After all the next-gen excitement of E3 2013, it’s easy to forget that the current gen still has a ton of great games to look forward to. If Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us have proven, 2013 is already an amazing year for games and it doesn’t really seem to that that streak will end any time soon. This week’s Top 5 is our 5 most anticipated current-gen games.
5. Tearaway – Tearaway really did give me a lasting impression when I played it on the Vita. While Ted’s excitement of the game has since wavered, the demo I played really gave me a good glimpse of what to expect when the final version comes out later in the year. I dare not declare that it’s a system seller, but fans of platformers should definitely make sure to follow this game.
4. Super Mario 3D World – As critical as I am of Nintendo, I consider Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS as one of the best experiences I’ve ever had playing a platformer in recent memory. In a time when being a platformer just doesn’t cut it anymore, I admired the focus and the enthusiasm of the development team, along with their openness to admit that their model for Super Mario 3D Land was, in fact, Super Mario Bros. 3. With Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U, they’re treading uncharted territory and bringing the gameplay that helped laud Super Mario 3D Land with praises and adding a bunch of refinements, one of which is the ability to play the game with Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess a la Super Mario Bros. 2.
3. Saints Row: IV – Was there ever any doubt that this would make it to my list? The exciting conclusion to the Saint’s Row saga involves aliens, a cyber version of Steelport, and more shenanigans than ever before! And it’s arriving in less than two months! As someone who normally poo-poos open world games, Saint’s Row: The Third really captivated me with its crass humor and abundant customization. Just basing my excitement off of the build that Sean and I played at E3, this is going to be one weird and fun ride.
2. South Park: The Stick of Truth – It shouldn’t be a surprise to see South Park: The Stick of Truth so high up this list. Yes, I placed it higher than Saint’s Row IV, but only because the demo that they gave me at E3 showed so much promise and was, in fact, entertaining that potentially spending 40 hours in the world of South Park would be heaven sent. In case my preview wasn’t clear enough: This is a must have game for any South Park fan.
1. Watch Dogs – While many of the games coming out at the launch of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 looked really impressive, I feel that Watch Dogs truly exemplified what we should be expecting from a next-gen experience. The best part about this, of course, is that the experience will also be coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. And while I’ve already got Watch Dogs pre-ordered for the PlayStation 4, I still constantly think about how the game just feels like it’s a natural progression of what Ubisoft Montreal has learned after so many Assassin’s Creed games. Make no mistake: Watch Dogs will be a must have title this holiday season.
5. Grand Theft Auto V – I’m actually annoyed about placing this on this list because I want Grand Theft Auto V to be a next gen game! But instead, it will be one of the great games of this current generation. Do I really need to explain why I’m looking forward to this? As much as I enjoy the Saints Row games (and Saints Row IV gets an honorable mention on this list), I believe that Rockstar makes the best open world action games, I loved all of the Grand Theft Auto games since III, and I also was floored by Red Dead Redemption. When Rockstar releases an open world action game, l buy it without hesitation.
4. Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare – It should be obvious by now that I loved Plants Vs. Zombies. I also loved Dungeon Defenders. Put them together and what do you get? Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare! Really looking forward to playing this online with a few friends in the cooperative mode.
3. Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time – While I’m completely frustrated that this will be an iOS exclusive at launch and that I will have to delay my gratification until it is released on a platform I own, I’m still incredibly excited about Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time. The original may not be the best tower defense game ever made, but it is the most charming one. The combination of its great gameplay, incredible creativity and sense of humor come together beautifully, and if the sequel is simply more of the same, it’ll be a lot of fun.
2. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn– This game seems to be showing up in all my lists lately, but I can’t help myself. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn really impressed me at E3 this year, and I’m looking forward to really digging into it when it comes out later this year. A couple of friends of mine played a Beta last weekend, and ALL of them had basically the same thing to say about it: “I thought it would be terrible, but it’s actually really fun!” Maybe Square Enix finally fixed the game.
1. Shin Megami Tensei IV – It’s been a long time since Nocturne. If Shin Megami Tensei IV lives up to its predecessor, we’re in for a real JRPG treat when it comes out this July! I’m especially looking forward to playing another game with the Press Turn combat system, which I like a lot better than the battle systems in the other Shin Megami Tensei games (like Persona 3 and 4, to be specific).
5. Batman: Arkham Origins I loved Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Both games were fun even though Arkham City had way too many collectables. I’m looking forward to seeing different villains from the rogues gallery go up against the Dark Knight and how far back into the Origins this story will go.
4. Call of Duty: Ghosts – Call of Duty, dog.
3. Saints Row IV – A dubstep gun sounds awesome but so does having super powers and destroying everything in sight with a mech. And to be able to do all that as President of the United States sounds awesome. Those aliens better look out because here here comes a Presidential ass kicking.
2. Murdered: Soul Suspect – Ghost Trick, Ghost Trick, that’s all I hear. I don’t care about Ghost Trick. I want to play a game that has the player solve their own murder. That sounds intriguing and I can’t wait to play the game and see what happens. The story sounds great and the game looks amazing. That’s all that matters to me.
1. South Park: The Stick of Truth – I want something new from South Park and this game is it. It missed its original release date, got a new publisher and I’m still patiently waiting for Trey and Matt to deliver the South Park experience is video game format. I can’t wait to attack someone with farts.
5. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified – As an avid hater of RTS games, I was worried when the o.g. XCOM fans went crazy in a bad way over the XCOM shooter I feared the promising looking title would have been cancelled. My fears were for naught as not only was the game not cancelled, it got a redesign from first person shooter to a third person shooter with a fantastic Norman Rockwell-in-the-sixties aesthetic. That it may have pissed off some RTS fans in the process is a bonus. Unfortunately this releases the same day as my number 2.
4. How to Survive – I’ve made my love for this ambitious indie title well-known by now. October can’t come soon enough.
3. Beyond: Two Souls – Having played two levels from the game at E3, the game is in good shape and I’m really looking forward to sinking into another David Cage interactive joint when it drops in October.
2. Splinter Cell: Blacklist – Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is the reason I bought an Xbox. When I saw the gorgeous lighting, and amazing graphics (at the time) I knew I would have to cave to play the Xbox exclusive. As a huge fan of stealth games, no other game did realistic stealth like the Splinter Cell series. To give you an example of how much I love the series, I purchased Splinter Cell: Double Agent for both the Xbox and Xbox 360 platforms. I know many didn’t like Conviction, but I was more than pleased with it and from what I’ve heard about Blacklist, it’s the closest thing series has come to Chaos Theory since it’s release. This has me beyond stoked!
1. Grand Theft Auto V – It’s Grand Theft Auto V. I’m not sure why it’s not number one on everyone’s list. September 17th can not come soon enough.
5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies – I miss this franchise, and to see it come back makes me so happy. My brother got me the first game in this franchise for the DS ages ago, and I can’t believe how far I fell in love with it. Puzzling through the logic, and finding the exact moment of the contradiction can be both frustrating and rewarding. Seeing this in full 3D, with better animations and presentation has me extra excited.
4. Murdered: Soul Suspect – I worry about the tacked-on combat in this game, but combining some of the best parts of Ghost Trick and Phoenix Wright, adding some Western sensibility, and making it look good on consoles has me intrigued. I love a good crime procedural or murder mystery, and it’s been a long time since I have had the chance to play one.
3. Bayonetta 2 – I loved Bayonetta‘s combat. The story, less so, but Bayonetta had a free-flowing combat engine while still jacking the difficulty up pretty high. The glimpse of Bayonetta 2 I got at E3 jacks the crazy factor up to 11, and it doesn’t look like Nintendo is getting in the way of the content, so to speak.
2. Beyond: Two Souls – I fall on the “Love” side of Heavy Rain, and I liked Indigo Prophecy even with its screwy ending. Anything Quantic Dream makes has my interest, so I am ready for Beyond: Two Souls. I just hope that some of Heavy Rain‘s trouble spots (Slow start, controls can be wonky sometimes) are fixed.