Whereas 2020 was the end of an era in the gaming world, 2021 represents a new console generation. And with a new generation comes a lot of new games. The respective launches of the Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5 were both a bit on the lighter side in terms of brand spankin’ new titles, but 2021 is already looking pretty stacked. As always, we’re not exactly sure what Nintendo has up its sleeve—could it be a new Zelda game? A sequel to Mario Odyssey?—but with Pokémon Snap in the mix, we’re confident that all three major studios will be firing on all cylinders in this second year of the new decade. Here are 20 of our most anticipated video games.
Release date: TBA (probably September 2021)
While gamers criticize (to put it mildly) sports games for copy-pasting their titles every year, the NBA2K franchise, somehow, keeps getting better. Whether it’s the MyCareer storyline (once a home for camp like you’ve never seen before), the marked gameplay improvements in the next-gen experience, or the endlessly entertaining MyTeam card-based mode, hoopers can expect 2K to deliver the goods every year. It should be no different when NBA 2K22 hits the market. —B.L.
Release date: TBA
Speaking of 2K: the NFL finally rekindled its partnership with 2K. Though actual NFL teams and current players are off the table, we could get an arcade-like experience featuring retired GOATS. Don’t turn your nose up at it. If it’s even the smallest bit like the OG NFL 2K series, which was basically a playable MTV Cribs with a football minigame? We’d like to sign the hell up. —B.L.
EA Sports College Football
Release date: TBA
It’s unlikely we’ll see the newly-announced EA Sports College Football in 2021. But considering the game’s existence is improbable in the first place, there’s a Hail Mary-esque shot at it. Regardless, we don’t totally know what to expect of the reborn NCAA Football franchise quite yet. No matter what, we’re going to build the Santa Clara Broncos into a force so unstoppable that Nick Saban will quiver in his Skechers. —B.L.
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