It’s Video Games Day! Here are some upcoming titles we’re excited about

video-games-day

Illustration by Bulgnn/iStock/Getty Images Plus

By John Lucas, Blaine Kyllo, and Mike Usinger

Did you know that September 12 is National Video Games Day? It’s true. Mind you, as Kotaku pointed out, no one is quite sure what that means, or even why such a thing as National Video Games Day even exists.

After all, if you’re reading this—which you are—you’re probably the sort of person who doesn’t need an excuse to commence the mashing of buttons.

So, it’s a made-up non-holiday, but who cares? National Video Games Day is a perfectly good excuse for a listicle. With that in mind, here are some of the titles we’re most stoked about, all of them coming out before the end of 2020.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Nintendo)

September 18
Because we all love a good deal, it’s hard not be jacked about Super Mario 3D All-Stars. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of its cover-alls-clad plumber Nintendo is bundling up three gams in a single Switch package. That means you get Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Sunshine in one place, all games featuring extra features. The catch is that you have to act fast because this greatest hits collection will only be available until March 2021, with that including both physical and digital editions. (Nintendo Switch)

Star Wars: Squadrons (Electronic Arts)

October 2
Ever wanted to pilot an X-Wing starfighter or a TIE Bomber? Why not both? In this space-combat game developed by Montreal-based Motive Studios, you’ll fly into battle for both the New Republic and the Galactic Empire. Set after the Battle of Endor, Squadrons includes a single-player story mode as well as multi-player “dogfight” and “fleet battle” modes. The PC and PS4 versions will be playable in virtual reality with various VR headsets. (PS4, Windows, Xbox One)

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Star Wars: Squadrons (Electronic Arts)

NHL 21 (EA Sports)

October 16
Alexander Ovechkin becomes only the second hockey player to grace the global cover of the hockey sim for a second time (Jonathan Toews was the first). The pandemic-delayed NHL season—and the pandemic itself—has delayed the annual release, but developers at EA’s studio in Burnaby promise a more cinematic “Be a Pro” experience that lets you become a player and progress them into a career in the “Chel”. (PS4, Xbox One)

Watch Dogs: Legion (Ubisoft)

October 29
According to the game’s creative director, Clint Hocking, the Watch Dogs franchise is “about holding those in power accountable”. In Legion, the stage is a chaotic London, a city besieged by private armies, organized crime, and terrorists. Then there’s DedSec, the hacker resistance, working to liberate the people. Two things make Legion stand out. First, any character in the game can be recruited to be part of the resistance. Second, there’s a decidedly British sense of absurdist humour at the heart of it all. (PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft) 

November 10
Ubisoft Montreal led the charge with this latest chapter in the Assassin’s Creed franchise of action adventures, with a story revolving around the migration of vikings to England. New to the series are “raids,” where you lead a small group of fighters in attacks to secure resources for your settlements, which will be key to your success. (PS4, PS5, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft)

Destiny 2: Beyond Light (Bungie)

November 10 
It’s the game that never stops changing, and with Beyond Light, Destiny 2 adds a new environment in Europa, the frozen moon of Jupiter. You’ll also get a new power to wield in the form of “Stasis”, which controls time through the manipulation of cold and ice. That means three new character classes, the Hunter Revenant, the Titan Behemoth, and the Warlock Shadebinder. Bring on the Fallen. (PS4, PS5, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Sega)

November 10
This latest installment in the Yakuza series isn’t exactly new. It was released in January in Japan, so it hits the North American market this fall having already accrued a pile of good reviews and best-seller status. It sure sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe you’ll find the main story—a crime-family saga weaving together Japanese yakuza, Chinese triads, and Korean gangsters—doesn’t grab you. In that case, there are always more light-hearted side activities including karaoke and kart racing. (PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War (Activision)

November 13
Because nostalgia is a weird and totally irrational thing, the latest installment in this Call of Duty spinoff series will give gamers of a certain advanced age something akin to the war fuzzies. Remember Ronald Reagan? The Soviet Union? The Berlin Wall? VHS? You probably don’t, but that’s okay. Black Ops: Cold War is part first-person shooter and part history lesson—with the emphasis definitely on the former. (PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)

Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)

November 19 
From the developers that brought us The Witcher comes this first-person role-playing game that puts you in the shoes of a “V”, a futuristic mercenary in Night City, California. You’ll fight, race cars, hack stuff, shoot people, and generally carry on in the dystopia where corporations are in control and people look to improve themselves with cybernetic implants. Don’t let the European male box art fool you, you can create your own V right down to the voice. Added bonus: Keanu Reeves plays Johnny Silverhand, a key character in the game. (PS4, PS5, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X)

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Nintendo)

November 20
No, this is not the eagerly anticipated follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. (Nor, for that matter, is it a sequel to the 2014 Wii U title Hyrule Warriors.) Rather, it’s a prequel, set 100 years before the Great Calamity. As such, you already know how this one is going to end—i.e., not well for our heroes—which admittedly takes much of the dramatic tension out of the narrative. Nonetheless, fans of the franchise will love that Age of Calamity has a two-player mode, and that they will be able to control, Link, Zelda, and various other characters. (Switch)

Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)

Holidays 2020
In case you haven’t been dialed into what’s happening in the world this century, the world has changed for the better despite the efforts of Donald Trump and his team in the White House. Who would have dreamed, other than perhaps Martin Luther King, that we’d one day have a black Spider-Man. We do, of course, in Miles Morales. Watch for an open-world experience set in a Big Apple that’s overrun with the kind of lunatics (hello Don Jr. and Eric!) that Batman and Superman were supposed to clean up but clearly weren’t up to the task. (PS5)

Diablo IV (Blizzard)

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Imagine being so powerful that people will do all sorts of crazy things to avoid meeting you. Examples being abstaining from alcohol, declining to engage in premarital sex, and making every effort to not covet thy neighbour’s wife. Such is the clout of the man known variously as Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, and the Mango Mussolini. Diablo IV is the latest installment in a slash and hack franchise will feature the usual dungeons, barbarians, druids, and sorceresses doing their best to load up on mystical cheddar while trying to survive. Watch however for a open world with simple peasants like you and me front and centre. (PS4, Windows, Xbox One)

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