Here’s your guide to 2021’s most anticipated Xbox games. Games ranging from horror to survival and first-person shooters to be excited about on Xbox.
With the PlayStation 5 hitting stores in November 2020, Xbox released their advanced console, Series X and there are plenty of games to get excited about. With its updated, sleek new design, the X console allows high definition experiences. Having the ability to produce up to 120 frames ps, 8K HDR and Velocity architecture. It’s faster, superior and more powerful than any previous design. Alongside word of series X, Xbox has announced exciting, challenging and captivating games. But new releases are worth your time and money? We take a look.
1. 12 minutes
Featuring the voices of Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy and Willem Dafoe, 12 minutes is set in the apartment of a married couple. We focus on the husband and his ability to overcome a range of different obstacles.
Publisher Annapurna Interactive has gone with a retro click-to-step player mode. All to simulate organic transitions throughout the emotionally difficult yet enticing distortion of time. This unique and underrated style of gameplay allows for an encompassing experience. One that radiates emotional and practical outcomes over combat style games. And permits for an enjoyable break from more well-known survival and RPG games. With the release date yet to be announced, 12 Minutes, has the potential to become one of 2021’s most waited on games yet.
2. Psychonauts 2
The long-awaited sequel of the 2005 original game Psychonauts is finally launching. But is looking as if it will be closer to the end of 2021. With its obscure character style, humorous scripting, and easily playable combat and navigational skills. It’s understandable why fans have donated $3.8 billion to its development. Picking up from the original plotline, the sequel will follow Raz on his journey with the Titular team, overcoming new styles of combat, dangers and threats.
Set in the 1980s, Raz achieves his dream of reaching Psychonauts headquarter, helping the psychic spies with their missions. This multiplatform game has been long-awaited. It has the potential to not only bring you back to a childhood classic but launch you into a world of thrilling new adventures.
3. Hitman 3
With the official tagline for the release of Hitman 3 being ” A dramatic conclusion to the world of assignation trilogy” there are high expectations of the game.
But with both previous Hitman games being the quality and experience they are, there’s little doubt that the third game will be anything less than an amazing and surreal escapade.
This multiplatform game incorporates all the best locations and characters from the previous two games (as long as you already own them). As well as exotic new locations from around the world.
With the ability to play with VR headsets, this advanced version of the Hitman trilogy has the prospective to be the best of the three. With IO interactive releasing a limited description of the plotline, there is lots to hope for with this stealth game launched in late January 2021.
With no official release date, Chernobylite looks like one of 2021’s most gripping survival games to come. Playing as a scientist from the 1986 catastrophe, this science-fiction game follows the conspiracy’s surrounding the danger zone of the aftermath of the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl.
The multiplatform game allows for free exploration of the map, challenging combat situations with various villains and an intertwining plotline. With the developer being that of “Get even” and “NecroVisioN” Farm 51 is known for the enticing, sombre visual graphics that enhance gameplay.
Delving into a profound personal story, with intense character and graphics, Chernobylite is a game that, by the seems of it, will keep you interested for hours on end.
Benefiting from the impressive power the Xbox series X can be seen to have, the adventure game Chorus utilises amazing graphics, with 60 frames per second, as well as acute detail to lighting and terrain.
Optimised for the new console, this game follows cult member Nora and her mission to defeat her evil creators.
Despite sounding like a game set in ancient times with cults, Chorus focuses on a futuristic world with AI technology, space battles and a thrilling next-level plotline. aiming to send this style of game into the future, Chorus is rumoured to experiment with the powers of mental abilities as well as physical skills.
Developed for the new series X, Chorus can be found on multiple platforms. With such a strong and alluring plot, we can only hope that the release date is sometime soon.
6. Resident Evil: Village
With the eighth game in the series being announced, Resident Evil: Village, follows suit from game 7, Biohazard. Using reliable old characters as well as introducing new villains, heroes and locations.
With ultra-realistic graphics powered by the RE engine, we get a more advanced class of weaponry, combat styles and resources to use throughout the rescue and side missions. This classic style of jump-scare horror embodies the original games whilst allows adapting to modern technologies and demands.
Launching in May, this game can be found on nearly all platforms. But will be enhanced with the usage of Xbox’s new powerful console, ideal for such horror games.
7. Halo Infinite
Creative Director Joseph Staten stated, “this was the Halo we imagined back in 2000, finally coming to life, after 20 years of technical and creative innovation”.
Exclusive to Xbox consoles and other Microsoft devices this is one of the biggest games to be excited about. Halo Infinite has been adapted especially for the new Xbox series X for the best playable experience, flawless visuals and rapid load times.
Reusing original artwork to simulate older versions of the game and the reappearance of a more humanistic Master Chief, Halo Infinite will be a throwback of nostalgia for many fans.
But, graphics should be better than ever. With improved illustrations on global illumination, ambient occlusion and shadowing. All for better atmospheric quality and advancement in craftsmanship of lighting, weaponry and adjustments to terrain visibility.
Halo Infinite should be a next-level, first-person shooter game, with immense and microscopic detail throughout the playable world.
And that’s our list of seven Xbox games to be excited about this year. Which one are you looking forward to most of all? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read about the worst console launches of all time HERE.
9 Rarest And Most Valuable Pokémon Cards In Existence
If you’re one of the millions of people with a set of Pokémon cards stashed away somewhere, it might be time to dig-lett them out (sorry). Time to see if any of these babies are in your collection. Here’s our list of the top 9 rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards in existence.
Chances are you haven’t caught them all. But having even one of these could net you a large wad of cash.
Pokémon has been an on/off craze ever since it first started back in the mid-’90s. But despite releasing games, a cult anime series and several films, it’s those little cards that are making a profitable resurgence right now.
Even in just the last three years, rare Pokémon cards have been sold for thousands of dollars at auction. So now is definitely the time to check your collection. Time to see if you could be sitting on a small fortune.
9. 20th Anniversary 24-karat Gold Pikachu
Crafted in solid gold
Sold for 216,000 yen ($2,081) in October 2016.
You don’t get much more unique than a Pokémon card made from solid gold. Yep, you heard right. This insanely unique and incredibly rare Pokémon card was produced by Japanese jewellery maker, Ginza Tanaka. A limited number of solid gold cards were created as a replica of the original Japanese Pikachu card (affectionately nicknamed ‘Fat Pikachu’).
Made from 11 grams of pure 24-karat cold, the only way to get a copy of this ultra-rare Pokémon card was to enter a lottery held in 2016. If you won, you were given the chance to buy a copy of the limited-edition card for 216,000 yen (around $2,081/£1,700).
The solid gold card was shipped in its own unique box and housed in a plastic frame. And what makes this even more incredible is that, whilst most rare and unique Pokémon cards stem from early on in the game’s beginnings, this card appeared for the first time in just the last 5 years. Definitely one of the rarest (and coolest) Pokémon cards in existence.
8. Master’s Key
A more recent card – but no less rare
Sold for $21,000 in November 2019.
Like the 20th anniversary gold Pikachu, Master’s Key is another rare yet relatively new Pokémon card. It made its first appearance just over ten years ago when it was awarded to competitors in the 2010 Pokémon World Championships held in Hawaii.
Participants in both the TCG (Trading Card Game) and video game counterpart received a copy of Master’s Key. Only the trophy case differed depending on the category.
Only 36 copies of the card are estimated to exist – equal to the number of participants in all age divisions of the world championships. And to prove just how rare this Pokémon card is, one of them sold at auction in November 2019 for more than $21,000.
7. Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series 5
A pair of Gold Star Pokémon cards from one of the most valuable Pokémon sets of all time
Sold for $22,100 and $20,000 respectively between December 2020 and February 2021.
The Gold Star Pokémon cards are one of the most valuable Pokémon sets ever produced. At the time of writing, a near mint full set of 27 cards is for sale on eBay. The price tag? £35,000 ($49,717).
But it’s the Espeon and Umbreon which are the real moneymakers. Perhaps the rarest cards in the set, these two alone sold for over $20,000 in just the last few months.
The cards are named after the gold star that appears next to the Pokémon’s name at the top of the card. It signifies that the card features alternative colour artwork which is different from the common version.
Only 27 Gold Star cards were released from 2004 to 2007. Making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
Whilst the Japanese versions of the cards remain the most valuable due to their limited availability, the English versions of the Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star cards still command a high price. PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator – the prestigious organisation that grades the quality, condition and value of trading cards) values the two cards at $194,209 and $187,277 respectively. Easily making them two of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards around.
6. 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
An ultra-rare promo card – one of only 12 ever made
Sold for $65,100 in October 2020.
When it comes to availability, you don’t get much rarer than the Tropical Wind card.
With just 12 being given to the top players at the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle tournament, the Japanese Tropical Wind promo card is extremely rare.
This inaugural tournament – a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships – took place in 1999 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event was invite-only and was a battle between the best 50 players from Canada, Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Japan. During the event, a handful of trophy cards could be obtained. One of these was this baby right here.
This particular Tropical Mega Battle promo card (the 1999 Japanese-language copy of Tropical Wind) has sold at auction for as much as $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, with the most recent sale taking place in October 2020. PSA estimates its value to be as high as $148,482. Making the ultra-rare card a contender for one of the most expensive and valuable Pokémon cards ever made.
5. No. 1 Trainer
Quite possibly the most unknown Pokémon card of all time
Sold for $90,000 in July 2020.
Most people won’t have ever heard of No. 1 Trainer, and it’s even more unlikely they’ll have seen a copy in person. When it comes to rare Pokémon cards, they don’t get much rarer than this.
With only seven copies believed to be in existence, No. 1 Trainer may well be the least known card in existence.
No.1 Trainer is a holographic promotional card awarded to finalists in the Secret Super Battle tournament held in Tokyo in 1999. To earn a place in the competition’s finals (which were held in a secret location) players had to first win a regional tournament. Their prize was the No. 1 Trainer card, which granted them access to the finals.
The text on the front of the card translates to: “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognised here, and this honour is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle.” It’s almost like a modern-day, real-life Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory.
As only seven regional tournaments were held, it’s believed that just seven copies of the No. 1 Trainer card were made – easily making it one of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
4. Pikachu Illustrator
Extremely expensive and extremely rare
Sold for $195,000 in October 2019.
The Pikachu Illustrator card is an incredibly rare Pokémon card. It still holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive Pokémon trading card sold at auction (although, more about this later…).
Pikachu Illustrator was originally given to winners of promo contests held in 1997 and 1998 by Japanese magazine CoroCoro Comic. 39 copies were officially awarded to the winners. While two copies were reportedly later discovered by one of the creators of the card game, seemingly bringing the total number of Pikachu Illustrator copies to 41.
As well as being ridiculously rare, the card is unique in a number of ways. It’s the only Pokémon card to say “Illustrator” instead of “Trainer” at the top. And has a one-off pen icon in its bottom-right corner to acknowledge its creation for the design contest. The card’s artwork of Pikachu is by Atsuko Nishida, the original illustrator of the fan-favourite Pokémon.
Approximately 19 copies of the card are believed to still exist, with 10 having been certified by the PSA.
A near-flawless copy of the card graded at Mint 9 (one grade under perfect condition) sold at auction in 2019 for $195,000 and broke a Guinness World Record. But arguably, there are a couple of contenders to that crown.
3. Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card
A signed card to celebrate the Pokémon founder’s 60th birthday
Sold for $247,230 in April 2021.
Of all the cards featured on this list, this rare and incredibly valuable Pokémon card is definitely one-of-a-kind.
Just last month on April 26, 2021, a copy of the Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card made headlines when it sold for nearly a quarter of a million US dollars.
The card depicts the Pokémon company founder and current president, Tsunekazu Ishihara. It was given to staff as a celebration of his 60th birthday in 2017.
What makes this specific version even rarer is that Ishihara actually signed this near-mint card to boost its price even further.
The ability “Red Chanchanko” refers to the red vest which is traditionally worn on 60th birthdays in Japan and prevents the effect of any attack, ability or trainer card against Ishihara. Meanwhile, its GX move “60 Congratulations” tells you to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. A truly unique, legendary card.
2. Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
Quite possibly the only card one in existence
Sold for $360,000 in January 2021.
This Blastoise card is probably the single rarest Pokémon card in existence. One of only two such Pokémon cards ever made, it sold for a whopping $360,000 (£266,000) in January 2021.
This Pokémon card was created in 1998 as a presentation piece by Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast to convince Nintendo executives to allow it to handle the TCG’s English-language release. The game would eventually make its international debut one year later in 1999.
While two Blastoise ‘Presentation’ cards were produced, this is the only one that has been seen publicly. Even more impressively, it has been graded at a NM/Mint+ 8.5 level by certification website CGC, meaning that the 20-plus-year-old card is in near-perfect condition. The location and state of the other Presentation card remain unknown. This either means that this card is the sole one remaining, or someone somewhere is unknowingly sitting on a small fortune.
1. 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
The card that every kid wanted
Sold for $369,000 in December 2020.
Charizard. The card that absolutely every kid (and adult too now, apparently) wanted. And while the shiny Charizard has always been a firm favourite, this particular variant is even rarer.
While a number of top quality, first-edition cards from the Pokémon TCG’s early days are worth some money, due to their limited availability and age, this specific version of the holographic Charizard absolutely stands out as one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever released.
What sets the card apart is the lack of a shadow underneath the dragon graphic. This was a printing error which was corrected for most of the cards printed but the few that sneaked passed quality control are incredibly sought after.
According to auction house Iconic Auctions, the rare card is “the Holy Grail of Pokémon cards, the most iconic and important card to both the Pokémon franchise and its die-hard fans”.
A mint-condition first-edition shadowless holographic PSA 10 Charizard sold at auction in October 2020 for a staggering $220,574 to the retired rapper – and Pokémon fan – Logic. Then, just two months later in December, another one of the same quality sold for a mind-blowing £350,000.
But as if that wasn’t enough, just a few hours after that, yet another card broke all records, selling for a mind-numbing £369,000.
Although this hasn’t officially been recognised by Guinness World Records, this certainly knocks the Pikachu Illustrator off its perch, as well as the staggering sum held by the Blastoise Galaxy Star Hologram.
Either way, despite not being the rarest, this is definitely the most valuable Pokémon card sold to date. But with the desire for rare Pokémon cards showing no signs of slowing, the big question is: how much higher can their value go?
One thing’s for sure, if anyone out there truly has caught them all, that would make for one incredibly valuable collection.
And that’s our list of the 9 rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards in existence. Did you ever have any of these? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Are Team Rocket just misunderstood? Read our article HERE.
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