After a little break for Christmas, it’s time to get our most wanted list rolling again, charting those games launching next year that we can’t wait to see (and of course, play) more of. As we creep closer towards the midway mark, we’re starting to see some heavy hitters, spliced with one or two underdogs that may have the potential to be sleeper hits in 2021.
- Our Most Wanted Games of 2021 – 50 to 46
- Our Most Wanted Games of 2021 – 45 to 41
- Our Most Wanted Games of 2021 – 40 to 36
- Our Most Wanted Games of 2021 – 35 to 31
30. Hogwarts Legacy
In the years since the last Harry Potter movie magicked its way onto the silver screen, we’ve seen relatively little of the Wizarding World as far as video games go. Sure, we had a pair of fun LEGO tie-ins that covered the events of all eight films, but that’s just about it. Those desperate for a fix will no doubt have gleaned some joy from recent mobile hits based on the franchise such as Wizards Unite and Hogwarts Mystery.
This latest game has been in the pipeline for a long time. It seems like an age ago that we watched some leaked footage of Hogwarts Legacy and we were kept waiting an age for Warner Bros. to make an official announcement. Confirmed for 2021 on PC as well as PlayStation and Xbox consoles, this is exactly the kind of Harry Potter game we’ve been craving: a gorgeous open world adventure in which we join one of the four Hogwarts houses, build our grimoire of spells, and go exploring beyond the famous castle.
29. Elden Ring
The only news on Elden Ring we’ve had this year is that it still exists and that an update is probably just around the corner. Even though we know so very little about the game, there’s more than enough justification for it taking the 29th spot on out top 50 list.
That initial pitch for Elden Ring – a new AAA action RPG bringing together the minds of Dark Souls visionary, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and Game of Thrones creator, George R.R. Martin – still has us buzzing with excitement. Although FromSoftware fans continue to clamour for a new Dark Souls or Bloodborne, we’re just as keen to see what the studio can do with yet another new IP. You only have to look at their work on last year’s stunning Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice to see that they’re far from being a one-trick pony, even if they do iterate on the same base template.
Having recently been playing the sublime Risk of Rain 2, we’re hoping for even more roguelite goodness from Returnal when it launches exclusively on PS5 next year. Developed by one of our favourite indies, Housemarque, this latest PlayStation exclusive shifts away from the arcade style seen in their past games such as Resogun, Nex Machina, and Matterfall.
Here we have something that feels more akin to a supercharged third person shooter. You’ll play as Selene, an explorer lost on a hostile alien planet that’s constantly trying to kill her. Each time its inhabitants succeed, you come back from the dead, bearing witness as the game world procedurally morphs with each new run. We’ve seen plenty of game makers take a punt at the roguelite genre with mixed results, but Returnal definitely has potential, buoyed by Housemarque’s track record of highly engaging, replayable experiences.
27. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
As a website that has been traditionally console focused, there are a few PC exclusives that can slip under our radar. Last year’s Disco Elysium was one such game, though one we managed to catch just before wrapping 2019, meaning it could feature in several of our Game of the Year categories and bag the Best PC Game award.
Disco Elysium is very much a PC game – a top-down dystopian detective sim that may look like a Baldur’s Gate or Diablo, yet goes in a completely new direction. Where most roleplaying games can lean on action and combat gameplay, Disco Elysium is a smart sandbox that reacts to your every decision, gradually weaving together a huge tapestry charting your journey as a grizzled investigator, yet one who adopt a range of traits and personalities depending on the choices you make.
It’s long been expected that it will come to consoles, and the The Final Cut it will. This will add new content to the game, including full voice acting, and see the game debut first on PS4 and PS5 in March, before arriving on Xbox Series X|S and Switch in the summer.
26. Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 is a game that increasingly feels like it shares its fate with Dead Island 2. A sprawling zombie-infested playground, it currently feels as though it will never see the light of day. We’d been led to believe that Dying Light 2 was launching this year, but it has now been delayed indefinitely by developer Techland so they can fulfil their creative vision for the sequel.
As much as we’d like to be playing it right now, the last thing we need is another huge AAA open world game to be rushed out the door. Dying Light 2 should be worth the wait, however, with Techland dialling up every aspect of their popular survival horror hit. Fans can expect a branching story in which your decisions make a real impact upon humanity’s last settlement. Not only that, they’ve improved the fluid mix of parkour and combat with an even bigger array of gnarly handmade weapons. Oh, and just like the original, Dying Light 2 can be experienced in co-op for 2 to 4 players from start to finish too, for those who want to share the infected-stomping fun with friends.
Come back tomorrow, where we’ll be stepping into the top half of our list of 50 most wanted games. See you then!