With 2019 coming to a close, it is time to look ahead at what the future holds in store for gaming. Specifically, the RPG genre, which continues to be both extremely popular and relatively scarce. While every other game seems to infuse role-playing mechanics into their overall experience, proper full-blown entries in the genre are still quite rare, mainly due to the resources required to create an RPG.
That said, 2020 is stacked with RPGs, with both Western and Eastern developers getting in on the action. Which title will prove to be the year's best? Even though that answer cannot yet be answered, some games are definitely most hyped than others. Here are the 10 most anticipated RPGs of 2020!
10 Gods & Monsters
Set to be published by Ubisoft, Gods & Monsters has been described as a mix of Assassin's Creed and The Legend of Zelda. Inspired by Greek mythology, to the point that Homer is the narrator, Gods & Monsters should feature a customizable protagonist, a humor-heavy narrative, and a beautiful and vibrant artstyle.
At the moment, little is actually known about Gods & Monsters, although it will be one of 2020's earliest releases.
9 Minecraft Dungeons
The lucrative Minecraft franchise has set its sights on the RPG genre. As implied by the name, Dungeons is a dungeon crawler with simplistic gameplay and a blocky artstyle affiliated with the license.
Unlike Minecraft, Dungeons does not focus on crafting or building, opting for a more traditional action-RPG without a class system. Although the game may not keep veterans of the genre too interested, Dungeons looks set to be a great entry-level RPG.
8 Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
More than 15 years after the release of Vampire: The Masquerade, a sequel is finally in production. Set in Seattle, Bloodlines 2 drops the player into a city packed with nightwalkers and all sorts of other monstrosities. Like the previous game, the protagonist is turned into a vampire and then must align themselves with one of the factions in the city, a choice that should reflect their playing style.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 has hefty expectations to meet, but hope remains that Hardsuit Labs will manage to deliver the goods.
7 Tales Of Arise
Building on the more mature tone of Tales of Berseria, Tales of Arise has the potential to be the darkest entry in the storied franchise's history. Set in a world torn by a power difference that renders one half of the population as slaves, Arise centers around two characters from both sides of society.
Bandai Namco has largely stayed silent about the changes made to the Tales formula, although the gameplay has been tweaked to hopefully allow Arise to satisfy a larger (and Western) audience.
6 Phantasy Star Online 2
Finally, Phantasy Star Online 2 is making its way to North America, even if Sega's RPG will only be released on the Xbox One. This is a game that was first published in Japan in 2012, with Japanese PS4 and Switch versions being released in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
An MMORPG, Phantasy Star Online 2 has obviously aged since its original release; however, it remains a fantastic game with satisfying combat and customization systems. Furthermore, the English version has the benefit of nearly a decade's worth of content and updates to fall back on.
5 Wasteland 3
Considered as the spiritual successor to the isometric Fallout games, Wasteland already has two fantastic turn-based RPGs under its belt. Set to drop in May 2020, Wasteland 3 will focus on player choice, dialogue, and squad-based tactical combat. Expect an in-depth narrative and a challenging but enjoyable gameplay loop.
Stepping away from Wasteland 2's Arizona and Los Angeles settings, 2020's sequel takes place in an icy Colorado.
4 Nioh 2
Team Ninja's sequel to 2017's Nioh will actually be a prequel and feature an entirely different protagonist than the first game. Similar to its predecessor's Onimusha-esque combat, Nioh 2 should offer fast-paced action that comes with multiple weapon types (and stances) to master. The prequel even allows the protagonist to transform into a yokai.
This time around, players are not stuck with a default design and can customize their protagonist's appearance. While information is still relatively scarce, Nioh 2 looks set to be quite an improvement over its predecessor.
3 Final Fantasy VII Remake
An RPG that barely needs any introduction, Final Fantasy VII Remake will launch in 2020. While the 2020 release will only contain a fraction of the entire adventure, Square Enix's remake looks set to expand on the beloved story and characters of the original. Hopefully, any additions will be meaningful and not unnecessary fluff.
A rather divisive change is that to combat, as the remake replaces the original's Active Time Battle system for a more action-oriented real-time system similar to the one in Final Fantasy XV. Players can still pause battles to execute spells or special moves, but these moments will require a meter to be filled before they can be used.
2 Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Dragon Ball FighterZ set an extremely high bar for video game adaptations of the legendary anime and manga franchise, one that Bandai Namco has wisely decided to not even attempt to surpass. Rather than another 2D fighting game, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is an open-world RPG that allows fans to really step into the shoes of Goku.
While combat is still the name of the game, Kakarot will also contain quite a number of mini-quests like fishing and eating, so the campaign should not boil down to just a string of fights. From the information currently available, Kakarot may also include some sort of social links system, as Goku seeks to form bonds with other characters from the franchise.
1 Cyberpunk 2077
2020 marks the year that CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 hits store shelves. For quite a few people, no other game scheduled for the upcoming year stands any chance of overshadowing this RPG from the studio responsible for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Based on Mike Pondsmith's Cyberpunk 2020, a tabletop game that debuted in 1988, Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in an expansive dystopian metropolis called Night City, which is set in California. Replacing The Witcher 3's third-person camera for a first-person angle, Cyberpunk 2077 will permit users to approach the campaign in their preferred way, with even a non-lethal playthrough being an option.