2015 was a hell of a year for games. Every single month had major releases that seemed like anyone of them could be game of the year. The crazy thing is, when I sat down to write this list, I realized that 2016 might be even better. I originally had a list of 30 or more games that had to be cut down to ten.
So here are those ten games that I personally am most excited for. Honorable mentions go to Cuphead and Tacoma, two indie games that barely miss this list.
Xcom 2 – The first Xcom was a really deep, but oddly accessible strategy game. It kept the charm and fun of old school PC turn based strategy, but managed to modernize the game in a lot of key ways. On top of that, naming your units after friends adds an extra bit of tension to Iron Man Mode, where deaths to your party are permanent. I was never good enough to beat the campaign on Iron Man in the original, but I am super excited to attempt to fight off another alien invasion using the TGA staff as my soldiers.
Horizon: Zero Dawn – Only one gameplay trailer has been shown of Horizon: Zero Dawn, but that one trailer looked fantastic. The ideas behind the story seem interesting, the gameplay has a very action oriented feel to it, and it looks gorgeous. Hopefully this will be similar to Mass Effect, where it’s a WRPG that I don’t find slow or boring.
Zelda – So little is known that it’s really hard to say anything. The reason it makes my top ten is Nintendo has a very strong track record. Not only that, but they seem very committed to a lot of new ideas with this incarnation of Zelda. Hell, if they just make a 3D Link Between Worlds rather than the normal 3D Zelda, I would be be happy.
Firewatch – I don’t know what it is about adventure games and walking simulators that click with me, they just do. And everything about Firewatch tells me that it’s going to be a great adventure game. The story trailer they showed drew me in with its drama and setting, while getting me to laugh with its humor. It comes out in February, so I won’t have to wait long to find out if my intuition is right.
World of Warcraft; Legion – World of Warcraft is the addiction that keeps on giving. Even though Warlords of Draenor was a large disappointment, I have faith Blizzard can turn it around with Legion. Artifact Weapons and Class Order Halls seem cool and add a lot of flavor to the individual classes, along with several class specs getting heavy changes. The new continent is filled with possibilities and ideas for great stories because of all the new Vykrul lore and stuff with Slyvanas. For those of you who don’t play WoW… The new additions look fun.
Overwatch – Last year Overwatch didn’t make my top ten list because I didn’t know enough about it. I just knew that it was a team based shooter. Well, in 2015, I managed to get my hands on the beta and loved every minute of it. It had gorgeous art, cool characters, and all the hallmarks of a great shooter with a lot of creativity. Just what I need, to be hopelessly addicted to another Blizzard game.
Street Fighter V – Back in high school, when Street Fighter 4 first launched, I put an unhealthy amount of time into it. That base game saw at least 60 hours of play time in just the online mode alone. While I didn’t dig into Super, or Arcade Edition, or even Ultra, regular Street Fighter 4 still took a large part of my life away. It got me to the point of considering building a fight stick, reading about frame data, and all kinds of other fighting game nonsense. I am hoping Street Fighter 5 can do the same thing.
Cosmic Star Heroine – This is the third year in a row that this makes my top ten, and oddly enough I am as excited as I ever. For those of who don’t know what Cosmic Star Heroine is, it’s a 2D 16-bit RPG in the style of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6, but in space. From what I played at E3 the game is coming together well, and the music is fantastic.
Uncharted 4: A Thieves End – Naughty Dog has a long record of perfection. Their last three games have been nearly perfect and Uncharted 4 seems like it’s going to be even better. That demo shown at E3 2015 seemed insane. No other developer is doing set pieces even close to that big. Then you have the multiplayer, while not as big as say Halo, is still shaping up to be quite entertaining from everything I saw in the beta. Uncharted 4 is supposed to be the last Uncharted and Naughty Dog appears to be ending the series on a high note.
Persona 5 – Persona 4: Golden is my favorite game ever, I am hoping that Persona 5 can some how find a way to be a better game in every regard. Even if this doesn’t happen this game looks incredible. Everything from the art, music, and story that has been shown just looks superb. It’s been eight years since a truly new Persona RPG, so it’s about damn time this comes out.