We’re knee deep in 2016 and there are a ton of awesome games scheduled for release this year! Just like every year, I’m sure I won’t have enough time to get around to all of them, but with so many excellent choices I feel like 2016 will be another great year in video games. Gamers have been spoiled recently: there have been lots of great years of games lately. Not just a few good games here and there, but complete years of consistently great games to keep your systems hot. So let’s check out what’s coming in 2016! Here are some games I’m anticipating to play and thoroughly enjoy this year!
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
Nintendo 3DS: January 22nd
This one’s already out, and I’ve already sunk near 7 hours into this Mushroom Kingdom RPG. Combining the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario series’ into one, Paper Jam is a blend of two similar yet different playstyles all featuring our favorite plumbers plus a Paper one! The story is kind of blah, but the game has successfully captured the look and feel of both games, which I honestly never thought would happen in one title!
Final Fantasy Explorers
Nintendo 3DS: January 26th
Right after Paper Jam we get another (hopefully) solid 3DS title in the form of Final Fantasy Explorers. Taking a page out of the Monster Hunter handbook, Explorers is an action oriented, multiplayer focused game where you pick your job, join a party, and start killing shit! The game looks promising, and might be the type of game I want, since it’s not supposed to be as intense as Monster Hunter but not as childish as Fantasy Life. Here’s hoping this one’s a hit!
Mighty No. 9
All Systems: February 9th
**Literally delayed until Summer 2016 the day I published this article. Ugh…**
Years in the making and a handful of delays later, the game that almost got me to fork over money on Kickstarter is finally coming out! Mighty No. 9 hopes to continue the tradition of the classic Mega Man series with top notch, run and gun action with actual Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune at the helm! The game’s been getting some negative press lately due to all the delays, but so long as the game plays like an old school Mega Man game I’m totally on board! And let’s hope the music is amazing as well!
Street Fighter V
PS4: February 16th
One of the games I wanted a PS4 for comes out in less than a month! Street Fighter V isn’t in the same boat Street Fighter IV was during it’s launch: fighting games are a staple in the entire video gaming community currently, so there’s nothing to prove. All SFV needs to do is be a damn fun, wholly refined fighting game and it’s job well done for Capcom. Giving how the company will be handling DLC and upcoming patches/updates (so long Super Street Fighter V Turbo Arcade Edition!), this might be the definitive fighter for some time!
Fire Emblem Fates
Nintendo 3DS: February 19th
The sequel to one of the 3DS’ finest, and the sequel to the game that saved the franchise, Fire Emblem Fates will be giving my wallet a fit when it releases shortly after Street Fighter V. Split into two games with each taking place at the same time but on opposite sides of the war, Fates will hopefully be just as good as Fire Emblem Awakening back in 2012. I have nothing but high hopes for both these games, and I’m eager to dig into the strategy gameplay, interesting characters, and beautiful visuals!
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Wii U: March 4th
I’m just going to jump right out and say it: I never played Twilight Princess on either the Wii or Gamecube, despite owning it on both. I know, it’s craziness, but Twilight Princess HD is coming out to help rectify that mistake. Either loved or hated by the Zelda community, Twilight Princess HD will give us another chance to run around with Midna and change into a wolf, this time with amiibo support and HD visuals!
Wii U – March 18th
How is this game even real? Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought up a Pokemon fighting game from the makers of freakin’ Tekken! The game is already out in Japanese arcades, I believe, and I’ve only heard positive things about it so far. Is it going to dethrone Super Smash Bros. as Nintendo’s top tier fighting franchise, probably not, but is it going to be ridiculously fun! Here’s hoping! I’m also hoping they throw in some random Tekken fighters too. I mean, Kuma and Panda are basically Pokemon already, and maybe they can get that “Gon” license back again!
Bravely Second: End Layer
Nintendo 3DS: April 15th
2016 is shaping up to be the year of the 3DS: it’s only mid-April and there are already 4 games on the anticipated games list! The first Bravely Default game was a breath of fresh air in the traditional RPG genre, which is noteworthy given how set in stone the games usually are. A great story coupled with exciting combat that ditches all the waiting made it one of the top games of 2012 (damn, what a year!). The sequel features some of the same characters and even an intertwining storyline that’ll make fans of the series happy. I’m ready to get sucked back into the world of Bravely all over again.
Star Fox Zero
Wii U: April 22nd
Unfortunately delayed in 2015, Star Fox Zero will hit store shelves in April and I couldn’t be happier! I wanted to try the game out at PAX Prime last year, but the lines were too long and I justified my skipping because the game was supposed to release shortly thereafter. Sadly that didn’t happen. And now all I have are my precious memories of Star Fox 64 to keep me company until I get my hands on the Wii U game that will bring us back to the Lylat System!
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
PS4: April 26th
A scant few days after Star Fox Zero we get to see what is touted as Nathan Drake’s last foray on the PS4. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End had an absolutely beautiful demo at E3 last year, and it made me want to play the game despite not having played Uncharted 3. Drake looks older, he looks beaten, and he looks like he’s going to star in one last epic for Sony!
PS4: May 3rd
Battleborn would have gone under my radar if I didn’t get a chance to check it out at PAX Prime last year. The next new IP from 2K Games (The guys behind Borderlands) looks a lot like their previous work, and plays similarly too, but that isn’t a bad thing for me. Having loved the Borderlands series, I’m hoping Battleborn will be the segway into MOBA-style games I’ve been looking for. And it’s a game I can play with Laura, so that’s always a plus.
No Man’s Sky
PS4: Quarter 3
Remember when the first trailer for No Man’s Sky dropped back in 2013 and we were all like, “Oh man, that looks amazing! I can’t wait to play that!” Well it’s looking like 2016 might be the year we get to explore the vastness of the world on our PS4s. So many people hate on developers for delaying a game, but if it goes toward making the game a better experience I’m totally down. I’m with you No Man’s Sky, no matter how long you take to come out. But you better come out!!
Dragon Quest VII and VIII
Nintendo 3DS: Quarter 3
These two classic RPGs have already been released in Japan and finally got an English translation and release date in 2016. No definite timeframe yet, but with a tentative window of Summer, I’m just going to add these to the list of crazy RPGs coming out this year for the 3DS. Seriously Nintendo, do you want me to not have friends? Or a job?
I was hesitant to include this one on the list because I’m not entirely positive it will actually release in 2016. Lots of games that have a release date of just a year and no month or timeframe, especially text heavy games that need to be translated such as this, never seem to make those windows. But dammit, if I’m not excited for this! Persona 3 on the PS2 started a sort of RPG renaissance for me, and Persona 4 is one of the best RPGs out there. Come on Atlus, don’t leave me hanging!
You can’t tell me you weren’t pumped when that first Pokemon GO trailer dropped last year? Using your smartphone to find Pokemon all over the world, battling friends on the go, and getting a chance to catch them all on the go! Sure, the trailer was full of stuff the actual game will never do, but even if half those things are present in the final product I’ll be happy. I’ve never considered my iPhone a place to play legitimate games, so perhaps this will change my mind.
Zero Escape 3: Zero Time Dilemma
Similar to Pokken Tournament, I can’t believe this game is happening. Not because it’s an absurd concept, but because the prior game in the excellent visual novel series, Virtue’s Last Reward, was said to be the last in the game from its creator if interest wasn’t high enough. Thank everyone they’re making a sequel! If you haven’t played Virtue’s Last Reward yet, pick it up on 3DS or Vita and play it until this one comes out. It will be time well spent you can just thank me now!
And those are just the game’s we know of. E3 and other events will of course bring the announcement of other games which will release this year. Some bigger names that aren’t on the list like Mass Effect: Andromeda and Yooka-Laylee (Persona 5 notwithstanding) which have scheduled 2016 release dates are just too vague for me to really think they’re coming out this year. Looking at this list here, I’d be happy if nothing else came out all year. But I know there are going to be other games, surprise hits, games that stick with you for months, and that one game you seem to like that no one else does… those are the game that are going to make 2016 great!
What are you looking forward too most this year? Something on my list or something all your own?