In case you missed the memo, we’re counting down our top 50 most wanted video games of 2021. So far we’ve had quite a mix with returning favourites, long-awaited sequel, and some new blood for good measure.
We’re keeping the ball rolling with five more games we’ll be leaping on in the new year. Once again, it’s another diverse spread, so hopefully there’s something here that will take your fancy.
There’s plenty of room for strategy games on our top 50 list and this next one is looking to give Sid Meier’s Civilization a run for its money. Where most entries in the genre zoom in on one specific time period to forge a rich, historically authentic experience, Humankind has you playing through six era, from the Bronze Age right through to the modern day.
As you march through the eons, your kingdom will shape itself around your decisions, growing not only in terms of its influence and military strength, but physically as you morph the territory under your control. With 60 historic cultures bringing their own unique elements to the table, there’s plenty of scope to author your own journey and who better to take on such an ambitious premise than Amplitude Studios, the team that brought us Endless Space and Endless Legend.
39. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
It’s crazy to think that the original LEGO Star Wars made its debut more than fifteen years ago. At the time it proved to be a refreshing jolt for the kid-friendly platforming genre while proving that not all movie tie-in video games are complete tosh.
After so many sequels, spinoffs, and the myriad other LEGO-fied media properties, a break was long overdue. This is the longest that British developer TT Games have gone without making a LEGO game but their next one, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, is genuinely ambitious in its scope. Not only are they packing in all nine mainline movies, TT are finally stepping away from the level-based platforming action of past game in favour of something more dynamic and modern with explorable hub worlds and a gigantic roster of playable characters.
38. Hood: Outlaws & Legends
Sumo Digital’s gritty new project is quite the departure from their most recent work on PS5 launch title, Sackboy: A Big Adventure – OK, they’re a huge company with plenty of studios and around 1000 employees, but even so. When it comes to flashy fantasy action games there’s hardly a drought right now, but Hood: Outlaws & Legends has really piqued our interest.
The twist here is that it’s PvPvE. Two teams of four will go head-to-head as they attempt to stage a heist, beguiling guard patrols or straight out massacring them as the rival gangs scheme and skulk their way to infamy. With four unique character classes, it will be interesting to see how Sumo marry stealth, melee, and ranged combat in a multiplayer environment where gamers need to outwit both AI and human opponents. Hood: Outlaws & Legends will be a cross-gen release and is currently scheduled for May 2021.
37. Destruction AllStars
The PlayStation 5 launch exclusive that got away. Just before Sony released their newest console into the wild, they shocked PlayStation fans by delaying Destruction AllStars, a game that was lined up to be one of the PS5’s first big multiplayer titles.
Many will say the writing was on the wall. Even by November we’d heard so little about Destruction AllStars just days from its original release date. Here’s the good news – Destruction AllStars will be coming in February, free to anyone with an active PlayStation Plus subscription. We’ve yet to see it properly demoed, but reports suggest developer Lucid Games have crafted something that sits between Rocket League and Twisted Metal. A destruction derby of explosive game modes that’s destined to become February 2021’s flavour of month, we hope there’s some longevity beneath the bonnet. If there’s one thing Sony have lacked over the last few years, it’s engaging multiplayer exclusives.
36. Little Nightmares II
Working on several LittleBigPlanet games back to back must have taken its toll on Swedish developer, Tarsier Studios, as they swung wildly away from the cheery, family friendly tone. While their first original game, Little Nightmares, felt very familiar to those who had played LBP, the tone of these two games were world (or planets) apart. Instead of woolly, eccentric romp through the “Creativerse”, Little Nightmares dropped us into a lonely hellscape that felt like playing through that bit in the first Toy Story where Buzz and Woody encounter the mutant toys that crawl from under Sid’s bed.
Little Nightmare was one heck of a hybrid – a horror platformer wielding warped imagery and nail-biting sequences instead of lazy jump scares and gore. The sequel it due to launch in early 2021 and will introduce a new playable protagonist, Mono, who teams up with our original heroine to investigate the haunting transmissions of a distant tower.
Another five down, make sure to come back tomorrow for numbers 35 through 31 on our list. Did anything stand out for you here?