2021 is looking to be a banner year once again for the video game industry. Even during the midst of a global pandemic developers and publishers were able to deliver an outstanding lineup of games as well as new hardware releases in 2020 and it doesn’t look like anyone is letting their foot off the gas anytime soon. So as I settle into hype mode for all the gaming goodness coming our way this year I thought I would share the top 3 games I am looking forward to the most this year, and with such a stacked lineup it was a bit more challenging to put a short list together than I thought!
Turtle Rock is bringing one of my favorite franchises back from the dead with the co-op zombie shooter Back 4 Blood. Not shying away from taking everything we enjoyed from the beloved Left 4 Dead series, Back 4 Blood steps up its game for the new generation of consoles by bringing in 8 selectable characters, new weapons, new grotesque “Ridden” to battle and an all-new director to shake up every play through. I lost countless hours of my life to Left 4 Dead on the Xbox 360, and the reveal for Back 4 Blood looks to be everything I ever hoped this spiritual successor would be.
Horizon Zero Dawn quietly crept up on me as one of my favorite PS4 experiences. It took time and 3 attempts to get into it before the game sunk its hooks into me. This paired with my sons absolute infatuation with the game skyrockets Forbidden West to my short list of games I’m excited for in 2021. The original game stands tall as one of the most visual striking video games on the market to date (yes, even stacked against late gen PS4 and PS5 games) so I cannot wait to see what sort of visual artistry the team at Guerrilla has in store for Aloy’s sophomore adventure. Horizon has positioned itself as a standout pillar of Sony properties and I have no doubt they’re going to swing for the fences with this sequel.
The series that cemented my love of video games has a new installment releasing exclusively for the PlayStation 5 this year in Final Fantasy XVI. It’s been about four years now since we’ve seen a new mainline installment in this series and I’m ready for a new adventure in a new world. Final Fantasy XVI takes the series back to its medieval roots with a setting filled with castles, knights and dragoons. The debut trailer also shows how the games storyline makes summons and crystals a central part of the narrative which is really exciting. While SquareEnix is certainly known for their outrageously long development cycles which are plagued with delays and secrecy, if the rumors are to be believed this game is well along in development so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be playing an all new Final Fantasy later this year.