Game Rant's 25 Most Anticipated Games of 2012
While we live for looking forward to what new games come out each year, we dread the overwhelming process of picking only a select few to rank as our most anticipated. Starting with a list of over 80 games releasing in 2012, the Game Rant editorial staff has narrowed down and ranked what games appeal to us the most at the beginning of the year.
From shooters and Fantasy RPGs to MMOs and action adventures, there's a wide variety of titles that have caught our eye. Some titles that we're looking forward to do not have a publisher or a 2012 release date and may be noticeably absent - these get a special mention at the end if they're something we're highly anticipating. So without further ado, continue on for our 25 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2012.
25. Aliens: Colonial Marines
Release Date: Spring 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Gearbox SoftwarePublisher: Sega
Perhaps it's the idea of 4-player co-op or maybe, it's that the the story of Aliens: Colonial Marines ties into franchise canon, taking place between Aliens and Alien 3. There's something about this long-in-development, squad-based shooter and its first-person horror style (and having Lance Henriksen return again to voice one of the characters) that grabs our attention. The timing couldn't be better with Ridley Scott returning to the franchise to release Prometheus later this year as well, a film which partly acts as a prequel to the series.
24. Far Cry 3
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: Ubisoft
Nothing gets us more excited for a shooter than a range of combat options, so Far Cry 3's variety of alternate approaches to gameplay is welcome news. The previous game was a promising one, so hopefully the developers keep their word of avoiding past mistakes and deliver a tropical masterpiece.
23. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Release Date: February 7, 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developers: 38 Studios, Big Huge GamesPublisher: Electronic Arts
Developed by 38 Studios, the company owned by Major League Baseball pitcher and fantasy RPG fan Curt Schilling, along with fantasy author R. A. Salvatore, legendary artist Todd McFarlane and the lead designer behind the previous two installments of The Elder Scrolls franchise, Reckoning is a vast single-player RPG that will serve to as a lead-in for the developer's other project, an Amalur-based MMO. We hope this open-world experience will offer a mighty alternative to the Fable and Elder Scrolls series.
22. Kid Icarus: Uprising
Release Date: March 23, 2012 (3DS)Developer: Project SoraPublisher: Nintendo
The past few months have shown the serious gaming potential of the Nintendo 3DS, so hopefully Kid Icarus: Uprising can be another addition. The device has proven to function as it should, but only great stories and gameplay will make it a must-buy. Here's hoping Pit delivers on our expectations.
21. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Release Date: February 22, 2012 (Vita)Developer: SCE Bend StudioPublisher: Sony
As the killer app for a killer new piece of hardware, Uncharted: Golden Abyss could be a chance for the franchise to find success on two separate platforms. It's hard to think of a better game to show what the PlayStation Vita is capable of, so this one might turn out to be one of the most promising - or disappointing - releases of the year.
20. Guild Wars 2
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC)Developer: ArenaNetPublisher: NCsoft
Another game from our Most Anticipated list of 2011, the sequel to one of the first high profile free-to-play fantasy MMOs is something we're excited to try thanks to its revamped combat and magic mechanics, and even more, its dynamic event system which allows the game and its story to adjust based on the players' actions in a persistent world. Even among the overabundance of MMOs, Guild Wars 2 has managed to grab and keep our attention.
19. Prey 2
Release Date: Summer 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Human Head StudiosPublisher: Bethesda Softworks
Prey was a solid game that didn't get the attention it deserved, but we expect its sequel - and the totally different experience it offers - to change that for Bethesda. Featuring a Blade Runner-esque aesthetic with impressive visuals, gunplay and environmental traversal controls, they story of Prey 2 intertwines with the original and its protagonist, as players take on the role of a memory-absent bounty hunter named Killian Samuels, on the hunt for his prey and his memories. It was one of the surprise hits at E3 2011 and we are looking forward to more.
18. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Release Date: Fall 2012 (PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: High Moon StudiosPublisher: Activision
Easily the most emotionally stirring trailer from this year's VGAs, we've had our eyes on High Moon Studios' Transformers: Fall of Cybertron for some time. As a sequel to a game we loved, it's hard to think of anything that would make the original formula better. Other than Dinobots, obviously.
17. Twisted Metal
Release Date: February 14, 2012 (PS3)Developer: Eat Sleep PlayPublisher: Sony
The reemergence of Twisted Metal is a fan service that players of the original PlayStation can get behind as a return to form for the series that is just plain fun. At recent Sony media events, we couldn't help but find ourselves spending most of our time enjoying the game's revamped and more extreme multiplayer and toying around with new features like the transformable Sweet Tooth that fully doubles as a bipedal killing machine this time around.
Release Date: February 28, 2012 (PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: EA CanadaPublisher: EA Sports
As far as snowboarding simulations go, SSX reigns supreme. After the technology behind the game's mountains blew our minds at E3, we were intrigued. Now that we've gotten a look at the actual gameplay, February can't come soon enough. It may not bring back the genre, but we're happy to see the series return.
15. Star Trek
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Digital ExtremesPublisher: Paramount Digital Entertainment
The upcoming Star Trek game from Digital Extremes and Paramount Digital Entertainment is the type of movie tie-in game we're looking for, in that it's not actually tied to the release of any specific Star Trek film and therefore, isn't rushed and isn't garbage. Star Trek - which takes place in the same rebooted alternate universe as the J.J. Abrams movie is a co-op Mass Effect style game where players can play as Captain Kirk or Spock. We love what we were shown behind closed doors at E3 and from the screenshots since.
14. Darksiders II
Release Date: June 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U)Developer: Vigil GamesPublisher: THQ
A somewhat underwhelming trailer at this year's VGAs hasn't lessened our interest in Darksiders 2. After the first game surprised us with great atmosphere and some nostalgia-inducing dungeoncrawling, we're interested to see how the developers will beat their previous work with the new protagonist, Death.
13. South Park: The Game
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Obsidian EntertainmentPublisher: THQ
We've yet to see gameplay footage of the upcoming South Park video game, but the concept, description and screenshots have totally sold us on what may be the best cartoon-to-game adaptation ever. Everything points to Matt Stone and Trey Parker's work on this video as being the ultimate fan service
12. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Release Date: March 20, 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Slant Six GamesPublisher: Capcom
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is not your typical RE title, this one coming with objective of focusing on action to bring new fans to the series. But with a brand new approach to story and squad mechanics (four-player co-op), we're keen to see what some changes to a tried-and-true formula can bring to survival horror.
11. Hitman: Absolution
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: IO InteractivePublisher: Square Enix
We've waited six years for the fifth installment in the Hitman franchise and IO Interactive proved to us at E3 last year that Absolution will be worth the wait. Utilizing the new Glacier 2 game engine and boasting new gameplay features, Hitman: Absolution looks beautiful as it does brutal as Agent 47 is back for the series' best story yet.
10. Tomb Raider
Release Date: Q3 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Square Enix
Few franchises hold a place in gamers' hearts like Tomb Raider, and even fewer are in need of a breath of fresh air. The newest game certainly looks to be the reboot we've all been waiting for, and a gritty story of survival is a side of Lara Croft we've yet to see. It's still early, but Nathan Drake could have a fight on his hands if Crystal Dynamics delivers on this reboot.
9. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Release Date: March 6, 2012 (DS, PSP, PS3, Xbox 360)Developers: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Red StormPublisher: Ubisoft
We were anticipating the return of the Ghost Recon franchise two years ago but multiple delays have it finally releasing this March. In Future Soldier, players jump further into the near future to play with the most advanced tech and weapons the series has seen yet. From optical camouflage that render soldiers invisible to the most advanced team tactics and fully customizable weapons (with Kinect support), Future Soldier is the co-op shooter we're dying to play this year. The only downside is that it's not coming to PC.
8. The Last Guardian
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PS3)Developer: Team IcoPublisher: Sony
If you're a veteran gamer, you should know why The Last Guardian deserves attention from video game enthusiasts worldwide. However, now that Fumito Ueda has left Sony, with the game's executive producer quickly following, the future of the game does concern us. But if TLG can follow in the path of Team Ico's previous games, it is sure to be something special and we're banking on that reality.
7. Assassin's Creed (2012)
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: Ubisoft
Ubisoft confirmed another annual installment of the Assassin's Creed franchise coming this year and we hope (and expect) it to be Assassin's Creed 3. With Assassin's Creed: Revelations concluding the stories of Altair and Ezio Auditore da Firenze in 2011, it's time for Desmond and potentially a new Assassin of the past to share the spotlight in the game that times its release (and epic story) with the end of the Mayan calendar and hence, the end of the world.
6. Borderlands 2
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Gearbox SoftwarePublisher: 2K Games
Borderlands captured our hearts with an at-the-time unique art style and fantastic multiplayer looting, and the sequel looks to expand on all that. Borderlands 2 is bringing bigger and better missions, outlandish enemy mechanics and greater insanity. To be honest, we were completely sold after one look at the 'Gunzerker' class.
5. Diablo III
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC)Developer/Publisher: Blizzard
Blizzard always takes their time with each installment of their few IPs and this one's had us waiting over a decade, but they're always worth the wait. After toying with the Diablo 3 beta in 2011, we look forward to getting our hands on the full version to enjoy some classic multiplayer hack-and-slash dungeon crawling.
4. BioShock Infinite
Release Date: TBA 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developer: Irrational GamesPublisher: 2K Games
The spiritual successor to BioShock looks to take the series to new heights - literally. Whether it's the intense story of political dissent and American exceptionalism, the physics-bending combat or the visually impressive blimp city, BioShock Infinite is going to be a treat to see. And given Irrational's pedigree - and an impressive E3 demo - we'll bet playing it will be worthwhile too.
3. Halo 4
Release Date: Fall 2012 (Xbox 360)Developer: 343 IndustriesPublisher: Microsoft
In the hands of a new developer, the next installment in the main Halo series brings back franchise poster boy Master Chief with a few upgrades and changes. As a series with consistently spectacular multiplayer, can 343 bring us a single-player campaign compelling and unique enough to compete with the industry's other top shooters? We hope so and can't wait to find out with Halo 4.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
Release Date: TBA 2012Developer: Rockstar NorthPublisher: Rockstar Games
Considering the games Rockstar has proven capable of releasing the past few years, we can't wait to see what they've got in store for Grand Theft Auto V. Promising to 'reinvent' the franchise, GTA V should have plenty of surprises in store, and we've got our own theories on a few. Online rumors point to a May release window, but we're happy to wait a bit longer (although it should be releasing this year).
1. Mass Effect 3
Release Date: March 6, 2012 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)Developers: BioWarePublisher: Electronic Arts
Our most anticipated game of 2011 is now our most anticipated game of 2012 thanks to a delay which saw Mass Effect 3 get Kinect support and a 4-player co-operative mode that ties into the game's campaign. The long-awaited end of the Mass Effect trilogy and more importantly, the story of Commander Shepard and the Reaper invasion is what we're most excited about this year.
Narrowing down the games we're excited about this year isn't easy, especially with the massive list we began with, but there you have it: our 25 most anticipated games of 2012, as chosen by the Game Rant editorial staff. Everyone has their own personal preferences so we want to hear yours! Tell us what games have piqued your interest in the comments.
Special Mentions go out to the following games which don't have any formal estimated release date this year, but are games we're also excited to play if they do come out: The Last of Us (Naughty Dog), Half-Life 3 (Valve), Fortnite (Epic Games), Pikmin 3 (Nintendo), as well as the next installments in the annual sports and shooter franchises from EA and Activision.