Over 1,000 VG247 readers have cast their votes for the most anticipated games of 2015. Did your favourite make the cut?
After telling us your games of 2014, we asked for your thoughts on the games you're most excited about this year. What we got was a list with a few surprises and proof that 2015 is going to be a strong year for video games. The trickle of new releases starts in a few weeks and by Easter it should turn into a real stream. So let's get on with it: here are the 10 most anticipated games of 2015.
10 - Halo 5: Guardians
Format: Xbox One
The only Xbox One exclusive on the list, Halo 5: Guardians is already putting in hard work with a beta running ahead of its release in the autumn. Halo: The Master Chief Collection was a disappointment last year - not for the size of the package but the disastrous online launch - so we have to ask if lessons will have been learnt by the time Guardians comes around.
Much has changed for Halo 5. The multiplayer has smart scoping, ground pound and thrusters, but the single player campaign is also getting a significant makeover. This time it's not all about Master Chief, as developer 343 Industries introduces Spartan Locke and his quest to hunt down the green-armoured hero. It could be a brave move to mess with series lore like that. Is Locke going to be as significant to Guardians as the Arbiter was to Halo 2?
09 - Grand Theft Auto V
Release: January 27
Could Grand Theft Auto V spend the third year in a row at the top of the charts? Already released on old-gen and new-gen consoles, the PC release will likely be the first big hit of the year. It features all the changes we saw for the Xbox One and PS4 release, including the first-person perspective, but one of the biggest reasons to get it on PC is to see what the modding community will do to Rockstar's classic.
08 - The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Format: Wii U
It's been almost two years since Nintendo first began talking about a Zelda game for the Wii U, and we finally got to see some of it at E3 last year. We'd expect to see the game in detail this June for a release at the end of the year, but nothing can be taken for granted and Nintendo isn't likely to rush this one.
There's not a lot known about The Legend of Zelda Wii U other than its open world should allow the player more freedom than previous games with producer/director Eiji Aonuma promising to reinvent other series elements too; dungeons and puzzle-solving in particular. We’ll have to wait to see that that means for the final game, but whatever form the game takes it should also give the Wii U a much needed boost in popularity.
07 - Bloodborne
Release: March 24
Bloodborne is seen by many as a true Dark Souls successor, and early buzz around the game is extremely positive. Miyazaki's touch is all over this game, from its twisted gothic horror to its hardened combat. Bloodborne is expected to be a supremely polished experience when it releases in February, and it could be one of the big new franchises for the PlayStation 4.
06 - No Man's Sky
So that's two PS4 exclusives in the top 10 and both of them are brand new IP. Encouraging for Sony and PlayStation fans.
But where Bloodborne has Miyazaki's legacy to back it up, No Man's Sky is riding much more on promises and potential. There's no doubt the maker of Joe Danger has talent, but can it deliver an ambitious space exploration experience without the traditional video game goals?
05 - Tom Clancy's The Division
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
There's life in the Tom Clancy brand, clearly, and hunger for something new from a shooter. Ubisoft's co-op online shooter gives us flashbacks to IO's Freedom Fighters, as players scrape together resources to battle and survive in a broken near-future world. The concept is rock solid and the game play should be familiar.
If there's any doubts it's with the publisher's most recent bumbled release; Assassin's Creed Unity was a buggy mess. Will that make people more cautious of a game like The Division, which relies so heavily on an online infrastructure?
04 - Star Wars: Battlefront
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: Holiday 2015
DICE can't fuck this one up. Coming out the same year as The Force Awakens, the new Star Wars: Battlefront game has a lot to live up to in terms of gameplay and fan expectations. The studio has visited the movie locations, hugged the original props and is making the game most developers would give Luke's severed hand for. Anything less than a stellar Star Wars game isn't going to cut it. This needs to be so much more than Battlefield in Star Wars clothing.
03 - Battlefield Hardline
Format: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release: March 17
Despite the protestations that Hardline isn't a true Battlefield game, interest in it seems to be as high as any other release in the series. Whether that's because fans are genuinely excited about a new direction for Battlefield or are expecting a car crash we don't yet know, but we're pumped for some Bad Boys-style action all the same.
The cops and robbers dynamic puts an interesting spin on the multiplayer and the single player game sounds cheesy but fun. If the development delays really have been put to good use, there's no reason why Hardline can't work its way into affections in the same way the Bad Company games did.
02 - Project CARS
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U
Release: March 20
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the top ten most anticipated list is Slightly Mad's Project CARS. Maybe it's time for a new racing franchise to capture the imagination of motorsport fans, as this sim is firmly in the Gran Turismo/Forza camp emphasising real over arcade racing.
There's no doubt Project CARS looks splendid but it has a lot of heavyweight competitors to go up against, all of which have very loyal fans. Maybe Project CARS can stand out in that niche market and become a new racing brand for a new generation - we'll see when the game is released in March.
01 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: May 19
It's no surprise that CD Projekt Red's RPG is top of the most anticipated list - it's been delayed, it's been teased, it's been in development for what seems like forever, and yet there's nothing but excitement for it. Why?
It's a very traditional single-player role-playing game where you play as only two different characters. There's no massive online world, nor endless character customisation options. You play as Geralt and Ciri and you better damn-well be happy with that.
The real difference for Wild Hunt compared to previous Witcher games is that it's an open world. And it looks absolutely gorgeous. This is The Witcher game that CD Projekt says it always wanted to make, so it's on this stage that Geralt and friends must prove themselves when the game is released in May. The first half of this year is going to be all about The Witcher 3. We'll bring you hands-on impressions of the game real soon...