Top 20 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2016

2016 has arrived, and with it comes a whole new year of video game releases. While 2015 had a lot of special games that we won't soon forget, the next 12 months are going to be some of the best that gaming has ever seen from beginning to end.

Below you will find the top most anticipated games of 2016 for both GameRevolution Editor-in-Chief Nick Tan and Managing Editor Jonathan Leack, totaling at 20 games you should keep an eye on.

 


Nick Tan's Picks

Dark Souls III

Release Date: April 12th, 2016

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Read More: Dark Souls 3 Preview

While I'm slightly concerned that FromSoftware might be wearing itself out, Dark Souls III already looks as threatening and death-prepared as usual. FromSoftware is borrowing some of the swifter combat from Bloodborne over to Dark Souls III, making battles more reactionary but not any less methodical. Even wearing heavier armor doesn't seem to impede your character too much here, allowing you to roll and perform riskier attacks without the comfort of a shield. The best defense is truly an aggressive offense, though you should still take a few moments to view the gorgeously grotesque world of Dark Souls III. Japan will have their hands on Dark Souls III on March 24, but North America (and the rest of the world) won't be too far behind with it launching on April 12.

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Release Date: August 23rd, 2016

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Read More: Deux Ex: Mankind Divided Preview

Maybe Adam Jensen never asked for this, but I do. As a direct sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mankind Divided has Jensen stealthily navigate a world in 2029 where augmented people went out of control during the Panchaea incident and have attacked "naturals." Since Jensen is the epitome of human augmentation, you can expect a lot of unwarranted discrimination against him during the course of the game, making his mission to prevent terrorist attacks more bothersome than before. So if you share my feeling that Fallout 4 didn't deal with the synth issue very well, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will surely tackle the subject with far more depth and finality. #CantKillProgress

Eidos Montreal delayed the game for a year and has set a release date for the game of August 23, 2016. Luckily, the previously announced "tiered" pre-order system has been nixed, and now all pre-order content will be available to those who pre-order the game or purchase the Day 1 edition.

 

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Release Date: Q4 2016

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Read More: All New Characers Embrace Mass Effect: Andromeda

Before I begin, let's just slot this into the "likely to be delayed to 2017" folder, shall we? Slated for Q4 2016, Mass Effect: Andromeda is supposed to be an indirect sequel to Mass Effect 3, which might mean that one of the four endings from Mass Effect 3 will likely be chosen as canon (or maybe one of many timelines in a Ocarina of Time kind of way). Either way, it's supposed to take place long after the Mass Effect 3 in a different galaxy and the Mako will make a return, hopefully for the better. Lead Producer Cameron Lee from BioWare has said on Twitter that at least the first hour of the game is playable and that it's fun to "shoot things in the face." Wrex approves this message. And I do too.

 

Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Release Date: May 24th, 2016

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Read More: Mirror's Edge Catalyst Preview

It's hard for any game to stand out at E3 in my brain since I'm bombarded by over 300 games when I'm there. But Mirror's Edge Catalyst has stayed with me, and I clearly remember being entranced by the swift moves of Faith as she attempts to take down the corporations in the city of Glass (better not throw stones, I suppose). Much like the original game, parkour in a minimalist setting still makes for arresting visuals. Climbing, jumping, and rolling around the free-roaming, open-world environment was surprisingly smooth even at the E3 demo, and the lack of all gunplay is a welcome omission, replaced by Faith's enhanced hand-to-hand skills. The world of Mirror's Edge Catalyst is primed for both co-operative and PvP missions with head-to-head races and synchronous multiplayer. With all this, we don't really need faith that Catalyst will be awesome. The game already has her.

 

Shin Megami Tensei Persona 5

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): PS3, PS4

​Read More: 36 Persona 5 Screenshots

We've been waiting for Persona 5 for what feels like a lifetime. Atlus began development of the game in 2010 and stated that the game would release around 2015, but without any sort of E3 demo, I suspected it would be delayed to 2016 (as is the case). So far, we know that the story focuses on a teenager who has the ability to summon Personas and joins a group of friends in Shujin High School with a cat-like creature named Morgana who form the "Phantom Thieves of Hearts." Navigating through an ornate sub-space called The Palace, they destroy negative feelings in people's hearts that have begun to fester and need to be taken out. In my analysis of the trailer, I surmised that these negative feelings would take the form of the seven deadly sins. Given the numerous offshoots of the Persona series, which has seen the combined forces of Persona 3 and 4, I can't wait to see how the jazzy cast of Persona 5 brings their roguish ways to Shin Megami Tensei.

 

Street Fighter V

Release Date: February 16th, 2016

Platform(s): PC, PS4

​Read More: Street Fighter V Preview

At this point, Street Fighter V is Capcom. It's by far the most anticipated fighter this year, and although the beta hasn't gone smoothly, multiple tests of the current cast by players at PlayStation Experience, PAX Prime, and other conventions show that Street Fighter V is heading in the right direction. The inputs are easier to execute with fewer half-circles and full-circles, while both the revamped EX-gauge and V-gauge bring more strategic play to the forefront. The same goes for V-Reversals, V-Skills, V-Triggers, and a visible stun gauge.

Mechanically, the game is an interesting blend between Street Fighter III and Street Fighter IV. The cast of launch characters have revamped versions of Ken and Nash, throwbacks like R. Mika, Birdie, and Karin, and four new characters. It's still a bummer that Guile, Balrog, Juri, and Ibuki will only be available post-launch, along with Street Fighter III comebacks Alex and Urien. But we know that Capcom has a long, arduous plan for DLC, season passes, and Super/Ultra/HD/Remix/Aracde Version/Turbo versions of the game. At least Ryu's pre-order costume at Gamestop gives him a Solid Snake beard. Street Fighter V will debut on February 16, 2016.

 

Telltale's The Walking Dead: Michonne

Release Date: February 2016

Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Read More: Telltale's Next Project Is Most Ambitious Yet

Even after being a part of the main cast of The Walking Dead since season three in the TV series and being recognized as a leading katana-wielding female badass, we know very little about Michonne's past. All we've got are dreamlike flashbacks that show flickers of her child and her lovers, as well as her ingenious use of walkers when traveling in the middle of a horde of zombies. But with Telltale's The Walking Dead: Michonne, we will learn more about Michonne's pre-apocalyptic life and her journey before she meets with Rick's group, likely revealing the reasons for her skepticism and practicality. Some of the backstory from the comics, which this version of Michonne is based on, should weave itself into the Telltale's interpretation of her story. Michonne will likely remain alive at the end of the series, so some of the suspense might be softened a bit, but everyone else in the story might not be so lucky…

 

The Last Guardian

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): PS4

​Read More: The Last Guardian Preview

"Hope for the best, prepare for the worst." That's what we have learned when it comes to the emotional rollercoaster that is The Last Guardian. The phrase "development hell" doesn't even begin to describe the arduous road the game has taken over the last decade (you might think I'm exaggerating but development supposedly started back in 2007). At the very least, we know that the game exists and has an intended release date of 2016, though I don't think the announcement of a delay would surprise anyone at this point.

Really, all the world wants is a confirmed hands-on demo for The Last Guardian so that we can see the giant, gentle griffon-hyena work with a boy to solve environmental puzzles and save him from the impending doom of huge pitfalls. We already expect that either the boy or the guardian will die at the end of the game (you know, for the feels), but let's just hope that the game is born first. Don't want to put the cart before the Trico.

 

The Legend of Zelda

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): Wii U

Read More: Will The Legend of Zelda Wii U Become a Nintendo NX Launch Title?

Can we go to that mountain already?!

We've been patiently waiting for a new main entry in The Legend of Zelda series on Wii U ever since the brilliant tech demo showed the graphical capabilities of the system. This new Zelda promises an open world in which players won't need to complete dungeons in a particular order or micro-manage Epona while riding her since she will avoid obstacles automatically. In fact, Nintendo promised so much that the game was effectively delayed to 2016.

For now, we're certain that this new installment will be available on Wii U and will likely release on Nintendo's upcoming "NX" console if they can muster it. We still don't know if we'll be able to choose whether Link as a boy or a girl, with plenty of rumors afloat concerning this gender choice. Whatever the case, we all have lofty expectations for The Legend of Zelda and we'll see if all these changes are worth their rupees when the game launches some time this year.

 

Thumper

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): PC, PS4

​Read More: You Don't Need Psychedelics, Just Play Thumper Instead

It's insane. It's psychedelic. It's rhythm violence!

I can't say enough about Thumper. The psychotropic visuals alone – a chrome beetle surfing down a slotted lane hurdling toward a kaleidoscopic spiral in encapsulating darkness – are shocking enough. But when it's saturated within a deep, almost subterranean soundtrack that blasts your eardrums, you need to crank that bass and turn the volume to 12 (because 11 isn't enough). As the developer puts it, this isn't Rhythm Heaven. This is Rhythm Hell.

 


Jonathan Leack's Picks

Cuphead

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): PC, Xbox One

Read More: Cuphead Preview

I have so much appreciation for Cuphead's aesthetic. Everything in the game has been hand-drawn, and it looks like a classic cartoon in motion. But that's not the only reason I can't wait to play this game. It is a game focused on intense boss battles, which means that it's going to be a wild ride that requires serious timing and precision to conquer. After playing Ori and the Blind Forest last year I'm itching for another high skill ceiling platformer, and Cuphead looks to fit that role in tremendous fashion.

 

​Final Fantasy XV

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): ​PS4, Xbox One

Read More: Final Fantasy XV Preview

Outside of the recently resurrected Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the last decade has been miserable for Final Fantasy fanatics such as myself. Before Final Fantasy XII there was nothing more exciting than knowing a new installment for the franchise was just around the corner. As much as I've learned to not overhype Final Fantasy games anymore, Final Fantasy XV has looked good enough in pre-release media that I'm hopeful it will return the franchise to greatness. It will, of course, have a fantastic presentation, but it's the exciting combat mechanics and open-world nature of the game that will be responsible for making it a game that leaves a good lasting impression.

 

Hitman

Release Date: March 11th, 2016

Platform(s): ​PC, PS4, Xbox One

Read More: Hitman Gameplay

I'm a sucker for strategic, stealth-oriented games, and no franchise is quite like Hitman. It's a lot of fun to scout locations for useful items while analyzing the patterns of NPCs in the game world. Once the action starts, adrenaline kicks in as there's very little room for error. This year's Hitman is a bit confusing in regards to how it will handle content delivery, but anything that gives me an excuse to play as Agent 47 is worth hype in my book. I can't wait to use barbeques, pencils, and chandeliers to take out my targets.

 

​HTC Vive

Release Date: April 2016

Platform(s): PC

Read More: Can Your PC Handle Virtual Reality?

While there are plenty of games to look forward to, it's the start of the virtual reality revolution that has piqued my interest the most. I've used Oculus Rift at a couple conventions, and am 100% convinced that it will be the next big thing for gaming. Horror games, visual novels, and eye candy benefit the most as virtual reality makes experiences that are traditionally not all that exciting something extraordinary.

While the Oculus Rift looks like a great piece of hardware, Valve's involvement with HTC Vive makes it the bigger item of attention for me. I have a feeling it will have some fantastic exclusive games, strong support, as well as being able to produce unique experiences with its tracking capabilities.

 

Quantum Break

Release Date: April 5th, 2016

Platform(s): Xbox One

Read More: Quantum Break Gameplay

Remedy Entertainment was responsible for making one of my favorite games of 2010: Alan Wake. It's a study with a prestigious pedigree, and that alone makes me excited for Quantum Break, let alone its one-of-a-kind storytelling format that looks to bridge video game and TV, as well as what looks to be enjoyable gameplay. It's also a game capable of becoming one of the most visually impressive titles of all-time if pre-release footage is any indication. Its highly-polished physics are partially responsible for that.

 

Sea of Thieves

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): PC, Xbox One

Read More: Top 10 Rare Games Of All-Time

After years of being stuck making motion-control games, Rare will break out this year with this interesting user-generated content game that has a healthy dose of co-op play. As a fan of Rare's best titles, I'm hopeful that this will be as good as it sounds. It will have pirates and a visual style that's soft on the eyes. This is a game that could be a big surprise, and apparently it's been in development for longer than most gamers initially surmised.

Star Citizen

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): PC

Read More: Star Citizen and the Dangers of Crowdfunding

On paper Star Citizen is capable of being one of the best PC games ever. It's an MMO set in space with action gameplay and some of the best visuals around. In other words, it's EVE Online with good gameplay. I'm not so sure that it'll be as big of a hit as many are hoping, but at the very least I want to play it to fly around in space, preferably with HTC Vive. Even if it doesn't hit a home run at launch, a few content patches could still make this a great MMO alternative to my long-running World of Warcraft addiction.

 

Titanfall 2

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform(s): TBA

Read More: Titanfall Review

While this one hasn't been formally announced, you can bet your boots it's coming out this year. Titanfall was my favorite first-person shooter of 2014, and the franchise has potential to be a leader in the genre. Just thinking about the potential for Titanfall with some single-player options, maybe co-op, more weapons, and a larger library of maps makes me giddy with excitement. It'll take a lot to pull me away from playing competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but this would be the FPS to do so.

 

Total War: Warhammer

Release Date: April 28th, 2016

Platform(s): PC

Read More: Total War: Warhammer Preview

​The Warhammer IP has always had tremendous potential, but has never been introduced in a meaningful way in video game form. Total War: Warhammer could be the game to bring the IP to life. The marriage between its fantasy universe and Creative Assembly's Total War franchise is one made in heaven, allowing players to take control of one of several iconic factions in a violent RTS. It'll be one of those games that becomes addictive, makes you want to read about Warhammer lore, and results in you playing the game for hundreds of hours. Just what I'll need in April.

 

World of Warcraft: Legion

Release Date: Summer 2016

Platform(s): PC

Read More: World of Warcraft: Legion Preview

I could have sworn that Warlords of Draenor was a good expansion, but things took a turn for the worst just months into its lifespan. It's been an okay experience while falling short of being the revolutionary expansion that World of Warcraft needed 10 years after launch.

Well, Legion is shaping up to be the perfect solution to the game's aging platform. It will include a much greater focus on class individuality and compelling sub-stories. It will also introduce a wide range of relic weapons, as well as a reform of the game's traditional PvP system. I am so excited for the expansion that I recently returned to World of Warcraft to gear up a Paladin in anticipation. I am prepared.