The rest of this year and next year are shaping up to be a phenomenal time to be a video game fan, especially if you've been playing games for a while and desperately crossing your fingers for a new release or a remake of an old favorite. Here are some of the biggest highlights so far and why you should be as excited as everyone on your facebook feed—and these are in no specific order because far be it from me to pick favorites.
We've got tons of sequels coming out:
Dishonored 2, which lets you play as Corvo Attano, protagonist of the original Dishonored, or Emily Kaldwin, the child monarch who Corvo spent the first game protecting. No release date yet.
Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, which allows players to kill targets in particularly bloody fashion as either of a brother/sister duo in a politically-charged Victorian Revolution time.
Halo V: Guardians, which was talked about at last year's E3 as well. We've got a release date in October and a better look at the game now, however, and it seems like it should be the big exclusive Xbox One has been needing.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III. It looks a lot like Titanfall.
Hitman: World of Assassination. (It's basically just another Hitman game. Do with that what you will.)
Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, which has you working to customize and decorate your neighbors' homes. All the fun without all the weed pulling!
Batman: Arkham Knight, which you only have to wait a week to play. Still, they released a new trailer and it's pretty nightmarish.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. We don't know much about it except we know it has plenty of violence with that same chipper tone you've come to expect from Uncharted. Look for it some time next year.
Three Tom Clancy games: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands (Look for tons of weapons, vehicles, and massive multi-player potential); Rainbow Six: Siege; and The Division.
Forza Motosport 6, which looks like another beautiful graphic racing game. (Which is what we've come to expect from Forza.)
"The Taken King" expansion for Destiny. It's not technically a sequel but they're billing it as a pretty huge deal, including a new map and new strike mission. Look for it in September.
Dark Souls III, which does not have much info released yet despite a 2-minute trailer. From what we can tell, it's as hard as the first two. However, leaked info has whispered of swordfighting skills and save-point bonfires for the newest installment.
Some of which are many years in the making:
Fallout 4, which has been unofficially hinted at for seven years. Focus on rebuilding the wasteland or continue to explore and destroy it as you please, this time with a dog companion and stunning graphics. The collector's edition comes with a Pip Boy of your very own that coordinates with smart phones. And while you're waiting for the game to come out, check out the playable demo or Fallout Shelter, which is a cute little mobile game.
Kingdom Hearts 3, which got announced originally in 2013. It promises to include Final Fantasy and Disney characters, including Tangled. It's said to be the end of the main conflict of KH but not the series itself. We don't know much more than that but you can still celebrate.
Starfox Zero, which claims to feel just like really flying, for Wii U.
Doom (formerly referred to as Doom 4) which promises to be excessively gory just like we'd always hoped. (Hello, chainsaws.)
Mass Effect Andromeda, which comes “far away from and long after” the original Mass Effect trilogy. That's about all we know for now, other than the fact that it's coming out at the end of 2016.
Street Fighter 5, due for spring 2016. Sorry Xbox gamers, this one is slated to be a PS4/PC exclusive.
The Last Guardian is the phenomenally gorgeous follow up of 2005's Shadow of the Colossus that has been in the works since 2007. It's a PS4 exclusive that should be out some time in 2016. If you still need convincing to get a next-gen console, check out its trailer.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, whose trailer is the last by beloved Hideo Kojima. Said trailer has pretty cheesy voiceover work, lots of blood running down the walls, and a super haunting musical track. Previews of the game have said its dialog was poetic, the gameplay semi open world, soldier buddies including a horse and a dog and a lot of similarities to MGS's previous game Ground Zeroes. Look for it in September and in the meantime, enjoy Kojima's name plastered all over the trailer as a big middle finger to Konami.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole, a follow-up to the surprisingly entertaining South Park: The Stick of Truth RPG.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst, which is the sequel to 2008's Mirror's Edge, which gathered a cult following regardless of critic's reviews. Look for it on your big three: PC, PS4, Xbox One.
Shenmue 3, which wasn't technically a guarantee when it was announced. However, in one day it has raised nearly $3 million dollars on Kickstarter. (Their goal was $2 million and the campaign has another month to go.) It seems like fans—who have been waiting 14 years for this—were more than ready to jump right in to bring this RPG to life. Currently they only have plans for PS4 and PC but with the amount of money they're earning, anything's possible.
Nier, which many fans had maybe given up on since the original's release in 2010 and the disbanding of the original studio. However, the new game has been picked up from Platinum Studios. Nier was originally a spin-off of the fifth game in the Dragengard series and promises to appeal to fans in and outside of Japan.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which we first heard about in April. A sequel to the 2011 Deus Ex: Human Revolution, this game involves steampunk and “"mechanical apartheid.”
Some remakes of old favorites:
Final Fantasy VII, bringing the game back to life 18 years after its original creation. There's been very little in the way of new information being released and a press release says they've only just begun production. However, those who have waited this long probably won't mind waiting a bit longer. All we know is that the graphics look as amazing as one could hope for a next-gen console.
Need For Speed, this time with no subtitles or lame spin-offs. Look for “deep customization, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative.”
Rare Replay, which isn't a remake so much as a bundle. 30 of Rare Studio's best games (minus Goldeneye and Donkey Kong Country) will be in one bundle for $30. Some of the games that we know so far are included are Viva Pinata and Perfect Dark.
Ratchet & Clank, which will be a reimagining of the original game with flavoring from the upcoming Ratchet & Clank movie, which you can catch in theaters April of next year.
Master of Orion, a 1993 game to be rebooted by the publisher who brought you World of Tanks, Wargaming. This will be a reboot of the original, rather than a continuation of the series that saw a flop with Master of Orion III. Master of Orion was a pioneer in the 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) strategy gaming world that now is inhabited by names like Civilization and Age of Wonders. Wargaming promises to "breathe new life" into the game, offering a revamped user interface, new musical score, 13 races to choose from and 100 solar systems to explore that will appeal to fans both new and old. No release date or console info yet.
Some powerful newcomers:
No Man's Sky, which technically got released at last year's E3 but considering how it still has no real release date, we're allowed to keep being excited about it. It's a procedurally generating open universe explorer game with amazing colors.
For Honor, which pits everyone from vikings to samurais to knights against each other. Not much has been seen yet but it looks like your standard any-kind-of-melee-you-can-imagine fight game. Nothing wrong with that!
Unraveled, which is very reminiscent of LittleBigPlanet and follows the travels of an anthropomorphic ball of yarn trying to make it in the human world. It's a cute, photorealistic physics puzzle game with a surprising amount of deep meaning imbedded.
ReCore, which comes from the co-creator of the Mega Man series and the team from Metroid Prime. It's billed as a cross between
Horizon: Zero Dawn, which comes from the creators of Killzone. We don't know much about it except it seems to include post-apocalyptic cave people killing robot dinosaurs with bow and arrow. Huh.
Dreams, from the developers of LittleBigPlanet. Paint, sculpt, mold and share your own dream world or "get lost for hours journeying from the imagination of thousands of PS4 users." Much like our own dreams in real life, it seems as if this game can be as cute or sinister as you can imagine.
Firewatch, in which you are in a 1989 Wyoming forest, on the lookout for fires when weird things start to happen. Investigate the mystery, guided (or tricked?) by the female voice over your walkie talkie and enjoy the graphics while you do.
Some new takes on favorite series:
Elder Scrolls Legends card game, a-la-Hearthstone maybe?
Star Wars Battlefront, which is still in early levels of development. However, if the multiplayer footage shown is any indication, it's about everything you could want in a Star Wars game (including, of course, light sabers.)
Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam, which is exactly what it sounds like. Paper Mario meets Mario and Luigi in this nifty little RPG due out spring 2016.
Mad Max, whose timing following up the massively successful Fury Road movie might not be the best thing possible--we have high hopes for the title. The game is being compared to Borderlands with better vehicle fights and the Batman: Arkham series with worse combat systems. As far as we can tell, you won't find Doof Warrior the guitarist, Furiosa or any of the Many Mothers. However, you will get harpoons, bomb-tipped spears and a pretty decent open world. Much like the Mad Max movies, this game is connected to its series title and other counterparts very loosely but still promises to be a riot.
In other huge news, Microsoft has changed its tune on the Xbox One not being backward compatible. They're releasing over 100 Xbox 360 games for Xbox One play and if you've already got the game, they say you won't have to repurchase it. Some of the titles announced so far include Banjo-Kazooie, Mass Effect, and Battleblock Theater.
Did we miss anything? What's got you most excited?