One of the best things about being video game enthusiasts is that there’s never any shortage of upcoming games we can’t wait to play. From publishing giants to indie startup studios, there’s a veritable dragon’s hoard to look forward to at all times. Whether you’re a diehard PC fan, a PlayStation pal, a lifelong Nintendo guru, an excited Xbox owner, or some mixture therein, greatness is on the horizon. Here are 10 upcoming games that promise to be a good time.
We’re excluding titles that still feel like they’re an eternity away, so with respect to The Elder Scrolls VI, Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2, and the next Mass Effect, your time on a list will come. It’s simply not today.
10. Life is Strange: True Colors
September 10th promises to be a very special day for fans of DONTNOD’s incredible Life is Strange series. That’s when the long-awaited yet recently-unveiled next game in the series, Life is Strange: True Colors, emerges on just about every system under the sun. (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia, to be exact.) While that exhaustive list is regrettably missing Nintendo’s doorstep, the good news is that Life is Strange: Remastered Collection, which bundles the first game and Before the Storm, won’t skip the Switch when it arrives later this year. As for True Colors, what’s not to like? New protagonist Alex Chen has been blessed and/or cursed with the gift to perceive people’s emotions through colored auras floating in the air beside them. Not long after returning to her hometown, her brother is killed. Allegedly, his death is the result of a tragic accident. But something feels off about the whole thing. Alex’s powers will be the key to solving a murder mystery near and dear to her heart.
9. Battlefield 2042
Simply put, Battlefield 2042 looks stunning. Not just in the graphical department, either… though the fantastic eye candy certainly doesn’t hurt. EA calls Battlefield 2042 the biggest Battlefield ever, and while ordinarily that kind of comment can be handwaved as corporate marketing-speak, this really does seem to fit the bill. On Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and PC, the game will support up to 128 players per match. Between Conquest, Breakthrough, Hazard, and a fourth unannounced mode, the possibilities for such a high player count are endless and the maps will be built to suit. Commandeering a tank has always been a fun time in the Battlefield series, but doing so whilst keeping a wary eye out for apocalyptic weather? That sounds simultaneously terrifying and thrilling.
8. Dragon Age 4
With a well-chronicled developmental reboot in its history and strong rumors of another big development shift even more recently, it’s a wonder Dragon Age 4 is on this list. After all, The Elder Scrolls VI was disqualified, and there are days when Dragon Age 4 seems just as far away. Salt on the wound, BioWare themselves have confirmed that Dragon Age 4 will not be shown at EA Play Live later this month. That’s a whole barrel of negativity to lead this paragraph with, but the positive aspects are also plentiful. When Dragon Age: Inquisition launched all the way back in 2014, the biggest talking point involved the twist of a certain major character’s true allegiances. That storyline was followed up with via the game’s final DLC, 2015’s excellent Trespasser, but it’s been a long and quiet six years and counting ever since. The revelation of what this character intends to do and how their actions will impact the Dragon Age franchise’s true lead character — its sprawling, lore-packed world — has kept Dragon Age fans thirsty enough that the discussion around it still hasn’t ceased. Get this game cranking already, BioWare.
7. God of War: Ragnarok
God of War: Ragnarok is hands down one of the upcoming games folks are most hyped about. And who can blame them? The 2018 God of War is not only one of the PlayStation 4’s best exclusives, but it’s also a gift that keeps on giving. The combat is superb. The scale is outstanding. Kratos’ new voice actor, Christopher Judge of television’s Stargate SG-1 fame, is the perfect match for a man whose throat growls words like “boy” relentlessly. Clearly, God of War is back. A sequel was inevitable, and when Sony confirmed God of War: Ragnarok during their State of Play this past September, we cheered. Bashing skulls has never felt so good.
6. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
It’s a strange time when the traditional November-released upcoming Pokémon games, the mainline remakes of Diamond and Pearl, feel like little more than a stopgap until a spinoff arrives two months later. Well, that’s where we are. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl look reasonably fun enough, but the fandom has its eyes set on Pokémon Legends: Arceus for a reason: it feels like the refresher the aging franchise has needed for… well, ages. Battles are more action-based, animations are substantially improved, and there’s a mystique in the more open-world approach. Factor in the novelty of exploring the Sinnoh of ancient times — often mentioned in Diamond and Pearl but never actually seen — and January 2022 feels just too far away.
5. Halo Infinite
For the longest time, Halo: Infinite was intended to be the Xbox Series’ definitive launch title. Fans of the adventures of Master Chief wanted to get their hands on this promising new campaign as soon as they unboxed their X or S, and who could blame them? The game is purportedly Halo 6, 7, and 8 all rolled into one ongoing platform. Its reveal trailer was beautiful, too. But after a somewhat disastrous first big showing, replete with shoddy frame rates and disappointing graphics, Microsoft and 343 Studios took the difficult step of delaying Halo Infinite into 2021. It’s for the best. More recent updates have looked far more promising, with a campaign that’s looking more polished and a suite of fun multiplayer modes. “A delayed game is eventually good,” as Nintendo’s iconic Shigeru Miyamoto once said, “but a rushed game is bad forever.”
4. Horizon Forbidden West
AOTF’s got a great article highlighting the best parts of last month’s big new look at Horizon Forbidden West, and it’s much appreciated because it would not be unfair to say that everything from that extensive gameplay footage was a highlight. Aloy’s second quest looks loftier and more diverse than her first. Considering Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the strongest new IP success stories of the previous generation of consoles, it’s glorious to see the series shine brightly moving forward. From an enhanced pool of abilities to extensive underwater exploration and (best of all) the apparent ability to tame certain dino-robots, Horizon Forbidden West is shaping up to eclipse its already-phenomenal predecessor.
3. Final Fantasy XVI
When it comes to Final Fantasy in the modern era, the old adage is never to get too excited when a new game is unveiled, because that game is probably an eternity away from launch. Fans were rightfully surprised, then, when Final Fantasy XVI’s announcement in September 2020 was jam-packed with in-game footage, snippets of real combat, and the overall sense that, while as-yet unpolished, the project is further along than was anticipated. Clive, whose name is oddly normal, is tasked with overseeing the safety of young Joshua, whose name is also oddly normal. Things seem to get dark fast when an empire invades the kingdom, Joshua’s father becomes a blood-splattered corpse on the poor kid’s face, and in response to the carnage, Joshua transforms into an eikon of fire called Phoenix. Sometime in the future, Clive evidently intends to kill every eikon, or avenge Joshua, or… both? It’s not really all that clear yet what this story is about, but with a battle system being worked on by Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon’s Dogma creator Ryota Suzuki, it’s bound to be a blast.
It was rumored for years. It was finally unveiled, if barely, at E3 2018. And then, just a few weeks ago, in fact, we finally got our first real taste of what Starfield is about: humanity’s “final journey” of space exploration and all the intrigue that entails. It would be a simple thing to brazenly label Starfield “Skyrim in space” and be on our merry way dismissively, but when that’s exactly how director Todd Howard describes the new game it’s hard not to take notice. Still, for all the simplicity of that description, it harbors a tremendous degree of allure. Imagine exploring alien worlds as vast as any Nordic realm and as beautiful as Cyrodiil itself. Howard even promises that Starfield will feel more like a true RPG than what we’ve seen from Bethesda Game Studios in recent years, with the inclusion of player-decided origin stories and a fair amount of dialogue choices. The Elder Scrolls VI may be far, far away, but Starfield launches on — cheekily enough — the 11th anniversary of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Mark your calendars for 11/11/22.
1. The Sequel to Breath of the Wild
No, we don’t even have an official subtitle for this one yet. Yes, it still tops the list. The Nintendo Switch arrived in March 2017 with what is quite possibly the single greatest launch title of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game has gone on to win countless awards, and it’s not unduly credited with reshaping the landscape of the gaming industry in hefty ways. The free-roaming spirit of Breath of the Wild, coupled with its unparalleled world, limitless charm, and dazzling gameplay mechanics, make it one of the best Zelda titles, if not the best. We finally have a good glimpse of Breath of the Wild 2 alongside a 2022 release date. This time around, it seems like the Demon King Ganondorf has taken Hyrule Castle into the clouds. Link will explore a sky world reminiscent of Skyward Sword’s whilst traversing a potentially reshuffled Kingdom of Hyrule and undoubtedly performing even more mind-bending physics tricks than he had in his arsenal in the original Breath of the Wild. We’d call the sequel to Breath of the Wild a system-seller, but the Switch is selling more than fine as-is.
There are plenty of upcoming games we can’t wait to play that didn’t make the list. Elden Ring, the new Fromsoft RPG with a world designed by George R.R. Martin, is a prime example. Whatever shape or form the next Spider-Man from Insomniac Games takes, it’s bound to be a winner. Narrowing things down to just 10 games is almost a crime. It’s a wonderful time to be a gamer.
- This article was updated on July 2nd, 2021