If we could stare into the future and find out which games are going to turn out great, our jobs would be a lot easier. So many changes happen to a game in the final months before release that it’s quite common for a game-of-the-year candidate to come out of left field to surprise everyone. But until all of 2015’s games are finished, we can only guess at their final quality. However, that doesn’t stop our editorial team from doing what every gamer does: dreaming about awesome projects on the horizon. We’ve voted and tallied our top choices for games that are targeting release in 2015, and compiled them here.
To complete our list, we asked each of our editorial team members to look at a list of all titles with announced release dates in 2015, as well as titles that we deemed likely to hit sometime during that year. Everyone ranked their top 10 choices, and then we added up the combined results.
Take a look at our results, and share your most anticipated 2015 games in the comments section below.
10. Xenoblade Chronicles X
The Wii U still has some staunch enthusiasts in our office, and the new game from Monolith Soft helps to maintain the excitement. The original Xenoblade Chronicles was a stellar Japanese RPG on the Wii, and this new installment on Wii U looks gorgeous in early demos. The science-fiction story follows evacuees from Earth after the planet is caught in the crossfire of an interstellar war. Like its predecessor, Xenoblade Chronicles X boasts a massive open world to explore, giant controllable mechanized units, and a new variation on the flexible combat system. Its presence on our list is notable as a JRPG, beating out some better-known North American action games like Halo 5 and The Order: 1886 to claim the final spot.
Sony is working with Hidetaka Miyazaki and the rest of the team at From Software in the hopes of tapping into the same audience as the developer’s other successful projects, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. We’ve had several glimpses of the game in action, and have even played some of Bloodborne and came away very impressed. While the game feels similar to the Souls games, it has an identity all its own, with a focus on offense and active engagement over defense and turtling. Add in some breathtaking visuals and a compelling gothic setting, and Bloodborne has us ready to face the darkness.
8. The Legend of Zelda
Zelda is a longtime favorite among many of the Game Informer editors, and our team is wildly excited for the new entry on Wii U, even though Nintendo has remained very quiet on details. We do know that the game focuses on a more open world than previous entries, and early looks at the game reveal a lush, bright, and incredibly detailed game world. Designer Eiji Aonuma has discussed his desire to integrate the environments with lots of choices falling to players on where to head next. Our editors seem to think that Nintendo’s excellent track record warrants some excitement.
7. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Lukewarm reception to Ground Zeroes hasn’t been enough to dull excitement for Kojima’s more full-featured upcoming project, The Phantom Pain. Boasting a new open-world approach to design, The Phantom Pain maintains the complex fiction, political and military themes, and focus on stealth that the series is known for. In particular, longtime fans on our team are eager to follow Big Boss as he takes another step toward becoming the warlord we know he one day is destined to be.
6. Rise of the Tomb Raider
We know next to nothing about Lara Croft’s next adventure, but Crystal Dynamics’ 2013 reboot established a lot of faith that the series is moving in a promising direction. The first trailer for the new game shows Lara dealing with the aftermath of her horrific ordeal in the last game, but at the same time she’s drawn into another dangerous conflict. A closing shot from the trailer makes it abundantly clear that players won’t need to wonder any more about why the game’s title is Tomb Raider.
Turtle Rock Studios has been working on Evolve for years, and every time we see the project, it gets a little better. The asymmetric shooter mixes up cooperative and competitive play in a fascinating cocktail, and throws in phenomenal shooting mechanics and some cool sci-fi trappings for added flavor. Four players take on the role of futuristic hunters, each with their own powers and gear. A fifth player controls a towering monstrosity that must escape or kill those that would hunt it down. The resulting dynamic is addictive and heart-pounding, and we can’t wait to see the full scope of game modes, levels, and monsters.
4. Batman: Arkham Knight
Rocksteady hasn’t gone wrong yet with its stylish take on the Dark Knight’s adventures, and our early hands-on time with the studio’s new project has us hopeful that the streak will continue unbroken. Breathtaking visuals capture the nuance of rain-swept Gotham streets and grimy street corners, while new Batmobile mechanics give players new gameplay mechanics to encounter. The presence of Batman’s iconic vehicle also assures we’ll have an easy way to get around the big city, which is said to be five times the size of Arkham City.
3. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s EndHot on the heels of our 2013 Game of the Year, The Last of Us, Naughty Dog is returning to its other big franchise. Nathan Drake has been put through the wringer over the course of his previous adventures, but even retiring from his treasure-hunting ways isn’t enough to keep him out of danger. While GI remains disappointed that some of Uncharted’s lead creators have left the studio, we’re eager to see what The Last of Us directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley can do with the franchise.
2. No Man’s Sky
Hello Games may be known best for its high-flying stuntman, Joe Danger, but its newest project has captured our collective imagination. Players control a space explorer as he or she flits from one planet to the next in a massive, procedurally generated galaxy. Each world is different, populated by a new mix of flora and fauna. However, the most exciting aspects of No Man’s Sky revolve around the idea that it’s all one big connected game universe which all players help to discover. The wild ambition of No Man’s Sky is impressive, and we can’t wait to see if Hello Games manages to craft a cohesive and compelling gameplay loop.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Geralt’s latest adventure has a little bit of everything, and we suspect that’s why so many of our editors ranked the project so high on their lists. Rich storytelling, expansive upgrade options, a massive open world, and a smartly realized combat system are all reasons our editors cited for their enthusiasm. CD Projekt Red proved they could make a strong game with The Witcher 2, but not all the kinks were hammered out. This time, everything we’ve seen of The Witcher 3 screams quality and depth, and we can’t wait to take up the two swords of the infamous monster hunter once again.
Just because these last 10 games received the most excitement, that doesn’t mean that these are the only games that received votes from our editors. Out of the grand total of 54 games that received at least one top ten vote from our editorial team, here are the next 10 most anticipated, in alphabetical order.
Halo 5: Guardians
The Order: 1886
Star Wars Battlefront