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Our most anticipated PC games of 2020

It's a new year, and there are already hundreds of new games coming in 2020. We'll try our best, but we already know playing each and every one of them is a hopeless task. It's too many! PC gaming is like a savannah: the regularly updated living games like Fortnite and League of Legends relax around an oasis, while the strong newcomers parade around the grasslands. We don't talk about the badlands (that's where Steam's most questionable Early Access MMOs fester in the darkness).

Right now we're on the prowl for those bold new games, the ones that will strut onto the field later this year and capture everyone's attention. These are the ones we're most excited to devour in 2020, and expect to be the boldest and best of the herd.

Warhammer Underworlds Online

(Image credit: Steel Sky Productions)

Developer: Steel Sky Productions | Expected release date: January 28, 2020 (Early Access)

I know, I know, Warhammer games are a dime a dozen these days, and they’re rarely good. But hear me out on this one. The Warhammer Underworlds tabletop game is the best thing Games Workshop has put out in years, pitting small warbands against each other in a kind of hybrid of board game, wargame, and CCG. It’s super fast, super strategic, and really great fun, to the point that really I think all this digital adaptation needs to do is recreate it as-is and add decent online multiplayer, and it’ll be onto a winner. — Robin Valentine

Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Developer: id Software | Expected release date: March 20, 2020

Doom (2016) reintroduced speed and momentum back into the series, treating hell as an excuse to make a videogame out of metal album covers and Doomguy as an ineffable demigod whose mastercraft is turning demons inside out. Doom Eternal is doubling down on the speed and lavish stupidity, adding a dash move, a grappling hook, an improved gore system, more guns—and now we're going to tear up heaven. The heavy metal album aesthetic is also a nice fit for eerie celestial utopias. I'm all for ballooning this dumb lore, as long as it looks good and keeps the pace. I wonder what color an angel bleeds? — James Davenport

Half-Life: Alyx

(Image credit: Valve)

Developer: Valve | Expected release date: March 2020

Valve finally announced a new Half-Life game, but it's not Half-Life 3. But it's a new Half-Life game! But it's VR only. So, sort of a mixture of disappointment, curiosity, and excitement. I'm definitely interested to see how they push the boundaries of VR and expand on the Half-Life universe in this prequel to Half-Life 2. This isn't The Lab, either, some experimental VR experience. It's a full-length (and full price) game. — Chris Livingston

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord

(Image credit: Taleworlds)

Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment | Expected release date: March 2020 (Early Access)

Despite playing it multiple times I’m still not quite sure Mount & Blade 2 is a real thing that’s happening. It’s been so long since it was first announced that a release date seems impossibly hard to visualise. But it seems to be making progress, and the singleplayer build I played at Gamescom, though just as rough around the edges as its predecessor, kept me very entertained. I stole a castle! At the start of the year, I made the ridiculous and bold prediction that a release date would be announced in 2019, but instead it will be appearing, at least in Early Access, in March 2020. Finally!  — Fraser Brown

Cyberpunk 2077

(Image credit: CD Projekt)

Developer: CD Projekt Red | Expected release date: April 16, 2020

I just want to walk around Night City. I love touring digital cities and Night City looks like one of the most spectacular environments I’ve seen in a game, at least if the demos aren’t mostly smoke and mirrors. While the missions CD Projekt Red has shown off have all seemed pretty thrilling and full of player choice, I’d probably be content to just wander around. Hit up some shops. Steal a flashy car. Crash into a Cybertruck. I’m hoping it will be pretty sandboxy. While it’s not far off, there are still some big questions, like what’s going on with multiplayer? It’s still a mystery, but not coming until after launch. Imagine: something like GTA Online, but in that city. I might be dreaming too big. — Fraser Brown 

Dying Light 2

(Image credit: Techland)

Developer: Techland | Expected release date: Spring 2020

I didn't totally love Dying Light—the parkour was a lot of fun and there were some sweet kicks, but the story ran out of steam long before the ending. But I'm looking forward to Dying Light 2—by the sound of it there's going to be way more to the parkour and crafting systems, a world four times the size of the original, and a branching story that means your choices will have an impact on the state of the world as you play. Bigger doesn't always mean better, but Dying Light 2 sounds like it's bigger in all the right ways. — Chris Livingston

Empire of Sin

(Image credit: Paradox)

Developer: Romero Games | Expected release date: Spring 2020

It’s been far too long since we had a good gangster sim, but Empire of Sin looks like it will fill the gap nicely. Set during prohibition, you’re a fledgling boss with a small business and a couple of goons, but you can start buying up more properties and chasing out the competition until you’ve got a city under your thumb. The goons aren’t faceless henchmen, either, and can fall in love, hit the booze too much or even catch an STD from hanging around one of your brothels. It sounds like an HR nightmare. — Fraser Brown 

Hollow Knight Silksong

(Image credit: Team Cherry)

Developer: Team Cherry | Expected release date: 2020

A planned expansion for the fantastic Metroid-inspired adventure Hollow Knight morphed into a full-blown sequel starring Hornet, the princess of the ruined kingdom of Hallownest. I thought there was a slim chance we'd be playing Silksong before 2019 was over. But the tiny indie dev studio Team Cherry is still hard at work on this one, promising a "vast, haunted kingdom" to explore and a more acrobatic main character. Silksong doesn't look like it'll diverge too far from the style of the original game, but just playing as Hornet will give combat a different feel, and it'll be a pleasure to get lost in another densely interconnected bug civilization. — Wes Fenlon

I am beyond excited to delve into a new subterranean bug kingdom in Hollow Knight Silksong. I'm looking forward to trying out Hornet's deadly arsenal of abilities, the very same moves that she used to kick my butt back in 2017, and learning more about the lore of Team Cherry's intricate bug civilisation of shining citadels, cowardly kings, and lost histories. The Australian developers had originally planned that Hornet's story was going to be DLC, but then surprised fans by announcing that the needle wielding acrobat was getting her own full-blown game. What did we do to be blessed with Team Cherry? — Rachel Watts

Microsoft Flight Simulator

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Developer: Microsoft | Expected release date: 2020

A new era for cool uncles and aunts is nearly here. The classic sim is circling back around with some extremely impressive tech on board. Microsoft Flight Sim will use map data from Bing to let you drop a pin on the globe and load into a one-to-one 3D recreation of the space. It's the entire world. It'll even pull in live weather data, so if I look out the window of my Montana apartment and the snow's coming down heavy, I can drop a pin and fly over my place to experience a bird's eye approximation of the weather. VR support is planned too, and thank goodness, because the cockpits look nicer than ever. Everything looks nicer than ever. It will almost certainly be one of the best looking games on PC in 2020. — James Davenport

Spelunky 2

(Image credit: Spelunky 2)

Developer: Mossmouth | Expected release date: 2020

This is the sequel to our 2013 Game of the Year, so yeah—safe to say we're pretty excited about Spelunky. It must be pretty intimidating to make a follow-up to one of the most acclaimed indie games of the generation, especially one that proved as replayable as Spelunky did. What do you add? What do you take out? How much deeper can you make Spelunky's best feature, the way enemies and traps interacted with each other in a thousand entertaining ways? Well, you go to the damn moon, for starters. 

Spelunky 2 seems to add more varied environments, mounts, fluid dynamics for water and lava, and lots of little environmental details that weren't in the first game. Online co-op will also be a big deal—dying over and over again is a lot more fun with friends. — Wes Fenlon

 Vampire the Masquerade—Bloodlines 2 

(Image credit: Hardsuit Labs)

Developer: Hardsuit Labs | Expected release date: 2020

It's been awhile since I felt the legit, deep-in-the-gut excitement that hit me the first time someone suggested that the new thing Paradox was teasing might be Bloodlines. The original was a buggy mess, and it bombed, but it's still one of the best RPGs ever and an opportunity to dive back into that world is, for me, the proverbial "take my money" moment. Of course it won't be that world: Bloodlines is very much a product of its time, all smoky and gothic and weird. But it's sounding very much like the Seattle-set Bloodlines 2 will be, too. Which is fine by me. If the story, the characters, the murderous politics, and the brilliant attention to detail can meet the standard set by the original, I might as well call it my game of the year right here and now. (I do hope they keep at least a couple of those underlit dance clubs, though. How can I be a proper vampire without busting a move to some Lacuna Coil?) — Andy Chalk

Ooblets

(Image credit: Glumberland)

Developer: Glumberland | Expected release date: 2020

Ooblets is gearing up to be one of 2020's most wholesome games. It's a ridiculously cute farm builder where you grow and battle little critters. It takes the chilled out planting of Harvest Moon, the turn-based battles of Pokemon, and the relaxed close-knit community life of Animal Crossing to create a cheerful, cosy game. When we asked Greg Rice of Double Fine which Ooblet was the cutest he couldn't decide saying "They're all too cute," and with ooblets like Gubwee, Gloopylonglegs, and Radlad to choose from who can blame him. Ooblets' burst of charm and cuteness will most certainly be a highlight of 2020.  — Rachel Watts 

Watch Dogs Legion

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Developer: Ubisoft | Expected release date: 2020

I'm intrigued by the idea of a game with no set protagonist. You inhabit the bodies of anyone you recruit to your team of rebels, and you can choose from any NPC in a dystopian London—plus, any of them can die permanently. It's a great hook and I'm excited to see how it all works. Legion was originally planned for early 2020 but it's been pushed back to an unspecified date. — Chris Livingston

I have a plan for when I start playing Watch Dogs Legion. Ubisoft's open-world RPG gives players the ability to recruit and play as literally anyone in the game, and since this was announced I am determined to lead the revolution with a mob of highly-skilled, badass hacker grannies. At E3, Watch Dogs Legion boasted not one, but two gritty grandmas to show off its features. Gameplay footage featured Margie, the old but spritely hacker and Helen, the badass retired assassin who infiltrated a police station with spider bots. It's not often that you get to play as mature ladies in games, so I'm hoping that my party of pensioners will lead the revolution, if I don't kill them with Watch Dog's Legion's permadeath feature first. — Rachel Watts

Crusader Kings 3

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Developer: Paradox | Expected release date: 2020

I've never been much for strategy, but Crusader Kings 2 is one of my favorite games of all time because it's so damn personal. There's the grand view of the enormous medieval world but also the microscopic soap opera of dealing with your family, friends, and neighbors. If Crusader Kings 3 can retain the fantastic storytelling experience while expanding on some of the features of CK2, I'll be one happy king. — Chris Livingston

Crusader Kings 2 was a really good strategy game, but a better roleplaying game, so I’m thrilled that its sequel is going to lean into that even more. It’s pinching RPG systems and even giving dynasties themselves traits and progression, to better let us make our unique and dreadful bloodlines. It’s also going to be four times the size and contain most of what appeared in the previous games DLC, so I expect to be up to my eyeballs in intrigue and conquest. — Fraser Brown

System Shock

(Image credit: Nightdive)

Developer: Nightdive Studios | Expected release date: 2020

I played System Shock 2 before I played System Shock, which is why I never finished the original: It was looking very old by the time I got to it, and It's tough to take that much of a step backwards. That’s why I'm so happy that Nightdive is giving System Shock the big do-over in 2020. It's a reboot, but the studio says it "adheres closely to the vision of the original System Shock," and after playing around with the demo during that Game Awards thing, I am incredibly optimistic. It looks like a new game but it feels like System Shock of old, and that is exactly what I want out of it. — Andy Chalk

Sable

(Image credit: Shedworks)

Developer: Shedworks | Expected release date: 2020

Sable is one of those striking games that sets a tone from the first seconds of its trailer and pulls you in, regardless of what you'll actually be doing in it. A look inspired by comic artist Moebius, and a soundtrack by indie artist Japanese Breakfast, makes Sable feel like a sci-fi cousin to Shadow of the Colossus in tone and setting—minus climbing giant beasts, but with lots of exploring a quiet, abandoned world. Pepper that world with just enough mystery and scraps of story to discover, and it'll be enough.  — Wes Fenlon

Hey folks, beloved mascot Coconut Monkey here representing the collective PC Gamer editorial team, who worked together to write this article!