Cinelinx’s Most Anticipated Video Games of 2021

Earlier this week, our team shared the films they’re most excited about in 2021, but today, we’re taking a look at the games we can’t wait to play in the New Year!

As is typically the case, some of the games we were eager to play in 2020 were pushed back in 2021. Combined with the recent launch of the next-generation gaming consoles and there’s a TON of games on the horizon for us to drool over. Here, we’ve tasked our gaming team to select just a handful of games they’re most excited to play in 2021.

JORDAN

Horizon Forbidden WestHorizon Zero Dawn is easily among my favorite games of the past generation. Coupling an amazing story, addictive gameplay, and a setting/world you can’t help but explore. I was utterly sucked into this game, and eagerly gobbled up the story DLC, but I need to know what comes next in Aloy’s journey. The announcement trailer blew me away showing off new enemies and ideas that I’m going to have a blast discovering.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition – My love for the Mass Effect franchise is well documented and for several years I’ve been clamoring for a remaster, or just some way to play it on modern consoles. The original trilogy of games brings one of the most cinematic story experiences I’ve ever played through. Combined with the deep character connections and gameplay, it’s a tough series to beat.

Now that there’s a new game on the horizon (though that’s probably a few years out), the Legendary Edition feels perfectly timed. Even with my backlog of games building up, I’m very much eager to replay these three games.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – The LEGO games always manage to deliver, bringing trademark humor and surprisingly addictive gameplay to various iconic properties. LEGO Star Wars was among the first, and now it’s coming full circle. I really enjoyed LEGO The Force Awakens and was bummed when the other new Star Wars films weren’t given the same treatment. Now that I can play through the WHOLE Saga in a new experience, I think the wait will absolutely be worth it.

Chorus – Oh man! This announcement trailer during the Xbox event over the Summer completely sold me on the game. I’m always done for more starfighter game action and this looks all kinds of sleek. As we’ve learned more about the story and gameplay, my hype for this game has only grown exponentially. If it can deliver on the gameplay and story, this could be a defining space-shooter for the generation.

Outriders – While I’ve never been the biggest fan of shooter games, there’s something about the shooter/RPG hybrid model that compels me. It sucked me in with Destiny and Destiny 2, and the more I’ve seen of Square Enix/People Can Fly’s Outriders, the more I’m convinced it’s going to whip all kinds of ass.

Riders Republic – For some reason, I really loved Ubisoft’s Steep. It was a lot of fun hitting the slopes and competing in challenges. Something about the gameplay and overall experience was extremely cathartic even as you tackled tougher runs. Riders Republic looks like the sequel to Steep I’ve been wanting and I’m very excited to check out the new sports added to the gameplay and see if it can bring the same great experience.

Honorable Mentions: Gotham Knights, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, Scarlet Nexus, Humankind, Final Fantasy XVI, Rune Factory 5.

KATY

Hogwarts Legacy – I have been a lifelong fan of the Harry Potter series and have been clamoring for a pre-Harry Potter experience like what Hogwarts Legacy has to offer.  The game will be an open world RPG and set in the 1800’s and I am excited to explore the world and take on the world as my own witch, on the path to set my own destiny.

Rune Factory 5 – I have adored the Rune Factory series for over a decade now. I played Rune Factory 4 for countless hours on both the Nintendo 3DS when it first launched in 2012 and on the Switch consoles and have been eagerly awaiting the release of Rune Factory 5 since it was first announced back in February 2019. It’s headed to the Nintendo Switch in 2021 in Japan on May 20, with a simple 2021 release date for North America.

Stray – Another game shown during the PS5 Showcase, Stray captured my attention simply because it seems to be about cats. What can I say? I’m a sucker. My basic understanding plus the actual description of the game immediately had me adding the game to my wishlist.

“Lost, alone, and separated from family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city. Stray is a third-person cat adventure game set amidst the detailed neon-lit alleys of a decaying cybercity and the murky environments of its seedy underbelly.”

Digimon Survive – Survival strategy is one of my favorite genres and Bandai Namco is striving to combine it with one of my most nostalgic franchises: Digimon. Digimon Survive was teased back in 2018 with a planned 2019 launch. Not too much has been shared by developers on the game, but in a 2019 dev diary, a developer said they looked at a key feature in the anime: Digimon growing stronger to reflect people’s hearts. So players will have the freedom to choose their own actions and make their own choices in the world and have those actions/choices impact how Digimon grow and evolve.

Cris Tales – Cris Tales is a love letter to classic JRPG’s that is being artfully crafted by Colombian studios Dreams Uncorporated and SYCK Games. I saw this game first hand at E3 2019 and have enjoyed the demos made available for the game on PC up to this point. I had the immense pleasure of speaking with the founder of both studios and one of the creative minds behind the game, Carlos Rocha, on my podcast KakeBytes to discuss the game’s development and inspirations.

Honorable mentions: Digimon Survive, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Psychonauts 2, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

MATT

Kena: Bridge of Spirits – Of all the games that are set to release in 2021, I’m most fascinated by Kena: Bridge of Spirits. The graphics are gorgeous like they’ve been ripped right out of a Dreamworks Animation film. Which does make sense given that the studio behind the game, Ember Lab has a team that started out as animators. More than that, though, the gameplay looks plenty fun. I’d like to know more about the story, but that makes the anticipation even greater.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart – Full disclosure, I’m one of the millions of unlucky few that has yet to secure a Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X. That said, I’m determined to get a PS5 before Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart releases. The 2021 play former has looked amazing in its first few trailers, displaying an exciting new story and gameplay that seems to test next gen capabilities. I’m all in.

God of War: Ragnarok – It isn’t 100% certain that God of War: Ragnarok will release in 2021. I have my reservations that it will. However, if it does, this may wind up being Game of the Year. That may be getting ahead of myself but based on what we saw in 2017’s God of War, this game has the blueprint and I have every faith that it’ll live up to lofty expectations.

Halo Infinite – I absolutely love the Halo series. I did think it took a dip when it went to 343 Industries but there’s no denying that it’s one of the most iconic shooters of all time. While 2020 wasn’t a great year for Halo: Infinite, what with the delays, the birth of Craig, and the fact that Microsoft had to bring in people to help finish the game all after they revealed the game and were preparing to release it on Xbox Series X. I’m excited to see what the team put together and if it will live up to expectations. I plan on being the first one in line for an XSX when this game gets ready to release.

2021 RPGs – You know me, I LOVE RPGs and 2021 is looking to be an insane year for RPGs. At the top of my list is Final Fantasy XVI. It’s unclear if it will indeed release in 2021, but this will immediately be my #1 most anticipated game if it does. With a gameplay style that looks ripped out of a Witcher game and a story that looks absolutely fascinating with time jumps, wars, and the use of the God-like deities called Eikons, as well as Crystals. I need this game like I need oxygen. Another game I’m excited about happens to be one of the most criminally underrated RPGs, Bravely Default 2. Known for its unique art style and Brave Point system, as well as its class customization, Bravely Default is just a sensational RPG series. Now we get our 3rd game in the series with new Heroes of Light! Finally, I am so ready for Atelier Ryza 2, yet another criminally underrated RPG series and this sequel looks just as impressive and fun as the previous game. With Atelier Ryza 2 releasing in January and Bravely Default 2 releasing in February, RPG fans will be eating well to start the year.

ROB

I just want a damn PS5.

Horizon Forbidden West – is about the only thing I’m looking to get for 2021, but seeing as i wont be getting the other games till I get one, which will probably be summer of 2021 I’ll just add

Cyberpunk 2077

SpiderMan: Miles Morales

Yes, I know I can get them now but I want them for the 5.

SOLEB

2020 has been an amazing year for the video games industry, I think we can all agree we have seen some of the best games in years launch this year and boy are we excited for what is to come! Games like Assassins Creed: Valhalla, The Last of Us II, Doom Eternal, Ghost of Tsushima, Animal Crossing, Ori and The Will of the Wisps, and more have made gamers around the globe so happy this year. This coming year will be nothing short of amazing as well and we can’t wait to see what these worlds will be all about!

Deathloop [PC, PS5] – May 21, 2021

Far Cry 6 [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBOX, Stadia] – TBC 2021

GhostWire: Tokyo [PC, PS5] – TBC 2021

Resident Evil 8 Village [PC, PS5, XSX] – TBC 2021

Dying Light 2 [Possibility if the game is deep in development]

God of War Ragnarok   

BECKY

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – This is LITERALLY the one game I can’t wait to get my hands on in 2021. I’ve been a huge fan of the LEGO games for years, and my previous experience with LEGO Star Wars games has had me more than hyped to play the complete saga.

Persona 5 Strikers – Having recently fallen in love with Persona 5, I’m excited that another game is coming out that continues (somewhat) the story of Joker and the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. Technically this game is a crossover between Dynasty Warriors and the Persona franchise, but I don’t care, it looks really cool. This game will be available to Western players on February 23, 2021.

New Pokemon Game? – I keep hearing rumors that a new mainline Pokemon game is coming in 2021. Assuming one does, I will definitely be looking forward to it, ESPECIALLY if the rumors of this being a “Diamond/Pearl” remake are true (I missed out on those games the first time around).

Rune Factory 5 – I’ve never played any of the Rune Factory games before, but Rune Factory 5 looks really cool, and I’ll always try a new RPG if it looks cool enough.

Dragon Quest? – So with next year being the 35th anniversary of the Dragon Quest franchise, I’m hopeful that this means a new (or perhaps remastered) game will be released later next year. I know Dragon Quest XII won’t be coming for quite some time, but I would happily welcome a remaster of an older Dragon Quest game, provided it’s still available for the PS4, as I won’t have my hands on a PS5 for who knows how long.


There are so many games to look forward to in 2021 we can feel our backlog growing. Which of the new games coming are you most excited about playing?