You’ve waited with baited breath (Editor’s note: nope, not really). The anticipation has been killing you (I don’t think that happened). You’ve wondered for weeks when I might finally pull the veil off of my most anticipated games of 2016 (this is what professionals call “delusional”). I’ve heard your cries, oh faithful reader, and I have answered your calling (this is getting out of hand)! Everyone has been eagerly awaiting my “Most Anticipated Games of 2016” list, right?! (*crickets*) Ahem… While 2015 was an epic year for video gaming, 2016 is shaping up to be every bit its equal. There are a ton of games I’m excited to get my hands on this year, but only a few can be deemed “most anticipated.” Here, in no particular order, are my most anticipated games of 2016 (Finally!):
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Not much more to say about this one. It’s Naughty Dog. It’s Nathan Drake. It’s sure to be the best third-person action game we’ll see all year. Everything we’ve seen of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End so far has been utterly fantastic, with the action sequence shown during E3 2015 representing a particular highlight. So much has been made of this game being Naughty Dog’s final hurrah with the Uncharted series, and it’s clear that the developer is putting their heart and soul into their last adventure with Drake. I’m ridiculously excited to get my hands on Uncharted 4, as it’s all-but-guaranteed to be a wild ride worth taking that closes out Naughty Dog’s time with Uncharted in grandiose style.
Mighty No. 9
Despite numerous delays, and a self-induced PR disaster brought about as a direct result of the Red Ash Kickstarter fiasco, I’m still pumped to finally play Mighty No. 9. Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and his development team at Comcept are game designers and not seasoned, savvy business people, so I’m willing to forgive their Kickstarter transgressions with the expectation that Mighty No. 9 delivers the spiritual successor to Mega Man that longtime fans of the blue bomber can stand behind. Mega Man was a staple of my youth (and the Mega Man Legacy Collection is quickly becoming an indispensable part of my adulthood), and the chance to play a new 2D side-scroller from the mind of Mega Man’s creator has me antsy to finally get my hands on this title in early February.
Final Fantasy XV
While I remain insanely geeked for Final Fantasy VII Remake, I don’t think there’s any way we see the game released this year (or any “part” of it, for that matter). What we will (finally!) see this year, though, is Final Fantasy XV! Square Enix recently confirmed this long-in-development title will officially see the light of day in 2016 and, if the rumors are true, we may be playing the game this summer! The game is gorgeous, the cutscenes look suitably epic, and the real-time battle system looks like it’s going to be a ton of fun. I haven’t sat down and played through a JRPG in a long time, but that’s going to change when Final Fantasy XV releases. We find out the official worldwide release date in March!
Street Fighter V
I’m a long-time fighting game fan, and the Street Fighter series has always been my favorite. I’ve been in love with the franchise since Street Fighter II hit arcades back in 1991 (man, I’m old). I still have fond memories of waxing the floor with my competitors as Blanka, utilizing his dastardly electric attack to piss off gamers much older than me! With Street Fighter V, hitting PS4 and PC in mid-February, the next evolution of the granddaddy of the fighting world hits the streets, and I’m ready to suit up and tackle all challengers head-on. I love what I’ve seen of the game so far, and the new characters look like they are bringing a nice variety to the proceedings. I also love the DLC and update strategy Capcom is planning to employ here; all of the game’s additional characters and content will be unlockable via in-game currency earned while playing, and all of the updates to Street Fighter V over the weeks, months, and years ahead will be released as part of the main game. No more buying a new version of Street Fighter every year! Street Fighter V is going to be a platform, and I couldn’t be more excited about that. Looking forward to throwing hadokens and failing combos next month.
This game looks incredible. A living, breathing, 1930’s cartoon brought to life as a brutally difficult bullet-hell side-scrolling shooter, every time I see this game I can’t help but get excited. Seriously, this is one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen! All of the cel animation is hand drawn and hand inked! With a heavy emphasis on boss battles and a reverence for the side-scrolling shooters of old, there is no doubt that Cuphead is my kind of game. Old-school animation and the run and gun genre appear to be two great tastes that taste great together. This one is shaping up to be really special when it releases on Xbox One and PC later this year.
While technically this game doesn’t officially exist yet, we all know it’s coming. Bungie is on a strict schedule with Destiny — full-on sequel every other year, with large-scale expansions in the years in-between — and publisher Activision is going to hold them to that. We know the first true sequel to Destiny is coming this fall, probably in September, and I can’t wait to see what Bungie does with it. Will the narrative build on what was achieved during The Taken King campaign and become one of the game’s strong suits? Is an unrestricted open-world the next logical step for the franchise? Is Peter Dinklage’s Ghost going to return as a haunted apparition, possessing nearby shanks and attacking us with the power of poor puns? The possibilities are endless! Destiny and The Taken King have consumed hundreds of hours of my life, and I look forward to dedicating hundreds of hours more to Destiny 2 in 2016.
There are so many great games on the docket for 2016! There are a ton of titles I could have mentioned on this list, but this article has to end at some point, right? I also can’t put into words how juiced I am to finally try out VR for the first time. While it’s difficult to single out just one game I’m overly enthusiastic about, getting to experience the next evolution of video gaming later this year is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.
What do you think of my list? Which titles have you excited about the prospects of gaming in 2016? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think!
Ben is a lifelong gamer and a hardcore PlayStation fan. He hopes to actually finish a game in 2016. Follow him not-tweeting @piccolo930.