Best Upcoming Games 2021 (And Beyond)

There’s no denying that 2020 has been a great year for gaming, with a wide selection of titles from well-known studios in addition to exciting indies from emerging developers.

And while many of us are still clamoring to clear out a backlog of games, the best upcoming games of 2021 rapidly approaches.

Here, we will be highlighting the most-anticipated releases along with their release dates and supported platforms.

Make sure to check back as we’ll updating this list in the future with new entries.

If you would like to receive more gaming recommendations, consider reading through our other curated lists:

Related:Best Upcoming PC Games 2021 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Xbox One Games 2021 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games 2021 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming PS4 Games 2021 (And Beyond)

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Techland’s sequel to the zombie-parkour survival title Dying Light is also slated for a 2020 release. The first-person action RPG is set after the events of the first game and introduces Aiden Caldwell, an infected zombie virus survivor who uses his superb dexterity and combat prowess to gain allies and constantly escape the clutches of the undead. 

Dying Light 2 plans on delivering a refined traversal system with more fluid animations along with highly-interactive environments where players can swing from ropes and even ride on the roof of vehicles. Techland has also included more player-choice this time around, offering a dynamic open-world that evolves.

2020 came and went, and we still don’t have an exact release date for THQ Nordic’s upcoming action RPG, Biomutant. The game is currently in development by Stockholm-based Experiment 101, a studio founded by former Avalanche Studios creative director Stefan Ljungqvist, best known for the Just Cause Series.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Biomutant sees you playing as a raccoon-like creature with the ability to acquire mutations and attach bio-mechanical body parts that affect combat and traversal. It seems likely the game will be released sometime in 2020, according to a recent financial report from the publisher’s parent company. 

Originally planned to release in 2018 and then later 2019, Atomic Heart has had one of the more interesting development stories, with rumors suggesting it may not even be the same game anymore. Categorized as a “first-person shooter with RPG elements,” the game is well into development at studio Mundfish, a Russian-based indie game studio.  

Evoking memories of sci-fi staples like BioShock and Fallout, Atomic Heart takes place in an alternate reality where the Soviet Union’s research has led to a technical revolution. Players assume control of a Soviet KGB officer tasked with infiltrating a secret facility that’s gone radio silent.

Microsoft has been surprisingly tight-lipped regarding the next Halo entry, considering they plan to release it in less than a year. Halo: Infinite will be the sixth mainline entry in the first-person shooter franchise, and one of the first games officially confirmed to be launching on Xbox’s next console, the Series X. 

Xbox One owners need not fret as Infinite will be coming to both platforms on day one. Current speculation suggests the game’s story is set during the “Reclaimer Saga” of Halo and plans to tell a more serious story centered around Master Chief and Cortana’s relationship. Additionally, it will see the debut of 343’s new Slipspace Engine, which was developed alongside Halo: Infinite

Announced back in 2015, Psychonauts 2 was scheduled to release in 2018 before getting delayed to 2019 and then to 2020. It appears fans will have to give developer Double Fine Productions a bit more time as the sequel has been pushed back yet again, now slated for a 2021 release. 

In a recent statement to fans, the developer explains, “We know it’s always disappointing when you have to wait a bit longer, but we also know that you are an amazing, supportive bunch, who … want the game to be as good as possible.” The sequel looks to maintain the third-person platforming action of the original while telling a new story centered around Raz’s family.

Arguably one of the biggest surprises to come out of E3 2019 is Nintendo’s announcement that production on a sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild has already begun. The first game was praised for its detailed world, open-ended gameplay, and would go on to receive multiple awards, including several “Game of the Year” honors.

Judging by the reveal trailer, the next entry will maintain BOTW‘s art style while taking on a much darker tone. At one point, we’re able to see Ganondorf’s reanimated corpse before the camera switches to an exterior shot where Hyrule Castle is seen rising into the air. Fans have already begun comparing the sequel to Majora’s Mask, another heavy hitter in the Zelda series known for its darker themes and mature undertones.

Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan took to the stage during BlizzCon 2019 to reveal that Overwatch 2 has entered early development. Along with a new cinematic setting up the sequel’s story, a series of gameplay footage videos were shown, highlighting a host of new features and modes. 

One of the biggest takeaways is how committed Blizzard is to having players experience Overwatch 2‘s story through in-game events, which the original severely lacked. Whether the introduction of new heroes, modes, and cosmetics is enough to garner a full-blown sequel is yet to be seen; however, we anticipate Blizzard will have more to share at a later date.

During BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard also officially unveiled the next mainline Diablo game, which is currently entering development. While there’s currently no release date, the game was confirmed for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This is an interesting decision considering next-gen consoles are scheduled to launch near the end of 2020.

Either way, it’s more than likely Diablo 4 will also be available for both PS5 and Xbox Series X. Although no gameplay footage has been shown, a cinematic trailer depicts Diablo 4 as being a dramatically dark and gory game, even by Diablo standards.

We don’t have a lot of information concerning FromSoftware’s next endeavor, aside from knowing George R.R. Martin was brought in to create the game’s overarching lore and worldbuilding. Additionally, Hidetaka Miyazaki is the game’s director and responsible for converting Martin’s contributions into a workable plot.

Similar to previous FromSoftware titles, Elden Ring will contain elements of “dark fantasy,” and allow players to create their own characters. Gameplay details are vague at the moment but suggest players will be able to ride horses and explore dungeon-like ruins where they’ll encounter enemies. 

Even though Bethesda is more occupied with Elder Scrolls: Online and the never-ending stream of Fallout 76 controversies, they still like to occasionally remind us Elder Scrolls 6 is coming at some point. That being said, we haven’t received an update since 2018, so it’s likely Bethesda will have something to show at E3 2020. 

Current speculation suggests the game might be set in the Skyrim-adjacent region High Rock, considering the trailer depicts a mountainous northern province. It’s also rumored that the ongoing conflict with the Thalmor may be a key element in ES6‘s plot. 

With Valve pretty much refusing to make a new Left 4 Dead game, Back 4 Blood is the closest we’ll ever get to a new installment. Thankfully, it’s being created by Turtle Rock Studios, the team behind the original L4D, whose credits also include the asymmetrical multiplayer title Evolve.

Described as a spiritual successor to Turtle Rock’s zombie shooter, Back 4 Blood will include genre staples such as support for four-player co-op, replayable story missions, and a PvP component. There’s not much else to share but we should hear more as the year progresses.

There are a handful of leaks suggesting Playground Games, the studio behind Forza Horizons, has been assigned by Xbox to work on the next Fable game. If proven true, this will be the first new mainline entry in over a decade. Any details should be taken with a grain of salt but there are some interesting rumors worth noting.

The main one being that Fable 4 will feature a fully-explorable open-world where players can team up with friends to build towns and take on sidequests. The main story is rumored to involve traveling back in time to prevent a “mad king” from using the Tattered Spire to destroy Albion and Aurora. 

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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