Alongside our end-of-year awards, we’ve been concocting a list of our most wanted games of 2021 here at TheSixthAxis. 50, to be precise, voted on and ranked by our team, presented in a definite list of titles you need to keep your eye on in the coming year.
Some of the entries and omissions on this top 50 list may surprise you, as well as how our team have ranked them. We’re kicking things off with our first five placements – a group of games that couldn’t be any more different.
50. Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires
Set to launch in early 2021, Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires presents a great opportunity for Koei and Omega Force to steer their flagship franchise back on track – hopefully mending some of those wounds left by Dynasty Warriors 9. To quickly recap, the last numbered entry in the series proved to be a bit of a flop despite its ambitious attempt at a new open-world format.
Having been a Warriors fan for more than twenty years now, I always find myself most excited for the Empires spinoffs. Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires will take that core “1 versus 1,000” action gameplay and combine it with a character creator, siege battles, and a greatly enhanced sense of player agency as you build your own kingdom and have more control over battleplans. We’re yet to see the game in action, though we’re hoping for a real Dynasty Warriors comeback.
49. Riders Republic
While extreme sports video games never truly went away, it’s only in recent years that we’ve seen a resurgence – especially in the realm of skateboarding thanks to games like Session, Skater XL, and Tony Hawk’s 1 & 2. It’s been a few years since Ubisoft launched Steep and now they’re looking to build on its success with the zany, multiplayer-focused Riders Republic.
Developed by same team at Annecy studio, the game will be hitting current and last-gen consoles as well as PC in February 2021 and it looks like a hoot. Whether snowboarding, skiing, cycling, or soaring through the skies in a wingsuit, you can explore the vast maps of Riders Republic, throwing down and teaming up with players across the globe in various races and events. One mode we’re particularly keen to try is the chaotic 50-player mega race.
48. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
It wouldn’t be a “most wanted games” list if the Warhammer name didn’t appear somewhere. Video games based on the popular Warhammer 40,000 franchise aren’t exactly scarce, but this is the first we’ve been truly excited for since Dawn of War III. The main reason for this is Darktide’s developer, Swedish studio Fatshark, and their previous work on Warhammer: Vermintide and its superb sequel, Vermintide II.
Darktide borrows the same manic co-op framework of those two games, swapping spells and swords for bolters and, well… chainswords. Inspired by games such as Left 4 Dead and Payday, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide will have you and up to three companions brave Chaos-infested levels as you shoot and slash through corrupted hordes of enemy, punctuated by the occasional encounter with tougher elite foes. Hopefully we’ll see Fatshark build on their previous success with Vermintide, expanding the options players have to customise their characters, but it promises to be an action-heavy blast when it launches first on PC and Xbox Series X|S.
Outriders is one of those games that has been hanging around on the periphery, having the potential to be one of 2021’s sleeper hits. While there definitely seems to be some fatigue clinging to the looter shooter genre, Outriders looks destined to peel away that rest with its explosive brand of offense-focused gameplay. After all, it’s being made by People Can Fly, the same team who created Bulletstorm.
With four unique classes – each blessed with their own superhero-like powers – Outriders promises an engrossing story which can be played in solo or co-op. Like many entries in this hybrid genre, there’s plenty of replayable content that will expand and mutate as you progress and build your character, scaling in difficulty yet promising better rewards. After Marvel’s Avengers, Square Enix are no doubt cautious launching another big online RPG though Outriders is leaning more on its energetic combat than a big media license, and it’s not a part of the ‘Games as a Service’ business model. Outriders will be launching on PC as well as current and last-gen consoles in February 2021. For more details, check out our recent preview – there’s a handy video playlist for those wanted a quick Outriders crash course.
46. The Good Life
If you’re at all familiar with the past work of video game designer, Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro, then you’ve likely come across his upcoming project, The Good Life. Having recently found a publisher (The Irregular Corporation), this bizarre looking slice-of-life title will be coming to Nintendo Switch, PC, and PlayStation 4 after some development ups and downs, including a failed crowdfunding campaign.
While far less gruesome than Deadly Premonition, The Good Life definitely has some similarities to Swery’s divisive survival horror game. It has you visiting a quiet town, soaking in its eccentricities as a mystery begins to unspool around its heroine, photojournalist Naomi Hayward. The sleepy English retreat of Rainy Woods has been dubbed the happiest place in the world yet there’s something not quite right here. As day turns into night, its resident undergo a strange transformation…
That’s all for this first set of 5, but come back tomorrow for another clutch of upcoming games to look forward to.