2019 was a great year for video games, but 2020 is shaping up to be a year of truly monumental proportions. Not only is the next-generation of consoles nearly upon us, but this year also marks the release of several of this generation’s most anticipated titles, including The Last of Us Part 2, Cyberpunk 2077, and Final Fantasy VII Remake. There are so many games coming out this year that it’s hard to narrow them all down to one definitive list, but these are 20 of the biggest games you can look forward to playing in 2020.
Halo Infinite – Holiday 2020
Although Halo is without a doubt the defining franchise for the Xbox, the more recent entries in the series haven’t been held in the highest regard by fans. While Halo 4 and 5 were still decent games in their own right, they didn’t come close to reaching the same highs as the beloved original trilogy. Even though we haven’t seen too much of Halo Infinite at this point, what we have seen looks incredibly promising, and considering the game is confirmed to be a launch title for Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox Series X, we’re tremendously excited to see what Infinite will look and play like. It’ll likely be the tentpole release for the Xbox Series X’s launch window, and because it’ll be available on Xbox Game Pass the day it launches, it will be accessible to a wider audience than ever. Halo Infinite is definitely a game to watch out for this year.
Cyberpunk 2077 – April 16
Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced all the way back in early 2013, but something happened between then and now that has people even more excited for this game than they were before: The Witcher 3. CD Projekt Red was already a proven developer when Cyberpunk was originally announced thanks to the first two Witcher games, but The Witcher 3 propelled the studio to new heights. The world of The Witcher 3 was chock full of interesting characters, lengthy quests, and meaningful choices, causing it to win countless awards when it launched in 2015. Now, the studio’s next project is an RPG set in a sprawling futuristic city that looks to be just as densely packed with things to do, if not more so, than its predecessor, and people are justifiably excited. If the numerous trailers and gameplay demonstrations are even partly representative of the final experience, Cyberpunk 2077 will be an RPG for the ages.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – March 20
We’re long overdue for a new Animal Crossing game. In a world filled to the brim with sprawling RPGs, ultraviolent shooters, and tense horror experiences, it’s nice to have a game where the objective is just to chill out with some animal friends. Animal Crossing is a series that has bounced back and forth between Nintendo’s home console and handheld offerings, and the Nintendo Switch is the perfect fit for a game like this considering it can do both. Tons of classic Nintendo franchises like Zelda, Mario, and Fire Emblem have had new life breathed into them on the Switch, and hopefully, Animal Crossing won’t be any different. Plus, the enhanced online capabilities of the Switch will allow players to play online with their friends much easier than they could on the 3DS.
Doom Eternal – March 20
Doom 2016 is one of the best shooters released this generation, so fans are undoubtedly excited for the follow-up. Doom Eternal looks to maintain the frenetic gameplay that the first game executed so flawlessly while expanding upon it in interesting ways. We didn’t think Doom needed a grappling hook, but Eternal features one attached to a shotgun, and now we’re more excited than before. The sequel also looks to improve in the multiplayer department as well, ditching the traditional deathmatch modes in favor of something more unique. Players will be able to invade other players’ campaigns as demons, and Battlemode pits three players against one another in an asymmetrical competition where one player is the Doom Slayer and the other two are demons with the ability to summon AI reinforcements. Doom Eternal seems like an ambitious sequel, and you’ll be able to get your hands on it this year barring another delay.
Watch Dogs: Legion – 2020
Watch Dogs: Legion’s central mechanic is so ambitious that the game has been delayed into the next fiscal year. Rather than having each NPC roaming the streets of London simply serve as set dressing, each and every one of the people you encounter in Watch Dogs: Legion is a playable character. Anyone can be recruited right off the street into the ranks of your resistance, complete with their own unique backstories and traits. Whether these characters end up feeling truly distinct remains to be seen, but one thing is clear with Legion: the team really wants to set this franchise apart from the competition. If the gimmick pays off, then Watch Dogs won’t just be a somewhat generic open-world game with a “press button to hack” schtick, but instead a different beast entirely. Still, keep in mind that we’ve been promised big things from Watch Dogs in the past. Keep an eye on Watch Dogs: Legion, but be wary of the huge promises.
The Last of Us Part 2 – May 29
The original Last of Us launched just months before the PlayStation 4, pushing the PlayStation 3 to its absolute limit to deliver one of that system’s defining experiences. The Last of Us Part 2 is in a similar situation, launching only a few months before the PlayStation 5 will hit store shelves. Naughty Dog has proven time and time again that they can squeeze every ounce of power possible out of Sony’s hardware, and given what they accomplished in 2016 with Uncharted 4, we’re incredibly excited to see what they can do with a follow up to The Last of Us. The small amount of gameplay shown off so far looks amazing, not to mention the handful of story trailers and cutscenes we’ve seen as well. Some were initially hesitant when news of a sequel to The Last of Us first arose considering the first game’s intentionally ambiguous ending, but The Last of Us Part 2 looks like it will provide even greater insight into Ellie and Joel than the first game ever did.
Final Fantasy VII Remake – March 3
Although it’s a remake of the 1997 classic, Final Fantasy VII Remake is practically an entirely new mainline Final Fantasy entry. Sure, it features the same characters, locations, and general plot as the original, but there’s so much new content being added that the game is being split into multiple parts because of it. Going off of the leaked demo, which features the opening sequence of the game, Final Fantasy VII remake will include tons of brand new dialogue, combat sequences, and quests that weren’t in the original PlayStation version. Also, the game ditches the ATB combat of the original in favor of a realtime action combat system ala Kingdom Hearts. It’s a complete reimagining of the game for a modern audience, and it’ll likely have enough changes to keep even the biggest fans of the original surprised.
Resident Evil 3 – April 3
Last year, Resident Evil 2 provided players with a horrifying trip down memory lane. Capcom not only remade the original survival horror classic, but also modernized and updated it in ways that made it much easier to play without sacrificing any of the scares. This year, Resident Evil fans will get the other side of the Raccoon City story with Resident Evil 3, a complete remake with gorgeous graphics and lighting, improved controls, and a new multiplayer mode called Resident Evil Resistance. It looks just as good as Resident Evil 2, and if you thought avoiding Mr. X in the halls of the RPD was terrifying, just wait until you see Nemesis.
Marvel’s Avengers – May 15
The past decade has given us the best superhero games we’ve ever seen. The influence of the Batman Arkham games can be seen in just about every third-person brawler released since, and Insomniac’s Spider-Man is arguably the wall-crawler’s best ever video game outing. What’s surprising, however, is that it took us this long to get a dedicated game centered around the Avengers, especially considering the overwhelming popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Timing aside, it’s finally happening, though whether or not it’ll join the superhero game hall of fame remains to be seen. There’s a beta happening prior to launch, so you’ll at least be able to get your hands on the game for a bit before the full release.
Wasteland 3 – May 19
Wasteland 2 was an entertaining return to the age of classic isometric RPGs like Fallout and, well, the first Wasteland, but Wasteland 3 looks to be bigger and better than its predecessor in every way. Ditching the arid desert setting of Wasteland 2, Wasteland 3 is a romp through the frozen wastes of post-apocalyptic Colorado. You can even play it with a friend in online co-op, although you won’t have to be together all the time. You and your friend will command your own individual squads and be able to split up whenever you choose. You can even play and complete missions while your friend is offline, although you’ll have to live with the consequences of whatever decisions you made when your friend returns. It’s an interesting take on multiplayer in an RPG, and you hopefully won’t have to do too much convincing to get someone to play with you considering the game is on Xbox Game Pass.
Ghost of Tsushima – Summer
The PlayStation 4 is going to go out with a bang. Ghost of Tsushima will arrive only a few months after The Last of Us Part 2, but it seems to be just as strong of an exclusive. Sucker Punch has been working on this game for quite a while, and its striking visuals make it stand out every time it’s shown at an event. The sword combat is a spectacle with brutal counters and executions, and the gorgeous open world is just begging to be explored. It’s definitely one of the most visually impressive games on the PlayStation 4, and it looks like it has the gameplay to match.
Half-Life: Alyx – March
We’re getting a new Half-Life. That alone should make Half-Life: Alyx one of the landmark titles for 2020, but in true Valve fashion, there’s a lot going on with Alyx. It’s exclusively playable in VR, which is upsetting for a lot of people. However, Half-Life is a series known for pushing technological boundaries, and Half-Life: Alyx looks like it takes full advantage of the immersion and added level of interactivity that VR provides. As VR becomes more and more commonplace, games like these will continue to pop up. Half-Life: Alyx is the first in a long line of huge VR games, and physically moving things around as you scrounge for ammo or tossing things at an enemy to stun them during combat sounds like a ton of fun. If you have a VR headset, you’re probably already going to play this game. If you haven’t picked one up yet, however, you should strongly consider doing so.
Persona 5 Royal – March 31
An expanded version of Persona 5, Persona 5 Royal adds a whole bunch of content to the already lengthy 2017 RPG. The original Persona 5 is already excellent, but Royal aims to correct some of the mistakes the team made the first time around as well as add new scenes to the main game that further flesh out the cast. With tons of new story content, a new party member, new confidants, and an entire extra semester tacked onto the original game’s ending, Persona 5 Royal is going to take well over one hundred hours to complete. That won’t be too big of an issue given the strength of the characters, gameplay, and soundtrack, though.
Gears Tactics – April 27
While not a traditional mainline Gears game, Gears Tactics isn’t your average spinoff. This strategy game is packing a 40-hour campaign, deep character customization, and a strong focus on story. It’s a prequel, so you don’t have to have played the other Gears games to know what’s going on in Tactics, but considering every Gears game (including Tactics) is on Xbox Game Pass, you might as well give some of them a shot. Gears Tactics is shaping up to be an excellent strategy game, and fans of the series shouldn’t turn their backs on it just because it’s a different genre.
Minecraft Dungeons – April
Despite sharing its name and aesthetic with Minecraft, Minecraft Dungeons plays nothing like it. Dungeons is more akin to Diablo than anything, an isometric dungeon crawler centered around loot. It likely won’t break any boundaries, but being able to explore randomly generated dungeons with friends isn’t something we should take for granted. Diablo 4 is still a ways off, so why not delve into some blockier dungeons while you wait?
Ori and the Will of the Wisps – March 11
2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the best games on the Xbox One, so it’s no surprise that the follow-up is one of the more highly anticipated games of 2020. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is just as gorgeous as its predecessor, and it looks like it will feature an impactful story and beautiful music just like the first game. On the gameplay side, Ori and the Will of the Wisps adds several new abilities for Ori, allowing for tighter and more challenging platforming than ever. Also, the sequel thankfully features autosaves, something which the first game sorely lacked.
Dying Light 2 – 2020
The first Dying Light continues to be supported even today, five years post-launch, even getting crossovers with huge franchises like Left 4 Dead. The sequel, however, aims to accomplish much more than the original ever did. It’ll still feature the same first-person parkour, but this time, there’s a greater emphasis on narrative. Your decisions will not only affect your reputation between factions, but also the city itself. You’ll be able to see the city visually change over the course of your playthrough, all thanks to the choices you make during missions. Consequences are at the core of Dying Light 2, and considering the first game’s story was lacking overall, it’s a welcome change.
Dreams – February 14
Media Molecule’s Dreams has technically been out for the majority of 2019, albeit in Early Access, but 2020 marks the full retail release of the game. Dreams Creator Early Access only provided players with the game’s powerful suite of creation tools, but the full release of Dreams will contain a full story mode similar to LittleBigPlanet. However, because the game will have been out in Early Access for a year by the time Dreams officially launches, new players will have access to a back catalog of player-made creations on day one. Not only does this alleviate the issue of having no community-created levels to play at launch, but it also provides new players with a bevy of assets to use in their own creations. Unlike LittleBigPlanet, you don’t have to create levels in Dreams. You can create anything as complex as full games or as simple as an individual asset, and anyone can use that creation in their own creations if you allow it. Doing an Early Access soft launch greatly benefitted Dreams, and if you jump in at launch, there’ll be no shortage of content.
Rainbow Six: Quarantine – 2020
Despite Rainbow Six: Siege’s massive popularity, some still miss having a Rainbow Six game that isn’t solely based around PvP. Rainbow Six Quarantine isn’t a narrative-driven tactical shooter like the classic games, but it’s not a PvP experience like Siege, either. It’s a middle ground, a three-player cooperative game centered around a viral outbreak. Not much is known about Quarantine, but it does feature some of the operators from Siege and is set sometime in the future. It’ll likely play similarly to Siege’s limited-time Outbreak event, which tasked players with making their way through Left 4 Dead like levels, killing infected and completing objectives along the way. The Outbreak event did have some cutscenes and story beats, so it’s possible that Outbreak will have a decent story. If anything, it’ll provide some additional insight into the operators that Siege players have been playing for years.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon – 2020
The Yakuza series only recently blew up in the west, mostly due to the release of Yakuza 0 in early 2017, but just as the western audience was becoming engrossed in the story of Kazuma Kiryu, it ended with the release of Yakuza 6 just a year later. Now, with the release of Yakuza 7, which is simply titled Yakuza: Like a Dragon here in the west, the series is getting a fresh start. It’s sort of a soft reboot of the Yakuza franchise. There’s a new protagonist, a new setting, and an entirely different combat system. Yakuza: Like a Dragon forgoes realtime brawling in favor of a classic turn-based combat system. It’s a pretty drastic change, but it signifies that this is a new direction for Yakuza, and it’s one that people can jump onto without worrying too much about previous entries in the series. The game comes out in just a few days in Japan, but it’s slated for a western release sometime in 2020, so be on the lookout for it.
- This article was updated on:January 23rd, 2020