Google Stadia has always been backed up by solid technology since its launch in November 2019, but it's suffered because of lackluster game library — but all of that could soon change with three exciting titles making their way to Stadia.
One of Google Stadia's biggest flaws is a lack of both compelling exclusives and third-party ports to entice gamers. Google has seemingly made it a focus to bring better games to Stadia in 2020, and an April 28 Stadia Connect presentation highlighting key upcoming exclusives and ports has seemingly made good on that promise.
The three biggest games detailed in the presentation that stand out the most are Stadia ports that may inspire more people to invest in the platform before next-gen consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X arrive.
3. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)
- If you like ... playing multiplayer or battle royale games with friends and wish Fortnite were more mature.
- Released Date: Out Now
Before April 28, Google Stadia did not have many shooters, let alone any battle royale games, so PUBG is a pivotal addition to the platform's catalog. This game kickstarted the battle royale trend, and while it has lost a bit of its luster after the success of Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone, it still has a passionate community and stands out within Google Stadia's libraries.
Battle royale games like PUBG take up a lot of storage space on PC and consoles, so not having to worry about downloads or updates with the Google Stadia version of PUBG is a nice bonus. The port also supports cross-platform play and parties, so you don't have to worry about not being able to play with your friends. Inverse hopped into a game on Stadia, and it felt on par with the other versions of the game.
"We’re excited to continue evolving and growing our audience with Stadia, the pioneer in cloud-based gaming,” PUBG Corporation's Ashley Youngsun Nam said in a press release accompanying the port. “With instant access to PUBG through Stadia Pro and access to cross-platform play, gamers have no excuse but to drop-in and land, loot, and survive in our iconic Battle Royale experience.”
PUBG is free for Google Stadia Pro members, though players can upgrade to the Chicken Dinner Edition for $34.99 to receive several in-game bonuses.
2. Octopath Traveler
- If you like ... engaging JRPGs like Final Fantasy VII Remake or Trials of Mana, but want to try one that feels more classic
- Release Date: Out Now
Octopath Traveler from Square Enix carves out its own unique niche on the platform as a turned-based JRPG. It originally garnered attention as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, though it came to PC last June — but that does mean you can get the game on Stadia and not on PS4 or Xbox One. The game features eight playable party members, and you can start the game as any of them before venturing across the continent of Orsterra and meeting the others.
The game was well-received when it first released, and it also stands out thanks to unique visuals that blend 2D pixelated sprites with 3D environments. This Stadia Port doesn't come with any additional bells and whistles, though Square Enix did confirm that the game will be getting Korean language support in the press release unveiling the port.
1. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- If you like ... single-player action games and Star Wars.
- Release Date: Fall 2020
Respawn Entertainment and EA's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was the first great thing to come out of EA's Star Wars deal with Disney, and now it's coming to a new platform. As of now, EA will only say that the game will arrive on Stadia "by the end of this year," though Google got more specific in its Stadia Connect press release and gave a window of fall 2020. Regardless, it was one of the biggest
This thrilling single-player Star Wars adventure is inspired by the likes of Uncharted and Dark Souls and follows a Jedi being hunted down between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. As of now, no Stadia-specific additions have been revealed, but for one of 2019's best AAA games to make its way to Stadia is a big deal for the platform. Titles like this can make Stadia much more enticing to gamers.
This is also the start of a larger partnership between Google and EA. The Fallen Order publisher also promised to release Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21 on Stadia this winter and has more Stadia games in the pipeline for 2021. "In partnering with Google Stadia, we have an opportunity to deliver some creative and innovative game experiences on an exciting new platform," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said, so the publisher is keen on supporting the platform going forwards.
A free two-month trial of Google Stadia is available for Google Chromecast, Chrome, and Android phones now.