Game Rant's 15 Most Anticipated Games of 2015

Most Anticipated Games of 2015

Shortly after the deluge of game delays started in mid-2014, we knew that last year wasn't going to be all gamers had hoped. Sure, it put a lot of potential in 2015's court, but that seemed so far away.

But now that we have turned the page on 2014 and moved into 2015, it's time to get excited for some of those pushed back titles. There are some big games set to release this year, and not just in the months of February and November. In fact, there are likely plenty of unannounced games that are sure to be big sellers in 2015, like this year's Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed. For our purposes, though, we are sticking to the known quantities and breaking down which of the dozens of 2015 releases we are most looking forward to playing.

And so without further ado, here are Game Rant's 15 Most Anticipated Games of 2015:

Evolve (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Evolve

Our enthusiasm for Evolve stems largely from the fact that the game is trying something a little different. 4v1 in a cooperative setting with four players controlling a group of hunters and the other player controlling a giant monster has all the makings of something cool. Evolve is ostensibly an ever-changing boss battle where the boss is actually a live player.

Our early time with Evolve in hands-on sessions and the recent Alpha test were enough to convince us that the game has potential, but could also be limited. Thankfully, developer Turtle Rock Studios keeps announcing new components for the game, including a campaign, new modes, and new monsters.

Release Date: February 10, 2015

Mortal Kombat X (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Most Anticipated - Mortal Kombat X

It may seem strange that after more than 10 releases the Mortal Kombat franchise is bigger than ever, but such is the case with NetherRealm Studios' gory fighter. Coming off the back of the very successful MK 9, Mortal Kombat X has the potential to push the franchise into a new era. That's because where MK 9 was a better looking and playing version of the early Kombat titles, X is trying to take things a step further by fleshing out the roster with fresh blood and new fighting mechanics.

This is also the first Mortal Kombat title of the current generation of consoles, which could make for some of the most insanely detailed (and goriest) fatalities we've ever seen. By all accounts, Mortal Kombat X looks the part of a new evolution for the franchise. We will just have to wait and see if it lives up to that.

Release Date: April 14, 2015

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Most Anticipated - The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is seemingly CD Projekt Red's magnum opus. And after three separate delays for more polish, fans remain resolute that the developer will deliver. So far, all we have seen of the game looks impressive, from the open world exploration to the nuanced storytelling. There really isn't a single component of The Witcher 3 that gives us pause, but that's coming from a place of genuine enthusiasm for the franchise as a whole.

Even so, there are lots of gamers who passed up Geralt's first two adventures but seem ready to dive head first into Wild Hunt. And thankfully CD Projekt made the smart move of developing the game for current-gen consoles and PC at the same time. If there is to be one game to consume more of our time than any other this year, The Witcher 3 appears to be the frontrunner.

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Batman Arkham Knight

After its delay from fall 2014, Batman: Arkham Knight became the frontrunner for biggest release of 2015. Rocksteady Studios' previous Batman games were not just standards for the genre, but they introduced new mechanics that many games copy to this day. The storytelling is top notch, the visuals are beautiful, and the gameplay is extremely satisfying. So, with stronger consoles at their fingertips, we expect that Rocksteady has something truly impressive in store for fans. They must have if this is to be their swan song to the Arkham franchise.

Early on there were concerns about stability with Arkham Knight, but the new Batman still looks gorgeous on new hardware. It also has some new tricks up its sleeve thanks to the introduction of the Batmobile. But as exciting as all those elements may be, we are most curious to find out who is behind the Arkham Knight's mask.

Release Date: June 2, 2015

Star Wars Battlefront (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront is one of those franchises that regularly topped gamers' lists of “most in need of a comeback,” and so when EA announced their acquisition of the Star Wars license they hoped to see Battlefront make a return. As a caveat to that, gamers also hoped that EA would task Battlefield developer DICE with developing Star Wars Battlefront, as the union seemed like a perfect match. Clearly someone at EA was listening because DICE is developing Star Wars Battlefront for release in 2015.

We've only seem small pieces of Battlefront, but what DICE has had to show convinced us that they were headed in the right direction. This could have been Battlefield: Star Wars, but it genuinely looks like Battlefront, which is reassuring. Battlefield may have taken a downturn, but if it was Battlefront's fault we guess that's a reasonable compromise.

Release Date: Holiday 2015

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Rise of the Tomb Raider

The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider was quite the surprise, even making it on Game Rant's Top 10 list for that year. But while that game was good, there was room for improvement. Which is why Rise of the Tomb Raider makes our list for 2015.

Crystal Dynamics found a way to make Lara Croft feel modern and they did so without compromising her as a character or messing too much with the Tomb Raider style. The only real drawback to the first game was that there wasn't much of the actual tomb-raiding. However now that Lara Croft has started to become the Tomb Raider, we'd bet that this next game brings her closer to her roots. It is called Rise of the Tomb Raider after all.

Release Date: Holiday 2015

Star Fox (Wii U)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Star Fox Wii U

After years of begging Nintendo to release a new Star Fox, fans are finally getting their wish in 2015. Unfortunately, while Nintendo was willing to confirm development on Star Fox 2015, they haven't said much more beyond that. We can assume that the core cast of characters will return, and we can hope that the series returns to its dogfighting roots, but there's no telling at this point.

Even so, Star Fox's legacy on Nintendo platforms is enough to have fans eager for a new game on a new platform. Nintendo has found some clever ways to update their beloved franchises, and we hope they can do the same on Wii U.

Release Date: TBA 2015

No Man's Sky (PC, PS4)

Most Anticipated 2015 - No Man's Sky

From the very first trailer, No Man's Sky looked like something special. Here was a game whose reach seemed overly ambitious to the point few believed its concepts were even possible. And yet, after subsequent viewings we remain convinced that Hello Games has been able to deliver a space exploration title that actually lives up to the name.

This is what sci-fi fans dreamed about when they envisioned space travel in a video game, and the fact Hello Games has done it with such a small team is astounding. Yes, there are some elements that give gamers pause, but when it comes to indie releases for 2015 it's going to be hard to top the anticipation for No Man's Sky.

Release Date: TBA 2015

Firewatch (PC)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Firewatch

Admittedly, we don't know much about Firewatch outside of Campo Santo's brief teaser trailer, but what we saw in that footage was enough to convince us this could be something special. There are some exploratory elements, a cryptic story, and an art style that helps the game stand out.

Campo Santo also boasts a team of indie game development veterans with decades of experience under their belt. For all intents and purposes, this is a dream team made up of developers known for delivering top tier stuff. The mystery may be bigger than the game itself, but for now we want to know more.

Release Date: TBA 2015

Tom Clancy's The Division (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

The Division daytime screenshot

No matter how shaky our faith in Ubisoft is at this point, Tom Clancy's The Division still hasn't given us much reason not to be excited. They also haven't shown us too much of the game either, but that should change in the next few months.

Like with Watch Dogs, The Division was a Ubisoft E3 showstopper, featuring an impressive demo whose visuals and gameplay promised a bold future. Then the second demo convinced us that the game wasn't a one-trick-pony while fleshing out some of the mechanics for good measure. The Division could be the open world experience that breaks from the Ubisoft mold, and that has us excited.

Release Date: TBA 2015

Mass Effect 4 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Mass Effect 4 Lead Writer 2

While there's no guarantee Mass Effect 4 won't slip to 2016, if it does release this year it will be a major event. Despite some distaste for the third game's ending, most fans are eager to see how BioWare continues the franchise in a post-Commander Shepard world. They want to know if the series can sustain more than a single narrative and where BioWare plans to take them in a new adventure.

For our part, Mass Effect is just so unique that any flaws in past games don't sour the potential in future releases. We also have hope that BioWare's successful rebound with Dragon Age: Inquisition helped them understand where Mass Effect 4 needs to go. More exploration and RPG elements would be a good start.

Release Date: TBA 2015

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Metal Gear Solid 5

Ground Zeroes may have been barely a game, but it set up the future of Metal Gear Solid 5 nicely. Kojima Productions showed that the series wasn't above evolving for modern gamers and they left enough teasing story bits in their game that we wanted to see more. Thankfully, Phantom Pain looks to deliver A LOT more.

To try to explain Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain would be a fool's errand, but let's just say that the game is more than an impenetrable story. The mechanics in Metal Gear have always been excellent and that appears to be the case here. Major Metal Gear Solid releases are huge events for their fans, and we expect Phantom Pain to be among the largest.

Release Date: TBA 2015

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

Most Anticipated 2015 - The Legend of Zelda Wii U

We still don't know an official title and we haven't seen much of the game besides some quick gameplay overviews, but The Legend of Zelda Wii U is without question one of the biggest releases of this year. While Mario may be Nintendo's flagship character, Zelda is arguably its strongest franchise – one that unites both hardcore and casual players.

We've heard talk of big changes for The Legend of Zelda Wii U – non linear progression, open world exploration, etc. – but the promise of an HD experience is enough to have us excited. In all honesty, this single release will be reason enough for many to pick up a Wii U.

Release Date: TBA 2015

Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)

Most Anticipated 2015 - Halo 5 Guardians

The first Halo on a new Xbox system is always cause for excitement, and Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One is no different. With Halo 4, new series developer 343 Industries showed themselves plenty capable of handling the continued adventures of Master Chief and now it's time for them to let loose. It's time to take Master Chief into a new generation of consoles.

Halo 5: Guardians might still be mostly a mystery, but what vague details have been revealed are intriguing. Splitting the narrative between Chief and another new character was a bold choice for Halo 2, and proved mostly successful where The Arbiter was concerned. Can 343 pull off a similar followup feat?

Release Date: TBA 2015

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4)

Uncharted 4 Gameplay

Where Halo 5 is Microsoft's big release for 2015, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is Sony's. Nathan Drake has been a mainstay of the Sony library for almost a decade now, but it's time for developer Naughty Dog to bring his story to a close. That means one last adventure, bigger stakes, and a chance to finally pull out any tricks ND had left up their sleeve.

Beyond all that, though, were most excited to see what Naughty Dog can do with more console power at their finger tips. What they've shown thus far is incredible, but we hope that's only the tip of the iceberg. Every Uncharted game has been a technical marvel, and we expect A Thief's End to be the new benchmark for PS4 releases.

Release Date: TBA 2015

Honorable Mentions

Most Anticipated 2015 - Star Citizen

Although these games didn't make our full list we want to highlight a few 2015 releases that we are also looking forward to.

  • Star Citizen may not release in 2015, or ever (just kidding!), but space sim fans cannot wait to play this game. It's the face of crowdfunded video games and if successful could be a major addiction.
  • The Order: 1886 is a gorgeous game but looks can only get a game so far. We are fine with linear experiences, but we fear that Sony's careful marketing might be hiding disappointment.
  • Fans of Remedy Entertainment's Alan Wake series don't need us to tell them why Quantum Break could be worth a look in 2015. The unique time-bending mechanics look cool and the unconventional storytelling could inform a future of cross-media experiences. Quantum Break is bold, but can it stick the landing?

If even half of the games on this list turn out well, then that would be enough to call 2015 a success. But we hope this year can do even better than last. There's certainly the potential with so many big releases.

Which 2015 games are you most looking forward to playing? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina

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