18 best games of E3 2021

Usually, I try to keep the list down to 10, but there are many more games I’m excited about that I think deserve a mention on this list. Here are the 18 games I’m most excited for from E3 2021.

E3 2021 has come and gone now and there are plenty of games I’m excited about. It doesn’t go without saying this year’s show was a bit disappointing since, in my opinion, at least, many companies and developers didn’t show up and showcase what I was expecting. The Xbox & Bethesda showcase had some solid showings, while Nintendo did have some exciting reveals as well, but everyone could’ve done a bit better, honestly. Regardless, there are still many games I’m looking forward to playing in the future.

The standard is usually 10 games, but I’m going to be listing 18 of them this time around since 10 is not enough. Let’s begin!

18. Advance Wars 1 & 2: Re-Boot Camp

This is a game I’m particularly excited about simply because it’s been so long since a new entry in the series has been released. I remember it being such a fun time when playing on the Nintendo 3DS and I was even able to revisit it on the Wii U thanks to the eShop. Now, although it technically isn’t a new game and it’s more of a remaster of the first two games, it’s still something to look forward to playing, especially in a new light since it’ll look much better and play significantly better on the Switch. This is one to look out for.

17. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

I’m not necessarily sure the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game is one that’s popular. Upon release, it was heavily criticized due to the insane amount of bugs and how the story didn’t seem to make any kind of sense sometimes. However, over time, you can say it has developed somewhat of a cult following thanks to the fans. Many fans have tried to re-release it and recreate it by adding on certain game aspects that were left out of the original cut. It’s also been praised for its gunplay and style. Now, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl will be releasing about 12 years after the last release and based on the E3 2021, it looks pretty fantastic. The graphics are top notch and the gunplay looks incredibly fluid. There’s still more to see, of course, and I’m looking forward to it.

16. Atomic Heart

Atomic Heart looks like an extremely strange hybrid between BioShock, Fallout, and the Metro series, and I’m all here for it. Although I know there’s another BioShock game in the works, there’s no denying it might be a long way off from releasing, and the same can be said about Fallout, which I’m more unsure about. From what I’ve seen from this game, it’s an open-world shooter and you play as an agent, who’s sent to investigate an event of disastrous proportions. Oh, it also has a ton of robots and a bunch of wacky old ladies waving ladles around. Yeah, the whole project seems a bit unhinged and I’m definitely intrigued.

15. Redfall

Arkane Studios has done a phenomenal job with the Dishonored series, as well as the rebooted Prey. Deathloop is also one of my most anticipated games of the year. You can say I’m on board with whatever it has up its sleeve next. Redfall closed the Xbox & Bethesda showcase and it has a ton of promise and potential. It’s an open-world co-op FPS where you’re constantly battling it out against vicious vampires. I’m sure there’s much more to it than what the initial trailer revealed, but it did more than enough to catch my attention. The characters you’ll be playing as also seem to have unique and entertaining personalities, which only adds to the interest.

14. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

The first entry, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, was a pleasant surprise for many, considering nobody expected this kind of crossover. As for the gameplay, it works so well, especially since both games, separately, are drastically different compared to the turn-based tactical RPG genre. Well, unless you consider Super Mario RPG and so on, for the most part, the Mario series is a collection of platformers. As for the Rabbids series, most of the games are party games. The Mario + Rabbids plays a bit like XCOM, but it’s obviously a bit more lighthearted. Evidently, it was a hit with the fans since we’re getting this sequel, which looks to build on everything the first game already established.

13. Battlefield 2042

I feel I should be a bit more excited for this game, but the last couple of entries have me a bit more reserved than anything. However, based on what I’ve seen, Battlefield 2042 seems like a return to form for the series and hopefully, it’ll be the best one since Battlefield 4. Fingers crossed, of course, since EA and DICE have done nothing but disappoint with the last few Battlefield games. Then again, I am hopeful for this one with the gigantic maps and futuristic gameplay. Maybe a Battle Royale mode is on the horizon as well, although it’ll be hard to dethrone other games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, and Apex Legends.

12. Elden Ring

I enjoy playing some of the Souls games, but I’m not going to say I’m the biggest fan of these kinds of games. They’re overwhelmingly challenging at times, but there’s a specific satisfaction it brings when you’re finally able to beat a specific boss in order to progress through the game. It’s something not many games are able to do and I understand the undying loyalty behind them. I can’t say I didn’t absolutely love playing through Bloodborne and a variety of other games that have been inspired by these kinds of games. To name one in particular, although it’s somewhat of a watered down version of it in terms of difficulty, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a game I love. I’m mostly excited for Elden Ring because of the story George R.R. Martin is helping tell and how this will be different from past games. Rumors say it’ll have an open world and you’ll be able to play it with someone else. This is refreshing to hear, considering I’ll probably die more than I want when playing alone, so I can have a friend carry me to victory.

11. Far Cry 6

This would be a bit higher on the list, but considering an extensive overview video was released prior to its brief showing at E3 2021, then I don’t think it’s fair since this list is mostly focusing on games I haven’t seen enough of. I’ve seen plenty of Far Cry 6 already in order to make up my mind on whether I want to play it or not. Long story short, I do. It’s based on a fictional island inspired by Cuba and it has Giancarlos Esposito as the main antagonist in it. If that doesn’t get you hyped up to play it, then I’m not sure what will. Throw in the fact that it also reminds me a bit of Far Cry 3, which is, without a doubt, the best in the entire series, and this is a day one purchase for me.

10. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Sure, it’s not Final Fantasy XVI: Awakening, but most of us already knew this would more than likely be a no-show during Square Enix’s presentation at E3 2021. However, what did get revealed was Team Ninja’s Souls-like game, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. This was already being rumored weeks prior to its official unveiling, so it wasn’t very surprising. I did enjoy the gameplay that was shown and, honestly, it seems more like a hack-and-slash with Souls elements incorporated in it. Of course, only time will tell. I still haven’t gotten a chance to try out the demo, but I definitely will one of these days when time permits. I’m all for anything Final Fantasy related.

9. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

This one could go totally wrong, if I’m being honest. Marvel’s Avengers was a huge bust, but I’m hopeful for Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s coming from a different team entirely, that being Eidos-Montreal, and it already looks more polished than Avengers ever did. It also seems to be keeping it simple. As far as I know, you can only play as Star-Lord while the other members of the squad aid you on the adventure. You can issue commands for each individual member though, which is an interesting concept. I’m just not sure why you can’t switch back and forth between each member. Nonetheless, I love the Guardians of the Galaxy. The first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of my favorite superhero movies ever and if this game can slightly match the humor and charm of it, then at least I’ll get a good laugh out of it. I hope the gameplay is fun, non-repetitive, and versatile, unlike Avengers, which is a colossal bore.

8. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

I don’t care what anyone says. Yes, I understand some of the criticisms of the movie with its story and what it’s inspired by, but I love Avatar and I truly feel it was ahead of its time in terms of special effects and cinematography. James Cameron is one of the greatest and most gifted directors of all time, so its success isn’t very surprising and the sequels should capitalize and take the whole franchise to the next level. Now, in terms of the game, this has a ton of potential. Ubisoft is widely known for fully realizing the beautiful worlds in its games. Use the Assassin’s Creed series, the Watch Dogs series, and others as examples. Those aren’t perfect games, but I can’t take away how fun those worlds are to travel and play in. Being able to traverse through Pandora, both on the ground, in the air, and in the sea, is going to be something special. Just from the cinematic trailer alone, I can tell this is going to be visually stunning. My only hope is for the gameplay to deliver the same feeling the film did.

7. Metroid: Dread

I’m not an expert on the Metroid series, especially the side-scrollers. What I do know is there’s a ton of backtracking in those games and a lot of puzzles to solve amidst all of the action and combat. This series has revolutionized the genre, though, and, in many ways, has inspired other games to follow it. There’s a reason why some call it “Metroid-vania.” Although I was expecting Metroid Prime 4 news, I’m not mad that this was announced. At least we all know Prime 4 is still in development, and it’s enough for now. Dread looks promising, being that it’s a follow up to Fusion and will continue the story of Samus Aran and her next adventure.

6. WarioWare: Get It Together!

We’re finally getting a new WarioWare game and I’m extremely excited. I remember playing WarioWare: Smooth Moves on the Wii with a bunch of family members and having an absolute blast playing through all of the mini-games it had to offer. Game & Wario didn’t deliver the same feeling, if I’m being honest, and I didn’t play WarioWare Gold on the 3DS, so I can’t speak for it. That being said, Get It Together! feels like the proper follow up to Smooth Moves. It’ll have co-op and I can’t wait to play this with a bunch of friends.

5. Psychonauts 2

It’s been a long time coming, but Psychonauts 2 is only a couple of months away and I’m excited to play it. I never played the first game in its entirety, but I’ve always admired it for the different style it brought to the 3D platforming genre. Throw in the uniquely designed characters with interesting personalities and I’m surprised it even took this long to get a sequel. Granted, I know it had trouble getting the funds, which is why a kickstarter project began for it, but now that it’s under the Xbox banner, funding is no longer an issue, which means development should be going smoothly prior to its release. I plan on replaying the first game before it launches to be properly prepared for it.

4. Starfield

At long last, Bethesda revealed its first look at Starfield. Although it’s only a cinematic trailer, there’s a ton of promise to come with it. It looks like a massive explorative space game where you’ll be able to travel to different planets and encounter different alien species. Seeing Bethesda’s track record and what it has already done with open-world games such as The Elder Scrolls series and the Fallout series, I can only imagine what it’ll do to take this to the next level, especially considering how vast space seems to be and if the planets we’ll be able to travel to will have an incredible amount of detail in them. It’s still more than a year away, so I’m hoping we get to see a glimpse of gameplay late this year or sometime next year.

3. The Outer Worlds 2

Let’s face it, the trailer for this was absolutely perfect. Never have I seen a trailer so honest about how the development for a game is going. Other than some early looks at what could potentially be the different worlds we’ll be playing in, along with some of the creatures in them, the teaser trailer for The Outer Worlds 2 didn’t give us any idea of what to expect from this sequel. But, it was enough for me to get excited since I know it’s coming and I’m very pleased with what Obsidian was able to do with the first entry. Of course, it was a bit short, but I had a lot of fun completing all the different missions it had to offer. It’s definitely like another Fallout game and the chances of playing the next Fallout any time soon are low, so I’ll take this, for sure.

2. Halo Infinite

Halo 3 is my favorite FPS of all time for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, the three games to follow it haven’t really lived up to the awesome gameplay it delivered due to too many useless additions no one asked for. Halo: Reach is probably the one that most closely resembles it. I wasn’t a fan of the bloom and all of the extra abilities, though. Halo 4 just wasn’t a good game, and Halo 5: Guardians, tried to be a bit too different from the rest. Halo Infinite is shaping up to be the perfect mix of both worlds, being the classic, iconic gameplay from the original Halo games that made it what it is, while introducing all the other unique gameplay mechanics and abilities in a way where it won’t ruin the experience. This is only based on what I’ve seen so far, of course. I have to play it first to really get a good idea of what the game will be like. I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s hard not to get excited for a new Halo game, no matter how many times I’ve been let down. I’m extremely hopeful this will be a good and entertaining Halo game.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel

I wish we would’ve gotten more about this game during the E3 Nintendo Direct. Unfortunately, we didn’t, but I think there’s just enough to keep us going until it releases in 2022. In the new gameplay trailer, we got a variety of new looks, such as Link skydiving, giving us plenty of Skyward Sword vibes, as well as floating islands and a floating Hyrule castle. There also seems to be a new villain, I’m just not sure whether it’s Ganondorf or not just yet. As for the other characters, Link has a new haircut and a new outfit, but it also looks like he’ll be rocking the Champion’s tunic as well. Is this game alluding to us going back in time? I have so many questions about this game and I probably won’t be able to play it for more than a year, which is very sad. But, it doesn’t lessen the anticipation I have for it by any means and at this point, Nintendo can take all the time it needs in order to deliver a proper sequel to one of the best games of all time.

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