While 2020 has been a strange and strenuous year, many great video games helped people pass the time in quarantine, including Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which provided social interaction and relaxation; The Last of Us Part IIthe action-adventure that continued Ellie’s journey across post-apocalyptic America; and various iterations of the high-octane, first-person shooter franchise Call of Duty.

Looking forward, a number of studio and independent video games that are scheduled for release in 2021 promise to offer the same — if not better — innovative storytelling, thrilling combat and daring new experiences.

Among the entries is stealth game Hitman 3, which is the eighth installment in the series that follows the escapades of assassin Agent 47, voiced by veteran actor David Bateson. There’s also Far Cry 6, the sixth installment in the series featuring Giancarlo Esposito, and the sequel to God of War, which won game of the year at the Game Awards in 2018.

Meanwhile, Annapurna Interactive, known for the romantic and emotional Florence and the story-driven What Remains of Edith Finch, is releasing the star-studded narrative thriller Twelve Minutes with Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy and Willem Dafoe.

Read on for a list of 8 gaming releases to get excited about in 2021, and then a couple for the following year.

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