The new year is upon us, and with it comes the promise of new games, and even new games consoles. There are many games coming in 2020 that have yet to be announced, or that have not been given a release window. But as of now, here are the 50 games (listed alphabetically) that we’re most excited to see.
We should mention that there are some big name games that we know are on the way, but have not been confirmed for 2020, including Atomic Heart, Babylon’s Fall, Biomutant, Diablo 4, Hellblade 2, and Overwatch 2. They may come in the year ahead, but their developers and publishers haven’t made a public commitment, so we’re respecting their caution. We’ve also skipped annual sports franchises and games that are currently commercially available and playable in early access.
In the days ahead, we will also have a story on notable indie games that did not quite make this list, so keep an eye out for that. Please do add any games you feel we’ve missed in the comments.
A man opens his front door to find a cop. The cop beats the man to death and accuses the man’s wife of murder. Rewind to the moment before the man opens the door, and replay the scenario again and again, Groundhog Day-style. Overhead-view adventure 12 Minutes, from indie developer Luis Antonio, is coming to Windows PC and Xbox One some time in 2020, published by Annapurna, which has a good record with indie games, including What Remains of Edith Finch, Gorogoa, Donut County, and Outer Wilds.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
The long-awaited Animal Crossing Switch debut begins with our old friend Nook giving the player a ticket to a deserted island. From there, the player-created character begins the job of creating a settlement by seeking out resources, doing chores, inviting friends, and otherwise being a good neighbor. Animal Crossing: New Horizons expands the franchise’s personalization features; skin color can be changed at any time in the game, while gender neutral characters are available. More good news: Isabelle is in the game too. It’s out on March 20.
Bleeding Edge is the newest game from Ninja Theory, one of six studios scooped up by Microsoft in 2018 to make Xbox and Windows PC games. Ninja Theory is the studio behind well-regarded titles including Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and DmC: Devil May Cry. The new game is a melee-based multiplayer title in which teams of stylized combatants go head-to-head in 4-vs-4 battles, featuring a vicious array of weapons. It’s out on March 24.
Carrion is a horror game where you play the monster. It’s a metroidvania game in which you take on the role of a slithering tentacled monster that moves from room to room, eating scientists and growing, blob-like. We saw the game at E3 and enjoyed its premise, as well as its satisfying monster animation. It’s coming out on Xbox One and Windows PC via Steam some time in 2020.
Crusader Kings 3
The next installment in Paradox Interactive’s 15-year-old grand strategy franchise is arriving next year on Windows PC. Once again, players scheme and strategize as they build a medieval dynasty. This time, we’re promised a map four times more detailed than the one in Crusader Kings 2 and 3D-rendered characters. Crusader Kings 3 takes place from the Viking Age through to the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. As in the real medieval world, leaders can create cadet branches of their dynasty, usually via marriage negotiations and the placement of a favored love child. These can be brought to heel, when necessary.
We’ve been waiting a long time for this one; the very first teaser trailer showed up back in 2013. Developed by CD Projekt Red, the team behind The Witcher 3, it’s a neon tale of greed, technology, and deception. The first-person game is set in a future megacity, run by various factions of militarized corporations and criminal gangs. It stars a class-based customizable mercenary with upgradeable combat abilities. It’s out on April 16 for Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
Developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope is the second entry in an interactive horror series, following 2019’s Man of Medan. Set in a spooky small town, the game features scary tropes including a creepy doll and a clawed creature hiding in the shadows, ready to pounce on terrified locals. It’s coming out on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Bethesda and id Software’s sequel to the well-received 2016 shooter franchise reboot is aiming for even more speed and combat fluidity. The story features the Doom Slayer’s return to Earth, to save the human race from monstrous hordes. It also includes an Invasion Mode, which will allow players to enter someone else’s game as playable demons, and will be available as a free update shortly after Doom Eternal launches on March 20. Eternal’s coming out on Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One in March, with a Nintendo Switch port available at a later date.
Media Molecules’ Dreams is similar to the UK developer’s much-loved LittleBigPlanet series, which the studio created in the PlayStation 3 days. Once again, it’s as much about creating as it is about playing. Along with a single-player campaign of stages authored by Media Molecule, Dreams offers an expansive suite of level creation tools for budding game designers. But where the LittleBigPlanet games were limited to a side-scrolling 2.5D perspective, Dreams on PlayStation 4 lets you build in full 3D, which vastly increases both the possibilities and the complexity of what is possible. A limited version of the game was made available in early access in April 2019, and has yielded some remarkable user-made stories, but the full release is slated for February 14 on PlayStation 4.
Dying Light 2
Techland’s Dying Light 2 refines the original game’s first-person parkour action gameplay, with a focus on swiftness and skill. Once again, a hardy protagonist must leap across rooftops, trying to avoid direct engagements with zombies. Useful items, like hooks and paraglider wings, can help. The game’s city-based location is built in such a way that higher elevations are less dangerous than lower floors. Dying Light 2 is coming out in the first half of 2020 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Empire of Sin
Paradox’s Empire of Sin, developed by Romero Games, is an XCOM-style turn-based combat-strategy game set in Prohibition-era Chicago. Players take on the roles of gangsters who compete for territory. It’s an overhead-view game in which players try to take over speakeasies, distilleries, and brothels by outsmarting enemies in combat, making use of appropriate units and cover. There’s also a narrative element in which rivals can be charmed or bullied into making concessions via dialog trees. Empire of Sin is being released on Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Although based on one of the greatest RPGs of all time, Final Fantasy 7 Remake features much that’s new, including a full graphical remake and a realtime combat system (though a classic turn-based system will also be available). It’s being released in episodes, starting March 3 for PlayStation 4.
Microsoft’s turn-based strategy game was first shown during Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference. Developed by The Coalition along with Splash Damage, it’s a single-player game that takes place 12 years before the original Gears of War. Set in the early parts of the Locust Wars, the top-down game features a character-based story as well as first-person action cutaways. Alongside a new trailer reveal in December, Microsoft announced that the game will be out on Windows PC and Xbox One on April 27.
Set in a sci-fi tower complex, One More Level’s Ghostrunner looks to be a blend of fast-paced parkour and violent first-person stealth. The player must switch between the real world and a cyber reality, where more enemies await, making use of melee weapons and guns. It’s due out on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One in the summer.
Ghost of Tsushima
Sucker Punch Productions is best known for the Infamous series of action games. Ghost of Tsushima is the Sony-owned developer’s first game since 2014, and it’s looking extremely pretty. Set in an open-world medieval Japan, it’s a third-person stealth/combat game featuring samurai-era weapons as well as fancier gadgets like smoke bombs and flaming projectiles. It’s due out on PlayStation 4 in the summer.
First shown at The Game Awards in December, Godfall is the first game confirmed for PlayStation 5, and is scheduled to launch alongside the new console in late 2020. Developed by Counterplay Games and published by Gearbox, it’s a gothic-look third-person looter-slasher with an emphasis on multiplayer. As well as PS5, it’s also coming to PC via the Epic Games Store.
Gods and Monsters
From its swishy fairytale meadows to the heroic pose of its elf-faced protagonist, Ubisoft’s Gods & Monsters looks a lot like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Developed by the team behind Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, this action-crafting exploration RPG takes place on a fantasy island populated by characters inspired by ancient Greek legends. It’s coming out late in the year on Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Griftlands is a deck-builder RPG from Klei, the team behind much-loved hits including Don’t Starve and Oxygen Not Included. Players use their cards in conversation-style battles that solve specific narrative tasks, like rescuing a hostage. It’s planned for a Windows PC early access release in July, via the Epic Games Store.
Obsidian Entertainment is best known for role-playing games like The Outer Worlds, one of the best games of the last 12 months. But Grounded takes a different route; it’s a cooperative survival game that shrinks players down and sets them loose in their own backyard, Honey I Shrunk the Kids-style. Four characters explore a world populated by ants, ladybugs, fireflies, and hunting spiders. It’s coming out as an early access title, this spring, on Windows PC and Xbox One.
Half Life: Alyx
The future of Valve’s Half-Life series has been a running joke almost since the release of Half-Life 2 in 2004. Valve’s November announcement of Half-Life: Alyx was some way short of the yearned-for “Half Life 3,” but it’s something. Set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the VR exclusive will tell the story of established franchise character Alyx Vance and her father Eli as they form a resistance to take on the invasion of the alien force known as the Combine. The first-person exploration, combat, and puzzle game will be released March 2020 on Steam, and is compatible with all PC-based VR headsets.
Microsoft’s Series X console launch next fall will arrive alongside Master Chief. Halo Infinite takes place after Master Chief has been asleep and his forces have already lost the war. Developer 343 Industries promises an emphasis on open exploration, which we’re guessing will take advantage of Series X’s much vaunted capabilities.
Developed by Amplitude, Humankind is a turn-based strategy game that places the player in charge of a growing civilization. As players settle cities, build units, explore, and fight, they take on the cultural auras of various empires throughout history. It’s being published by Sega for Windows PC.
Journey to the Savage Planet
Journey to the Savage Planet is a whimsical, comedic first-person game, in which the the player explores a colorful alien planet, causing mayhem along the way. The game’s developer, Typhoon Studios, just got bought by Google, so this will likely be its only independent project. Savage Planet is coming out on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Kerbal Space Program 2
The follow up to 2011’s hugely successful Kerbal Space Program will expand on the original’s suite of player-created possibilities. Once again, it’s all about creating a space program for the little green Kerbals. This time, we’re promsed “exciting new parts, stunning visuals, colony building, interstellar travel, enhanced modding, and multiplayer,” according to the developer. A trailer shown at Gamescom in August revealed a more sophisticated art style for the game, which is coming to Windows PC in April, followed by other platforms later in the year.
The Last of Us Part 2
The long-awaited follow-up to Naughty Dog’s original sees the first game’s co-protagonist Ellie take the central role. Set five years after the events of The Last of Us, the game will also feature Ellie’s previous caretaker, Joel. The Last of Us Part 2 was first unveiled in December 2016 at Sony’s PlayStation Experience. It’s a tale of love and vengeance, coming out on PlayStation 4 on May 20.
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild 2
We’re going to break our own rule here. Every other game on this list has been announced as coming in 2020 (even if some of them will inevitably slip). Nintendo hasn’t officially confirmed whether Breath of the Wild 2 is coming out in 2020, but we’re willing to go out on a limb here and hope it will show up in the next 12 months. Nintendo released a trailer during E3. It was only two minutes long, but it spawned a frenzy of online speculation about the game. We do know that the game was originally planned as DLC for Breath of the Wild, and is closely tied to that game’s narrative threads. Nintendo has a history of delaying Zelda games, and it certainly won’t rush this one. But with two rival console launches coming in 2020, there’s a lot of motivation to get the job done and to delight Switch owners.
Little Nightmares 2
The wonderfully creepy puzzle stealth game Little Nightmares is getting a sequel. While the first game was entirely focused on main character Six as she attempted to make her way out of the Maw, the sequel will give her a little companionship with a new character called Mono. A trailer released during Gamescom showed more outdoor locations than we saw in the first game, which spent a great deal of time in grimy rooms. Little Nightmares 2 is coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Fresh from its labors on the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy, the team at Crystal Dynamics is working on a different kind of superhero project. In this action-adventure game, San Francisco is under attack and The Avengers are called upon to save the day. Players take on the roles of favorite characters including Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Black Widow, each with their own special powers. The game will be released on May 15, for Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
The 11th entry in the long-running series (it goes all the way back to 1979) simulates the entire planet, making use of search engine Bing’s maps and Azure cloud services. That means its in-game assets will include all of our planet’s 197 million square miles of land and water, more than two million cities and over 40,000 individual airports. Judging by the time we’ve spent with the game, it looks beautiful, though how it will manage to stream those assets, as the game plays, remains to be seen.
Mojang’s action-adventure is an overhead-view, Diablo-like game featuring characters and assets from Minecraft. Players explore randomly generated areas alone, or as part of a team of up to four players. In-game loot drops can be collected and spent on upgrades like weapons, potions, and armor. Random goodies, including health boosts and other consumables, are also dropped. Minecraft Dungeons is coming out in April on Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Minute of Islands
Minute of Islands from Studio Fizbin is an exploration/puzzle game painted in a lovely comic book style. It’s coming out on Windows PC, Mac, and unnamed consoles next spring, and features the journey of Mo, a skilled mechanic who comes across all manner of strange machines that are in need of a fix.
Amazon Game Studios’ massively multiplayer game is set on a strange and dangerous island. It’s a survival game with elements of exploration, resource exploitation, and expansion. Players join teams that scavenge resources, craft tools, and build bases. They then fight against other human teams, as well as against environment enemies in order to take territory. It’s due out on Windows PC in May.
PlayStation 4 exclusive Nioh 2 is a prequel to the well-received 2017 original. Developed by Team Ninja (best known for the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden games), it’s a challenging “masocore” hack-and-slash RPG inspired by Dark Souls. A fully customizable player-character takes on fearsome yokai and demons using a variety of blades. Players can also transform into yokai and take the fight to enemies in an underworld realm. It’s out on March 13.
No More Heroes 3
Grasshopper Manufacture’s hack-and-slash adventure No More Heroes 3 marks the first mainline game in the series in a decade. Slotted for release on Nintendo Switch in 2020, it tells the anime-style story of a boy who meddles with alien technology, unleashing powers he cannot control. Hero assassin Travis Touchdown returns from retirement to battle a host of increasingly skilled alien warriors.
Nuts is all about surveillance and squirrels. Players are dropped into a stylized forest of blue, green, yellow, and orange. Their job, as directed by a boss on a telephone line, is to set up night cameras which will record the movements of a family of squirrels. Each day, players review the footage and move the cameras in order to find out more. There are also helpful items scattered about the world. It’s targeted for release in 2020 on Windows PC and as-yet unannounced consoles.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
The follow-up to 2015’s delightful Ori and the Blind Forest is a stylish sideways-scrolling platformer, coming to Xbox One and Windows PC on March 11. Moon Studios’ colorful, challenging game stars a spirit creature which earns new movement abilities as it explores the world. It features a new auto-save system and a more sophisticated upgrade tree than the original.
Persona 5 Royal
Atlus’ re-release of Persona 5 is coming to PlayStation 4 on March 31. Persona 5 Royal — aka Persona 5: The Royal in Japan, where it’s already available — adds a ton of new features to the 2017 role-playing game, including a new playable character, a new area to explore, and a host of tweaks and streamlining changes.
Predator Hunting Grounds
Illfonic’s asymmetrical co-op combat game Predator: Hunting Grounds is due out on PlayStation 4 on April 24. It’s a battle between a dangerous monster and a group of less powerful human soldiers. The monster will kill anyone who strays from the group, but it’s vulnerable to the coordinated teamwork of its enemies.
The Red Lantern
The Red Lantern from Timberline Studio was first shown at GDC earlier this year. Coming to Switch and Xbox One, it’s the survival story of a woman who enters the Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska and is forced to cope with extreme natural obstacles, such as a bear attack, frostbite, and even a moose-licking. She must manage her meager resources and make smart choices in order to survive.
Resident Evil 3 Remake
The third entry in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 3 was originally released in 1999. The survival horror shooting game tells the story of Jill Valentine and her escape from an urban center affected by a biological weapon. Like last year’s excellent remake of Resident Evil 2, the new version modernizes controls, offers new camera perspectives and updates visual fidelity. It also comes with 1-vs-4 multiplayer game Resident Evil Resistance. It’s out on April 3 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Shedworks’ Sable was first shown at E3 2018’s PC Gaming Show. It has the look of a smart graphic novel, with a pleasing color palette and stark lines. Players assume the role of a young explorer named Sable, who finds themselves on a foreign planet. The landscape is a pretty, stark desert, with just a few structures dotting the landscape. Originally scheduled for release in 2019, it was pushed back earlier this year and is now due out in 2020.
Saturnalia’s art style shows an animated world of haunting pencil sketches. Developed by Milan, Italy-based Santa Ragione, the game is a horror title in which different characters try to survive in an abandoned village. It looks like a beautifully designed piece of macabre storytelling. This is a game for anyone who thrills at the thought of creeping around in the dark. It’s coming in 2020, with platforms to be announced.
Glass Bottom Games’ skateboarding game Skatebird is coming to Nintendo Switch and Windows PC. Players control colorful skateboarding birds in miniature parks made of household products like bendy straws, staplers, cardboard, and sticky tape. The game was funded via a Kickstarter campaign back in June, when it raised $67,220 from backers.
Skull & Bones
Skull & Bones will be familiar to anyone who played Ubisoft’s ship-to-ship combat sections in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (2013). Players steer warships and galleons using the wind to their advantage, and fire off broadsides. The game will also include multiplayer battles called “Hunting Grounds.” It’s coming out on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Derek Yu’s Spelunky 2 is the follow-up to 2011 indie smash Spelunky, in which players navigate a series of randomized locales, including temples, caves, and tombs. Pretty and visually vibrant, with fiendish traps and enemies, Spelunky is one of the best games of the past decade. The new game promises a greater variety of locations, and more brutal levels. It’s coming out on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.
Spiritfarer is a painterly, whimsical game with some deep themes. Players take on the role of the ferryman, transporting newly arrived souls to the next world. These souls are humans, but they manifest as animals, revealing their inner personalities. They give the player jobs to do as a kind of last wish. As the game progresses, its narrative opens out into a tale of acceptance and finding comfort in existence. It’s coming to Xbox Game Pass as well as Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (2015) is a tactical shooter that is, for the most part, grounded in combat realism. But the game’s limited time Outbreak event, which included an enemy alien biohazard, proved so popular that it helped spawn Quarantine. It’s a three-player tactical co-op first-person shooter that tasks teams of operators to work and fight together against the intensifying threat of a technological parasite. Rainbow Six Quarantine will be released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.
A Total War Saga: Troy
Total War games have been around since 2000, but 2019’s Chinese history epic Three Kingdoms proved to be the best to date. For this year’s game, developer Creative Assembly and publisher Sega are planning to go all the way back to the Bronze Age. Once again, players will manage a kingdom’s economy, expansion, and personnel, while directing real-time battle strategies. In honor of the time period and the mythological roots of the Trojan story, players will also be required to gain the favor of the gods. A Total War Saga: Troy is expected some time in 2020 for Windows PC via Steam.
With a budget three times larger than that of its five-year-old predecessor, overhead-view squad-based RPG Wasteland 3 looks like a snowier, sleeker, and more substantial version of Wasteland 2. The post-apocalyptic story moves on from Wasteland 2’s arid locations of Arizona and Los Angeles to the freezing heights of Colorado. It centers around a local boss called The Patriarch who leads a society founded by formerly mega-wealthy Armageddon preppers.
Watch Dogs Legion
Like many of the Ubisoft games on this list, Watch Dogs Legion had a firm 2020 release day, until Ubisoft announced in October that it would come out in the next fiscal year. That ends in April 2021, but the company is still likely targeting 2020. The third installment in Ubisoft’s open-world hacking series puts players in a futuristic post-Brexit London, where things aren’t going well. Players can recruit and play as any NPC in the game world, building up a resistance force and freeing the city from the grip of tyranny. It’s coming out on Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One, as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
You can read unfolding coverage of these games as they arrive, by visiting Polygon or following us on Twitter.