Formulating this list was incredibly difficult. As we've talked about — seemingly ad nauseum across the site and on the podcast — 2015 is set to be a banner year for video game releases. Major franchises from Uncharted and Halo, to The Legend of Zelda and Metal Gear Solid, all have series sequels scheduled to launch at some point this year. My list could have easily been 20 titles deep, but I've made some tough cuts and whittled it down to the five games I'm anticipating slightly more than most. Spoiler alert: Batman: Arkham Knight will appear on this list.
These five are brought to you, as always, in no particular order.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Did you see the fifteen minute PlayStation Experience (PSX) demo?! A supremely well-designed, action-packed and relentless shootout through a tropical cliff-side jungle, the PSX demo introduced all of us to the drop dead gorgeous world of Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4. When I was a kid, I wanted to be two things: John Elway and Indiana Jones. I've lived out the former through Halloween dreams and Tecmo Bowl, while Uncharted has always been the closest I've gotten to experiencing the latter. Seeing Nathan Drake bullwhip-swing around a rocky cliff, drop on top of an enemy, simultaneously struggle to disarm said enemy and shoot the guy across the brush gunning for him, backslide down a steep cliff with guns blazing, sneak through the environment stalking his prey, climb mountainsides, and pull enemies over the edge of a cliff brought a tear to my eye. What began way back in 2007 with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has finally reached its culmination; it's clear that with A Thief's End I'm going to be more Indiana Jones than ever before. With Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann — the masterminds behind Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and The Last of Us — directing the Uncharted 4 ship, I expect nothing less than another brilliant entry in Sony's most revered franchise.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
I've got some catching up to do with this one. While Metal Gear Solid and its first sequel remain two of my absolute favorite games of all-time, for one reason or another I've yet to complete Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4, and I've never played through the universally lauded Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (#GamerShame).
However, getting my mind and body "Metal Gear-ready" remain near the top of my 2015 "To-Do List." I'd love nothing more than to go on a Metal Gear Solid bender and come out on the other end primed and prepared for The Phantom Pain. An open world Metal Gear game from the mind of Hideo Kojima sounds all kinds of awesome, and with Kojima reportedly worried that the game is "too big to clear," it sounds like there will be no shortage of things to do in this one. Here's hoping for at least one mini-game that allows us to build forts out of cardboard boxes. Oh, and did I mention this game looks insanely beautiful?!
Mighty No. 9
Keiji Inafune shocked the gaming world when he left Capcom back in 2010. Seemingly intent to "start over" and spend more time developing games, he formed a new company, Comcept, and now he's making a new Mega Man game. Only he's calling it Mighty No. 9. In saying that, while Mighty No. 9 shares quite a bit with its spiritual forebear, there appear to be enough new wrinkles on Ol' Blue's tried-and-true formula to make it a unique entity. Sure, you still make your way through a series of stages, battling robot masters and stealing their powers, but Mighty No. 9 looks to up the ante with faster paced combat, an emphasis on the dash-attack mechanic, and beautifully animated visuals. Inafune's return to his game design roots looks to be an old Mega Man fan's dream come true, and seeing as how I'm firmly entrenched in that particular camp, my excitement for this one is palpable. This game will be a staple on my Vita home screen for a long time to come.
No Man's Sky
I'm really curious to know what I'm going to be able to do in this game. Will I be able to take on different jobs across this infinite, procedurally generated universe? I imagine being able to take on the role of a black market smuggler, pawning off warp drives to intrepid explorers yearning to move closer to the center of the universe. Or maybe I'm a glorified taxi driver, shuttling explorers to-and-fro across the different planets that inhabit this solar system. Better yet, what if I can be a bounty hunter, engaging in celestial dogfights and gunning down pilots for cash? At this point, none of us really know what to expect as much of No Man's Sky remains shrouded in secrecy. I could very well just be an explorer, jumping from planet to planet in search of the next great discovery. Whatever the case may be, I love what I've seen of the game so far, and the hardcore sci-fi world developer Hello Games is creating looks like a place I want to get lost in for a very long time. I'm itching to get my hands on No Man's Sky and find out more about this crazy-ambitious title.
Batman: Arkham Knight
What? Do I really need to explain myself here?
As I write this in my Batman pajamas, 5,000 comic books sit behind me, many of which star the Dark Knight. I wear Batman socks, drink from a batman cup, and have plans in the near future to purchase a pair of Batman underwear. If I could dress as Batman, and not fear for the future of my marriage, I probably would. I can't wait for this #%$*@ game.
Bloodbourne. Grim Fandango: Remastered. The Order: 1886 Axiom Verge. DmC: Definitive Edition. SOMA. The Legend of Zelda Wii U. Mortal Kombat X. Halo 5: Guardians. Evolve. Resident Evil HD Remaster. Shovel Knight on PlayStation platforms. This list could go on and on and on. But you don't want to see that, because you all have lives and articles have to end. Such is the way of the world.
But enough about what I think, which upcoming games have you guys drooling in anticipation? Do you agree with the titles on my list? Sound off in the comments below!
Ben is a hardcore PlayStation fan and a lifelong gamer. He hopes to play a game other than Destiny at some point in 2015. Follow him not tweeting @piccolo930.