Top 10 Upcoming Action Games

You might be thinking that “action” is a hard genre to narrow down when it comes to any form of interactive media, and you’d be right. At the very least, most video games – from first-person shooters to real-time RPGs – fall under the action banner in some shape or form. That’s why putting together this list was hard; there are a select few games that made the honorable mentions section at the bottom of the page and many others that aren’t even referenced – a side effect of the immensity of the genre itself. Even so, these are the top 10 action titles that I’m excited to get my hands on in 2021.

Ghostwire Tokyo

Ghostwire Tokyo made it on my Five Next Gen Worlds To Be Excited About feature a few months ago. Ever since it was revealed at E3 2019, I’ve been excited to run amok in a modern-day Japan vanquishing hideous monstrosities that go bump in the night. I still have a lot of questions and reservations about the short, montage-like snippets of combat and story beats shown in the trailers, but the art design is particularly unique and exhibits an interesting blend of contemporary and traditional supernatural lore.

Halo Infinite

Like many Xbox owners, I love Halo. I was too young to hop into Combat Evolved, but Halo 2 and 3 shaped most of my childhood and served as my first true competitive shooters. Halo 4, however, is my favorite of the bunch as its story proved to be the most coherent in the classic franchise (as you can probably tell, I think 343 is a suitable successor to Bungie). The outrage that surged following Halo Infinite’s gameplay footage during 2020’s Microsoft Showcase was lost on me. Sure, “Craig the Brute” has a face only a mother can love, but let’s not just forget about how incredible everything else looked – the landscape, the action with its classic Halo-feel, and a potentially interesting villain. 

God of War: Ragnarok

Want to know what made God of War (2018) so great? Kratos changed. Santa Monica Studios left the series’ rage-fueled, hyper-masculine identity behind. Instead, the team took a more personal and mature direction, focusing on Kratos’ weaknesses as a god, and more importantly, as a parent. Atreus was his father’s perfect foil, and their growing bond led to some of 2018’s most heartfelt gaming moments. Ragnarok continues the reboot’s epic story and blatantly references the doomsday that awaits the familial pair. I’m excited to see the unexplored realms, the latest deities and creatures of lore that we’ll likely have to slay, and finally get extra details on the tragic revelation revealed at the end of the first game. 

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II

That’s right, we’ve got two of the best Norse-inspired video games out there slated for 2021 sequels. Look at the photo above and tell me that Hellblade II doesn’t look intense as hell (pun intended). Senua’s Sacrifice was a dark meditation on love, sacrifice, insecurity, and psychosis, among many other heavy themes. I loved the titular character’s stellar internal monologues as well as the nightmarish environments of Ninja Theory’s depiction of Helheim. Now, I honestly can’t tell you what Hellblade II is going to be about, but it’s obvious that Senua’s journey into the depths of the underworld and her own tortured soul are far from over. I’m mainly excited to see how Ninja Theory ramps up the simple-but-gritty battle sequences from the first game. Hellblade II hasn’t been confirmed for 2021, but I feel pretty confident about an end-of-the-year release. A guy can dream, right? 

My honorable mentions for this year range from confirmed titles (Deathloop, Far Cry 6, and Returnal) to wishful-thinking picks (like Breath of the Wild 2 and Bayonetta 3). There are so many IPs – well-established and otherwise – that fall under the action umbrella; it’s incredibly difficult to pick and choose! For other timely lists, check out our Top Upcoming RPGs For 2021 And Beyond and the Top Horror Games Coming In 2021. What action games are you looking forward to playing this year? 

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