Most anticipated games of 2015

Being an early adopter with a new gaming console is always a fun, if pricey endeavor, but the first year is typically slow on essential games (aside from the odd exclusive launch classic) as developers learn the hardware and work on enhancing their very best franchises.

Which means right about now is the best time to jump on, because 2015 looks to be absolutely stocked with must-play experiences for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and PC players will reap most of the rewards as well. (And Wii U owners, we’ve got a game or two in the mix here for you too.)

Whether you’re looking for the latest AAA sequels or prefer something with an original hook, we’ve got it all here in our list of the 30 most intriguing games on the horizon for 2015. Start saving your loose change and clearing your backlog, because next year is almost here.

1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Following the stunning PlayStation 3 adventure trilogy – with the middle chapter serving not only as the series’ best, but also one of the most thrilling action games of all time – we cannot wait to see what Naughty Dog has in store on PlayStation 4. Uncharted 4 takes place years later, and is being positioned as a “one last quest” sort of story for its heroes. Will this be the end of Nathan Drake? We can’t wait to find out.

Due: TBD 2015

2. No Man’s Sky

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC

Who knew that a game made by a tiny indie team would be one of the headline games of the year? That’s the case with No Man’s Sky, a jaw-dropping space simulation that gives you your very own procedurally generated planet to explore, full of odd creatures and distinctive sights. And at any time, you can fly your ship into the stars and drop in on other users’ planets as well. It looks amazing, but can it really live up to the surprising hype?

Due: TBD 2015

3. The Legend of Zelda

Platforms: Wii U

When Nintendo showed the new Zelda during E3 week last summer, we couldn’t help but think we’d just seen the Wii U’s saviour – but will it come soon enough with a nebulous sometime-in-2015 release? Whatever the case, we’re thrilled to have a brand new console Zelda adventure coming, with fabulous-looking design and a promise to shake up the established formula by presenting an open world without broken-off dungeons.

Due: TBD 2015

4. Dying Light

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

What began life as a Dead Island sequel instead transformed into Dying Light – and sure, while it’s still a first-person zombie-slaying affair, there’s enough here to make us think that it’ll be more lively than the series that sort-of birthed it. Dying Light is another undead survival affair, but the big hook here is a day-night cycle that affects how the zombies act and attack (i.e. they’re totally crazy when the sun sets). Use your parkour skills to stay clear of them!

Due: 30 January

5. Evolve

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Originally expected to launch during the crowded holiday season, Evolve wisely took the opportunity to take on early spring instead – and good thing, too, since this isn’t one you’ll want to miss. From the makers of Left 4 Dead comes a new kind of co-op experience, wherein four players work together to take down massive, powerful beasts. But here’s the twist: another player controls the monster in each raucous online showdown.

Due: 10 February

6. Batman: Arkham Knight

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Another 2014 release casualty, Batman: Arkham Knight instead intends to be a big summer blockbuster, bringing the Caped Crusader’s amazing open-world series to new-gen hardware for the first time. Gotham City will be about five times larger than in the last main game, and you’ll have a badass new Batmobile to use to get around and blast enemies to bits thanks to its new Battle Mode transformation.

Due: 2 June

7. Rise of the Tomb Raider

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360

Lara Croft experienced some rather unsettling things in last year’s excellent series reboot, and it’s all changed her as a person. But while she might dabble in therapy (see the teaser above), it’s clear that her thirst for adventure isn’t nearly sated. Despite the hokey title, we can’t help but await seeing how Rise of the Tomb Raider evolves the formula – although note that it’s an Xbox exclusive in 2015, at least.

Due: Holiday 2015

8. Mortal Kombat X

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Mortal Kombat is another long-running franchise that had lost a step, but 2011’s reboot really brought the fighting series back to life thanks to overhauled action and a seriously solid story mode. With Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm Studios returns to the series once more, this time with each character offering three distinct fighting styles to choose from, plus environmental interactions and buckets and buckets of gore.

Due: 14 April

9. The Order: 1886

Platform: PlayStation 4

Truly interesting game premises are tough to come by, but this one gabbed us: Sony’s The Order: 1886 takes place in an alternate reality, steampunk-inspired London, wherein an order of knights protects citizens from hybrid monster-men. The cover-based action game looks absolutely gorgeous, with a very cool aesthetic and plenty of PS4-powered flash, and even a tiny demo left us wanting much more.

Due: 20 February

10. Mighty No. 9

Platform: Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, PC, Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS, Vita

It looks like Mega Man, plays like Mega Man, and comes from the creator of Mega Man, but Mighty No. 9 isn’t Mega Man – simply by virtue of the fact that the action-platformer comes from a different studio. Capcom has abandoned the Blue Bomber, so the creator jumped ship and Kickstarted this spiritual successor, which looks like a modern reimagining of the formula. It’s not the most original game on the list, but we crave the old-school action.

Due: April

11. Halo 5: Guardians

Platform: Xbox One

Microsoft has Halo: The Master Chief Collection to tide over series fans with HD updates to the existing core entries, but next year is when the first-person sensation makes its true new-gen leap. Few details have been confirmed as of yet, but 343 Industries says Halo 5 will run on a brand new engine at 60fps and offer dedicated servers, plus Collection buyers can get in on the multiplayer beta at the end of this December.

Due: Q4 2015

12. Battlefield: Hardline

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Forget soldiers and military tech: the next Battlefield, primarily developed by Visceral Games rather than series creator DICE, focuses on the always-entertaining skirmishes between cops and robbers, which should provide some amazing online heists and frantic shootouts. Battlefield campaigns are usually so-so, but Hardline is purportedly making it a priority here, with dramatic storytelling and notable voice actors lending their talents.

Due: 17 March

13. Tom Clancy’s The Division

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Even with the author himself deceased, the Tom Clancy’s gaming brand continues to explore new avenues – and The Division could well be its most exciting incarnation to date. Set in New York City after a pandemic sends the U.S. into chaos, it follows a team of sleeper agents attempting to restore order in the destroyed setting. The Division merges solo campaign and massively multiplayer online action for what should be a powerful concoction.

Due: TBD 2015

14. Inside

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Inside hails from the studio behind 2010’s marvelous indie side-scroller, Limbo, which is enough to get us interested. Need more than that? Just check out the mysterious teaser trailer above, which oozes with style and utter dread. And… well, what’s inside that vat at the end? We imagine the answer will drive this side-scrolling adventure, and if Limbo is any indication, it should be an amazing, memorable journey.

Due: TBD 2015

15. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes proved an underwhelming start to the next big MGS rollout – a very expensive extended demo, if you will – but what we’ve seen of the full game looks downright jaw dropping. No surprise, considering the seminal stealth-action series’ pedigree, but still, the footage of free-roaming exploration and combat, along with wild new tactics and typically peculiar storytelling, has us thrilled for its debut.

Due: TBD 2015

16. Star Wars Battlefront

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

LucasArts tried and failed to revive its popular online combat series on last-gen consoles, but under EA, Star Wars Battlefront is all set to return late next year. And who better to reboot the franchise but Battlefield creator, DICE? We can’t wait to see the many iconic locales of the film franchise brought to life in Rebels-vs.-Empire shootouts on new-gen hardware, and considering the release timing, it’s sure to be linked to Episode VII as well.

Due: Holiday 2015

17. Quantum Break

Platforms: Xbox One

From Max Payne and Alan Wake developer Remedy comes one of the seemingly most innovative experiences of the year. Quantum Break features protagonists involved in a botched time travel experiment that grants them time-manipulation powers, which they’ll use in combat to evade capture. And the game is tied into an ongoing TV series, with the two pieces said to blend together to provide the complete narrative. Consider us intrigued.

Due: TBD 2015

18. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Ubisoft’s long-in-development Rainbow Six Patriots was canned, and in its wake comes Rainbow Six Siege with a new focus on destructible environments and even more multiplayer action than usual. Asymmetrical 5-on-5 matches put you on offense and defense in tense skirmishes, with a Hostage Rescue mode putting teams in charge of protecting a character that can think for himself/herself. Now that’s a scary prospect.

Due: TBD 2015

19. Project CARS

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, PC

Losing their steady gig with EA after developing the two excellent Need for Speed: Shift games, Slightly Mad Studios crowdfunded millions in development funds and decided to create its own racing simulation. Project CARS is the result, and it looks every bit as impressive as the studio’s previous entries, with realistic circuits from around the world, some of the Earth’s top supercars, and plenty of new-gen polish.

Due: 17 March

20. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

The Elder Scrolls gets all the attention, but PC die-hards know that The Witcher is every bit as strong a robust role-playing affair – and the last entry also hit consoles, earning a five-star review from us in the process. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes full advantage of new hardware to deliver a huge, enticing world to explore, plus you can expect another strong, mature narrative and plenty of brutal combat in the fantasy universe.

Due: 19 May

21. Mirror’s Edge

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

One of the most underrated games of the last generation is set to make its return on new hardware, this time with a prequel and an open-world setting. As before, the starkly rendered experience finds you in the role of Faith, a rogue courier in a futuristic setting who must use all manner of parkour maneuvers to navigate the world from a first-person view. If it’s anywhere as stylish and intense as the original, we’re in.

Due: TBD 2015

22. Final Fantasy XV

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Once the default example of an amazing role-playing experience, Final Fantasy has stumbled in recent years with the sleepy XIII and the initially botched MMO entry that was XIV. We don’t fully understand the storyline behind Final Fantasy XV quite yet, but we’re so relieved to see that it just looks fun. A group of powered-up chaps on a monster-killing road trip sounds miles more exciting than what this series has pumped out otherwise in the past several years.

Due: TBD 2015

23. Bloodborne

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Take note, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls fans: your new nightmare is just around the corner – and we mean that in a good way, of course. Bloodborne for PS4 carries on the tradition of its spiritual predecessors, delivering a surely punishing action-role-playing experience, albeit with a Victorian-influenced aesthetic and a slightly faster and more aggressive flow to the combat. Will it be worthy of a Souls-like obsession?

Due: 6 February

24. Crackdown

Platforms: Xbox One

Sunset Overdrive just reminded us how much fun an open-world game can be with a healthy dose of hilariously over-the-top agility mixed in, so we’re even more jazzed about the coming rebirth of Crackdown. Microsoft hasn’t actually shown anything or said much beyond the teaser above, but it shows a city that can be utterly demolished in pursuit of justice – which sounds like a fine twist, if you ask us.

Due: TBD 2015

25. Homefront: The Revolution

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Now on its second publisher and developer, Homefront: The Revolution is a survivor. It’s the sequel to a merely solid last-gen shooter that fell short of its potential, but the original premise was strong enough that we’re hopeful that this follow-up can finally deliver on its potential. The shooter again depicts the Korean invasion of America, this time with the action centered on Philadelphia as a citizen uprising builds amidst the occupation.

Due: TBD 2015

26. Street Fighter V

Platforms: PS4, PC

No decade-plus wait between numbered entries this time around: Capcom has Street Fighter V up and running (it’s been played live at events) and ready to debut sometime in 2015. It looks a lot like Street Fighter IV, admittedly, but with plenty of new-gen polish, and the character roster is sure to receive a shake-up. Of course, the big surprise this time around is console exclusivity on PlayStation 4 – plus it’ll have cross-platform multiplayer with PC.

Due: TBD 2015

27. Minecraft: Story Mode

Platforms: PC, Mac, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS

The ultimate sandbox smash is finally getting narrative content – only it won’t be an add-on to the existing game, and it’s not even from Mojang. Instead, Minecraft: Story Mode hails from adventure gaming masters Telltale Games (The Walking Dead), and will be released as an episodic series on numerous platforms. We haven’t seen the game quite yet, but so long as it feels like a natural extension of the original, it ought to be something special.

Due: TBD 2015

28. Yoshi’s Woolly World

Platform: Wii U

If you didn’t play Kirby’s Epic Yarn, you missed out on one of the original Wii’s best games: an absurdly charming platformer that was light on action but huge on heart. Yoshi’s Woolly World, from the same development team, aims to deliver a similar side-scrolling experience on Nintendo’s current console, with worlds and creatures made of virtual fabric – and it looks to have some things in common with the great Yoshi’s Island series.

Due: Early 2015

29. Resident Evil Revelations 2

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita

Long and rather dull in spots, Resident Evil 6 lost the series’ survival horror focus – but Resident Evil Revelations on 3DS offered a much more compelling quest. Now, Revelations 2 is a console-first experience, and not only that, but it’s also an episodic affair with four weekly installments. And you probably don’t need to play the original, what with Claire Redfield and Barry Burton as the new leads. Not that the wider series has the most cohesive plot anyway.

Due: 18 February

30. Amplitude

Platforms: PS4, PS3

Before Rock Band and Guitar Hero creator Harmonix started rocking plastic instruments, it made some killer controller-based music games. Amplitude for PS2 was one of them, and now it’s coming back in a totally new version for PS3 and PS4 in 2015. Once more, you’ll build the song by constantly switching between and completing instrument tracks, and if it’s anything like the old game, it’ll be an absolute blast (and have a fantastic soundtrack).

Due: TBD 2015

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