The 50 most exciting games of 2016

The ones we know about, anyway.

2015 was a pretty sweet year for video games, and 2016 has the potential to be something truly special. Both Xbox One and PS4 have hit their stride, and this year we should begin to see some of the big-hitters stepping outside their comfort zones with bold titles like Crackdown 3 and Horizon: Zero Dawn, while smaller developers delight with the likes of Firewatch and Tacoma. There's also the almost incomprehensible possibility that we'll have played both The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy 15 by year's end. But, as ever, there's a good chance that many of this year's most exciting titles aren't to be found in the list we've compiled below, for the simple reason that we don't know about them yet. There'll be unexpected pleasures to be found in quiet corners of Steam; there's whatever Nintendo has in store for the end of the year, potentially on a new console; and there are the uncharted territories that the realisation of virtual reality in the home will bring. For now, though, in (very) rough order of release date, these are the 50 titles coming in 2016 that we're most excited for.

The Witness

Jonathan Blow's poured plenty of money and time into this follow-up to Braid, a game that feels like it almost single-handedly kickstarted an entire industry. Even without that lineage, though, The Witness still exerts quite a pull: it's a nested puzzlebox of a game in which you ponder a series of interlocking mazes that promise to fit together in surprising ways. At its most basic level, this is disarmingly simple stuff as you wander an island, tackling one puzzle after the next. The devil, though, lies in the details as one challenge builds on or subverts the last, and every piece contributes to the whole.

American Truck Simulator

If Frontier's Elite Dangerous drew comparisons to Euro Truck Simulator, then perhaps SCS Software's follow-up American Truck Simulator is its Star Citizen: bolder, brasher and with an emphasis on the transatlantic twang. For all the glamour that a 4am run from Portsmouth to Ghent once held, soundtracked by the middle-aged melancholy of Magic FM, there's something a little more alluring about the American open road and its promise of freedom. That, and the Americans know a thing or two about how to make a damn fine truck, too.


Any fears we could ever have had regarding XCOM 2 evaporated the moment we heard the premise. Only this series would have the dark wit to build a sequel's foundation on the fail state of the previous game. So the aliens won and XCOM is on the run: a neat twist to the formula that nudges you from defender to insurgent. XCOM: Enemy Unknown's biggest fault was perhaps the way that it encouraged cautious play. That's all out the window now as you ambush foes, move quickly to avoid reinforcements, and tackle a range of increasingly brutal enemies. Failure has never tasted quite so sweet.


  • Platform: PS4, PC, Mac
  • Release date: February 9th

There's the worrying hint of a supergroup to Firewatch's illustrious dev line-up, but there seems to be little that's flabby or self-indulgent to the game itself: a tale of mystery and exile in the wilds of the US that promises plenty of tension to go along with the evolving narrative about a fire lookout in a national park. Ultimately, though, this game's all about the landscape: the forests and mountains where the action plays out, and the huge skyboxes, perfect for the blazing oranges and reds as one day ends and the long night begins.

Mighty No. 9

  • Platform: PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, Vita, 3DS, Wii U
  • Release date: February 12th

Delays and the switch to a glossy, hard-candy art style have caused troubles for Mighty No. 9, but to play it is to play an old-school arcade game that is dazzlingly sure of itself and its limitations. This is a game about stunning enemies and then swooshing through them, about navigating tight spaces, dealing death, and doing it all against the tick of the clock. Then there are the bosses: arranged in a strict order, which seems like a shame given the game's roots in the Mega Man series, but every bit as punishing and precise as you could hope for.

Street Fighter 5

When Street Fighter 4 launched back in 2008, it was nothing short of a phenomenon - a rousing dragon punch of a game that revived an ailing genre with considerable style. Fast forward some eight years and Capcom's franchise is beginning to look a little frayed around the edges after a wearying run of Street Fighter 4 iterations. It's time for a new challenger, and in Street Fighter 5 Capcom and developer Dimps look to have fashioned something perfect for the modern day - a solid platform to build upon over the coming years, and one that's been tailored to the considerable community that's now central to the series. Winning them over is one battle that this more physical, more brutal Street Fighter will have to face - getting the world to fall in love with fighting games again is quite another.

Fire Emblem Fates

What makes Intelligent Systems' fantasy-tinged strategy series so perfect is the way it embraces your own imperfections: those little flaws in your own strategy that can see a key character killed off, and those small mistakes that can overshadow entire campaigns. It's a game of consequence, dictated by big weighty decisions, and made all the more special by how engaging its characters and world are. It might be a handheld game, but it's unlikely there'll be anything more immersive in 2016 than this sequel to the brilliant Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Tom Clancy's The Division


Given Tom Clancy's weighty, posthumous involvement, The Division earns a surprising number of lefty points for triggering its global meltdown on Black Friday, when contaminated currency decimates billions of human beings, leaving a hardened group scattered across frosty cities, wielding automatic weapons and decked out in knitwear. The human cost of cheap toasters! Over the long course of its development, Ubisoft has had trouble explaining just what The Division is, which has lead to some enjoyable moments of simulated banter during E3 press conferences. What now seems clear, though, is that it's an expansive and sociable third-person shooter with an MMO structure and a lot of the map-clearing gimmicks that Ubisoft has become known for. And that sounds pretty good, really.


Agent 47's back, and back to his roots. Again. Okay, that's a line that must have been peddled before at some point during the run-up to 2012's Hitman Absolution - which, now the dust has settled, was actually pretty decent - but this year's model purports to be a return to the endless possibilities for mischief and sadism that defined Blood Money. It's a sandbox stuffed full of spiky toys, basically, an open world where you're invited to tinker with its countless systems in pursuit of that perfect kill. Developer Io Interactive has been quietly brilliant in its own way, in recent years; this reboot could be the big stage return it deserves.

Quantum Break

After taking us into the mind of potboiler-writer Alan Wake, Remedy's showing us the kind of world Wake might have written about: a world where time has broken down and a lone hero must put everything back together again. What with all the semi-famous names and talk of cross-media, it's been hard to get a hold on what Quantum Break actually is, but now it's almost here it seems to be admirably direct: an extremely stylish third-person shooter in which gunfights are enlivened by all kinds of time manipulation. A shooter with funny ideas? Alan would be proud.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

There's been a strange reversal in the action-adventure genre in recent years. Playing through Rise of the Tomb Raider, the latest in Crystal Dynamics' modern reboot of the series that helped start it all, it was hard not to pine for some of the wit and lightness of touch that made Naughty Dog's take on the genre so very special. Lara might have nailed the sense of exotic adventure that gave Harrison Ford's original tomb raider so much appeal, but it was Nathan Drake that brought Indy's wit and charm. Uncharted 4 promises that and a little more besides, the series apparently moving slightly away from its more prescribed set-pieces for something a smidgen more open-ended, but just as cinematic.

Total War: Warhammer


There are plenty of reasons to look past the pre-order DLC fiasco and the fact that the name sounds kind of silly when you say it out loud. Total War is unbeatable when it comes to bringing a sense of scale to strategy games, and Warhammer is one of the most beloved tabletop series in the world, bristling with hundreds of brilliant units. The lead-up to release has been a mess, but that's usually the case with Total War. Hopefully, the developer has learned from recent misadventures when it comes to post-release stability.

Star Fox Zero

A delayed game can eventually be good, Shigeru Miyamoto once famously said, while a bad game is bad forever. Nintendo's figurehead no doubt had his own words to mind when he pushed back the release of Platinum's take on a much-loved classic, and the extra time afforded the team can only be a good thing. Early looks at Zero, an unashamed return to the aesthetic and feel of 1997's N64 outing, showed plenty of promise as well as some rough edges. Now there's time to polish them off and bring that potential to life, there's every hope that this will be the triumphant return Fox and co deserve.

Dark Souls 3

Could we be seeing some element of franchise fatigue with this, the third hard-edged action RPG from From Software in as many years? Seeing as Bloodborne only recently stormed our Game of the Year voting, that sense of ennui only exists out there on the fringes, but we do face the strange prospect of one of these famously enigmatic games arriving with an air of over-familiarity. But there's an air of finality to it, too, which means this one's well worth getting excited for: a potential climax to one of the greatest series games have ever known, as it flexes its muscles on more powerful hardware. It's exciting to think about what's on the horizon for Hidetaki Miyazaki and his team once they're done with this well-worn template, but for now, let's savour it for all its brilliance.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst

It's not hard to recall how dazzling and surprising the first Mirror's Edge seemed when it first appeared back in 2008, and that's probably because the sequel seems just as disorienting a premise, its chilly glass and concrete cityscapes as sunbleached and inhuman as before, while its mixture of exploration and parkour promises to draw players back in - this time, without the jarring inclusion of gunplay to break the icy spell. The big twist here, since it's 2016, is an open-world setting, which feels like a perfect fit for a game that should be about picking a spot on the horizon and working out how to get there. Mirror's Edge has a cult following. Is this the moment it goes mainstream?

Hyper Light Drifter

  • Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4
  • Release date: Spring 2016

A Kickstarter sensation thanks to its delicate pixelart and lashings of Top Shop pink and turquoise, Hyper Light Drifter promises the discovery of Zelda built around the precise violence of a Capcom action game. This one's all about chaining blasts of gunfire together with a teleporting dash move, and in its crunching impacts and split-second escapes, a little of the wayward spirit of PN03 takes flight once more.


Blizzard heads into 2016 looking a little unsteady, by its own surefooted standards, as WOW continues its stately decline and StarCraft 2's third act has already landed. Even so, Overwatch, itself scraped from the bones of would-be MMO Titan, is nothing if not confident. If there's one thing this outfit knows, after all, it's heroes, and so Overwatch, a fast-paced colourful multiplayer affair, benefits from an easy charisma that so many other genre entries can't quite match. If the roster can keep the meta evolving as swiftly as Hearthstone's, we could be in for a treat.

No Man's Sky

Survival and discovery spread across a vast interstellar map: No Man's Sky is a thrilling prospect even before you throw in some of the most luridly colourful science fiction artwork since the paperback glory days of the 1960s and '70s. While the long-term fun here will likely be down to how good Hello Games is at wringing unique experiences from its procedural generation algorithms, that breathtaking surface-to-space-and-back-to-surface transition makes this a prospect that's going to be hard to resist on day one.

Crackdown 3

Crackdown's blend of elements is so intoxicatingly simple that it has proved hard to copy, let alone expand upon. A small, toyboxy open world weaponised through simple traversal mechanics and a peerless draw distance: what else can you add to wring more fun from such gloriously basic elements? Dave Jones, back in control and hopefully older and wiser following APB, reckons that destructible environments are the secret ingredient: limitless and cloud-powered in multiplayer, reined in but still game-changing in solo play. Fingers crossed the peculiar Crackdown magic can be rekindled - even if it's only a beta headed our way in 2016, we desperately want this one to be great.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided


Poor Adam Jensen has suffered the ignoble fate of being forgotten before his time: there's been a cloud of apathy around Eidos Montreal's latest cyberpunk adventure, perhaps owing to the fact that Mankind Divided doesn't seem to deviate too much from the formula laid out by 2011's Human Revolution. The thing is, that formula was fantastic, a smart contemporary retooling of the influential 2000 original that offered freedom, chaos and lots of cool gadgets to play with. If all Mankind Divided offers is that minus those irksome boss fights, then it's on the right course - and we're sure that between now and August, plenty more will reveal itself.


  • Platform: PC, Mac, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4
  • Release date: October 2016

Heart-melting nostalgia is taken care of in 2016 thanks to Kickstarter champion Yooka-Laylee, a knockabout exploration game about a bat and a chameleon, built by key members of Rare's N64 line-up. This is a clear case of a team doing what it does best, with the Banjo-Kazooie spirit visible in every colourful environment and squidgy foe. Collect-em-up platforming romps? Taken care of at the same time.



Always ingenious and beautiful, some of Capybara's games have a tendency to drown themselves in cloying meme-savvy cuteness. This doesn't appear to be an issue with Below, a stately and mysterious twist on the roguelike genre that frames its action from an implausibly distant vantage point, making its tiny heroes seem all the more vulnerable. Ancient ruins emerge from glittering grottos while chimneys of black rock fairly throb with deadly magic: Below looks magnificent.


  • Platform: Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: 2016

When anybody says boss-rush, we always think of Treasure, and that means that Studio MDHR has set high expectations for its debut. Cuphead's already excelled at capturing the uncanny loose-limbed violence of 1930s cartoons, and there's every indication that there's a great game behind the glorious throwback visuals, too. Brutally-hard run-and-gun action delivered with an unusual style, this has all the hallmarks of something special.

Gravity Rush 2

  • Platform: PS4
  • Release date: 2016

An unlikely prospect in the first place, the prolonged post-reveal absence of Gravity Rush 2 left many fearing that it had bitten the dust. Happily, it appears to be real: another elegant, sprawling world to dive and flock through as the Vita's most surprising superhero gets a PS4 updating. Beneath the original's intoxicating sense of movement, however, lurked moments of fairly uninspired mission design. Hopefully Kat's new outing will be the adventure she deserves.


  • Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2016

Whitebox landscapes are joined by fragile red figures, waiting to splinter under the impact of a single bullet in this high-concept indie treat. The big idea is audaciously simple: a run-and-gun in which time only moves when you do. Beyond that, though, is a bewildering meta-game that wraps the main narrative in all manner of chic cyber-mysteries. Superhot was always going to be good, but it might prove to be genuinely great.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

  • Platform: PC, Mac
  • Release date: 2016

Bertie and Chris had a chance to play the pen-and-paper RPG that provides the basis for this old-school role-player and massive Kickstarter success story - and the world of Numenera, in which many civilisations have lived and died, leaving all kinds of dangerous technology in their wake, seems like a perfect fit for a genre rich in storytelling and mystery.

Enter the Gungeon

  • Platform: PC, Mac, PS4
  • Release date: 2016

It's the little things that count. After Welcome to the Gungeon drops you into each of its scrambled underground mazes of death, a little animated shadow play allows you to witness the hole you came in through being sealed over your head. Buried alive, and with nothing to do but shoot your way back out again, it's a surprisingly unnerving trick for such a straight-ahead game to pull. And Gungeon is wonderfully straight-ahead when it chooses to be, a twin-stick roguelike packed with nutty bosses and a fantastic dodge move to get you out of trouble. Procedural loot means that early weapons can feel a little feeble, but there are plenty of opportunities to upgrade, and there's always a lot of stuff itching to be shot at. Also, you can flip over tables and hide behind them: peculiarly potent sensation, that.


  • Platform: Xbox One, other platforms to follow
  • Release date: 2016

Rain splatters dark rows of corn and strange fish swim in the watery deep: Limbo developer Playdead is back with a fresh tale of alienation and disquiet. Inside looks to be another platformy-puzzley affair featuring another young protagonist exploring a sort of totalitarian prison state. Searchlights and dark spaces suggest an emphasis on stealth, but this is probably more about the atmosphere than the mechanics anyway. Apparently it's been in development for five years. You know what that means? Nice menus.


  • Platform: PC, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2016

After making you hunt through drawers to read undergrad coursework in Gone Home, Fulbright's taking us to outer space for Tacoma, and dropping us in a lunar transfer station 200,000 miles from Earth. The emphasis is on environment and character, by the sounds of it, and the team's ability to bring life to a 1990s family home should transfer in interesting ways to the new setting. Undergrad coursework to be confirmed.



id Software ensures that Roald Dahl's cheesey old cobbler isn't the only BFG we'll be reunited with this year, while the lack of a number or subtitle suggests that video gaming's most iconic shooter is serious about to go back to its roots. Lots of weapons, lots of monster closets and a new melee execution system should make this a wonderful guilty pleasure. Can it be more, though? Does it need to be?

Sea of Thieves

Rare does pirates is the three-word pitch for Sea of Thieves, and for once, the three word pitch is pretty hard to beat. Debuting at last year's E3, this offered just the kind of family-friendly charm and fun that has been missing from some of Rare's more corporate recent outings. Skeletons skewered on cutlasses, landlubbers walking the plank and treasure chests glinting with illicit gold; while it's unclear exactly what the boundaries of this world will be, it certainly seems like a tempting place to explore.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

  • Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
  • Release date: 2016

A classless roleplaying game set in 15th century Bohemia, Kingdom Come should be interesting for its non-fantastical take on the medieval era alone. In truth, though, there's a lot more to this, from the attention to historical detailing through to the rich item game. Survival mechanics add an extra jolt of realism to what's shaping up to be a grim treat, if such a thing is possible.

Offworld Trading Company

  • Platform: PC
  • Release date: 2016

The pitch is a delight: an RTS about destroying your enemy's economy rather than flattening their bases and smashing their tanks. The reality is just as good, too, a surprisingly vicious and speedy game in which rival corporations compete to exploit the resources of a new world and rule the stock market. Coming from Soren Johnson, the designer of Civilization 4, the elegance of this should surprise nobody, but the vivid bloodlust conjured by economic battling is still a bit of a shock. Timely!

Destiny 2

  • Platform: TBC
  • Release date: 2016

If The Taken King helped correct the course of Destiny, imagine what's possible when Bungie can start anew, and when all it's learnt over a sometimes difficult, often thrilling first two years for the shared world shooter can be poured into something close to a fresh beginning. We don't know much about this year's Destiny - how it'll be packaged, whether it'll be freed from its ties to the last generation, whether it'll make its way to PC - but we do expect a step up from what's gone before and a more full-blooded expansion than those we've seen to date. The only thing that's guaranteed is that whatever Bungie has in store will be both dramatic and divisive - the one constant in this game's lifespan, it would seem.

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U

You can climb that mountain on the horizon, of course, but the big questions hanging over this repeatedly delayed new Zelda - the first mainline console release since 2011's Skyward Sword - are when we can climb it and, perhaps most importantly, on which platform? There's a widely held belief that the next Zelda will come out on both the Wii U and the NX, Nintendo's next generation of hardware. Such details seem almost trifling, however, when placed against the desire to play a new, big-hitting Zelda game that promises a return to the open-ended exploration of the 1986 original, and the pastel splendour of Skyward Sword. If it all comes together this could be something very special indeed, regardless of what console it comes out on.

Dishonored 2

The three years since Dishonored's release haven't dimmed its greatness (though we still lament that missing 'u'). There's been little in that time that could hold a torch to the sublime mix of stealth and skullduggery that Arkane conjured, and all the developer needs to do is offer a simple retread of its past work to deliver something worthwhile. It'll do more than that - we hope, at least - which could make Dishonored 2 one of the year's very finest. And now it's on the new generation of hardware, we can't wait to see how rugged Arkane has got those faces.

Final Fantasy 15


Are we sure this is coming out this year? It's been 10 years since the infamous saga of what was once Final Fantasy Versus 13 started, and a troubled development that's seen the directorship pass from Tetsuya Nomura to Hajime Tabata doesn't exactly bode well for this most epic of JRPGs. But there are reasons to be optimistic, from the upwards trend in the quality of the Final Fantasy 13 sequels to the superlative turnaround Square Enix has managed with Final Fantasy 14. This is a developer that's now all too familiar with salvaging something special from its own disasters.

Star Citizen

  • Platform: PC
  • Release date: 2016

The spiritual successor to Wing Commander has seemed, at times, more like the spiritual successor to those multi-level marketing companies that rope you into forcing your neighbours to sell protein shakes on your behalf. That's what it's felt like as the money has continued to roll in and the amounts that people are willing to pay for imaginary spaceships have gone up. If it finally arrives, this could be a dream of a game: an expansive and expensively tooled sci-fi universe to explore in a craft or on foot. And it is nothing if not an event. All the same, though, it's a game that has encouraged people to spend recklessly and extravagantly, and that's going to sour things a little.

Gears of War 4

There's something delightfully dated about Gears of War, a series that with its bulging shoulder pads and gruff voices feels like a relic from the last generation. Seeing how developer The Coalition - a new outfit headed up by series stalwart Rod Fergusson, a man who looks like he's got the strength to handle a lancer in real life - goes about updating the series will be fascinating, but just as interesting is seeing how it'll go about preserving that chunky, macho, Matchbox toy thrill. There's a beta landing sometime in the spring, so we'll be finding out soon enough.

Halo Wars 2

  • Platform: Xbox One, PC
  • Release date: 2016

This one came from left field, even if it made all sorts of sense: a follow-up to an admirable but largely forgotten console real-time strategy game from genre expert The Creative Assembly (though importantly not from its Total War team), Halo Wars 2 promises to be one of 2016's more offbeat releases. There's the intriguing element of seeing how a real-time strategy game can fit onto console in this modern age, and perhaps most fascinating will be seeing how Microsoft bridges Xbox One and Windows 10 in its most high-profile cross-platform release this side of Sea of Thieves. No matter where this one lands, it could well be a sign of things to come.

Nier: Automata

  • Platform: PS4
  • Release date: 2016

Speaking of left field, who could possibly have imagined that Square Enix would greenlight a sequel to one of last generation's most peculiar games, the famously abstruse Nier? Not even loveable drunkard Taro Yoko, it seems, the original's creator seemingly baffled by the new lease of life given his series, and relishing life with his new drinking buddy, Hideki Kamiya of Nier: Automata's developer Platinum Games. Given the heritage of the studio behind this sequel, this will be a more action-oriented game than what's gone before, though if the original Nier taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected.

Persona 5

  • Platform: PS4, PS3
  • Release date: 2016

Good god, has it really been coming up to eight years since Persona 4 first launched? The release of Persona 4 Golden as recently as 2012 on the PlayStation Vita has helped keep those memories fresh - as have Arena, a fighting game spin-off, and Dancing All Night, last year's rhythm action spin-off - but this is still a long overdue follow-up to Atlus' irresistible mix of high-school drama and dungeon crawling. Indeed, following the success of Persona 4 Golden, this once cultish series has had its profile raised in the west, meaning all eyes will be on 5's release later this year. Here's hoping it can make its way to Europe before the year's out, too.

Battlefield 5

  • Platform: TBD
  • Release date: 2016

So Star Wars Battlefront wasn't Battlefield-y enough for you? Well, how about a bona fide Battlefield to scratch that itch, with DICE's mainline series confirmed for a full return later this year. There's not much known about Battlefield 5 beyond that, though fingers are crossed for a return to the lighter tone of the excellent Bad Company games. Here's hoping, too, that some of the momentum picked up by Battlefield 4 towards the end of its life is carried over - it might have had a rocky start, but DICE's new-generation launch game has slowly become one of the best multiplayer shooters around, and it's an impressive foundation for the series to build upon.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

A new galaxy awaits exploration and a new ending awaits endless online critiquing as Mass Effect returns after the conclusion of the original trilogy. Set a long time after the original games, you'll bomb around a new patch of space, gather a new crew, romance new friends and remove new space blouses. There's a new ground-based vehicle to test out, and there's bound to be a throwback to that moment you did or didn't punch a news reporter; either way, this should be a vast RPG with plenty of familiar BioWare elements.


  • Platform: PC, PS4
  • Release date: 2016

Devolver Digital has a knack for finding achingly hip indies, from Hotline Miami through to OlliOlli, and Eitr looks like one of the publisher's most promising prospects for 2016. An action RPG that wears its debt to Dark Souls on its sleeve, it's an exacting, electrifying adventure that benefits from some of the most glorious pixel art around. What two-man team Eneme Entertainment has achieved here looks like much more than a tribute act, too - its well-crafted world and weighty combat have an identity of their own, all of which suggests Eitr could be a special game in its own right.

Horizon: Zero Dawn


The past is the future and the future is the past. Something like that, anyway. You're a futuristic cave-woman, right, and your job is to take down robotic dinosaurs. Even before you get to the fact that you're armed with a rope gun, this is already one of the great video game pitches of all time. And there's plenty to be hopeful about here, since Guerilla continues to feel like a great developer that has yet to make a truly great game. The chances of that game involving robotic dinosaurs? Surprisingly high.

Homefront: The Revolution

Okay, this sequel that no-one asked for is very brown and, on the surface, it doesn't promise much. Look beyond the dreariness of its war-stricken Philadelphia streets, though, and there's much that shines bright: the work of the artists formerly known as Free Radical Design, this is an open-world shooter with plenty of ideas of its own, as well as meaty brawn from the past masters of the first-person shooter. There's a fair amount of Far Cry in Homefront: The Revolution's make-up, but there's also a generous dash of Half-Life 2, and if it all comes together this could re-establish the Nottingham developer, now called Dambuster, as one of the serious talents within the UK industry.


  • Platform: PS4
  • Release date: 2016

Koei Tecmo has taken its time when it comes to making something tailored for the new generation of consoles - which is fair enough, seeing as all those Dynasty Warriors games don't make themselves (they kind of do) - and it's looking to make a splash with its first PlayStation 4 exclusive. You can trace Ni-Oh's roots back to an aborted Akira Kurosawa film script and a PlayStation 3 game that never came to pass, but really its influences are as recent as the Souls series. This is Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja's take on From Software's formula, then - slightly gaudier, plenty schlockier and all the better for it.

Trackmania Turbo

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Nadeo's experiments with Trackmania 2 and its many expansions were always interesting, but also always slightly wayward - an odd situation where the business model too easily got in the way of the expertly crafted, impossibly fast driving game that lay beneath it. Trackmania Turbo looks like a more traditional outing, and sees the series coming to console for the first time since 2009, which can only be a good thing; the more people that get to experience the delirious thrills that Trackmania's unfalteringly delivered since 2003, the better.

The Last Guardian

Feted for its lineage but rendered truly legendary by its repeated absences, The Last Guardian cut a strange shape on stage at last year's E3. Time and rumour have rendered the follow up to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus a blockbuster, and yet it looks reassuringly unusual: a story about a boy and a beast and the toppling, vertiginous world they must navigate together. As a drawing together of the themes of its forebears, it's neat stuff, and it could set a new bar for companion games if it all works. But The Last Guardian is also competing with its own legend, now, and that means competing with the games its fans have built in their own imaginations.

Compiled and written by Christian Donlan, Martin Robinson and Oli Welsh.

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