Games We're Most Excited to See at E3 2021 - Nerdist
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Games We’re Most Excited to See at E3 2021

E3, the yearly showcase of what’s new and upcoming in electronic gaming and tech, has arrived once again. Since E3 went from an industry tradeshow to a full-on convention for fans of video games, we’ve gotten our first looks at some of the most hotly anticipated titles coming to consoles and PC. Also a fair amount of titles that never go anywhere after E3, but that’s a different story. For 2021, there’s no shortage of exciting offerings to get your salivary glands a-pumping. We’ve already told you about our predictions for the event, but here are the games we’re most hopeful about. In no particular order.

Breath of the Wild 2
Link firing an arrow in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Nintendo

It’s going to take a lot to live up to the grandeur and the confidence behind Nintendo’s first Switch launch title. But could the follow-up to the latest Legend of Zelda adventure actually surpass the original? Nintendo has had four years to give us what we hope for in another open world, highly personalized adventure for Link and his hang glider.

Starfield
A satellite in space with sensors open in Starfield

Bethesda Studios

Bethesda Studios announced their space-set open world RPG Starfield all the way back at E3 2018. True to form, we haven’t heard a ton about it since. However, the studio’s track record for huge immersive games like their Elder Scrolls series and the latter Fallout games give us a lot of hope for what the game could be. Maybe like No Man’s Sky but with, like, more stuff to do? That’d be pretty cool.

Metroid Prime 4

It was all the way back at E3 2017 when Nintendo announced Retro Studios was making a fourth entry in the first-person Metroid Prime series. In 2019, Nintendo’s head of development, Shinya Takahashi explained during a direct event that development hadn’t been going as planned. We haven’t heard much else since then. (A theme emerges…hmm.) But we’re very hopeful for Nintendo to give us something. We want more of the continuing adventures of Samus Aran and big ol’ space monsters, dammit.

Beyond Good and Evil 2

I mean, it’s only taken 18 years for Ubisoft to give us a prequel to its 2003 game Beyond Good and Evil. But it’s probably good they’ve waited considering the first one has received “best game of all time” consideration over the years. Based on early looks from a few years ago, the open-world space adventure with role-playing mechanics seems pretty cool, but it’s going to have to do a lot to compete in a genre that has its fair share of entries already. But developer Ubisoft has a track record for this kind of game; both the latest Assassins Creed and Far Cry games will also debut at E3. So, we’ll just have to see if the wait has been worth it.

Final Fantasy XVI
The lead character of Final Fantasy XVI brandishing a large sword, standing in front of a fantastical cityscape and a large red beast in the righthand corner.

Square Enix

This is what we’re talking about! Not only are we pretty sure this is going to hit big at E3, but we know Square Enix’s plan is for it to come out this year. So not too much waiting. But for the 16th main entry in the long-running Final Fantasy series, and the first for the PlayStation 5, they’re going to have to come out swinging. And, not for nothing, but it definitely looks to have a few things over its FF XV. For starters, it’s entirely in a high-fantasy world as opposed to a weird modern-fantasy hybrid. Also there probably won’t be as much real-time camping simulation. So that’s something.

Gotham Knights
Batgirl in Batman: Gotham Knights.

WB Games Montreal

We have been chomping at the bat (ha) to see more from WB Games Montreal’s upcoming open-world Batman game without Batman. And it’s not like the shoes to fill aren’t massive after the genre-defining Arkham series. But getting to play as Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood in an expectedly glum and crime-riddled Gotham City has us pretty stoked. Especially if it ends up being as cool as the gameplay we saw at DC Fandome last year would have us believe. The inclusion of the Court of Owls to the game’s continuity has us hopeful for a good story to go along with the action and aesthetic.

Halo Infinite
Master Chief stands in the center of the image brandishing a blaster rifle, as the familiar sights and landscape of the planet Halo surrounds him.

Microsoft

Yet another game that was supposed to come out a while ago and hit a delay. Sure, it’s a reasonable delay given the pandemic, but fans of Xbox’s flagship series want their follow-up, darn it! The last Halo game dropped in 2015 and we’re dying to know what’s next for Master Chief, who will supposedly take a more central role as opposed to the last one. And with the Xbox X/S out in the world and not yet a Halo title for it, it feels like a real void in the gamerverse.

Elden Ring

The track record for developer From Software is basically unrivaled in the gaming world. The Dark Souls series alone would be enough of a legacy but add to that Bloodborne and Sekiro as well and they’ve essentially got the market cornered on incredibly hard, lore-driven, interconnected mapped games. Souls-like games are called that for a reason, friends. While we don’t know much at all about the Elden Ring game, the fact that From mastermind Hidetaka Miyazaki is teaming with master world-builder George R. R. Martin for their next gives us dreams of high-fantasy and frequent deaths. But given Martin’s track record with deadlines, we’re not necessarily expecting this to be finished yet.

To follow along with all of the E3 2021 announcements, click here.

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!