2015 has come and gone. In that time, we were lucky enough to see some fantastic games. We’ve had many releases as well as DLC that are more than enough to make gamers empty their wallets dry. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony alike have all played their hand to create some unique experiences that will be memorable for years to come. Whether you’re casual, hardcore, or a mix of both, there was something in it for you.
Some of the best titles this year have come in unexpected surprises like Splatoon, and others were expected successes like Batman: Arkham Knight and Fallout 4. Say whatever you want about the lack of games on next-gen consoles, you can’t deny that they’ve been having more winners as of late. Not to mention that we’ve gotten many hints towards future gaming tech, such as VR headsets and the Nintendo NX.
Fortunately, that’s not set to stop anytime soon, with 2016 looking to be even bigger and better. Developers and console-makers alike are kicking into high gear to bring all people to the world of gaming. Sequels, prequels, spin-offs and new franchises are all coming to the table, making it that much harder for those of us who want to save our money.
Get your wallets ready, because here are 12 games you have to play in 2016. Please note that some of these titles are set to release in the next 12 months, but sometimes development gets in the way resulting to games being delayed.
12. Telltale’s Batman
Telltale has proven time and time again that it can take a beloved property and turn it into a unique and interactive experience. This year, they’re going to take a turn at the Batman franchise, adapting some of the Dark Knight’s best moments into that cell-shaded style we all know and love. What’s more exciting is that if they can pull this game off, what other superheroes could they play with in the future? Personally, I would love to see something on the schizophrenic vigilante, Moon Knight. Seeing Marc Specter wrestle with the voices in his head would be pure gold as far as storytelling goes.
11. Far Cry: Primal
I got to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the Far Cry series, but this looks pretty darn interesting. Instead of on that creepy island, Far Cry: Primal takes place in the Ice Age. You’ll defend yourself against sabretooths and woolly mammoths, and seeing these beasts come to life in that way is something I look forward to. I’m a little disappointed though because it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing any dinosaurs, but that doesn’t stop my excitement of embarking on a whole new adventure in a whole new time period. Perhaps there’ll be a point where you discover some dinosaurs.
10. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
This will be the last entry in the Uncharted series. Featuring a retired Nathan Drake, his brother convinces him to go on yet another adventure. Because it will be the final game, expect Naughty Dog to go out with a bang. That means bigger worlds to traverse, higher stakes, and even more jaw-dropping moments. It’s like if Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had been done right. It’ll be sad to see the end of Drake’s journey, but I have faith that Naughty Dog will be more than capable of creating a new franchise or making an older one better, like The Last of Us.
9. Final Fantasy VII HD
Arguably the best Final Fantasy game of all time, Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a long overdue remake for the PS4. So much improvements have been made on the original that I couldn’t even recognize what scenes they were showing. It looks that good. It was a close call between this and Final Fantasy XV, but there’s no doubt that this one has more hype surrounding it. I have no doubt that Square will be able to deliver. Can you imagine what the fight with Sephiroth is going to look like?
Doom is one of those games that has been in development hell. It’s been teased, announced, and worked on since back in 2008, and fans are starting to give up hope. However, at E3, we were finally shown more footage of the game, and it looks intense. It’s been scheduled for later this year, and fingers crossed that it stays that way and doesn’t get any more delays. It may not be anything like classic Doom, but you’ll still be going toe to toe with demons, monsters, and everything in between.
2016 seems to be the year of indie developers. This title is a 2D platformer, and looks to have some addictive gameplay; but there’s more to it than that. Cuphead is styled like an old Disney cartoon, complete with washed-out and static-like colors, but brimming with all sorts of personality. It’s something that’s been slightly attempted before, but never to this degree. And never before has a cartoon looked that amazing. Did I also mention that the boss fights are some of the best in platformer history? Just look up some videos to really get a sense of this game.
6. Mighty No. 9
Another indie project helmed by a man who used to work on the underused Mega Man franchise. Naturally, he can’t use Mega Man, due to licensing and rights issues, but he’s come very close. Mighty No. 9 is a culmination of what made the Mega Man games so great, while at the same time introducing some new mechanics and an HD coat of paint to boot. The moment you see this game, you’ll be craving for Capcom to put the Blue Bomber to use once more. At least we got him in Smash Bros.
5. Star Fox Zero
When the Wii U was first announced, one of the biggest desires among fans was to have a new Star Fox game for it. Luckily, Nintendo heard our pleas, and has created an ingenious title with beautiful graphics, intuitive controls, and a reason to travel back to the Lylat system and do that barrel roll with precision. Because of the capabilities of the Wii U, Nintendo was also able to incorporate ideas that weren’t possible in previous entries. It may be a retelling of Starfox 64, but that doesn’t mean it still won’t be a great game.
4. Ratchet and Clank
The PS4 is in desperate need of some unique exclusives that the Xbox One won’t be able to get its hands on. Ratchet and Clank is that game. Rebooting the beloved third-person action game for a new generation of players, there’s no question that this will enamor those unfamiliar with the series, as well as be a must-have for those that are. It’s not entirely original, being a reimagining of the series and all, but it looks like a freakin’ Pixar film. Insomniac knows what they’re doing.
3. The Last Guardian
The team behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are some of the best game developers I’ve ever seen. So when it was announced that they had been working on another game in 2009 titled The Last Guardian, fans were ecstatic. However, this is a prime and unfortunate example of a game being delayed over and over again to the point where audiences thought it was dead. But after this past E3, we’re finally getting the game in the next several months, and it looks like another hit on the same level as the other two games.
2. Zelda Wii U
The Legend of Zelda and Skyrim. Sounds like a match made in Heaven, doesn’t it? Well, Nintendo apparently thought so too with their scheduled Zelda game for the Wii U. The game is entirely open-world, even more so than Wind Waker. You are free to explore the entire map however you choose to, and there are practically no restrictions on what you can do. You play at your own pace, progress at your own pace, and complete quests in whatever order you choose. On top of that, its graphic style is a combination of both Skyward Sword and Wind Waker, making it one of the most colorful open-world games ever.
1. No Man’s Sky
Who knew that the biggest game of all time would be made by an indie developer. The game is all procedurally-constructed, meaning everything is random and no two experiences will be the same. The game also features around 18 quintillion worlds, all different from one another. Each world is planet-sized, has its own creatures, plants, hazards, and everything. It looks to be one of the most immersive games to ever be created. You could spend your entire life playing the game and only discover a fraction of the universe that it’s set in. Did I mention you actually travel through space in real-time?