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Game on.


Dan Ackerman/CNET

It’s been a good month for gamers. After a dry first quarter, we recently got Resident Evil Village, New Pokemon Snap, Returnal and Mass Effect: Legendary Edition within the space of a few weeks. It gets better though, as the next few months have several big-time releases worthy of your excitement. 

As always though, delays are possible. A few games have been pushed out of 2021, including Hogwarts Legacy and Gran Turismo 7, while Deathloop, Prince of Persia and Fary Cry have all been delayed from their initial releases. Setbacks aside, these are the biggest titles of 2021 you should know about. 

EA/Velan Studios

The premise of Knockout City looks simple, and familiar. Teams of players running around a skatepunk-ish futuristic city, launching things at each other to get the win. Here, the things are dodgeballs. Knockout City, a cross between dodgeball and Splatoon, is all about multiplayer. It will support cross-play between PC, Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X and S.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

Release date: June 11

Insomniac

The latest Ratchet and Clank game was meant to hit the PlayStation 5 during that console’s “launch window”, but when 2020 ended it still didn’t have a release date. After a few months of silence, it was revealed in February that Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart would release on June 11. This is a rare, true PlayStation 5 exclusive to look forward to, as you won’t be able to play it on the PS4 or any other console.

Square Enix

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is coming to the PlayStation 5, but it’s not just getting the standard 60-frames-per-second at 4K treatment. Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade brings a new chapter to the story in which you play as Yuffie, a favorite from the original game.

Launching June 10, owners of 7 Remake on the PS4 will get a free upgrade.

Nintendo

Mario is dusting off his clubs for another 18 holes. Mario Golf: Super Rush reprises the N64’s Mario Golf, and is Mario’s third sports jaunt on the Switch after Tennis and the Winter Olympics (with Sonic). Super Rush includes a promising multiplayer mode, as well as a role-playing single player mode that stars your Mii.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is still coming along, but it looks a while away. In the meantime, Nintendo is reviving Skyward Sword, released in 2011 on the Wii, for the Switch. Skyward Sword HD will run at 60-frames-per-second, enjoy Amiibo support and use the Joy-Cons to control Link’s sword and shield.

Neo: The World Ends With You

Release date: July 27.

WWE

The World Ends With You was a cult classic on the Nintendo DS and in July, 14 years after its initial release, the game is getting a sequel. Neo: The World Ends With You adds another dimension to the game — literally, it’s now a 3D action RPG game. It’ll be produced by Tetsuya Nomura, of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy 7 Remake fame, and will launch on both the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. 

Grasshopper Manufacture

No More Heroes is a hack-and-slash game series that began all the way back in 2008 on the Wii. It’s since amassed a considerable cult following, and has enjoyed strong critical acclaim. After a COVID-19 related delay, No More Heroes 3 will release on Switch on Aug. 27.

Bethesda

After years focusing mainly on Dishonored, developers Arkane Studios are moving onto a new IP in Deathloop. And it looks sick.

Here’s the idea: You’re an assassin trapped in a timeloop that resets after each day. In order to get out, you need to kill eight “visionaries” who are scattered around an island. The caveat is that you’ll need to do it within one timeloop. The second caveat is that, as you hunt for the eight visionaries, a rival assassin keeps herself busy by hunting you.

Deathloop will hit the PlayStation 5 and PC on September 14, with an Xbox version probably coming next year (it has timed console exclusivity for one year).

Grand Theft Auto V

Release date: 2021.

Take-Two Interactive

Grand Theft Auto V continues to be a best-selling game on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and on November 11 it’s coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Note: You can play the game now on Game Pass if you own an Xbox One or Series X|S. 

Games coming TBA 2021

The following titles are slated for release this year. We’ll update this page as games get an official release date.  

Age of Empires IV

Release date: 2021.

Relic Entertainment

We don’t know too much about Age of Empires IV. It was announced in 2017, and we saw a glimpse of gameplay in 2019 and got a new trailer in March of this year. It showed the same format you know and love, but with vastly improved graphics, and showed four of the civilizations known to be in the game: English, Mongol, Chinese and Delhi Sultanate.

The game is scheduled to hit the PC later this year, though we don’t have a more specific release window yet. 

The Pokemon Company

Pokemon Red and Blue got a remake on Game Boy Advance (and later on the Switch), Silver and Gold on the DS, and Ruby and Sapphire on 3DS. Pearl and Diamond, originally released on the DS in 2007, are up next.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are coming to Switch in “late 2021.”

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake

Release Date: 2021

Ubisoft

Remasters are cool, but remakes can be truly magical. After Shadow of the Colossus, Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake, three fantastic remakes, 2021 brings Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Originally released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, Ubisoft is giving the platformer a full 2021 do-over. Hopefully. 

The game was originally slated for January 2021, but was then delayed to March. It’s been delayed again, but Ubsisoft hasn’t given it a new date yet. 

Price of Persia: The Sands of Time is slated to launch on PC, Xbox One and PS4. 

Warner Bros.

Lego Star Wars is back after five years. The last time we saw the franchise was with 2016’s The Force Awakens. This game seems far more ambitious: The Skywalker Saga Lego-izes all nine Star Wars films. 

The Skywalker Saga doesn’t have a final release date just yet, but it’s expected in the first or second quarter. When it does release, it’ll hit PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch and PC. 

Ubisoft

Originally scheduled for February, Far Cry 6 has been delayed until an unknown date in 2021. But it’s set to be the biggest, most fully featured Far Cry yet and is set in the tropical region of Yara — loosely based on Cuba. 

Not only will the game launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X|S, PC and Google Stadia, it’ll also come to Amazon’s Luna platform. 

Microsoft

Halo Infinite was meant to be the big thing that launched alongside the Xbox Series X|S but, after poor fan response to a preview last year, it ended up delayed until fall of 2021. The Halo name alone makes this a must-play for most Xbox owners, and developers 343 Industries are trying something new by making the multiplayer free-to-play. 

Lord of the Rings: Gollum

Release date: 2021

After the two Middle-Earth games showed that Lord of the Rings games can still rock, 2021 will bring another serving in the form of Lord of the Rings: Gollum. It won’t be the action RPG that the Middle-Earth games were, focusing instead on Gollum’s stealth and cunning, but it looks intriguing. 

Lord of the Rings: Gollum will come to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X|S, Switch and PC. 

Horizon Forbidden West

Release date: 2021

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best games on the PlayStation 4, and its sequel is coming in 2021. Horizon Forbidden West tracks Aloy’s journey to 30th century Utah, Nevada and California as she tracks down the origins of a killer virus. Truly, a game for our times.

Horizon Forbidden West will launch on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 this year.

God of War: Ragnarok

Release date: 2021

Sony Interactive

Speaking of outstanding PS4 games and their sequels, God of War: Ragnarok is also coming to PlayStation 4 and 5 this year.

That’s actually all we know about the game so far, as the teaser for the game contained only half a logo and the release window of 2021.

Read more: Most anticipated gaming laptops of 2021