returning a mask to her clan. We’ll update this space as we get more info.

Release Date 2021 on PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

 

Pokemon Snap

The original Pokemon Snap, released in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, was a masterstroke of simplicity. Your character – Todd Snap (yes, really) – moved around on rails through a world dotted with rare Pokemon to photograph. It became an instant classic and now, more than 20 years later, there’s going to be a sequel. There isn’t a massive amount of detail yet – just a launch trailer unveiled in the summer – but this one is hotly anticipated by Pokemon fans.

Release date TBD on Nintendo Switch

 

Metroid Prime 4

Nintendo’s biggest 2021 releases are all question marks, none more so than bounty hunter Samus Aran’s latest adventure. The project began development with Bandai Namco Studios sometime back in 2017, but in 2019 Nintendo announced that the project was being restarted, as the current game did not meet the company’s high standards. Fear not, because Retro Studios, responsible for the classic original, are now back in control. 2021 is a faint possibility, so we’ll hold this here until we hear different.

Release Date TBD on Nintendo Switch

 

Starfield

We know basically nothing about Starfield, other than it being Bethesda's first original RPG in decades, and that it is set in space. CEO Todd Howard has confirmed the game is still coming. There’s been a few unconfirmed screenshots of an astronaut looking at some kind of space cruiser on the moon. The same person who leaked these shots says that the game will be released in 2021, so take that with a very big pinch of salt, but we’ll certainly see it before Elder Scrolls 6.

Release Date TBD on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows

 

Final Fantasy XVI

It also wouldn’t be a new generation without a new entry (number sixteen, for those of you not versed in roman numerals), from Square Enix’s roleplaying behemoth. The story sounds like the usual medieval fantasy fair, with a gang of adventurers travelling across the land of Valisthea, to stop a disease called the blight. Expect high octane battles, entertaining melodrama and fiendish gameplay. It’s a PS5 exclusive.

Release Date 2021 on PlayStation 5

 

No More Heroes 3

The original No More Heroes was one of the most ingenious uses of the Wii remote, with players slashing and hacking their controller through the air to mimic the cuts of a lightsaber. Expect more of the same from the third game in the series, as hero Travis Touchdown returns to Santa Destroy after a ten-year absence, to face off against more “crazy dangerous assassins”.

Release Date 2021 on Nintendo Switch

 

Psychonauts 2

 
An infamously long wait for this game, but unlike, say, Beyond Good and Evil 2, we’re confident we’ll see the sequel to Tim Schafer’s witty 2005 classic arrive next year – studio Double Fine managed to raise nearly $4 million in a Kickstarter campaign. You’ll play as Raz, a psychonaut trained to explore people’s minds, recesses that take the form of colourful platforming levels. The original sold poorly, but has since become a cult classic.

Release Date 2021 on PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

 

Resident Evil 8: Village

The initial E3 trailer for Resident Evil 8 looked like a massive change of direction for the series, featuring supernatural forces like werewolves. The most recent trailer reverted to type, with many more Zombie-like enemies assaulting the player. A witch seems to be the main antagonist in this game. Will there be more terrifying pursuits like with Mr X and Nemesis from the recent remasters? We can only hope so.

Release Date 2021 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S