Now that my Games of the Year list is behind me, I can start looking forward to this year. There are a lot of exciting new offerings on the horizon for 2020, some of which will begin releasing fairly soon. A few upcoming titles, however, have already been delayed and may, perhaps be delayed further. But regardless of when they all arrive, this should still certainly be a very entertaining year. As per my usual MO (in case you hadn't caught on yet), I've decided to lay out the top 12 highlights, along with the most current release information I have. Enjoy.
- Xbox Series X (Microsoft, Q4) - Microsoft's 4th generation of Xbox hardware (formerly known as Project Scarlett) will kick off later this year with what they have now dubbed, the Xbox Series X. There's no confirmed release date as of yet but, based on past history, it will most likely launch sometime in November. As expected, the new box will reportedly support all the latest graphical enhancements, such as real-time ray tracing, and 8K resolution. At least one version of the console will also still be able to play discs, as evidenced by the officially released image above.
In a pretty sizable departure from previous next gen consoles, however (both those of Microsoft, and others), MS stated that the Xbox Series X will support existing games, controllers, and accessories, in addition to the new ones they will be selling. Furthermore, Microsoft additionally revealed that all Xbox Series X games for the first year or so will also run on the current generation of Xbox consoles. I'm not quite sure what impact, if any, this news will have on sales of the new hardware, but I'm definitely looking forward to finding out.
- Halo Infinite (343 Industries, Q4) - Beyond what I mentioned about Halo Infinite in my E3 Roundup last year, the only thing new I really have is that the game is apparently being developed with a focus on the Xbox One, rather than the new Series X console. That being said, there will be unspecified enhancements available for those who do opt to play it on the new Xbox hardware. As with the Series X console, I anticipate more being revealed at this year's E3.
- PlayStation 5 (Sony, Q4) - Like Microsoft's Xbox Series X, the PlayStation 5 is also reported to support ray tracing, 8K resolution, and physical media. Additionally, it will also likely be backward compatible to some degree, though the details around that haven't yet been fully disclosed. Unlike Microsoft, Sony has been a bit more secretive about various aspects of their next console, including the final design. With no plans to attend E3 this year, it's not certain just when or how Sony will release the full details about the PlayStation 5 but given the anticipated Q4 release window, that information will likely be announced sometime in the next few months.
- Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch, Q3) - On the subject of Sony releases, one of the most highly-anticipated first-party games coming this year is Ghost of Tsushima. A PlayStation 4 action-adventure title from Sucker Punch (known for the Sly Cooper and Infamous series), Ghost of Tsushima will let you play as Jin Sakai, a lone samurai defending the Japanese island of Tsushima during the Mongol invasion of 1274. Judging by the 2018 E3 trailer, this game looks absolutely fantastic, and I simply cannot wait to get my hands on it later this year.
- The Last of Us (part) II (Naughty Dog, May 29th) - Another PlayStation 4 exclusive, The Last of Us (part) II will be the follow-up to the incredibly acclaimed 2013 PlayStation 3 original. Given that the first title was one of the best games of the entire decade, to say that expectations are high would be a bit of an understatement. Here's hoping that Naughty Dog remains true to form and doesn't disappoint.
- Doom Eternal (id, March 20th) - The OG first-person shooter series will be returning shortly, to multiple platforms, for even more satisfyingly violent demon slaying action, and if it's anywhere close to as good as the 2016 reboot, that's good enough for me. Honestly, you can never go wrong with more Doom. There's really not much else to say except, is it March yet?
- Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt, September 17th) - Recently delayed 5 months from the original slated release date, all I can say is that I'm willing to give CD Projekt as much time as they need to polish Cyberpunk 2077 to perfection so long as the final, multi-platform, finished product is every bit as breathtaking as Keanu Reeves says it will be. That being said, I would prefer to be able to play it sooner, rather than later. So let us hope that 5 more months is all they need.
- Streets of Rage 4 (DotEmu, 2020) - First announced back in 2018, Streets of Rage 4 is the sequel I have always wanted but never knew I would get. It's honestly been pretty difficult having to wait patiently for the last year and a half, but now, hopefully, the wait will soon be over. Even if Streets of Rage 4 doesn't end up being the best game of 2020, it will surely be one of the highlights of the year for me. I eagerly await this incredible-looking multi-platform release.
- Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine, 2020) - Another title I mentioned in my E3 Roundup last year, Psychonauts 2 has been pretty hotly-anticipated, not only by myself, but by its devoted fanbase as well. While it is a little bit disappointing that there still doesn't seem to be a specific release date nailed down for any of its multiple stated release platforms yet, I'm fairly confident that this long-awaited game will be well worth the wait when it does finally arrive. I hope it will, anyhow.
- Axiom Verge 2 (Thomas Happ Games, late 2020) - Axiom Verge is probably the greatest Metroid-style title that isn't actually a Metroid game that will ever be made. It's no surprise, then, that I'm pretty much chomping at the bit to get any details I can about the supposed 2020 release of its sequel, Axiom Verge 2. Pretty much all that's known so far is that the game will feature a new world, with new characters, and it will be coming to the Switch by late 2020, most likely followed by other platforms sometime thereafter. Sign me up!
- Resident Evil 3 (remake) (Capcom, April 3rd) - Last year saw the release of multiple high profile remakes, one of which gamers had been clamoring for for a very long time. Finally, after years and years of hounding, Capcom saw fit to grant the wishes of their loyal fans and released a truly beautiful, new and improved, multi-platform remake of their 1998 horror classic, Resident Evil 2. Fast forward one year later and Capcom is about to do the exact same thing with Resident Evil 3. Let's just say I'm so happy and excited, it's scary.
- Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix, April 10th) - As much and as long as Resident Evil fans have been asking for remakes, fans of Final Fantasy VII have been clamoring for one louder and longer. And like Capcom, Square Enix will also be satisfying those longstanding fan demands in very short order. Well, in part anyway. You see, unlike Capcom, Square Enix has actually elected to divvy up their remake into multiple installments. There's no word yet on when the additional portions will be ready, but hopefully, the rapidly approaching initial release will be enough to satisfy fans until the rest of the remake arrives. The Final Fantasy Remake will reportedly be a PlayStation 4 exclusive until 2021.
Those are the gaming releases I am most looking forward to in 2020. How about you? Are there any that I missed? Let me know in the comments below.
[Images: Microsoft, Sucker Punch, DotEmu, Capcom]