This year marks the start of a new decade, and the end of a generation of video games. Sony and Microsoft are set to launch new systems during the holidays, marking the beginning of a new phase in gaming. But that’s good news: Traditionally, the games launched at the end of a generation are among that generation’s best.
Here are the video games we’re most looking forward to playing in 2020:
Computers, synt-wave, betrayal, and Keanu Reeves — Cyberpunk 2077 is the most hyped game of the year. Fresh from the success of The Witcher 3, developer CD Projekt Red has gone from medieval fantasy to the dark and gritty world Night City in the year 2077.
This is an open-world action RPG in which players create their character and play their own way. Sneak through a base, hiding in the shadows and controlling the security system, or smash through the walls guns blazing. It’s up to you. Also, Keanu Reeves plays the ghost or a revolutionary rockstar that’s stuck in you head.
Cyberpunk 2020 hits PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on September 17, 2020.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII defined role-playing games for a generation of gamers when it arrived in 1997. Cloud, Aerith, and Sephiroth are gaming icons. More than 20 years later, developer Square Enix has remade the game from the ground up. The old turn-based combat system has been overhauled, the graphics look incredible, and the music is orchestrated to tug on our heartstrings.
Let Final Fantasy VII break your heart all over again on the PlayStation 4 starting April 10, 2020.
DOOM’s 2016 release brought the first-person shooter franchise back to its roots. DOOM Eternal is more of the same, but perfected. Rip and tear your way through hundreds of demons as you wage war against heaven and hell to save Earth from the apocalypse.
Raise hell in Doom Eternal on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One starting March 3, 2020.
The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us set a high bar for storytelling in big-budget video games. Like The Walking Dead, its zombies are a background for a drama about a family in upheaval. Joel is a man with a terrible tragedy in his past, Ellie is a girl who can save the world. Part II picks up the story years after the end of the previous game. Joel and Ellie are older, but the world is no better.
Play The Last of Us Part II on PlayStation 4 on May 29, 2020.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
You know how it is. You purchase a vacation package from that rascally racoon Tom Nook, and the next thing you know you’re stranded on a deserted island. You try to spruce up the place as best you can, all while making regular payments to Nook. The Animal Crossing franchise is Nintendo’s version of The Sims, but more adorable and full of strange mysteries. There are talking animals, adventures, and one industrious raccoon who expects his debts to be repaid.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will hit the Nintendo Switch on March 20, 2020.
Half-Life 2: Episode Two ended on a cliffhanger more than a decade ago. Since then, fans have watched as their hope for a Half-Life 3 went from hope to horror. The idea that developer Valve, the company behind the digital distribution platform Steam, would ever release a follow-up to the genre defining Half-Life franchise has become a joke.
But Valve recently announced that a new Half-Life is coming out this year. The twist is that it’s a prequel. The second twist is that it’s exclusive to virtual reality headsets. With Valve’s track record of success, Half-Life: Alyx might be VR’s first killer app.
Half Life: Alyx comes to PC Virtual Reality headsets in March 2020.
Master Chief is eternal. Master Chief is infinite. We don’t know much about Halo Infinite — only that’s it’ll be a first-person shooter like its predecessors, and launch alongside Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X over the holiday. And honestly, that’s enough.
Halo Infinite is set to launch alongside the Xbox Series X this holiday season.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X
The year will end with the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. We know precious little about both consoles — only that they’ll be hardware powerhouses able to run games in 4K at high frame rates with minimal loading times. At the moment, that’s all marketing. We know some of the games coming to the Xbox Series X, and very little about what’s coming to the PlayStation 5. But there’s a whole year ahead of us to hype the machines and learn what delights are planned.
Both new consoles are set to arrive over the holidays.