The year 2020 is going to be packed for gamers, with more than half of the biggest games releasing before June. It's also going to be the launch year for next-gen hardware, with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X touching down. Games like Godfall and Halo Infinite will be early titles for the new hardware. But before all that, we have one last and very big push from the current generation, with high-profile games such as Final Fantasy VII and Cyberpunk 2077 coming to current platforms.
If you want to plan out your game purchases for the year or need some ideas on how to spend all those holiday gift cards, these are the games you should remember.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (March 11: PC, Xbox One)
A sequel to the original, and stunningly beautiful, Ori and the Blind Forest, this game will set players exploring new locations as Ori in another "Metroidvania" side-scrolling platformer. Will of the Wisps is planned for release on only PC and Xbox One, but as the original game later saw release on Nintendo Switch, other platforms might not be out of the question down the road.
Final Fantasy VII: Remake (March 3: PS4)
The long-rumored and now much-anticipated remake of Final Fantasy VII is so very close. Releasing exclusively on PS4 (with other platforms to come next year), Final Fantasy VII Remake will be a completely remade game with HD graphics, new voice acting, a redone musical score and updated gameplay.
Final Fantasy VII Remake will be told in episodic releases that cover portions of the story told in the original game. The original's gameplay was turn-based, but for the remake, it will be a mix between menu-driven combat and real-time action. A classic mode will be included to further emphasize the menu aspects of combat to make the new title feel closer to the original game.
Nioh 2 (March 13: PS4)
Designed as a prequel to the original Nioh, Nioh 2 will be released exclusively on PS4 in spring 2020. Fans of the original should be familiar with much of Nioh 2's combat system, which takes heavy inspiration from games like Dark Souls. Set in 1500s Japan, the game will have players create their own character, who will be capable of transforming into a powerful yokai, or demon, under the right conditions.
Players can also summon two other human- or AI-controlled companions. There are currently no announced plans to release Nioh 2 on other platforms despite the original also releasing on PC.
Doom Eternal (March 20: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, Switch)
Doom Eternal will release spring 2020 on current-gen platforms, including Stadia and Switch at a later date. As in the 2016 release of Doom, players will inhabit the role of the Doom Slayer, a silent human killing machine whose sole purpose is to destroy demonic beings from a hell dimension that invade his world. New mechanics will appear in this entry in the series, including a grappling hook and several new and returning demon types from previous games.
Doom will remain primarily a single-player game, but a new competitive, multiplayer mode will allow a second player to control one of the level's demons and fight against the player controlling the Doom Slayer.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (March 20: Switch)
The first Animal Crossing game for Switch will land in late March 2020, and it will include many new features we've seen in games like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on mobile and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on 3DS.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will include new gameplay elements, like crafting, dynamic weather systems, local and online multiplayer, and more character-customization options.
Resident Evil 3 (April 3: PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Releasing only a little over a year after the remake of Resident Evil 2, the Resident Evil 3 remake will update the original's gameplay and story for the current era of gaming. In trailers, the RE3 remake's play looked very similar to that of the RE2 remake. This time, protagonist Jill Valentine faces the featured antagonist, Nemesis, who chases the player throughout the campaign of the original game.
This remake will also include an online mode dubbed Resident Evil Resistance, in which four players cooperate to survive the traps and monsters laid out by a fifth player, who takes on the role of the "mastermind."
Cyberpunk 2077 (April 16: PC, PS4)
Cyberpunk 2077 will be the next big open-world adventure from the same studio that gave us The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt back in 2015. This time around, the setting is a dystopian hypercapitalist society of the "Free State of California," which rests under complete corporate control in the year 2077. Players will create their own protagonist and navigate their life as a mercenary, exploring both lethal and nonlethal methods.
As with The Witcher games, your dialogue choices will set the course for the rest of the story. Unlike in The Witcher, however, you'll get a lot of control over the look of your playable character, their voice, clothing style and combat style, including which sort of futuristic body augmentations you wish to use.
Marvel's Avengers (May 15: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia)
Marvel's Avengers is a big-budget title coming to most platforms in May 2020 from developer Crystal Dynamics, the team responsible for the recent Tomb Raider games. In Marvel's Avengers, you'll play as one of eight currently announced superheroes, including Iron Man and Captain America, in a single-player and multiplayer co-op campaign.
Deep customization elements will let you change your gear and improve specific character abilities to your liking. The game offers unique versions of characters like Black Widow, Hulk and Captain America that look decidedly like their movie counterparts, while putting the spotlight on breakout star Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel).
The Last of Us Part II (May 29: PS4)
The next chapter in the Last of Us story, The Last of Us Part II will pick up five years after the events of the original game, released originally on PS3 in 2013. Ellie and Joel are still struggling for survival in a world overrun by a zombifying fungal-disease outbreak. New main characters have been revealed in various trailers released in 2019; however, only Ellie has been confirmed so far to be playable.
The Last of Us Part II will maintain a focus on stealth combat, a survivalist collection of resources, and occasional outright gunplay against both infected and uninfected enemies.
Ghost of Tsushima (2020: PS4)
Slated for a summer 2020 release on PS4, Ghost of Tsushima will tell a story of the last samurai in Japan fighting against outside invaders of his homeland. Unlike games with similar settings, like Sekiro and Nioh, Ghost of Tsushima pays far greater attention to realism and won't include a multiplayer component. Combat involves stealth and tense but quick sword battles. The game will have an open-world format across many varied environments.
No More Heroes III (2020: Switch)
No More Heroes III will mark Travis Touchdown's return to a numbered entry in the series known for its over-the-top combat and irreverent humor. In previous games, combat involved taking on other assassins with frequent use of motion controls. Players could also tackle side jobs, or minigames, for extra money used to upgrade their equipment. The game and its director, Goichi Suda, are fond of the various in-jokes and references to anime culture made throughout the games.
For the next major entry in the series, Suda has expressed a desire to go with an open-world design and bring back the side-job minigames, two things the previous game had removed. Gameplay will likely make use of the Switch Joy-Con motion controls in a similar fashion to the original title's use of the Wii remote.
Halo Infinite (2020: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)
Slated to release toward the end of 2020 for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, Halo Infinite will be the next mainline entry in Microsoft's flagship first-person-shooter series. Outside of a tone-setting reveal trailer and an announcement about a return of local split-screen multiplayer, the rest of what Halo Infinite holds will remain a bit of a mystery until we get closer to release date.
Dying Light 2 (2020: PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Dying Light 2 is the follow-up to the first game in the series, set 15 years after the events of that game and following a new protagonist through the zombie-infested streets of The City. The Dying Light games focus on melee combat, parkour movement through urban areas and survival mechanics such as repairing your gear, finding new crafting items and keeping an eye on the time of day. As in the original game, the zombie hoards become much more dangerous at night and visibility drops considerably as a trade-off for the increased earned experience during combat and exploration.
Playable solo or with up to four players in online co-op, Dying Light 2 will put a greater focus on nonplayer character interactions. It will also use a new superpower mechanic that allows the main character to enhance his physical abilities.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2020: PS4)
The seventh entry in the Yakuza series will be a somewhat divergent title, focusing on a new protagonist and a new gameplay concept for the series. While it's still about the criminal underworld of contemporary Japan, Yakuza: Like a Dragon will no longer follow the story of Kazuma Kiryu, nor will it feature a real-time-action combat system. This time, we're getting turn-based combat and a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga.
Kasuga must confront his former Tojo Clan allies after they betray him and leave him for dead. In combat, you'll control a party of up to four characters, making use of character-specific abilities and the environment to take down your many foes.
Godfall (2020: PC, PS5)
Godfall will be one of 2020's next looter games to keep an eye on. The reveal trailer showcased a game clearly reminiscent of Destiny and Warframe, but where those games focus on guns and ranged combat, Godfall will be a third-person melee-combat game. Playable with a group of four, Godfall's juiciest details are yet to come. The title is currently one of the first confirmed PS5 games and will also come to PC.
Bravely Default II (2020: Switch)
Not to be confused with Bravely Second on the Nintendo 3DS, Bravely Default II will release some time in 2020 on Switch. Fans of the Bravely series should probably expect the same turn-based combat, Japanese role-playing gameplay and world-building, and plentiful job classes to experiment with in this next entry. But we have precious little official information to go on so far, except that this game will feature new locations and new protagonists.
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Andrew Melcon is a freelance writer who specializes in covering games and gaming hardware. He's tackled everything from PC game controllers to Pokémon and PUBG and his work has appeared on sites including Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Laptop Mag, and more.