The gaming industry is booming after a record-breaking year. With the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in our rearview, there are some major upcoming releases slated for 2021 and 2022. Even though we have no idea when some long-anticipated sequels like Grand Theft Auto VI or the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be released, they’re already worth a lot of hype.
But exactly how much hype?
Now that we’re in the second half of 2021, Inverse asked our readers to weigh in on which unreleased games they’re most excited to play in 2021 and beyond. Over 1,500 of you responded. Here’s what we found.
The Video Games Issue 2021 is an Inverse celebration of retro favorites, forgotten gems, and the latest and greatest in interactive entertainment.
Breath of the Wild 2 has the most hype
This trailer is a big reason why hype is so big.
34.2 percent of the 1,519 respondents said they were most excited for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. (Technically, the game remains untitled, but we’ll all call it BOTW 2 until we know better, right?) If the sequel is even half as groundbreaking or influential as the first, then it could totally shake up the industry.
BOTW 2 is currently in an uncanny sweet spot: After a reveal trailer during E3 2019, we got an extended trailer at E3 2021 just over a month ago that showed off gorgeous expansions to Hyrule while also teasing a release sometime in 2022. We’ve seen it. We love it. We know it exists. We have a rough estimate of when it’ll finally be in our hands.
Yet narrative and mechanical mysteries still abound. What is going on in this plot? What happened to Link’s arm? Are there multiple versions of Link we’ll play as?
By comparison, Rockstar Games still refuses to admit GTA 6 even exists. All we really know about God of War: Ragnarok is that it was sort of delayed to 2022 or later. And despite all the Elden Ring fervor in the first half of the year, we know everything we might want to about it thanks to Geoff Keighley revealing it in June. We’ll all play it when it’s released on January 21, 2022. What more do we need to know? Absolutely nothing.
More than half say GTA 6 or BOTW 2
The second-most hyped game according to Inverse readers is GTA 6 to the tune of 19.2 percent, which is 292 responses compared to BOTW 2’s 519 — that’s almost double! Altogether, 54.4 percent of all responders said one of these two games. Broadly speaking, longstanding franchises in gaming always attract repeat customers. GTA 6 probably has less hype because of how little we know about it, but there’s also the fact that it’s an M-rated game for adults.
In our same survey, 33.4 percent of responders said they played the Nintendo Switch more than any other console. Not only does its mobility make it more versatile, but it currently has a cheaper price compared to next-gen consoles. Simply put, gamers young and old adore most of Nintendo’s first-party franchises. The first Breath of the Wild remains one of the most influential games of all time. And even kids can play it! That alone makes Zelda far more accessible than the GTA franchise.
Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarok on the horizon
Coming in at third and fourth place, respectively, are God of War: Ragnarok with 11.5 percent of the vote and Elden Ring with 8.5 percent — the only other two games that we put on our survey. (There was also a space for write-ins!) The rebooted God of War franchise has become one of the most prestigious in all of gaming, and alongside The Last of Us, it’s a big feather in Sony’s cap of excellent exclusives. The sequel to the universally adored 2018 game deserves its place as the third most-hyped game of all. But again, Sony has offered very few details about the game. Lack of supply drives demand up, right?
As for Elden Ring, the collaboration between Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin literally won an award at The Game Awards 2020 for “most anticipated game.” And the June 2021 unveiling makes it seem worthy of the hype.
Props to the four gamers who called out Sonic Colors: Ultimate, the upcoming remaster of the 2010 original, as their most hyped game of the year. It was one of the many write-in surprises.
Here’s a quick rundown of some honorable mentions:
- Halo Infinite is the fifth most-hyped game to the tune of 2.5 percent
- 2 percent of all responders mentioned a Metroid game, whether that’s Prime 4 or Dread
- 1.2 percent called out Starfield
- Another 1.2 percent chose Horizon Forbidden West
- Only 10 people mentioned Final Fantasy, with a mix of FF14’s Endwalker expansion, FF7 Remake Part 2, and FF16
- Three gamers wrote in Hollow Knight: Silksong
- A single lost soul wrote in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
- There’s also one person out there who’s very excited for Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions
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