The 30 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2016

There’s just too many games. We’ve been saying this for years, but now it’s an established fact: There are too many good games to play and not enough time to play them in. Sadly or happily, however you wanna look at this first-world conundrum, 2016 will do nothing to lessen your backlog of must-get-to big budget shooters, fantasy RPGs, and offbeat indie adventures.

As the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One approach their third year on the market, it’s clear that developers are hitting their strides. The half-baked 360 and PS3 ports are done—now, it’s just the good stuff. Yes, there will be a glut of sequels, but they’re also franchises that are ripe for newness, like Mass Effect, Deus Ex, and Final Fantasy. Perhaps more alluring is the slate of new properties where game creators are free to paint their canvases anyway they see fit, as is evident with games like Sea of Thieves, Firewatch, Dreams, ReCore, and the brilliantly bold No Man’s Sky.

No matter how you slice it, your wallet will be drained and your fingers will be fileted. These are the 30 most anticipated video games of 2016.

The Witness

The Witness

PC, PS4, iOS – Release Date: 1/26/16.

After years in development, the latest indie gem from Jonathan Blow (Braid) borrows significantly from the legendary Myst, while still striking a unique chord. Players are dropped onto a beautiful, open-world island and tasked with solving more than 600 puzzles that get increasingly more complex. Play this one with your significant other to ease the brain strain.

Firewatch

Firewatch

PC, PS4 – Release Date: 2/9/16

The first-person exploration genre is still in the crawling phase, but a game like Firewatch might be able to get it walking upright. This first-person indie adventure puts you in the role of a volunteer fire lookout in Wyoming in the late 80s. Much like Gone Home, the play time is brief and meant to provoke discussion long after the credits roll.

Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V

PC, PS4 – Release Date: 2/16/16

Capcom’s iconic beat-em-up franchise is back and ready to make its new generation debut. Expect a gorgeous level of detail with the fighters and backgrounds, as well as the brand new V-Gauge, which fuels a set of V-Skill, V-Trigger and V-Reversal moves specific to each character. Sorry, Xbox owners—this one is a console exclusive for Sony.

Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem Fates

3DS – Release Date: 2/19/16

Nintendo’s premiere turn-based tactical RPG series returns on the heels of the notable success of Fire Emblem Awakening. Expect a slate of improvements all the way around with three different campaign paths and plenty of epic battles to enjoy on your way to work.

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal

PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: 2/23/16

Having sensed the masses were growing weary of Far Cry’s fun but predictable formula of open-world exploration and adrenaline-fueled action, Ubisoft is hoping Primal’s ambitious Stone Age setting will re-energize the franchise. You’ll be speaking cavemanese, taming sabre-toothed tigers, and wreaking all sorts of havoc as only a Wi-Fi-less humanoid can.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Tom Clancy’s The Division

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: 3/8/16

Slap “Tom Clancy’s” onto any game and you’re bound to garner a following, but The Division is building even more buzz than the usual TC affair. An online open-world third-person shooter/role-playing game, it’s being called a mashup of Destiny, GTA, and Watch Dogs thanks to its potentially addictive leveling up system and the gritty, smallpox-riddled New York City setting.

Quantum Break

Quantum Break

Xbox One – Release Date: 4/5/16

We loved Alan Wake’s atmosphere, unique story, and TV serial-like presentation back in 2010, and this third-person action-adventure game is Remedy’s long-awaited follow-up. Ambitious to say the least, Quantum Break’s time-bending story will be told across both the game and a live-action TV show. A high degree of difficulty, but we’re rooting hard for it.

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet & Clank

PS4 – Release Date: 4/12/16

This reimagining of the original sci-fi action-platformer is coming out just a couple of weeks before Ratchet & Clank make their big screen debuts. Yes, it may have taken 14 years, but we’re finally getting a deeper dive into two of Sony’s most beloved characters, with the new game featuring modern controls, new planets, improved gameplay, fresh boss fights, and an updated arsenal.

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: 4/12/16

While our fingers and self-esteem are still recovering from the previous three games in the Souls series, we have no doubt that Dark Souls 3 will deliver more of the punishing difficulty and memorable dungeon battles for anyone who dares fire it up. Expect some 45 new enemy types, 15 new bosses, 12 new map-areas, and more of the Souls’ trademark online campaign experience.

Uncharted 4- A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

PS4 – Release Date: 4/26/16

After three installments on the PlayStation 3, including one of the greatest action-adventure games of all time (Uncharted 2), Nathan Drake is ready to make his PS4 debut. There’s been some bumps along the way (like the game’s writer and director bolting Naughty Dog for a new studio), but our hopes are still high for an adrenaline-soaked, globe-trotting romp with thrilling set pieces and top-notch voice acting.

Battleborn

Battleborn

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: 5/3/16

Having milked the Borderlands cow dry, Gearbox Software is finally ready to take the wraps off its first new intellectual property since 2009. Battleborn is a first-person, team-based shooter with multiplayer online battle arena elements and a roster of 25 unique playable characters ready mix it up in an over-the-top fantasy/sci-fi setting. Expect Borderlands-style humor as well.

Mirror’s Edge- Catalyst

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: 5/24/16

2008’s Mirror’s Edge wasn’t for everyone, being a first-person parkour action-adventure game with a minimal emphasis on shooting. But its originality helped earn the game cult status and now this sequel (prequel) from EA DICE. Players once again take control of free-running Faith Connors, fresh out of prison and looking to take down tough guys and the totalitarian regime running the city of Glass.

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky

PC, PS4 – Release Date: June 2016

Forget open-world, No Man’s Sky is setting the bar at open worlds, with an ‘s.’ You want a big game? Indie developer Hello Games is giving you the freedom to completely explore a procedurally generated deterministic open universe, with more than 18 quintillion planets and an insane variety of flora and fauna. It’s all about exploration, with the goal being to report your findings to The Atlas, a universal database that can be shared with other players.

Deus Ex- Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: 8/23/16

After Deus Ex: Human Revolution pleasantly surprised everyone in 2011, we’re stoked to see how Eidos Montreal can move Adam Jensen’s story forward while giving us more of the stuff that makes Deus Ex great—slick gadgets, a mature plotline, and cyberpunk universe immersion. We’re still waiting on a remake of the original too.

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4

Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

The first Gears on the Xbox One looks like it might not be as much of the testosterone-fest that the games had morphed into on the 360, but certainly still action-packed. With a darker vibe, a new protagonist, and spectacular graphics, we’re expecting a new level of beautiful beast-bashing.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda

Wii U – Release Date: TBA 2016

Not much is known about the next Zelda (the 19th!), but, it’s Zelda—people are salivating. We know it’s an open-world adventure that will push the Wii U to its limits, and that may very well be why its oft-delayed status should have fans concerned about getting their hands on it this year.

The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian

PS4 – Release Date: TBA 2016

PS2 aficionados and educated gamers know full well of the understated brilliance that was Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Now, after years of development, the same development team is ready to unveil this spiritual successor to those classic games. We don’t know much about The Last Guardian, other than the fact that you’ll play as a young boy with a giant eagle-lion-dog thingy at your side in a mysterious world. And yet, that’s actually all we need to know.

Mass Effect- Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

As much as we enjoyed the Mass Effect series, it’s important for Andromeda to make a clean break from some of the gameplay and storytelling traditions that grew a little tiresome with the series. Not having to focus on Commander Shephard’s story should free up BioWare to craft something fresh and yet familiar this holiday season.

Crackdown 3

Crackdown 3

Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

Crackdown may have first been known as “that game that has the Halo 3 beta on it,” but truth be told, we have more fond memories of Crackdown than Halo 3 (or most Halo games since). All we need to know is that more insane super-cop sandbox action is coming our way—and where that last orb is.

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV

PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

10 years in the making, Final Fantasy XV represents a major direction change for the blockbuster franchise, with a much darker vibe and more realistic characters than ever before. Other tweaks FF veterans will either love or find jarring include the ability to switch weapons and vehicle travel. Sounds like progress to us.

Doom

Doom

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

Doom’s historical significance is undeniable, but with Doom 3 (the last Doom game release) published in 2004, we’re guessing there are more than a few whipper snappers who don’t know the guilty pleasures of shotgunning your way through demon flesh. This long-delayed reboot looks properly bloody and bat-shit crazy.

Cuphead

Cuphead

Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

Masterfully mimicking the art style of a 1930s-era cartoon, Cuphead is a new run and gun sidescroller created by a pair of Canadian brothers. While the aesthetics are entirely unique, word is the gameplay will be surprisingly difficult. Since the developers planned to surpass the Guinness world record for number of boss battles in a run and gun game, we’re expecting the rumors are correct.

Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Wildlands

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands

PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

The latest entry in the Ghost Recon series sees the tactical action set in modern-day Bolivia, with a particularly nasty drug cartel standing between you and justice. For the first time, players will have a massive open world to explore, with dynamic day-night cycle and weather. Four-player co-operative multiplayer also is on-board.

For Honor

For Honor

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

A brand new IP from Ubisoft, For Honor is a competitive third-person melee brawler pitting vikings, knights, and samurais against each other in 4v4 battles with hundreds of AI teammates and opponents adding to the chaos. The key will be how well the game’s tactical combat system, known as “Art of Battle”, is executed.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves

Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

People are saying Sea of Thieves, a pirate-themed multiplayer adventure game, is shaping up to be the best game that Rare has ever made. From the studio responsible for Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007, and Perfect Dark, that’d be saying a lot. A gorgeous art style and plenty of user-generated content are expected to be among the highlights.

Friday the 13th the Game

Friday the 13th the Game

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

36 years after the first Friday the 13th movie hit theaters, it looks like we’re finally going to get a game worthy of the name Jason Voorhees. Kickstarted into full production, this survival horror game will feature both single and 1v6 multiplayer modes where you’re either a camp counselor trying to survive a night at Camp Crystal Lake or Jason himself, looking to slaughter the masses.

Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2

PC, PS4, Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

2012’s Dishonored was a sleeper smash. It had relatively little pre-release hype, yet garnered tons of critical praise and won over many action-stealth fans along the way. The sequel, again developed by Arkane Studios, takes place 15 years later and lets you choose from playing again as Corvo Attano or as Empress Emily Kaldwin.

Horizon- Zero Dawn

Horizon: Zero Dawn

PS4 – Release Date: TBA 2016

This third-person, open-world, action/RPG/survival hybrid is the first new property for Killzone developer Guerrilla Games since 2004, and after winning rave reviews at E3 last year, the hopes are high. You play as a female hunter and archer in a post-apocalyptic land filled with robotic dinosaurs, but we’re most excited about the promise of no loading screens.

Dreams

Dreams

PS4 – Release Date: TBA 2106

Games like Dreams are why Sony fans can beat their chest when it comes to comparing consoles. It’s the latest offering from the talented creators at Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet), with a major emphasis on user-generated content and the ability to create and share “dreams.” What that means exactly, we’ll have to wait and see.

ReCore

ReCore

Xbox One – Release Date: TBA 2016

Coming from Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, the curtain has been wrapped pretty tight around ReCore, but what we’ve seen has us intrigued for this sci-fi action-adventure. Expect beautiful graphics with robots and sandstorms galore.

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