2016 is officially upon us, bringing with it a slew of great games for fans of every genre. The next year will see the release of a number of games, some in development for nearly a decade, others only recently announced. With the current console generation entering its third year on the market, more and more titles are being revealed as developers master the architecture and perfect their projects.

This list contains the video games we’re most excited to see, not necessarily the ones we expect to take home the honors at the next Video Game Awards (though there’s considerable overlap). Read on for Screen Rant’s 30 most anticipated video games of 2016.

No Man’s Sky

Release Date: June 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, PC

There’s an infinite universe out there, just waiting to be explored. That’s the premise behind No Man’s Sky, a massive adventure game from the people at Hello Games. Players enter an open, procedurally generated universe and are encouraged to simply explore. Those explorers can visit a variety of planets and discover alien wildlife, submitting the data to the game’s universal Atlas. Additionally, players can find upgrade materials and improve their ships and weapons, increasing the chances of surviving in a hostile alien environment.

While No Man’s Sky’s universe isn’t technically infinite (there are only approximately 18.4 quintillion planets) there’s plenty of content in the game to keep a player busy for the rest of their lives.  Couple the premise with the persistent rumors of PlayStation VR compatibility and there’s no doubt that this game will make a mark in 2016.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Release Date: March 8th, 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The Division made a big impression when Ubisoft revealed the game at E3 2013, but the long wait for release has dragged on slowly. The game takes place in a New York City ravaged by an unknown disease. As the epidemic spreads, basic services such as water and power slowly begin to fail. Things look grim, prompting the activation of a sleeper unit of government operatives known as the Strategic Homeland Division. Their mission is simple – restore order to New York.

The game is a third-person shooter with an emphasis on tactics and cover. Players can upgrade their weapons and characters with experience points gained throughout the game.  The map is covered mostly by PvE zones, with small pockets of PvP areas for the most daring operatives. The Division can be played alone or with a small group of friends, similar to Bungie’s Destiny, making it a good pick for existing Fireteams looking for a new game to explore.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Release Date: August 23rd, 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Eidos Montreal impressed fans of the Deus Ex series back in 2011 with the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel to the original game. The team is back this year with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, a game that explores the fallout of Human Revolution as the world turns against augmented persons. Adam Jensen returns as the protagonist, working to stop retaliatory terrorist attacks by augmented individuals.

The biggest draw of Human Revolution was the emphasis on player choice. Levels could be approached in a number of ways and the protagonist could be outfitted for stealth, combat, or any combination of the two. Mankind Divided promises even more freedom for the players along with a bigger world to explore.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Release Date: April 26th, 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4

Naughty Dog is arguably one of top developers in Sony’s stable, producing three Uncharted titles as well as the critically acclaimed The Last of Us for the PlayStation 3. Aside from a port of The Last of Us, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End marks the developer’s PS4 debut, promising an end to beloved protagonist Nathan Drake’s grand adventure. The game will feature an older Drake, pulled out of retirement by his long lost brother, traveling the globe in search of pirate treasure.

There’s no denying that Uncharted 4 looks gorgeous, effectively showcasing the power of the PlayStation 4 with incredible set pieces. The game features a renewed focus on the story, including dialogue options for the first time in the series. The Uncharted games haven’t always had the best shooting mechanics, but hopefully Nathan Drake’s swan song won’t be hindered in that regard.

Mass Effect Andromeda

Release Date: Q4 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Bioware has proven time and again that they’re masters of the role-playing game. From early games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire to the more recent Dragon Age and Mass Effect series, the developer consistently delivers both in terms of story and gameplay. The Mass Effect trilogy stands as one of the best series of the last generation (despite how some feel about the ending) and the developer aims to continue that legacy with Mass Effect Andromeda.

Andromeda is the first game in the series to depart from protagonist Commander Shepard and tell a new story. Players will be free to explore a new galaxy, meet new alien species and drive the new and improved Mako across different planets. Bioware has kept a tight lid on what the full game will entail, but the brief teasers promise a game worthy of the franchise.

Cuphead

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: Xbox One, PC

Cuphead is a run and gun platformer created by the brothers Jared and Chad Moldenhauer. The series follows the titular Cuphead as they fight a number of boss characters to repay a debt owed to the devil. Players can play solo or cooperatively with a friend, teaming Cuphead with Mugman to battle the bosses.

While the gameplay harkens back to classic games such as Contra and Metal Slug, the biggest draw of Cuphead is the art style. Featuring classic, hand-drawn animation over painted backgrounds, the game looks as though it was taken directly from a 1930s cartoon. Easily one of the most unique looking games of the year, buzz continues to build around this highly anticipated game.

Crackdown 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1ALndqfagE

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: Xbox One

Crackdown was a surprise hit on the Xbox 360, with initial sales elevated by the inclusion of the Halo 3 multiplayer beta. What players found in the game was a massive open world where a super soldier was given free reign to dole out justice. The series stumbled with the sequel, but this third entry in the franchise promises a return to what made the first Crackdown special.

Crackdown 3‘s single player campaign will return players to a city very similar to the one found in the first game, albeit bigger and more destructible. However, it’s the multiplayer portion, powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers, that makes this game so appealing. The multiplayer is set in an entirely separate city, where groups of up to four players can destroy anything in the environment. It’s unlike anything else currently available and makes for a fantastic showcase for the future of the Xbox One’s cloud capabilities.

Dark Souls 3

Release Date: April 12th, 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The Souls series from developer Atlus may be a little divisive among players, but there’s no denying the high quality of each entry in the series. The games are brutally challenging, but ultimately fair. Every death teaches the player and makes them just a bit better at the game. That style of game resonates with a strong core audience, and Dark Souls 3 promises those players more of what they love.

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Dark Souls 3, has confirmed that the gameplay in this entry will closely mirror that of its predecessor. It was developed alongside Bloodborne, but the development was handled by two separate teams and there’s not expected to be much crossover between the games’ designs. There will be some minor gameplay changes, such as the return of magic and the removal of the agility stat, but for the most part the game will just be more Dark Souls (not a bad thing).

Dishonored 2

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Arkane Studios delivered more than just a high quality stealth game with the release of Dishonored in 2012; they created a compelling new world. Explored using the Heart, players learned about the society from reading minds and delving into history books. The best part was that discovering the lore was completely unnecessary to enjoy the game, but it made for a rewarding experience for those interested.

Dishonored 2 returns to that world fifteen years later, following the story of Empress Emily Kaldwin. Choosing to play as either Emily or Corvo, the protagonist from the original game, players will attempt to save the Empire of the Isles from a supernatural threat. The characters both feature unique powers, further increasing the open nature of the game’s levels and giving the players more choices. This one will be even more challenging than the first, and hopefully even more rewarding.

Final Fantasy XV

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

All told, Final Fantasy XV has been in development for approximately ten years. It’s gone through numerous changes in that time, initially announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The game is related to the worlds of  Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0, and features an open world setting. The game takes place in a land similar to modern day Earth, divided into multiple nations, the most important being Lucis and Niflheim.

The game follows Prince Noctis of Lucis as he travels with his friends to recover a crystal seized by Niflheim. The game features a more streamlined combat system than other games in the series, eliminating the menus found in Type-0 in favor of simple button mapping.  There are still elements of strategy to the battles, but the game moves at a faster pace than its predecessors. Expectations are high for this game, especially due to the lengthy development cycle,  so hopefully Square Enix delivers a game worthy of the long-running franchise.

Tacoma

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: Xbox One, PC, Mac

Fullbright enjoyed a successful debut in 2013 with the release of Gone Home, a first-person adventure game that simply aimed to tell a touching story. The game earned critical acclaim and game of the year awards, praised for its artful presentation of the game’s narrative. Fullbright has promised to continue creating story-focused adventure games, the next of which is Tacoma.

Tacoma is a science fiction adventure and follows Amy Ferrier as she explores the Lunar Transfer Facility Tacoma and searches for the missing crew. The game is much larger than Gone Home and features additional human characters, portrayed as avatars in the environment. Once again the game aims to explore human relationships, this time through the lens of the isolation of space. Tacoma won’t be for everyone, but fans of Gone Home should keep an eye out for this game.

The Legend of Zelda

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: Wii U

Since the release of The Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo Entertainment System, there has been a Legend of Zelda game on every Nintendo console released. While this year will also see the launch of the Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess HD in time for the series’ thirtieth anniversary, the excitement is building for the next installment of the series. The Wii U iteration of Legend of Zelda has been a long time coming, and Nintendo recently confirmed that 2016 is the year we’ll finally see it.

The game was originally slated for 2015, but Nintendo announced early in the year that their projections had been delayed, to the disappointment of their fans. While the wait continues to grow more unbearable, the promise of an extra year worth of development time and polish is an exciting prospect. The series has been consistently great over the years, and there’s no reason to assume this game will be any different.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4

For the first time since 2004, developer Guerrilla Games is creating a game outside of the Killzone franchise. Horizon Zero Dawn was officially announced at E3 2015 and made for a spectacular showing at Sony’s press conference. Combining elements of humanity’s past with a much darker future, the game will explore a world ravaged by an apocalypse, one where humans are no longer in charge.

The game is an action RPG, following the hunter Aloy as she moves through this world ruled by machines. The enemies take many forms, but the most exciting shown so far are essentially robotic dinosaurs that Aloy can fight and extract resources from. Players will have the opportunity to approach combat in a number of ways, utilizing traps and stealth or a bow and explosives. Guerrilla has indicated that there will be no multiplayer or loading screens in the finished product, so players looking to explore a new world after games like The Witcher 3 shouldn’t miss this one.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers

Release Date: January 26th, 2016 in North America; January 29th, 2016 in Europe

Platform: Playstation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, PC

At this point, TT Games knows what they’re doing when it comes to the Lego titles. Lego Marvel Super Heroes was one of the best titles in the series in recent memory, so combining that game with the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be a no-brainer. Lego Marvel’s Avengers will follow the plots of the Avengers films, as well as the two released Captain America films, Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3.

As usual, the game includes an impressive number of playable characters, with over two hundred new and returning characters in the game. Those characters include the new Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan, America Chavez and Sam Wilson as Captain America. The gameplay will be similar to previous Lego games, with some minor tweaks to the combat. The game will also feature a number of open world areas to explore, including the Barton Farm and S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters.

Quantum Break

Release Date: April 5th, 2016

Platform: Xbox One

Revealed alongside the Xbox One back in May of 2013, Remedy Entertainment’s latest game has been delayed from 2014 all the way to 2016. Presented as a multimedia project, the events and player choices in Quantum Break tie directly into a live-action digital series. The project has attracted talent such as Shawn Ashmore (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings).

The game itself is a third-person action game, featuring shooting and time manipulation as basic game mechanics. The time manipulation can be used both offensively and defensively, allowing the player to unleash blasts of time energy and interact with the environment in addition to stopping time. The game isn’t entirely combat-focused, with sections of the game dedicated to puzzle solving and platforming. With their previous games Max Payne and Alan Wake, Remedy has proven that they can create a superb third-person adventure. Quantum Break looks to be their finest work yet.

Firewatch

Release Date: February 9th, 2016

Platform: Playstation 4, PC, Mac

The year is 1989. Henry is a fire lookout in the Shoshone national Forest, assigned to his own tower. His only form of communication is a walkie-talkie that connects him to Delilah, his supervisor. Players will take control of Henry and explore the area around his tower, uncovering clues about mysterious events happening in the woods.

Firewatch is the first game from developer Campo Santo, but the studio was founded by Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman, the creative leads behind Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead. With talent like that behind the project, the game is certain to tell a compelling story. Coupled with voice acting from Rich Sommer (Mad Men) and Cissy Jones (Life is Strange), Firewatch could easily deliver one of the most finely crafted narratives of the year.

Overwatch

Release Date: Q1/Q2 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

For many, developer Blizzard Entertainment are synonymous with quality. The Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft franchises are consistently critically acclaimed and adored by the studio’s massive fanbase. Overwatch represents something new for the studio, but there’s no reason to think Blizzard’s latest title won’t be up to their standard.

Overwatch is a multiplayer shooter that emphasizes cooperative play through a class system and team-based objectives. Similar to games like Team Fortress 2, players can choose between attack, defense, or support classes. The game features 21 unique heroes with different classes and abilities, and players can (and are encouraged to) switch between different characters in the middle of a match. It looks to emphasize fun over story, promoting accessibility to reach the widest audience possible while maintaining the fast pace shooter fans are looking for.

Telltale’s Batman

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: TBA

Telltale Games earned critical acclaim with The Walking Dead and have continued to deliver high quality adventure games for a number of licensed properties. From Game of Thrones to Fables, the developer has proven themselves capable of handling the biggest names in comics and television, all while delivering engaging narratives befitting the universes.

That’s what makes the announcement of Telltale’s Batman so exciting. While some may feel that the developer is overreaching, with multiple games in development at all times, their current projects consistently deliver. Batman is a fascinating character surrounded by an engaging mythos, perfect for adaptation into an adventure game. Hopefully Telltale delivers on that potential, giving gamers yet another great Batman game to add to their collection.

Persona 5

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

The Persona series has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the release of Persona 4 Golden on PlayStation Vita in 2012. The rerelease of Persona 4 also launched spinoffs such as the fighting game Persona 4 Arena and the rhythm game Persona 4: Dancing All Night. With the growing popularity of the series, anticipation for the next installment is reaching new heights.

Persona 5 will once again put players in control of a high school student in Japan, this time exploring a castle made from people’s hearts when outside of school. The game will feature the signature turn based combat of the series, with players utilizing both their character’s skills and the skills of their Personas. The game looks stunning and those searching for a high quality JRPG won’t find many better than Persona 5 this year.

Doom

Release Date: TBA 2016 (Rumored June 30th)

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The original Doom changed everything. id Software’s first-person shooter didn’t create the genre, but it was easily the most influential of the early shooters and set a precedent for game design and graphic violence. Modern shooters owe a debt to Doom, so any new entries in the franchise are immediately worth a look.

Doom is a reboot, initially in development as Doom 4, that’s been in development in some form since 2008. The game will be a fast-moving shooter, rewarding the skill and speed of the player while punishing those that take cover. The game is full of fan service, featuring the return of weapons such as the BFG 9000 and enemies like the Cyberdemon. The fast pace of the game carries over to the multiplayer, which will feature traditional deathmatch, as well as game modes such as freeze tag and domination. The game looks to be coming along nicely, but the pressure is on to live up to the legacy of the franchise.

 

Release Date: January 15th, 2016

Platform: Xbox One, PC

Night School Studio is looking to do something different with their first game Oxenfree. Originally imagined as a superhero game, the team decided to go in a new direction and make a game focused on a group of teenagers camping out on an empty island. The game puts its characters and story at the forefront, emphasizing the writing and voice acting over the gameplay.

There’s more going on in the world of Oxenfree than the usual teenage hijinks. An old radio with the group is picking up potentially otherworldly frequencies and its up to the player to dial in and solve the mysteries. It’s a game that, at its core, is about communication. Players choose dialogue options, choose when to interrupt other characters, or choose to remain silent. It’s through these choices that the narrative is driven forward, promising a unique game experience and what is hopefully a captivating coming-of-age tale.

Unravel

Release Date: February 9th, 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Unravel was a surprise hit at E3 2015, where it was revealed during the EA press conference. The game’s art direction earned plenty of praise from those in attendance, but it was the presentation by the game’s creator Martin Sahlin that really sold the game. Sahlin wasn’t comfortable on stage, but his excitement about the project shined through in the presentation and earned the audience’s appreciation.

The game stars Yarny, an anthropomorphic doll made of yarn, as he travels through landscapes inspired by Umeå, Sweden. As Yarny moves, twine unrolls behind him that players will use to solve a number of puzzles and platforming segments. Sahlin has gone on the record to say that the yarn Yarny is made from represents love and the character unravels as they move away from what they love – just in case the game wasn’t adorable enough for you.

Fortnite

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PC, Mac

Fortnite is a survival game developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, the developers behind games such as the Gears of Wars series and Bulletstorm. Compared to the action in their previous games, Fortnite represents a more restrained design. Players won’t be running around massive levels and gunning down enemies. Instead, they will spend their days scavenging supplies and building defensive structures that they will have to defend come nightfall.

That’s not to say there won’t be plenty of action in the game. Players choose between four classes of characters, some skilled in building and others in combat. Fortnite will be a cooperative game, which has led to the game being described as Minecraft meets Left4Dead. There will also be a PvP mode for those uninterested in working together, where up to ten players will build and defend forts of their own.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole

Release Date: TBA 2016

Plaform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Licensed games haven’t always been high quality productions, but South Park: The Stick of Truth outperformed everyone’s expectations. Developed by Obsidian, the game delivered a quality role-playing game while staying true to the spirit of the show (and the art style). Written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the game felt like one long episode of South Park – exactly what fans wanted.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole continues the story, once again following the New Kid in South Park. Matt and Trey return to write the game, this time being developed by Ubisoft San Francisco. This game is focused on superheroes, placing the player deep in the seedy, crime-ridden underbelly of South Park. The New Kid must join The Coon and his team of heroes to save the town and become the most beloved superhero team in history. Promising the same over-the-top humor as its predecessor, The Fractured But Whole is shaping up to be another stellar South Park RPG.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands will be the tenth game in the Ghost Recon series of tactical shooters. The games follow fictional squads of soldiers from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, often referred to as The Ghosts. The squad undertakes dangerous, secret missions around the world.

Wildlands will be the first Ghost Recon game to feature an open world, set close to the present day. The game takes place in Bolivia and pits the Ghosts against a powerful drug cartel that has destabilized the region and become a threat to the world. Players are given freedom to decide when and how to complete their missions, allowing for infiltration by the cover of night or a long range attack in the middle of the day. The game currently has a placeholder release date of December 31st, 2016, so it might be a bit optimistic to expect the game within the year, but this game holds a ton of promise for its eventual release.

What Remains of Edith Finch

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4

When developer Giant Sparrow launched The Unfinished Swan, their first game, in 2012, the studio proved that they weren’t averse to taking risks. Opening in a white room, players lobbed black paint at the walls to discover their invisible surroundings. It was a novel approach to exploration and discovery, allowing the delivery of a surprisingly touching narrative. Their follow up game is What Remains of Edith Finch, a game once again focused on story telling.

The game is actually a series of short stories about the cursed Finch family. Each story tells of the life of a different family member, ranging back to the early 1900s, and every story ends in the character’s death. The developers promised Twilight Zone-inspired, surreal stories that fit together to tell a story about human nature and family bonds. It’s a game with the potential to encompass numerous tones and storylines, limited only by the creativity of the developer. Those possibilities make this title one of the most promising art games of the year.

XCOM 2

Release Date: February 5th, 2016

Platform: PC, Mac

In 2012, developer Firaxis launched XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a reboot of the classic X-COM strategy game series. The superbly crafted strategy game reinvigorated the franchise, and 2016 will see the second installment in the new series. Set twenty years after the events of Enemy Unknown, the XCOM 2 explores what would have happened if XCOM lost the war against the alien invaders.

No longer supported by the council nations, XCOM is now a resistance force with the goal of freeing humanity from alien rule. As such, the squad under the player’s command must use guerrilla tactics, completely altering the mechanics of the game. The newest game promises an even more difficult campaign, increasing the tension and forcing the players to make even harder decisions. Those looking for a real challenge would do well to check out XCOM 2.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Release Date: May 24th, 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Mirror’s Edge never quite reached the financial or critical success it deserved, but the game earned a passionate following thanks to its unique gameplay and aesthetic. That following has been asking for a sequel for years, and this year those requests will finally pay off with Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, a reboot/prequel from developer EA DICE.

The free running mechanics that made the original unique return in this game, but this time the world is completely open for players to explore. There will be a story told through a number of connected missions, but outside of those missions the city will serve as a virtual playground. The game looks to be a bigger, better, and more refined take on the series – sure to please old fans and newcomers alike.

The Last Guardian

Release Date: TBA 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4

Since 2007, gamers have waited patiently for The Last Guardian, the next game from SCE Japan Studio’s Team Ico. The team had delivered two emotionally charged, stunning games in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, and many were anxious to see what they could deliver next. Unfortunately, all that came were rumors of cancellation and development problems over the next eight years.

The Last Guardian was re-introduced at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference, where it was confirmed for release on the PS4 sometime in 2016. The game features a number of platforming puzzle sections and the story is focused on the bond between a young boy and a giant feathered creature named Trico. While there’s not much new information about the game, the storied development cycle of this game makes the final product worth a look.

The Witness

Release Date: January 26th, 2016

Platform: PlayStation 4, PC

From Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid, comes The Witness, a 3D puzzle game inspired by the classic PC game Myst. The Witness invites players to explore an island covered with natural and manmade structures. It’s there that players will find mazelike puzzles they must solve to progress. The rules and outcomes of the individual puzzles aren’t immediately apparent, and players will have to search for clues on the island if they want to successfully complete the puzzle.

The Witness is another game that’s been seemingly stuck in development hell, originally announced in 2009. The game reappeared at Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal event, though the game would again be delayed from 2013 to 2016. The game is finally complete, containing more than 650 different puzzles for players to try and solve. The developers have confirmed that its unnecessary to complete all of the puzzles to win the game, but completionists will be busy with this title for a long time.

These are our picks for some of the best looking games of 2016. Be sure to share your own picks in the comments!

  • Ad Free Browsing
  • Over 10,000 Videos!
  • All in 1 Access
  • Join For Free!
GO PREMIUM WITH SCREENRANT
Go Premium!

More Videos