The first half of 2015 was rather wild for video games. We’ve seen the good (The Witcher 3 and Bloodborne), the not-so good (The Order: 1886 and Evolve), the bad (Batman: Arkham Knight on PC anyone?), and even a few unexpected surprises too (Dying Light and Her Story). While a few titles have already made their claim for Game of the Year status, there are certainly more contenders on the way over the second half of 2015. For this list, we countdown the 10 games that make us want to fast-forward through time just to get a chance to play these games ASAP.
10.) Star Wars: Battlefront (November 7)
After a decade of anticipation, the Star Wars: Battlefront franchise is finally getting a revival this November with the release of Star Wars: Battlefront. Recent gameplay footage over the past few weeks has certainly heightened the levels of excitement, as Battlefront features stunning visuals, due to the use of the Frostbite 3 engine, and stellar sound design very few games come close to matching. Players will be able to engage in all-out war across many well-known locales from the Star Wars universe including Hoth, Endor, and Tatooine, while also having the chance to even take control of some of the franchise’s most iconic characters such as Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett. With DICE heading the development of this title, it is no surprise that the force feels very strong with this title.
9.) Halo 5: Guardians (October 27)
If there is one franchise most associated with the Xbox brand, it is Halo and this October, Xbox One is finally receiving the next entry in the series with the launch of Halo 5: Guardians. A sequel to 2012’s Halo 4, Halo 5 will allow players to control both Master Chief and the newly introduced Spartan Locke, as they make their way across new worlds to take on their greatest challenge yet. Up to 4-players can work their way through the game’s intense campaign, or players can enjoy various other multiplayer modes including Warzone, which supports 24 players for battle on a larger scale, or Arena, an homage to Halo’s multiplayer of years past with 4-vs-4 battles.
8.) Soma (September 22)
Gaming has experienced a resurgence of the horror genre in recent years with titles like Outlast, The Evil Within, and even the short teaser, but truly terrifying, P.T. Frictional Games, the team behind Amensia: The Dark Descent, are ready to release their next horrifying masterpiece with Soma. Being dubbed a science fiction survival horror title, not a lot is truly known about Soma at this point, minus a few pieces of information. Based on a few previews, the gameplay seems to fall directly in line with Frictional’s past titles Amensia and Penumbra. It seems to strike a perfect balance between adventure, horror, and puzzle-solving, all while leaving players stranded deep in an underwater facility. If Fricational’s past is any indication, we expect Soma to be an instant horror classic once it launches this fall.
7.) Mad Max (September 1)
With the latest Mad Max film receiving generally positive buzz and success at the box office, many are awaiting to see if the video game adapation can be just as exciting and action-packed as the recent film entry. Focusing heavily on vehicular combat, Mad Max is an open-world action-adventure title set in a post-apocalytpic world where players take control of title character Mad Max as they try to navigate and survive the dangerous Wasteland. Players will be able to freely roam completing missions, gathering supplies, battling deadly gangs, and exploring the many vast regions, which comprise the treacherous and unstable Wasteland.
6.) Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (October 13)
The Rainbow Six franchise has strayed far from its roots over the years with the latest entry in the long-running franchise going in a slightly different direction. Rainbow Six: Siege is more closely aligned with games such as Counter-Strike, but also in some ways not either. A tactical multiplayer shooter, Siege lets players compete in 5 vs. 5 showdowns with matches said to last on average about three minutes each. With environments that are highly destructible, players are given freedom with how they want to go about completing objectives. Besides the standard 5 vs. 5 multiplayer affair, Rainbow Six: Siege will also see the return of classic game mode Terrorist Hunt, now called TerroHunt, which sees up to five players cooperatively work together to fight waves of AI-enemies, all while also needing to complete various objectives.
5.) Just Cause 3 (December 1)
2010’s Just Cause 2 was the definition of open-world action-adventure game, as it gave players freedom like nearly no other game before it and hardly seen since. It was zany and over-the-top, but still filled with hours upon hours of what seemed to be limitless possibilities for fun. Just Cause 3 is trying to raise the bar even higher. Featuring a new locale for players to explore and a story that follows the events of Just Cause 2, the adventures of Rico Rodriguez look to get even crazier this time around. While the new setting is similar in size to the map of Just Cause 2, the ficitional island of Medici is set to have an increased amount of volumetric terrain, meaning more verticality to the world allowing for even more exploration whether in deep subterranean caverns or extremely tall towers. Developer Avalanche is also promising more destructibility than ever before granting gamers more creativity with regards to how they want to play.
4.) Rise of the Tomb Raider (November 10)
While Lara Croft was a mainstream gaming icon during the mid-to-late 1990s, she slowly fell off the gaming map heading into the 21st century with the release of Tomb Raider Chronicles in 2000 followed by the critically panned Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness in 2003. For some time, it seemed as if Lara Croft had finally laid her tomb raiding career to rest. In 2013 though, Croft received a revival with a reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. Playing similarly to the Uncharted series, Tomb Raider gave gamers intense and visceral combat mixed with fanstastic setpieces. The next entry in the series, Rise of the Tomb Raider, is ready to continue on the successful formula of 2013’s Tomb Raider. Featuring some newly redesigned combat mechanics, a brand-new day/night cycle and weather system, and even some new additions when it comes to hunting wildlife, Rise of the Tomb Raider looks to be the Tomb Raider we were all dreaming for back in Lara’s heyday.
3.) XCOM 2 (November)
Set 20 years after the events of 2012’s critcally-acclaimed XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 puts players in a world where aliens have taken over the human population. With XCOM a long distant memory, the last remaining fragments of XCOM must band together to try and take back humanity. XCOM 2 will be a PC-exclusive title, which developer Firaxis Games sees as a good decision allowing the game to be properly optimized for computers, as well as allow for modding support and procedurally-generated levels. If XCOM 2 can top what XCOM: Enemy Within did in 2012, we are certain XCOM 2 will be a strong candidate for Game of the Year when its all said and done for 2015.
2.) Fallout 4 (November 10)
Year after year, fans of Fallout 3 awaited the announcement of the next entry in the Fallout series (a true sequel, not New Vegas). It took 7 years, but fans got a glimpse of the future of the franchise with the debut of Fallout 4 at the beginning of June. The trailer released in June did give us a a slight taste of what to expect, but we learned more at E3 just a few weeks ago taking the amount of anticipation to ridiculous heights. Set in Boston, Fallout 4 takes place 200 years after the Great War with players taking control of the Sole Survivor of Vault 111. Featuring gameplay similar to the last two entries in the series, Fallout 4 will still contain new features including a more in-depth crafting system, the ability to build bases, and a dynamic dialogue system. Console owners will also get the chance to play Fallout 4 with PC generated user mods sometime in 2016.
1.) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (September 1/15 PC)
What looks to be Hideo Kojima’s most ambitious project to date, and his final act before departing long-time publisher Konami, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be the last chapter in the ongoing Metal Gear saga, which has spanned nearly three decades. Players take control of Punished “Venom” Snake (or Big Boss to others) as he hits the open terrain of Africa and Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war that took place during the 1980s. The first Metal Gear Solid game to be open-world, The Phantom Pain is more robust than any previous title in the series, giving players freedom never seen before in the franchise; prepare your loadout and choose your time of deployment, complete missions with AI-controlled comrades, craft items by collecting resources, tackle side missions while working on main missions, and much more. The Phantom Pain looks to end the Metal Gear franchise on a high note cementing the franchise’s lasting legacy in the world of video games and entertainment.
Games that were so close, yet so far away from making this list
- Xenoblade Chronicles
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
- Rock Band 4
- WWE 2K16
- Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
- Super Mario Maker