In the video games industry, the best time to be a fan is often when the leaves start to turn fall colors. September usually marks the beginning of a parade of AAA releases that get every gamer excited. While 2020 has been plagued by a lot of delays – due to the Coronavirus and other factors – this fall still promises a lot big games that have been hyped for some time. Sure there’s no Halo: Infinite to get my hands on in November. There’s plenty of other games though, and here’s the five I’m most excited for.
As a quick note, this is a personal list of games I’m excited for. You can be excited for other games, and that’s awesome. Definitely happy for you. Also, this list is limited to games coming to the Xbox brand of consoles this fall. Why? See our website name. Ok, away we go!
5) Marvel’s Avengers
Available September 4, 2020
The first game on the list is the first one to release as well. Marvel’s Avengers hits stores this week and hopes to deliver on some big promises. To be honest, every time I see more on Marvel’s Avengers, I take away as much concern as I do hype, but the promise of a game where you can play as the iconic heroes alongside your friends is too much to not get hopeful.
Square Enix’s recent announcement of battle passes for individual characters is a huge red flag. The last thing any gamer wants to see is Marvel’s Avengers turn into a nickel-and-dime cash grab because the publisher knows hoe popular the subject matter is. Too many big game franchises are heading that direction in 2020, and I really hope that isn’t the case here.
Despite all this, I pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition just so I could play it three days early. While Marvel’s Avengers certainly didn’t wow us with it’s graphics, the experience still looks like an absolute blast
4) DIRT 5
Available October 16, 2020
Every loves a good racing game. Okay, a decent number of people love a good racing game. With no new Forza Motorsport on the way for the foreseeable future, DIRT 5 is one of the best options for a quality racing experience on the Xbox Series X at launch. Getting Xbox Series X upgrades as part of the Smart Delivery program doesn’t hurt, either.
Featuring 10 global locations and over 70 routes to race on, DIRT 5 gives racing fans plenty to do. The game also looks absolutely stunning on the Xbox Series X. Racing games often show off the power of new hardware really well, so that’s no big surprise. But the fact that DIRT 5 is a third-party game that looks that impressive at launch is a feat.
DIRT 4 was a fun experience, and DIRT 5 seems to have taken the fun factor and turned it up. I’d still probably buy DIRT 5 anyway, but in the absence of a new Forza Motorsport game, it has moved up my list of games I’m looking forward to.
3) Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Available November 17, 2020
Full disclosure: I tried like crazy to love the early Assassin’s Creed games, but I just didn’t. I’ve never been a fan of really stealthy gameplay – if a good Rambo video game was ever made it’d be a perfect fit for me. I liked Black Flag a decent amount, but it was Origins and Odyssey that made me fall in love with this series.
The transition to a game where gameplay was more action based was, for me, very appealing. I know some fans yearn for the older games, and the good news is that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is bringing back a lot of the stealth themes if you choose to play that way. The best games are the ones that strike a good balance and embrace different play styles.
Finally, the true star of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is the setting. How great is it to get a full AAA game set in Viking lore? In addition, the game looks absolutely beautiful. Along with one other game on this list, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla stands the best shot of allowing me to get completely lost in a world and escape for hours at a time.
2) Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Available November 13, 2020
In my college years, I studied history extensively. My focus was U.S. foreign policy in the 20th Century – much of which was driven by the Cold War. This is just one of the reasons that I’m thrilled to see Black Ops focus on the decades during the Cold War in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The game has a particular focus on events in the 1980s and is a direct sequel to the original Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Some of my best video game memories involve playing the Nuketown playlist for hours on end. I loved that map, and I loved the multiplayer in the original Call of Duty: Black Ops. If Treyarch can capture that kind of magic once again in both the campaign and multiplayer, then Call of Duty fans are in for a treat this November.
It’s all subjective, but the Call of Duty campaigns I have enjoyed the most were in the early Black Ops and Modern Warfare games. Call of Duty campaigns were always at their best when the stories were more personal and focused. The more they became “Michael Bay: The Video Game,” the more disengaged I became. Here’s hoping Activision and Treyarch can deliver a story focused on character and meaningful action once again.
1) Cyberpunk 2077
Available November 19, 2020
Was it ever going to be anything else? Of course not. The game that has been hyped for years from the developers of The Witcher III has and will command the discussion around video games in 2020. It’s the most hyped game of the year, and for good reason. I just hope I like it.
I’m the type of person that can acknowledge a game’s greatness even if it isn’t for me. As amazing as Cyberpunk looks every time I see it, I know that sometimes games like it don’t land with me. Part of why I’m so excited for Cyberpunk 2077’s release is that I’m so determined to like it. The problem is that sometimes games that require me to manage every single aspect of my character, or craft everything I use, or worry about an elaborate skill tree just lose me.
Yet, everything I see about Cyberpunk 2077 makes me say “holy **** that looks amazing”. I can’t wait to jump into the world and become part of it. That’s perhaps the coolest thing about Cyberpunk 2077. Your character isn’t the centerpiece of the world. You’re just part of it while NPCs all around you are living their own lives. The level of detail CD Project Red has invested in here is nothing short of amazing. It should be an easy Game of the Year contender whether I love it or not – I’m just so excited to see if I do.
What are you looking forward to most this year? Let us know in the comments! For all the latest on the huge releases this fall, stay with Generation Xbox!