This year already saw a series of excellent titles. Hits such as Doom, XCom 2, and Overwatch have graced our consoles and PCS, and even more hits are yet to come now that we’re in the last 4 months of the year. We’re quickly approaching the holiday season, and these are just ten games that will no doubt end up on many a gamer’s Christmas List and Black Friday Shopping cart. Check out our list after the jump, in no particular order.
Final Fantasy XV (PS4, Xbox One)
Date: November 29th
What Is It: Formerly known as Final Fantasy XIII: Versus, FFXV takes place in an open world, modern day inspired environment. Playing as a young man named Noctis, players will be caught in a war between two nations.
What I think: It’s hard to look at everything that has been released so far about FFXV and not be impressed. However, FFXV is a make-it-or-break-it moment for Square-Enix’s flagship RPG. FFXIII hasn’t received the warmest reception in either of its 3 installments, and FFXIV was so bad when it launched that it had to be shutdown and relaunched. With gamers flocking to western RPGS like The Witcher and Dragon Age, Japanese RPGs are becoming more of a niche than ever.
WWE 2k17 (Xbox One, PS3, PS3, Xbox 360)
Date: October 11th
What It Is: The latest installment of Yukes/2k Games’ wrestling simulator. Cover athlete Brock Lesnar looks to take gamers to suplex city alongside dozens of other superstars and legends. New features include a promo engine, backstage fighting, in-crowd brawling, and create-a-video will add to the experience, making it possible for gamers to replicate the action they see each week on Raw, Smackdown, and NXT. Pre-Order bonuses include Goldberg.
What I Think: Yeah, yeah, I know, WWE 2k is pretty much the wrestling equivalent to Madden. You know what though? I don’t care. The features that have been announced already make it appealing, and that’s not even mentioning the improvements made to Universe, Career Mode, and the Creation Suite. Hey, even Madden has gotten better in the last few years.
Watch Dogs 2(Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Date: November 15th
What It Is: The sequel to the 2014 open world techno-thriller, Watch Dogs 2 puts players in the role of Marcus Holloway, a member of Dead Sec (The Anonymous-esque hacker group from the first game) as he attempts to bring down ctOS 2.0 and clear his name for a crime he didn’t commit. Taking place in San Francisco, the game promises to improve the hacking mechanic and the multiplayer.
What I Think: The original Watch Dogs had plenty of promise, yet fell short. Hopefully the second time around will be the charm. At the very least I hope I won’t feel as guilty about hacking people’s bank accounts as I did in the first game. Nothing to put you on edge like looking up someone’s personal info just to find out that they’re a cancer patient who recently lost their job.
Dishonored 2 (Xbox One, PS4)
Date: November 11th
What It Is: The sequel to 2012’s stealth/action game. Set 15 years after the original, players can choose to play as Corvo or his daughter Emily as they seek to restore power to the throne after Emily is dethroned by a mysterious outsider. The game will feature new powers, a new setting (Karnaca), and voice acting including Vincent D’onofrio(Daredevil), Rosario Dawson (Daredevil), and Jamie Hector (The Wire).
My Thoughts: The thief-meets-Bioshock gameplay in the original Dishonored made it a hit, and the sequel looks like it will contain more of it. With a new setting, things look to be brighter as well. At least this time there hopefully won’t be as many rats.
Mother Russia Bleeds (PC, PS4)
Date: September 5
What It Is: An indie-developed pixel-art heavy beat-em-up. Playing as a violent drug addict, you and up to 3 other players embark on a mission of bloody vengeance across an alternate-reality USSR.
My Thoughts: I always love a good beat em up, and Mother Russia Bleeds gives off a Hotline Miami type vibe. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Hotline Miami publisher Devolver is also publishing this game. Regardless, this is one to look out for when it hits this week.
Battlefield 1 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Date: October 21
What It Is: The latest entry in the Battlefield series takes players to World War 1 as they never imagined it. The game’s multiplayer will feature melee combat, horseback combat, zeppelins, biplanes, and other turn of the century weaponry and vehicles. A single player campaign puts players in eh role of several different characters, including a African American soldier inspired by the Harlem Hellfighters, and a female Bedouin Horseback rider.
My Thoughts: Since 2014’s Battlefield Hardline, EA has been covering new ground with it’s military shooter franchises. Battlefield 1 will give gamers a whole new look at WWI, and it seems as if there will be as much effort going into the single player campaign as the multiplayer this time. Lets hope EA can clean up the glitches that plagued Battle 4 this time around.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Date: November 4
What It Is: Infinity Ward returns to take Call of Duty beyond the stars. Players will take part in a war between the United Nations Space Alliance and the terrorist group the Settlement Defense force. Playing as Captain Nick Reyes, players will engage in Areal battles, ride in spaceships, and fight in Zero Gravity environments. The series’ signature multiplayer will also return. There is also a new zombies mode named Zombies in Spaceland, an 80s inspired mode in which 4 players will attempt to escape a haunted amusement park. The mode will feature the vocal talents of Pee Wee Herman, Seth Green, David Hasselhoff, and Rapper Jay Pharaoh. If that isn’t enough for you, certain special editions of the game come with a remastered version of Modern Warfare, entitled Modern Warfare:Remastered.
My Thoughts: Groan all you wish, but there is a reason COD sells in the millions each year. Space combat is definitely new to the franchise, and the new Zombies in Spaceland mode might be worth the selling price.
Gears of War 4 (Xbox One)
Date: October 11
What It Is: Taking place several years after the end of Gears 3, Gears of War 4 finds JD Fenix (son of Marcus Fenix) along with his friends Kait and Del as they save their village from an all new enemy. The series marks the debut of the Xbox 360 hit on the Xbox One (after Gears Remastered of course), and will bring with it the tense brutal cover action and beautiful Unreal Engine powered visuals the series is known for. Fans can also expect the return of several multiplayer modes, along with the fan favorite Horde Mode.
My Thoughts: Gears of War became the big Xbox 360 killer app when it debuted 10 years ago. Will Gears 4 have the same impact?
Recore(Xbox One, Windows 10)
Date: September 13
What It Is: Co-developed by Keji Inafune’s Comcept (Mighty No 9, Soul Sacrifice) and Armature Studio (Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate, Maverick Hunter) Recore puts players in the role of Joule Adams, a Far Eden colonist. Together with her robot companions, she sets out to save the world. Joule comes equipped with a gun with several types of ammo, a grappling hook, and her robot side kicks. A big part of gameplay will involve removing cores from defeated enemies and enhancing Joule’s abilities. The game will feature Banjo and Kazooie Nuts and Bolts as a pre-order bonus, and will be the first title utilizing Microsoft’s Play Anywhere service, in which if players buy a copy, they get both the Xbox One and Windows 10 version. The game will be launched at a budget price of $39.99.
My Thoughts: Out of all the games we seen from Microsoft, this looks like the most interesting, and they have a lot vested in its success. For Keji Inafune especially, this is a make-it-or-break it title, especially after the failure of Mighty No 9. If done right however, Recore can be one of the biggest and most original games on Xbox One.
The Last Guardian (PS4)
Date: October 25
What It Is: Directed by FUmito Ueda, The Last Guardian has players take control of a young boy, who is accompanied by a gigantic feathered beast named Trico. Players will have to manage the relationship between the boy and Trikco, as the beast will be an integral part of both combat and puzzle solving. The Last Guardian looks to explore themes of friendship and emotion that were present in Ueda’s previous titles Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
My Thoughts: Everyone knows how rocky the development of the Last Guardian. It had been in development for so long that many feared that it had been cancelled. Fortunately this year’s e3 would reveal that not only was the game still in development, but it had a release date of this fall to boot. Hopefully The Last Guardian will at least achieve the cult status of its predecessors, even if it doesn’t end up being a commercial success.
Other Games To Look Out For:
NBA 2k17 (9/16, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
FIFA 17 (9/27, Xbox One, PS4)
Cuphead (TBA 2016, Xbox One)
Hellblade: Seuna’s Sacrifice (TBA 2016, PS4)
South Park: The Fractured But Whole (12/6, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Titanfall 2 (10/28, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Civilization 6 (10/21, Windows, Linux, Mac)