The best PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X games coming in 2021

Gamers who purchased next-generation consoles at the end of last year have plenty of great new titles to look forward to in 2021.

With more powerful components powering the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, these systems are capable of delivering 4K resolution graphics at up to 120fps.

Simply put, this means they will offer vastly improved visuals and performance in both existing and new games.

While many of the major 2021 titles from franchises including Far Cry, Resident Evil, and Hitman will be cross-platform, there are a number of other exciting games which will be exclusive to either the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.

We’ve assembled a list of five games that will only be available on either platform, with some also being offered on PC in certain instances.

What is evident from this year’s line-up is that the horror genre is well and alive, with four out of our chosen 10 highly-anticipated games falling in this category.

Below are five of the most anticipated PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X titles expected or confirmed to release in 2021.


Returnal

  • Platform: PS5
  • Release date: 19 March 2021

Returnal is a brand new space survival “bullet-hell” shooter which sees players take on the role of Selene – a female character whop crash-lands on an alien planet with a hostile ancient civilisation.

Every time the player is killed, the planet shapeshifts to take on a different form as Selene attempts to shoot her way through dozens of enemies.

As the environments change with each run, so does the available items, which means players will have to use their resources wisely to survive to the next part of the game.


Horizon: Forbidden West

  • Platform: PS4, PS5
  • Release date: TBD 2021

The second Horizon title picks up from its predecessor, continuing the story of Aloy on her quest across a post-apocalyptic California, Utah, and Nevada.

In search of the origin of a plague that kills everything it infects, players will have to battle dangerous creature-like machines and traverse a wide range of different environments.

Underwater exploration will be one of the new elements, while the overall map will also offer a larger area to explore.

Horizon Forbidden West


God of War: Ragnarok

  • Platform: PS5
  • Release date: TBD 2021

While very little details around the next God of War are known, Sony revealed a 2021 release date in the game’s announcement teaser shown during the PlayStation 5 launch.

This title will be the ninth instalment in the popular action-adventure series – which is likely a favourite among many PlayStation players.

Set in ancient Norway and loosely based on Norse mythology with its myths and stories of legends like Odin, Thor, Loki and naturally, the cataclysmic end-of-world event known as Ragnarok.

God of War Ragnarok


Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

  • Platform: PS5
  • Release date: TBD 2021

The next title in Sony’s hit third-person interactive platform franchise will see Ratchet and Clank traverse multiple worlds in a battle against an evil emperor who plans to destroy all organic life.

With the fast loading times of the PS5’s SSD, this will be the first title to feature real-time instantaneous travel between different areas and planets via inter-dimensional portals.


Gran Turismo 7

  • Platform: PS5
  • Release date: TBD 2021

Racing enthusiasts can look forward to the eighth instalment in the Gran Turismo series this year.

In addition to more realistic visuals, this iteration is expected to see the return of the single-player campaign mode as well as other classic features.

This includes traditional racing tracks and vehicles, Driving School, Championships, Special Events, Driving School, Used Cars dealership, and the Tuning Parts Shop, Brand Central and Discover.

The game will support the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller for advanced haptic feedback, ray tracing for realistic lighting and reflections, as well as 3D spatial audio, enhancing the overall immersion.


Senua’s Sage: Hellblade 2

  • Platform: Xbox Series X|S and PC
  • Release date: Q1 2021

Ninja Theory has remained mum on details around the plot of its second Hellblade game.

It is unclear if the developer plans to play around with similar ideas of metaphor as with the first title, which saw Celtic warrior Senua gradually descending into madness as she goes on a quest into Helheim be reunited with her murdered love.

Judging by its heart-thumping reveal trailer, however, players are set to once again hack and slash their way through enemies – this time as a much more powerful Senua.

Senuas Saga: Hellblade 2


Halo: Infinite

  • Platform: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC
  • Release date: H2 2021

Originally planned for release last year, 343 Industries’ next Halo title was pushed back to 2021 due to the impact of COVID-19 on its development.

Halo: Infinite will see players step back into the Spartan suit of the franchise’s main protagonist a while after the events of Halo 5.

Floating in space following former AI companion Cortana going rampant, Master Chief is picked up by a character only known as The Pilot and proceeds to take on a mission against a new threat – The Banished.

Although the title won’t offer a fully-fledged open-world experience, there will be more opportunities to explore larger areas of maps throughout its story.


The Medium

  • Platform: Xbox Series X|S and PC
  • Release date: 28 January 2021

The Medium is a psychological horror game inspired by the Silent Hill franchise, also uses thing same fixed-camera third-person perspective.

Players take on the role of Marianne, a medium who is capable of travelling into the spirit realm.

Using her abilities, players must solve puzzles, fight supernatural enemies, and recharge their powers using spirit wells.

One of the game’s much-punted features will be dual-reality mode, with gameplay shown across the real and spirit worlds at the same time.

The Medium


Scorn

  • Platform: Xbox Series X|S and PC
  • Release date: TBD 2021

A first-person horror adventure more than six years in the making, Scorn is certainly not for those who have an aversion to exposed bodily tissue, bones, and fluids.

Inspired by the works of H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński, the player takes control of a skinless humanoid who must explore a strange and unsettling world made up of intertwined flesh and steel.

The macabre decoration even extends to the player’s weapons – including a pistol and shotgun – which are used to fight odd creatures as they journey to explore and learn more about the setting and situation in which they find themselves.


S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2

  • Platform: Xbox Series X|S and PC
  • Release date: TBD 2021

Despite its many glitches and shortcomings, the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R received high praise for its atmospheric open-world design.

The second official game will be set in a fictional version of the famed Exclusion Zone in the area of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine.

In the game’s story, a second explosion had rendered the area even more radioactive, with strange elemental anomalies, mutated animals, and bandits all around.

However, the radioactivity has also created powerful objects called artefacts, which can enhance abilities and sell for a pretty penny in the outside world.

Daring “treasure hunters” called S.T.A.L.K.E.Rs venture into the area to scavenge, loot, survive and fight to claim these objects and discover other secrets of The Zone.


Now read: The price of being a gamer in South Africa

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Recommended

Share this article
The best PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X games coming in 2021