With the launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X now behind us, we’re turning our attention toward what we’ll be playing on our shiny new hardware — as well as last-gen consoles, Switch, and PC — in the months ahead. From flagship console exclusives like God of War: Ragnarok and Halo Infinite to third-party blockbusters like Far Cry 6 and Hogwarts Legacy, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2021.
So as 2020 comes to an end, we’re highlighting the 42 biggest games expected to be released in the new year. Continue scrolling for more on the year’s biggest games, or click through the gallery below for our running list of all 32 games with solid 2021 release dates (not just release windows).
All 2021 Games With Confirmed Release Dates
Agent 47 returns in January for the conclusion of IO Interactive’s World of Assassination Trilogy. The series’ next entry will “act as a platform for the entire trilogy,” according to IO, meaning all locations from its two previous Hitman games will be playable in Hitman 3.
The Medium is a next-gen horror game with a unique hook: it renders two versions of the game world simultaneously, allowing players to switch seamlessly between the “real world” and the “spirit world” at any time. Legendary composer Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill) is working on the soundtrack.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
Nintendo’s excellent Wii U platformer comes to Switch in February with an all-new expansion called Bowser’s Fury. It features 4-player co-op (both online and local) and will be released alongside new Cat Mario and Cat Peach amiibo.
Riders Republic is an open-world extreme sports game from Ubisoft Annecy, the studio behind Steep. It features five playable sports — skiing, snowboarding, downhill biking, wingsuiting, and rocket wingsuiting — in an open-world comprising seven national parks in the western U.S.
Bravely Default 2
The Bravely franchise comes to Switch for the first time with Bravely Default 2. Despite what its title suggests, this is the third entry in Square Enix’s RPG franchise, following Bravely Default and Bravely Second: End Layer on 3DS.
Destruction AllStars combines vehicular and on-foot combat, and it’s coming exclusively to PS5 in February. It will be released as one of the month’s free PlayStation Plus games.
Developer Housemarque, known for excellent twin-stick shooters like Resogun, is stepping into a new genre with Returnal. Described as a third-person roguelike shooter, Returnal is set on a procedurally generated alien world. The PS5 exclusive will take advantage of the system’s SSD and 3D audio, as well as the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.
Returnal Game Awards Trailer Screenshots
It Takes Two
It Takes Two is the next co-op adventure from Hazelight, the studio behind A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. With It Takes Two, the studio aims to build on its established formula of blending co-op gameplay with engaging storytelling. It will “blow your f**king mind away,” said game director Josef Fares.
Monster Hunter Rise
Capcom’s next Monster Hunter is a Nintendo Switch exclusive with a focus on verticality. Rise is the first of two Monster Hunter games being released next year for Switch; the second, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, is expected in mid-2021. The two games will feature some level of “compatibility,” though Capcom has yet to detail exactly what that means.
Outriders is a one- to three-player, drop-in-drop-out co-op game from People Can Fly (Bulletstorm, Gears of War: Judgment). It’s part action-RPG, part looter-shooter, as noted in IGN’s hands-on preview, which called it “Mass Effect meets Diablo.”
Roller Champions is a free-to-play, roller-derby-inspired sports game. It features 3v3 competitive multiplayer, customizable characters, and at least three different arenas, according to Ubisoft.
Ruined King: A League of Legends Story
Developed by Airship Syndicate (Darksiders Genesis), Ruined King is the first-ever single-player League of Legends game. The turn-based RPG allows you to control a party of League heroes, such as Miss Fortune, Illaoi, Braum, Yasuo, Ahri, and Pyke.
Deathloop is a stylish first-person action game from Arkane Studios, the makers of Dishonored and Prey. It’s a tale of two assassins doing eternal battle on the “retro-future, ‘60s-inspired” island of Blackreef, as one kills to break the island’s time loop and the other kills to preserve it. Deathloop is a timed console exclusive on PS5 that will take advantage of the DualSense controller’s unique features.
Far Cry 6
The next installment in Ubisoft’s open-world franchise takes players to the totalitarian island nation of Yara amidst a revolution. Yara is ruled by dictator Anton Castillo, played by Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian). Far Cry 6 will run at 4K/60fps on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Far Cry 6 Images
Back 4 Blood
Back 4 Blood is the next FPS from the creators of Left 4 Dead. After a detour into asymmetrical multiplayer with Evolve, Turtle Rock is returning to its co-op roots with a new (yet very familiar) take on four-player zombie-killing action. It’s the unofficial Left 4 Dead sequel fans have waited over a decade for, and it’ll be available next June.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
The Skywalker Saga isn’t a simple remake of previous LEGO Star Wars games; it’s an entirely new retelling of all nine Star Wars movies. As noted in our Skywalker Saga preview, “all nine main Star Wars movies are equally represented with brand new levels and objectives along with the freedom to play in the order you choose.”
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
The long-rumored remastered Mass Effect trilogy was confirmed on N7 Day 2020. The Legendary Edition includes all single-player content and DLC from Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3. The remasters will run at 4K on compatible platforms, with “forward compatibility and targeted enhancements on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.”
New World was one of the first three games announced by Amazon back in 2016 — the other two, Breakaway and Crucible, have since been canceled or shut down. This promising MMO, however, has “come a long way,” according to our latest New World preview, and will finally be released in Spring 2021.
Gran Turismo 7
Sony’s long-running racing sim will make its debut on PS5 in the first half of 2021. Gran Turismo 7 was officially announced during the PS5 reveal event, and it’s the series’ first new entry since Gran Turismo Sport in 2017.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Rfit Apart was a next-gen showpiece for Sony during its PS5 reveal event. Insomniac’s next Ratchet & Clank not only looked great, it showed the potential of PS5’s ultra-fast SSD, sending Ratchet through rifts into entirely new game worlds almost instantly.
Battlefield is set to return in late 2021 with the series’ first new entry since Battlefield 5 in 2018. Developer DICE will “deliver a true next-gen vision for the franchise,” according to EA, “with never before seen scale.” Further details will be revealed next spring.
The next chapter in Microsoft’s Master Chief saga was intended to launch alongside Xbox Series X|S in November 2020. However, the project was delayed to 2021 due to “development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts.” When it does launch next fall, Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer will support 120fps on Xbox Series X.
Halo Infinite Multiplayer December screenshots.
Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Our next adventure to Middle-earth is an all-new Lord of the Rings story starring Gollum. It will explore a previously untold LotR narrative while remaining faithful to J.R.R. Tolkein’s source material, according to developer Daedalic. Gameplay-wise, Gollum is “mostly a non-combat game,” with Prince of Persia-like stealth.
GTA V [Next-Gen]
Grand Theft Auto V will be released on its third set of consoles in 2021. The PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions will “take full advantage of the latest hardware,” according to Rockstar, with technical, visual, and performance upgrades. A standalone version of GTA Online will also be released in the second half of the year, and it will be free for PS5 players during its first three months.
Horizon Forbidden West
Guerrilla Games’ sequel to 2017’s excellent Horizon Zero Dawn is coming to PS5 and PS4 in the back half of 2021. Forbidden West sees Aloy journey across the western United States, from Utah to San Francisco. Despite also coming to PS4, the next-gen version of Forbidden West is being “built from the ground up to take advantage of the PS5 feature set,” according to Sony.
Horizon Forbidden West PlayStation 5 Screenshots
Chorus is a story-driven space shooter about an ex-cultist named Nara and her sentient starfighter, Forsaken. The story follows Nara on her journey to take down the “dark cult” that created her.
The popular PC shooter comes to consoles for the first time in 2021 as Crossfire X. Crossfire developer Smilegate is handling the multiplayer component, while the single-player story is being developed by Remedy (Control, Alan Wake).
Evil Dead: The Game
Based on the iconic horror franchise, Evil Dead: The Game is a third-person action game with co-op and PvP modes. Evil Dead will feature characters and locales from the franchise’s movie and TV history, including the infamous cabin in the woods. Most notably, however, is the return Bruce Campbell, who reprises his iconic role as Ash Williams.
The next game from horror legend Shinji Mikami and Tango Gameworks is set in a “realistic but original version of Tokyo” where most people have vanished. Unlike the studio’s previous work on The Evil Within, GhostWire: Tokyo isn’t strictly a horror game; it’s an action-adventure with “elements of survival.” It’s launching as a timed console exclusive on PS5.
God of War: Ragnarok
God of War: Ragnarok is perhaps the most anticipated game of 2021. Santa Monica Studio has yet to reveal any details beyond its 2021 release window, though Ragnarok is expected to continue the journey of Kratos and Atreus. God of War’s PS4 reboot was awarded IGN’s 2018’s Game of the Year Award.
God of War: Ragnarok PlayStation 5 Showcase Announcement
Following years of teases from developer WB Games Montreal, Gotham Knights was officially announced at 2020’s DC FanDome event. The third-person brawler is set in a universe where Batman is dead and the duty of protecting Gotham has fallen to Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood — all of whom are playable characters in Gotham Knights. It features online co-op for two players.
Hogwarts Legacy is the realization of a long-held dream for many Harry Potter fans, putting you at the center of a wizarding world adventure. You’ll create your own character, go through the Sorting Ceremony, and journey into developer Avalanche Software’s version of 1800s Hogwarts.
No More Heroes 3
Travis Touchdown was originally set to return in 2020, but like several other games this year, No More Heroes 3 was delayed due to COVID 19-related development issues. The Switch exclusive was most recently featured in Nintendo’s October Direct Mini.
Open Roads is the next narrative adventure from Gone Home and Tacoma developer Fullbright. Keri Russell (The Americans) and Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart) lend their voices to Opal and Tess, a mother-daughter duo on a road trip “to discover what has been left behind in evocative places forgotten to time.”
Raz and the Psychonauts return in 2021, 16 years after the release of the original cult classic. Developer Double Fine was acquired by Microsoft in the middle of development, which allowed the studio to reimplement features previously cut for budgetary reasons, including boss fights. Psychonauts 2 will be released day and date on Xbox Game Pass and feature optimizations for Xbox Series X|S.
Resident Evil Village
The eighth mainline Resident Evil continues the story of Ethan and Mia Winters that began in RE7: Biohazard. Like RE7, Village will be played from a first-person perspective. It’s currently only planned for next-gen consoles and PC, though it may come to PS4 and Xbox One as well.
Resident Evil Village PlayStation 5 Showcase Screenshots
Shadow Warrior 3
The next Shadow Warrior adventure sees protagonist Lo Wang and sidekick Orochi Zilla embark on a quest to “recapture an ancient dragon they unwillingly unleashed from its eternal prison.” As noted in Shadow Warrior 3 preview, it plays like a satisfying blend of Doom and Duke Nukem (plus a samurai sword).
Shin Megami Tensei V
Shin Megami Tensei V is the first entry the Atlus RPG series since Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse in 2016. A remastered version of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne is also getting a western release in Spring 2021 on Switch and PS4.
The cult-classic PC shooter returns in 2021 with a “unique blend of FPS, immersive sim and horror,” according to developer GSC Game World. The sequel aims to create “one of the biggest seamless open-worlds to date,” and will be released day and date on Xbox Game Pass.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
The long wait for Bloodlines 2, the sequel to another cult classic of the ‘00s, was made even longer in 2020 following delays and the loss of several senior developers. However, it appears 2021 is the year we’ll finally be able to dive into the vampiric faction wars of Hardsuit Labs’ bloody version of Seattle.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
Fatshark, the studio behind the Warhammer: Vermintide games, returns to the franchise for Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, a four-player co-op shooter set in the hive city of Tertium.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
Rainbow Six Quarantine is a three-player, tactical co-op game that pits your squad against a deadly parasite. Quarantine is “built on the foundation” of Rainbow Siege Siege, according to Ubisoft, and is currently scheduled for release between April 2021 and March 2022. Hopefully an exact date (and perhaps a title change) will be announced in the near future.
What game are you most excited to play in 2021? Vote in the poll below or let us know in the comments!
Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN whose most anticipated games of 2021 are Halo Infinite, Resident Evil Village, and Open Roads.