Below is an updated article of my previous list of the beginning of the year. I wish I could easily go back and tell my past self what this year was going to look like, but I am not sure my past self would have believed me about 2020. All I can say is that half way through the year, and I am sure I speak for most of us when I say, I hope 2021 is kinder. It hasn't all been bad in the world of games. While every game under the sun seems to have seen COVID related delays, that hasn't stopped record breaking sales, and a host of amazing games. Many games on the original list have released, and many more have been announced as we have gone through the most unusual summer gaming news season, and as we approach Next-gen consoles. Below is an updated Top 25 most anticipated, and where some games have moved up or down in rankings with time and more information. I have deleted the many games originally on this list that have already released, and are adding in new games announced. I thought this mid year discussion would be interesting because at this point the list is so drastically different, so many games have released and been announced that only about 8 of the games remained unreleased from the original list , with the rest being all new.
This article has been a work in progress and written prior to Xbox's July Event, and only contains game announcements as of July 22, and we will be having a separate article with all the reveals and announcements at that event.
25. stray (New at #25)
So, "That PS5 Cat game" made my list because of its weirdness, art, and premise. One of the indie titles revealed to us during Playstation's Future of Gaming event, showed some really great indie games coming to PS5. Stray is about a cat living in a world populated by robots. That sentence alone got it on this list.
24. Code Syn (New at #24)
Tencent is trying to become the Disney of games as they slowly buy ownership of many major studios and most recently announced new AAA studios in the US. They got a little bit of flack by some for this trailer as some believed it to be a Cyberpunk 2077 ripoff, but honestly, I think that the artistic style of Cyberpunk has room for more games. I thought this game looked more fun than some other outlets initial impressions. I am always down for another good sci-fi RPG. This one let's you have a giant cybernetic pet bear. If that doesn't peak your interest, watch the trailer for yourself and see what you think.
23. solar ash (New at #23)
This game makes this list for one reason and one reason only. It is the first game I have seen that has the newly understood scientific realistic depiction of a black hole. Now there may be other good things about it but that's all I needed to see before I was sold. Thanks to mathematical models used to create the black hole in the movie Inception, and a confirmation of accuracy by the first image taken of a black hole, we now reasonable know what they look like. Now that we know, I want to see more depictions of them in entertainment media and pop culture, because not only are Black Holes mysterious and weird, they look cool as hell. Solar Ash has a black hole in it and that's all I needed to see from the trailer to make it a must play for me.
22. Kena Bridge of Spirits (New at #22)
Do you want your own pet Porgs? Well, you can't have one. This is the closest you may ever get as this is a game about living in some magical forest with a huge host of little black furry creatures as your pets. That may be all that most need to know about this game to make them interested...little furry cute things.
21. Lost Soul Aside (New at #21)
Apparently this game has been announced for like 3 years, and it completely skipped my radar. I want to thank my friend, former #GiFriends streamer, and fellow gaming news blogger REDXMAUDE for introducing me to this awesome game. It gives me some Final Fantasy, Code Vien vibes. It is a really cool looking open world jrpg, and it is now on my list. What is interesting is this started out as a one man developer, but interest picked up turning it into a larger team making the game.
20. Lego Star Wars Skywalker Sage (New at #20)
I have never really played a Lego game very much, as they always never seemed to really appeal to me. However, thanks to advances in visuals and now including voice acting, this collection of the full Skywalker saga actually looks interesting. Players will be able to play maps across all 9 movies, and a vast lineup of even the most obscure characters. Lego also seems to be the only platform we are going to get for any sequel era video games. I desperately want more stories and more video games set during the sequel era of Star Wars. This might be very early 2000's of me, but I wouldn't mind games that just play through the events of the sequels. The scope and quality of this Lego Star Wars games however, excites me to try it for the first time.
19. recompile (New at #19)
When it comes to third person indie games, the best kinds are the ones that strike you with their art style or colors. The main character being a glowing being of light is a nice touch and the trailer sold me on the game's premise. It is unique and beautiful looking indie games like this that really excite me.
18. Babylon's Fall
Well, we aren't getting Scalebound, and it doesn't seem like Bayonetta 3 is ever actually arriving. So while Xbox and Nintendo fans may be left disappointed, Playstation fans seem to be closer to a new game from Platinum Games than the rest. This game looks to be a highly stylized hack'n slash (surprise surprise) set in a medieval magical world.
17. Spider-man Miles Morales (New at #17)
Spider-man made for one of the best games on the PS4 generation, and one of the best super hero games ever made. Game Infinite in fact gave it a rare 10/10, as it was truly phenomenal. It wasn't just a great superhero game, it was a great game overall. When Playstation revealed the game during their PS5 game event, I was one of the first to question if this was a true sequel. Many reported this as a sequel, while others were in confusion calling it an expansion to the original. There was some confusion across gaming media until Sony came out with clarity. It is a "standalone expansion". It is not the full sequel continuing Peter Parker's story (obviously) from the first game, but it does not require the original game to play. Some examples of stand alone expansions include Call of Duty: Warzone, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, and Uncharted Lost Legacy. This will be a smaller spinoff title focused on Miles Morales.
16. Boundary (+1 from Rank 17)
(Update: We still are no closer to a release date, and with COVID I suspect the game will be further delayed. However, my excitement level for this space shooter has only increased. It is a lesser known more niche title, but it is one I am personally looking forward to)
I did not hate Call of Duty Ghosts as much as most of the fan base did. I enjoyed many aspects of the game from having a dog companion to fighting aliens in multiplayer. One of the things I loved most about Call of Duty Ghosts was the opening mission in ORBIT. The opening mission of Ghosts was super cool even to the biggest hater. Now, we get combat in space in other games but most often it feels super sci-fi like Halo. This put us in white astronaut suits floating around white space station-like areas with guns. It felt both sci-fi and realistic at the same time. Boundary is a multiplayer shooter game super reminiscent of that setting. Low earth orbit combat with astronaut suits and zero-g combat. Ever since coming across this title I have been super excited to play it.
15. Microsoft's Flight Simulator
I have never played a "Simulator" game and up until now I never thought I was missing out on anything. From a far they always looked so slow and boring to be honest. Who wants to sit on a virtual tractor and farm? It wasn't until I saw the demo and trailer for the new Microsoft's Flight Simulator that I changed my mind. It is freaking gorgeous. What makes this game special is that the world beneath you is powered by REAL satellite maps and cloud computing. It is going to give us beautiful photo-realistic visuals underneath powered by the actual planet. It is something where the technology behind it really makes it cool. Will this be a fast-paced game I stream on Twitch? No. However, a beautiful zen experience that promises to mimic real life flying? That's an experience I may never have known I would miss out on otherwise.
14. Bright Memory Infinite (New at #14)
Will Bright Memory Infinite be the game that forever ruins indie games for me? Normally I have a very different system of measurement and expectation for indie games than I have for AAA. There just is understandably a difference in what one person can do than what a team of 100 or more can do. Bright Memory Infinite however seeks to prove to forever change the game with the "if one man could do that..." effect. That's right, this gorgeous next-gen game is made by just one guy. That alone is why I am playing it. This looks like a AAA military shooter from a large team and it is made by ONE MAN. Early reports say it isn't very long, but who cares JUST LOOK AT IT! If this game is any good it will forever raise the bar for what I think will be possible by indie games.
13. Crossfire X (New at #13)
Crossfire X went from a blurb during Xbox's E3, where we saw a vague cinematic teaser for a military shooter. It was only really noteworthy for being a much needed Xbox console exclusive during a time when Xbox was struggling to deliver them. We have heard pretty much nothing about it since that reveal, and all of a sudden a open beta dropped. I had a blast in the game even though there was only one "modern' mode. The beta contained legacy modes from the old pc game. The legacy was an old ugly bland mode I largely skipped. The new modern polished mode was super fun. I am very excited for more competition in the modern military shooter genre.
12. Godfall (Up to Rank 12)
(*Update* We now know much about Godfall, the first PS5 game ever revealed. We have seen gameplay, and got more details. This has only increased the excitement level around this. The PS5 seems a little light on launch exclusives so far in the AAA category, less than we have come to expect from Sony. With games like Horizon 2, God of War 2, and the true Spider-man 2 all coming later down the road, the PS5 may leave some room to shine on these new IP's.)
We know almost nothing about Godfall yet. All we know is it supposed to be the next big new IP. Godfall is described as a "Looter-Slasher" think Destiny but with melee weapons. Will it be the next Destiny or will it be the next Anthem? We have had high promises before for the looter-genre so I am holding my breath and keeping my expectations in check until we see more. One interesting thing was technically this was the first game to officially be unveiled as coming to PS5 (even sporting the PS5 logo weeks before it's official unveiling at CES 2020).
11. Outriders (New at #11)
Honestly, I originally thought Outrides was trying to be the next Destiny. You'd be forgiven if like me you see the aesthetic similarities, and the original reveal was very vague. However, now that we are closer to the release, we now know the game will very different than Destiny. It is a third person sci-fi action adventure that reminds me more of Anthem (in the good way) than Destiny. But more importantly, it is not a live service, but a full complete game at launch. This is very interesting as this game really looks like it would attempt to be the next battle pass ridden, live service MMO. This being a full complete game with a focus on story is a breath of fresh air. What really sold me was the gameplay for the trickster in this trailer above.
10. Overwatch 2 (-7 in rank from Number 3)
(Updated: Overwatch 2 is becoming the Avatar 2 of games. I am not convinced it will ever actually come, and when it does, will we still care? It dropped several tiers because I haven't played Overwatch in quite some time because it seems to be in content limbo. Nothing new happens, and it is getting old. I have put enough hours of my life into it that I am happy to wait for OW2 to come, but will it be too little too late? This was an expansion that really needed to come out in early 2020 to keep it relevant. Blizzard has had multiple controversies in 2020 from Blitchung to the BLM Protest backlash, that they desperately could have used some positive press with this pseudo-sequel. Since we have heard almost nothing about it, I predict this being pushed to a 2021 title and by then the hype may have dropped too low)
Do I even really need to explain why Overwatch 2 is on my list? I am a huge Overwatch fan. I have put more hours in Overwatch than I think I have any other game. I love the characters, the lore, and everything. It almost, almost was my Game of the Decade beat out so slightly by Mass Effect 2. I am also excited because I think I have played enough of it for a while; I am ready for something new. Overwatch 2 is the only game on this list that hasn't been in some way announced or implied as coming out in 2020, but I highly suspect it will come out. I doubt Blizzard would announce this more than a year before release, and they will want to capitalize on the new console launch with Holiday 2020 promising to bring in some real money to the gaming industry.
More than just being a massive Overwatch fan, Overwatch 2 promises to redefine our expectations of what a "sequel" means. Overwatch is an example of what good looks like in the Live Service genre. In a genre where failure seems common, the few successful stories like Overwatch and Fortnite have their own problems. How do you make sequels to massively successful live services that entire business model revolves around people slowly hoarding loot and skins over long periods of time. These games are directly measured in player bases and twitch views. A sequel usually implies a completely restarted game, different player bases, and starting over on loot. With super successful live services games it could be disastrous to split player bases. It also could discourage people from wanting to buy skins/loot because they don't feel like they can keep it forever. Fortnite and Overwatch both took new approaches to the sequels. Unlike a new "Season", slapping a 2 on the game can excite even more people into coming back and can boost player bases. Fortnite saw some record numbers with their "Chapter 2" stunt. Overwatch probably will as well as long as it is priced properly. Blizzard is promising cross compatible multiplayer, all your skins will migrate over, and the thing every Overwatch player has been clamoring for for years, a Story Mode. Overwatch 2 has been called a "glorified expansion" and that might end up being the case, but if the content is large enough as they say, and the effort there, I don't care if they call it Overwatch 2 or even feel like it should be paid. I am excited for Story Mode in Overwatch.
9. Hyperscape (New at #9)
Ubisoft wants to compete with Fortnite, Apex, PUBG, and Warzone, in what has quickly become one of the most competitive and saturated genres, Battle Royale. While this alone might cause one gamer to eye roll, and another to be excited. Time will tell if this new free to play BR game will be able to survive. It certainly looks cool, in a vertical and futurist world. Warzone is very modern urban; Apex is very rural; will the very shiny futurist city setting help set Hyperscape apart? Ubisoft is looking to evolve the genre with new mechanics with an alternative end game option besides just sole survivor, and a clever way to keep down players engaged. Downed players become scouting ghosts. Also, the game will feature game altering Twitch integration allowing viewers to alter in game events. They certainly seem to be introducing lot of new ideas to keep this game exciting and different.
8. Star Wars Squadrons (New at #8)
I love Star Wars. So when we got a surprise reveal for a new Star Wars fighter game, I was joined by Star Wars fans around the world in being excited. With new films and major mainline titles far away, this smaller title is a nice treat to keep us entertained. It is pitched as more than just a standalone Battlefront star fighter mode, but a true fighter sim set in Star Wars. It will be first person only, and the onscreen hud will actually display relevant data. At only $39, EA is looking to give a value in a complete game, something positive for EA.
7. Marvel's Avengers (-2 from # 5 to #7)
(*Update* My anticipation for this game hasn't really decreased, in fact I am very excited for this game. Square Enix has given us recently lots of more insight into the game. This game looks to have amazing combat, and a new and exciting story. It only slipped a little because of some new game announcements sliding in front of it.)
Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix have delivered three of my favorite games from the last decade with the Tomb Raider reboot franchise. Now they are focused on their next installment with the much anticipated Marvel Avengers. This is the first "real" attempt at a Avengers game, and it is arriving at an ideal, (not the best) but ideal time with the popularity of the MCU. If Square Enix had been able to deliver the game in 2019 it would have been better to coincide with the mega-popularity that was Avengers Endgame. However, considering this game has already received a delay in 2020 that seemed impossible. At initial reveal there was some discussion on the internet (and by discussion I mean internet outrage) complaining that the MCU actors were not reprising the roles for the game; however, I already wrote an article detailing how that would never have been plausible. We have seen enough of the game so far to expect it to be very good. We can only hope that it can be as good as Marvel Spider-man! Will this issue in an era of lots of good super hero games? Time will tell.
6. Assassin's Creed Valhalla (New at #6)
I love the Assassin's Creed franchise, and have been off and on the series since the original. Odyssey to me was too much of the same good thing that was Origins. Origins was great, and beautiful, but I had my fill. Odyssey was 3 times as big and looked, played, and felt the same as Origins to me. I found it hard to press forward. Valhalla has an all new setting, aesthetic, and the combat looks to be phenomenal. I can not wait to get my hands on some Viking weapons and go on some raids.
5. Destiny 2: Beyond light (New at #5)
What's great about Destiny 2: Beyond Light is not only did it reveal to us the future of Destiny being not in numbered sequels but in a growing MMO style world with expansions. This will allow players to every grow their progress and stats and cosmetics, while still experiencing new stories and worlds. It also is a piece of news that brought me back to Destiny. I have already completed Forsaken, and now working on Shadowkeep. I am excited to see where the world of Destiny 2 leads next! If you are curious to hear my thoughts on that matter, check out our recent article "Top 10 Worlds Destiny Should Visit Next".
4. Watchdogs Legion (+0 remains at number 4)
What's this? A watchdogs game on my list of Most Anticipated? Anyone knows anything about my gaming presences knows my history with Watchdogs. I was so hyped and excited for the original. I had the collectors edition preordered for TWO YEARS seeing not one but two huge delays. I was so excited for the game, and when I finally got it... I hated it. It was so bland and boring and unlikeable. Leave it to Ubisoft to manage to make a game about hackers and vigilantism and manage to make that boring. not only that it had it's own list of controversies surrounding graphical downgrades. This was during an era where Ubisoft was starting to build a reputation for major graphical downgrade promises with Watchdogs, Division, and Assassin's Creed Unity being all widely panned and visually ugly, far cries from their promises. Despite being a long term Assassin's Creed fan I still haven't quite forgiven Ubisoft for in my opinion one of my biggest gaming disappointments of the last decade. I entirely skipped Watchdogs 2, and hearing its meh-average reviews I am glad I did. When rumors of Watchdogs 3 came out ahead of E3 2019 I was largely apathetic with no desire to play it.
So how did Watchdogs make it off my black list and all the way to number 4 on my most anticipated list? Well, a few things. Long term Ubisoft has slowly regained my trust by taking a lot, and I mean A LOT of gamer feedback over the last several years. They started by giving the massive Assassin's Creed games more time in the oven. Syndicate, Origins, and Odyssey are by far my favorites in the franchise, the extra development time really really shows in the later two. I also enjoyed Far Cry 5 a lot. Ubisoft has been far from perfect however, with a general perception among gamers that their games are starting to look alike and be to similar. Division 2 and Ghost Recon were also failures. Ubisoft has more recently lengthened the development time of more of their game series much like they have done with Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft has been open about a willingness to delay games based on feedback. While I was very critical of game delays in my last article, this general attitude is showing a shift in over all strategy of development lengthening (something I called for in my last article, even if they are doing it too late). Another recent thing Ubisoft is doing is created a new department to oversee game development to help diversify their games so they don't all feel the same.
Now this willingness to take feedback and change, and the fact that I liked several of their more recent games, are only a part of why I am excited for Watchdogs Legion. Ubisoft showed us something I have never seen before in a game and it is something so cool sounding that if they manage to pull it off will be impressive. There are no NPC's or main characters in Watchdogs Legion. Everyone is a potentially recruitable playable character, or at least people on the street who would normally be "NPC"s (I imagine there will be villain type characters we can't recruit.) It is such an interesting concept. There is perma-death, and you operate more as a underground resistance than a person. Players will be able to a list of assets that if they die they die. What is more interesting is the fact that newer technology, possibly machine learning and more advanced procedural generation, will be used to make sure no two characters will look or sound to similar. It is just so facsinating it overrides all hesitations I had. Now something so ambitious could turn out to be incredibly boring or broken. It could still be a failure and awful. However, I hope they pull it off because something about this game looks and sounds incredible.
3. Kingdoms of amalur re-reckoning (New at #3 spot)
It may be crazy that the number 3 spot is going to a remaster of an 8 year old game, but I don't care. Kingdoms of Amalur is one of my all time favorites, and its in my top ten all time. Plus, news of its remaster came as a leaked surprise during otherwise dark depressing times, and it made my day. Admist riots and pandemics, the universe granted me a small nicety by giving me news of a remaster of one of my favorites. This is the game that I played while everyone else played Skyrim, and I am lucky for it. I may be on the HD DVD-Zune-Mixer side of history with this game, but I don't care. It is a beautiful, colorful, fun, amazing world. If you never played it back in 2012, you will get an HD chance. I am also super excited for the unexpected news of a 2021 expansion! Hopefully we will hear of a PS5/Series X update soon!
2. Cyberpunk 2077 (+0 Remained at #2 spot)
(*Update* In the original article I predicted it being the GOTY to beat. While my interest for this game has only increased, my sureness that it will be GOTY has lessoned. Final Fantasy 7 Remake has given us an incredibly high bar to beat for GOTY, alongside some amazing indie games, and other amazing titles that I am sure will compete like Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima that I have yet to play. All in all, 2020 is preparing to be a search competition in the race towards GOTY 2020. I also expressed concerns that the early year delay of 5 months was a sign of trouble, and later it turned out to be another 2 months on top of that. At this point I don't believe CDPR anymore when they the game is done and just being polished. Seven months is not polish. I know they want those 10/10 scores, but is 7 months worth of polish really necessary to achieve that? COVID has delayed many games, but this seemed excessive. My biggest disappointment is all these delays aren't even giving us the full Next-gen enhanced versions at launch. That is coming in 2021. Which means those of us that end up spending 3-500 something on a new PS5 or Series X won't even get much benefit.)
Coming in at number two on my most anticipated list for 2020 happens to also be my prediction for GOTY 2020. While there is still one more game I am more excited for, this one is very high and something we all expect greatness from. It does come with a sad note as the news of its massive 5 month delay came before I finished writing this article. I really hope that it isn't a sign of trouble at the studio only their Borg-like pursuit of perfection. CD Project Red has said that the game is playable and this is only for more polishing (hard to believe for a 5 month delay and there is said to already by Crunch at the studio, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt.) I am hopeful that my GOTY 2020 prediction won't be as massively off as my last years most anticipated title, Anthem. Wow, did I get last year wrong. The game that myself and many gamers expected to be among the best of the year turned out to actually be one of the worst, a once great studio falling to its modern day skeleton crew version and rushing a game out in 16 months as we learned later from Kotaku. I also thought Death Stranding was a shoe-in for GOTY, and while some somehow managed to like that game, I thought it was awful.
Let's hope my prediction doesn't get history to repeat itself as the hype and expectation for this game is beyond sky high. CDPR has given us greatness before, as I finally got around to playing the Witcher 3 (A GOTY/Game of the Decade for many) this year and loving it so far.
Cyberpunk 2077 promises to give us a futuristic blade-runner-esque cyber world filled with beautiful environments and story. CDPR has been open about its promises of branching stories and player choice being everywhere, and how the world is super life filled and real. If they pull off everything they have shown us so far it could be the next Game of the Decade let alone GOTY 2020. I will try to keep my expectations in check. "YOU ARE BREATHTAKING!!!"
1. Halo Infinite (+0 Remained at #1 spot)
What could possibly be more anticipated than Cyberpunk 2077? Well, for me it has to be Halo Infinite. I grew up as a massive Halo fan, it was one of the first game series I ever played. It was the reason I bought a Xbox 360 over a Playstation3, and Halo 3 was the first game I bought for it. I have played each game countless time. I stood in line for hours at GameStop waiting for Reach, Halo 4, and 5 to come out. One of my favorite con moments was getting to meet the voice actor for Master Chief himself, Steve Downes. It is easy to say Halo is one of my favorite series of all time so that is a big part makes this so high on my list. It has also been the longest game between Halo games EVER. There has never been more than a three year gap in-between Halo games and it has been 5 years since Halo 5! After Halo 5 was largely disliked by fans (mostly for side-showing the main character we all love... Shocking!) 343 really went back to the drawing board to take their time on the next game. They also are calling it some kind of spiritual reboot? We know little of the story. It has a different art style. It may not be a real Halo 6, but it is a new Halo game running on a new better engine and it has longer time to develop than any previous game. My hopes for this game are beyond anything else, but it has to be good. Like I said for Cyberpunk that I hope that the games I hope the most for wont be like last year with massive disappointments. All we Halo fans want is a new good Halo game, and hopefully Infinite will be that.