If you have a stack of leftover games from 2019, you better start finishing them soon, because 2020 is bringing several enormous new releases, despite all eyes being on the holiday season when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launch. New entries in long-running franchises will launch, including some that we haven’t seen in over a decade, and completely original games will also release from major studios. We suggest you start saving your money, because your wallet is in for some pain. These are our most anticipated games of 2020.
Dreams (PS4 — February 14)
Media Molecule helped to revolutionize user-created content in console games with its LittleBigPlanet series, but the studio is taking things much further with Dreams. Available beginning in 2019 in early access but officially launching on February 14, Dreams allows you to make nearly any kind of game you want, including first-person shooters, platformers, narrative adventures, and racing games. The campaign itself was even designed on a PS4 using the DualShock 4 controller, and the creations we’ve already seen are mind-boggling.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox One, PC — March 11)
The sequel to one of the most acclaimed games for Xbox One, Ori and the Will of the Wisps was announced what seems like an eternity ago, but we would much rather Moon Studios is given the time it needs to create a compelling Metroidvania game than release something it had to rush. Much like the first game, you play as the titular character and explore areas using newfound abilities, returning later to unlock previously hidden sections. The game’s gorgeous art style has been given even more detail this time around, and the suitably wispy score is the perfect companion.
Nioh 2 (PS4 — March 13)
The first Nioh was a surprise in just how well it managed to take the From Software formula and turn it into a stylish action game. In some respects, it even surpassed the Souls series with its creative bosses, but Nioh 2 will not have the luxury of lowered expectations. As you battle deadly Yokai and enhance your abilities, you’ll be able to turn into the ultimate Sengoku-era killing machine, and you can once again temporarily turn into a Yokai yourself to deliver devastating blows.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch — March 20)
It isn’t Mario, Zelda, or Pokémon, but there are very few Nintendo franchises that can get players are rabidly excited as Animal Crossing. In its first game on Switch, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the series shifts to a vacation setting with your character given free rein to customize an island as they see fit. It still contains all the classic Animal Crossing elements, but even more variety in activities and more options for multiplayer. The game’s famous characters like Tom Nook have never looked better, and we can’t wait to fall deeply into debt after buying a house.
Doom Eternal (Xbox One, PS4, PC — March 20)
Who could have thought the Doom series would still be relevant in 2020? After 2016’s excellent reboot, Id Software had little else to prove in a sequel, but Doom Eternal isn’t just more of the same. The Doomslayer now has blades built into his suit for more efficient demon-murdering, can fire himself from a special BFG cannon, and has a grappling hook to get around with lightning speed. As with Doom II, much of the game takes place on Earth, and once you’ve completed the campaign, you can try out the asymmetrical multiplayer mode that pits one Doomslayer against multiple demons in a fight to the death.
Half-Life: Alyx (PC VR — undetermined March date)
Half-Life 3? Not quite, but Valve’s VR-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx is the first new game in the series in over a decade. Set between the original and Half-Life 2, it’s a full-fledged first-person VR action game with some of the most stunning visuals we’ve ever seen on a headset. That fidelity means you will need a beast of a machine to power it all, but getting the chance to unravel the latest chapter in Valve’s mysterious shooter series is too tempting to pass up. Start buying new components now and your PC might be ready by launch!
Resident Evil 3 (Xbox One, PS4, PC — April 3)
After the success of the Resident Evil 2 remake in 2019, Capcom is forging ahead with a full Resident Evil 3 remake in 2020. The game will be a completely updated version of the classic Jill Valentine action-horror game, with villain Nemesis returning to scare you whenever you even think about taking a breather. Alongside the remake, it will also include Resident Evil: Resistance, an asymmetrical multiplayer game that lets one player unleash hordes of enemies and traps on human survivors.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4 — April 10)
The name is a bit of a misnomer because it’s actually only the first part of an episode release model, but Final Fantasy VII Remake will officially launch in March, and it looks nothing short of outstanding. Telling the same story as the original PlayStation game but with a completely new combat system that blurs the line between action and role-playing similarly to Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy VII Remake looks like it will please both newcomers and longtime series fans, provided we don’t end up waiting several more years for the full game to be finished.
Gears Tactics (PC — April 28)
Following in the footsteps of the strategy game Halo Wars, Gears of War will make the jump from third-person shooting with Gears Tactics. Releasing first on PC but coming to Xbox One later down the road, Gears Tactics is an XCOM-like strategy game that plays out in turn-based combat and chronicles the very beginning of the Locust War. It isn’t the same Gears of War you know, but it looks to be a clever and engaging spin on the franchise and boasts a 40-hour campaign with no microtransactions. It will also be available for free to those who have an Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR (PS4 — May 15)
The first of two 2020 video games that will let you play as the legendary superhero Iron Man, Marvel’s Iron Man VR is the only one that will let you be Iron Man. The first-person virtual reality game puts you into his famous suit, with two PlayStation Move controllers uses for flying through the air and utilizing his iconic gadgets and abilities. You’ll be able to fully upgrade your armor, and also learn more about Tony Stark the person rather than just the tech magnate and defender of Earth.
The Last of Us: Part II (PS4 — May 29)
Naughty Dog has been taking its sweet time to develop The Last of Us: Part II, but given the ridiculously high standards it set for itself with the original game, it’s understandable. The sequel stars Ellie, now several years older, and will see her reunite with father-figure Joel in a post-apocalyptic world still on the verge of collapse with infected humans. It looks to be even darker than the first game, and we could see even more tragic loss for our heroes — if you can call them heroes at this point.
Marvel’s Avengers (Xbox One, PS4, PC, Stadia — September 4)
We promised there would be another Iron Man game to play in 2020, and comes courtesy of Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix. An action-adventure game starring the Avengers, including Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, and more, Marvel’s Avengers is set after a tragic event led to the organization being disbanded, but a new threat necessitates its revival. Alongside traditional campaign content, there will also be a live service element and it supports cooperative play.
Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox One, PS4, PC, Stadia — September 17)
Breathtaking? We’ll see! CD Projekt Red is best known for its Witcher trilogy of games, but it’s venturing into brand-new territory with Cyberpunk 2077. An adaptation of the Cyberpunk tabletop role-playing game, Cyberpunk 2077 shifts to a first-person perspective and throws us into a stunning futuristic world, loading with missions to complete and story choices to make. At your side is a digitized Keanu Reeves, but even without John Wick himself, we’re pretty sure we’d still be losing hundreds of hours in this one.
Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Nioh both offer very fantastical versions of feudal Japan and samurai combat, but Sucker Punch is taking a very different approach with Ghost of Tsushima. The film-like presentation of its action game is heavily inspired by director Akira Kurosawa, with gorgeous environments and stylized, quick sword strikes that have a “blink and you’ll miss it” quality. Very few studios can match the production quality of Sucker Punch, and we can’t wait to play it when it releases at an unannounced date in the summer.
Dying Light 2 (Xbox One, PS4, PC, PS5, Project Scarlett)
Did we expect legendary role-playing game designer Chris Avellone to have a role in a sequel to Dying Light? Absolutely not, but we sure are glad he’s involved! Techland’s Dying Light 2 looks drastically different from the original game, with a changing world and more sophisticated storytelling layered on top of its unique parkour-meets-zombie-killing gameplay. If the studio can pull it off, it could just be one of the best games of the entire year.
Halo Infinite (Xbox One, PC, Project Scarlett)
343 Industries needs to revive Halo in a big way, with Halo 5: Guardians failing to reinvigorate a franchise that has been on the decline since original developer Bungie left it nearly a decade ago. With Halo Infinite, that just might be possible, as the studio is focusing on Master Chief in a large-scale science-fiction shooter adventure that seems to better grasp why players fell in love with Halo all those years ago. Cross-play support and a powerful new engine should also help to show off the next Xbox system’s technical prowess, as well.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC)
The Star Wars films have been adapted into several video games over the years, but they’re split across multiple systems and some of them have not aged particularly well. With Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, every mainline film will be adapted into an enormous, sprawling video game that acts as a perfect companion piece to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It’s sure to keep the Lego series’ classic humor intact, however, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Psychonauts 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac)
Yes, Psychonauts 2 is real, and now that developer Double Fine Productions is owned by Microsoft, we don’t have to worry about the game getting canceled before release! Once again starring hero Raz and set in a world where psychic powers are real, it’s a game that players have been waiting to experience since the original cult hit launched in 2005. It certainly has a lot riding on it, but Psychonauts 2 looks to be a worthy successor.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Zombie-shooting action in a Tom Clancy game? That sounds like an odd fit, but it’s what Ubisoft is doing with the cooperative Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine. Rather than make a sequel to the competitive multiplayer game Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft’s latest shooter pits the world’s elite operatives against infected humans with alien parasites, so you’ll need to learn all-new tactics and strategies to take them down. It’s a far cry from the Rainbow Six of old, but it’s nothing if not surprising.
Watch Dogs: Legion (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia, PS5, Project Scarlett)
Watch Dogs: Legion isn’t just a simple third game, but rather a full reimagining of what is possible in the Watch Dogs universe. Set in London, Legion doesn’t have a protagonist. Instead, you can play as literally anyone you meet in the open world, ranging from brawling street thugs to grandmothers with a knack for hacking. If they die once, they’re gone for good, and you then move on to play as a different character. This wildly ambitious concept is being led by director Clint Hocking, who has acclaimed games like Far Cry 2 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on his resume already.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PS4)
Yes, we got Shenmue III at long last in 2019, but Sega’s Yakuza series effectively replaced it with a better alternative years ago. In the latest game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the development team is taking a huge risk by switching the combat to a turn-based role-playing style, and despite it seeming like a weird fit in a series known for brawling, the goofiness and charm of Yakuza looks like it will still shine through completely. What won’t change are the great characters and storytelling we expect from Yakuza, and we expect a ton of bizarre mini-games, as always.
SkateBIRD (Switch, PC)
Move over Skate and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, because there is a new shredding expert on the scene. In SkateBIRD, you are a bored pet bird who must entertain themselves in your owner’s home with a variety of objects like straws and staplers. With your tiny, adorable skateboard, you can become the next extreme sports legend, and you can even attract your birds to visit your makeshift park. It’s all backed up by a bumping “bird-hop” soundtrack, and you can even collect little outfits for your bird to wear while they’re grinding the rails and doing manuals on kitchen tables.
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