With E3 up and running, we have a much better idea of what the second half of 2021 will look like (). A surprise game from Metroid, Forza Horizon 5, and Guardians of the Galaxy were among the new titles announced, joining others like Halo: Infinite, Horizon Forbidden West, and Deathloop to round out the year in games.
But focusing on what’s to come risks losing focus on the big games that have already been released on PlayStation (4 and 5), Xbox (One and X | S), Switch, and PC. And there are quite a few! Although 2020 was heaviest in blockbusters,other Both had already been launched this time last year, this year is not without great winners.
This list will be updated as the top games arrive on consoles and PC.
Disco Elysium garnered many accolades on its 2019 release, including a perfect GameSpot score, many Game of the Year nominations and several Best Narrative awards. An expanded Final Cut was released on PC and PlayStation (4 and 5) earlier this year, adding extensive voice acting (as in, over a million words of voice acting) and additional missions. Xbox and Switch releases are planned for later this year.
Play this if you haven’t.
Resident Evil Village, also known as Resident Evil 8, marks 25 years of the illustrious horror franchise and survivors. It’s a celebration of everything that makes the series great: suspense, memorable characters, explosive combat, and surreal settings. And, of course, horror. So much horror.
Resident Evil Village is a no-brainer for fans of the series, and it’s worth playing for anyone who thinks it’s up to the task.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is the latest AAA exclusive, and it just it might as well be the best so far. Like Demon’s Souls and Returnal before it, it shows what the PlayStation 5 is capable of, which is to say this game looks like amazing. Not only that, but it uses the PS5’s SSD hardware to not only shorten load times, but also to shape the level’s design. An excellent adventure that any PS5 owner can enjoy.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is the latest example of the Wii U being among the Switch’s most valuable assets. Like Mario Party 8, Bayonetta 2, Pokken Tournament, and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World was originally a Wii U game. It has been brought to Switch alongside the short but sweet Bowser’s Fury add-on, making it a wonderful package for those who missed it the first time. (Which is practically everyone).
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | Yes, Switch, Stadia.
Hitman 3 is the culmination of IO Interactive’s Hitman reboot that began in 2016. Although it doesn’t have the multiplayer element of Hitman 2, it takes the fantastic level design of its predecessors, adds new twists and improvements, and ship this franchise incarnation the right way. You can also play it in virtual reality, if you like that kind of thing.
Nightclubs inside air conditioning ducts. One-on-one Street Fighter-style confrontation with a squirrel. It Takes Two has it all. It follows Cody and May, a married couple with plans to divorce who find themselves trapped in the bodies of toys made in their image by their daughter. You know, typical things.
This is a game about marital teamwork and problem solving, and as such is a two-player affair only. If you have a partner close enough to play 12 hours of co-op platforming, you’re sure to have a lovely time with It Takes Two.
If you’ve played a Monster Hunter game before, you already know what to expect with Rise. If you haven’t, it’s essentially a progression of boss fights against increasingly powerful monsters. Defeating them provides you with better equipment, which in turn allows you to hunt larger monsters. Rise introduces mechanics that make combat more fluid, as well as a new roster of exceptionally designed monsters to hunt. There’s a lot here too – you’ll spend over 50 hours looking at everything the game has to offer.
It took more than 20 years, but Nintendo finally gave us a sequel to Pokémon Snap. The aptly named New Pokemon Snap is surprisingly fun, considering that “taking Pokemon photos” sounds a lot more like a free mobile game than a full-price title in 2021. But New Pokemon Snap does more than just justify its existence. It’s a fun excursion that guarantees a smile from Pokémon fans.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Mass Effect Legendary Edition takes the first three Mass Effect games, chucks on all of their DLC, that is very much of DLC, and turns it all into 4K. And while the resolution improvement is significant, it is not the only improvement. Options have been added, quality of life features have been included, and controls have been tightened, particularly in the original Mass Effect.
If you’ve never played through the franchise before, this deal may be the best bang for your buck for 2021. There is a lot from Mass Effect here.