I will admit, 2019 wasn’t as good a year as 2018 or 2017. We did have some good releases, but not quite as many as the past couple years. So with 2020 now upon us, it is time to look at what is on the horizon, what can potentially set 2020 apart from the past few years. And to do that I have compiled a list of my top 10 upcoming games of 2020.
Do note that this list is in no particular order and that this is a personal list, I expect many to disagree with it, but that’s just how these kinds of lists work. So without further ado let’s get started.
Tales of Arise
Okay, I have a bit of a confession to make. As much of a JRPG fan I claim to be, I’ve never actually played a Tales of game. I’ve been wanting to get into the series for years and even own a few of them, but have always been distracted by other games. That is why this year I’m hoping to get a fresh start with Tales of Arise. Not only does it look like a great starting point, but it actually looks like Bandai Namco has given the game some budget this time around. Granted, some of the past Tales of games looked good as well, but Arise looks to be a departure from the tried and true. Whatever the case, I look forward to getting into the series.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
I’m glad I waited a week to make this video, because this game was announced just a few days ago (at the time of writing) and automatically earned itself a spot on my list. It’s a remake of one of the best DS games ever made and one of my all-time favorite games: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team. Along with that it comes bundled with the content from Red Rescue Team as well, which I never played but am excited to check out regardless.
From the trailer they’ve released, it looks like they are staying true to the style of the original games while also upping the graphics for Switch hardware. It looks great and considering that the Mystery Dungeon series is pretty much peak roguelike gameplay, I’m very excited to get back into it.
Do I even need to say anything about this one? Cyberpunk 2077 is probably the most anticipated video game of the year and for plenty of good reasons. The studio’s track record, the scale of the game, Keanu Reeves, and the whole cyberpunk aesthetic too (which I find to be quite rare amongst video games surprisingly). Given just how many people are working on this and how much hype has been generated, I’m actually a bit scared that it may not be able to live up to it. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, we’ve only got a few more months ahead of us.
This one’s pretty much a given for me. Not only am I a massive visual novel fan, but I’m a massive Key fan as well. Rewrite is one of their biggest games and Rewrite+ bundles together with it the extra content from Rewrite Harvest festa!, so it’s going to be a massive visual novel. Even disregarding the sheer size of the game, the fact that it’s already rated so high on VNDB already has my expectations high. And those are expectations I fully expect to be met, as this is a game by Key after all. It’s a shame that the release is expected as far away as November, but at least they’ve given us a release window that isn’t just TBA.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Full disclosure here: I am a big Animal Crossing fan. I’ve played every one of them to date (well, aside from the home designing one and that Amiibo one). Given that, it would be wrong not to include New Horizons here. From what’s been released thus far, it looks to take what I love about Animal Crossing and further expand on it. There’s the fun, freeform gameplay, the endless amount of customization, and the constant sense of being in crippling debt.
Take all of that, slap it onto a tropical island, and give the player a smartphone and you’ve got New Horizons. It will be interesting to see how some of the mechanics work out (particularly the crafting system, which I’m a bit weary of), but I’m looking forward to it regardless.
Ghost of Tsushima
This game probably marks the first time I have ever discussed a PS4 exclusive on the channel. However, I’m doing so for a very good reason. That being that the game actually looks good, both gameplay-wise and aesthetically. In fact, it’s actually kinda hard to believe that this will be running on PS4 hardware. Part of that makes me skeptical as to how it will actually perform on that hardware, but I’m hoping that that will not be an issue, as the gameplay looks really fun and the setting is right up my alley. It’s been a while since I dusted off the old PS4, so here’s hoping that Ghost of Tsushima lives up to the hype.
Sharin no Kuni: The Girl Among the Sunflowers
Ah yes, another visual novel, this time for one that I’m sure many are not aware of. I myself was not aware of it until a few years ago, when I noticed it while browsing the highest-rated visual novels on VNDB. Yes, this is yet another VN that ranks highly on that list coming out this year. However, there’s more to it than just the high rating. There’s also the fact that it comes from the same writer as G-senjou no Maou and the fact that it’s a life and death drama that takes place in a dystopian setting, contrary to the art that looks like it came straight out of an early 2000’s high school romcom (granted, the game did come out in 2005). It’s quite the combo and is definitely one to look out for.
Shantae and the Seven Sirens
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was one of my favorite games that I played back in 2018, so of course I’m excited for more Shantae. Excellent art style, fun metroidvania mechanics, great platforming, Half-Genie Hero had a lot going for it and I’m hoping that Seven Sirens further refines all of that and expands on it at the same time. The game is technically already out on iOS devices and Mac, but it was released as “part 1” with part 2 coming out later in 2020. I’m holding out for the complete experience on PC, which will likely be the definitive version anyways.
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris
I am a sucker for these anime tie-in games. They’re often cheaply made, don’t look all that great, and have a bunch of overpriced DLC, but I still find myself playing them. Given that, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is looking to be right up my alley. Not only does it hit all the anime tie-in marks, but it’s also based on one of my favorite series and one of my favorite arcs in said series. I’m going into this one fully expecting some problems with it, but I’m sure it will be fun regardless. As I said, I’m a sucker for these types of games.
We’ve got not just one, but TWO Key visual novels slated to release this year. This time it’s Summer Pockets, Key’s latest release in Japan and one of the few Key visual novels to have never seen an English release, official or otherwise. From what I’ve seen, it seems to blend a more modern VN art style with Key’s classic nakige writing style, which is definitely something I can get behind. Honestly though, if it’s from Key, it’s probably going to be something I can get behind, regardless of how it looks. Time and time again they’ve proven that they can do great stories, regardless of the art style that may accompany them.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
Now if I may make another confession, this is yet another big JRPG series that I have never touched. Not just Xenoblade, but Xenogears and Xenosaga as well. I haven’t played any of them, so I’m really looking forward to jumping into the series with the definitive version of Xenoblade Chronicles. It not only serves as a great starting point for the series (as I imagine it was for many), but has already been widely acclaimed as one of the best JRPGs to release in the past decade. Given that, a graphical update and port to modern hardware is definitely something to look forward to. That and I’m already a big fan of its soundtrack, so there’s that to look forward to as well.
And that brings me to the end of my list. For those that were paying attention, you may have noticed that I actually listed 11 games instead of 10, the reason being that it was hard enough to limit the list to just 11 and I make the rules around here anyways. Let me know what you guys are looking forward to in the comments below and here’s hoping that we get even more great releases (and maybe even a few surprises) outside of this list.