18) The Elder Scrolls Online
Developer: Zenimax Online Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, OS X
Release date: Windows, Mac: April 4. PlayStation 4, Xbox One: June 2014
Why: There aren’t too many franchises more suited to the MMO format than The Elder Scrolls. There’s already a mountain of lore to pull from, and Tamriel is one of the very best fantasy landscapes. We’re most looking forward to The Elder Scrolls Online’s ambitious PvP, but with MMO legend Matt Firor (Dark Age of Camelot) at the helm, the PvE content probably won’t be a slouch either.
17) Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Windows PC, OS X
Release date: March 25
Why: Diablo III’s auction houses are both closing on March 18 in a bid to balance the game, and a week later we get an expansion that features a new campaign act, a cool-looking new class, new weapons and armour, Loot Run and Nephalem Trials modes, a higher level cap, and more. Keen? You betcha we are.
16) Infamous: Second Son
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Release date: March 21
Why: Like DriveClub, Infamous: Second Son was supposed to be a launch title but was delayed so extra polish could be applied, and that’s completely fine with us. Taking place seven years after Infamous 2, it follows a new protagonist in a new city (Seattle), and promises new powers on top of the fancy new graphics the new generation can provide. A lot is new is what we’re sayin’, but as you know, Infamous was pretty great to begin with.
15) Dragon Age: Inquisition
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform(s): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Release date: Q3
Why: To say that Dragon Age II was divisive is an understatement without question, but fortunately Inquisition looks like it will be the game to unite fans in celebration. More tactical combat has been promised, the romance mechanics have been overhauled, decisions will have greater impact, there is more customisation, Qunari are playable, and unlike its predecessor, it all takes place in a huge world that doesn’t feature any reused environments.
14) Wasteland 2
Developer: InXile Entertainment
Publisher: InXile Entertainment
Platform(s): Windows PC, OS X, Linux
Release date: 2014
Why: Post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland is a stone-cold classic, a tough, superb title that served as the basis for the Fallout series. Wasteland 2 is its first official sequel though, a Kickstarter grad coming thanks to legendary RPG luminaries Brian Fargo (director) and Chris Avellone (designer). If you know those dudes, you know you’re in for a treat. If not just trust us, this game is gonna be great.
13) Dark Souls II
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC
Release date: March
Why: What could be better than Dark Souls? How about a sequel that runs on an upscaled engine, has more advanced AI, and whose game world is roughly twice the size of the aforementioned? From Software had us at “a Dark Souls sequel” to be honest. Look for this one near the top of many best-of lists come December.
12) Broken Age
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Platform(s): Windows PC, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, Ouya
Release date: January (first half), May (second half)
Why: Tim Schafer’s writing alone makes him one of our favourite game designers, so the fact that he’s returning to the point-and-click adventure genre for the first time since 1998's Grim Fandango simply fills us with joy. As the game that ignited the Kickstarter gold-rush, expectations for Broken Age are high, but if anyone can deliver on a promise, its Tim and the talented folks at the consistently great Double Fine Productions.
11) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Developer: CD Projekt Red
Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Release date: Q2
Why: The last Witcher game to feature Geralt as lead, Wild Hunt is looking nothing short of incredible (kind of like this cinematic). The series’ atmospheric, convincing world is now completely open, load-time free, and 35 times the size of that in The Witcher 2. The combat and dialogue systems have been refined, and every plot opened in the first game will be closed, resulting in roughly 36 different endings. And the art is simply amazing. Even as far back as E3 last year, it was obvious Wild Hunt would be excellent, and we simply cannot wait to finally be able to play multiple times through what will no doubt be a fantastically nuanced and exquisite adventure.