25) Elite: Dangerous

Genre: Space trading/combat
Developer: Frontier Developments
Platform(s): Windows PC, OS X
Release date: March
Why: Where has David Braben brabeen? We lost the Elite creator (and Raspberry Pi Foundation trustee) to casual games for much of the 2000s, but finally in 2012 he Kickstarted the fourth in this magnificent space trading and combat series. There are a growing number of sandbox space titles cropping up these days, but Elite is the original, and we’re confident that just shy of 20 years after its release, Braben can bring that game's magic to modern systems.

24) Satellite Reign

Genre: ARPG
Developer: 5 Lives Studios
Platform(s): Windows PC, OS X, Linux
Release date: 2014
Why: Those only familiar with Syndicate thanks to the the Starbreeze FPS are in for a treat: the original game is a Peter Molyneux-produced triumph, an isometric real-time tactical game that oozes atmosphere. Its sequel, Syndicate Wars, was created by 5 Lives Studios’ Mike Diskett, the man behind the Satellite Reign Kickstarter. This looks to be the Syndicate sequel the Internet is clamouring for, and we couldn’t be more excited.

23) Bayonetta 2

Genre: Action
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform(s): Wii U
Release date: 2014
Why: Two words: heel guns. Platinum Games is one of the most consistently excellent studios, churning out gloriously odd but always highly playable and addictive action titles. Bayonetta was a thoroughly bananas brawler in the vein of Devil May Cry, and that recipe plus a co-op mode makes its sequel possibly the only upcoming third-party Wii U exclusive worth looking out for.

22) Wolfenstein: The New Order

Genre: FPS
Developer: MachineGames
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Release date: 2014
Why: Key members of the Riddick and Darkness teams from Starbreeze are now with Sweden’s MachineGames, working on what is shaping up to be a nasty (and by nasty we mean sterling) entry in the pioneering FPS franchise. Last year we came away from a hands-on preview of The New Order impressed with the meatiness of the combat and the creepiness of the interstitials, so naturally we can’t wait delve into its alternate history storyline and murder a few hundred more Nazis. We hate those guys.

21) Dying Light

Genre: First-person survival horror
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Release date: 2014
Why: Techland has been releasing games since 2000, but the Polish developer seems to have really hit its stride in the past couple of years, releasing two strong Dead Island titles along with the excellent Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. This year it’s looking to further capitalise on its FPS prowess with Dying Light, a zombie survival horror that features free-running mechanics, a day/night cycle, and trap-laying. Despite zombie fatigue, we enjoyed our hands-on with the game last year enough to be pretty psyched at the prospect of this one landing on our desks sometime in the next eleven months.

20) Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Genre: Action-adventure
Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Release date: March 20
Why: With the number of sequels coming up in this list, it’s gonna be tough to not just say “It’s more [game x]!” and be done with it, but we’ll resist the urge here. Ground Zeroes is the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, takes place just after Peace Walker, and promises to alter Snake in major ways. It runs on the shiny new Fox Engine, features a real time day/night cycle, is "true open world", and basically looks completely awesome.

19) Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Genre: Action
Developer: Dennaton Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Windows PC, OS X, Linux
Release date: 2014
Why: It's more Hotline Miami!

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