It’s impossible to deny that 2015 was an amazing year for the PC. Not only did we get three of the best games in years – The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V, and Fallout 4 – but the arrival of titles such as GTA V (finally), Rocket League, Pillars of Eternity, Undertale, and SOMA ushered in a new golden era of PC gaming.
2016 will have to produce some truly special games to match last year’s offerings, and so far, it’s not doing too badly. Even though we’re still in the first quarter, we’ve already had some memorable titles in The Witness, Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen, Rise of the Tomb Raider and the brilliant XCOM 2. But there's still plenty more games to come, and here are our top 10 most anticipated titles.
- Release Date: August 23
- Genre: Action, Stealth
- Buy if you like: Deus Ex, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, player freedom when tackling objectives, cyborgs
In the run up to Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s release back in 2011, few people imagined that the game could match the brilliance of the original, despite it being over a decade old. But not only did this third game in the series (there was also the less-memorable Deus Ex: Invisible War in 2003) prove the naysayers wrong, it became one of the best action/RPG/stealth titles to grace the PC in years.
Now, five years since we first met him, Adam Jensen will return in Mankind Divided. The game promises to build on the elements that made Human Revolution such a classic: a great story, the fantastic blend of action and stealth, and some truly awesome weapons. Moreover, Mankind Divided will remove the most criticized aspect of the last game – unavoidable boss battle combat. You really will be able to complete this Deus Ex without killing anyone, should you wish.
- Release Date: June 21
- Genre: Space sim, Adventure, Survival, FPS
- Buy if you like: Elite: Dangerous, open worlds, genre-blending titles, games without endings
There was a time when the PC was the true home of the space sim; there was the magnificent Wing Commander franchise, Elite 2, Freelancer, the X-Wing series, and many more. But in the early 2000s, the number of games being released that revolved around exploring and fighting in outer space started to dry up. Thankfully, with the likes of Elite: Dangerous, EVE Online, and the upcoming Star Citizen, the genre has seen something of a resurgence of late, and one of the most exciting looking space sims of recent years is No Man’s Sky.
Developers claim that, thanks to the clever algorithms used in the game, No Man’s Sky will contain 18 quintillion procedurally generated planets, which theoretically gives it more content than any other title in gaming history. So big is No Man’s Sky’s universe that the team behind it, Hello Games, believes most players won’t even see 99 percent of what it contains. Exploring new worlds, survival and resource gathering elements, space combat, and battling alien lifeforms – if No Man’s Sky lives up to the hype, it could become one of the biggest hits of 2016.
- Release Date: May 13
- Genre: FPS
- Buy if you like: Doom games, Quake, Unreal series, shotguns
There are few PC titles as iconic as Doom. Gamers of a certain age may remember what a huge influence the 1993 original had on the first-person genre, and how, even today, so many FPS games are described as "Doom clones." It’s been 12 years since Doom 3 was released, but we’ll soon get to remove cybernetic demons’ heads from their bodies with sawn-off shotguns once again.
This reboot goes back to basics with the same incredibly fast, twitchy, run-and-gameplay so fondly remembered from early first-person shooters such as Quake. Those who got to try the multiplayer Alpha at QuakeCon heaped praise on Doom, and with classic weapons such as the chainsaw and BFG 9000 making a return, along with a map creator, tons of modes to play with your friends, and heaps of visceral brutality, May 13 can’t get here soon enough.
- Release Date: Spring
- Genre: Action, Stealth
- Buy if you like: Dishonored, Deus Ex series, clockwork devices
Easily one of the best games of 2012, the fantastic Dishonoured mixes stealth, RPG elements, multiple ways of approaching objectives, and FPS-style action. It's best descibed as Deus Ex crossed with Hitman set in a fictional, late nineteenth-century-style world filled with steampunk-inspired inventions and magic.
In the sequel, you’ll get the choice of controlling Corvo Attano – the first game’s protagonist – or Empress/magical assassin Emily Kaldwin, who is also returning from the original Dishonored; each one offering a different skill set to help you complete missions. With a new coastal setting and the updated id Tech 6-powered ‘Void’ engine, expect Dishonored 2 to have looks that match its gameplay.
- Release date: May 24
- Genre: Turn-based strategy, Real-time tactics
- Buy if you like: Total War series, Games Workshop titles, orcs, dice with more than six sides
There has been a fair number of PC titles set in the Games Workshop universe, the most famous being the Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War series. While a lot of people are still waiting for the third game in this franchise to make an (unlikely) appearance, we’ll soon have another GW strategy game that looks even better - Total War: Warhammer.
This will be the first time that the long-running Total War series abandons its historically accurate theme. Instead of Shoguns, Napolean, and Attila, we’ll see Orcs, Dwarfs, and Vampire Counts. Those who’ve played any of the Total War titles before will know to expect huge armies battling it out in real time, massive units, and a stunning campaign map. The game will also throw magic into the Total War mix, and we’ll see some of the famous heroes and weapons from the Warhammer universe. If you loved the original Warhammer tabletop games, then expect to cry with joy when you play this. Even in the early demos it looks breathtaking.
- Release Date: “2016”
- Genre: Open-world, Third-person, Shooter, Driving,
- Buy if you like: Mafia series, GTA V, The Sopranos
The third game in the Mafia franchise is quite a departure from the previous two titles. Here, the player takes control of Lincoln Clay, a mixed-race Vietnam-Vet who joins the ‘black mob.’ Clay is on a mission to wipe out the Italian mafia as revenge for murdering his crew. Mafia 3’s creators say it won’t skirt around the racial problems that were prevalent during its late-60s setting.
Being an open-world, third-person game, Mafia 3 will always draw comparisons with GTA V, which isn’t a bad thing. The 12-minute gameplay video looks stunning; the developers have brought 1968 New Orleans to life in a way that’s never been seen before and, even though it’s something I rarely notice in games, the lighting effects are incredible. Add to this the visceral combat, weapons, stealth, story, and period music, and Mafia 3 has the potential to be the surprise hit of the year.
- Release date: May 24
- Genre: Multiplayer, FPS
- Buy if you like: Team Fortress, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, bright colors
Multiplayer shooters are a very popular and fairly crowded genre. But seeing as Blizzard hasn’t given us a new franchise in seventeen years, and the company certainly knows a thing or two about competitive online games, Overwatch looks as if it’ll stand out in the crowd.
This first-person, squad-based shooter consists of six-on-six matches that place an emphasis on teams working together to meet objectives. The cartoony graphics make Overwatch look amazing, but it’s the roster of characters that are its biggest draw. There’ll be 21 heroes at launch - spread across four classes each with their own abilities – that players will be able to switch between during a match. Plus, Blizzard has promised that any new characters and maps that arrive after its release will be added to the game for free.
- Release date: December 2016 (hopefully)
- Genre: RPG, Action
- Buy if you like: Mass Effect games, Dragon Age series, sexy aliens
Even though there is very little information regarding Mass Effect: Andromeda, the fact it carries the name of the greatest trilogy ever to appear on the PC makes it one of the most anticipated games of 2016. Barring the controversial ending of the third game, the RPG space opera series will live on in the memory of all who played it. There’s a reason Mass Effect 2 is often voted the greatest PC game of all time.
What we do know about Andromeda is that it’s set in an unexplored part of the universe, long after Commander Shepherd’s story concluded. In addition to a new protagonist, the six-wheeled all-terrain Mako will return from the first game. Though this will probably be a new version that’s easier to steer. Rumors say you’ll play the part of an explorer trying to establish a new home for humanity, in a game world that’s four times the size of Mass Effect 3. Whatever the details, you can expect the all the elements that make the Mass Effect games so great: a brilliant story, fantastic writing, and superb combat. Don’t be surprised to find a bigger emphasis on the multiplayer section this time round, too.
- Release date: April 12 (worldwide)
- Genre: Action RPG,
- Buy if you like: Dark Souls games, Bloodborne, dying constantly, frustration
For all you masochists who just can’t get enough of seeing the words “YOU DIED” plastered across your monitor, Dark Souls 3 is almost upon us. The fourth installment (counting Demon’s Souls) of what is often regarded as the most difficult series ever made will bring more frustrating/rewarding gameplay.
After Souls 2 wasn’t as universally adored as its predecessors, director Hidetaka Miyazaki was given a more prominent role for this game. Doubtlessly looking at how successful Bloodborne has been on the PS4, Souls 4 has introduced some faster, slicker, and smoother combat. It’s also been given a visual polish, has bigger maps and more character options, and will release the same time as the console versions. While some fans are concerned that the game is now too ‘accessible,’ don’t worry - it’s still as hard as ever.
- Release date: 2016
- Genre: cRPG
- Buy if you like: Planescape: Torment, Pillars of Eternity, purple, reading.
For some PC fans, Planescape: Torment is not only the best RPG of all time, but it's also the best-written game ever to appear on the platform. Despite being almost 17 years old, Planescape has one of the greatest stories ever to grace a video game. After a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013, it looks as if we'll finally get to see the full spiritual successor to the classic cRPG in 2016 - Torment: Tides of Numenera.
Like its 1999 predecessor, Numenera will be a story-driven, isometric RPG that's heavy on the dialogue. The combat promises to be something unique, and the moral choices that deeply affect every part of the game are said to make Tides of Numenera a highly replayable experience. The game's available in an Early Access form on Steam right now, so if you can't wait for the full version, go take a look.