Best Upcoming RPGs 2021

Do you love role-playing games as much as we do? If so, check out our list of the best upcoming RPGs of 2021.

Many of the best role-playing games are massive timesinks that require upwards of hundreds of hours to complete.

That’s a big commitment for a lot of gamers, which is probably why so many RPGs end up in the growing pile of games we swear we’ll get around to “someday.”

Will things ever change? Probably not, considering 2021 is packed with some of the best-looking RPGs we’ve ever seen. 

In this list, we’ll highlight the best upcoming RPGs releasing in 2021 and beyond in order of release date.

We’ll be updating this list with new titles in the future, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any games!

Related:Best Upcoming MMORPGs 2021 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Game Remakes 2021 (And Beyond)Best Upcoming Open-World Games 2021 (And Beyond)

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Biomutant has had a lengthy development cycle consisting of numerous delays, so we’re happy to announce that it has finally been given a release date.

Set in a post-apocalyptic open-world, Biomutant sees you playing as a raccoon-like creature with cool mutations and bio-mechanical body parts that affect both combat and traversal. 

Players will have free reign over most of the world from the start but will need to acquire certain gear to reach some areas, adding a Metroidvania quality to progression.

Biomutant is currently in development by Experiment 101, a studio founded by former Avalanche Studios creative director Stefan Ljungqvist, best known for the Just Cause Series.

In addition to Rise, Switch owners will have a chance to pick up the sequel to Monster Hunter Stories, a cel-shaded RPG originally released for the 3DS in 2017.

The spin-off differs from mainline MH games in that you don’t do any actual hunting.

Instead, Monster Hunter Stories 2 casts you as an inexperienced Monster Rider with dreams of taming and bonding with creatures throughout the world.

While the game still doesn’t have a release date, there’s a good chance it will come out during the same window as Rise.

Sporting a similar retro-inspired art style to that of Undertale, She Dreams Elsewhere is a surreal RPG about dreams and their connection to reality.

In it, you play as Thalia, a comatose woman suffering from anxiety as she sets out to confront her demons and awaken once and for all.

Despite being a narrative-driven experience, the game also features a turn-based battling system that pits you against a host of nightmarish monsters.

Thalia can recruit characters to join her party and strengthen her bond with each using a “Connection” system.

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 mechanics.

The story revolves around an orphan named Crisbell, who becomes a time mage 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 while making decisions that affect each version of her world.

There’s still no word on a release date, but in the meantime, there’s a Cris Tales demo you can check out to get a feel of what we’re talking about. 

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.

With help from his friends and neighbors, he’ll travel to new regions, solve puzzles and cure the forest.

Throughout the story, you’ll get to know the many creatures that call Grove Island home by completing favors and adding memories to Concord’s scrapbook.

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.

The next entry in Square Enix’s “HD-2D” series is currently in production under the working title Project Triangle Strategy.

While the game shares many similarities with Octopath Traveler, it’s currently being touted as a successor and not a direct sequel.

In it, three nations vie for control over scarce resources and find themselves thrust into tactical turn-based battles.

Combat draws influence from classic strategy RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics, complete with positional advantages, follow-up attacks, and elemental chain reactions.

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 that the developer has been exploring some new ideas in hopes of shaking up the metagame in Darkest Dungeon II.

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.

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 recently confirmed for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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.

Arguably one of the biggest surprises to come out of E3 2019 is Nintendo’s announcement that work on a sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild has already begun.

Judging by the reveal trailer, the next entry will maintain BOTW‘s art style while sporting 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 will pay off for Bandai Namco in the long-run.

Following in the footsteps of 2016’s Tales of Berseria, the game takes place on planet Dahna, which has had its natural resources depleted and its people subjugated by a neighboring planet called Rena.

Tales of 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.

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.

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 the following consoles, which includes 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 it’s likely Bethesda will have something to show before the year is through.

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 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. 

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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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