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Top 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2016

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2015 saw a staggering amount of great games released, with many of them (BloodborneMGSVThe Witcher 3) sizing themselves up to face off against the best games of all time. With the status of games set to such a high bar, 2016 has its work cut out for it if it hopes to measure up. Even if there aren’t quite so many heavy-hitters to get excited about as last year, that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to look forward to. Here are our choices for the most exciting and enthralling looking games of 2016.

For the Nintendo side of this, check out our list right here.

20) Styx: Shards of Darkness

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While 2014’s Styx: Master of Shadows certainly doesn’t match up with Metal Gear Solid V in terms of mechanics, what it did do was provide hardcore stealth fans with a ray of hope. Most stealth games these days, Metal Gear included, give the player too much power. Rather than being a ghost, players have become accustomed to being a hyper-lethal predator. Well, Cyanide Studios means to put us back in the shadows, with classic pure stealth gameplay that hasn’t really gotten much attention since the great Thief: Deadly Shadows. When playing as Styx, you really want to avoid any sort of confrontation. Your goal is to always remain unseen, sneaking through huge environments and leaving no trace of your presence. Master of Shadows was a great game, and Shards of Darkness looks to up the ante. It’ll almost certainly be an underrated game, and most people aren’t going to play it, but if you’re a fan of stealth, do yourself a favor and put this game on your radar. (Matt De Azevedo)

19) ReCore

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What happens when the makers of Mega Man and Metroid Prime collaborate on a new project? You guessed it, a whole lot of robots. Debuting at E3 2015, the announcement trailer for ReCore shows a human female exploring some ruins with her robotic canine companion. When the protagonists are suddenly swarmed by a bunch mechanical spiders, the robot dog self-destructs, taking out all the enemies, but sacrificing his own body in the process. When the dust settles, the girl walks up to all that remains of her friend, a glowing blue orb that seemed to be the source of his power. She picks up the orb, and places it inside of a large, seemingly broken robot nearby. The new robot comes to life, immediately recognizes the girl, and they continue on their merry way, deeper into the ruins. The end of the trailer shows the female lead with a small army of different robots at her side, hinting that the player will either be able to have multiple companions at once, or simply displaying some (all?) of the different bodies that you can put the core of your ally into. Nothing has been seen of the game since E3, and the trailer was completely CGI, so we don’t even know what actual gameplay looks like, but ReCore’s debut was interesting enough to make it one of Microsoft’s most appealing exclusives of 2016. (Matt De Azevedo)

18) Overwatch

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At this point thousands of people have already played Overwatch via the multiple alpha and beta tests that have been held. There’s no reason to contemplate the quality of this game, we’ve experienced it, and we know it’s fantastic. It’s Team Fortress 2 mixed with DOTA, coated with that beautiful Blizzard sheen. The gun play is awesome, the modes are fun, the maps are fantastic, and the characters are amazing. The addictive gameplay and crazy potential when it comes to mixing and matching team compositions will have people playing this game for many, many years to come. In typical Blizzard fashion they haven’t announced an official release date yet, but come on, the beta already felt perfect. Just release the damn game! (Matt De Azevedo)

17) Sea of Thieves

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Let’s be honest, Rare has been in a bit of a rut for a while now. A long while. It’s crazy to think about, but It’s actually been 15 years since they’ve released a truly great game. How did one of the greatest development teams in the world just suddenly fall off the face of the planet? Well, Microsoft bought them, Perfect Dark Zero was horrible, and then they were slowly transitioned into a team that’s been focused on making Kinect games. It’s been painful to watch. Many people, myself included, never really expected Rare to come out and announce anything of significance ever again, and then E3 2015 happened. Dubbed “the most ambitious game Rare has ever created” by Craig Duncan (Rare studio head), Sea of Thieves is an MMO style game where players take the role of pirates in a wide open world of swashbuckling and treasure hunting. How much do we actually know about the game at this point? Very little. But what we do know has us chomping at the bit for more. Sailing a ship bound for adventure with a crew of friends? Check. Ship on ship combat? Check. Being able to make someone walk the plank? Check! No firm release date has been set, and expectations should be tempered, as the Rare of today isn’t run by the same people that made all those N64 classics, but the foundation for Sea of Thieves is solid, and it has the potential to be one of 2016’s sleeper hits. (Matt De Azevedo)

16) Banner Saga 2

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The original Banner Saga is a brutally difficult tactical RPG that has an incredibly methodical battle system and a jaw-dropping art style. The sequel, originally slated for a late 2015 release, was pushed back and is now scheduled to launch sometime in Q1 of 2016. Developer Stoic Studio has a good number of changes lined up for the sequel, including new enemy units and various new options in combat, as well as more choices when exploring the game’s over world. While certainly not for everyone, this indie gem is worth looking into if you’re a fan of Strategy RPGs or games that offer a firm challenge. (Matt De Azevedo)

15) New Danganronpa V3: A New Semester for Everyone’s Killing Life

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The Danganronpa series has been a surprise hit for Spike Chunsoft, finding a small but passionate audience in the west. The games see gifted teenagers kidnapped, locked up, and forced to enter a deadly game in which the only escape from their prison is to murder one of the other kids and get away with it. After a murder, the teens have to investigate the crime and find out whodunnit, and then the game turns into a Phoenix Wright-esque class trial, with the courtroom drama being presided over by an evil robotic teddy bear named Monokuma. Both of the first two games, Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair, told gripping, ambitious stories featuring eccentric and memorable characters. Seeing where this story goes is something I’m really looking forward to in 2016. (John Cal McCormick)

14) Ratchet and Clank

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This is going to be a big year for the Ratchet & Clank series. Not only is there a big screen adaptation coming out, but 2016 also sees the release of the rebooted Ratchet and Clank title for PS4. The upcoming platformer developed by Insomniac Games, is described as a re-imagining of the first game, but with a variety of gameplay elements from different entries in the series. As you would expect from Ratchet and Clank, the player can use a wide variety of outrageous new weaponry – and the 2016 release promises an array of new gadgets and tools. Visually, the game looks nothing short of incredible, ­­and truth be told, it is hard to tell the difference between the game and the movie. Ratchet & Clank was originally released for PlayStation 2 in 2002 and in my opinion; it is one of the best exclusives ever released on a Sony console. Chances are this game won’t disappoint. (Bill Clay)

13) Quantum Break

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Anyone who played the highly underrated sleeper hit Alan Wake should have good reason to anticipate this one. Alan Wake was hands-down one of the best Microsoft exclusives of the previous generation, and Quantum Break looks to be upholding that tradition just fine for the Xbox One. Set in a reality where time is broken by a failed experiment, Quantum Break looks like it will finally give the worn out stop-time mechanics of gaming yore a much-needed shot in the arm. The graphics are stunning, the presentation is immaculate, and the gameplay looks smooth as silk. Expect this one to turn a lot of heads in 2016, and as a fresh new triple AAA IP from a respected developer, it’s just the kind of game that the Xbox One could really use at this point in the cycle. (Mike Worby)

12) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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With the original Deus Ex being one of my personal favorite games of all time, I couldn’t help but be skeptical about Square-Enix’s choice to revive the long dormant franchise back in 2011. However, developer Eidos Montreal ended up doing a fantastic job, and Human Revolution was both a critical and commercial success. Now that they’ve proven that they can faithfully expand upon the franchise, expectations for Mankind Divided are through the roof. Where Human Revolution was about the Cyber Renaissance, Mankind Divided sees humanity turn its back on the technology, and augmented individuals are being hunted down and persecuted. From a game play perspective, Eidos will maintain the series’ unique blend of shooting, stealth, and RPG elements, but many refinements and additions have been made. The cover system has been overhauled to make it feel more intuitive and smooth, and Adam Jensen will have more than a handful of new augmentations to play around with. Key among the new abilities is the “Icarus Dash”, a blink which allows you to move around the map like Corvo in Dishonored, and an ability named “The Titan”, which allows Jensen to cover himself in a metallic shield that absorbs massive amounts of damage. Based on everything we’ve seen of the game, from story trailers to gameplay demos, Mankind Divided looks primed to be one of 2016’s biggest games, and perhaps even a Game of The Year contender. (Matt De Azevedo)

11) What Remains of Edith Finch

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Back in 2012, Giant Sparrow released The Unfinished Swan on PlayStation 3. It’s a short but stylized indie game with a compelling story about a little boy named Monroe, who chases after a swan that has escaped a painting. The game received glowing reviews and went on to win two BAFTA awards. Now the small studio is back with their follow-up – What Remains of Edith Finch, a “collection of short stories” about the deaths of various members of the Finch family. The game begins at the eccentric Finch house, where players can eventually unlock the bedrooms of each family member to reveal their fates. Similar to Gone Home, you’ll follow Edith Finch as she explores the history of her family and tries to learn about their troubled and mysterious past. (Bill Clay)

10) Horizon: Zero Dawn

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Horizon: Zero Dawn turned plenty of heads at E3 2015, which was no mean feat considering it was announced during the same conference that showed off The Last Guardian, the Final Fantasy VII remake, and Shenmue III. Featuring robot dinosaurs and a post-apocalyptic/future stone age setting, Horizon was one of a handful of games shown off at the conference that looked genuinely new and exciting. It’ll be interesting to see what Guerrilla Games can come up with post-Killzone and that they’ve chosen a completely different genre of game to create is commendable and risky. Plus, you know, robot dinosaurs, man. (John Cal McCormick)

9) Doom

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As any fan of A Clockwork Orange should well know, a bit of the old ultraviolence goes a long way. With that in mind, if it’s a bloody good time you’re looking for, this Doom reboot should be right up your street. The trailers have showcased what looks to be an insanely wild ride, with tons of returning enemies looking more gorgeous than anyone could have ever imagined, especially for such ugly creatures. The action looks gruesomely intense, but with just enough fun and camp to give the well-worn FPS genre a long-desired about-face. Count on this one to carry on the Doom name with the pride that the FPS grand-daddy deserves. (Mike Worby)

8) Unravel

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Perhaps the only game that Electronic Arts is releasing this year that we are really excited about is Unravel, an adorable side-scrolling puzzle platformer from Swedish studio Coldwood Interactive. You play as a character made of yarn who uses his body to solve puzzles and swing across gaps while navigating the treacherous environments of northern Scandinavia. The puzzles are all physics based, and rely on the player’s creativity and the story looks to be rather touching. According to the game’s official website, Creative Director Martin Sahlin said that Yarny is a “fragile but capable” character and is a manifestation of the love and bonds between people. (Bill Clay)

7) Persona 5

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While Final Fantasy XV will almost certainly be the biggest JRPG of 2016, Persona 5 has a good chance of making quite an impact itself. Persona 3 and 4 were minor hits, providing some old school JRPG action with a modern day twist. The relative lack of quality JRPGs gave Persona a chance to be noticed, one which Atlus have seized upon. After the minor success of Persona 4, they remade the game for Vita, sanctioned two anime series’ based on the game, released 2D fighter and dancing game spin-offs and topped it off with a Persona 4 stage play. There was also an unsanctioned porno, but the less said about that the better. The gaming world is ready for Persona to be a big hit, and given how popular the PS4 is right now, with the right push, Persona 5 could really surprise people in how it sells. Since Final Fantasy has gone off the rails in recent years, the Persona series has become my new go to JRPG. In 2016, there’s no other game I want to play more than Persona 5. (John Cal McCormick)

6) Dark Souls III

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If you’re a sucker for punishment, like any good Souls fan, then the promise of another trip into a desolate world of pain and misery is just what you were hoping for. After Bloodborne went a more Gothic horror route, From Software is back to doing what it does best with a pitch-black fantasy tale filled to the brim with all the obscure, indecipherable lore anyone could hope for. Series mastermind Hidetaka Miyazaki has expressed concern that the series could grow stale if it continues on this path, and has even affirmed that this might be the final game in the series, a fact that puts, even more, pressure to deliver a satisfying conclusion. Likely in hopes of assuaging fan concerns, the trailers released thus far feature a ton of callbacks to the series for longtime aficionados, and for anyone who hasn’t yet been on the edge of throwing their controller through the flat screen, Dark Souls III is as good a place to start as any! (Mike Worby)

5) Cuphead

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Cuphead is the run-and-gun platform indie game (developed by Canadian brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer) that pretty much stole the show during last year’s Microsoft E3 presentation. Obviously, the visuals are what first grabbed everyone’s attention – Cuphead combines the look of hand-drawn, hand-inked cell animation reminiscent of 1930s cartoons with the sort of shooting challenges that Treasure provided in its early ‘90s games. It also includes its own original jazz recordings and a series of strange bosses that you must defeat in order to repay a debt to the devil. The game is said to be partly inspired by the works of such legendary cartoonists as Max Fleischer’s Fleischer Studios and has sought to keep the works’ subversive and surrealist qualities. Everything is alive in the world of Cuphead: and more importantly, it looks like a blast to play. (Bill Clay)

4) Final Fantasy XV

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After the release of a show-stopping trailer at E3 2014, the trickle of information regarding Final Fantasy XV has stagnated down to a slow and seemingly methodical pace, leaving many wondering how far along the game actually is. After years of delays and restructures, though, Square-Enix has assured its fans that the latest Final Fantasy will be launching in 2016, and that is a major cause to celebrate. As the first proper Final Fantasy title to hit shelves in six years, Final Fantasy XV has a lot of weight on its shoulders, and with the bad taste of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy still fresh in a lot of gamers mouths, XV has a lot to prove for the series. Let’s just hope that Square-Enix can make good on their promise and finally get it out the door. (Mike Worby)

3) Mass Effect: Andromeda

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As much as fans love the Mass Effect series, there isn’t a lot of information yet pertaining to the latest installment, Andromeda, outside of a brief synopsis and a quick trailer from E3. Still, Bioware has an impressive track record and it’s hard to contain even a modicum of excitement when you imagine exploring another galaxy of unique planets and getting re-invested in the highly unique lore of the Mass Effect universe. After the mixed reaction to Mass Effect 3, the pressure is going to be heavily magnified for Bioware to deliver a worthy successor, and as such, they won’t be sending Andromeda out of the gates without a ton of polish and forethought. Little as we know, this is still a big game to watch out for in 2016. (Mike Worby)

2) The Last Guardian

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Incredibly, 2016 could see the release of both Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian. While I won’t believe that either is actually a real game until I’m holding the disc in my hands, if they do make it out this year, sheer morbid curiosity alone makes me excited to try them out. Coming off the back of two critical darlings in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian is a game that has a lot to live up to, even without taking into account the absurd amount of time it’s been in development. It’s cute, it’s arty, and it’s probably never going to make any money back for Sony. Good or bad, I can’t wait to play this thing. (John Cal McCormick)

1) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a game that worries me slightly. The first three Uncharted games were some of the very best of the last generation, and then Naughty Dog outdid themselves with The Last Of Us. Expectations are high, but a couple of delays and rumors of a tricky development have the cynic in me questioning whether the game is going to deliver or not. Assuming the development and team changes haven’t derailed the latest Uncharted, given Naughty Dog’s track record this should be one of the very best games of the year. Oh, and if Drake dies, I’m going to send you a hamper of poisoned muffins, Naughty Dog. (John Cal McCormick)

Thanks for checking out our most anticipated games of 2016 folks, we’ll, of course, keep you updated on news, reviews and trailers for these titles as the year develops!

Written By

Humans by birth. Gamers by choice. Goomba Stomp is a Canadian web publication that has been independently owned and operated since its inception in 2016.

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