Our Most Wanted Games of 2021 – 20 to 16

We love a good RPG here at TSA, as evidenced by the latest entry in our top 50 most wanted games of 2021. Last time we bigged up two returning series with Baldur’s Gate III and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2. Here we have even more roleplaying sequels, but of a newer breed, spliced with a couple more intriguing titles launching next year.

Here’s a handy set of links to the list so far if you’ve missed out on anything:

20. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

With Peter Jackson’s masterpiece movies having been recently re-released in 4K and an Amazon TV series on the way, once again The Lord of the Rings is back in the spotlight. That could mean a raft of new games based on Tolkien’s fantasy epic as well as the wider Middle-Earth universe.

Something we didn’t anticipate was a video game dedicated to the snivelling, ring-obsessed Gollum. At first it seems like a very strange premise, but this could actually be one of the most interesting adaptations to date – a retelling of the LOTR saga through the eyes of an antagonist who serves neither the forces of good or evil. Gollum will be heavily story focused yet there will be a dose of stealth action thrown in there too.

Sadly there’s no word on a release date, but we can cross our fingers for 2021.

19. Darkest Dungeon II

Hands down one of the best indie hits from the past decade, Darkest Dungeon presented an eldritch odyssey where every step was paved with decay and desperation. A turn-based RPG that fused a familiar formula with challenging twists as your party of adventurers slowly give in to disease, madness, and injury.

Hitting Steam Early Access in 2021, Darkest Dungeon II promises another bleak delve into oblivion. Although we haven’t seen the game in action, we do know that the sequel will adopt a new 3D style, previewed in the trailer above. Whether this means a more 3D-orientated style of gameplay as well remains to be seen, though we’d happily follow Red Hook readily, torches in hand.

18. Bravely Default II

While Final Fantasy has all but abandoned its turn-based JRPG roots at this point, Square Enix have more than adequately filled that void left by its flagship series with a flurry of fledgling hits. Bravely Default was about as close to those classic Final Fantasy games as you could get, with four crystals, four heroes, and a job-based battle system set in a magical world.

Interestingly, despite its title, this is the third game in the JRPG series after Bravely Second: End Layer. Planned for release exclusively on Nintendo Switch, Bravely Default II is classed as a sequel though features a different cast of characters in an unrelated story. Fans will be glad to hear that the Brave battle mechanic is back, as well as the option to train your heroes in a variety of specialisations to create the perfect team.

17. NieR Replicant

To give the game its full name, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… isn’t a sequel to 2017’s breakout JRPG hit, NieR: Automata, it’s actually a remaster of the original NieR that launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 back in 2021.

With Automata having been such a success, Square Enix have now gone back to where the series started, modernising NieR for 2021 and bringing this updated version overseas. Expect another dose of high intensity combat and camera shifting as you explore this prequel on newer hardware, hopefully paving the way for a NieR: Automata sequel…

16. Back 4 Blood

“Wow, copying Left 4 Dead much?” is probably the first fought many had while watching the recent Back 4 Blood Game Awards trailer. After all, it’s a four-player co-op survival game in which you and your allies run and gun through zombie infested gauntlets which also host bigger, more exotic enemy types. There’s a very goood reason for that, though.

Valve’s Left 4 Dead and its sequel still have a thriving player community, not to mention their fair share of imitators over the years. However, Back 4 Blood is more of a spiritual successor rather than a cobbled together copycat, as the original L4D developer, Turtle Rock Studios, is at the helm. Although they share much of the same DNA, Back 4 Dead is set to spice things up with larger hordes of enemies, new twists on special infected (and a new monstrosity to fear), as well as a new card system which applies both positive and negative modifiers as you drop into a level.

That’s all for this set. Join us tomorrow as we crunch our way down to the top 10.

Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualSense at this point.