Top 10 Anticipated 2021 Releases
As 2021 progresses, we’ll be getting further into the ninth generation of video game consoles, with a lot of releases I’m really excited for scheduled to release during the course of the year. There are still a number of cool games scheduled to release on 8th generation systems in 2021 though, and I’m even more excited for some of those as I already have systems to play them on. Here are the 10 2021 games I’m most looking forward to!
One thing to note, I only included games in this list that have confirmed 2021 release dates or release windows. Even games that have a vague “2021” release are fair game. This rule means that some future games I’m really looking forward to, like Tales of Arise or Scarlet Nexus, are excluded from the list because they don’t have a confirmed 2021 release window. Tales of Arise has been delayed to an unspecified date, while Scarlet Nexus only shows “Release Date Coming Soon” on its official site. Both could end up releasing in 2021, but since it’s not certain I couldn’t include them in this list.
With that out of the way, time for the list!
10. Rune Factory 5
I really enjoyed my time with Rune Factory 4 Special, despite not getting all the way through all the story arcs. The hack ‘n’ slash combat and farming mechanics were really fun though, so I’m definitely excited for the next installment! A Rune Factory game built from the ground up for the Switch with HD, 3D graphics sounds awesome.
9. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game Complete Edition
The original Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game was awesome on Xbox 360. With great spritework and an awesome soundtrack by chiptune band Anamanaguchi, it was an awesome beat ‘em up with a retro feel. Plus, there are so many references to the comic book source material, and as a Scott Pilgrim fan this made the game even better! Unfortunately, it was a digital only release, and it was taken down from all digital stores years ago. I still have my Xbox with the game installed, but I haven’t tried turning it on in a long time. I’m really looking forward to having this game on another platform, and I really hope there’s a physical edition in some form this time around!
I’m not sure what platform I’ll get this one on. It’s coming to PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch, so I have several options. My choice will probably depend on which (if any) physical editions are available.
8. Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
When this new Story of Seasons game was announced during a Nintendo Direct Mini, I was pretty surprised. I didn’t even know a new game was in development, so to hear that it would be releasing just 5 months after it was revealed was a shock!
From what I saw in the reveal trailer, it seems like there will be a lot more player freedom in building up your farm exactly the way you want. In that regard, it’s really cool to see Story of Seasons take inspiration from other simulation games like Stardew Valley, because Story of Seasons was definitely an inspiration for Stardew Valley. We’ve come full circle! Although, Harvest Moon: Magical Melody already let you build your own farm buildings, so the new features could be seen as an expansion of those mechanics. Regardless, I’m looking forward to more relaxing and cute farming!
7. GhostWire: Tokyo
My understanding of GhostWire: Tokyo’s gameplay is that you explore Tokyo at night and fight supernatural enemies with magical martial arts skills. Every part of that sounds awesome! I’ve said it before on this blog, but the gameplay trailer for this game during the PS5 Reveal livestream always gets me so hyped.
6. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster
Having never played the PS2 original, but always hearing great things about it online from those who have, I was excited to hear it was getting an HD remaster and releasing in the West in 2021. Unfortunately, its launch in Asia suffers from some significant technical problems. I’m really hopeful that these are patched by the time of the Western release, because I’d really love to play it.
5. Shin Megami Tensei V
As of this writing, I still haven’t played a mainline Shin Megami Tensei game. I really love the battle mechanics and demon designs of Persona though, and since those are based on the groundwork laid by Shin Megami Tensei, I’m hoping the series really clicks with me. That said, a new entry releasing in 2021 in a series I’ve been curious about for a while definitely has me interested!
4. NEO: The World Ends with You
I only recently played The World Ends with You, and I loved the story, visuals, music, and unique battle mechanics. Controlling the action on both screens of the DS at once during battle was tough, but definitely a memorable experience. Since the original game released in 2008, I didn’t expect a sequel to be announced since it had already been over a decade. Long story short, the announcement of a brand new game in the series, NEO: The World Ends with You, blew my mind. From the gameplay trailer, it looks like a very promising game, and I hope it stacks up to the original. It’s a high bar, but I’m cautiously optimistic about this one!
Arkane’s Dishonored series is one of my favorite game series, so if any of Deathloop’s design or gameplay builds upon that, I’ll probably really enjoy it. I have a number of questions about some of the gameplay specifics, but from what I’ve seen in the trailers, it looks like there will be a number of powers, weapons, and tools at your disposal to take out enemies. In that regard, it seems like it’s building upon the gameplay of the Dishonored series, and that seems great!
One thing I’m hesitant about is the multiplayer component that seems to be built into the campaign, wherein another player (or the AI if you want a true single-player experience) controls a rival assassin whose only target is you. I’m not big on multiplayer with random opponents, but the system in Deathloop sounds like a lot of design thought has been put into it, and if one of my friends had this game as well it this sort of multiplayer could be a lot of fun.
2. Hogwarts Legacy
At the time of writing, there’s still only a vague 2021 release year given for this open world action RPG. But that means it’s still fair game for this list!
If there’s one game on this list that’s more likely than any other to prompt PatronusLight and I to buy a ninth generation console, it’s Hogwarts Legacy. It’s releasing on PC as well, but I have my doubts that my 6-year old PC would be able to run it at decent settings. I’ll probably updgrade my PC or build a new one eventually, but since it’s running fine as-is I’m in no hurry to upgrade any of the components.
Anyway, PatronusLight and I have dreamt of an open world game set in the Wizarding World for a long time. There’s a chance that Hogwarts Legacy won’t quite live up to our expectations, but I’m definitely looking forward to finding out. It might still be a really cool game even if it’s not everything we hoped it would be, and that’s fine.
1. Persona 5 Strikers
As we waited for a Western release announcement for this hack ‘n’ slash Persona 5 sequel, I asked PatronusLight numerous times, “when will they announce P5S’s Western release?” Not that she had any more of an idea when that would be than I did! Well, after months of asking her, an official release announcement trailer leaked online, and a few days later on December 8th, 2020, Atlus confirmed a Western release date of February 23, 2021. What was more surprising is that they also confirmed that it would be releasing on Steam at the same time!
PatronusLight and I are both huge Persona 5 fans, and I’ve already pre-ordered this one for PS4. I wish there was some sort of special edition for PS4, but the only special edition I saw was for the Switch version, which I wanted to avoid because apparently the loading times in that version are really long.