BGR’s 15 most anticipated video games of 2021

  • These are our 15 most anticipated games of 2021, coming to PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PC, and more.
  • There are many sequels on the list, including Halo Infinite, Resident Evil Village, and No More Heroes 3.
  • The list also includes brand new IPs, such as GhostWire: Tokyo and Deathloop.

In just a few short days, we can put 2020 behind us. There’s no guarantee that 2021 will be any better, but we might as well hold out hope, because it’s far less draining to be optimistic. In that spirit of optimism, we have put together a list of 15 games we can’t wait to play in 2021. Despite all of the chaos and setbacks of 2020, this year was actually a very exciting one for the game industry, with two next-generation console launches and a slew of great games. With that said, looking at the list below, 2021 could end up being an even bigger year for gaming.

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Hitman 3 | PS5, PS4, XSX, XBO, Switch, PC | January 20th

There really aren’t any other video game franchises doing what IO Interactive is doing with Hitman. The third and final game of this unique trilogy arrives next January, and even though I did not spend as much time with Hitman 2 as I did with the 2016 reboot, I can’t wait to jump back into the World of Assassination and explore the intricate environments that this studio has built after spending half a decade completely immersed in Hitman. Few other titles in this genre foster as much creativity, encourage as much replayability, or result in such incredibly silly situations.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury | Switch | February 12th

One of two remakes or remasters that I allowed myself to include on our list, Super Mario 3D World is one of the best Mario games of the last several generations, topped only by Super Mario Odyssey. Because it launched on the Wii U, many people likely missed it the first time around, and as one of the lucky few that played it at launch (and reviewed it in 2013), I can assure anyone who missed out that the combination of 2D gameplay with 3D design works flawlessly. Every level feels like a well-oiled machine and the power-ups are joyously entertaining. Plus, there’s a whole new expansion that should freshen up the experience for anyone who has played the original.

Monster Hunter Rise | Switch | March 26th

Up until the launch of Monster Hunter: World in 2018, the franchise felt completely impenetrable to me. I had bought at least a few of the games prior, but I bounced off all of them immediately. I’m not sure how much of that welcoming spirit will be imbued in Monster Hunter Rise, but the trailers show that it will have plenty of weapons to master and plenty of monsters to conquer with an emphasis on traversal using the new Wire Bug.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits | PS5, PS4, PC | Q1 2021

I know less about Kena: Bridge of Spirits than any of the other games on this list, but third-person action-adventure games with crazy narratives are my jam. Kena — the main character — has a staff she can use to attack bad guys and will eventually be able to turn it into a bow. As she collects Rot (the little round dudes in the trailer), she will be able to take on greater challenges and solve puzzles. I’m here for whatever Ember Lab is concocting.

NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… | PS4, XBO, PC | April 23rd

The second and final remake on my list, Nier Replicant had to be here once Nier: Automata made its way into my top 10 in 2017. I am and will always be a sucker for crazy stories that threaten to make my brain collapse in on itself, from Danganronpa to Kingdom Hearts to Killer7, and the NieR series certainly falls into that category. This game is actually a remake(-ish) of the 2010 game NieR RepliCant, which itself was a prequel to Automata. Basically, you run around and slash enemies with your giant sword, but the story is where these games truly shine.

Deathloop | PS5, PC | May 21st

Arkane knows style as well as any game studio on the planet, but for whatever reason, I could never get invested in any of the Dishonored games. Deathloop looks to be more my style, putting you in the shoes of an assassin stuck in a time loop. You wake up at a party on a beach and have to dispatch 8 targets before dying, and if you fail to do so, you are forced to start over from the beginning. There’s also a counter-op mode where one player enters another player’s game and attempt to stop them from completing their mission, adding another layer of difficulty.

NEO: The World Ends with You | PS4, Switch | Summer 2021

The World Ends with You was one of the most inventive and interesting RPGs ever released on the Nintendo DS, but it didn’t get nearly as much attention as most Square Enix RPGs typically receive. In the first game, Neku Sakuraba wakes up confused in Tokyo’s Shibuya district and is forced to participate in a game that will decide his fate. The dual-screen combat took some adjustment, but was really unique and rewarding. The sequel NEO looks to retain the same art style, but appears to feature full 3D battles and a brand new cast of characters.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart | PS5 | 1H 2021

In the early 2000s, the biggest games in my life were Ratchet & Clank and Jak and Daxter. The studios behind these brilliant action-platformers have gone on to make some of the most beloved games of the decade (Marvel’s Spider-Man from Insomniac Games and The Last of Us Part II from Naughty Dog), but Insomniac didn’t forget where it came from, and is bringing Ratchet and his robot companion back for the launch of the PS5.

Halo Infinite | XBO, XSX, PC | Fall 2021

Initially set to be a launch game for the Xbox Series X and Series S, Halo Infinite has now been delayed to fall 2021. The trailer (above) did not go over especially well with fans, and so 343 Industries decided to go back to the drawing board. Halo Infinite appears to be a much larger and more open game than its predecessors, but as the flagship title for the new consoles, it needs to be great, and the visuals simply weren’t up to par. Now, providing the new release window holds true, Halo could be the biggest release of the 2021 holiday season.

Horizon Forbidden West | PS5, PS4 | Fall 2021

Guerrilla Games built one of the best open-world games ever made, and following it up will be a very tall task. Horizon Zero Dawn was the best game of 2017, according to us, with its fast-paced combat, post-apocalyptic landscapes, and a story to rival Lost (but without all the bad parts). I’m not sure there are any games that I am more excited to play in 2021, especially to see what this world looks like running on a PlayStation 5.

GhostWire: Tokyo | PS5, PC | 2021

The Evil Within might not have made as much of an impact as Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami’s other works, but it and its sequel are some of the better action-horror games of the last generation — especially the sequel. His new game looks even crazier, with a healthy dose of the supernatural to balance out the horror.

Gotham Knights | PS5, PS4, XSX, XBO, PC | 2021

Batman is dead, and it’s up to Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood to keep Gotham safe in his stead. That’s the premise of Gotham Knights, which is not actually connected to the Batman: Arkham games that came before it. That said, it’s still an open-world game with RPG mechanics and a number of supervillains to do battle with, including the Court of Owls and Mr. Freeze. Plus, a friend can drop in for co-op adventuring.

N1RV Ann-A | PC | 2021

I wish there were more indie titles on my list, but after finally trying out VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action on my Vita earlier this year, I can see why so many people are excited about a sequel. VA-11 Hall-A is one part visual novel, one part bartender simulator, and the way the plot unravels as you serve regulars and strangers drinks is wholly original. N1RV Ann-A was actually delayed from 2020, but I’ll be first in line to get it next year.

No More Heroes 3 | Switch | 2021

Speaking of games with off-the-wall stories, No More Heroes was one of my favorite Switch games, and I was sure that No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle — which is now 10 years old — would be the last big entry in the series. Thankfully, Suda51 wasn’t done with Travis Touchdown or his beam katana, and over a decade later, as excited as I am to cut down my foes, I’m just as thrilled to listen to another absolutely stellar soundtrack.

Resident Evil Village | PS5, PS4, XSX, XBO, PC | 2021

Rounding out our list is the latest entry in the Resident Evil franchise, which reinvented itself to great effect in 2017. Village looks to pick up where Biohazard left off, set in the same timeline and putting that game’s protagonist, Ethan, on a collision course with Chris Redfield from the original Resident Evil on PS1.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.