TIME Video Games

The 50 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2016

These are the biggest games coming to consoles, PCs and handhelds this year

Have a look at some of the biggest games for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS due this year.

  • XCOM 2

    This sequel to acclaimed 2012 turn-based tactical reboot of a beloved series about outwitting alien invaders imagines what might have happened had the aliens triumphed, then forced you to wage asymmetric warfare.

    PC

    February 5

  • Firewatch

    Newcomer Campo Santo’s debut idea transpires in Wyoming after the Yellowstone fires of 1988, where you play as Henry, a volunteer fire lookout exploring a mysterious, beautiful forest while chatting with a woman named Delilah by radio.

    PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4

    February 9

  • Unravel

    Come for the adorable crescent moon-headed protagonist made of yarn, stay for the novel physics based puzzle idea: as the creature’s body unravels, the trailing strings become puzzles you have to solve to progress.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    February 9

  • Street Fighter V

    Capcom’s nearly three-decade-old fighting game sticks to its side-scrolling roots and revisits iconic figures while adding gameplay twists and revitalized visuals, doubtless hoping the experience catches fire with the burgeoning eSports crowd.

    PC, Linux, PlayStation 4

    February 16

  • Fire Emblem Fates

    Turn-based strategy games can still do big sales on mobile devices, and the last Fire Emblem game sold millions, so there’s lots of buzz around Nintendo studio Intelligent Systems’ followup, which keeps most of the last game’s ideas but adds new combat and base-building wrinkles.

    3DS

    February 19

  • Far Cry Primal

    Far Cry with dinosaurs? Try an open-world action game set at the close of the Stone Age, meaning wooly mammoth, sabertooth cats and, since modern manufacturing’s some 12,000 years off, the series’ strongest emphasis on environment-based item and weapons crafting yet.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    February 23

  • Superhot

    What if time’s arrow only pointed somewhere when you moved? Superhot answers the question with a first-person shooter in which time inches along unless you’re in motion, giving you time to dodge bullets, and thus the gunplay a more strategic feel.

    PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One

    February 25

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

    Another Nintendo GameCube-era Zelda (the other was The Wind Waker, rereleased in 2013 for Wii U) gets a visual makeover, along with its own Amiibo.

    Wii U

    March 4

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division

    A smallpox outbreak virally transmitted through paper money decimates the world’s population, leaving you to pick up the pieces as one of a covert, self-sufficient military force in publisher Ubisoft’s newest gazillions-of-things-to-do sandbox game.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    March 8

  • Hitman

    Grab your fiber wires and pool cues and fireplace pokers, because the world’s deadliest assassin is back to track and dispatch contracts in areas designed to be more freely approachable and tactically flexible.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    March 11

  • Adrift

    Imagine the bleak verisimilitude of a film like Gravity framing a similar idea in an interactive space: You’re in Earth orbit following a catastrophic space station-destroying event, but the station is explorable and (presumably) harbors the answers to mysteries.

    PC (Oculus Rift)

    March 28

  • Quantum Break

    You’ve come unstuck from time in this temporally twisted action game about a man grappling with the terrifying implications (but also tactical side benefits) of a botched time travel experiment.

    PC, Xbox One

    April 5

  • Ratchet & Clank

    A reboot of studio Insomniac Games’ buddy platformer about a Lombax (think bipedal cat) and his robot pal Clank battling intergalactic scoundrels, timed to celebrate the forthcoming film.

    PlayStation 4

    April 12

  • Dark Souls III

    After last year’s tryst with a PlayStation-exclusive (Bloodborne), studio From Software returns to its multi-platform Souls series roots for what’s either the fourth (counting Demon’s Souls) or fifth (counting Bloodborne) in a sequence of closely related, brutally exacting action games.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    April 12

  • Bravely Second: End Layer

    In the crowded, novelty bereft roleplaying genre, Bravely First‘s unusual borrow-or-save battle system stood out, so sequel Bravely Second keeps all of that and carries on the story.

    3DS

    April 15

  • Star Fox Zero

    Delayed from last November for some extra polish, the newest installment in Nintendo’s longstanding space shooter about a squadron of chatty anthropomorphic animals has to win over Wii U GamePad skeptics nervous that having to fiddle with a second screen while pulling off precision maneuvers might be too much to juggle.

    Wii U

    April 22

  • Battleborn

    Space fantasy Battleborn is mostly a team-based first-person shooter, but with smaller groups (five versus five) and goals tied to map control logistics that might see a match swing back and forth repeatedly.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    May 3

  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

    Uncharted fans get one last chance to play as (and say farewell to) series protagonist Nathan Drake, in the fourth and final chapter in studio Naughty Dog’s acclaimed treasure-hunting series.

    PlayStation 4

    May 10

  • Doom

    This reboot of id Software’s formative shooter welcomes us back to Mars by way of fiery foundry levels, long, steaming corridors garnished with hellfire, demons and screams, and all the evisceration-slash-spatter fans of horror-themed run-and-gunning adore.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    May 13

  • Homefront: The Revolution

    The sequel to 2011 first-person shooter Homefront, which imagined what might happen if a unified Korea invaded the Western U.S., takes place four years later (in 2029) as you struggle to retake an open-world version of Philadelphia from the Greater Korean Republic.

    PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    May 17

  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

    Mirror’s Edge Catalyst reboots EA DICE’s 2008 first-person parkour game, dealing with why original protagonist Faith became a surveillance-evading “runner,” delivering messages under the nose of her city’s dystopian overlords by zipping acrobatically (but surreptitiously) across urban skylines.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    May 24

  • Total War: Warhammer

    Does a franchise feel better suited to adaptation for Creative Assembly’s 16-year-old Total War real-time tactical series than Games Workshop’s celebrated Warhammer fantasy-verse?

    PC

    May 24

  • Mighty No. 9

    Producer Keiji Inafune’s crowdfunded nod to his popular 20th century Mega Man running-and-gunning robot series should finally arrive after repeated delays at some point between March and June.

    PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox 360 & One, Wii U, PS Vita, 3DS

    Spring 2016

  • Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

    If you missed this fantastic World War II-era turn-based tactics game when it landed on PlayStation 3 back in 2008, this is your chance to make amends by way of beautifully remastered, high fidelity visuals.

    PlayStation 4

    Spring 2016

  • No Man’s Sky

    In our imaginations, open universe ambler No Man’s Sky really is as infinite as developer Hello Games keeps boasting, giving you an endless, procedurally generated cosmos to plumb (and enough to do that you’ll never tire of doing it). In reality, no two words better define the right approach to this game than “we’ll see.”

    PC, PlayStation 4

    June 21

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

    The sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution revisits cyber-protagonist Adam Jensen as he grapples with escalating cultural-political tensions prompted by the rise of augmented humans.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    August 23

  • World of Warcraft: Legion

    World of Warcraft‘s shrinking subscriber base still commands millions of subscribers, and the latest expansion, Legion, should provide another short term audience boost with its level cap jump from 100 to 110 and the new melee-focused Demon Hunter hero class.

    PC

    September 21

  • Divinity: Original Sin 2

    Studio Larian’s second crowdfunded project follows its last with another high fantasy roleplaying extravaganza staged in its longstanding Divnity-verse.

    PC

    December 2016

  • Abzû

    Initially teased at E3 2014, this enigmatic underwater diving simulation led by Flower and Journey art director Matt Nava should hopefully see light of day at some point this year.

    PlayStation 4

    TBD 2016

  • Crackdown 3

    Superhero sandbox series Crackdown‘s third installment turns you loose in another futuristic metropolis overrun by a criminal hierarchy you can reportedly dismantle in multiple unique ways.

    Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Cuphead

    Cuphead looks like Betty Boop meets a shoot ’em up meets a miracle, a side-scroller where you do battle with giant paranormal carrots, boxing frogs, angry birds, queen bees, gambling contraptions and not-so-little mermaids, all of it astonishingly hand-drawn, inked and painted.

    PC, Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Dishonored 2

    This long anticipated sequel to one of the better post-Thief sneakers transpires in a coastal city where you’ll hunt new adversaries, optionally playing as Dishonored‘s original (male) protagonist, or a new one (female) with her own abilities and retro-futura gadgets. As in the original, you can optionally experience the entire game without killing a soul.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Fable Legends

    Four computer controlled or human heroes square off against one likewise controlled bad guy in a pre-steampunk version of Lionhead’s Fable-verse staged hundreds of years before the original three games.

    Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Final Fantasy XV

    With any luck we’ll finally get to play Square Enix’s long delayed open-world urban fantasy roleplaying spectacular, which seems to have gone through roughly as many development turns as its number in sequence.

    PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Gears of War 4

    Virtually nothing’s known about the next Gears of War, save that it’ll maintain the series’ trademark third-person shooting and cover-based tactics. (We’ll likely learn more at this year’s E3 game conference in June.)

    Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Horizon Zero Dawn

    Killzone series regular Guerrilla Games takes a stab at a post-apocalyptic action-adventure, with a cast of robo-dinosaurs and a low-tech, archery-adept heroine that looks like Michael Bay’s Transformers: Beast Wars meets TV series Vikings.

    PlayStation 4

    TBD 2016

  • The Last Guardian

    The Last Guardian stars a boy (controlled by you) and his giant sphinx-like companion, who wend their way through beautiful, puzzle-like levels. As in PlayStation 2 game Shadow of the Colossus (by the same director), you can cling to your animal companion, clambering around its feathered bulk and guiding it to help you progress.

    PlayStation 4

    TBD 2016

  • The Legend of Zelda

    It missed 2015, and we haven’t heard much about it in a long time, but The Legend of Zelda for Wii U (still not the final title) will be the first console-based Zelda game since 2011’s Skyward Sword for Wii, and Nintendo’s initial take on the epic open-world genre, turning you loose in a freely explorable fantasy province as the series’ green-pantalooned hero.

    Wii U

    TBD 2016

  • Mafia III

    Where the first two games in this mob-land saga took place in the 1930s and 1940s, Mafia III leaps ahead several decades, following the story of a biracial Vietnam War veteran who in 1968 returns home to New Orleans but finds himself drawn into another factional crime war.

    PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda

    All we know about Mass Effect: Andromeda is that it takes place after Mass Effect 3, the new creative team mixes old and new hands (original trilogy creative lead Casey Hudson left BioWare in 2014), and it’s a coin flip whether we’ll see it this year or early next.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Metroid Prime: Federation Force

    Nintendo’s latest handheld Metroid game lets up to four players cooperatively gun down familiar series enemies across an array of planets, or play what amounts to robot soccer in a special multiplayer mode dubbed “Metroid Prime: Blast Ball.”

    3DS

    TBD 2016

  • Offworld Trading Company

    Developer Soren Johnson is probably best known for his design contributions to some of the most acclaimed Civilization games, and of late he’s been chipping away at this much-praised (based on early access betas) economic real-time strategy game, where “money, not firepower, is the player’s weapon.”

    PC

    TBD 2016

  • Overwatch

    Blizzard’s latest idea lets teams of six players shoot it out in a kind of post-Terminator scenario, where our evil robot overlords have been defeated by a global peacekeeping force, but where the force’s remnants have apparently become factionalized.

    PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Persona 5

    It’s back to high school in Atlus’s newest Persona, a Japanese myth-informed roleplaying series about adolescents summoning eponymous aspects of their psyche to do battle with the forces of darkness.

    PlayStation 3 & 4

    TBD 2016

  • ReCore

    This action-adventure about a young woman who can salvage and transplant the “core” of an artificially intelligent companion unites Mega Man creator Keiju Inafune and Metroid Prime series director Mark Pacini.

    Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Tacoma

    BioShock on the moon? Maybe not, but Tacoma is by studio Fullbright, which contributed to BioShock 2, then went on to develop the interactive story-game Gone Home.

    PC, Xbox One

    TBD 2016

  • Tekken 7

    2016’s other major fighter (after Street Fight V), Tekken 7 swings back to one-on-one arcade melee, following 2011’s two-versus-two Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

    PlayStation 4

    TBD 2016

  • Torment: Tides of Numenera

    Inspired by 1999’s metaphysically fascinating Planescape: Torment, Torment: Tide of Numenara wants to be a similarly cerebral spiritual sequel that transpires in pen and pencil roleplaying veteran Monte Cook’s distant future “Ninth World” setting.

    PC, Mac, Linux

    TBD 2016

  • What Remains of Edith Finch

    A series of narrative vignettes about the death of several eponymous family members, you get to explore the home (described by the game’s creative director as “crazy”) and try to make sense of what’s happened, and why.

    PlayStation 4

    TBD 2016

  • World of Final Fantasy

    Miss Final Fantasy‘s good old days of youngster warriors battling through charming fantasy vistas? World of Final Fantasy hopes to resurrect that vibe, informed by gameplay that’s designed to appeal to younger players.

    PlayStation 4, PS Vita

    TBD 2016

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