Update: As the Xbox One sees more and more titles coming to its shores, we’ve decided to add two new titles to this list, including premier racing title Forza Horizon 2 and cloak-and-dagger stealth action game Assassin’s Creed Unity.
New consoles, a new round of the console war. The Xbox One isn’t off to an easy start. Microsoft has marred the unborn console’s reputation long before it’s even out on the shelves, and even now that the release date comes closer, the news do not get better. But eventually, gameplay and features will triumph over such a trivial thing as graphical fidelity, right? Look at what Nintendo has been doing these past few years and they are doing great, right? Will surely work for Microsoft as well. Am I biased? Maybe. Skeptical? Most likely. But we’ll see who comes out on top this upcoming generation in a few years time.
14 Forza Horizon 2
Forza Horizon 2 is an open-world racing game developed by Playground Games, the team behind the original Forza Horizon for the Xbox 360. It takes place during the fictional “Horizon Festival” being held in Southern Europe, focusing on the border of France and Italy. With three times more drivable terrain than the original Forza Horizon, the game has plenty of races and events to offer any racing enthusiast.
13 Assassin's Creed Unity
Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Unity is the latest (as of the time of this writing) title in the long-running Assassin’s Creed franchise. This time around, players take on the role of an Assassin named Arno Dorian whose story revolves around the French Revolution. In addition to the game’s usual features, Unity has a strong co-operative multiplayer focus for up to four players.
12 Quantum Break
Oh cross-media. Even with the new generation of consoles, you’re a strange, hard to kill beast. This here, a true Xbone explosive, is created by the fine folks who brought us the original Max Payne and Alan Wake’s adventures in the dark. Quantum Break will be both a TV series and a video game with weird time manipulation mechanics. And shooting, apparently. Knowing Remedy it will delve into weird Americana and feature richly detailed environments and consciously bad writing.
Bungie, the creators of Halo, recently unshackled from their contracts with Microsoft now have a new master, Activision. For whom they now make Destiny, the class based massive multiplayer online shooter that channels a strong art style, great writing and possibly strong gameplay into one intoxicating package. Destiny features a grand epic sci fi universe with all sorts of new wonders to explore, uncover and then shoot between wherever something like eyes may be.
10 Watch Dogs
One thing is for sure. The delay to 2014 has made Watch Dogs one of next year’s most anticipated titles, and left a gaping hole in this holiday season. As usual with Ubisoft these days, the game has a bit much Assassin’s Creed in its genetic markup. But still, this is one to look forward to. Chicago never looked so good. There will be tons of things to do, people to spy on and kill and maybe even stab. Squint, and the protagonist looks like one of the Assassins… Come on, he does!
9 The Division
A common ailment can act as a strong bonding factor among well armed individuals, especially if said ailment serves for the downfall of society. Open world massive multiplayer online shooter The Division is set in the ever growing universe created by the recently deceased Tom Clancy, and will be that universes first fully fledged online multiplayer game. Think The Elder Scrolls Online with guns! Except completely different. But with guns. A lot of guns. And a separate app for tablet user who can jump in and wreak havoc with UAVs.
8 Wolfenstein The New Order
Who here hates Nazis? We all do? Good. Good! How about cyber robo nazis from the future? We hate those too? Oh hell yes we do! But we love shooting them to bits! This latest entry into the venerated saga was created by the people that made it possible for us mere mortals to actually become Richard D. Riddick for two games, the people who made up fabled and now fallen Starbreeze Studios - and have now formed MachineGames. We are very much looking forward to kicking some shiny, metal nazi ass!
7 Metal Gear Solid V - Ground Zeroes / The Phantom Pain
Separated into a prelude (Ground Zeroes) and the game proper (The Phantom Pain), Metal Gear Solid V promises to be one of the coming year’s biggest entries in terms of sheer girth. A new voice for Snake, a new, overhauled engine, a completely open world sneaking experience, another stint as the ever more desperate Big Boss on his way to becoming the world’s biggest supervillain. And of course a lot of girls with guns and too few clothes. What’s not to look forward to?
6 Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
Blizzard, the good people who brought us the expansion pack back in 1884, bring back the expansion pack! Just like Justin Timberlake brought us sexy back, or the countless expansions for the Bush Tax Cuts. Reaper of Souls promises to bring more Diablo 3 click to kill madness to the console world! Yes, these are crazy times we live in, dogs marrying people, Diablo on consoles. Also there will be a new level cap, a new character class, new skills, weapons and monsters to kill with those new weapons.
5 Dragon Age: Inquisition
Not the best of times for BioWare. Their mythical founders have departed the gaming industry, and their last games all bombed with either critics, fans or both. To some degree anyway. With their upcoming projects, BioWare promises change. First of all, Dragon Age: Inquisition will go more into the direction of being an open world game, without fully becoming a Skyrim clone. The game will take some influence from other open world games, the developers say. Also the complaints about Dragon Age II have been taken to heart, so we can look forward to a much broader, much better developed experience. And fewer instances of “uh, haven’t I had that exact battle in that exact barn before fifteen times?”
4 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Speaking of third parts of sprawling fantasy series suddenly going open world, here’s another one. CD Projekt RED’s third entry into the acclaimed Witcher saga. The Wild Hunt will, more so than Dragon Age: Inquisition even, be an open world game, that takes the Polish developer’s insane attention to detail to another level. This game, which supposedly will be Geralt of Rivia’s final adventure, will feature a completely non-linear narrative and a gigantic open world. Also it will look absolutely gorgeous, but given that this is a next gen game, we barely have to mention that, or do we?
3 Sunset Overdrive
This Xbox One exclusive, created by Insomniac Games, aims to take next generation seriously. An online open world shooter with cooperative elements, the game pits the players against mutants in a comically drawn, wacky post apocalyptic city. Not too much is known, except that the game will feature a hilariously overdrawn cell shading art style and won’t take itself too seriously.
One of Microsoft’s many endeavors of showing that they care about the independent game scene, Below is a top down roguelike-like adventure game with permanent death. It was created by the people who made Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery, features highly stylized pixel graphics and seems pretty gorgeous so far.
Whoops. Suddenly this little brofest has gone exclusive. Guess it doesn’t just want to cuddle with the Xbox One, it wants the full on ride. Booyah! Titanfall features breakneck speed mech on bro combat in the onlinesphere. Mechs will be boarded, dudes will fly on jetpacks and there will be pwning. A lot of pwning. Wait do people even still say that? Seems a bit outdated to me. Ah what the hell, the kids will still like it. Pwning. All the time!