I had wanted to finish 2019 by telling of my “Most Anticipated Games for 2020”. Once I started creating that list though I realized that I’d first have to explain why, because of my less than popular gaming tastes, certain games aren’t going to appear on my list. So, I ended up posting a list of my “Not Top 10 Games” for 2020. You can go back and read that list separately in case you’ve missed it.
But now that I’ve gotten that other list out of the way, I will now start the New Year by sharing with you my personal list of “Most Anticipated Games for 2020” or more specifically, my Top 10 games for 2020.
#10: Shantae and the Seven Sirens [early 2020]
- The latest installment from WayForward Studios, and the 5th installment of the Shantae series, I am certainly looking forward to the next game in this franchise. It’s a lovely pixel-art platformer where you get more abilities (in the form of dances that transform the main character to different animals) that allow Shantae to access more areas of the map. The first part of this game is already available via Apple’s service, Apple Arcade, but both the console versions and the rest of the Apple Arcade version are to be released this calendar year and I can’t wait!
#9: Street of Rage 4 [2020 release]
- I grew up with the Sega Genesis and the Sega Game Gear. So, it’s no surprise that I found myself frequently battling evil gangs on the tough streets of rage. It’s really exciting to see it coming back, thanks to Dotemu (with development help from Guard Crush Games and Lizardcube), and with an all new art style that seems fresh and vibrant to me. Also exciting is the return of old favorites Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding and Adam Hunter, as well as new guitar-rocking character Cherry Hunter. This game seems to be packing all the hard-hitting special moves and the cool electronic synth music from the original Beat ‘Em Up games and bringing it to this new generation.
#8: Bravely Default 2 [2020 release]
- This is the 3rd Bravely Default game, named Bravely Default 2. That name aside (thanks Square Enix), this series of games, made by Silicon Studio, has been an example of Square bringing back that classic Role-Playing game that made them famous in the decades prior. After two games and then a lot of this team working on Octopath Traveler, they’re back to the Bravely series for a fresh go at it. The turned-based Brave Points battle system and the cool “change jobs at any time” mechanic is here and what’s different this time around is that this series, traditionally on the Nintendo 3DS in the past, will be exclusive to the console powered Switch this time.
#7: Tales of Arise [2020 release]
- My anticipation for this game, I must admit, was initially based on what I have SEEN from the Bandai Namco project. The new look / new art direction that this game is taking was enough for me to feel like this series is getting the jump start that it needed, but there’s further proof that this game will be a bit more of a step forward than the last few entries. It’s moved off its aging in-house engine and is now utilizing Unreal Engine 4. This is the first game that will be made exclusively for this current generation of consoles, and with that, producer Yusuke Tomizawa has stated that he is aiming to “reevaluate and evolve this franchise” with this game so that is indeed exciting. Hopefully the product can live up to the promise.
#6: Digimon Survive [2020 release]
- I’m a Digi-fan! And while people might not think that these games are very good, I find them to usually be a pretty good time. The last few years have seen the Digimon games alternate back and forth between the VERY fun Digimon Story games and the only sometimes fun Digimon World games. This year however is a new take – Grid-based Strategy RPG! Sure, why not. The story seems interesting in that it’s akin to the anime. Kids on a school trip go into the woods and discover a Koromon, and then realize that they aren’t in Japan anymore. Count me in on this digital journey home.
#5: Yakuza 7 – Like A Dragon [Japan (01/16/20) / Western Release (TBA)]
- I have never actually played a Yakuza game before. I know that there have been many, and I know that with every entry, more and more fans seem to emerge for some over-the-top Japanese crime lord action. In the past, there has been something holding me back from giving it a try, but with this 8th entry I am very excited to dip my toes in to some Yakuza fun! Considered a soft-reboot, this game will have a new protagonist, it will be located in a new city, and more importantly, the developers are trying a whole new turned-based battle system with this new game! I love me some turned-based RPGs, so book my ticket to Tokyo, because I’m ready to get my dragon tattoo! (whenever it comes to the west)
#4: Hollow Knight – Silksong [TBA]
- The original Hollow Knight, by Team Cherry, is easily one of the best ‘Metroidvania’ games in the last decade (if not one of the best ever). That statement alone should be enough to get your fingers twitching for its sequel, which while not promised for 2020, is certainly expected by many to drop in 2020. (Please!) The sequel stars Hornet, one of the NPCs from the first game as the game seeks to build on the success of its predecessor. This game will feature the quests and the checkpoint system from the 1st game, but it’s said to be adding a crafting system as well this time around. Hopefully we can find out soon when Team Cherry will be ready to drop this gem on the public.
#3: Marvel’s Avengers [May 15th, 2020]
- This might be a game that many will be surprised to see on this list, especially this high on the list, but need I remind you that this is my personal Most Anticipated list and not the general public’s? While I’m unsure if this will be Crystal Dynamic’s greatest gaming achievement of all time, one thing that I am very certain of is that I will love seeing all of the Avengers characters from the comics (yes the comics and not the MCU) running/flying around and beating up baddies in my PlayStation 4. I am a fan of these historic characters and believe it or not, I was not as revolted by their new appearance in this game as many others on twitter proclaimed. I’m used to seeing many different iterations of the characters every time a new artist joins a title. The thing I’m most nervous about this game is its campaign. Since I’m not much of an online or multiplayer gamer, I am just hoping for a campaign that is somewhere CLOSE to the level that we received via Insomniac’s Spider-man game in 2018. If it’s unrealistic to believe it can be done, then I’ll just have to live with my disappointment.
#2: Ghost of Tsushima [Summer 2020]
- When I tuned in to Sony’s Paris Games Week press conference in 2017, I saw a lot of great new things. There were some PS VR games announced (like Blood & Truth, and Megalith) and there were updates on some big titles coming up (God of War, Spider-man, & Horizon’s Frozen Wilds DLC). But one announcement grabbed my attention and didn’t let go above any other. A new game from Sucker Punch: Ghost of Tsushima. I have patiently waited to get my hands on this open-world action-adventure game since then and I have loved every little tease that we have gotten since. The developers spoke of forgoing waypoints to let you explore without guidance, and there will be a grappling hook to allow you to get to hard to reach places. My Tenchu-loving, samurai-movie-watching heart is ready to know how “The Ghost” will affect his world this Summer 2020.
#1: Final Fantasy 7 Remake [March 3rd, 2020]
- Wow. Final Fantasy VII was the very first JRPG that I ever played. It confused me, it amazed me, and I fell in love with the genre. I didn’t know that this level of storytelling could be told. I didn’t know that games could look this…cool. (Hey, I was 12.) Many years later, and I’ve learned to love other RPGs, some even more than FF7. Honestly, when FF7 remake was first announced in 2015, I was excited but also worried. Would Square Enix do this right? Will they change everything that I loved from the original or make the story a convoluted mess? Why is this game in parts? I’ve been nervous. But ever since Square’s big gameplay reveal this past E3 2019, I have been so pumped and excited for this game! As far as I can tell, this will be everything that I want a remake to be, giving me the amazed & astounded feelings that I had back in 1997. With it’s mix of real-time combat and its new take on Active Time Battle, with it’s faithful recreation of it’s characters, I’m looking forward to March 3rd, 2020 more than any other date this year so I can re-live the magic of Final Fantasy 7 all over again! (At least the Midgar section anyway, lol)