The 21 most anticipated games of 2020

UPDATED: PlayStation 5's launch titles are locked down

Despite everything else going on right now, this year is due to be an absolutely epic year for video games.

Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are confirmed to release in early November - but even if you're not going next-gen this holiday, there's loads of great titles available for the platforms you already own.

From Cyberpunk 2077 to Assassin's Creed Valhalla and plenty more in between, there are plenty of games filling up our wish list. Here are the 21 games we're most excited about right now, and we'll be updating this list as new games are dated and others release.

Additional words: Matt Tate

1) Cyberpunk 2077

Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Can CD Projekt RED do for cyberpunk fiction what it did for open-world fantasy with The Witcher 3? We can't wait to find out when the long-in-the-works Cyberpunk 2077 finally rolls out in November.

From what we've seen, Cyberpunk 2077 has sort of a futuristic Grand Theft Auto kind of feel, albeit with body modifications and incredible-looking cinematics. Night City, California looks like a place we'll want to explore again and again… and the surprise addition of Keanu Reeves as a main character only sweetens the pot in our eyes.

Due: 19 November

2) Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Platform: PlayStation 5, PS4

Miles! We're so pumped to see Miles Morales get his turn in the spotlight with this standalone side story of sorts for PlayStation 5. It's not a proper sequel to Insomniac's Spider-Man, but it's said to be more like Uncharted: Lost Legacy in scope.

Sony is promising technical improvements to the open-world superhero experience thanks to the power of the PS5, and after the hype of Into the Spider-Verse, we're looking forward to swinging around Manhattan with Miles. And hey, now it's coming to PS4 too.

Due: 19 November (UK)

3) Demon's Souls

Platform: PlayStation 5

Originally on PS3, Demon’s Souls set the tough-as-nails template for Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and plenty others, creating the now-beloved Souls-like genre. And now you’ll be able to experience its brutal challenge all over again at the PlayStation 5 launch.

Remaster masters Bluepoint Games are behind this beautiful-looking upgrade, which keeps the heart of the original game while giving it the kind of modern flourishes we expect. And if you never played the game that spawned so many successors and imitators alike, now’s your best chance.

Due: 19 November (UK)

4) Star Wars Squadrons

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC, VR

Following last year's pretty-good Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and the gradually much-improved Star Wars Battlefront II, EA hopes to finally prove that it truly knows what it is doing with the license with this year's Star Wars Squadrons.

We haven't seen gameplay yet, but we're intrigued to see this dogfighting game in action. It's a 5v5 vehicular shooter amidst the stars, with both a single-player campaign and microtransaction-free online multiplayer – and while said to be smaller in scope than those aforementioned games, it'll also be sold for less than full price. Sign us up.

Due: 2 October

5) Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, XB1, PC

Ubisoft's historical action series is back on the right track after a couple of stellar entries, and it'll next explore the Viking invasion of Britain in 873 in Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Valhalla builds upon the existing foundation with a very distinctive-looking tone, according to the trailer above, along with what's bill as a more "hand-crafted" world and the ability to dual-wield nearly any weapon in the game.

Due: 17 November

6) Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Platforms: PS4, XB1

Damn right it's about time. After original developer Naughty Dog moved on, Crash suffered through some hit-or-miss sequels in the early aughts before the franchise went for a long slumber… only to return with the great remastered trilogy from a couple years back.

Well, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time pretends that those shoddy sequels never happened, picking up right after 1998's Crash Bandicoot: Warped and delivering frantic platforming action that looks like a natural evolution of the old-school formula. Welcome back for real this time, Crash.

Due: 2 October

7) Watch Dogs: Legion

Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC

Each Watch Dogs game has come with a very different location and tone, all united by action amidst an increasingly tech-enhanced urban society. Watch Dogs: Legion jumps across the pond, as Ubisoft’s latest open-world game looks to take on a post-Brexit authoritarian regime in London.

The hook this time around, aside from that compelling premise, is that you can control literally anyone wandering around the city, including a hacker grandma. But when they’re dusted, they’re gone for good. Watch Dogs 2 was fun thanks in part to its lighter, sillier tone, and Legion looks to carry on some of that spunk. It'll finally launch on 29 October on current-gen consoles and PC before reaching the new hardware soon after.

Due: 29 October

8) Bugsnax

Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC

If you loved the zaniness of Octodad: Dadliest Catch, then you know why we had giant grins on our faces while watching the reveal for Bugsnax.

The long-awaited follow-up from Young Horses drops you onto an island in which the things you eat literally become part of your body. Wackiness ensues, naturally – and while we don't fully have a grasp on what that means in terms of gameplay, we are thoroughly charmed by the trailer and want more.

Due: Holiday 2020

9) Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War

Platforms: TBA

Even COVID couldn't stop the annual release of a new Call of Duty – even one that reportedly had a troubled development cycle before the pandemic, with Treyarch moving up a year in its usual three-year rotation to fill in for Sledgehammer Games.

Still, Black Ops has been the most consistent sub-brand in the series of late, so fans have high hopes that this will be another stellar entry. As the campaign trailer above shows, this one takes place in the 1980s with an eerie recreation of Ronald Reagan telling you to do whatever's necessary. We have a feeling that whatever that is, it'll be thoroughly intense.

Due: 13 November

10) Dirt 5

Platforms: PS4, PS5, XB1, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Codemasters' off-road Dirt franchise has never disappointed over the years, but that reliability has yet to turn boring: again and again, this raucous racer continually entertains.

We're expecting much the same from Dirt 5, which will hit current-gen consoles and PC in November and then reach PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X likely at launch for each. It's gorgeous, as expected, plus the story-driven career mode and four-player split-screen sound great, and the nighttime racing seems wild. Sign us up for this one.

Due: 6 November (PS4/XB1/PC)

11) FIFA 21

Platforms: PS4, XB1, Switch, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X

In a COVID-interrupted year, it's no surprise that FIFA 21 doesn't sound like the most feature-packed upgrade… at least on paper. But it seems to have a fair amount of modest enhancements in tow.

For example, you'll supposedly be able to get more creative on the pitch with new attacking options, while a more in-depth career mode and expanded Volta Football mode sound intriguing. If you've been playing even more FIFA 20 then normal anyway, then you'll probably be thrilled with this update. And if you buy the PS4 version, you'll be able to upgrade to PS5 for free when that system launches, and same with Xbox One to Xbox Series X.

Due: 9 October

12) Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Platform: PlayStation 5

While not a proper LittleBigPlanet game in name, Sackboy: A Big Adventure takes the main character and spirit of that brilliant franchise and puts it into a PS5 launch title (also launching on PS4 the same date).

Sackboy’s past adventures have us hoping for another imaginative co-op quest, even if Sumo Digital’s last attempt (LittleBigPlanet 3) didn’t quite live up to Media Molecule’s originals. Still, we remain hopeful. It’s Sackboy, after all.

Due: 19 November (UK)

13) Gran Turismo 7

Platform: PlayStation 5

Every PlayStation console must have a Gran Turismo, and based on the extensive look at the gameplay and menu system at Sony's streaming reveal, we're hopeful that this one will be ready at launch.

At its core, Gran Turismo 7 doesn't look to be doing anything too terribly different – it'll deliver a blisteringly realistic racing sim with loads of cars and the best-possible graphics. The franchise has come to feel a little long in the tooth over time, but hopefully the enhanced career mode and new hardware will give it the same kind of spark we felt way back when.

Due: Holiday 2020

14) Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Platform: Nintendo Switch

We’ll be honest: this isn’t the Zelda sequel we hoped to see in 2020, as the announced Breath of the Wild sequel seems likely to pop up again next year. Still, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity does look a lot more appealing than the original game.

It’s based in the same timeline as Breath of the Wild, so while this Dynasty Warriors-infused experience will be much more mindless and hack-and-slashy in nature, at least it’ll take place in a world that we can’t wait to spend more time in. And it’s launching this holiday.

Due: 20 November

15) Everwild

Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Rare’s Sea of Thieves may not have been perfect from the outset, but it showed a spark and creativity that we hadn’t seen from the legendary studio in ages. It’s encouraging to see that the developer’s next project seems just as marvellously unique at first glance.

We don’t know a lot about Everwild just yet, as Rare let this trailer speak for itself at the X019 event—but it’s a gorgeous-looking affair, and one that we hope can live up to the Rare name. So far, it looks super promising.

Due: TBD

16) Destruction AllStars

Platform: PlayStation 5

History is littered with over-the-top, extreme sports console launch titles, some (SSX) much better than others. But given the pedigree of Lucid Games, build from the ashes of Bizarre Creations (Project Gotham Racing, Blur), we’re holding out hope that Destruction AllStars will be worthwhile.

It’s a flashy destruction derby-style game, albeit with transformable cars and the ability to run around on-foot. Good luck winning that showdown without a set of wheels.

Due: 19 November (UK)

17) Baldur's Gate III

Platform: PC

Two decades after the last core entry in the beloved computer role-playing franchise, Baldur's Gate is finally back in action – and it's launching soon! The Early Access version debuts at the end of September.

Baldur's Gate III hails from the Larian Studios, makers of the acclaimed Divinity: Original Sin games, so it's little surprise to hear that the game feels like a mash-up of Divinity and the classic series entries. Larian isn't simply recreating the 20-year-old design as this franchise looks ahead, and that's probably the smart move.

Due: 30 September (Early Access)

18) Godfall

Platforms: PS5, PC

Hailing from Counterplay Games and Gearbox Studios, Godfall is undoubtedly one of the most stunning-looking games at the PS5 launch, packed with gorgeous environments, glistening effects, and dazzling-looking hack-and-slash combat.

How’s it play, though? Well, we don’t know quite yet. Counterplay’s team has experience working on all sorts of huge games, but combat-centric games like this come down to feel and flow. Keep an eye on this one in case it winds up being a gem.

Due: 19 November (UK)

19) Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond

Platform: Oculus Rift

Medal of Honor was a series focused on the past—and one that fell short when it tried to make the Call of Duty-like move to modern-day skirmishes. Luckily, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond returns the series to its original, successful World War II setting… but now in VR.

Above and Beyond looks a fair bit like the past games, but shifting the action to the 360-degree world around you head should ramp up the excitement as you physically toss back grenades and snipe faraway Nazis with glee.

Due: 11 December

20) Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Platform: Switch

The list of exclusive games still stranded on the unpopular Wii U is thankfully getting smaller and smaller, and here's another gem that's coming our way via a Switch port later this year.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe brings over our five-star-rated fave, collecting the entire strategic puzzler – in which you'll command little alien creatures – along with brand new side missions in the mix.

Due: 30 October

21) 12 Minutes

Ask people what their favourite game of 2019 was and, if the various end-of-year lists are anything to go by, quite a few of them would say Outer Wilds, the space exploration game in which you have 22 minutes to solve the mystery of your imaginary solar system before the sun goes supernova and kills you.

12 Minutes is even crueller, allowing players just a dozen of them to prevent the wife of the man you take control of from being arrested on suspicion of murder. After that, the loop resets and you start from scratch. This fascinating indie is the brainchild of just one man, and looks set to continue publisher Annapurna’s hot streak.

Due: TBD