As Sony and Microsoft eye the next generation of video game consoles, and Google experiments with cloud gaming with its Stadia platform, studios everywhere are preparing to give this generation its swan song while crafting the future of the industry. The result will be a year full of compelling new experiences, jaw-dropping remakes, long-awaited sequels, and a few games that defy classification. As such, we’ve picked all of the upcoming games you need to keep an eye on in 2020.
You may be wondering where games like Metroid Prime 4 are on our list. While it’s certainly possible (maybe even likely) that game and other highly-anticipated titles will be released in 2020, for the moment, we are only including games that have been granted a 2020 release window or release date. Rest assured that we will be updating this list as more games are confirmed.
For now, here are the video games you need to play in 2020:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
March 20 | Nintendo | Switch
While we figured that Animal Crossing: New Horizons would be a success, few could have predicted what a cultural phenomenon the game has turned out to be.
Some of New Horizons‘ success can be traced back to the unique circumstances of its release, but it really just comes down to the quality of the game itself. New Horizons both refines the series’ classic formula and reinvents it in such ways that fans new and old get to enjoy its bountiful universe of constant discovery.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
March 20 | Ubisoft | PS4, XBO, PS5, Xbox Series X, PC
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla finally utilizes one of the most requested historical themes over the years (Vikings), but that’s not the only reason it’s on our radar.
The early word is that Valhalla will build upon the RPG elements of Odyssey in exciting new ways. If Ubisoft can pull off some of their promises, this could prove to be one of the more bountiful and entertaining games of 2020.
March 24 | Ninja Theory | XBO, PC
We didn’t expect Ninja Theory’s (DmC, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) first Xbox exclusive to be a multiplayer melee brawler, but that’s exactly what Bleeding Edge is.
Essentially a holy union between the hero-based Overwatch and the classic Dreamcast brawler Power Stone, Bleeding Edge has its heart in the right place even if some of its ideas aren’t quite there yet. We’re interested to see how this title grows over the coming months.
TBA | Nintendo | XBO, PS4, Switch, PC
Have you ever watched The Thing and wished you could play a whole game as the alien shapeshifter? That’s roughly the premise of Carrion: a reverse-horror game in which you control a (mostly) formless being as it escapes an underground research lab, punishing its doomed captors along the way.
Carrion’s “play as the creature” premise is intriguing, but the heart of the game is its solid Metroidvania gameplay, which sees you slowly build up your monster with additional ways to murder, mutilate, and dismember the unsuspecting humans. We played the game at E3 2019 and can’t wait to get our hands on it again.
September 17 | CD Projekt Red | XBO, PS4, PC
It’s not a stretch to call Cyberpunk 2077 one of the most anticipated games in years, and that was true even before anyone knew Keanu Reeves was going to be in it. Developed by the team responsible for the critically-acclaimed The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077 aims to be one of the largest, deepest, and most intense sci-fi RPG experiences ever made. Expectations may be high, but what we’ve seen of the game thus far has us feeling very optimistic.
Fall | Tuque Games | PC, Consoles
The Dark Alliance series is infamous for its co-op, Diablo-like gameplay and Baldur’s Gate mythology. While the Baldur’s Gate name may not be present in this 2020 version of Dark Alliance, that same incredible co-op dungeon crawler gameplay is set to make a glorious return.
We can’t wait to dive back into some of the deepest and darkest corners of the Dungeons and Dragons world with our friends in order to slay deadly monsters and earn some of that incredible loot. It remains to be seen whether this title will live up to that part of the Dark Alliance name, but considering that the series’ formula is as powerful as ever, we have high hopes for this one.
Destroy All Humans! Remake
July 28 | Black Forest Studios | XBO, PS4, PC
For years, Destroy All Humans! has been referred to as a cult classic. While the game’s unique premise — you’re an alien sent to destroy humanity amid ’50s Americana — is part of the reason for its cult status, the sad truth is that not enough people really gave Destroy All Humans! a chance following its release. That may soon change, though, as Destroy All Humans! Remake retains much of what made the original so brilliant while upgrading the game just enough to accommodate some necessary current-gen improvements.
March 20 | id Software | PS4, XBO, PC, Stadia
We would have been perfectly happy if Doom Eternal was nothing more than more of the phenomenal 2016 Doom reboot, but Doom Eternal proved to be far more ambitious than that.
Doom Eternal is a blistering fast arcade action experience that adopts a unique arena-like approach to its combat system. The result is a challenging action experience that often forces you to creatively utilize its unique weapons and incredible abilities in order to survive.
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot
January 17 | CyberConnect2 | XBO, PS4, PC
Not long ago, we would have been cautious to blindly recommend a Dragon Ball Z game, but the success of Dragon Ball FighterZ may have kickstarted a new era of high-quality Dragon Ball adaptations. Dragon Ball Z Kakarot certainly looks to be just that. Published by Bandai Namco and developed by the team behind the Naruto Shippuden series, Kakarot certainly serves as an exceptional Action-RPG experience.
As the title suggests, the game is very much focused on Goku’s story during the events of Dragon Ball Z, but it also makes connections with many of the manga and anime’s other heroes. The game lets fight through some of the story’s most iconic battles as well as go on side quests and new missions “that answer some burning questions of Dragon Ball lore for the first time.”
Dying Light 2
TBA | Techland Publishing | XBO, PS4, PC
The original Dying Light was quite the surprise. At a time when zombie game fatigue was in full effect, Dying Light revived the concept with its parkour gameplay, large levels, and a surprisingly solid story. Well, Dying Light 2 looks bigger and better in all the usual sequel ways, but it’s the story written by RPG veteran Chris Avellone (Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order) that really has us intrigued to see what this new game has in store. It’s just a shame that the game has been indefinitely delayed and we’re no longer sure when it will be released.
Empire of Sin
TBA | Romero Games | XBO, PS4, PC, Switch
Empire of Sin sees you play as an aspiring criminal overlord in Prohibition era Chicago who is just trying to make a name for themselves on the mean streets. It’s up to you to ensure that they rise to the top of a criminal empire that’s not lacking in competition for the throne.
With its blend of X-COM strategy action and romanticized ‘20s gangster atmosphere, Empire of Sin offers one of the most intriguing premises in recent memory. We can’t wait to see whether all the parts come together to form something special. Did we mention that the game is being developed by John (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake) and Brenda (Wizardry, Dungeons & Dragons) Romero?
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
March 2 | Square Enix | PS4
It was beginning to feel like Final Fantasy 7 Remake would never live up to the hype (if it was released at all), but at the very least, Final Fantasy 7 Remake has proved to be one of the most talked-about games of 2020.
This is a bold and grand experiment that has triggered a conversation about the expectations and obligations of a remake. It won’t be for everyone, but Square Enix definitely went out of their way to offer something unexpected.
April 28 | Splash Damage | Xbox One, PC
We would have never guessed that an X-COM themed Gears spin-off would prove to be one of the best early games of a stacked 2020 lineup, but here we are.
Gears Tactics‘ blend of airtight strategy mechanics and well-placed bits of lore will immediately appeal to fans of X-COM and Gears. If you so happen to enjoy both of those game franchises, then you’ll be in heaven.
Ghost of Tsushima
July 17 | Sucker Punch | PS4
Ghost of Tsushima (along with The Last of Us Part 2) is set to serve as one of the swan song exclusives of the PS4. Considering the console’s history of high-quality exclusive titles, this action game from developer Sucker Punch has a lot to live up to.
Yet, it feels like it might just meet those considerable expectations. Ghost of Tsushima remains a mysterious game in many ways, but its environments, music, combat, and visuals look like they may rank among the very best of the generation. Besides, the world can never have enough great single-player samurai games.
TBA | Counterplay Games | PS5
As a title described as featuring “high-impact third-person melee combat to engage players as they hunt for loot, don legendary armor sets, and defeat vicious enemies,” Godfall already has our attention. However, what really intrigues us about this upcoming title is its status as the first confirmed PS5 game.
Godfall is one of a select series of titles that will set the expectations for next-gen gaming in terms of design and technology. That’s a tall order, but based on what we’ve seen so far, this is one of the games you’ll want to keep an eye on if you end up with Sony’s next console in your living room.
Gods and Monsters
TBA | Ubisoft | PS4, XBO, Nintendo Switch, PC
One of the more pleasant surprises of E3 2019 was the reveal of the next game from the makers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Gods and Monsters. The Zelda-like aesthetic reminds many of Breath of the Wild, but hopefully there will be plenty of new ideas that set it apart from Nintendo’s masterpiece.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was one of that series’ most fascinating games in years, but it was dragged down a bit by the conventions of the franchise. We can’t wait to see what Ubisoft will do with an entirely new world free of baggage.
March 23 | Valve | PC
We’re still having trouble processing the fact that we got a new Half-Life game in 2020, and we’re really having trouble processing the fact that it’s arguably the best VR title ever made.
The barrier to entry to get to even play Half-Life: Alyx is substantial, but clearing it rewards you with one of the best single-player FPS experiences of the last 5 years (at the very least). It’s an astonishing return to form for developer Valve.
Winter | 343 Industries | Xbox Scarlett, PC
Well, well, well. As if Halo Infinite weren’t already one of the biggest upcoming games in the world, anticipation for the title has only grown following the announcement that it will be a launch title for Xbox Scarlett.
Iron Man VR
July 3 | Camouflaj | PS4
With the exception of Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4, the Marvel superhero video game offerings released since 2004 have been surprisingly…thin. The MCU continues to grow, but we’ve yet to see video games really get in on the action. Can Iron Man VR turn things around? That remains to be seen, but the idea of stepping into Iron Man’s suit and becoming a Marvel superhero is certainly one of the more appealing uses of VR (and the Marvel license) that we’ve heard of in quite some time.
The Last of Us Part 2
June 19 | Naughty Dog | PS4
Considering that The Last of Us was one of the best games of the decade, it’s safe to say that The Last of Us Part 2 is riding a wave of expectations. Naughty Dog faces a very difficult task, as it not only has to make an entertaining game but also continue one of the greatest stories ever told in gaming form. But we remain optimistic that the beloved studio will come through once again and find a way to meet all those expectations.
The sequel picks up several years after Joel and Ellie’s escape from the Firefly facility. While Ellie is safe and living within the walls of a thriving community, all is not right with the world, which is still overrun by monsters and enemy settlements. Early on in the story, Ellie will be forced to leave the relative safety of her settlement in Wyoming to face new dangers and a brand new adventure. Everything we’ve seen of The Last of Us Part 2 thus far suggests that it’s going to be a brilliant and worthwhile game in its own right. We just can’t wait.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
TBA | Traveller’s Tales | XBO, PS4, Nintendo Switch
The LEGO games have been a reliable source for casual fun for quite some time now. They may follow a formula, but it’s a time tested formula that rarely fails to entertain. Next year’s LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will utilize that formula to tell the story of all nine main Star Wars films. That makes it an essential installment for fans who want to relive the entire Star Wars story in brick form.
September 4 | Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal | XBO, PS4, PC, Google Stadia
There are plenty of reasons to be excited for this game, as Square Enix is committed to expanding and improving it for years after its release. If Square stays true to its vision, Marvel’s Avengers could prove to be a definitive superhero title.
May 26 | Mojang | XBO, PS4, PC, Switch
No one expected the Minecraft team to work on a Minecraft-themed dungeon crawler, but it’s a very nice surprise nonetheless. Dungeons is described as a passion project by the Minecraft team and that much looks clear from the early footage. While simpler than other games in the genre, Dungeons exists somewhere in between Diablo and a LEGO Star Wars game, which might actually be the sweet spot.
March 12 | Team Ninja | PS4
The original Nioh‘s exciting combat and brilliant aesthetic made it one of the more notable and exciting entries into the Souls-inspired Action RPG genre. It also represented Team Ninja’s best work in years.
Nioh 2 manages to one-up its predecessor in many ways. It’s perfect for anyone who enjoyed the original, but we can safely recommend jumping into this title if you’re curious what this franchise is all about.
No More Heroes 3
TBA | Grasshopper Manufacture | Switch
The No More Heroes franchise is known as an eccentric outlier designed for those looking for something a little different. While its hack-and-slash gameplay broke very little new ground when it first debuted, the series’ diverse cast of characters, great art style, and absurd storylines gained the series a devoted following. No More Heroes 3 will continue the series’ proudest traditions when it releases in 2020, all under the watchful eye of series creator Suda51.
TBA | Oddworld Inhabitants | PS4, XBO, PC
To say that the Oddworld franchise has had a scattered history would be a bit of an understatement. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee was seen as a clever and innovative take on the puzzle genre when it was released in 1997, but since then, the Oddworld name has grown to include games from different genres and of varying quality.
Well, Soulstorm is positioned to be the true sequel to Oddysee that fans have been waiting for. It not only continues the chronological adventures established in the original game, but it will attempt to modernize the series’ original gameplay concepts while incorporating new ideas.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
February 11 | Moon Studios | XBO, PC
Ori and the Blind Forest caught many gamers off-guard with its incredible visual style and fantastic Metroidvania gameplay. However, the success of the original only raised expectations for Ori and the Will of the Wisps.
For the most part, this sequel lives up to all of those expectations. It’s a creative, fun, and surprisingly deep platformer that builds upon the first game while establishing a legacy of its own.
September | People Can Fly | PS4, XBO, PC
When People Can Fly, the studio responsible for the seriously underrated Bulletstorm, announces that it’s working on a new game, we tend to pay attention. After all, the team is well-known for its airtight action gameplay mechanics and outside-the-box ideas.
While we don’t know much about Outriders, an online shooter made by the developers of one of the best shooters ever made is certainly appealing. If Outriders features the same quality of gameplay we’ve come to expect from People Can Fly, then you can rest assured it’s going to be one to keep your eyes on.
Paper Mario: Origami King
July 17 | Nintendo | Switch
The Paper Mario series has fallen on hard times in very recent years, but the promise of Nintendo successfully reviving one of their most creative and enjoyable franchises remains an enticing prospect.
Based on what we’ve seen, Origami King could be the game that brings Paper Mario back to life. It’s beautiful, it features necessary changes, and honestly, Nintendo has been on fire thus far with their first-party Switch releases.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Spring | Sega | XBO, PC
Phantasy Star Online 2 is one of the most popular games in Japan, but Sega has never truly made the effort to bring this title to the West. Fortunately, American gamers will finally be able to try the sequel to Phantasy Star Online when it comes to Xbox One and PC in 2020. Fans of the original game and those looking for a new MMO to lose a few hundred hours in will want to keep an eye on this one.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
TBA | Ubisoft Montreal | PS4, XBO, PC
The Rainbow Six series has survived quite a few changes over the years, but no entry in the tactical shooter franchise has been quite so…odd as Quarantine. Pitched as a combination of Left 4 Dead and Rainbow Six: Siege, this is certainly Rainbow Six‘s strangest hour. Yet, there’s something undeniably appealing about this concept. The risky idea, combined with the stellar history of Siege, leaves us feeling optimistic about this experiment’s chances of success.
Resident Evil 3 Remake
April 23 | Capcom | PS4, XBO, PC
We’d be lying if we told you that the Resident Evil 3 remake quite lives up to the expectations set by the first two remakes in the series. It just lacks the ambition that defined those titles.
Still, Resident Evil 3 was a great game and this remake revitalizes many of its best elements. It’s an intense experience that looks beautiful and successful offers more of the core gameplay of Resident Evil 2‘s remake.
TBA | Ebb Software | Xbox Series X, PC
It’s been quite some time since we last heard from Scorn, but this intriguing horror-themed title made a return in 2020 in a big way.
While elements of Scorn remain a bit of a mystery, we’re fully on-board with any title that draws influences from H.R. Giger and David Lynch. We’ll have to see whether or not this game lives up to the standards of its inspirations.
Skull and Bones
March | Ubisoft | XBO, PC, PS4
Originally set for a 2019 release date, Skull and Bones was pushed back by Ubisoft to give the game more time to cook. What’s remarkable about the delay is that it’s for a game that we really don’t know much about yet. However, what we do know about Skull and Bones suggests that it may just be, in some ways, the successor to Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag that we’ve been waiting for all these years. At the very least, it should give those who didn’t get enough pirate action from Sea of Thieves the chance to live their high sea outlaw dreams.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
February 14 | Capcom | XBO, PC, PS4
Street Fighter V has traversed a rocky road until this point. Between a bad launch and some questionable updates, the title has largely been associated with controversy. However, the truth of the matter is that Street Fighter V has morphed into a pretty great fighting game in the past few years.
The Champion Edition compiles the best of Street Fighter V, including all of the fighters released thus far, with some new fighters and other content. Series veterans will certainly want to take a look at it, but this may actually appeal most to newbies looking to jump into a more complete experience than the game’s original launch version.
Streets of Rage 4
April 30 | DotEmu | XBO, PC, PS4, Switch
Granted, we don’t typically count the Streets of Rage franchise among gaming’s heaviest hitters, but it’s always offered a beloved and surprisingly exceptional gameplay experience.
Streets of Rage 4 will almost certainly appeal to Streets of Rage fans out there, but we suspect that anyone who craves the simplicity of an arcade-like action title will be drawn to its well-executed old-school sensibilities.
System Shock Remake
TBA | Night Dive Studios | XBO, PC, PS4
The System Shock remake’s road to release has been rockier than most. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, developer Nightdive Studios has encountered several hurdles that have threatened to derail the project. Thankfully, the remake looks to be back on track. The original System Shock is one of the most influential sci-fi games ever made and this remake wants to remind modern audiences why it’s a classic. Judging from the footage we’ve seen so far, this revamped version of System Shock should fit right in with its modern compatriots.
Tales of Arise
TBA | Bandai Namco Studios | XBO, PC, PS4
The Tales series (also known as the Tales of series) has existed since 1995 but has dipped in and out of mainstream popularity due to its scattered releases across multiple consoles, countries, and eras. Tales of Arise looks to not only modernize the series but stabilize its long history through reinvention.
The game features a darker aesthetic than past installments, but will also retain the Linear Motion Battle System of past installments. While it will pay homage to what came before, the idea of a re-focused Tales game that welcomes new players as well as appeases old ones makes this the franchise’s most fascinating entry in quite some time.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
The first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games rightfully retain their legacy as two of the PlayStation’s best games. They were innovative, timely, and, above all else, a lot of fun.
These upcoming remakes of those titles will preserve nearly everything that made them special, but what really has us excited is the possibility that the small ways that developer Vicarious Visions is altering these titles may inspire a studio to properly revive this legendary franchise.
Trials of Mana
April 24 | Square Enix | Switch, PC, PS4
Trials of Mana may be a remake of a 1995 game, but there’s a very good chance that you’ve never heard of it before. Despite being the sequel to the cult classic SNES title Secrets of Mana, Trials of Mana wasn’t released outside of Japan when it first launched. It wasn’t until the sequel was bundled in Collection of Mana for Switch that many Western gamers got to play it.
Regardless of whether or not you played the 1995 version of Trials of Mana, this 2020 remake feels like a completely different game. With its modern graphics, improved AI, and generally refined gameplay, Trials of Mana is arguably one of the top RPGs of 2020.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
TBA | Paradox Interactive | XBO, PC, PS4
The original Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is considered to be both one of the greatest vampire games ever made and one of the greatest RPGs for those who value decision making and character building. This long-awaited sequel seeks to continue the original game’s considerable legacy. Highlighted by a much-improved combat system, Bloodlines 2 could reach new heights for the series.
August 28 | inXile Entertainment | XBO, PC, PS4
The precursor to the Fallout franchise, Wasteland made a successful return in 2014 as a throwback to the days of isometric RPGs. Widely-acclaimed for its deep RPG mechanics and incredible world, Wasteland 2 fed the need for a role-playing experience with modern sensibilities.
Wasteland 3 features many of the innovations and brilliant mechanics of Wasteland 2 but introduces an expanded emphasis on vehicles as well as a morbid sense of humor that we’ve only previously seen glimpses of in past installments.
Watch Dogs: Legion
TBA | Ubisoft | PS4, XBO, PC
The original Watch Dogs was an interesting experiment in open-world design, but it failed to achieve its loftiest goals. The second game fared much better, but it failed to find as large an audience as it should have. But Watch Dogs: Legion‘s mechanic that lets you play as any NPC in the game world may just prove to be the hook that the second game needed. It may sound like a gimmick, but from what we’ve seen of Legion so far, the game appears to intelligently use this fascinating new way to play.