With the eighth generation of consoles upon us, it’s time to get excited. Very excited. E3 last year was all about introducing the new hardware and the early titles that are going to dominate the early lifespans of the consoles, but throughout this year, we will see official announcements of HUGE new installments in some of the biggest franchises gaming has to offer — at E3, on the cover of Game Informer, and at other events.
None of these games have been announced in an official capacity. It seems obvious that some (or most, even) are in development, but right now all we have to work on are rumors and unofficial leaks. These 10 games represent the most exciting (potential) sequels in the gaming industry right now. Every single one of them has the potential to push millions of next-gen consoles into the arms of gamers, from the Wii U to the PS4 to the Xbox One to PC and even to the Steam Machines.
So let’s get excited!
10. EarthBound 2
The release timeline of the EarthBound series is a little confusing. There was the original, which was never released outside of Japan and was called “Mother”. Then the sequel, Mother 2, or EarthBound here in the states, was released to extremely high critical and fan reception, but very poor sales.
At one point, a sequel was in development for Nintendo 64. The project had to be scrapped, and instead the curator of the series, Shigesato Itoi, was allowed to tell his story in the Game Boy Advance version of the Nintendo 64 game, entitled Mother 3 in Japan. This sequel never made it stateside.
So what form could an “EarthBound 2″ take? Well, there are many possibilities. It could potentially retell the story of Mother 3, with three dimensional graphics like the Wii U so it could more resemble the original Nintendo 64 version. Or it could be a brand new experience entirely.
Nintendo re-released the original EarthBound on the Wii U’s Virtual Console just a few months ago, which marked a monumental occasion for fans since Nintendo has outright refused to re-release the game in any capacity until now since it originally launched on the Super Nintendo in cartridge form.
Hardcore gamers like to poke fun at Wii U right now, but if Nintendo were to announce EarthBound 2 as a Wii U exclusive, I have no doubts that a lot of them would change their tune rather quickly.
09. Jak 4
Please Naughty Dog. For the love of all that is PlayStation, give us Jak 4. A lot of hardcore PlayStation fans would rather have Crash Bandicoot from Naughty Dog, but with Activision owning the rights to the series, that is a very unlikely scenario. Instead I’d rather see Naughty Dog return to the franchise that helped make the PS2 a mega hit back in the sixth generation, the Jak and Daxter series.
The franchise has proven very important to Sony, with the characters being featured prominently in numerous crossover games such as PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, and the spinoffs that have been made for PSP and PS2 outside of the Naughty Dog offices.
Having been through numerous harrowing adventures as Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, and having gone through the horrible hells in The Last of Us, I think it would be nice to see Naughty Dog return to a franchise that is much more lighthearted and a lot less heartbreaking.
Plus, it ends with the number “4″. Come on! PS4. Jak 4. Nintendo would be having a fit at this point, they love matching the titles of their games with their console!
08. Grand Theft Auto VI
This would be higher up on the list, but we JUST had Grand Theft Auto V and Rockstar is still supporting that game through online updates, story expansion DLC on the way in the future, and in other capacities as well. However, I think I speak for just about everyone when I say that the possibilities of an eighth gen GTA VI on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 has me extremely excited.
After the massive leap that we saw from Grand Theft Auto 2 to Grand Theft Auto III, and then from San Andreas to Grand Theft Auto IV, it’s really impossible to even imagine what form Grand Theft Auto VI might take. Expect a massive open world game that will push gaming storytelling and gaming hardware to their limits. Expect a multitude of perfect scores across the board from numerous gaming publications. Expect Grand Theft Auto.
07. The Elder Scrolls VI
Again, this would be higher up the list if it wasn’t for the fact that Bethesda just recently wrapped up their DLC support of Skyrim last year, and a new Elder Scrolls game is coming out in 2014. However, The Elder Scrolls Online certainly isn’t The Elder Scrolls VI. Elder Scrolls Online is an MMORPG that is set in the Elder Scrolls universe; that’s all fine and good, but it is not a true Elder Scrolls VI.
As is the case with Grand Theft Auto VI, it is truly impossible to even imagine what Elder Scrolls VI may look like when it is finally announced at some point down the road, inevitably for PCs, Xbox Ones, and PlayStation 4 systems. However, as a major fan of the series, I can’t help but speculate.
We’ve been exploring the continent of Tamriel (and a couple of other dimensions as well) for many games in the Elder Scrolls series now, having seen just about everything that there is to offer on the continent. We’ve traveled from the swampy marshlands of Morrowind to the bustling cities of Cyrodiil to the harsh winters of Skyrim, and many other places.
I would like Elder Scrolls VI to leave the continent of Tamriel behind and take players to the continent of Akavir. Akavir is a continent that has been in conflict with Tamriel repeatedly throughout the history of the in-game world, with players able to learn about it by reading the various tomes that can be found littered around the worlds in the Elder Scrolls games.
The possible settings in Akavir are endless. The races, from the vampiric serpent people called the Tsaesci to the peaceful Tang Mo monkey people, could be a nice change of pace from the usual string of races that players are forced to choose from in the game. If Bethesda won’t take us to Akavir in Elder Scrolls VI, I can only hope that they do let us explore the region in some game some day down the line…
06. Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 6 was a pretty massive letdown for a major Resident Evil fan like myself. I’ve been relatively obsessed with the series ever since its inception over 15 years ago, and I’ve watch it grown from one of the best survival-horror franchises to one of the most exciting action franchises to one of the most dull action franchises.
A major problem with the series right now is that it has lost its roots. Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 were major departures from the survival-horror roots of the franchise, but they benefited by still being phenomenal games in their own right. Resident Evil 6 was just a smorgasbord of nonsense, made up of some of the most ridiculous and worst ideas in the history of the development of the franchise.
Resident Evil 7 may also mark the final opportunity for Capcom to redeem themselves. The company has had financial difficulties lately due to games not reaching their intended sales targets. Not only that, but they have drawn the ire of many fans due to their mishandling of core franchises, namely Mega Man and obviously Resident Evil.
Capcom obviously can’t create Resident Evil 7 in the image of Resident Evil 6, which was an over the top action game that featured globe-trotting protagonists, terrible storylines, and boring, shooter-based level design. Perhaps they will find more luck mimicking the better received Resident Evil: Revelations, which was so well liked by critics and fans that Capcom decided to upgrade it to consoles last year.
It’s likely not a coincidence that Resident Evil: Revelations happened to be more successful than Resident Evil 6, and it also happened to have a lot of the elements that could be found in the older installments in the series. Resident Evil 7 is going to be one of the most talked about games in history, because the way that Capcom handles it could very well decide their fate by the end of this generation.
05. The Last of Us 2
The Last of Us is one of my favorite games of all time, namely because it scratched an itch that Resident Evil 6 simply did not. The Last of Us combines elements of classic survival-horror titles with Naughty Dog’s signature storytelling capabilities and elements of the stealth genre. It encourages exploration, ammo conservation, and engrossing oneself with two of the most well-realized characters in the history of storytelling, and I don’t throw words around like that lightly.
What direction could a possible sequel to The Last of Us take? Like with most of the games on this list, there are many possibilities. Really endless ones. The Last of Us 2 could pick up the story of the protagonists right where they left off, but I think that might upset fans that found the ending to be absolutely perfect with what the story the game was telling and the characters that it was creating, myself included.
The Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic world. This type of setting is ripe for many different kinds of stories that can be told with many different types of character and in many different locations across the globe. Sony has a franchise on their hands of gigantic proportions, and I think the buzz surrounding The Last of Us 2 would alone be enough to give them a significant edge against the competition.
04. Metroid Prime 4
Unfortunately, the Metroid Prime games don’t pull as big of numbers as Nintendo would like, so that’s why Retro has been mainly handling the Donkey Kong Country series for the last few years. That, and they want to do Donkey Kong (and they’re doing a pretty damn good job at it, by the way), but that is besides the point.
At this juncture, Nintendo really needs to focus on selling the Wii U to the hardcore gaming community. The casual crowd that was around for Wii Sports and the like are gone; they’ve moved on to tap on birds on the screens of their phones. The hardcore gaming community, the people that bought the Nintendo consoles before the Wii era (and during the Wii era), are still around.
Most of them even grew up with Nintendo and WANT Nintendo to give them a reason to buy the Wii U, but the big N has not done a very good job of stating the Wii U’s case to the hardcore gaming crowd. There have been a few exclusive gems, such as ZombiU and Super Mario 3D World, but Nintendo is going to have to bring out the big guns, and they’re going to have to do it soon.
Metroid Prime is the answer. The first three Metroid Prime games were huge critical darlings, with the first one in the series remaining as one of the highest rated games of all time. The Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Wii, which slightly updated the visuals and added motion control support, sold out very quickly and is now an extremely popular collectible item.
And if they refuse to have Retro develop another Metroid Prime game, then can they please be given the reigns of Star Fox? Pretty please with sugar on top?
03. Red Dead Redemption 2
I didn’t really want to repeat developers on here (though it happened four times — whoops!), but Rockstar Games makes more than just Grand Theft Auto games. In fact, they are responsible for the greatest western in gaming history to date, Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption features a gorgeous open world, realistic Old West communities, a wonderful cast of characters, and one of the most emotionally charged stories in gaming. There is a moment near the end that, if I made a list of the most shocking moments in the history of gaming, it’d be right near the top.
I dumped so many hours into Red Dead Redemption that it’s ridiculous. Now I can’t wait to see what Rockstar can do if they bring the franchise to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. There have been rumors that Rockstar already has the game in development. An employee had a “sequel to a popular franchise” from Rockstar on their resume, and it could be anything from Grand Theft Auto VI to Bully 2 to what I hope it is, a sequel to Red Dead Redemption.
02. Fallout 4
Fallout 4 exists. We know that much, but Bethesda has yet to officially acknowledge it or announce the game. Leaked documents have shown that the game is set in Boston, but that’s really all we know about it at this point.
Simply put, I cannot wait for Fallout 4. Fallout 3 remains one of my favorite games of all time. I’ve played through it start to finish multiple times, and just recently started a new save so I can experience all of the expansion packs that were released for it that I missed out on over the years. I expect to put in well over another hundred hours into the game; that’s how addicting it is.
Like the other games on the list, what makes me excited about Fallout 4 is the potential that it can have on eighth generation systems. I can’t wait to see how the American Wasteland is going to look on the next-generation. I can’t wait to see how much better the game will run, with likely shorter load times and less technical issues. I can’t wait to see all the new gameplay features and mechanics that Bethesda dreams up that simply weren’t possible on the previous generation of consoles.
Fallout 4 was almost my #1 game on the list. Then I remembered that Fallout 4 minus the #1 spot equaled 3. And of course, that confirmed:
01. Half-Life 3
The sequel that the Internet has been begging for since 2004, Half-Life 3 is easily one of the most highly anticipated games in history if not THE most highly anticipated game of all time.
Half-Life 3 has potential to completely shake the gaming industry to its core. Valve has been smart about playing their cards close to their chest so that they don’t go through a Duke Nukem situation where they just keep endlessly delaying the game. Half-Life 3 does not exist yet. It may be in development (hell, it probably IS in development), but when Valve does finally confirm it, don’t be surprised if all the servers hosting the video gaming message boards simultaneously explode.
There are many reasons to be excited for a (potential) Half-Life 3 game. Chief among them is resolution to the story cliffhanger that we were left off at the conclusion of the Half-Life 2 expansion, Half-Life 2: Episode Two. It will also be wonderful to see how Valve continues to innovate within the first-person shooter genre and push gaming boundaries forward, just like they did with Half-Life 2.
So, please, Mr. Newell. Please, Valve. Bring Gordon Freeman back to us. He has unfinished business. Plus, if you made Half-Life 3 a Steam Machine exclusive, you’re likely to put the other three console manufacturers out of business within the week.
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Which potential sequels are you looking forward to this generation? Agree with the list? Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!