Another year has come and gone, and I never got around to playing most of the games on last year’s list, but that will not stop me from making a new one for 2021! The games on this list either have definitive or tentative release dates slated for next year. This means that, and I cannot believe I’m talking about this again for the second year in a row, although I would love to get my hands on Metroid Prime 4 next year, the fact that it has yet to be dated leaves me with very little hope on the matter. Regardless, this list is sure to have some people biting their nails in anticipation. This is my top 5 most anticipated games of 2021.
5. Back 4 Blood. Release date: June 22, 2021
Zombies are a little bit over-played at this point, and honestly, I shied away from some of these pandemic-focused games this year in favor of more light-hearted and relaxing experiences (sorry Resident Evil 3 Remake, thank you Animal Crossing). I am excited for the long-awaited Left 4 Dead 3, uh I mean Back 4 Blood, nonetheless. It looks like this will be an incredible cooperative experience regardless if we have seen this type of game time and time again. The formula was perfected by Turtle Rock and I have no doubt that they will build on everything they have learned throughout their last 2 development cycles and the 11 long years watching other developers try to replicate what they succeeded at in 2009. This one is definitely on my radar, and it should be on yours too.
4. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. Release date: February 12, 2021
As someone who never owned a Wii U, the games that Nintendo ports to the Switch are welcome additions to my library. On top of including all the Super Mario goodness that was found in the original game, Bowser’s Fury is promising to be quite a significant expansion to the base experience. Like I said, I never owned a Wii U, so I still probably would have jumped on this without the new addition, but it is a bonus that I have come to look forward to. Nintendo rarely disappoints with their first-party software, and the prospect of playing this game cooperatively has me VERY excited.
3. Gotham Knights. Release date: Tentative, 2021
It’s no secret, I’m a huge Batman fan. What Warner Bros. have done with the Arkham Trilogy nurtured this fandom into a full-blown obsession. That is why Gotham Knights is one of my most anticipated games for next year. Batman is dead, and his troop of sidekicks come together in this game to fill the void left by his absence. The idea of controlling Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, and the Red Hood in an Arkham-like experience makes me breathe heavily, drooling with every second breath. We were treated with a trailer that is over 4 minutes long, building my excitement to astronomical proportions. This will be a must-have when it releases.
2. Halo Infinite. Release date: Tentative, Fall 2021
What can I say about this one? While the gameplay reveal reflected a less than impressive product, I am still excited for this. That is a testament to how big Halo has been in my life. I think that 343 made a good move delaying this game into next year, especially after witnessing the train wreck that was Cyberpunk 2077’s launch. I have played the entire Halo arc from the very first Combat Evolved to the more recent Guardians many times over. It has become a gather point for me and my best friend, with the long-held tradition of playing the campaigns cooperatively in chronological order in anticipation for any new entry in the series. This will be no exception; however, it has become increasingly difficult to find the time. This one is near the very top of my list for most anticipated games of next year.
- Monster Hunter Rise. Release date: March 26, 2021
This is the game I am most excited for. Everything I have seen about this game has screamed perfection. Following the Monster Hunter Twitter page, I have been building anticipation after every new concept art or gameplay tease. The feature I have been most excited for is the simple addition of a canine companion in the newly conceived Palamutes. AND Ichinose has confirmed that you will have the option to bring TWO along with you on your adventure. As an avid dog person, I approve this message. Another design choice I have admired since we first saw it was the addition of the Wire Bug. This will give you increased mobility, never-before seen in a Monster Hunter game. You will be able to jump high, scale mountains, and rise to victory against a huge assortment of kaijus looking for a fight. This one is going to be amazing.
And with that, this post is a wrap. Obviously, like any opinion-based list, my picks may not reflect yours, so I would love to hear what you are looking forward to in the new year. Let me know in the comments below. Have a wonderful new year, and may 2021 bring us all joy after a very difficult 2020.