Best Upcoming RPGs 2020 (And Beyond)

RPGs are notoriously massive timesinks that require upwards of hundreds of hours to level up party members and see the story through to the end. As a result, most players’ backlogs consist of new RPGs that we swear we’ll get around to “one day.” Will things ever change? Probably not, seeing as 2020 is jam-packed with some of the best-looking RPGs we’ve ever seen. 

Here, we’ll be providing a timeline of the best upcoming RPGs along with their anticipated release dates and supported platforms. We suggest you start planning now which ones you’ll pick up at launch, and which ones will inevitably end up in your backlog, only to be forgotten until the next Steam sale

Make sure to check back as we continue to update this list in the future with new entries. And while you’re here, consider reading through our other curated lists to learn about more games releasing in 2020 and beyond:

Related:Best Upcoming MMORPGs 2020 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Game Remakes 2020 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Open-World Games 2020 (And Beyond)

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Cris Tales is a love letter to classic JRPGs that’s managed to pique our interest due to its gorgeous 2D visuals and clever implementation of time travel. The story is centered on an orphan named Crisbell, who becomes a time mage and is tasked with saving the world from calamity.

While playing, you’ll be able to access past, present, and future versions of Crisbell’s world simultaneously and make decisions that affect each version. We’re still waiting for publisher Modus Games to announce a release date, but in the meantime, there’s a Cris Tales demo worth checking out.

Arguably the biggest early release of 2020, Cyberpunk 2077, has some pretty big shoes to fill. After all, CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3 is considered to be one of the best games of the last decade and has set the bar extremely high for the Polish developer’s next project. While the game’s PS4 release has been pushed back to September 2020, chances are it will come to the PS5 as well.

Described as a first-person action RPG, the game is set in a dystopian future where the lines between human and AI have become blurred more than ever. Taking on the role of a customizable protagonist named V, players will make their way through Night City, a sprawling open-world overflowing with technology, crime, and neon.

Slated for this year, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be the next entry in the long-running action RPG. Set during the 9th century during the Viking invasion of Britain, the game sees you playing as a Viking raider named Eivor, who gets himself caught up in the ongoing conflict between the Templar Order and the Brotherhood of Assassins.

It’s being reported that the game will feature a greater emphasis on stealth compared to recent AC entries like Origins and Odyssey. Additionally, Valhalla will introduce new gameplay systems such as the ability to increase your influence and gain the loyalty of NPCs along with building your own settlements and carrying out raids in enemy-occupied villages.

In true Square Enix fashion, the company is planning to release a sequel to 2012’s Bravely Default even though one already exists called Bravely Second: End Layer. We’re just glad the company has opted from using their standard (and confusing) game naming system and is keeping things simple with Bravely Default II.

The sequel will introduce players to a new world, story, and characters, namely the latest incarnation of the Heroes of Light, a team of courageous fighters who travel the world in search of four magical crystals. It’s developed by the original BD team and features music from the series’ composer, Revo.

Indie developer Picogram has partnered with Rose City Games to publish Garden Story, a hybrid social sim/adventure RPG with farming sim mechanics.  The game sees you controlling an adorable-looking grape named Concord who’s just been crowned village guardian. Embracing his new title, Concord sets out to restore Grove Island to its former glory by identifying the source behind a mysterious Rot destroying the land.

With help from his friends and neighbors, Concord will travel to new regions, solve puzzles, and care for the environment. Throughout the game, players will become well-acquainted with the numerous creatures that call Grove island home as they complete favors and create memories to fill Concord’s scrapbook with new skills.

Dreamscaper is an upcoming indie action RPG with a distinct art style and entertaining story premise revolving around a young woman struggling with depression. In it, you take on the role of Cassie as she ventures into her subconscious each night in hopes of defeating nightmarish manifestations of her most negative thoughts.

The game follows a rogue-lite structure, with each night of slumber presenting a different dungeon filled with unique challenges and in-game events for Cassie to overcome before her condition becomes fatal. The combat system is primarily inspired by Dark Souls and aims to blend elements of multiple genres, such as brawlers, top-down shooters, and classic dungeon-crawlers.

Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly has partnered with Square Enix to release Outriders, an upcoming action RPG designed with co-op in mind. The game sees you creating a custom character called an Outrider before selecting from four distinct classes. Each class comes with upgradeable skills that operate on cooldowns. Players also use an array of guns such as assault rifles and shotguns, which can be augmented via weapon mods.

While it’s been compared to live service titles such as Destiny and The Division, the developer affirms that Outriders will have a clear start and finish for players who just want to experience the story. With that said, the game still gives off major ‘looter shooter,’ vibes and its cooperative design will no doubt attract multiplayer-driven audiences. There’s still no word on its release date, but we can confirm it will be available on both current and next-gen hardware.

2019 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.

Eastward proves it’s possible to have nostalgia for a game you haven’t even played, evoking memories of Saturday morning-cartoons and retro 16-bit video game soundtracks. This is further complemented by a striking pixel art style that makes for charming characters and interesting environments.

The game is described as an action-adventure RPG and closely follows an unlikely pair as they embark on an emotional adventure to uncover the truth behind their pasts and the universe. As you journey across the decaying cities of a post-apocalyptic world, you’ll encounter a colorful cast of strange creatures and humans with their own story to tell.

Bloodlines 2 has been in development for so long that it was only a matter of time before it got confirmed for next-gen consoles. The sequel builds upon the 2004 original in several ways, most notably in the visuals department, showcasing a fully-realized open-world based on modern-day Seattle. In it, you play as a recently-turned vampire who joins up with one of five different clans.

Each clan offers unique perks, one of the driving aspects of Bloodlines 2’s role-play design. In addition to joining a family, you’ll be able to select your character’s backstory and vampire discipline from multiple options to determine your playstyle. Along with feeding on humans while trying not to get caught, you’ll have to deal with rival vampire clans, werewolves, and demons looking to take you out.

A follow-up to 2016’s Darkest Dungeon is confirmed to be in development at Red Hook Studios. The sequel looks to maintain the dark and atmospheric tone of the first game while introducing new improvements to the original’s turn-based combat system. It appears the developer has been exploring some new ideas in hopes of shaking up the metagame in the Darkest Dungeon 2.

Judging by the teaser, players can expect to tread new grounds as the original six characters can be seen standing before a series of snow-capped mountains. We look forward to guiding our party down even more treacherous paths while dealing with obstacles like hunger, stress, and disease along with any enemies who dare cross our path.

During BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard 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.

The most likely scenario is that Diablo 4 will end up being a cross-gen title and launch for both Xbox One and 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.

Heading into 2020, EA and BioWare have maintained radio silence in regards to the next Dragon Age RPG confirmed to be currently in development. While we would typically chalk this up to the ongoing disaster that is Anthem, that doesn’t appear to be the case as both games are being worked on by two separate teams.

With E3 2020 just around the corner, EA and BioWare may be holding off from sharing any new information until the next EA Play event, which typically takes place during the same weekend. Considering how critical fans have been of both companies in recent years, Dragon Age 4 may end up being the tipping point for not only the series but also the future of BioWare.

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.

Even though the next Tales game has already been delayed beyond 2020, we’re sure it’ll pay off for Bandai Namco in the long-run. Tales of Arise is by far the most ambitious-looking entry in the series and plans to push the envelope when it comes to graphical quality, evident by the stunning presentation of the game’s 2019 announcement trailer.

Following in the footsteps of 2016’s Tales of Berseria, the game takes place on the planet Dahna, which has had its natural resources depleted and its people subjugated by a neighboring planet called Rena. Arise will focus on two characters, one from Rena and one from Dahna, who join forces in hopes of changing the world for the better.

Chances are we won’t receive an update regarding Bethesda’s latest project for at least a few years as the company already has enough on their plate with the upcoming Elder Scrolls VI. This leads us to believe Starfield will most definitely release on next-gen consoles, which includes Xbox Series X and PS5.

So far, all we know about the game is that it’s a single-player RPG set in outer space. Starfield will be Bethesda’s first new IP in over 25 years and has the potential of becoming the third pillar in their RPG catalog along with Fallout and Elder Scrolls.

Even though Bethesda is more occupied with Elder Scrolls: Online and the latest flavor of the month Fallout 76 controversy, they still like to occasionally remind us Elder Scrolls VI is coming. That being said, we haven’t received an update since 2018, so Bethesda will likely have something to show before the year is done.

Whether it’s a release date, gameplay, or another cinematic, rest assured the game will be coming to next-gen consoles. Current speculation suggests ES6 might be set in the Skyrim-adjacent region High Rock based on the announcement trailer depicting a mountainous northern province. It’s also rumored that the ongoing conflict with the Thalmor may be a key element in the game’s plot.

We don’t have a lot of data concerning FromSoftware’s next endeavor, aside from knowing George R.R. Martin was brought in to create the game’s overarching lore and world-building. 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 it’s being suggested that players will be able to ride horses and explore dungeon-like ruins where they’ll encounter enemies.

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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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