The 5 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2015

By January 1, 2015
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We already named our 5 best games of 2014, but now that we’ve reached the new year, it becomes clear that there are a lot of new video game experiences to look forward to for 2015. With major blockbuster titles hitting all of the major consoles, including returning franchises and new IPs, 2015 has the potential to be one of the most eventful years of the current generation of consoles. Now that we’re getting into the second full year that the newest game hardware is available on all fronts, developers will have started to gain more of a knack for developing on the newer video game machines, but they’re also going to be putting out some of their proven franchises strictly on the new generation.

While 2014 was something of a transitional year for video games, in which blockbusters appeared on both the old gen consoles as well as the new gen. Games like Call of Duty: Advanced WarfareTitanfallFar Cry 4, and sports games like Madden, and all-ages games like the Lego series were all released on at least one new gen and one old gen console, but 2015 will likely see less of this. So, without further ado, here are our top 5 most anticipated video games of 2015.

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, releasing late this year, is certainly one of the last definitive Nintendo franchises that  has to make its way to Wii U.

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, releasing late this year, is certainly one of the last definitive Nintendo franchises that has to make its way to Wii U.

5) The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

Although we don’t know its full title yet, any new iteration of The Legend of Zelda franchise almost always automatically becomes one of the most anticipated video games of the year because of the franchise’s impeccable track record. On top of these things, Zelda is finally making the transition into high definition for a new iteration, and the brief looks we’ve managed to glean from the Wii U entry of the Zelda series looks genuinely extraordinary. For the first time in the series, a massively open world is at the player’s fingertips, with a distant mountain being an actual destination that you can take Link to. Locomotion is also finely crafted, with the ability to glide long distances and hop on your horse and race away at great speeds.

In the post-Skyrim age of the open world game, Zelda has a lot to live up to in both that regard, as well as in living up to previous iterations of its own franchise. However you slice it, Zelda has a lot of expectation behind it, and its quite possible that it will go on to become one of the biggest games released in 2015.

The Legend of Zelda on Wii U will likely arrive sometime in November.

Halo 5 looks like it wants to be a major and substantive addition to the storied franchise in both story and gameplay.

Halo 5 looks like it wants to be a major and substantive addition to the storied franchise in both story and gameplay.

4) Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)

The next chapter in the definitive Xbox franchise, Halo 5 will be quite a departure from what we’ve seen before from both a narrative and gameplay perspective. Story-wise, the Master Chief is being pursued by the UNSC for apparently going AWOL, and they send another SPARTAN soldier, Jameson Locke (main character of Halo: Nightfall), to track the Chief down and bring him in. While some of the story beats were hinted at in the new cutscenes made for Halo 2 Anniversary, there’s a lot of room left to explore, and that’s where the story for the new game comes in. After losing one of the principle characters of the series at the end of 2012’s Halo 4, the story of the Master Chief’s deviation from his orders likely has something to do with the loss of that character.

Gameplay-wise, Halo 5 will be adding quite a few new mechanics to the overall feel of how it plays, with the addition of new mechanics making their first appearance to the series in this upcoming game. While we already discussed some of these in our early look at the Halo 5 beta, since we got to see these things nearly a full year before the game will be released, there will likely be a lot more polish applied to the final product. Halo is one of the single biggest franchises of the modern era of video gaming, which places it automatically near the top of the list for forthcoming games.

Halo 5: Guardians will be released this coming November.

One of the most unique-looking shooters proposed for the year, Splatoon should scratch peoples' itch for a new IP on Nintendo's latest home console.

One of the most unique-looking shooters proposed for the year, Splatoon should scratch peoples’ itch for a new IP on Nintendo’s latest home console.

3) Splatoon (Wii U)

One of the oft-mentioned critiques of Nintendo’s Wii U centered on the fact that it didn’t do a lot in facilitating the release of new intellectual properties. Most people perceived Nintendo’s latest console to merely recycle many of its old franchises, but that perception was changed byNintendo’s presentation at E3 2014 when they announced Splatoon: a family-friendly third-person multiplayer shooter that has an emphasis on competitive play, without falling into the same trappings of a Halo or Call of Duty. While you could likely call Splatoon “cute,” it also looks immensely fun.

Splatoon looks like it’ll be one of the more unique games coming out in 2015, and that makes the Wii U a very appropriate platform for it to be released on. With a great emphasis on team-based competition, some creative use of transformation and locomotion, and an overall fun-looking atmosphere, Splatoon should be agreat addition to the Wii U’s game library for the year.

Splatoon will be released in Q2 2015, likely this summer.

Returning from a long absence, Star Wars Battlefront will arrive on the new generation of consoles this holiday.

Returning from a long absence, Star Wars Battlefront will arrive on the new generation of consoles this holiday.

2) Star Wars Battlefront

Although Star Wars fans have had to endure the death of LucasArts, the game development studio that’s been responsible for the vast majority of the franchise’s interactive experiences, the new deal between Disney and EA to make brand new Star Wars video games came with some very solid news: the beloved series Star Wars Battlefront will be returning on the new generation of consoles this year, in conjunction with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

While we don’t know too much about the specific content to be found in the new Battlefront, we do know that it will be developed by Dice. Dice is the same studio that developed the popular Battlefield series for EA, and they’re using the “Frostbite” engine from that series to power the new iteration of Battlefront. The game will be the first major Star Wars video game since the sale of Lucasfilm, and it should be promising considering the power of new hardware, and the history of the studio in developing popular first-person shooters.

Star Wars Battlefront will be released this coming holiday season.

Promising to be the biggest Batman video game yet, Arkham Knight will add an entirely new layer to the experience of being the Dark Knight.

Promising to be the biggest Batman video game yet, Arkham Knight will add an entirely new layer to the experience of being the Dark Knight.

1) Batman: Arkham Knight

The final chapter of Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: Arkham series, Arkham Knight will be a continuation and conclusion of the story told in 2011’s highly popular Batman: Arkham City, and will react to a Gotham City that is under siege by both the Scarecrow and a mysterious new enemy with an army at his disposal. Promising to be a “gauntlet” of sorts for the Dark Knight, the new game will likely go out with a bang as it introduces one of the most definitive Batman elements to the Arkham formula: the car.

The Batmobile will be a major component of the transportation and combat of the overall game, and will allow players to traverse a much larger Gotham City in ways that could only be imagined in previous games due to the imposed hardware limitations. Arkham Knight is easily one of the most anticipated video games of 2015, and because of the proven results of the first two games in the series, its too hard not to put this one at the top of our list.

Batman: Arkham Knight will be released on June 2nd, 2015.

 

So, that’s where we stand! What are the year’s most anticipated games for you? Be sure to leave a comment below, and we hope that your new year is a happy one!

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.