The last time we talked I went through my favorite games of 2019, but it’s a new year and there are tons of games coming out this year that I’m super excited about. There are also some games that I’m watching with curiosity. This is the full list of everything on my radar in 2020 so far.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
My introduction to the Final Fantasy series was with Final Fantasy VI on the Super Nintendo, which is still my favorite Final Fantasy of all time. But Final Fantasy VII is easily the most significant of the series to me. As a young kid in 1997, the game simply blew my mind. There was nothing else like it in video games from a technical standpoint. It was a visual masterpiece. The compelling characters, the overall story, and the fun gameplay all came together to make for something truly special. It was also the first video game to make me cry. I can still vividly remember how I felt when it happened in the game. It’s stuck with me that long.
Part one of the remake, coming in just under two months, is shaping up to be everything I could have wanted from what I can tell so far. The Unreal Engine 4 powered graphics are beautiful, the music is on point and shifts tempo or intensity depending on what’s going on in a particular scene, and the gameplay is a great mix of action combat and elements of the classic turn-based gameplay found in the original.
We’ll also have the opportunity to experience the game’s story with a proper translation (and voice acting!) and time to truly flesh out some of the events and characters in the game that the original version didn’t have time to explore.
CD Project Red solidified themselves as the top dogs of the modern RPG with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt back in 2015, and the team is looking to up the ante in a big way with Cyberpunk 2077. Everything about the TW3’s player agency, unequaled side quests and compelling campaign look to be dialed up to 11 in Cyberpunk 2077. The setting also has particular appeal to me as a fan of all things cyberpunk (check out Dex on Steam!). I can’t wait for this to drop in April. Hopefully I’ve found the time to finish FF7R by then!
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
The original Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines is one of my favorite RPG experiences ever. After its tumultuous development and the shut down of Troika Studios, I honestly never expected to see a sequel. I simply replay the game over again every five or so years and get my fix that way.
When Paradox officially unveiled Bloodlines 2 last year, I rushed to pre-order the game. It could end up being just as messy as the original, but if the best parts of its DNA are still there I’ll enjoy it all the same. Unfortunately, the game was looking pretty jank as we moved through 2019, so while I hoped for the best, I began to prepare myself for the worst. Paradox then decided to delay the game in order to avoid repeating past mistakes, and it was the happiest I’d ever been at hearing a game’s release date had been pushed back. Take all the time you need to get it right. Well, not Half Life 3 time, but you know what I mean.
Honestly, with Q1 2020 being as packed as it is between FF7R and Cyberpunk, the delay was a relief just from a practical standpoint. Where am I going to find the time for all these massive RPGs?!
I wrote about Griftlands in my Best of 2019 piece and I’ll just echo my feelings here. If you’re a fan of Klei’s exceptional art, the gameplay of Slay the Spire, and want a bit more narrative and player choice in your roguelike deck builder, Griftlands should be on your list. I already enjoy the game immensely in its alpha state and I can’t wait for the game to fully release this year so I can sink as many hours as I can manage into it.
I’m a fan of Amplitude’s Endless series, from Endless Legend, to Dungeon of the Endless, to Endless Space, they’re all enjoyable and beautiful titles. The 4X games have all been good so far, but none have reached the greatness of Sid Meier’s Civilization so far. Humankind, a direct competitor to the Civilization series, feels like the one Amplitude may fully deliver on. Even if Humankind ultimately disappoints, it’s likely they introduce some novel features that Firaxis apes for its next Civilization entry the way they did with districts in Civilization 6.
HONORABLE MENTION: Marvel’s Avengers
Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers would typically bump one of the others on my list off, but at the time of this writing in January 2020 there are still too many questions about the game for me to be as excited as I am for the other titles. As a Marvel fanboy and a lover of the action RPG genre, Avengers is ticking some of the surface level boxes to excite me, but there’s simply not enough gameplay out there for me to feel confident about the game just yet. This is a genre of games fraught with disappointment, so I can’t help but be apprehensive, despite its innate appeal to me.
LOOKING FORWARD TO / ON MY RADAR
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Loved the original. The sequel looks gorgeous.
Nioh was fun with its heavier lean on ARPG elements, but it was pretty samey. I’m keeping an eye on this one for improvements.
Doom 2016 was great. This looks even better. Easy.
Persona 5 Royal
I bought this time vampire of an RPG on a deep discount in 2018, but I still haven’t played it. Maybe I’ll finally get around to it after the new version drops.
Resident Evil 3
The remake of Resident Evil 2 was exceptional and one of my favorite games of 2019. RE3 never grabbed me as much as RE2 did, but I’m excited for RE3Make all the same after the great work Capcom put in on RE2Make.
Trials of Mana
I played the original Secret of Mana 3 using a fan translation. Not an ideal experience, but I loved it all the same. I'm looking forward to the game’s first proper release in the west and with gorgeous new graphics, too.
The Last of Us 2
Never finished the original, but with the sequel coming and looking as good as it does, maybe it’ll push me.
Dying Light 2
Like Doom 2016, Dying Light was great and this looks to be everything the original had going for it and more.
Empire of Sin
1920’s gangster XCOM? Sign me up!
As a Fallout fan, Wasteland 2 appealed to me, but just didn't grab me. With the additional resources inXile’s been able to bring to bear since its acquisition by Microsoft, Wasteland 3 is looking good so far. Hopefully this one will grab me.
Ghosts of Tsushima
Ubisoft refuses to give us an Assassin’s Creed set in Japan. Maybe Ghosts of Tsushima will do?
I loved the original Desperados games, and now the developers of Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun are taking a stab at bringing back the Desperados series with a new sequel. Can’t wait to check this out.
Destroy All Humans! Remake
Loved the original. May check out the remake. I’d be more interested if this were a remake of the sequel, however.
Crusader Kings 3
With a more new player friendly approach, will I finally be able to get into Crusader Kings? We shall see!
Evil Genius 2
Holy crap! Evil Genius is back!
Hollow Knight: Silksong
One of the best Metroidvanias to be released in a long time is getting a sequel and it looks great.
I’ve been looking forward to this sequel for quite a while. The original Psychonauts was such an interesting and mind bending game. Excited to see what Tim Schafer’s got in store for Raz’s latest adventure.
Streets of Rage 4
Classic beat-em-up gets a slick looking sequel. Why not?
The co-creators behind Dishonored and Prey are back with an immersive sim set in the Weird West – a spin on the Wild West setting with fantastical elements. Curious about this one.
What are your most anticipated games of 2020 so far? Share your list with us in the comments below!