The Best upcoming games & Release Date

With every year, the PC lineup only gets more crazy. While console firms pay millions for temporary exclusives, the PC has so many exclusive games each year it’s untrue. And many of them are now free, from twine and inform text adventures, to endless Ludum Dare titles such  as Titan Souls, to huge AAA games like Path of Exile. No console lets developers just experiment like the PC does.

Every developer with any sense will co-develop for PC, as all the console creators have dumped their fancy tech and the machines are now standardised, repackaged PCs, meaning every game that isn’t a platform exclusive tends to end up on PC. What was there that was worth buying a console for in 2014? Destiny, a handful of derivative Mario- and Zelda-related exclusives, and… Actually, that might be it.

So compiling a list of the games to look out for in 2015 is a huge task. We’ve picked out just a few here, with one major thing in mind no list is definitive and every list is personal. These are the games we’re most excited about, meaning some big, eagerly anticipated titles, such as Evolve and  Dying Light, didn’t quite make the cut. So, without further ado, here’s our list. Some might surprise you!

Pillars of Eternity
Release date: 26 March
The Infinity Engine games Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale are the stuff of RPG legend. Pillars of Eternityis a loving recreation of that party-based RPG genre, replete with witty dialogue, puzzle-heavy combat and hand-drawn 2D fantasy locations. It’s also one of the biggest Kickstarter successes of all time, netting nearly $5 million.

Minecraft: Story Mode

Release date: TBA
From the people who made The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and The Wolf Among Us, comes… Minecraft?! It’s as an adventure game though, available in episodic form and featuring characters from the original game. No, we’re not making this up. Mojang has said: “We’re not creating an ‘official’ story for Steve, or explaining the world of Minecraft in detail. It will be a cool game.” And that’s all we know! 

Total War: Attila
Release date: 17 February
Wonderfully rejigging Total War: Rome II, Attila quickly skips over the broken bits of that game, and changes how factions behave. Expect campaign and battle improvements, such as better maps and the return of the family tree system. It also introduces nomadic cultures, who live in tents and move in giant hordes, including the Huns. Starting in 395 AD, this is really the story of the fall of the Roman Empire, at the hands of Attila.

Grim Fandango: Remastered
Release date: Out now
LucasArts’ final masterpiece is set on the Day of the Dead. You play Manny,  a travel agent tasked with shipping the dead to the next level of Hell.

Mad Max
Release date: TBA
From the makers of Just Cause comes this open-world car-action game based on the famous movie franchise. 

Release date: Out now
The big daddy of open-world video games, Rockstar’s series has come a long way since DMA Design’s top-down arcade game. Number five has been out for a long while on console, but frankly it was as ugly as a politician’s soul until the PS4/Xbone release. It’s a grisly, misanthropic farce, following three unlikeable characters as they cause shooting and driving chaos in a huge open world (AKA LA). Its multiplayer mode, GTA Online, is almost a game in itself.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation
Release date: 27 March 
The 1990s’ most bloody (and controversial) car game is back. Racing comes second here to running down pedestrians. 

The Division
Release date: TBA
An open-world third-person shooter multiplayer role-playing survival game set in the Tom Clancy universe.It’s still in early development.

Mortal Kombat X
Release date: 14 April
The long-running fighting game series was rebooted in 2011, killing off many of the franchise’s characters. This latest iteration carries on from that game, before slowly moving 25 years into the future, having the series’ ageing veterans face off against the offspring of their compatriots. In terms of mechanics, each character now has three variations, with different styles of play and special moves.

Galactic Civilizations III
Release date: 14 August  (Early Access now)
Though Civilization established the 4X genre, many would argue GalCiv perfected it. This long-awaited third game lets you create and rule a highly customised spacefaring civilisation. You can explore everything from mass cloning to starkiller weaponry. Oh,  and it’ll only run on 64-bit PCs!   

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Release date: 19 May
Considering its origins in obscure Polish fantasy novels, it’s stunning that The Witcher is still such a big deal, but the series has proven consistently original, tough and divergent. Wild Hunt moves to an open world 30 times larger than the previous two games and bigger than Skyrim. It’s also introducing underwater swimming, horseback combat, a day-night cycle and a huge array of monsters, plus it’s concluding the twisty story. 

Street Fighter V
Release date: TBA
If it’s not the best fighting game of all time, it’s certainly the most popular. For many years, PC versions of Street Fighter II were made of twigs and paper, liable to fall over at the slightest dragon punch. But the recent iterations of Street Fighter IV on PC have been hugely polished. This new release is, controversially, going to have cross-platform play between  PC and PS4.

Mighty No. 9
Release date: April
The spiritual successor to Mega Man, Keiji Inafune’s most famous creation, the Mighty No. 9 is a classic side-scrolling action game. You play as Beck, the ninth in a series of powerful robots, and the only one not infected by a mysterious virus that’s sent robots across the world haywire. You can transform your body, changing legs and arms to get past obstacles and enemies, and learn new abilities from the robots you defeat. Graphically it moves like a kid’s cartoon, much like the bizarre Cuphead. 

Chaos Reborn
Release date: May (Early Access now)
Julian Gollop is best known for his XCOM series, which was recently rebooted by Firaxis. But Chaos is the game he always wanted to remake and Kickstarter has now let him Chaos Reborn is a nicely polished modern version of the rather unusual wizard combat simulator. Players take turns to cast spells and summon monsters, but it’s actually much more complicated than that makes it sound. This new version has a persistent online mode and crafting, but the core game is as tight, complex and intriguing as ever.

That Dragon, Cancer
Release date: Mid-2015
A game about what it’s like to raise a son born to die. It’s sure to be divisive. 

Torment: Tides of Numenera
Release date: Late 2015
The spiritual sequel to Planescape: Torment is a story-driven RPG, focusing more on character than combat and loot collection.  

Project CARS
Release date: 20 March
It might have a slightly daft name, but you certainly know what it’s about. This heavily delayed crowdfunded motorsport simulator is built on the same Madness Engine as Need for Speed: Shift and promises an open sandbox experience, with dynamic day-night and weather cycles. All vehicles and tracks are unlocked from the game’s start, and players can attempt multi-day races, compete online or build a career.

Space Hulk: Deathwing
Release date: TBA
A conversion of the classic board  game into a FPS, Deathwing is  already looking beautifully polished. 

Titan Souls
Release date: Q1
Imagine a Zelda game that’s all boss fights? That’s Titan Souls. The extra twist is that you have a single arrow  to do it with.

The Witness
Release date: TBA
Designer Jonathan Blow has only made one commercial game so far but the care he put into Braid demonstrated why his follow-up, The Witness, is so anticipated and why it’s taken so long. It’s a first-person puzzle game like Myst or The Talos Principle, where players wander an uninhabited island covered in ruins, deciphering the story as they discover hidden audio logs from previous visitors. Many of the brain-teasers are mazes and, as you complete them, you’ll unlock access to a  central set of puzzles inside the island’s mountain.

Mushroom 11
Release date: Mid-2015
One of the weirdest indie games around, Mushroom 11 answers the everyday question: “What would happen if sentient fungi took over the world?” You control a mycelium traversing a post-apocalyptic world. As you delete aspects of the fungal mass, it grows everywhere else, meaning that you can move it at high speed by careful editing. It’s essentially a post-apocalyptic pruning game.

Release date: TBA
While we wait (and wait and wait) for Bethesda to give up on The Elder Scrolls Online and make a new Skyrim, Hellraid seems tailor-made to fill the gap. By the team behind Dead Island, this is a first-person hack-‘n’-slash game built around four-player co-op. You play a cursed man in a world based on old European folklore, and fight a series of monstrous enemies with magic, swords and bows as you raid Hell itself. 

Release date: June
A jam game turned full product. A FPS where bullets and enemies only move when you do, making this like a time-based first-person puzzle shooter.

Assassin’s Creed Victory
Release date: Autumn
The latest in Ubisoft’s series will be set in Victorian London. Here’s hoping Spring-heeled Jack shows up…

Star Citizen
Release date: 2016 (Early Access now)
Chris Roberts, beloved creator of Wing Commander and Privateer, took the crowd-funding universe by storm when he announced Star Citizen back in October 2012.  The game quickly hit its funding goals and indeed the clamoring to hand over cash hasn’t abated at the time of writing the game had accrued $69 million of funding,  purely from gamers. As far as the game is concerned, Star Citizen has lofty aims it isn’t just a space trading sim, it’s a “living, breathing science fiction universe with unparalleled immersion”. Apart from being able to fly around, it’ll be possible to land on planets and space stations and run around in a first-person mode.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Release date: TBA
Though Hideo Kojima’s filmic MGS series has thrived on the Playstation, its sad history with the PC was restricted to a so-so port of MGS 2 in 2003. However, last year’s Ground Zeroes established a toe-hold which will be capitalised on by 2015’s The Phantom Pain. This time it’s set in an open-world Afghanistan with real day-night cycles. 

Just Cause 3
Release date: TBA
Avalanche’s series of open-world action games has got impressively huge. The latest installment has Rico Rodriguez returning to take on another petty dictator, with a new ability to scale buildings more easily. It’s likely to be set more in skyscraping cities than the low favelas of the past. 

No Man’s Sky
Release date: TBA
The 2015 game that most developers we know are looking forward to. Hello Games may have only worked on stunt arcade game Joe Danger before, but No Man’s Sky looks hugely ambitious. It’s a space opera sim where you explore a procedurally generated but shared universe, both in space and on the surface of bizarre planets. Every scene in the game looks like it’s from  a 1960s sci-fi magazine cover. 

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