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 2020 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 Ghost of Tsushima, and Metroid Prime 4 are on our list. While it's certainly possible (maybe even likely) that some of these games will be released in 2020, for the moment, we are only including games which 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 33 games you need to play in 2020:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
March 2 | Nintendo | Switch
We were as surprised (and disappointed) as many were to learn that Animal Crossing: New Horizons wasn't going to be released in 2019, but it seems that Nintendo needed a little more time to get it right. The good news is that it looks like Nintendo is on the right track with this highly anticipated installment. It's been a while since we last got a proper new Animal Crossing game for consoles, and the scope and ambition of New Horizons should make it worth the considerable wait.
The game brings in many of the features introduced in the Pocket Camp mobile spinoff, including a crafting system as well as the ability to customize the appearance of your character at any time. New Horizons will also feature a dynamic weather system that adjusts to your real-life location. We may be looking at the most complete Animal Crossing experience yet.
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. The game looks like the (hopefully) holy union between the hero-based Overwatch and the classic Dreamcast brawler Power Stone. Whether or not this marriage will make a great game remains to be seen, but we put our faith in the incredible abilities and stellar history of Ninja Theory.
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.
April 16 | 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.
Destroy All Humans! Remake
TBA | 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 looks to retain much of what made the original so brilliant while upgrading the game just enough to accommodate some necessary current-gen improvements.
November 22 | id Software | PS4, XBO, PC, Stadia
Few people expected much from 2016's Doom, but it ended up being one of the year's best games. Needless to say, expectations are quite high for the sequel. And it looks like Doom Eternal is going to meet all those expectations by giving us more of what we want from modern-day Doom. That means more absurdity, more guns, more action, larger levels, and more intimidating enemies.
We spent an hour playing the sequel at E3 2019 and came away very impressed with its fast-paced action, the addition of the grappling hook, and a few other tricks the Doom Slayer has up his sleeve this time around. Oh, and there are TONS of new demons to slaughter, too.
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot
TBA | 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 has the pedigree needed to be 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 Bandai Namco promises that players will be able to make connections with many of the manga and anime's other heroes. The game will also let you 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." Sounds very promising!
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.
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 3 | Square Enix | PS4
Fans have been waiting years to get a remake of Final Fantasy 7 and expectations for the game couldn't be higher. Rather than bow to the pressure, Square Enix has embraced the idea of completely re-imagining one of the greatest JRPGs of all-time, creating a full-length version of just a small section of the original. While the results will almost certainly be divisive, everything we've seen of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake thus far suggests it's going to be an ambitious and epic experience.
Buy Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Gods and Monsters
February 25 | 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.
Buy Gods and Monsters
March | Valve | PC
Few people could have guessed that we'd finally get a new Half-Life game in 2020. We're willing to bet that fewer still would have guessed that the new installment would be Half-Life: Alyx, a VR title. Unsurprisingly, the game stars Alyx Vance, Gordon Freeman's partner during the Half-Life 2 series of games. This time around, Alyx is on her own and on a mission to save her father from the Combine. The game is set between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, which means that Valve will have plenty of space to tell a fresh story. In fact, the experience is said to be about 15 hours long, the length of a traditional Half-Life game. That's exciting!
Whether or not Half-Life can successfully make the transition into virtual reality is certainly a concern, but some fans are spending more time wondering whether the modern Valve still has what it takes to make a compelling Half-Life experience in any format. The good news is that we'll soon find out.
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.
Halo Infinite is positioned as something of a soft reboot of the franchise. It will continue the series' story but will re-imagine certain concepts a la God of War. It's also the first confirmed next-gen title and the most exciting Halo game since Bungie left the franchise.
Iron Man VR
February 28 | 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.
Buy Iron Man VR
The Last of Us Part 2
May 29 | 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.
Buy The Last of Us Part 2
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.
Buy Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
May 15 | Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal | XBO, PS4, PC, Google Stadia
We've waited for years to get a proper Avengers game, and Square Enix's secret Avengers project hasn't made the wait any easier. Now that we've actually seen a proper trailer and played some of the game, we can say with confidence that the results are positive for the most part.
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.
Buy Marvel's The Avengers
Spring | 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.
Buy Minecraft Dungeons
March 13 | 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 will certainly try to one up its predecessors, but in a genre where the ante is constantly being upped, can it possibly make a splash? We're excited to find out.
Buy Nioh 2
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.
Buy No More Heroes 3
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 surprised just about everyone with its incredible art style, wonderful puzzles, and fantastic soundtrack. A true indie darling, the original is more than enough reason to believe that Will of the Wisps is going to be a special sequel. What we've seen of Will of the Wisps so far suggests that Moon Studios is putting in as much love into the sequel as it did the original.
Buy Ori and the Will of the Wisps
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.
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.
Buy Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Quarantine
Skull and Bones
TBA | 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.
Buy Skull and Bones
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.
Buy Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
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.
Buy Tales of Arise
Trials of Mana
TBA | 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 is going to feel like a completely different game. With its modern graphics, improved AI, and generally refined gameplay, Trials of Mana is already shaping up to be one of the most epic RPGs of 2020.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
March | 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.
May 19 | 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
March 6 | 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.
Buy Watch Dogs: Legion