Every year new games are showed off and teased at events like PAX, E3, Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show. Gamers then spend the time in between release announcements eagerly waiting for trailers, gameplay or any sort of news updates on these games. The truth is the gaming industry has become one of the largest in the world, with global revenue of close to $64 billion from core gaming consoles made in 2014. Gamers have grown accustomed to having a wide variety of titles and genres at their disposal, each offering something that caters to the individual’s tastes.
2015 is looking like one of the biggest years for video games we’ve seen in a while. With a multitude of long awaited sequels to some of gaming’s biggest franchises accompanied by new titles from accomplished developers, there’s a lot to be optimistic about. With so many titles scheduled to come out it’s hard to pinpoint what’s more exciting; a new Mortal Kombat or the final installment in the Batman: Arkham series? A new platformer from Keiji Inafune or Hello Games’ ambitious open universe game No Man’s Sky? If there’s one thing 2015 has to offer, it’s variety.
Feel free to voice which games you’re most looking forward to in the comments section!
21. Mighty No. 9 – April 2015
At first glance Mighty No. 9 might look like just another platformer, but the latest project from Keiji Inafune has been building up quite a bit of hype since it was first announced back in 2013. The game follows an android named Beck as he fights an evil computer virus threatening the world. Mighty No. 9 resembles another Inafune creation, Mega Man. The gameplay as well as the character design for Beck are all very similar to the iconic Capcom series, and many consider it to be a spiritual successor of sorts. The game was funded using Kickstarter and met its initial goal of $900,000 in just two days, leading to a number of additional stretch goals being introduced. Initially intended for Microsoft Windows, the game is currently in development for ten platforms.
20. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – Q1 2015
The sequel to 2012’s top-down shooting bloodbath Hotline Miami, Wrong Number has already sparked quite a bit of controversy. A scene in one of the early demos of the game showed the player attempting to sexually assault a woman. The player is then interrupted by a director and the whole sequence is then revealed to be fake. In response to the criticism the snuff film scene received, the game’s developers announced they’d consider removing it from the final product. Because of the scene in question, Wrong Number was refused classification in Australia, effectively preventing the game’s release there. In response to this, developer Dennaton Games chose not to challenge the ruling but instead encouraged Australian gamers interested in the game to pirate a copy.
19. Evolve – February 10, 2015
The thing that has everyone exited for Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve is its asymmetrical multiplayer mode. What is an asymmetrical multiplayer mode? The game pits four player-controlled humans or “Hunters” against an alien monster, controlled by a fifth player. While it may seem that the monster player is at a bit of a disadvantage, they have the ability to kill smaller creatures and evolve, becoming stronger. However, this leaves them vulnerable to the “Hunters” for a short period of time. Evolve isn’t the typical first person shooter we’ve gotten used to playing over the last several years. What’s more is that it promises to be one of the more unique approaches to multiplayer we’ve seen in a while.
18. Quantum Break – TBA 2015
Quantum Break is set to be the latest game from Max Payne and Alan Wake developers Remedy Entertainment. The game follows a small group of characters who have obtained the ability to manipulate time after a time travel experiment goes wrong. The player will take control of one of three main characters, each with their own ability. These abilities are integrated into the game’s third-person shooter mechanics and can be used to navigate around various maps and defeat enemies. For example, one character – Jack Joyce – has the ability to stop time. The player can use this ability to move out of cover, sneak up on enemies and take out groups of them swiftly. While the market is flooded with shooters, Quantum Break seems to offer an interesting story and a fresh take on the shooter genre.
17. Project Cars – March 17, 2015
The Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport series are familiar names in the racing sim genre. They’re two of the most popular franchises in gaming, but this year a lot of people are eagerly awaiting Project Cars, a newcomer to the racing sim genre developed by veteran Slightly Mad Studios. The studio has previously worked on a number of racing games including the Need for Speed: Shift series they developed along side Electronic Arts. In order to differentiate the game from the aforementioned Gran Turismo and Forza games, Project Cars presents the tracks in a sandbox style, making them immediately available to the player. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the game is its VR support. Both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus will be useable is Project Cars, which may make it one of the most realistic and immersive racing sim experiences to date.
16. Rise of the Tomb Raider – Holiday 2015
2013’s reboot of the long-running Tomb Raider franchise was a huge success. Serving as an origin story, Tomb Raider followed Lara Croft as she developed from an ambitious archeologist into the kick-ass female heroine gamers know and love. The sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider is set to come out holiday 2015 as an Xbox exclusive. While there are no plot details yet, development is well under way and the sequel seems to be gathering just as much hype as its predecessor.
15. The Order: 1886 – February 20, 2015
First announced at E3 2013 as a PS4 exclusive, The Order: 1886 takes place in an alternate version of 19th century Victorian London. The player takes control of Sebastian Malory, a member of the Order that protects humanity from the “half breeds”, a combination of animal and man. The Order must now fight off the half breeds while attempting to prevent a group of rebels from releasing a deadly contagion onto the world. The game has a very “steampunk” style with a number of cool weapons at the player’s disposal.
14. No Man’s Sky – TBA 2015
Of all the games coming out in 2015, none look as beautiful and distinctive as No Man’s Sky. The game is open universe and allows the player to explore a seemingly endless number of planets. “Procedurally generated” is the term developer Hello Games likes to use when describing the open universe, not random. No Man’s Sky uses a series of algorithms that take into account such things as a planet’s proximity to the sun which affects whether or not it has water, which then affects the moisture of the planet, the sky colour etc. The player explores this universe via their upgradeable starship which can be used to navigate the vast galaxy of No Man’s Sky. Planets, wildlife and plant life are all unique with their own characteristics that change from planet to planet. Players can explore theses planets and observe their ecosystems in great detail as they strive towards their ultimate goal of reaching the center of the galaxy. It’s an exciting and ambitious project that, if done right, may take a step forward in forever changing open world gaming.
13. Battlefield: Hardline – March 17, 2015
What makes Hardline different from previous entries in the Battlefield series is its focus on the war on crime as opposed to the usual war setting the franchise is known for. The game will follow detective Nick Mendoza and his partner as they investigate a series of off-the-books cases and uncover a trail of corruption in the city of Miami. Like Battlefield 4, Hardline will feature the Levolution mechanic which allows players to destroy certain areas in the map. The player has access to a number of military-grade weapons and vehicles that can be used by both the Special Response Unit and criminal fractions.
12. Bloodborne – March 24, 2015
Though the name may not sound familiar, Bloodborne is the newest action RPG from Hidetaka Miyazaki, the man who directed both Demon’s Souls and its spiritual successor Dark Souls. What separates Bloodborne from both Demon’s and Dark Souls is its combat. While Miyazaki’s previous titles focused more on tactical fighting, Bloodborne’s combat is purely offensive with players needing to fight off large numbers of enemies at once. Instead of a shield, the player is given a firearm, emphasising the attack first mentality of the game. Weapons are more dynamic with two alternate states which are each suited for different types of combat.
11. Star Wars: Battlefront – Holiday 2015
After years of waiting for Battlefront 3, Star Wars fans finally got some much awaited news concerning the Battlefront franchise. At E3 2013, DICE announced they’d be working on a Battlefront reboot. The veteran studio in charge of the Battlefield series seemed perfect for the job, given their experience in the shooter and action genres. The game will incorporate elements of the older Battlefront games but will stay true to DICE’s vision of what a Battlefront game should be. Given their track record there’s a lot to be excited about, especially since the game will be using the Frostbite 3 engine used in games like Battlefield 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s set to release sometime during Holiday 2015, and so far both Hoth and Endor have been confirmed as playable maps.
10. Mortal Kombat X – April 14, 2015
At the height of its success the Mortal Kombat franchise was one of the most popular – and controversial – fighting titles on the market. After a heap of sequels, NetherRealm Studios took it upon themselves to create an alternate re-telling of the first three games in the series. The game was well received and even got banned in Australia for a period of time. The sequel, Mortal Kombat X, is set to show off a new original storyline featuring four new characters to be exclusively introduced in X. The game will once again feature the “X-Ray” specials introduced in the previous game as well as the franchise’s infamous fatalities and interactive environments.
9. Tom Clancy’s The Division -TBA 2015
Tom Clancy’s The Division takes place in a dystopian not-so-distant future where a disease causes the United States Government to fall, leading to chaos. The player takes control of a group of tactical agents tasked with preventing the fall of society. The story might sound a little cliché, but Ubisoft wowed audiences with their seven minute gameplay demo at E3 2013. What’s interesting about The Division is its incorporation of tablets that can be used to fly drones and offer tactical support in game. Though originally slated for a 2014 release, The Division was delayed to sometime in 2015.
8. Batman: Arkham Knight – June 2, 2015
The conclusion to Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series, Arkham Knight looks to be the biggest and most ambitious Batman game yet. Set one year after the events of Arkham City, Arkham Knight boasts a map five times larger than the previous title. Apart from being able to glide through the city, Batman now has the Batmobile at his disposal. Kevin Conroy is set to reprise his role as the Dark Knight as he faces off against Scarecrow and several other iconic Batman villains.
7. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 – TBA 2015
Atlus’s Persona series was originally a bit of a niche over here in the west. It was not until the release of Persona 3 that the series gained a good deal of popularity with western gamers. In recent years, with the popularity of Persona 4 and its Vita port, Golden, the series has become one of the most popular JRPG series in North America and Europe. Even though there are close to no details on the game’s plot, nor have gamers seen any gameplay, Persona 5 has a great deal of hype surrounding it. We know it’ll have a high school setting, and director Katsura Hashino has said that the game’s central theme is freedom and how to attain it. So while there is little to go on, it’s enough to have Persona fans on the edge of their seats. The fact that it was pushed back from 2014 to 2015 only creates more hype for the game, which is great if you’re Atlus.
6. The Legend of Zelda (Wii U) – TBA 2015
The untitled Wii U Legend of Zelda game is set to be the eighteenth installment in the storied video game franchise. The E3 2014 trailer gave nothing away in terms of plot, but showed off a beautiful and vast version of what we can be pretty sure is Hyrule. The game will focus on giving the player freedom to explore the huge open world while being able to advance the plot. Similar to the original Legend of Zelda, this one will have a fully connected overworld which can be traversed either by foot, or on Link’s horse Epona. While there aren’t any specific details on the game’s release date, it is set to launch worldwide sometime in 2015, barring any setbacks.
5. Halo 5: Guardians – TBA 2015
The original Halo lead the way for what would be the next generation of shooters. It spawned several sequels and now, almost fifteen years later, gamers are getting ready for the fifth game in the main series. Guardians will be the second game in the Halo franchise developed by 343 Industries who took over for Bungie after they separated from Microsoft. The game will concentrate on the events following an unexpected alien attack coinciding with the disappearance of the iconic Master Chief and will follow a new character tasked with tracking him down.
4. Final Fantasy XV – TBA 2015
There’s a long and complicated development history to the game that would eventually become Final Fantasy XV; much too long and complicated to get into. But here are the basics. It was originally revealed at E3 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Over time and after multiple problems in developing the game, it later turned into the fifteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. The game will focus on the conflict between two nations and the relationship between their heirs. Unlike most Final Fantasy games, XV will use a battle system similar to the ones used in the Kingdom Hearts series. It will also incorporate third-person shooter elements and limit the player to one controllable character, which is a new and unconventional step for the series.
3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – TBA 2015
In an unconventional move, Konami released Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes last year as a prequel to the upcoming Phantom Pain. The Phantom Pain is set nine years after Ground Zeroes and will follow series protagonist/antagonist Big Boss. Ground Zeroes was just a taste of what Phantom Pain will be, and while aspects of the game were applauded, the short campaign left gamers and critics with the impression that Ground Zeroes was just a money grab. Like its predecessors, The Phantom Pain will focus heavily on stealth with several new features such as marking enemies, directional cues and a newly introduced “Reflex Mode”.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – May 19, 2015
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be the third installment of the game series based on the Polish fantasy novels of the same name. The game will follow protagonist Geralt of Rivia as he embarks on a personal journey while the world around him begins to change. While Wild Hunt uses similar RPG elements found in the previous titles, the game now boasts a completely new combat system with climbing mechanics similar to the Uncharted series and a map that’s 20% bigger than Skyrim‘s. The player’s actions will affect the world and one quest can be done multiple different ways. Wild Hunt will also feature a day and night system that will influence certain monsters and their powers.
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – TBA 2015
The latest installment in the Uncharted series will once again follow series protagonist Nathan Drake – now retired – only to be forced out of retirement by his older brother who was long thought to be dead. The two travel the globe in search of a lost pirate colony and its treasure. Drake will be put to his physical and emotional limits as he’s forced to question how much he’s willing to sacrifice to save his loved ones. Besides the small plot outline, Naughty Dog hasn’t released all that much info on the highly anticipated sequel scheduled to hit shelves sometime this year.