13 reasons why 2021 was a great year for gamers
1) FORZA HORIZON 5
Platforms Xbox, PC
A new Forza Motorsport game was promised last year and was expected this holiday season, but instead the open-world Forza Horizon series is returning first, with a new entry set in Mexico. The first trailer shows us more of what we love about Microsoft’s raucous racing spinoff, including hilarious-looking new minigames, stunning and authentic-looking Mexican landscape, and stunning automobiles. It’ll undoubtedly be a significant Xbox Series X demonstration as well.
Release date 9 November
Platforms PS5, PC
Arkane has already given us masterpieces like Dishonored and Prey. they have demonstrated that they don’t build ordinary shooters, and Deathloop is about to confirm that claim. It appears to combine features from earlier games, but with a whole new gimmick.
Deathloop is set in a time loop that will keep repeating unless your assassin leader can take out eight targets – but there’s a rival assassin on the island who wants to sabotage your strategy. You can also take control of her and play spoiler in the games of other random online players. Although it has been postponed from its original May release date, we recommend that you take as much time as you need to perfect this next game.
Release date 14 September
3) FAR CRY 6
Platforms PS5, Xbox Series X/ S, PS4, Xbox One, PC
In every programme or movie he appears in, Giancarlo Esposito is a frightening presence, and it looks like he’ll do the same on Far Cry 6 as an autocratic leader in a fictional Caribbean island nation.
You’ll take on the role of a freedom warrior attempting to overthrow him, and if the series’ past is any indication, we’re in for an intriguing open-world adventure packed of unpredictable elements and stunning scenery. We’ll see. Ubisoft has an annoying record of highlighting potentially contentious themes in trailers and then having nothing substantial to say about them in the game, so we’ll see.
Release date 7 October
4) HALO infinite
Platforms Xbox Series X/ S, Xbox One, PC
Halo Infinite was meant to be the major Xbox Series X/S launch title, and we should’ve been playing it by now. Instead, it appeared like the game may use more polish, and Microsoft and 343 Industries opted to postpone the shooter sequel until 2021 as a result of the backlash.
Surprisingly, it’s now set for a fall release, but the stakes are extremely high. Halo 5 was a disappointment, and Halo Infinite is supposed to be the much-needed reboot for the series, thus Microsoft can’t afford to rush it. We’ll wait… and perhaps be rewarded with a late-year Xbox epic.
Release date Afterlife 2021
5) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Platforms PS5, Xbox, Switch, PS4
The Guardians of the Galaxy game from Square Enix had been rumoured for years, but we didn’t expect it to arrive so soon – especially after last year’s hit-or-miss Avengers game. However, we enjoy a lot of what we’ve seen so far. This is an original take on the property, with more than a whiff of the movie’ look and attitude, but unlike Avengers, it’s strictly a single-player campaign with some Mass Effect-esque narrative branching.
Release date 26 October
6) GHOSTWIRE TOKYO
Platforms PS5, PC
The Evil Within games by Tango Gameworks put a bizarre perspective on survival horror, but the studio’s newest project, a whole new action game, intends to go much further. As the trailer demonstrates, Ghostwire: Tokyo has surreal visuals and first-person action, with fighting characterised as “karate meets magic” by one developer. Sold! Before Microsoft bought publisher Bethesda, it was advertised as a PS5 timed platform exclusivity, therefore it won’t be available on Xbox until late 2022. At the very least, PS5 and PC gamers can mark this date down for Halloween this year.
Release date October 2021
7) HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST
Platforms PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4
Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the best PlayStation 4 exclusives, a phenomenally fascinating and breathtakingly beautiful adventure that could not be equaled on Xbox or anywhere else. It was also a serious demonstration of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s capabilities.
Horizon Forbidden West appears to be doing the same thing on PlayStation 5, exploring a completely new continent full with robotic animals and stunning scenery. This one is set for the second half of 2021, and it appears to be on track to meet that deadline.
Release date Q3/ Q4 2021
8) BACK 4 BLOOD
Platforms PS5, Xbox Series X/ S, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Despite the fact that the package says Back 4 Blood, this is unofficially Left 4 Dead 3. Because Valve hasn’t updated the franchise in nearly a decade, Turtle Rock Studios has stepped in to continue up where it left off.
And this new game, which will feature four-player co-op action versus zombie shamblers, looks every bit as immensely exciting and chaotic as the source material. As of this writing, it’s under closed alpha testing, and first impressions are extremely positive, so this could be a fun one come September.
Release date 12 October
9) FIFA 22
Platforms PS5, Xbox, PS4, Switch, PC
We may be still bemoaning the fact that football has yet to return to the United States, but you can count on FIFA 22 to arrive in October. The initial clip doesn’t reveal much gameplay, but it does highlight the game’s defining feature: HyperMotion, a novel animation engine based on a combination of machine learning and performances acquired with motion capture suits. It looks and sounds great, but will FIFA 22 be a significant improvement over its predecessor? We’ll have to wait and see.
Release date 1 October
10) KENA BRIDGE OF SPIRITS
Platform PS5, PS4, PC
Kena: Bridge of Spirits was the first PlayStation 5 game we saw that truly wowed us, and it was supposed to be a launch title but was pushed back to 2021. That’s fine: we’ve seen much bigger games from much larger teams launch in a shambles, so this small indie studio should take its time.
But hopefully not for too long. This lovely upcoming adventure game appears to be a definite Zelda imitation, with some Studio Ghibli influence and a lot of charm thrown in for good measure. Will it perform as well as it appears? On that front, I’m crossing my fingers.
Release date 24 August
11) battlefield 2042
Platforms PS5, Xbox, PS4, PC
We’re still waiting to hear what Call of Duty has planned for this year (as of this writing), but it’ll have to battle hard to keep up with its main opponent. On new-gen consoles and PC, Battlefield 2042 is bringing massive encounters for up to 128 people (last-gen consoles are limited to 64). This time, there will be no campaign, but the near-future storey will be conveyed through multiplayer in the midst of massive, dynamic wars.
Release date 19 NOVEMBER
12) RIDERS REPUBLIC
Platforms PS5, Xbox, PS4, PC
Riders Republic by Ubisoft appears to be the ultimate all-around extreme sports experience, combining snowboarding, BMX biking, wingsuits, rocket-powered wingsuits, and skiing into one crazy open-terrain adventure. You’ll gain stars for anything you do, even just seeing the sights, so there’s a strong incentive to dabble and try everything. The 64-player mass races appear to be particularly wild.
Release date 2 September
13) LIFE IS STRANGE TRUE COLORS
Platforms PS5, Xbox, PC, PS4
Square Enix’s Life is Strange franchise has produced some of the most emotionally gripping and surprisingly affecting game experiences in recent years, and now Deck Nine – creator of the earlier Before the Storm prequel spinoff series – is stepping up to create what’s being billed as the franchise’s third core game.
Life is Strange: True Colors is different from previous instalments in that it is released as a single game rather than a series of episodes, but the supernatural aspect remains. This time, you’ll take on the role of Alex Chen, a young lady who has the ability to sense others’ intense emotions… a skill she’ll need when her brother inexplicably dies in an apparently close-knit neighbourhood.
Release date 10 September