As we race past the halfway point of our Most Wanted in 2020 countdown, we’re getting to some of the most highly anticipated games of next year, and with so many more games still to talk about over the next few days!
I’m talking your next Yakuza game, a new Half-Life in VR, Animal Crossing on Switch. If these are in the 20s, then what’s further up our list? Well, you’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out, won’t you?
30 – Yakuza: Like a Dragon
PS4 – 16th January 2020 (JP), 2020 (WW)
There’s no better time to be a Yakuza fan. Having spent most of the past decade as an ultra niche import franchise, it was Yakuza Zero that finally blew the doors off, exposing the wacky yet kinda serious adventures of Kiryu, Majima, and the many denizens of Kamurocho.
Yakuza 7 (or Yakuza: Like A Dragon, as it’s called in the West) marks a huge change for the series in more ways than one. Not only does it feature a new cast of characters and an entirely new setting, this seventh mainline instalment does away with the energetic button mashing in favour of turn based fights. It’s a change that has led to some concern within the Yakuza fanbase but at the same time we’re eager to see how this experimental sequel pans out.
29 – Granblue Fantasy: Versus
PS4 – 6th February 2020 (JP), 2020 (WW)
Any new Arc System Works game is bound to be celebrated by fighting game fans, but Granblue Fantasy: Versus takes their mastery of this genre and blends it an RPG filled with character levelling and a fantasy story alongside side-scrolling hack and slash gameplay.
Having started off as a browser game for smartphones almost six years ago, the franchise’s expansion to consoles hasn’t been a particularly smooth one. This is the second project to get off the ground, but as Granblue Fantasy: Relink has switched developers, it will be the first to see release, first in Japan and then worldwide.
28 – Psychonauts 2
PS4, XBO, PC – 2020
For a long time, it felt like the odds of getting a Psychonauts sequel were about as slim as ever seeing a third Shenmue. It was actually not long after the Kickstarter for Shenmue III that Tim Schafer announced his own crowdfunding project to finally create the sequel that fans of the cult classic for had been requesting for the better part of a decade. Now in development for the last four years, it’s in the curious position of being published for PS4, Xbox One and PC by Microsoft, who snapped up Double Fine this summer.
A direct sequel, following on from VR interquel Psychonauts and the Rhombus of Ruin, Raz is back at the Psychonauts HQ having to deal an insidious new threat, using his classic Psi-Powers to overcome the platforming challenges ahead of him.
27 – Persona 5 Royal
PS4 – 31st March 2020
Persona 5 is arguably one of the best JRPGs to be released of all time. The tale of the Joker and the Phantom Thieves was a huge hit, helped by well designed environments, a banging soundtrack, and a cast of characters you cared for. It’s so popular in fact that a new version of the game is being released in the form of Persona 5 Royal.
This bigger version adds an entirely new character, Kasumi Yoshizawa, who joined the school at the same time as Joker. She’s not a fan of the Thieves but ends up joining forces for her own reasons. Along with Kasumi players will have new dungeons and areas to explore, so plenty of content for even veteran players.
26 – Half-Life: Alyx
SteamVR (Valve Index, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality) – March 2020
It might not be the way Half-Life fans were hoping for the series to return, but Valve have gone all in with their VR plans by announcing HalfLife: Alyx. Instead of continuing the story from the end of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, though, this game is set between the original game and its sequel, putting you in the shoes of Alyx as she and her father kick off the fight against the Combine.
Built in the Source 2 engine, it looks absolutely fantastic and through the course of the game players will engage in combat and puzzle solving, all with some startlingly good looking VR world interactions. How it translates across the spectrum of different PC VR headsets will be fascinating to see, but we’re waiting with bated breath to see if Half-Life: Alyx can take VR gaming to the next level.
25 – Ori and the Will of the Wisps
XBO, PC – 11th March 2020
The sequel to the hit 2015 game from Moon Studiost, we’ve been waiting for Ori and the Will of the Wisps for quite some time now. First teased at E3 2017, then given a 2019 release date, it’s finally been pushed back to March next year.
We’ll be treated to a continuation and evolution of the original game, blending together stunning painterly graphics, a gorgeous soundtrack, melancholy story and taxing Metroidvania platforming and world exploration. This is going to be a must-play game for Xbox Game Pass subscribers next year.
24 – Gods and Monsters
PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia, PC – 2020
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was a huge success for Ubisoft. So much so that the publisher and the same team of developers are already returning to the vast well of Greek mythology for its next big open world adventure: Gods & Monsters.
What sets this new IP apart is its focus on making an epic adventure that is widely accessible. It sports a cartoon, Fortnite-esque visual design while bringing to life a bevy of mythological beasties. Those who have gone eyes on with the game have likened it to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and if it can successfully mimic Nintendo’s modern classic with lashing of Greek lore then we’re in for a treat.
23 – No More Heroes III
Switch – 2020
Let’s be honest, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes was not the sequel that fans were hoping for, and while it was full of Suda51’s barmy style and ties to the first two games, it was really more of a tease than anything else. Thankfully, it wasn’t too long after that game’s release that No More Heroes III was confirmed.
The game takes Travis back to Santa Destroy where he finds a huge artificial metropolis floating in the sea and ominous things flying above. Clearly he’s got some fighting to do…
Suda51 said alongside the game’s announcement, “We’re working hard on development day in and day out to ensure that NMHIII goes above and beyond the expectations of all the fans who have been waiting for the game for so long, and we’re going to be rolling it out in 2020. May the Switch be with you!”
22 – Empire of Sin
PS4, XBO, PC, Switch – Q2 2020
While a lot of games will have you leading a life of crime, there have been very few titles that put you in the role of building a criminal empire. Empire of Sin from Romero Games embraces the underworld, dropping you into prohibition era 1920s and letting you build a criminal empire from scratch.
You’ll expand your empire, setting up casinos, illegal boozers and whorehouses across the city, while bribing police officers to look the other way and engaging in turf wars with rivals. There’s a great deal of depth to the world, as you recruit characters, their individual traits growing and evolving as you use them in various ways.
Much like other strategy games there’s no one way to win, and how you approach this power struggle will be up to you.
21 – Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Switch – 20th March 2020
Nintendo Switch owners will have some New Horizons to explore in 2020, with the latest Animal Crossing game whisking you away to a tropical island and moulding it however you desire. There’ll be the familiar crushing debt to start with, now augmented by the incredibly dystopian Nookphone that tracks your every action and rewards you for being a good citizen, but this bright and cheery series will be more flexible and customisable than ever before on Nintendo Switch, with some great new multiplayer options to enjoy with your friends.
If life were fair, we’d be featuring Animal Cross: New Horizons in our Game of the Year 2019 awards, but life isn’t fair and everything sucks. Nintendo announced at E3 2019 that the game had been pushed back to March of next year. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.