E3 2021: The 25 Best Games This Year

E3 2021: The 25 Best Games This Year

There were a lot of great (and not-so-great) moments at this year’s online E3 presentations. Microsoft gave us a hell of a show with all the games coming to the Game Pass, we got plenty of unique titles from Devolver, and Nintendo wowed us with their sneak preview of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel. We’re sure you had some of your favorites, too. To recap, here are 25 of our favorite titles from all the games presented:

Phantom Abyss

1. Phantom Abyss

This other Devolver title is exploring a different part of cinema with this Indiana Jones-like excursion through procedurally-generated temples. The game’s main draw is its asynchronous multiplayer where your skills are always tested against the phantoms of other players who have tried it out. The game’s Early Access will be releasing on Steam this month on June 22.

Monster Hunter Stories 2

2. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin (PC, Switch)

Aside from announcing an upcoming DLC for Resident Evil Village, Capcom’s presentation also focused on shining a spotlight on the family-friendly counterpart to their Monster Hunter series. Wings of Ruin has a lot in store for us as we breed new monsties and make them even more powerful through the Rite of Channeling. It comes out on July 9.

Psychonauts 2

3. Psychonauts 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Series X)

After a 16 year wait, the sequel to Double Fine Studios’ platformer will be arriving. There’s plenty of action going around and it’s packed with all the quirky characters that they’re known for. It will be available on the Game Pass when it releases on August 13.

Godfall: Fire and Darkness

4. Godfall: Fire and Darkness (PC, PS4, PS5)

After Godfall’s first release last November, Counterplay Games has now announced its first DLC for the action RPG. Fire and Darkness comes with 40 new items to loot and over 50 cosmetic pieces. But, what made the announcement all the sweeter was the game’s surprise port to the PS4 as well as the new matchmaking beta. The base game as well as the new DLC will be coming out alongside its PS4 debut on August 10.

Twelve Minutes

5. Twelve Minutes (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

Annapurna Interactive has a star-studded cast behind their latest project. Starring Willem Defoe, James McAvoy, and Daisy Ridley, it talks about a man stuck in a time loop. Relive the same 12 tragic minutes of your life and use your wits to find your way out of the curse. It releases on August 19.

Life is Strange: True Colours

6. Life is Strange: True Colours (PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch)

The emotional next chapter to Deck Nine’s adventure series. Its main character, Alex Chen, has the ability to feel everyone’s emotions and she uses it to find the truth behind her brother’s tragic car accident. True Colors will have all the chapters out at launch, which means we can get the whole story without waiting for any new episodes. It will be out on September 10.

WarioWare Get It Together!

7. WarioWare: Get It Together!

After being missing on Nintendo’s consoles for a while, Wario is making his comeback with a brand new game specially designed for the Switch. His friends have returned with loads of new minigames that we can play with friends locally, or with other players online. It’s set to release on September 10.

Tom Clancys Rainbow 6

8. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Extraction (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X,PS5)

Rainbow 6 will be facing a whole new enemy. But if you’ve played Siege, this will be a familiar enough experience. An array of familiar faces will be up for pickings as you go about the game’s three-player co-op. The multiplayer gameplay looks fun, but aside from the alien themes, there’s so much about it that reminds us of Siege. It’s a bit of a mystery why they didn’t just make it an expansion. It’s coming out on September 16.

Far Cry 6

9. Far Cry 6 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5)

We already knew about the coming of this sixth installment, but this year’s E3 has given us a great showcase of what kind of villain we’ll be facing. Anton Castillo, played by none other than Giancarlo Esposito, is definitely a menacing adversary. The game’s CGI facial animations didn’t really do his acting chops much justice. Still, we are looking forward to seeing how Dani Rojas escapes Anton’s nets when it comes out on October 7.

Metroid Dread

10. Metroid Dread

While they’re working hard on a brand new Metroid game, Metroid 4, Nintendo has announced the upcoming release of the planned sequel to 2002’s Metroid Fusion on the Gameboy Advance. Though the project has been scratched a while back, it’s great that Nintendo is taking time to bring us back to our classic 2D sidescrolling adventures with this most anticipated title. It’s coming out this year on October 8.

Back 4 Blood

11. Back 4 Blood (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5)

The creators of Left 4 Dead have delivered on the expected zombie gore of this upcoming shooting game. Its new trailer showed off its PvP mode which has most of the zombie types we’ve come to love fighting in Left 4 Dead. This time though, players will also get to play the monsters themselves. It’s coming out on October 12, with an open beta this August 5.

Battlefield 2042

12. Battlefield 2042 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5)

The latest Battlefield title is speaking to us in the language of explosions. The series is coming back to its large-scale warfare with support for up to 128 players and a new multiplayer mode called Hazard Zone. It’s scheduled to release on October 22.

Guardians of the Galaxy

13. Guardians of the Galaxy (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5, Switch)

Square Enix definitely loves its upcoming action-adventure about Marvel’s ragtag group of cosmic heroes. Following up on Marvel’s Avengers, this gives us a more story-focused journey where we play as Peter Quill in his rides around the galaxy. We may get more information about the game soon before its release on October 26.

Age of Empires IV

14. Age of Empires IV (PC, Xbox One)

The game all strategy fans have been patiently waiting for now has a solid release date. Since its last title, the visuals have vastly improved. The medieval battles will return and we’ll be able to immerse as the period’s great heroes like Joan of Arc or William the conqueror in their various campaigns. Play it on the Game Pass on day one when it releases on the PC on October 28.

Mario Party Superstars

15. Mario Party Superstars

Nintendo is taking us on another blast to the past in this new Mario Party title. Superstars boasts all 5 boards from the N64 version as well as over a hundred minigames from then, even up to the Game Cube. These games are available to play in local or online modes. It’s coming out on October 29.

Forza Horizon 5

16. Forza Horizon 5 (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

Unlike the yellow-washed Hollywood depictions, Microsoft’s presentation of Mexico is fresh and vibrant. The fifth installment of Forza’s open-world counterpart now has a new setting and it looks amazing, rendered in the Xbox’s 4K capabilities. It releases on November 9.

Halo Infinite

17. Halo Infinite (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

The latest presentation of Microsoft’s flagship shooter showed us Master Chief on a seemingly impossible mission, but at least he’s got friends to bring along for the ride. It was a long wait for what should’ve been a launch title on the Series X. Hopefully, it will be all worth it when it releases on the Game Pass during this year’s holiday season.

Heart of Chernobyl

18. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl (PC, Xbox Series X)

After its long development period, this promise of a new chapter looks like its fulfilling all expectations. The facial animations are on point and the bleak nuclear environments form the perfect atmosphere for all its mysterious phenomena. It will be available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on day one of its release on April 28, 2022.

Starfield

19. Starfield (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5)

A longer look at Bethesda Game Studios’ sci-fi RPG since it was announced in 2018. The latest is preview is still a teaser trailer but we now know that we can create new characters and become part of the family, the constellation of people trying to discover the universe’s secrets. It’s coming out on November 11, 2022.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

20. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (PC, Xbox Series X, PS5)

James Cameron’s Avatar became the highest-grossing film of all time back in 2009 for its jaw-dropping visuals and ambitious use of motion capture and 3D technology. With the advent of a new generation of games, this may well be the perfect time for the release of a game that’s hopefully as ambitious as the original. If the announcement trailer is anything to go by, our eyes are definitely in for a treat when it comes out in 2022.

Mario Plus Rabbids Sparks of Hope

21. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

The crossover no one asked for has blossomed into something we can’t get enough of. In this upcoming sequel, it seems, we’re not in Mushroom Kingdom anymore. There are new locations around the galaxy, all-new bosses, and a lot of Sparks to be saved. The game’s new locations look gorgeous and we can’t wait to see what improvements they have in store for us in 2022.

Trek To Yomi

22. Trek To Yomi (PC, Xbox Series X, PS5)

Devolver’s lineup was full of highlights but Trek To Yomi arguably took the spotlight. It has that familiar feudal Japan setting that we’ve seen from Nioh and Ghost of Tsushima but it’s soaked in the dramatic black and white silhouettes and Kurosawa’s cinematic styles. Devolver seems to be exploring a new kind of videogame and we get to experience it firsthand in 2022.

Breath of the Wild 2

23. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

We’ve been holding our breaths, awaiting news about the sequel to one of the Switch’s finest launch titles. The first game amazed us with all of the interactions and puzzles made possible by Link’s powers. In the sequel, it seems we’ll be learning about a new set of powers, like improved stasis and the ability to warp through walls. We can look forward to its release in 2022.

The Outer Worlds 2

24. The Outer Worlds 2 (PC, Xbox Series X)

Obsidian Entertainment’s popular title gets a surprise sequel. As expected from the space RPG, its announcement trailer was a cheeky jab at the vagueness of all announcement trailers (as well as its own). We don’t know much yet but we’re looking forward to its exclusive Microsoft release on the Game Pass.

Atomic Heart

25. Atomic Heart (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5)

The other Soviet shooter we’ve been waiting on for years. Where STALKER 2 focuses on the bleak and eerie, it seems Mundfish is a lot more concerned about the wacky and crazy. Whether it’s odd steampunk creations or just really angry grandmas, Atomic Heart wears its weirdness on its sleeve. Still no release date yet though.

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