Game Infinite's Most Anticipated Games of 2021
2020 is Finally Over! While we breathe a sigh of relief and thank the maker that that year is over, we head into new territory with 2021! With a record number of game delays, many of these were actually included in our 2020 Most anticipated list, but of course with many new additions. This list is a mix of AAA and Indie level titles that I am personally looking forward to. I may include ports of games to new platforms, remakes, or remasters in general but I will not be including 2020 released games that are "just" getting their "next-gen" upgrade for Series X or PS5 in 2021. Make sure to comment your most anticipated games of 2021 on the social media post you found this article and tell us what we missed!
26. Destiny 2 The Witch Queen
When Bungie announces their new vision for Destiny 2 going forward was to be an ongoing service, with several major expansions, with no plans for a traditional "Destiny 3" on the horizon, the announcement of Beyond Light really excited me. It encouraged me to go back and play through all the expansions I never played after finishing the main campaign. Some extra time in quarantines allowed me to visit some older games I never would have had the chance to, and the opportunity to play through Forsaken and Shadowkeep both were really fun. At the time of this writing I am still enjoying Beyond Light, and thanks to the roadmap Bungie gave us, we already know that The Witch Queen will be the major expansion in 2021. It would be higher on this list, if we knew anything more than a title.
25. Stray (Moved from 2020 list!)
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 2020 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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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. The Medium
I am not a huge fan of the horror genre, but something about the Medium looks interesting to me. It might be that is is one of the few next-gen only titles on the xbox side of things that sounds intriguing what kind of technical performance they are hoping to pull off. The Medium was supposed to be a December title, but it was delayed in no small part to get out of the release window of Cyberpunk 2077.
16. Boundary (Moved from 2020 list!)
(Update** With a "2020 release" for pretty much all of 2020, 2020 came and went with silence from the developer. Like many on this list, I am presuming COVID was a factor in its delay to 2021.)
(Update Mid 2020: 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 on Xbox (Moved from 2020 list!)
(Update: Microsoft made the very unusual decision to launch some of their few in house titles on PC first, in a year where they are launching a new console. I wrote an entire article on how I thought it was very odd that Microsoft was releasing games on PC first in a year where it was extra important to convince gamers that the Series X is the thing to invest in. Microsoft must have known Halo was in trouble and delays were inevitable, and they failed to devote enough resources to make sure that finished on time. Gears Tactics also went to PC first. If the ability to have Flight Simulator launch on time on both Xbox and PC was proving to be impossible in the craziness that was 2020, why did Microsoft choose not to prioritize the Xbox version? Even the Xbox Series X which is plenty powerful enough launched without yet another major Microsoft title. During the PC launch of Flight Simulator I did not have a PC to play it on, so I felt it was fair to push this to 2021. If Microsoft can do it, so can I!)
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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
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. What can a game made in a basement compare to a game with a 200 million dollar budget? Bright Memory Infinite however seeks 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! The game Bright Memory is already out as a "unfinished version" with Infinite coming as a sequel/expansion of the original. I can't stop thinking of how gorgeous this game looks. 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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
Crossfire X went from a blurb during Xbox's E3, where we saw a vague cinematic teaser for a military shooter to an exciting game with a free multiplayer component and an actual campain. 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 old and ugly bland version I largely skipped. The new modern polished mode was super fun. I am very excited for more competition in the modern military shooter genre, and I think there is plenty of room for Crossfire X.
12. Far Cry 6
I absolutely loved Far Cry 5. New to the franchise, I played it past the campaign, and went around doing every side mission I could find. I loved having animal companions, flying airplanes, sniping enemy pilots out of the cockpit, or helping a crazy scientist make contact with aliens. It was just a vast, fun, and amazing experience. This is why when they announced Far Cry 6, I was very much excited. Much of what I liked about Far Cry 5 was the setting, so I am hesitant in this being a different game. I am very excited for Giancarlo Esposito as the main villain as I think he is a very talented actor who can really portray an intimidating antagonist.
11. Outriders (Moved from 2020 list!)
(*UPDATE: Outriders is delayed to April 1st.)
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 looked 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 (Moved from 2020 list!)
(Updated 2021): Good god Blizzard will this ever get an update? We have heard pretty much nothing so far.)
(Updated Mid 2020: 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. Pokemon Unite
I have never been a Pokemon player, so this would be very new to me, but I am a fan of MOBA's and the gameplay looked fun to me. I thought it would be a fun way to get in to the franchise. Plus, I feel like the Switch is in desperate need for some good titles, as it has been quite a dry spell lately, so the sooner this comes the better. I realize the anticipation from Pokemon fans was less than mine, but to me this game looked very fun.
8. League of Legends Wild Rift
For similar reasons to Pokemon Unite, I am excited for this mobile version of League of Legends. I know that League is firmly rooted in the PC community, and I have played it very briefly, I am excited to see it coming to more platforms. With the loss of Fortnite on mobile, I am desperate for any console/pc level games to come to Mobile, as I like to have console level games on my phone and iPad because they make excellent breaks on work breaks or commutes when away from my gaming setup.
7. Final Fantasy XVI
I have long been outside the Final Fantasy franchise, only ever playing bits and pieces of games I wasn't interested at the time. That all changed when I played Final Fantasy 7 Remake. A phenomenal 10/10 game that forever made me a fan of the franchise. Since then I have gone on to play some of 15, 14, and 13. While I have a long way to go to catch up on the franchise, I am excited for the future with Final Fantasy XVI. I am excited for a more fantasy setting than the modern era games I have played so far. Final Fantasy 7 remake and the excitement for 16 were two very big reasons why we launched the Gi Channel Final Fantasy Infinite! Check it out for regular Final Fantasy news and entertainment content!
6. Nier Replicant
I am so excited for Nier Replicant. 2B is one of my all time favorite characters with one of the coolest designs in gaming, and Automata made me fall in the love with the universe. Being huge fans of the Nier universe, is one of the reasons we launched Nier Infinite, a channel devoted to Nier cosplay, fan art, and Nier news! Nier Replicant is a updated version of the 2010 game set in the greater Nier universe and not sequel to the widely popular Nier Automata game.
Tomb Raider Reloaded (Removed from List) UPDATE
(Update: After a major bate and switch, this title has been removed from my official anticipated list. What was implied to be a cartoonish remake of the classic Lara, those of us in the Tomb Raider Community were originally excited. I had it ranked 5! However, gameplay footage has leaked showing us how low effort and ugly a mobile game this is going to be. We were expecting Genshin Impact and instead we are getting Clash of Clans. This game looks very disappointing to me and a cinematic trailer implying otherwise is unacceptable)
Tomb Raider Reloaded was just announced at the time of my writing this, and my excitement level couldn't be happier. As a huge fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, I am excited anytime we get a rare update in the series. While some in the Tomb Raider community hoped for a remake of the classic trilogies, or a 4th installment in the modern reboot trilogy, I understand those feelings and wish those too, I just can't complain about any Tomb Raider news. At the point of writing, all we have is a teaser, and know very little of the game so far. It looks like a modern looking version of the more cartoonish retro Lara Croft. While the fact that this was announced as a mobile title is causing some to be hesitant, I am trying to stay hopeful that this will still be a full fledged 3D console level adventure that just happens to be coming to mobile, more like Genshin Impact and less Clash of Clans.
5. God of War Ragnarok
God of War Ragnarok has a hell of a lot to live up to. God of War 2018 blew it out of the water with a legendary soft reboot to the franchise, sweeping many, including our own, GOTY nominations and wins. A sequel to such an amazing game will have much to prove, but I am confident in the teams ability to not just live up to but surpass the previous. God of War was amazing, but it managed to be a GOTY without one of the things that God of War is known for, massive grand scale god boss battles. Kratos only fights one godlike character the whole game, and while visceral, was still fairly small scale. We never get to see Kratos fully just UNLEASH. I want to see the face off teased at the end with Thor. Thor vs Kratos is something that can truly take God of War Ragnarok to 11/10. Let us fight ODIN.
4. Hogwarts Legacy (UPDATED - DELAYED TO 2022)
(UPDATE* This game received a delay to 2022 after the time of completion of this post. It is still anticipated and looks amazing.)
There are so many amazing tv/film franchises that are just begging to be turned into a quality video game. I can't believe no one has made a open world RPG set in Game of Thrones! Why is the billion dollar franchise for Fast and Furious never gotten a serious quality attempt? Well, Harry Potter has been on that list, in that it is long over due for a quality AAA attempt at a game.
3. Halo Infinite (Moved From 2020 List!)
(Update 2021: In a shocking turn of events, the Flagship title for the Xbox Series X, after being announced almost two years ahead of it's promised Holiday 2020 release window, Halo Infinite was finally shown to the public only to meet rampant meme-worthy disappointment by fans. In fact the gameplay reveal was so bad, that I wrote an entire article about how I thought that Youtube Livestreaming was jeopardizing next-gen's reputation. Beatiful 4k 60 next-gen games with amazing graphics were constantly being shown to the public for the first time in awful compressed 1080 30 fps, combined with awful checker boarding and compression on Youtube. Twitch is almost as bad but all these YouTube reveals are really killing the first impression. To make it worse, it can make average looking games look even more awful. This is what happened with Halo Infinite's reveal, the gameplay later direct uploaded looked much better the livestream everyone saw, but far worse than it should have been. I went back and looked at images of Halo 4, which for the record debuted on the Xbox 360, and I can't wrap my head around the fact that Halo Infinite somehow looks worse than a game from two console gens before. It might have something to do with 343's really odd decision to go back to a very old art style for Halo, that even with the best graphics somehow looks old and dated. The feedback was so negative Microsoft chose to delay the game that was supposed to be months away to some unknown date. We now know that Halo Infinite has seen much development turbulence with delays, behind the scenes issues, and leadership losses. Honestly, I don't know where my expectations are for the game. I am torn between being excited for one of my favorite franchises of all time, and the realistic expectations that perhaps this game won't be very good. One small silver lining is they at least had to foresight to delay the game, and when it does arrive it will be on GamePass.)
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.
2. Mass Effect Legendary Edition
How could this not be my number 2 pick? The greatest gaming trilogy ever made is getting a HD remaster. If you have never played Mass Effect than you are receiving a rare chance to experience it in modern glory. Mass Effect 2 is the greatest game ever made, and knowing that I will have a HD excuse to replay this game for the dozenth time will make my year. 2020 gave me a remaster to one of my other beloved games Kingdoms of Amalur, 2021 promises to allow us N7 players to once again save the galaxy. The only thing I am more excited about than this remaster, is the number 1 spot.
1. Mass Effect "Continues"
I realize this is kind of a cheat answer for number 1. I stipulate that with a teaser announcement, that doesn't even come with a project name, let alone an actual name, the untitled Mass Effect sequel has 0.000000001% chance of releasing in 2021. In fact, EA has called this "early development" which means even in ridiculous Anthem hellish development of 16 months wouldn't drop it in 2021. As well, I wouldn't want them to. I don't want them to rush this. I want this to be a well crafted, phenomenal, GOTY shoe-in. I don't want this in 2021, or even 2022. I want this to be perfect. I just couldn't think of a game I am more anticipating for. I absolutely love the Mass Effect series; it is my all time favorite series. I remember sitting there with my friend, watching the 2020 Game Awards, and when Liara wipes off the N7 Logo, standing up and cheering. It was the best moment of the night, and one of the most exciting pieces of news of the year. Knowing that a Mass Effect sequel is happening to continue the story is my dream. Words can't truly explain how excited I am for more Mass Effect. If you have yet to experience the series for yourself, make sure to play #2 to prepare yourself.