10: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Last time a Counter-Strike game was released was almost 8 years ago, back in 2004. Despite its age, a lot of gamers still play Counter-Strike, it’s one of the purest shooters on the market today, and even the decade old Counter Strike 1.6 has an avid player base. This year, we’re getting the long awaited sequel, called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which will hit all major platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Mac OS X. Release date: May.
9: Max Payne 3
No other games have been able to pull off the neo-noir style like Max Payne and Max Payne 2. Max Payne 3 will bring many changes, chief of which is the setting: Max Payne has left New York and, as Rockstar puts it, has “drifted from bad to worse”. Release date: March.
8: Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 is the final game in the BioWare’s sci-fi series, and as expected, continues from where Mass Effect 2 left off. Mass Effect 3 will feature refined combat, and will offer a multiplayer co-op mode as well. Release date: March.
7: Mario Party 9
The Mario Party series spans 14 games, and 2012 will see the 15th entry in the franchise — a franchise that has sold over 50 million units worldwide. Mario Party 9 for the Wii brings back the usual cast of Mario, Luigi, and some 30 other playable characters. On top of that, Mario Party 9 will feature 30 mini games as well. Release date: March.
6: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is set between Metal Gear Solid 2 and MGS 4, and follows Raiden, a Katana-wielding cyborg ninja. Let’s repeat that again: you’ll be playing as a Katana-wielding cyborg ninja. What else is there to say? Release date: November.
5: Hitman Absolution
We haven’t seen much from the Hitman series for over half a decade since Hitman: Blood Money was released. The new game is called Hitman Absolution, but details of the story and setting are vague at this point. All we know is that it’s built using a brand new engine, and that Agent 47 is finally back in action. Release date: July.
4: Halo 4
Halo 4 is the first Halo game not developed by Bungie, which means the pressure on developer 343 Industries is immense. Halo 4 is set right after Halo 3, and marks the return of Master Chief as the main protagonist. Release date: September.
3: BioShock Infinite
The prequel to what’s arguably one of the best games of the 2000s, BioShock Infinite takes place several decades before BioShock, and centers around the floating city of Columbia. Release date: September.
2: Diablo 3
It’s been over a decade since we’ve last seen anything from the Diablo franchise. Diablo 3 will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors, and focus on dungeon crawling and hack and slash gameplay. With five different character classes, tons of dungeons, and PVP combat as well, Diablo 3 is the most anticipated RPG of the year.
Release date: July.
1: Grand Theft Auto V
There are popular game franchises, and then there are popular game franchises. And then there’s Grand Theft Auto, a series that has sold over 120 million copies to date. Grand Theft Auto 5 returns to Los Angeles, or rather “Los Santos”, as the fictional city is called. Expect tons of missions, cars, weapons, and may, just maybe, a bowling mini-game. Release date: October.