It’s difficult to not get excited about this year’s game releases when you start to go through the list and see what’s scheduled to come out. It’s going to be a big year for gaming with all of these massive releases, and I actually had to cut quite a few games from this list to cap it at 10. Now granted, things can change, and some of these don’t have set release dates yet, but they are a safe bet that they will release this year barring no substantial delays. There are even a few I wanted to put on the list, but I don’t believe they’ll be released this year (Kingdom Hearts III), so I’ve simply stuck to what we know is coming 2015 or is essentially a safe bet. So without further ado, here is the top 10 games I’m incredibly excited for coming this year:
10) Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (TBA)
This one has a weird history. Originally shown as Rainbow Six: Patriots, it was scrapped last year for various reasons and then at E3 2014 we were introduced to Rainbow Six: Siege. The demo showed was staggering and very impressive. It appears to have been the heart of Rainbow Six with its tactical gameplay and the destructible environments shown was something that instantly got me excited. Imagine trying to rescue a hostage but not being confined to a linear solution. Maybe blowing a hole through a wall and clearing the room is the better solution, or maybe your team will be more suited for breaching the rooftops instead. Obviously we were only shown a small portion of what’s to come, but for the appetizer we were given, I can’t wait for the whole meal.
9) Assassin’s Creed: Victory (TBA)
With all the flak that’s been given to the franchise since the buggy release of Unity, I’m still an incredibly huge Assassin’s Creed fan. I finished Rogue and Unity, almost back to back, and it seems I can’t get enough of the series. I never had any of the major issues reported in Unity early on, so it doesn’t feel tarnished for the experiences I had. It was shortly after the Unity launch that Victory was shown, but it wasn’t supposed to be. It actually got leaked instead of officially announced, so we’ve seen very little, and obviously nothing official, but what was shown looked fantastic. It’s set in a Victorian era London, so we will once again have a new protagonist and setting, but it looks as if there is going to be some new mechanics as well from the leaked screenshots.
From what was shown though, the setting and backdrop looks beautiful. Sure the typical assassins garbs may seem a bit out of place in that era, but the mood of the setting seems completely fitting and appropriate. It seems as if the assassin had access to a grappling hook of some kind and it also looks like we’ll be battling enemies atop a moving carriage. I’m very excited to hopefully see more at E3 this year and learn more about the next installment. Hopefully they’ll take their time releasing once it’s done this time instead of rushing it out the door.
8) The Division (TBA)
Ah yes, The Division. The gameplay shown at E3 was absolutely incredible and is most likely the reason this title is on people’s anticipated lists for 2015. Set in a post-apocalyptic New York, it seems to be heavily co-op based with different classes for you and your friends to play as. Surprisingly, from everything that’s been shown, we truly don’t know that much about it. I for one though am incredibly excited that I’m going to be able to use my tablet to fly an overhead drone to spot and target enemies for my friends in their game. It seems to have a MMO-esque vibe and mechanics behind its gameplay, but until we’re shown more, we’ll have to wait and see. Now to be fair, after the fiasco over the Watch Dogs E3 showing compared to release, some are becoming skeptical, so I’m reserving judgment until true gameplay is being shown, but from everything that we have been shown and know so far, this one is going to be a must have for me and my online friends.
7) Batman: Arkham Knight (June 2)
I know this one is probably easily in many people’s top 3 lists for anticipated games this year, but when I was structuring my list, I simply had others that I’m more excited about, but this HAD to make the list somewhere. Granted, it’s probably because of the disappointment Batman: Arkham Origins was, and yes, I’m completely aware that it wasn’t created by Rocksteady (developers of the previous Arkham games), but it slightly turned me off. Factor in that a few games have used their great combat system, sometimes even better than the Arkham games had (Shadow of Mordor perfected it in my opinion), Rocksteady is going to have to up the ante to finish off the series; and it looks like they have.
Finally we’re going to be able to use the coveted Batmobile. It looks badass, can transform, and in the gameplay shown, looks like it’s simply going to be a blast to play. Speaking of gameplay, the graphics that were shown, since it’s only on current gen systems, looks simply astounding. They have a lot of hype to live up to, but I’m confident Rocksteady will deliver us a compelling finale in the Akham series that we’ll remember for quite some time.
6) Cuphead (TBA)
I never thought an indie game would make my top 10 list for anticipated games, but from the brief footage we’ve been shown, it’s hard to not be excited and intrigued by a game that looks like it’s been ripped straight from a 1930’s cartoon. Granted, if you didn’t grow up in my age where Saturday morning cartoons were coveted and plentiful, it may not strike a chord with you, but for those that did, nostalgia is putting my Cuphead excitement into overdrive. A vintage and retro style combined with what looks like Contra gameplay makes it a safe bet that nothing else like Cuphead will be releasing this year that has the same charm.
5) Rise of the Tomb Raider (TBA)
The announcement of Rise of the Tomb Raider was a bit of a surprise, but the bombshell was that Microsoft was publishing it and would be “exclusive”. Nerd rage ensued and it’s since been revealed that it’s only going to be exclusive to Xbox for an unknown period of time. All of the drama aside, the reboot of the franchise was stellar and had great gameplay, mechanics, story, visuals, and more.
The Definitive Edition released last year was even better and was one of the few games I played through on both systems (360 and One). I’m very excited to see Lara’s story continued and how the gameplay is going to be improved. Camilla Luddington who voiced Lara did an astounding job and I’m so glad to see she will be reprising her role as the explorer later this year in what’s sure to be a fantastic adventure.
4) Final Fantasy XV
I’m a sucker for RPG’s and even more-so for JRPG’s. While it’s difficult for me to dump 100+ hours into games these days, I will find and make the time if the title deserves it and has me hooked (Dragon Age Inquisition and Bravely Default fell into this) with its story or gameplay. I’m also a bigger sucker for Final Fantasy’s, as they have a special place in my heart, so with every new iteration, I get excited; yes, even for the Lightning centric games.
XV looks incredibly impressive though, from the stylish characters, expansive backdrops, and convertible cars. Wait, what? Yes, XV seems to be set in a modern-like day, complete with cars and characteristic crazy hair-do’s. It seems the combat has strayed away from the standard turn based to a more open real time battle system. Like any Final Fantasy, I expect to have a compelling storyline with great combat mechanics. I hope this comes sooner than later.
3) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (May 19)
To be completely honest, I wasn’t able to finish the first Witcher game. I simply couldn’t get into it and didn’t really enjoy the combat system that it employed. For whatever reason, I decided to give The Witcher 2 a fair shot, hoping that they had changed and altered the combat system, and I’m really glad that I did, as it turned out to be in my top games of that year. The story and lore is very expansive, the characters are fleshed out, and there’s a lot of nudity. Awesome right!?
The Witcher games have always pushed the envelope for their graphics, and Witcher 3 is no different. The CG cut-scenes are on par with anything you’d see from blizzard, and the in-game graphics that have been shown are breathtaking. The game got a slight delay, but that’s what I love about CD Projekt Red, the developers, as they won’t release their games until they are done and are happy with them. If you’re a PC player you’ll also be happy to know that they don’t believe in DRM either which has helped them gain a loyal fan base like myself.
2) Halo 5: Guardians (TBA)
If you know me, you probably expected Halo to be my most anticipated game, but alas, it’s my second. To say I’m a massive Halo fan is an understatement, as I could probably open a store with all of the Halo toys, novels, and artwork that I own, and I attend every Halo midnight launch in the freezing cold to play it as soon as I can. Some fans aren’t happy with the direction that the series has gone since 4, but for me, someone that’s read the novels, I’m incredibly excited to see where it’s going, knowing the back story that the canon novels contain.
Now that the live action Nightfall series has also concluded, we know a lot more about the mysterious Spartan also featured on the cover of Guardians alongside Master Chief. Guardians is likely to astonish once gameplay is revealed (the multiplayer beta looks fantastic) but I’m so excited about the campaign and how Agent Locke plays into Chief’s story.
1) Quantum Break (TBA)
Remedy can’t do any wrong by me. First known for Max Payne and for revolutionizing the ‘bullet time’ mechanic, then creating Alan Wake, a truly amazing title (I’m still praying for a true sequel), and now we’ll soon be playing their new IP, Quantum Break.
So what has me so excited about this new and unknown title? Since Remedy is behind it I know it’s going to be fantastic, but from everything they’ve shown so far, it looks like it’s going to be something very different and special, much like how Alan Wake was. When an experiment goes wrong, the protagonist is then given special powers that allow him to manipulate time, though it seems he’s not the only one that has access to this amazing power.
Even more interesting, it seems as though Remedy is going to attempt to cross media as well, as there’s going to be a live action TV show that is supposed to release alongside the game. It’s said that events that happen in the show can affect how the game is played, but what that exactly means is anyone’s guess. Something similar had been tested before and failed when the Defiance game and show released. Both of which weren’t very good, so I’m hoping that Quantum Break does it right and have no doubt it will be. The gameplay that has been shown looks absolutely fantastic and I wish there was more to see as I can’t seem to get enough. It’s going to be a long wait, hopefully not as long as we had to wait from Alan Wake’s announcement to release, but I’ll be getting it day one without hesitation.
I know this article is supposed to only have my top 10, but there were two on my list that I would have added in a heartbeat, but like I said, I only included them if they had a release date in 2015 or it’s basically a forgone conclusion that we’ll be playing them this year. These two titles would be very high up on my list if I had any indication that I would get to play them this year, but since there aren't any yet, they are listed as runner ups.
Runner up 1)
I can’t believe how many hours I sank into Bravely Default. That’s saying a lot, as it’s very rare for me to use my handhelds, but as I mentioned above, I’m a sucker for RPG’s that are done well, and that’s what Bravely Default was. It was actually my pick for Game of the Year 2014, so it holds a special place in my heart. The Japanese version is releasing this Spring but there’s been no word on when North America will get its version. It did take over a year for Bravely Default to make its way from Japan to here, so I’m hoping that’s not the case with the sequel.
Runner Up 2)
The Walking Dead: Season 3
It’s no secret that I’m in absolute love with what Telltale has done with this series. Telltale knows how to craft an engaging and emotional story with characters that you actually start to become attached to. Season One’s ending had me in tears, and Season Two concluded with my jaw on the floor. I’m incredibly excited that a Season 3 is in the works, but Telltale has SO much on the go right now with their multiple series (Minecraft, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Wolf Among Us and Borderlands) that I just don’t know how they are going to fit in another season this year. Who knows, they could surprise me and I’d be the happiest person in the world, but knowing how they release their episodic titles, I’ll file this one as hopeful for a 2015 release.