2015 has been a refreshing year for gaming after 2014’s lackluster releases, and 2016 promises to be an even greater year for video games. Any gamer worth their salt may have already heard of the games on this list. But if you’re curious, let’s take a look at what 2016 has to offer as we move forward in this glorious new year.
1. XCOM 2
Release Date: February 5 2016; PC
2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown reinvigorated the turn-based tactics genre, and its 2016 follow-up promises to do more. XCOM 2 will introduce additional soldier customization options, faster combat, stealth elements, procedurally-generated levels, and mod support.
Release Date: February 9 2016; PlayStation 4, PC
Firewatch is the first game from Campo Santo. But the development studio features the promising talents of Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman, the creative leads of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead; Nels Anderson, the lead designer of Mark of the Ninja; and Olly Moss, a fantastic artist. The game is bound to deliver a great story accompanied with amazing design and visuals.
3. Street Fighter V
Release Date: February 16 2016; PlayStation 4, PC
Street Fighter V promises to be the most beginner-friendly entry in the series to date. So if you’ve ever had an interest in the Street Fighter franchise, but felt intimidated by the complex fighting system, there’s no better time to get into it than with Street Fighter V
Release Date: March 11 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
This latest Hitman game suggests a return to form for the franchise, offering the deepest and most expansive Hitman sandbox yet. Hitman will feature levels six to seven times larger than its predecessor and will accommodate about 300 non-playable characters, with each having different routines and will react differently with players’ actions. This will allow players a plethora of ways to tackle their objectives.
5. Dark Souls III
Release Date: April 12 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
The popularity of the Souls series has intensified over the years. And with the success of Bloodborne in 2015, games of such ilk has now garnered mainstream attention. Dark Souls III will offer more of the same, but with new combat features, a faster and more fluid combat and movement, and an expanded character builder and wider tactical options for weapons.
6. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Release Date: April 26 2016; PlayStation 4
This is the final installment in the Nathan Drake story, and he has never looked more spectacular. Bigger environments, larger amounts of destruction, new combat moves, and player controlled dialogue options (a first for the series), what more could you want?
7. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Release Date: May 24 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Catalyst takes the remarkable gameplay of the first Mirror’s Edge and refines it — giving it a new combat system and replacing the linear level-design with open-world, free-roaming environment, thus giving players more freedom in approaching objectives.
8. No Man’s Sky
Release Date: June 2016; PlayStation 4, PC
Probably one of the most anticipated games of 2016, No Man’s Sky is an explorer’s dream — giving players the freedom to explore the entirety of a procedurally generated deterministic open universe, which includes over 18 quintillion planets, many with their own set of flora and fauna. Players will also gain materials and blueprints to upgrade their character’s equipment and purchase a variety of starships, allowing them to travel deeper into the center of the galaxy, interact in friendly or hostile manners to space-faring factions, or trade with other ships.
Release Date: TBA 2016; Xbox One, PC
This Xbox One platform-exclusive is being designed by Comcept, a development studio started by Keiji Inafune (of Mega Man fame), in partnership with Armature Studio (of Metroid Prime fame), and writing by Joseph Staten (co-creator of Destiny and Halo). ReCore is an action-adventure game set in a distant future populated mostly by robots. The environment in which the game takes place can shift and change drastically depending on the in-game weather, giving rise to interesting gameplay options and revelations.
10. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Release Date: August 23 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back the series’ brand of high-minded cyberpunk storytelling, and will have more focus on balancing the combat and stealth elements. Players will even be rewarded with different abilities when choosing different story paths.
11. Dishonored 2
Release Date: TBA 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Dishonored 2 lets you choose between two playable characters, each with their own unique playstyles and perspective on the overall story. With a deeper focus on story and more challenging gameplay than its predecessor, fans of action-adventure and stealth games will be in for a treat.
12. Final Fantasy XV
Release Date: TBA 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Initially announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII in 2006, it will be 10 long years before fans are able to lay their hands on this hotly-anticipated game. A departure from previous games, XV will feature a darker atmosphere, an open-world environment, and action-based battle system similar to the Kingdom Hearts series.
Release Date: TBA 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
What if the creators of World of Warcraft made Team Fortress 2? But Overwatch is more than that. This squad-based first-person shooter features a wide selection of characters, each with their own colourful design and unique abilities. Players who have participated in the beta have had nothing but good things to say about it.
14. The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Release Date: TBA 2016; Wii U
Originally slated for a 2015 release, this unnamed The Legend of Zelda title features the largest game world in any Zelda game yet — filled with lush, breathtaking visuals — and gives players more freedom over traversal as compared to past titles. There are even rumours that the game will also see a release in Nintendo’s next console, the NX.
15. Horizon Zero Dawn
Release Date: TBA 2016; PlayStation 4
Horizon Zero Dawn presents a fascinating post-apocalyptic land ruled by mechanized creatures, such as robotic dinosaurs. Players have a variety of ways to kill enemies, such as setting traps, shooting enemies with arrows, and utilizing explosive and melee combat. Players can also craft new items by collecting materials and machines parts found in the world. Horizon Zero Dawn looks to be the West’s answer to Japan’s popular Monster Hunter series.
16. Mass Effect Andromeda
Release Date: Q4 2016; PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Mass Effect, the sci-fi counterpart to BioWare’s Dragon Age, is a terrific series beloved by many. Andromeda will feature combat similar to Mass Effect 3, but will introduce new elements that will make it feel more dynamic. With a new main character and a whole new story and galaxy to explore, Mass Effect Andromeda will give players a new, rich universe to immerse themselves in.