Welcome to yet another year of the most anticipated games for the upcoming year! And what a year it looks like it will be. Look, we say this every year, but 2020 is just loaded with huge titles that we can't wait to play. When we sat down to make the list, the number of available titles were just overwhelming, which made whittling it down to just 30 all the more difficult.
The list will be rolled out 10 at a time over the coming days. We are continuing to present this list in (mostly) random order to keep you guessing just a little, though you will notice that some of the earliest releases of the year are making their way into today's selections. So, check out the 10 we have below, and make sure you come back to check out what else we have in store over the next couple of days.
What are you most excited to get your hands on this year? Make sure you let us know on Twitter, Facebook, Discord, Instagram, or however you most enjoy interacting with us!
Intro by Zach Wilkerson
Dragon Ball Z is no stranger to video games, especially RPGs: hell, even Monolith Soft have made one! But the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot feels like a real event. While it's a retelling of the Saiyan, Frieza, Cell, and Buu Sagas, Kakarot is ensuring things will be fresh and exciting by introducing exclusive characters and storylines, while also throwing in tons of things to do. With hectic combat akin to the Budokai fighting games and tons of quests to complete, fish to catch, and monsters to kill, this looks to be any Dragon Ball Z fan's dream. Luckily, it's one of the first RPGs to release in 2020, so you won't have long to wait to reunite with Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Trunks and friends.
by Alana Hagues
As a publisher, Chucklefish has played a part in delivering some of the most engaging pixel art games in the last decade, including Wargroove, Timespinner, and Stardew Valley. In 2020, they seem poised to add to that list with the frankly stunning graphic presentation of Eastward. Looking like a Studio Ghibli film from the SNES era, Eastward is an action-adventure RPG set during the downfall of human society. Though the eye-catching graphics sell the title, it also appears to have deep action RPG mechanics, letting you switch between two characters (an old man and a young girl) to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. We don't know when in 2020 it will be released, but look forward to exploring this beautifully animated pixel-based world soon!
Here it is, folks: your Final Mix additions for Kingdom Hearts III. Kingdom Hearts III is already a massive game, but most will admit the post-game is a little bit lacking. ReMind looks to change that. The true Organization XIII are back again as optional boss fights, which look to bring some additional challenge and fun callbacks for long-time fans. Not only that, but Final Fantasy favourites such as Cid, Yuffie, Leon and Aerith are returning after they were sorely missed in the base game! But most importantly, Kairi is finally going to be a playable character! Will this answer all of the questions fans had at the end of the main game? We'll find out pretty early on this year.
by Alana Hagues
Well, this is a nice surprise, isn't it? Originally developed by Love-de-Lic and released on the PlayStation all the way back in 1997, Moon was never localized for the West. Over 20 years later, no one was even talking about Moon anymore, let alone asking for a localization. But here we are, and the game is on its way to the West this year on Nintendo Switch. Moon, a parody and love letter to early console RPGs, follows a young boy who is sucked into a video game named "Moon" where he accidentally skips dialogue and can't make any sense of the story. By all accounts, it's both hilariously written and truly unique from a gameplay perspective. It might be 22 years later than we hoped for, but we're still excited to take a stab at this cult classic.
The Phantom Thieves' answer to the Investigation Team's Persona 4 Golden, Persona 5 Royal looks to bring tons of new content to an already fantastic base game. That acid jazz flair and visual polish is still here, but Royal adds a brand new party member in the form of Kasumi Yoshizawa, who gets her own fancy Phantom Thief alias and thief-inspired Persona. There are brand new confidants to work alongside and build up relationships with, as well as a whole new semester with even more plot that looks to link into the upcoming Persona Musou game. This series is more popular than it's ever been, so we're never going to complain about more Persona, especially when it's this stylish.
by Alana Hagues
Planet Stronghold 2 by indie game developer Winter Wolves has players once again take on the role of either Joshua or Lisa Nelson as they traverse the titular planet. The original game had some interesting sci-fi lore and featured multiple decision branching points, and the sequel promises to expand on those plot concepts as well as feature improved gameplay elements. Like the first game, Planet Stronghold 2 is a sci-fi visual novel/RPG hybrid. A true sequel, Planet Stronghold 2 will allow players to create starting conditions based off the plot of the first Planet Stronghold to accurately continue the Nelsons' adventure!
Aside from re-releases, it has been almost eight years since the last Rune Factory game. When developer Neverland went bankrupt in 2013, that seemed to signal the end of the series, but thanks to Marvelous and XSEED — and returning series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto — we're finally going to see more of Harvest Moon's (well, Story of Seasons'...) spin-off. Between the continued popularity of Stardew Valley and a constant supply of farming/sim indie games such as Kynseed, My Time at Portia, and more, it's going to be interesting to see how this classic series comes into the modern age.
by Mike Salbato
Usually headlining RPG fans' "Switch ports that need to happen" lists (including our very own) is the Wii U cult classic Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Nintendo and Atlus are making that dream a reality on January 17th with the release of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. The Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem crossover game is looking for better success on a console people actually own. Featuring a new dungeon, new songs, and lots of quality of life improvements, this port looks to put on a big performance on Switch.
by Nathan Lee
The strategy RPG Unsung Story: Tales of the Guardians has definitely had a rocky development, with a Kickstarter campaign that began way back in 2014 courtesy of developer Playdek. It finally seems to be back on track for a 2020 release thanks to a collaboration with developer Little Orbit. There are several well-known industry names behind this SRPG, such as past Final Fantasy series developers including designer Yasumi Matsuno, artist Akihiko Yoshida, and musical composer Hitoshi Sakimoto. Those names alone are certainly enough of a reason for fans of tactical RPGs to remain cautiously optimistic for Unsung Story!
With the story of Kazuma Kiryu complete, we have all been wondering what direction Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio will take for future Yakuza titles. Well, no one could have guessed they would be inspired by the Dragon Quest series to go full JRPG! Yakuza: Like a Dragon will feature active turn-based battles, a fully developed job system, and much more that we typically associate with traditional JRPGs. But it certainly won't be leaving its unique sense of humor and countless minigames behind (including what looks to be an entire Mario Kart-esque racing game). While some have greeted the changes with skepticism, we have faith that the Ryu Ga Gotoku team will be able to deliver on the trademark Yakuza experience with a distinct "Like a Dragon Quest" twist!