Now that we’re approaching the end of 2015, it’s time to look forward to all the titles we’re most excited for that are releasing next year. As it turns out, 2016 is going to be host to a huge amount of titles, from multi-platform juggernauts to highly anticipated exclusives. Due to an unfortunately large amount of game delays, several of the names in this year’s list have also made an appearance on our Most Anticipated Games of 2015 post, though there are also lots of new titles to look forward to.
Without any further ado, here are Game Rant’s 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2016.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
With this year’s release of The Nathan Drake Collection, more and more PlayStation users are now looking forward to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End‘s release. Unfortunately, the latest in the Naughty Dog series was delayed from its 2015 release date in order for the developers to perfect the game’s ending and will now launch in April of next year.
Uncharted 4 will bring about the end to the tale of Nathan Drake’s adventures, which means that this final game will be one last chance for Naughty Dog to pull out all the stops as the story concludes.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will release on April 26th, exclusively for PS4.
Street Fighter V
The Street Fighter franchise has been mostly well received over its history and the latest in the series, Street Fighter IV, was no exception. With most major reviews placing the game over the 9/10 mark, the 2014 edition, Ultra Street Fighter IV, is known for being one of the best fighting games of all time.
Street Fighter V is the start of a whole new chapter for the series, releasing with several never-seen-before characters, new mechanics and a massive graphical overhaul. The recent beta testing periods have even sparked speculation that this Street Fighter game may even contain some sort of story elements in addition to the popular multiplayer.
Street Fighter V will release on February 16th for the PS4 and PC. It will also support cross-platform play.
The first of our list to be coming to the Xbox One, Quantum Break also got an honorable mention in 2015’s Most Anticipated Games list. The game follows the story of two men with the ability to manipulate time after an experiment gone wrong, which causes the world’s chronology to fall apart.
Initially set to release in 2014, Quantum Break has been on gamers’ radars for quite some time, with fans of developer Remedy Entertainment begging for more info . Now as we rapidly approach the release date, the developers have released a brand new cinematic trailer to get gamers excited once again for the story-driven game.
Quantum Break will release on April 5th, exclusively for the Xbox One.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
A prequel to the 2008 parkour-based game, Mirror’s Edge, this latest project from DICE reveals Faith’s origins, as she travels in style around the futuristic city of Glass. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst promises more of the same gameplay as its predecessor but will remove the previous game’s weak gun combat, in place of a new free-flowing melee system.
Catalyst also reportedly introduces a new multiplayer element to the game and while it’s not the standard multiplayer modes that gamers are used to, it’s exciting to think that players will be able to see traces of each other’s presence in their story experience.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst will release on May 24th for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Another game that was also featured in last year’s Most Anticipated list, Tom Clancy’s The Division was revealed at E3 2013 with an impressive gameplay demo, and players have been hyped for its release ever since.
Now, the game finally has a release date and we’re only a few months away from jumping head-first into the open world, massively multiplayer online shooter. The Division is an ambitious combination of genres but everything in last year’s second gameplay demo suggests that it all works well.
Tom Clancy’s The Division will release on March 8th for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Gears of War 4
The fifth major installment in its series, Gears of War 4 caused a lot of excitement after it was revealed in January last year. However, Gears 4 has a lot of questions surrounding it, most notably whether The Coalition will be able to carry on the work of Epic Games/People Can Fly.
While some may see a developer switch as a cause for concern, seeing more of Marcus Fenix’s story following on from the wild ride that was Gears of War 3, might just help quiet some of the complaints. 2016 also sees the release of the Gears of War Ultimate Edition for Windows, which allows PC users to experience the story of the first game again with remastered graphics.
Gears of War 4 will release in the Q4 for Xbox One.
The Legend of Zelda
Another game initially scheduled for a 2015 release date, The Legend of Zelda (Working Title) for Wii U has generated plenty of hype since its announcement. The first Zelda game to be developed with HD graphics, the title also features a huge open-world that is said to be larger than any of the previous games, and as big as the Wii U hardware can handle.
The next The Legend of Zelda title aims to allow players to travel wherever they want and complete dungeons in any order they choose, as opposed to the series’ standard linear nature. There are plenty of reasons to look forward to this game, with producer Eiji Aonuma even calling this “the ultimate and most complete Zelda game”.
The Legend of Zelda doesn’t have a confirmed release date yet but it was recently stated to still be coming in 2016, exclusively for the Wii U
Far Cry Primal
Far Cry Primal delivers a whole new Far Cry experience and is the first of the series to be made solely for current-gem consoles. The title is set in the Stone Age, with the player controling a hunter named Takkar who is destined to become the leader of his tribe.
In Far Cry Primal, a whole array of new mechanics are available including animal taming, which lets Takkar subdue and command some of the vicious beasts that roam the jungle. The hunter can see through the eyes of his pet owl as well, allowing him to scout out a location before leading his tamed infantry into battle. It’s an ambitious project that Ubisoft have undertaken, and if done right it may shape up to be the best Far Cry game yet.
Far Cry Primal will release February 23rd for PS4 and Xbox One. The game will also release on March 1st for PC.
Dark Souls 3
A community as large as the one Dark Souls has amassed makes a game like this hard not to be excited about. Whether or not the fiendishly hard and punishing gameplay is something that appeals to you, there’s sure to be plenty of content featuring the game that makes it entertaining to follow.
The third entry in the series, Dark Souls 3 will draw the best elements out of its predecessors as well as some from FromSoftware’s Bloodborne, in order to create improved combat, well-designed environments and a scattered but impressive story.
Dark Souls 3 will release April 12th for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Whilst many people who follow video games may not be too familiar with the franchise, Persona 5 is one game that should not be passed over in 2016. Originally a spin-off of Shin Megami Tensei, the Persona series is full of rich, fleshed out characters and impressive story links. For those new to the series, each game is an individual story so Persona 5 will be a good starting point.
Persona 5 is confirmed for a 2016 release for PS3 and PS4.
2016 is going to be an exciting year for Pokémon and one of the reasons for this is undoubtably the Pokémon x Tekken title that is Pokkén Tournament. The game will feature a number of popular Pokémon, battling it out in arcade-style combat. Originally only for Japanese arcades, it was recently announced that Pokkén Tournament would see a Wii U release in 2016.
What we’ve seen so far looks very impressive and there are several new elements coming to the console release of the game, such as new playable Pokémon and even the never-seen-before creature, Shadow Mewtwo.
Pokkén Tournament will release in the 2nd Quarter, exclusively for Wii U.
The Last Guardian
A brand new first-party title coming to PlayStation 4, The Last Guardian follows the story of a young boy who befriends a giant bird, dog, and cat hybrid creature named Trico. The adventure is based around solving puzzles by manipulating Trico in order to get around obstacles and enemies.
Amazingly, the title has been in development since 2007 and was originally aimed for a 2011 release date on the PS3, but the launch was postponed due to hardware limitations. Now The Last Guardian finally has a gameplay trailer and it looks like the game is going to be both unique and beautiful.
The Last Guardian is confirmed for a 2016 release, exclusively for PS4.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
The Mass Effect trilogy is well-known as one of the most iconic and successful franchises that modern gaming has seen, so it should be no surprise that the next title, Mass Effect: Andromeda, is one of our most anticipated games. Andromeda takes place after the events of the original trilogy, in an entirely different galaxy, complete with new races to encounter and new planets to explore.
While the iconic Commander Shepard will not be returning in Mass Effect: Andromeda, Bioware’s history of excellent character development ensures that the new protagonist and their companions will be as fleshed-out and detailed as we’ve come to expect from the company.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will release in the 4th Quarter for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
An impressive 6 years after the release of the previous entry in the franchise, Crackdown 3 is set to explode onto our consoles next year. Famous for the series’ extreme physics and destructive nature, Crackdown 3 looks like it will live up to all expectations. With an engine that aims to allow everything and anything to be destroyed, the sandbox game has been an ambitious task for developers Reagent Games and is one of Microsoft’s flagship exclusives.
Crackdown 3 will release in the 4th Quarter, exclusively for Xbox One.
The Hitman series has been a popular franchise for almost 15 years, becoming famous for its intuitive gameplay and creative methods of completing missions. The new game, which received an impressive looking gameplay trailer at E3 2015, will be the first major Hitman game since 2012’s release of the critically acclaimed Hitman Absolution.
Hitman will release on March 11th, for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
No Man’s Sky
A beautiful game set around exploration of a highly imaginative universe, No Man’s Sky is rumored to feature 18 quintillion different planets, making it an almost incomprehensibly huge game. No Man’s Sky will feature exploration and space-based battles, while also allowing players to gather resources and defeat predators across the galaxy.
For even more immersion, the game will feature a journal that records all the details of previously explored planets, allowing players to look back on the worlds they have already visited, as well as the flora and fauna that inhabit them. Though the developers have left the story and gameplay vague for now, the unfettered exploration is mighty enticing.
No Man’s Sky will release in June for the PS4 and PC.
Final Fantasy XV
The Final Fantasy series is a hugely successful franchise in gaming history and the latest title is all set to follow suit, featuring an open-world setting and action-based gameplay similar to another of Square Enix’s big moneymakers, Kingdom Hearts. Final Fantasy XV will be host to a revamped combat system in which there are no load screens or transitions; instead, players can avoid combat if they run away from an enemy before a timer counts down.
Fans of the series will be happy to note that developers Square Enix have confirmed the inclusion of Moogles in the latest game‘s plot, an old standby of the series. And new details about the highly anticipated game will be released next month, including more battle information and an extended look at the antagonistic Niflheim Empire.
Final Fantasy XV is confirmed for a 2016 release for the PS4 and Xbox One.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the sequel to Human Revolution and promises to show great improvements to the highly-acclaimed 2011 release. The series explores ideas about human advancement, globalization, and transhumanism, while containing engaging gameplay and a thought-provoking story. Previously, the series has shown its ability to revolutionize gameplay with a deft blend of dialogue, FPS-elements, and stealth-driven tactics.
In Mankind Divided, the player will have a range of options when it comes to the game’s story, including the choice to complete the game without killing anyone0e using nothing but stealth. Even the game’s boss characters can be defeated using stealth abilities and do not have to be killed. This will be the fifth game in the series and it aims to bring a surge back to the series’ popularity.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will release on August 23rd for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
An upcoming first-person adventure game, Firewatch follows the story of Henry, a volunteer fire lookout in the aftermath of the Yellowstone fires of 1988. Through exploration of the surrounding area, Henry uncovers clues about mysterious occurrences in the vicinity that are related to the ransacking of his tower while out on a routine patrol. The player’s only means of interaction is a walkie-talkie that he uses to communicate with his supervisor Delilah. Depending on the player’s choices, the dynamic of Henry’s relationship with Delilah will be affected.
Firewatch will release on February 9th for PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux.
Star Fox Zero
Yet another game that has faced the curse of the 2015 delays, Star Fox Zero was originally scheduled for release in November 2015 but was pushed back to 2016 in order to allow for more development time. This title has been stated to be neither a sequel nor a prequel to the original Star Fox game, yet it won’t be a strict remake of the game either.
Star Fox Zero largely follows the gameplay of its predecessors in which the player controls Fox McCloud as he pilots his ship through various levels. Players will use the Wii U gamepad, which shows the cockpit from Fox’s iconic Arwing, whilst making use of the gyroscopic controls to aim the ship’s weapons. As revealed in a recent Nintendo direct, some of the vehicles in the game can transform, allowing for the Arwing to transform into the land-based Walker. The Landmaster tank can also transform into the Gravmaster, which can perform extended aerial maneuvers.
Star Fox Zero will release April 22nd, exclusively for the Wii U.
Whilst these games didn’t make it onto our full list, we want to highlight a few 2016 releases that we are also looking forward to.
- Pokémon GO is quite possibly the Pokémon game that fans have always wanted. The ability to catch your very own Pokémon on your mobile device warrants this game a place on the list, despite being a mobile game.
- Dangan Ronpa 3 is the third major title in the series and features a group of High School students who are forced to work out which of their fellow students has murdered one of their own. Excitingly, this is the first Dangan Ronpa game to be coming to a major console.
- XCOM 2 takes place 20 years after the events of Enemy Unknown and follows the continuity that XCOM lost the war. Players will take command of the Avenger, an alien supply barge that has been converted into XCOM’s mobile base as they begin to free humanity from alien rule.
- Overwatch is the new first-person shooter from Blizzard which is currently in beta. The player takes control of one of many varied characters, each with their own special abilities.
With so many huge releases coming out in 2016, gamers are going to have to pick their battles in order to experience as much of the year as possible. It looks like next year is going to have something for everyone, assuming that there aren’t even more delays coming.
Which games are you most looking forward to playing in 2016? Let us know in the comments below.