Now we covered our preferred games of 2020, we can move forward and think about all the games we will be playing this year. We need to be cautious, though, since the situation is far from being ideal, and a lot of games will definitely be delayed... as it already happened to some. Also, we want to point out that we tried to avoid some games that are rumored to come out in 2021, yet we don't have any confirmation—Blue Protocol as an example.
Are you guys ready to drool and make your wallets nervous? Let's check our most anticipated games for 2021!
10. Love Live! School Idol Festival ~After School ACTIVITY~ Wai-Wai! Home Meeting!!
- System: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release Date: Mar. 24, 2021
We start our list with the console version of an arcade classic based on one of the most popular music anime franchises nowadays. With an incredibly long title, Love Live! School Idol Festival ~After School ACTIVITY~ Wai-Wai! Home Meeting!! is a rhythm game featuring songs by Aquors, μ's (pronounced as "Muse") and Saint Snow, so prepare for a cute idols overdose!
The good news is that the base version of the game, which includes 8 songs, will be available to try for free. If you happen to like it, then you can pay for the full release, with 125 songs and 69 costumes to unlock. Oh, and you can pay for specific songs and costumes separately, in case you only care about a specific idol unit or costume.
9. Princess Connect! Re:Dive
- System: Android, iOS
- Publisher: Crunchyroll Games, Cygames
- Developer: Cygames
- Release Date: Jan. 19, 2021
This one is the only game that's available right now, so you can go check our full review on it. Princess Connect! Re:Dive is an extremely fun to play gacha game with chibi waifus. If you enjoyed the anime, then you'll be happy to know that the game expands on the story, so that's another reason for you to play it.
Princess Connect! Re:Dive is a very casual free-to-play game with incredible animations, an amazing soundtrack, and fully voiced dialogues by some of the most renowned voice actresses of Japan. The only downside of it is that you will need a beefy smartphone to handle it, though... or, you know, an Android emulator on PC.
8. New Pokémon Snap
- System: Switch
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release Date: April 30, 2021
This year we'll be getting a lot of remakes of the games of our childhood, like Alex Kidd in Miracle World, but one of them is in our list of upcoming anime games: New Pokémon Snap. We have to say that a lot of Pokémon remakes, spin-off games and apps have been announced or released recently, but none of them are quite exciting. This one, however, is hard to ignore.
New Pokémon Snap introduces a new region, Lental, and a new professor, Prof. Mirror. That means that this is not just a remake but maybe an introduction to more pokémon, more characters, and what could be the region a new game—like, the main ones—or anime series could take place in. Anyone can start an Instagram account, but will you be able to complete the new Photodex?
7. Re:Zero ~Starting Life in Another World~ The Prophecy of the Throne
- System: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Switch
- Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
- Developer: Chunsoft, Chime Corporation
- Release Date: Jan. 27, 2021
We all love Re:Zero, but we never really had the chance to play the games since they never made it out of Japan. Well, that's ending soon because, in a few weeks, The Prophecy of the Throne will bring our favorite isekai show to consoles and PC.
With a 3D turn-based combat system, this game combines the perks of a visual novel with cute chibi characters and interesting gameplay mechanics where, depending on your actions, allies will come to your aid and battles will play out differently. This is a great opportunity to explore the Kingdom of Lugunica and meet some new characters as well, but also to spend some time with your favorite waifus.
6. Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny
- System: Switch, PlayStation 4
- Publisher: NIS America
- Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
- Release Date: Jan. 28, 2021 (Switch), PS4 TBA
Another game that we can't wait to try is Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny, and we have several reasons for it. It has always been a great JRPG, with interesting characters, a crazy story, and great turn-based strategy mechanics... that's why they tag this game as an SRPG. Still, this time we have another very special reason: it comes in full 3D for the first time!
Sure, the new 3D models are not to everyone's liking, but we can't criticize a game just because some fans can't seem to get used to the new models. Whatever the case, be sure that we will be playing and reviewing this game when available! Oh, and back to the craziness of Disgaea... how do you feel about the new 99,999,999 level cap??!!
5. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
- System: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, PC
- Publisher: Nihon Falcom, NIS America
- Developer: Nihon Falcom, Engine Software, PH3 GmbH
- Release Date: Feb. 2, 2021 (PS4), PC/Switch TBA
2021 will mark the global debut—kind of—of the new entries in Nihon Falcon's flagship sagas. On the one hand, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of the Cold Steel IV will finally release on PC and Switch (we got the PS4 version last October, so it's not really a 2021 debut... we know), but we're also getting Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, a new adventure starring our beloved Adol Christin.
In Ys IX, Adol is transformed by a mysterious woman into a Monstrum, a supernatural being who must fight several beasts in a strange place called Grimwald Nox. We can't wait to explore the city of Balduq and fight numerous waves of enemies with Adol's newly acquired Monstrum abilities. If you own a PlayStation console, you only need to wait a few weeks; there's no exact date yet for the PC and Switch versions, though.
4. Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
- System: Switch
- Publisher: Marvelous
- Developer: Marvelous
- Release Date: Feb. 25, 2021
After playing Friends of Mineral Town for over 300 hours last year, it's only natural for us to be excited for a new Story of Seasons release. We're still waiting for a little more info about Pioneers of Olive Town, but we already know it features a completely original story and hopefully some new mechanics... or at least new crops and animals other than what we saw on Nintendo's showcase.
For what it's worth, it could very well be a reskin of the same old Story of Seasons' mechanics... we would be equally excited. Don't we all love nursing our livestock, making money by selling vegetables or fish, and romancing the cutest bachelor/bachelorette in town?
3. Bravely Default 2
- System: Switch
- Publisher: Nintendo, Square Enix
- Developer: Claytechworks
- Release Date: Feb. 26, 2021
If you're new to the franchise, this will be difficult to understand: Bravely Default 2 is not really the second game; in fact, it's not even a direct sequel to the original story. This is actually the third entry in the saga—the second one was Bravely Second—and features a new cast of characters and a completely new plot, although it follows the same rules the previous games did.
If you're curious about this amazing turn-based RPG, you can download its demo for free. We already tried it and found it very interesting and fun, regardless of its challenging difficulty, so that's why it's in our Top 3. If you liked Octopath Traveler, you're going to love Bravely Default 2.
2. Guilty Gear -Strive-
- System: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
- Publisher: Arc System Works, Bandai Namco
- Developer: Arc System Works
- Release Date: TBA
Guilty Gear, along with BlazBlue (also from Arc System Works, the gods of anime fighting games in 2D), is one of the best anime fighting franchises you can find, with superb technical gameplay, beautiful graphics, and a long list of memorable characters with crazy good looks and even crazier background stories such as Bridget and Faust.
We already know Guilty Gear -Strive- will feature a new fighter, Giovanna, but maybe she's not the only one. After playing every single GG game in the past, we know this one will be fantastic too, so it's only a matter of time before we can finally play its definitive version. So... what's it going to be, Heaven or Hell?
1. Digimon Survive
- System: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Switch
- Publisher: Bandai Namco
- Developer: Witchcraft
- Release Date: TBA
This will sound weird, but we look forward to returning to the digital world... yes, that place from which almost all Digimon protagonists need to escape. In fact, this one's called Digimon Survive for a reason, and we're eager to discover why!
This game was originally set to debut in 2019, so imagine how we felt after the 2020 delay. But hey, apparently it's close to being finished, and 2021 is the year we can finally meet Agumon and the rest again. Of all the turn-based JRPGs to be released this year, Digimon Survive is the one we consider the most anticipated for the year... and sadly for some of you, the only one that's coming to Xbox consoles—too bad there's not a confirmed release date yet.
Don't think these are the only anime video games that will arrive in 2021, as there are around 15 more games already set to release this year. As we mentioned before, there are also several gacha games and MMORPGs that are still in development and may or may not be ready by the end of the year... or maybe they are, but only in Japanese with no Western release.
Are you hyped up for any anime game this year? Let us know in the comments!