There’s never any shortage of video games set in space. In 2021 we have quite a few exciting titles slated to hit the marketplace that’s well worth checking out. Even if Kerbal Space Program 2 and Callisto Protocol is coming out next year, 2022, here are some of our most anticipated new space games this year.
Update Disclaimer: We removed Beyond Good & Evil 2, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Star Citizen, and Elite Dangerous: Odyssey either because of delays or failure to keep its place in our list.
- Developer: Frozenbyte
- Publisher: Forzenbyte
- Platforms: PC
- Release: July 29, 2021 Early Access
Starbase is a bit like a mashup of No Man’s Sky and Minecraft. In this game, players are set in a massive MMO universe with thousands of other players. This voxel/vertex game will allow players to build up spacecrafts and space stations. It looks like a very community-focused title where the game is what players make of it. Not only are players able to gather resources and explore the vast galaxy, but you’ll also be able to trade, and combatant with others as the environment is said to be fully destructible. Fortunately, some anti-griefing mechanics are in place that allows players to develop dynamic, safe zones. Meanwhile, players proven to be troublesome are taken to an actual prison colony. For now, the game is in an Early Access format on Steam. According to the Steam page for Starbase, the developers are expecting Starbase to stay in Early Access for up to two years.
- Developer: People Can Fly
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, X/S
- Release Date: April 1, 2021
Outriders is a game that came out from developers. People Can Fly, who you might know from Bulletstorm or Gears of War: Judgment. In this game, players are thrown into a third-person shooter action RPG. The world has surpassed the point of exhaustion. With no resources available, humanity has charted out to find a new home. Your ship manages to land on an alien planet called Enoch. However, it seems that this world is full of anomalies that have left survivors battling to keep alive. Finding yourself with new supernatural powers, it’s a mix of firearms to manipulate fire or seismic attacks. So far, the reception has been a bit mixed, but it’s a game you’ll want to keep tabs on.
#8 Dyson Sphere Program
- Developer: Gamera Game, Shanghai Game Mirror Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd.
- Publisher: Youthcat Studio
- Platform: PC
- Release Date: January 21, 2021 Early Access
Dyson Sphere Program is a strategic management-style video game. Players are thrown into this world where humanity needs energy, but there’s not enough available. That’s where you step in as a space engineer tasked with a seemingly impossible project called Dyson Spheres. The theory is to build a production assembly that can orbit around a star and obtain its energy. Players will have complete control building up a factory that can sustain itself and store enough energy to send back to Earth. Of course, much like other strategy games, players can research new technologies that will help improve factories while you attempt to design a more efficient automated factory.
#7 Exo One
- Developer: Exbleative
- Publisher: Exbleative, Future Friends Games
- Platform: PC, XSX/S
- Release Date: TBA
Exo One is a unique game on this list and one that’s a bit mesmerizing to watch. It’s a simplistic title where you control an alien craft that can change shape as you fly around different planets. Players will be using momentum to contentiously increase speed and continue their voyage throughout the different terrains. The game was initially slated to hit the marketplace in 2020 but has since been delayed for 2021. However, you can get a demo of this game right now through Steam.
#6 Aliens: Fireteam Elite
- Developer: Cold Iron Studios
- Publisher: Cold Iron Studios
- Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, X/S
- Release Date: August 24, 2021
Aliens: Fireteam Elite might have gone under the radar for some players out there but if you enjoyed the franchise, then here is a third-person shooter that’s less focused on survival horror. This is a cooperative third-person action game where players step into an elite team that responds to distress calls from the outer colonies. As you can imagine, these distress calls come packed with aliens that you’ll be battling against with your team. If you work with your team of players or AI bots, you’ll be able to overthrow the waves of Xenomorphs that pile on your way. Meanwhile, if you’re curious where this game is set in terms of the films, you’ll find that Alien: Fireteam Elite takes place two decades after the events from the original Alien trilogy.
- Developer: Housemarque
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Platform: PS5
- Release Date: April 30, 2021
A PlayStation 5 exclusive worth looking into is Returnal. This is a game developed by Housemarque. In this title, players take the role of a female astronaut named Selene. Stuck on an alien planet, Selene is forced into finding a way home. However, she soon discovers that she’s also stuck in a time loop. In this roguelike third-person shooter, every time Selene dies, she starts back at the beginning forcing her to find new weapons with hopes of venturing out further than before. Players will find that this game is a bullet hell, so you’re constantly having to look around and find ways to get around the area while avoiding your enemy attacks. Expect plenty of running around and dodging enemy projectiles that fire your way.
#4 Mass Effect Legendary Edition
- Developer: BioWare
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release Date: May 14, 2021
The Mass Effect franchise is a massively popular RPG series from BioWare. Those first three mainline video game installments were cherished by fans and still get recommended to new players today. However, those games came out quite a few years ago at this point. In fact, the final installment that wrapped up the trilogy came out in 2012. Fortunately, we have a new way to enjoy those classic video game titles on modern platforms. BioWare delivered fans a remastered collection edition. The first three Mass Effect video game titles were touched up with new mechanical and visual enhancements. However, don’t expect the studio to make any changes to the narrative storyline. You’re still going to get the classic Mass Effect narrative filled with iconic characters and a story filled with twists and turns.
#3 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- Developer: Insomniac Games
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Platform: PS5
- Release Date: June 11, 2021
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a bit toned down compared to past video game installments. But, this is still an excellent third-person platformer that you should check into if you have a PlayStation 5. Developers, Insomniac Games made use of the power of Sony’s latest console platform. The help of components like the SSD has allowed the studio to bring out a new mechanic. Known as the Rift Tether, players can quickly warp between areas or bring out brand new levels to jump through instantly. Meanwhile, the game narrative is, of course, Ratchet & Clank having to save the galaxy again from the likes of Doctor Nefarious. Like some of the other games on this list, we’re reaching a bit because this game is set on a different planet rather than strictly being in space.
#2 Halo Infinite
- Developer: 343 Industries
- Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
- Platform: PC, Xbox One, XSX/S
- Release Date: December 8, 2021
Halo has been a staple video game exclusive franchise for Microsoft since the original Xbox video game console launched into the marketplace. Fans thoroughly took up with the Halo IP as players stepped into the role of Master Chief, having to fight off alien hostiles and save humanity. Since then, the video game franchise has blown up with mainline installments, spin-offs, toys, comic books, and even an upcoming television series. Fortunately, we’re not done playing these Halo games quite yet, and it looks like we should be able to dive into the next thrilling installment this year. Originally, Halo Infinite was supposed to launch into the marketplace last year. However, after very rocky gameplay footage reveal, fans took to the internet and expressed their frustrations over how the game looked. 343 Industries took that as a sign to hold the game off from the release in 2020 and instead focused on developing the game a bit longer. Now it looks like we can once again step into the role of Master Chief this year, where we’ll have to face off a rogue Covenant group. Unlike the previous installment, players will be focusing more on Master Chief, which seems to have a few more weapons and abilities, such as a grapple system. Likewise, we know that the multiplayer component will be free to play, so everyone can get in on this Halo gameplay even if they don’t go through the campaign.
#1 Everspace 2
- Developer: ROCKFISH Games
- Publisher: ROCKFISH Games
- Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, , Linux, Macintosh operating systems
- Release Date: Early Access, January 18, 2021
Everspace 2 will bring players a new spaceship combat RPG this year. Just as before, the game is all about spaceships as you tweak the vehicle up before you set off on your journey full of exploration and space battles. A good portion of the game is gathering loot and entering areas that may prove too difficult for some to pilot through. All along the way, players will meet up with new friends that all have a story to tell, but it might be a bit before we can dive into this game. Currently, Everspace 2 is only available right now as an Early Access title. We won’t see the entire game and content until likely 2022. However, you can get a head start on the gameplay right now.