That’s a wrap for 2020, gang. This particularly challenging year is finally over, and a whole new one awaits. There’s sure to be lots of surprises in 2021, and hopefully many of them are wonderful. Even if they aren’t, at least we know there’s some fantastic games right around the corner!
The first quarter of 2021 is jam-packed with excellent-looking software, so much so that it can be hard to keep track of it all. That’s why we’ve sifted through the upcoming releases to find the cream of the crop. Read on to learn about the biggest and best games 2021 has to offer right out of the gate.
Hitman 3 – Jan. 20th (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Stadia)
IO Interactive has been growing the world of Hitman for two decades now, and they’re about to give Agent 47 a major send-off. The “World of Assassination” trilogy for the Hitman series is coming to an end with Hitman 3, and then IO Interactive is moving on to create a title using the James Bond license. That means Agent 47 will find himself retired for quite some time before IO Interactive can craft another one of his grandiose adventures. Expect Hitman 3 to crank up the intensity and take you to brand-new locations, all while retaining the series’ trademark stealth gameplay.
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The Medium – Jan. 28th (PC, Xbox Series X/S)
The Medium has been a very long time coming for Bloober Team. Believe it or not, this game was originally intended to release on Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii U! Obviously a lot has changed with the game since those days, and now it’s set as a console exclusive for Xbox Series X and S. The power of those consoles, along with the PC version, allows for the Medium to create two unique universes in one. You’ll be playing as Marianne, a medium who can travel between the real and spirit worlds. These worlds exist at the same time, allowing you to cross seamlessly between the two to solve puzzles and explore the psychological horror that awaits.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury – Feb. 12th (Switch)
Speaking of the Wii U, yet another title from that platform is making its way to Switch, and with bonus content. Due to the Wii U’s small install base, millions of Mario fans missed out on Super Mario 3D World. The game is a blend of 2D and 3D Mario sensibilities, making it perfect for franchise veterans and old-school fans alike. Throw in 4-player multiplayer and you’re in for an absolute blast. There’s even an entirely new “Bowser’s Fury” addition to entice those who did experience the game on Wii U. It’s almost like two games in one!
Persona 5 Strikers – Feb. 23rd (PC, PS4, Switch)
Koei Tecmo has had a host of Dynasty Warriors spin-off titles that enjoyed great success. We recently saw Nintendo and Koei Tecmo collaborate for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and now Atlus is teaming up for their own unique twist on the Dynasty Warriors formula with Persona 5 Strikers. This game is a continuation of Persona 5, the latest entry in the long-running RPG series. Persona 5 Strikers takes place 6 months after Persona 5, and brings back many of the locations, characters, and enemies you love. The big difference this time around is that the RPG trappings have been ditched for intense hack-and-slash action. That said, you’ll definitely get the same charm, visual flair, and fantastically jazzy soundtrack.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection – Feb. 25th (Switch)
Each year, the Game Awards play host to reveals for brand-new games. It’s always fun to see what secrets the show brings, and this year Capcom had something special to reveal. The classic hero Arthur is making a triumphant return in Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, a new installment in the decades old franchise. While there were a few titles in the series that took things into 3D, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection aims to mimic the old-school action with a side-scrolling approach. You can expect tough-as-nails gameplay that’ll test even the most seasoned gamer, with punishing platforming around every corner. The series is even getting a fresh coat of paint, with Capcom using a storybook-like approach for the visuals.
Bravely Default 2 – Feb. 26th (Switch)
While Square-Enix continues to push the Final Fantasy franchise in new directions, those looking for a more classic approach to RPGs have found a lot to love in the Bravely franchise. Two installments were released for the 3DS, but now the series is making a jump to consoles with Bravely Default 2. Prepare for a sprawling journey with a customizable party, and engage in the returning Brave and Default battle system. If you’re a fan of RPGs from days gone by, Bravely Default 2 should be the perfect adventure to test your skills. There’s even a demo available right now!
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake – March 18th (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Ubisoft hasn’t done too much with the Prince of Persia franchise in recent years, leaving fans wondering if the series would be forgotten. Thankfully that’s not the case, as Ubisoft revealed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake. This is a complete rework of the 2003 release that helped put Prince of Persia back on the map. While the classic puzzle platforming of the original version has been retained, this remake includes more than just fancy visuals. Players will get to face off against some brand-new enemies while watching the story come to life in fresh cinematic sequences, complete with reworked dialog and more.
Monster Hunter Rise – March 26th (Switch)
The Monster Hunter franchise has been popular in Japan for years, but the series finally broke through to worldwide success with Monster Hunter World. That’s been the go-to game for Monster Hunter players for a couple years, but the next big adventure is on the way. Monster Hunter Rise is an all-new outing in the Monster Hunter franchise, and it’s a mix of classic elements that older fans love, recent additions from Monster Hunter World, and brand-new mechanics that have never been seen in a Monster Hunter game. Pal up with your animal companions, grab some real-life buddies for a hunt, zip around the landscape using your Wirebug, and get ready for the biggest hunts yet!
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Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.