In what might just go down as one of the best years for gaming in history, and certainly the busiest, there were more than enough games to keep even the most discerning gamer satisfied throughout last year. Just take a look at the finalists for our 2010 Game Rant Awards and it’s obvious that many of those games could have been guaranteed winners in any other year.
So with 2010 under our belt, we’re turning our eyes to the future, and a year that is already looking to break the wallets of the gaming community. From first-person-shooters to RPGs, and every other genre in between, here are our 20 most anticipated games of 2011.
The calendars of console and PC fans alike will soon be marked with a major release (or two) every other week and there’s no question that we’ll be playing hundreds of games this year.
We’ll likely find a few hidden gems along the way, but these are the games that we simply can’t wait to get our hands on in 2011.
#20. Killzone 3
2011 may just be the year of the PS3, with Killzone 3 kicking things off the FPS genre with a follow-up to a sequel that didn’t quite blow minds, turning the standard war narrative into one of survival and political intrigue. Guerilla Games is looking to improve the mistake of the past by fixing technical issues, adding local co-op, and continuing to deliver fantastic visuals. Not to mention jetpacks! Since Killzone 3 is being launched with full 3D support, the game’s successes and failures might be a lesson for the industry as a whole going forward.
Killzone 3 will be released on February 22 for the Playstation 3.
#19. Metal Gear Solid: Rising
It doesn’t take much to get gamers excited about a new installment in the Metal Gear Solid series that Hideo Kojima built. Even if the man himself is less focused on the game than some might like, getting a chance to take a look at the origins of one of the series’ more mysterious characters is a welcome one. The game is also being designed by the team behind Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker, so they’re more than capable of taking on a sword-wielding killing machine. The quality has never been an issue, and the fact that Metal Gear Solid: Rising will be giving players a totally new experience means we can’t wait to see what Kojima Productions has planned.
Metal Gear Solid: Rising is currently slated for a release in 2011 on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
#18. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
While the original may not have been as massive a success with fans as other entries on our list, The Witcher 2 looks to take RPGs in a brand new direction. By injecting non-linear storytelling and and emphasis on cause and effect into the RPG formula, the developers at CD Projekt Red are aiming to give players the most control over a game’s progression we’ve ever seen. There’s no denying that the game looks gorgeous, but it’s the dedication to storytelling that could be what makes it a must-play.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will be released on May 17, exclusively for the PC.
#17. StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
After a blockbuster release, it was obvious that the time Blizzard put into developing StarCraft 2 was well spent, and we can’t wait for another dose. The upcoming expansion won’t be just a slight addition, but a brand new campaign for the Zerg race, complete with brand new units. Even though we’ve already seen how the game will end, we can’t wait to see what new game mechanics, level designs, and tweaks to multiplayer that will inevitably accompany the expansion.
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm hasn’t yet received a release date, but we’re hoping the announcement will come sooner rather than later, even if it means our wallets will be taking an even bigger hit than usual this year.
#16. Guild Wars 2
Simply put, Guild Wars 2 is an attempt by ArenaNet and NCSoft to change the way people think about an MMO. The developers made it clear in their Manifesto trailer that they have had enough of games where quests are nothing more than meaningless tasks. With GW 2, the emphasis will be put back on the player, and remove the false mechanics of a massively-multiplayer-RPG. Quests will be initiated by and result in real-time events that allow a player to change the game in a meaningful way. The game looks great, and the fact that there’s no subscription only sweetens the deal.
Guild Wars 2 will be released sometime in 2011, for the PC and Mac.