We’re all hoping for a better year in 2021. This will be our first full year with the next generation of consoles courtesy of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, with confirmed sequels like Horizon Forbidden West and Halo Infinite, and not-so-confirmed sequels like the next God of War, and the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Here are the top ten games I’m most excited about as of January 2021, including a few delayed games you may recognize from last year’s list.
And if you missed it, my Top Ten Games of 2020.
10) Songs of Conquest
Announced during the PC Gamer Show at E3 2019, Songs of Conquest looks like a pixelated version of Heroes of Might and Magic 3, one of my all-time favorite games. We haven’t heard much of anything in 2020, but I’m still enthralled by the design and art.
Amplitude Studios weave compelling narratives and intriguing world-building alongside a solid layer of turn-based strategy with games like Endless Legend and Endless Space 2. I’m curious to see how they tackle the Civ-dominated 4x history genre in Humankind.
8) Bravely Default 2
I’m very selective when it comes to JRPGs, but I do remember loving most of the original Bravely Default nearly a decade ago (just don’t get me stated on the last 10 hours). The ability to swap classes and min/max party members is what I love about RPGs like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy Tactics, and I’m looking forward to crafting my heroes in Bravely Default 2.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I finally played my first Klei game, Invisible, Inc, last year (live streamed!) and came away very impressed with the gameplay. In Griftlands Klei is tackling one of the fastest growing genres, the deckbuilder-RPG, with a really fun comic-like art style.
6) Endless Dungeon
Amplitude isn’t just releasing their next big strategy game this year (see Humankind above). They also announced a follow-up to my favorite game of theirs, Dungeon of the Endless. While Dungeon of the Endless was an intriguing mix of tower-defense and roguelike, Endless Dungeon looks like a proper party-based dungeon crawler, and I’m so ready.
5) State of Decay 3
I finally played through State of Decay 2 last year (another live streamed Let’s Play game) and enjoyed all the improvements to the survival-action zombie game. I was bummed that multiplayer came at the expense of the story, and hoping State of Decay 3 can rectify that while still providing the same great gameplay.
4) Back 4 Blood
I have nearly 100 hours logged in Left 4 Dead and the even-better sequel. Turtle Rock Studios aim to return to their zombie co-op roots with Back 4 Blood, which features much of the same gameplay with a neat card system to draft your bonuses for a run – as well as your enemy’s.
3) Horizon Forbidden West
If there’s a game that’s going to force me to buy a PlayStation 5, it’s probably Horizon Forbidden West, the sequel to one of my favorite games of the last generation. Horizon features everything I love about action games – an awesome protagonist, fun world to explore with an intriguing story, satisfying stealth and combat, and, of course, robot dinosaurs!
2) Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter World was my surprise game of the year back in 2018, and one of the most enjoyable co-op experiences I’ve had in years. Monster Hunter Rise looks very similar to World, but build for the Switch (visual downgrades and all). I could easily see my friends and I dumping another 100 hours into late night monster-bashing mayhem.
1) Baldur’s Gate 3
Larian released Baldur’s Gate 3 last year via Early Access, and enjoyed live streaming my playthrough, despite a hefty amount of annoying bugs and UI quibbles. Despite my issues, I’m still incredibly excited for one of my favorite game designers tackling one of my favorite fantasy properties. I look forward to a full live streamed playthrough when the full game is released, hopefully later this year!