From space exploration and eerie late night fishing to dungeon-delving and confronting your exes, there’s lots to be excited about – including some long-awaited sequels
It’s not that much of an exaggeration to say that 2008’s Dead Space is to video games what Alien was to movies: ambitious, gory, frightening sci-fi horror that raised the bar for a whole genre. This remake involves some of the same talent, and will bring a skin-crawling classic to a new generation of players.
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, PC, 27 January
Kerbal Space Program 2
2015’s Kerbal Space Program had you helping an alien civilisation figure out how to get to the moon, with lots of explosions and physics-based mishaps along the way. The sequel has the wee green spacefarers going further, heading for the stars and establishing colonies. Expect an endearing and deceptively demanding space travel simulator.
PC, PlayStation, Xbox, 24 February
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The sequel to Breath of the Wild, widely considered one of the greatest games ever made, was always going to generate anticipation. Here, sword-wielding hero Link explores not just the continent of Hyrule, with all its cartoonish monsters, puzzle-filled dungeons, tantalising treasures and hidden secrets, but also the skies above.
Nintendo Switch, 12 May
A science-fiction role-playing game from the champions of emergent, player-led stories at Bethesda. Travel light years beyond our solar system in your own, custom-created spacefarer and find your own purpose among the stars. Those yearning for the glory days of Mass Effect will find much to look forward to here.
Xbox Series X/S, PC, spring
Vampires run amok, and not the sexy kind. A cooperative shooter where you must team up to vanquish creatures of the night on a Massachusetts island – and happily, you have your own supernatural abilities to take into combat. Will you be a magic-enhanced sniper, a gadget-loving cryptozoologist, or a telekinetic student?
Xbox Series X/S, PC, spring
A farming game with a difference: instead of laboriously hoeing and seeding by hand, you have access to a really cool robot. Suit up in your mech and you can water, harvest, build and landscape with ease – and the planet you’re cultivating has an intriguing history waiting to be uncovered.
Xbox, PC, spring
Fans of Blizzard’s demon-slaying, treasure-clicking, loot-accumulating hellish hack-and-slash series will be approaching Diablo IV with some trepidation, as it promises to steal many, many hours of your life. This is old-school D&D style dungeon-crawling fantasy – you can play a rogue, necromancer, sorceress, barbarian or druid – paired with terrifyingly compulsive game design.
PC, PlayStation, Xbox
A game about tiny alien flower-creatures marooned in a garden, where you – an equally miniature spaceman – must muster them against the creatures and threats that lurk there. It offsets the calming environs of nature with the low-level stress of trying to keep your teensy charges from getting gobbled up by wildlife.
Street Fighter 6
One of the longest-running series of video games returns, inviting us to punch and kick each other in spectacular, Technicolor style. Features a Shenmue-inspired single-player adventure mode for the first time, alongside the usual player-versus-player tournaments, and a friendly simplified control scheme for newcomers.
PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Hollow Knight Silksong
Hollow Knight is an exceptionally eerie and atmospheric dungeon-delver, in which you slowly uncover a subterranean world filled with weird insectoid beings that look darkly cute but will probably kill you. The movement and the fighting are just so crisp and balletic. This long-awaited sequel has no firm date, but I’d wager that this is its year.
PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation
Returning to her home town, Jala must confront her disappointed parents and a phalanx of bitter exes in this stylish, interesting game about cooking, skateboarding and (literally) battling with your past. It’s got elements of Bollywood, Scott Pilgrim and cult rollerblading game Jet Set Radio, a combo that’s surely never been seen before.
PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC
You are a fisherman arriving in a strange new town. Everyone is suspiciously hostile, and they all warn you not to go out fishing at night. So you do, and the things that you catch start to become more … wrong. This Lovecraftian fishing game is mysterious and gently disturbing.
Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC
Lies of P
A gothic-horror take on the Pinocchio folk tale from a Korean developer, which has you tracking down Geppetto and dismembering aggressive automatons on your quest to become a real boy. This has very obvious Bloodborne vibes, with its high challenge, Victorian looks and weighty, steampunky weaponry.
PlayStation, Xbox, PC
In this story about a family’s immigrant experience in Canada, told through cooking and conversation, a Tamil woman brings an inherited cookbook with her to start a new life in a new country. It’s a game about the importance of food in culture, and as an expression of love.
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Mineko’s Night Market