One quick glance at the current release schedule for 2021 suggests that this could be another bumper year for PlayStation — but which games have us especially excited? We've gathered the Push Square editorial team to tell us all about their hot picks for the year ahead.
Sammy Barker, Editor
I can roll my R’s in real-life, so you could argue that’s partly my motivation for selecting Resident Evil Village and Returnal as my most anticipated titles of 2021. Thank your lucky stars I didn’t select Riders Republic as well, otherwise we would have needed to call 999 and request an alliteration ambulance. I digress.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was one of my biggest surprises a few years back: I’ve always been a big fan of Capcom’s camp survival horror series, but the transition to first-person perspective refreshed my interest after the disappointing Resident Evil 6. I’m largely looking for more of the same from its sequel: memorable environments, larger-than-life pantomime villains, and some good jump scares.
As for Returnal, I’m a long-time admirer of Housemarque and I’m fascinated by this fusion of arcade bullet hell and Dead Space-esque cosmic horror. I just know it’s going to play like a dream. And speaking of which, for my third selection, I’m going Gran Turismo 7; with the classic RPG-esque campaign making a comeback, we all know this is going to be a winner on PS5.
Robert Ramsey, Deputy Editor
Okay, I'm being a bit cheeky here since Final Fantasy XVI doesn't actually have a 2021 release window, but it's still my most anticipated game by some distance. While I don't think that Square Enix has handled its beloved franchise particularly well over the last decade or so, XVI could be big turning point given the names behind it — the Final Fantasy XIV Online connection being a huge plus as far as I'm concerned. Can't wait to see more, and if we're especially lucky, the game isn't years away from release.
Next up, Guilty Gear Strive. I haven't been this hyped for a fighting game since Tekken 7 — and that's saying a lot. I've been following Strive since its godly reveal trailer, and while I'll definitely have to polish up my skills ahead of its April release, I can't see this being anything other than an absolute blast to play. Arc System Works has proven time and time again that it's the king of style, and Strive looks utterly stunning. Here's hoping that the team delivers on all fronts.
Regular readers will be shaking their heads at this third and final pick, but I'll exploit any excuse to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt all over again. CD Projekt Red has promised a PS5 upgrade of Geralt's grand adventure, and if I get to play this thing at 60 frames-per-second on Sony's current-gen system, I'll be happy. Other graphical enhancements and potential gameplay tweaks would just be the icing on the cake. Bonus points if it helps me get over the crushing disappointment of Cyberpunk 2077.
Stephen Tailby, Associate Editor
Why yes, I have stolen most of the Sony games, but they just keep making cool stuff! Here's the thing: when God of War concluded with that tantalising teaser, I would've gladly played the sequel then and there. I was instantly onboard. Now the follow-up has been announced for 2021, and I absolutely cannot wait to return to the cold, harsh lands of Norse mythology on PS5. I'm not entirely convinced God of War Ragnarok will make it out this year, but for now, it's nice to imagine I'll be playing the huge, gorgeous sequel in a matter of months. Seeing what Santa Monica Studio can do on PS5 is reason enough to be excited, but reuniting with Kratos and Atreus to continue their adventure? It's a must play.
As is Horizon Forbidden West, I'd argue. The first game offered seriously fun combat against amazing robo-creatures in a beautiful open world. What fascinates me about the sequel, though, is how they build upon the story. We know it'll be a ridiculously good-looking title on Sony's new console, and we know the studio has the gameplay nailed down. The mystery of the original is what made it so compelling for me, and the question is, can the narrative remain this engaging now the secrets have been spilled? I'll be there day one to find out.
Just as exciting is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. I became a fan of the series on PS3 with Tools of Destruction and have loved all the main entries since. It's an important franchise that brings some much needed colour and humour to Sony's portfolio; I adore the daft characters, the space-faring adventures, and of course the wacky weapons. I'm very much looking forward to Rift Apart for all of the above, plus it looks like it'll be taking full advantage of the PS5. Ultimately, you just know it's going to be an absolute blast, and what more could you want?
Liam Croft, Senior Staff Writer
In what may well be a Push Square first, one of the games I've picked for my most anticipated list appears for the second year running. I was hopeful Disco Elysium: The Final Cut would release in 2020, but now it's definitely happening a year later. Along with full voice acting and more quests, this isometric RPG has me hyped to the rafters as your decisions massively affect the narrative's outcome as well as the sort of detective you choose to be. Maybe it can fulfil all those promises that Cyberpunk 2077 couldn't.
And then there's Mass Effect Legendary Edition — the perfect excuse to replay these three classic titles. I'm looking forward to getting suited and booted as Commander Shepard all over again and really digging deep into the RPG trilogy I've only experienced once before. It's time to create a female character, romance a couple of aliens here and there, and save the galaxy in between those all-important side quests and loyalty missions. Oh, and there better be three Platinum Trophies. I'm counting on you, BioWare.
One more supremely exciting prospect launching in 2021 is Hogwarts Legacy. Having grown up reading the books and watching the movies, this project from Warner Bros is sort of like a dream come true. Free of the trappings that Harry Potter brings, I want to meet new characters at the school of witchcraft and wizardry, attend loads of classes, and become the biggest boffin Albus Dumbledore has ever come across. Seriously, I've always said I would be the biggest nerd if I actually attended Hogwarts. Let me live that fantasy out in digital form at least!
Are you in agreement with any of our writers, or have they got it completely wrong? Let us know in the comments section below.
Oh, and here's a reminder that you can vote for your own most anticipated title of 2021 in our public poll: What's Your Most Anticipated PS5, PS4 Game of 2021?