Last year was a big one for gaming. Final Fantasy 7 Remake launched after 15 years of hype, followed by The Last of Us 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 blockbusters. Animal Crossing dropped as we were sequestered in our homes, becoming an unexpected hit. And Sony and Xbox both launched their next-generation platforms in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, respectively.
So what’s to come in 2021? A lot. Unfortunately, most of the big titles slated for this year don’t yet have a release date. Here are six — including the New Pokemon Snap — promising ones that do, followed by a list of titles that don’t.
IO Interactive rebooted Hitman, the classic stealth franchise in which you play as suited mercinary Agent 47, back in 2016. After a strong sequel (2018’s Hitman 2) the series is set to climax with the third installment on Jan. 20. “You get to travel the world and kill interesting people,” a recent trailer teases. Can’t say no to that.
Hitman 3 launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, Stadia and PC.
Super Mario 3D World is the latest WiiU game to be ported over to Switch. That’s not a bad thing, since the WiiU was home to several outstanding games that didn’t get their time in the sun. That includes Mario Kart 8, the highest selling Switch game yet.
Super Mario 3D World received universal acclaim upon its original release, so it’s absolutely worth playing if you missed it before.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake
Release Date: March 18
Remasters are cool, but remakes can be truly magical. After Shadow of the Colossus, Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake, three fantastic remakes, 2021 brings Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Originally released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, Ubisoft is giving the platformer a full 2021 do-over.
Price of Persia: The Sands of Time is slated to launch on PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Following the well-received Monster Hunter World, which launched on PS4 and Xbox One in 2018, and the porting of 3DS game Monster Hunter Generations to the Switch, Nintendo’s console is finally getting its own, brand-new Monster Hunter game. Like other games in the franchise, it promises a giant world and hundreds of hours of beast slaying.
The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET
New Pokemon Snap is a much-demanded follow up to 1999 N64 favorite Pokemon Snap. The game, which was announced last summer, will include more than 200 Pokemon species from the series eight generations, and Professor Mirror will judge your photography skills as you travel through the region.
It should totally rock, taking a game idea from the N64 and adapting it to the Switch, which feels like a perfect console for Poketography. It launches April 30.
After years focusing mainly on Dishonored, developers Arkane Studios are moving onto a new IP in Deathloop. And it looks sick.
Here’s the idea: You’re an assassin trapped in a timeloop that resets after each day. In order to get out, you need to kill eight “visionaries” who are scattered around an island. The caveat is that you’ll need to do it within one timeloop. The second caveat is that, as you hunt for the eight visionaries, a rival assassin keeps herself busy by hunting you.
Deathloop will hit the PlayStation 5 and PC May 21, with an Xbox version probably coming next year (it has timed console exclusivity for one year).
Games coming ‘TBA’ 2021
The following titles are slated for release this year. We’ll update this page as games get an official release date.
Editors’ top picks
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Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
The latest Ratchet and Clank game was meant to hit the PlayStation 5 during that console’s “launch window.” I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, but I think, at this point, we can say it’s missed that deadline. Worry not though, this action platformer will be released at some point in 2021 — hopefully sooner rather than later.
Lego Star Wars is back after five years. The last time we saw the franchise was with 2016’s The Force Awakens. This game seems far more ambitious: The Skywalker Saga Lego-izes all nine Star Wars films.
The Skywalker Saga doesn’t have a final release date just yet, but it’s expected in the first or second quarter. When it does release, it’ll hit PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch and PC.
Far Cry 6
Release date: 2021
Originally scheduled for February, Far Cry 6 has been delayed until an unknown date in 2021. But it’s set to be the biggest, most fully featured Far Cry yet and is set in the tropical region of Yara — loosely based on Cuba.
Not only will the game launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X|S, PC and Google Stadia, it’ll also come to Amazon’s Luna platform.
The headlining trailer for last year’s Game Awards was a new Mass Effect. That’s probably a long way off though. The upside? More time for remastered Mass Effect goodness. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is comprised of updated (but not remade) versions of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 and will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Gran Turismo 7
Release date: 2021
Gran Turismo has been a staple of PlayStation consoles ever since the original GT launched on the original PS in 1997. Gran Turismo 7 was announced for the PlayStation 5 last June, and we know little about it other than that it’s pegged for a 2021 release.
Halo Infinite was meant to be the big thing that launched alongside the Xbox Series X|S but, after poor fan response to a preview last year, it ended up delayed until fall of 2021. The Halo name alone makes this a must-play for most Xbox owners, and developers 343 Industries are trying something new by making the multiplayer free-to-play.
Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Release date: 2021
After the two Middle-Earth games showed that Lord of the Rings games can still rock, 2021 will bring another serving in the form of Lord of the Rings: Gollum. It won’t be the action RPG that the Middle-Earth games were, focusing instead on Gollum’s stealth and cunning, but it looks intriguing.
Lord of the Rings: Gollum will come to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X|S, Switch and PC.
Horizon Forbidden West
Release date: 2021
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best games on the PlayStation 4, and its sequel is coming in 2021. Horizon Forbidden West tracks Aloy’s journey to 30th century Utah, Nevada and California as she tracks down the origins of a killer virus. Truly, a game for our times.
Horizon Forbidden West will launch on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 this year.
God of War: Ragnarok
Release date: 2021
Speaking of outstanding PS4 games and their sequels, God of War: Ragnarok is also coming to PlayStation 4 and 5 this year.
That’s actually all we know about the game so far, as the teaser for the game contained only half a logo and the release window of 2021.
Resident Evil Village
Release date: 2021.
Don’t let the name fool you: Resident Evil Village is really Resident Evil 8. It’s a direct sequel to Resident Evil 7’s story, but developers called it “Village” to signify how the village the game takes place in is a key element. Not so subtle — but sure to be scary.
We don’t know when Resident Evil Village will launch, other than the “2021” window, but when it does it’ll be on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X|S and PC.