After being cancelled back in 2020, E3 2021 was back with something of a vengeance, boasting a wide range of tantalising games for the remainder of 2021 and beyond. Seemingly spoilt for choice, we’ve managed to narrow down the field to ten of the very best games from E3 2021. From big budget blockbusters like Far Cry 6 to subtle and evocative indie thrillers like Twelve Minutes, there is something here for everyone.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
The sequel to what is generally considered one of the best games of 2019, A Plague Tale: Requiem once more looks to put players in the shoes of wayward noble youngsters Amicia and Hugo De Rune as they attempt to get to the mysterious root of the rat plague that has swept across Dark Ages Europe. Likely adopting the same stealth adventure formula that made the original such a success, A Plague Tale: Requiem is already shaping up to be one of the best games of 2022.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
With Ubisoft turning the substantial talents of The Division developer Massive Entertainment toward an adaptation of James Cameron’s groundbreaking sci-fi flick, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora looks set to deliver on a gorgeously realised, massive open world that taps into the otherworldly beauty that is synonymous with that fantastical realm. Centering on the ongoing battle between the native Na’vi and the human forces hellbent on destroying their planet, Avatar: Frontier of Pandora is already showing a metric ton of promise ahead of its 2022 release.
Though the decision to ditch a single player campaign could be seen as controversial, the notion of doubling down on the multiplayer side of things surely isn’t. Boasting massive maps that accommodate up to 128 players (including bots to make up the numbers if need be), a near future setting and the return of both large scale destruction and extreme dynamic weather, Battlefield 2042 is looking like it’ll be the best series entry in ages when it releases later this year.
Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 might just be one of the nuttiest games you’ll play this year. Though the notion of fighting from underneath an evil despot is hardly groundbreaking for the series at large, the sheer amount of ridiculous weaponry, vehicles and over the top characters all add up to a game that feels more like Saints Row than ‘traditional’ Far Cry. Oh, and there’s a lovely little sausage dog called Chorizo that has wheels in lieu of a pair of back legs and a mini weapons system strapped to his back. See what I mean?
Forza Horizon 5
Microsoft’s arcade style open world racer not only surprised folks with its mere existence at E3 2021 (prior thinking was that developer Playground Games were exclusively beavering away on the previously announced Fable title), but also with its setting. Taking place in the vibrant rural expanses and townships of Mexico, Forza Horizon 5 not only is shaping up to be one of the best looking racing games ever, but can also make a case for itself as one of the best surprises of E3 2021.
Double Fine’s long gestating Psychonauts sequel is almost within reach and E3 2021 gave us the best look at the game yet. Coming across as a deliriously esoteric platforming adventure with wit and charm to spare, Psychonauts 2 has been on a range of ‘highly anticipated’ lists for a while now and soon, very soon, we’ll get to see what all the fuss is about.
While no gameplay was shown from Redfall, the next game from the same talent pool that gave us the superb Prey, just the mere knowledge that it exists is enough. Envisaging a far flung future in which bands of hunters do battles with extremely powerful vampires, Redfall’s still quite a while off (Summer 2022), but there’s no denying that it made quite the crimson splash at E3 2021.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl
If somehow you’ve not quite managed to satiate your fix of Russian post-apocalyptic, mutant stuffed shenanigans on account of the excellent Metro games, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl is here to remind you that the best is still yet to come. Showcasing some of the most gorgeous visuals seen in years, coupled with a truly terrifying survival horror FPS premise, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl effortlessly cemented its place as one of the most impressive games of E3 2021.
At E3 2021 Bethesda finally lifted the curtains on Starfield, its all new open-world, sci-fi RPG where players can venture to the stars, take on galaxy changing missions and side with (and double cross) a variety of factions and characters along the way. While an abundance of questions remain, the Starfield trailer, which showed an entirely new next-generation engine built from scratch, nonetheless hints at a solid early contender for 2022’s game of the year. It’s time to get excited.
A top-down interactive thriller which takes place across twelve minutes of real-time and encompasses such Hollywood talents as James McAvoy, Willem Dafoe and Daisy Ridley, Twelve Minutes has players being accused of murder before being killed during a police arrest. Neatly though, rather than drifting off into the great beyond, you wake up at the beginning of the twelve minutes and armed with new knowledge, must change the course of events in true Groundhog Day fashion.