I regret to inform you that we are officially a third of the way through the year. April brought with it New Pokemon Snap and Returnal, but also the bad news that PS5 console exclusive Deathloop has been delayed from May to September. So far 2021 has moved quickly, but big-time video game releases have been slow. There have been some highlights, such as Hitman 3 and Super Mario 3D World, but the year has been relatively quiet on the video game front.
Deathloop joins Prince of Persia and Far Cry 6 as games scheduled for early 2021 delayed to late or TBA 2021. Hogwarts Legacy and Gran Turismo 7 are even worse, being pushed from 2021 altogether.
So what’s actually coming out this year? Despite pesky delays, there are quite a few reasons to be excited. These are the biggest titles you should know about.
The Pokemon Company/Screenshot by CNET
New Pokemon Snap is a much-demanded follow up to 1999 N64 favorite Pokemon Snap. The game, which was announced last summer, will include more than 200 Pokemon species from the series eight generations, and Professor Mirror will judge your photography skills as you travel through the region.
It’s a fun and extraordinarily relaxing game. Read our review here.
Games optimized for PS5 are nice, but games exclusive to the PS5 are nicer. Returnal is one of the first big-budget exclusive titles to drop on a next-gen console, and its spectacular visuals reflect that distinction. It follows a space pilot (you) stuck on an alien planet and in a time loop, so it’s a third-person shooter with horror and roguelike elements.
Don’t let the name fool you: Resident Evil Village is really Resident Evil 8. It’s a direct sequel to Resident Evil 7’s story, but developers called it “Village” to signify how the village the game takes place in is a key element. Not so subtle — but sure to be scary. It looks to be big, too, as its developers have promised a larger game than Resident Evil 7.
Resident Evil Village is slated to launch May 7 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X|S and PC.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids
Release date: May 13.
Wrath of the Druids is DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla that takes you from England over to Ireland. Originally slated for a late-April launch, it was delayed to May 13. It’s one of two planned DLCs for Valhalla this year, as The Siege of Paris is expected later in 2021.
The headlining trailer for last year’s Game Awards was a new Mass Effect. That’s probably a long way off though. The upside? More time for remastered Mass Effect goodness. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is comprised of updated (but not remade) versions of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 and will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on May 14.
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
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 PlayStation 5 exclusive to look forward to.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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