21 Games I’m Excited To Play This Year

With a new year, comes a whole bunch of brand new games. I spent what felt like hours going through a list of games that are scheduled to come out this year, and came up with a list of 21 games that I think look totally rad. All of these games are currently scheduled for at least sometime in 2016, even if they don’t have a specific date as of yet. These are brand new games mind, not rereleases of something that has already come out on another platform.

Another thing, these are games that I’m interested in. I haven’t played much of the Nathan Drake series, so fair warning when you realize I didn’t include Uncharted 4. Also, these games are in order of scheduled release, not in order of how much I want to play them.

The Witness
Release Date: January 26, 2016

The Witness is set on a beautiful, colorful island that looks ripe for plenty of mystery and exploration, two things I love in a video game. It comes from the brilliant mind of Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid, which was one of the best games I ever played on Xbox 360. The Witness looks set to provide plenty of mind bending puzzles to solve, much as Braid did years ago. It comes out soon, and let’s hope this gorgeous island is as interesting to explore as the trailers make it look.

Release Date: February 5, 2016

I played Fireaxis Games’ reboot of this classic series a few years ago on PS3, and really enjoyed it. It’s a top down strategy game where you are in charge of building up a base in between levels to defend against an alien invasion. You can research alien tech, reverse engineer it to make your own devastating weaponry, and then take to the field to repel the invaders yourself. If your soldiers die on the field, they’re dead for good, so you really have to think your moves through. XCOM2 looks to be making everything about that experience bigger and better, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Firewatch is a game where you control a newly appointed park ranger named Henry, charged with looking after a forest in the wilderness of Wyoming. It doesn’t take long for Henry to realize that things aren’t as they should be in this isolated setting, and his only contact with the outside world is a walkie talkie that he uses to talk to one of his fellow rangers. This world seems earie, and at the same time, beautiful. Yet game that I can’t wait to get lost in.

Far Cry Primal
Release Date: February 23, 2016

Far Cry 3 and 4 were pretty similar games in that they starred a guy running around an open world, using guns, grenades, and a bow to hunt different kinds of animals and take out pirate-like bad guys. Far Cry Primal takes that premise and freshens it up by rewinding the clock and changing the setting to sometime around 10,000 BC. In place of the guns and grenades, you’ll now be using your bow and different animals to take out other tribes and claiming territory for your own.

Tom Clancy’s The Division
Release Date: March 8, 2016

In The Division, you want to be careful of who you trust. You can team up with another player and take the fight to the AI controlled bad guys, or you can enter the Dark Zone, where every other player has the potential to turn against you. In the Dark Zone lies all the best and rarest loot, as well as plenty of players that will do their best to take it from your freshly killed corpse.

Quantum Break
Release Date: April 5, 2016

This is one of the more interesting picks on this list for a couple of reasons. First, it aims to tell it’s story not just through the game itself, but also through a TV show that will release alongside the game (or maybe within the game? Not too sure on that part). Second, it’s a third person action shooter that uses time dilation mechanics to stand out from other games like it. Developed by Remedy, the developer that brought us Alan Wake, it shows a lot of promise.

Dark Souls III
Release Date: April 12, 2016

I haven’t followed this game very closely, because I don’t really have to. It’s a fucking Dark Souls game. I loved the first two, and Demon’s Souls before them, so I already know that I’ll play DSIII as soon as possible.

No Man’s Sky
Release Date: June 2016

No Man’s Sky doesn’t just offer a beautiful world to explore- it offers an entire, gorgeous universe to explore, with countless galaxies and worlds to discover. This universe is filled with things to do, from waging battles in space, to landing on completely unique and unexplored planets filled with their own, beautiful biomes, creatures, and resources. No Man’s Sky has certainly made plenty of lofty promises, and even if it only delivers on half of them, it will still be an amazing game.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Release Date: August 23, 2016

Sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mankind Divided is another game that is taking the original concept, and making it bigger and better. You play as Adam Jensen, a kind of cyborg that uses his augmented body and skillset to discover the hidden, shady truth of the world’s most powerful organizations, one way or another.

Hyper Light Drifter
Release Date: Q2 2016

I know next to nothing about this game beyond what the trailers show us, but the art direction alone has me eager to check this game out whenever it releases. It looks like a top down, 2D, futuristic brawler with a lot of old school influences. That tells me one thing- this game won’t be easy.

Release Date: Q2 2016

I’m not a very big multiplayer gamer (besides Halo), so I’m not sure how much I’ll play Overwatch. The fact that it’s developed by Blizzard, and will be available on Xbox One, however, means that I’ll definitely try it out at some point. The diverse character roster is definitely a plus as well.

Halo Wars 2
Release Date: Q3 2016

Halo Wars takes the Halo universe away from its first person shooter roots, and instead makes it a top down strategy game. You are able to deploy UNSC soldiers, vehicles, and even MJOLNIR clad Spartans in strategic locations to defeat the Covenant and the Flood. I never beat the first game, but I played it quite a bit, and the change of genre was refreshing. The top down strategy genre also never controlled so well on a console up to that point, so as long as 343 Industries gives us plenty of interesting enemies to fight and units to deploy, there’s alost no way the sequel can be disappointing.

Gears of War 4
Release Date: Q4 2016

The original Gears of War trilogy were some of the best games to ever release on the Xbox 360. They were cover based shooters that combined crazy action, big muscles, terrifying opponents, and awesome weaponry, and Gears $ looks to promise much of the same, only with new characters, bad guys, and wicked new graphics.

Mass Effect Andromeda
Release Date: TBA 2016

Another trilogy of games that exceeded most others when they originally launched on Xbox 360, the Mass Effect series let you make decisions that stuck with you, Commander Shephard, throughout all three games. By the time you reached Mass Effect 3, your world and crew could be completely different and unique compared to another player’s. You travelled the Milky Way galaxy to recruit other species and organisms to aid in your cause and stop the Reapers. The exciting part of Andromeda, and all we really know of the game at this point, is that you’ll be leaving the Milky Way and Commander Shaphard behind in order to see what the new frontier, the Andromeda Galaxy, holds in store.

The Last Guardian
Release Date: TBA 2016

The Last Guardian has been talked about for quite sometime. In development since 2007, and first shown at E3 2009, it just barely resurfaced this past E3 of 2015. Its intriguing past aside, the reason I look forward to it is because it’s being made by the same minds who created Shadow of the Colossus, one of the most interesting games I ever played on PS3.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Release Date: TBA 2016

Being the massive Zelda fan that I am, this is hands down my most anticipated game of the year. If I could only play one new game this year, it would be this new Zelda game for sure. It was supposed to launch sometime last year, but was delayed, something not uncommon with Zelda games. Not much is known about it other than what we’ve seen in the couple of short trailers that have released, but it does look very beautiful. A lot of people are hoping it approaches the size and scope of Bethesda’s Skyrim, which, if true, could explain why it was delayed.

Final Fantasy XV
Release Date: TBA 2016

I won’t lie- I’m not really much of a Final Fantasy fan. I’ve never even beaten any of the ones I’ve played. I’m not really sure if the game will be for me. Based on the demo that released last year, however, the world looks interesting, and the gameplay is fun.

Dishonored 2
Release Date: TBA 2016

The original Dishonored set you in a haunting world in which you played as the vengeful bodyguard of the late Queen, Corvo Attano. Your goal in that game was to use various powers and weapons to either sneak or blast your way past enemies in an attempt to save the young princess, Emily Kaldwell, from her mother’s assassins. This time around, you’ll be able to choose between Corvo and Emily as your playable character, which will undoubtedly open the way for more powers, and different ways to approach your enemies.

Telltale Games’ Batman Series
Release Date: TBA 2016

Telltale is well known at this point for delivering story driven adventure games, if with a somewhat questionable engine. With all that they’ve done so far, this will be the first time they try their hand at a Superhero story. As long as they improve the engine powering the game behind the scenes, I can see this as being another slam dunk for them.

Release Date: TBA 2016

This game just looks beautiful. Add that to the fact that it’s being helmed by veteran developer Keiji Inafune, creator of the long running Mega Man series, and it’s hard not to be excited about this game. It will be one of his first projects since splitting from Capcom, so I can’t wait to see how his freedom from the company will help this game shine.

Release Date: TBA 2016

This is one of the more unique games on this list. Heavily inspired by 1930s era cartoons, Cuphead is being developed by two brothers. It stars Cuphead and his brother Mugman, and is a co-op, boss-centric game that looks fiendishly difficult.

I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to play all of these games (a lot of them are for PS4, which I still don’t have </3), but they’re the ones that I’ll have my eye on. Did I miss any that you’re excited for? Leave a comment and let me know!

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I'm just a guy that loves nerd culture, and video games in particular. My earliest memory is seeing a copy of Super Mario World, and wanting nothing more than to play it.

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