The new year is bringing with it some of the greatest RPGs to date. From remastered cult classics to Dark Souls-inspired samurai sequels, 2020 is looking to be a bad year for wallets, but a great year for everything else. Whether you've got a PS4, PC, Xbox One, or Switch, there's a little here in the gift basket for everyone. There's even a title coming to Stadia.
Here are eight upcoming RPGs you should be excited for, with an honorable mention to Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, which will feature a brand new open-world in the Dragon Ball universe.
For all your other needs, keep reading.
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: March 3, 2020
It's no surprise that the remake of Final Fantasy 7 is on this list. The title has been in development for a long time. As the original Final Fantasy 7 was a huge entry boasting a grandiose world spanning multiple discs, Square decided to release multiple games for the remake, the first of which will focus on Midgar.
Midgar serves as the opening tutorial in the original PS1 title, but focusing on recreating the sprawling metropolis should allow Square Enix to expand the section and bring the city to life while highlighting the decisions Cloud and his colleagues struggle with before they set out into the world.
Some might miss the turn-based strategy of old as the remake has opted for a more action-oriented approach, but it's still garnered high praise from those who've played it. You can look forward to this title in March 3, 2020.
Developer: Amusement Vision
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Playing the Yakuza series is like drinking a fine wine, served by a clown. The tone whiplash works to the game's benefit as players can go from tracking down a mob-boss with voice acting so genuine and gritty they pop off the screen to giving a shy dominatrix advice and playing with toy cars.
Every character sounds straight out of a Japanese mobster movie, every plot thread is realized to its fullest, and the beat-em-up combat definitely gets the job done.
The basic premise has always been to tell a plucky story about the Yakuza while peppering in various minigames across the world. And somehow, against all odds, it works masterfully. The physical Yakuza Remastered Collection will release on February 11, 2020, with remastered versions of Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5.
This one's a bit of a cheat because buying the digital version of the collection gives you access to Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 4 now, with Yakuza 5 dropping on February 11. But any hardcore series fan is picking up the physical collection.
If you're unsure if you'll enjoy the collection, Yakuza 0, which acts as an introduction to the series, is available for around $20.
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Persona 5 brought the persona series into the mainstream, but it's had a long history before that. Persona 3 dealt with the topic of death and exams, and Persona 4 put players in the middle of a murder investigation where the culprit had a habit of dropping victims into another world and leaving them to die.
When Persona 4 Golden was released on the PS Vita, it beefed up the story and threw in a ton more sidequests, content, and a brand new character to bring players back to its colorful world. Persona 5: Royal will do the same and feature even more content than The Golden, which is impressive given Persona 5's 100-hour main story.
Look forward to rejoining the Phantom Thieves with all DLC from the original game and more goodies included when this title launches in March of 2020.
Publisher: Team Ninja
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Nioh is basically Dark Souls with samurai, and the prequel title aims to do the same as its predecessor while improving on the formula. This ARPG reportedly has better skill trees, improved weapons, and a Switchglaive, which transforms as players attack and has a slower, more methodical take on the frenzied combat surrounding Nioh 2.
We've reported on the demo before, and it seems that if you're skilled at the first game, those skills will transfer beautifully to Nioh 2. The enemies will still put you through the wringer if you make a single mistake, as most Souls games will.
For those unfamiliar with Souls games, getting through an 80-hour playthrough of Nioh 2 when it releases in March of 2020 will be an accomplishment in itself.
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: TBA 2020
The Tales games have been around since Tales of Phantasia in 1995. The series gained notoriety with Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube, and Tales of Arise will be nearing the series' 20th entry when it launches in 2020.
The game will feature a complete graphical overhaul, but the same tried-and-tested combat. Combat in Tales games places characters on a straight path towards their enemy, allowing them to use the directional buttons for combos like in a fighting game.
It takes a bit to get used to, but one only needs to check YouTube's Tales combo videos, such as those for Tales of Berseria, to see the flashy results.
Considering the history of the series, it might be best to grab a hold of Tales of Vesperia, which is available now and serves as a strong entry featuring the best protagonist according to many in the community. Look for Tales of Arise when it releases sometime in 2020.
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: TBA 2020
Dying Light 2 is a survival horror ARPG. Much like its predecessor, Dying Light 2 this brings parkour and superhuman skills into the mix with a main character living 15 years after the events of the first game.
Dying Light 2 will lock off some sections of the city depending on player choices, encouraging multiple playthroughs for those who want to see everything. The game is no standard, cookie cutter zombie RPG, however, as at least one writer from The Witcher 3 writing team is working on Dying Light 2.
Players will probably remember Karolina Stachyra from the Bloody Baron questline in The Witcher 3, which turned out to be one of the most impactful, gut wrenching "sometimes there isn't a happy ending" moments in all of media.
Look for Dying Light 2 sometime in 2020.
Publisher: CD Projekt Red
Platform: Stadia, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: April 16, 2020
Cyberpunk 2077 is the next ambitious leap for CD Projekt Red since The Witcher 3. As one of the few developers with a proven track record of good consumer practices (no loot boxes), and the one responsible for making DLC longer than most games for a fraction of the price, CD Projekt Red will bring players into the future where crime, glamor, and cybernetic implants reign supreme.
The Witcher 3 featured a huge, fleshed out story where every decision mattered, and Cyberpunk 2077 looks to carry on that tradition. There's a reason Cyberpunk 2077 is already a household name, and when this RPG launches in 2020, it might be a good idea to call in sick to work for at least a week.
Publisher: Monolith Soft
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: TBA 2020
Xenoblade Chronicles was one of, if not the largest, JRPG from the Wii era. The game has quite possibly one of the strongest written and voiced stories in gaming, with twists and turns that keep coming throughout a massive, 100-hour playthrough.
The gameplay is quick and strategic and most importantly, the title is being entirely remastered with updated visuals. Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 followed this masterpiece of storytelling, but neither quite scratched the itch left by the first game. If you're a fan of JRPGs, this is THE JRPG to look out for in 2020.
Whether you're new to RPGs or a seasoned veteran, 2020 looks to be the year to double, triple, or quadruple dip on these new titles. It's likely that more RPGs will be announced in 2020, and with indie games being rereleased every month, this list is certainly not all-encompassing, but we hope it will get you started.
For more on the hot games coming out in 2020, check out the lists below: