Gaming

The 20 games you’ll want to play in 2016

Posted by
David Cornish
Published

Single player games won 2015, a year that brought an abundance of solo options that saw the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 recover their stuttering stride.

Having been starved of truly polished adventures, we were finally treated to a glut of titles that the 'next-gen' consoles had promised, with BloodborneRise of the Tomb Raider, Super Mario MakerMetal Gear Solid V,The Witcher III and Fallout 4 all worthy contenders for "Game of the Year" awards. Besides console gaming, numerous apps brought joy to our thumbs, with DownwellDark Echo and Hitman Sniper all deserving a spot on your smartphone.

As we continue to hunt out the achievements and max out our stats, 2016 continues apace, promising some grand delights (foregoing any cancellations).

Here are some of the titles we're looking forward to most. Game on.

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016

    XCOM 2

    Release date: 5 February

    Platforms: PC, Linux, Mac

    Do you turn to games in an effort to turn your brain off after a hard day of doing that thing you get paid for? Then you'll hate XCOM 2

    Promising to be just as difficult as 2012's superb reboot, this turn-based squad game is set to be another masterclass in tactical gaming. Guide your squad of four through a future world in which humans aren't the dominant force - taking down key targets of the alien totalitarian forces.

    Prepare for a lot of remarkably enjoyable hours of failure. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 1

    Street Fighter V

    Release date: 16 February

    Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows

    Punch. Kick. Repeat until victorious. 

    Those are still the key foundations of Street Fighter V - but everything has been tweaked, sharpened and polished to ensure that the new title is the fastest, most fluid yet. The biggest addition is that of a "V-Gauge" - a bar that fills as you take damage, meaning that even if you've failed to land a punch, there's still a chance that one special combo could win the round for you.

    If you enjoy spending your evenings learning combinations that'll have your friends weeping in rage, we doubt you'll need another game this year.

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 2

    Far Cry Primal

    Release date: 23 February

    Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows

    Ever wanted to hunt a woolly mammoth? Thought not - but that's just part of the chaotic fun you can expect from the decidedly different Far Cry Primal

    While the same core open-world adventuring of the series remains intact, you'll be swapping AKs and grenades for arrows and spears - which you get to craft for yourself.

    Besides attempting to survive the wilderness of the stone age, you'll be able to build up a tribe - taking on other clans of early man for local dominance in addition to ensuring the local wolf pack doesn't slaughter every woman and child.

    You'll also get to tame sabre-toothed tigers - and if that doesn't pique your interest, we've no idea what will.

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 3

    Quantum Break

    Release date: 5 April

    Platform: Xbox One

    This is a bold experiment from Remedy Entertainment and Microsoft Studios - a new take on interactive gaming that sees a time-warping third-person shooter matched with a live-action TV series.

    While the TV show follows the actions of sinister Monarch Solutions, the game will focus on the exploits of Jack Joyce - a man tasked with cleaning up a heck of a mess after a time machine goes wrong.

    With your in-game actions changing the resulting episodes of the accompanying TV series, it promises to be a unique experience. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 4

    Dark Souls 3

    Release date: 12 April

    Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

    No, we haven't completed the last two either. Nor did we managed to slay every nightmare-inducing creature of FromSoftware's superb Bloodborne. But that doesn't mean we aren't itching to test our mettle (and find it sorely wanting) against Dark Souls 3

    For those unfamiliar with the series, Dark Souls places your customised knight in a cursed land, filled with giant twisted monsters all interested in smashing your face into the nearest piece of Gothic architecture. It's horribly, horribly difficult - but that's part of the fun. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 5

    The Division

    Release date: 8 March

    Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

    The world was first introduced to Tom Clancy's The Division back in 2013, though it's actually been in development since 2012. After multiple delays and a lot of disappointment, it finally looks ready to go.

    After a virus spreads via bank notes on the Black Friday sales spree, US society falls into chaos. As the government struggles to maintain control, they employ groups of tactical soldiers known as the Strategic Homeland Division - highly-armed individuals ready to be called upon to thwart the attempts of those looking to spread the virus further.

    Bleak, battered scenery and tactical team play, this could take weeks to crack when it eventually arrives. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 6

    Hitman

    Release date: 11 March

    Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows

    Yearning for some precision kills? Longing to get back into practice with your garrotting wire? Best speak to a psychological professional.

    If what you'd actually like to do is become reacquainted with Agent 47, you've only got to wait a few more months. Similar to the sand-box levels of Hitman: Blood Money, the new game will be bigger than any former Hitman experience, with up to 300 characters wandering around every area - all ready to scatter like headless chickens should you put a foot/bullet wrong.

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 7

    Star Fox Zero

    Release date: 21 April

    Platform: Wii U

    Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about the Wii U (even if Nintendo has). 

    One of the most exciting titles of the year looks to make full use of the console's unique gamepad, allowing you to control Fox McCloud's Arwing with precise wiggles and waves. 

    Fly about, shoot bad guys, do a barrel roll - what's not to love? 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 8

    Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

    Release date: 26 April

    Platform: PlayStation 4

    With Rise of Tomb Raider a timed exclusive for the Xbox One, PS4 owners have been starved of fresh platform adventures of late.

    Not that they needed a reason to look forward to Naughty Dog's latest Nathan Drake adventure - every leak, tease and demo we've seen of Uncharted 4 has assured us that it'll be a rollicking (and possibly final?) adventure. An involving story, stunning visuals and that familiar sarcastic tone - we're keeping everything crossed this turns out to be 'Game of the Year'.  

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 9

    Mirror's Edge Catalyst

    Release date: 26 May

    Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows

    Mirror's Edge was something of a sleeper hit when it arrived on consoles in 2008 - owed in part to its unusual style: a first-person free-running adventure, whose aim was to flee rather than shoot bad guys in the face.

    Despite a hard sell, it was a fantastic experience - and Catalyst is shaping up to be a similar shot-in-the-arm for 2016: a 'reboot' of the original game, it'll follow the origins of its protagonist Faith, running around futuristic environments with even more freedom than last time.

    Not one for those afraid of heights.

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 10

    No Man's Sky

    Release date: June

    Platform: PlayStation 4, PC

    Hype has been building for this massive, interstellar explorer/adventurer/shooter ever since Hello Games showed it off in 2014 - despite no one really knowing what it was.

    With a world of some 18 quintillion planets to locate, each with their own unique landscape, this threatens to engulf the rest of your gaming year once it arrives in June. It's a game that wants you to get lost - to fly from a deep-space dogfight to go in search of an interesting beacon signal, set down on a dangerous world and find something no one else playing the game has ever seen. 

    Oh, and there are dinosaurs and giant robots to have fights with.  

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 11

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

    Release date: 23 August

    Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

    Set in Prague 2029, the next Deus Ex title picks up where the last left off - with 'natural' humans deeply paranoid that their augmented neighbours are going to cut their throats in the night. 

    Adam Jensen of 2011's Human Revolution is back, and ready to be upgraded with lethal implants to suit your own playing style. Prefer creeping up on bad guys and snapping their necks? There's an augmentation for that. Rather take the blunt route and shoot ever sucker in site? Well of course you do. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 12

    Gears of War 4

    Release date: Summer

    Platform: Xbox One

    You're right - there's not been a lot of information revealed about Gears of War 4 - the fifth (don't ask) instalment in a series beloved by many for its muscular anti-heroes and massive guns with chainsaws. 

    We're including it in our list because - even if it manages to capture an ounce of the chaotic fun that previous titles have delivered - it'll be a must-play for Xbox One owners. 

    We'll bring you more word on its development when it arrives. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 13

    Dishonored 2

    Release date: 2016

    Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

    The cloak-and-dagger action of Dishonored was a 'surprise' hit of the last console generation, blending satisfying stealth mechanics with stunning aesthetics. The sequel is looking every inch the worthy successor.

    Playing as either Empress Emily Kaldwin (pictured) or the previous protagonist Corvo Attano, you'll be finding yourself in a similar outlawed position to the last game - using supernatural powers and deadly blades to either sneak your way past unnatural foes or raise merry hell in shooting them in plain sight.

    You'll be able to complete the whole game without committing a single kill - great news for the pacifists, or those who enjoy a few weeks of torturous challenges. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 14

    Cuphead

    Release date: 2016

    Platforms: Xbox One, Windows 

    Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, Cuphead is a brutally simple boss battler: developed by brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer, players take the role of either Cupman or Mugman and proceed to lay the beat down on an assortment of luscious monsters in single player or co-op mode - jumping, ducking and shooting their way to success (or more likely, a beautiful death).

    We're already backing this one to be the 'Indie' game of the year.

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 15

    DOOM

    Release date: 2016

    Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows

    Bethesda and id Software have only revealed a smidgen of their upcoming reboot of the mother of all shooters, DOOM.

    And we really do mean a smidgen. Roughly 70 seconds of CG-rendered teasing that's dripping in atmosphere, flesh and a starring a ruddy great big Cyberdemon.

    Expect the the massive arsenal of guns to return (including the BFG 9000) along with the trademark levels of gore, torn limbs and sickening thrills. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 16

    Final Fantasy 15

    Release date: 2016

    Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4

    Another game that feels like it's been an age coming, the latest instalment of the apparently endless run of Final Fantasy titles is looking rather spectacular.

    A refreshed combat system will see you run around huge open areas, taking on giant foes with a combination of well-timed "Attack", "Magic", "Technique", and "Item" button bashes. And when you're not attempting to kill huge wildlife, you'll be able to cruise around the beautiful vistas in a convertible sportscar.

    Confused? So are we - but it looks like heaps of fun. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 17

    Mafia 3

    Release date: 2016

    Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows, Mac

    We've been waiting six years for a new Mafia game - and 2K Games is finally set to deliver the goods later this year.

    Set in 1968 New Orleans, the new title will offer a mix of gunplay and sneaking about as you - Lincoln Clay - look to set up your own criminal gang and seek revenge on the Italian Mob after they attempt to put a bullet in your head. 

    Expect strong characters, stronger accents and a chance to become a contender.

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 18

    The Legend of Zelda

    Release date: 2016

    Platform: Wii U

    Embarrassingly for us, we included this title in last year's list of titles to look forward to - but after more delays, we're still looking forward to it.

    The aim of Nintendo's new Zelda adventure is to be big. Really big - hence the delays. With miles and miles of sweeping landscapes for Link to explore, it's set to be made all the easier with an interactive map on the Wii U's tablet controller. 

    There'll still be dungeons to explore, in addition to new tricks like 'bullet time' arrow skills and horseback combat. You just know it'll be worth the wait. 

  • The 20 games you'll want to play in 2016 19

    Homefront: The Revolution

    Release date: 2016

    Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac

    2016 is teaming with bleak depictions of near-future chaos - and one we're eagerly looking forward to dirtying our hands with is the sequel to 2011's superb Homefront.

    Set in 2029, the Greater Korean Republic is still an active force in the US, with new Philadelphia a heavily-fortified stronghold. The game follows the young Ethan "Birdy" Brady and his attempts to lead a band of resistance fighters against the foreign oppressors.

    With gameplay mixing high-tech tricks with guerilla warfare and tactical combat, we're actually looking forward to a bleak future after all.