Put aside those gripes about Nintendo ignoring its older franchises and retro gameplay--this gorgeous-looking 2D Kirby platformer is full of clever graphics effects and, hopefully, inventive level designs.
Microsoft's Kinect will need some help to convince gamers that its controller-free setup can do more than make people look foolish. Harmonix's pop-club dance title could be the cool kid among the Kinect launch games this November.
One of the most unique games seen at E3 this year was a dark adventure-action game featuring Mickey Mouse, made by the same person who created Deus Ex. Don't expect a standard platformer, but there are still great levels based on classic Disney history and animation, like the Steamboat Willie interlude to the left.
2008's Fallout 3 had more downloadable episodes than we can count, but this fall Bethesda is unveiling a standalone sequel set in the same post-apocalyptic universe. The catch? It's in Vegas. Sign us up.
Tom Clancy games used to dominate next-gen systems, and after a long period of dormancy, they're back. Like the previous Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter games, Future Soldier focuses on gritty near-future shooting tactics, expanding its worldview beyond Mexico and allowing co-op teams.
The excitement preceding the release of new Halo games may have been dampened by last year's smaller-scale Halo: ODST, but Reach is the fourth and final Halo game, according to Bungie. Although it's technically a prequel to the original Halo, its epic scale and space dogfighting segments should restore some of Halo's glory.
From the same game developers who created Flow and Flower, the jarring images we've seen so far of Journey suggest a deserted landscape and haunting moods. The online downloadable game will feature lone players meeting up in lonely vistas that remind us of Shadow of the Colossus. Expect emotional, unique ideas here.
It isn't Grand Theft Auto, but 2K's 1950s-themed mafia epic could be the immersive, cinematic surprise hit of the summer. At the least, it should provide what we expected from those Godfather games in the first place.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (360, PS3)--Q2 2011
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was one of the best franchise mash-up fighters ever made. Over 10 years later, Capcom is finally releasing a sequel with the sort of graphic polish seen in Street Fighter IV. If you remember the excellent Wii game Tatsunoku vs. Capcom, you can expect more of that same style here. Hulk vs. Blanka? We're sold.
PC-only games are a rarity nowadays, but this well-produced shooter/racer from Id and Bethesda is one of the exceptions from E3 2010. It trots out the same post-apocalyptic desert setting we're starting to grow tired of in games, but at least it's not a sequel.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)--TBA 2011
Nintendo's first Wii Zelda game since Twilight Princess takes advantage of the more accurate Wii MotionPlus accessory for better archery and sword-and-shield fighting. Knowing Shigeru Miyamoto and the Zelda games, we're sure a lot of other innovative new control ideas will be introduced.
Bulletstorm is an over-the-top shooter that rewards players based on their precision and ability to eliminate enemies in a strategic fashion. Billed as a thinking-man's first person shooter, Bulletstorm promises to deliver eye-popping visuals coupled with a new spin on a classic genre.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (360, PS3) & Harmony of Despair (XBLA)
Two new Castlevania games are set to grace us this year. It's been quite a while since we've had new content from this franchise, and each of these titles offer new takes on a winning formula. While Harmony of Despair will focus on the arcade multiplayer side of things, Lords of Shadow injects new life into the series by bringing things into 3D action.
The latest tale in the Fable series is ambitious as ever, putting the player in the role of the child in Fable II. As with every game in the franchise, every decision you make has an ultimate effect on your character and quest to be the ruler of Albion.
Very little is known about this Metal Gear sequel, other than it features Raiden as opposed to Snake. Swordplay is the main focus, including ridiculous slicing and dicing of enemies, trucks, and fruit.
Making its long-awaited return to home consoles, Goldeneye will offer gamers a taste of the classic gameplay that made the original so beloved. Four-player split screen is back, hands-down the most iconic of the now-legendary multiplayer experience.
Nintendo debuted the 3DS portable gaming system at E3, but surprised us when Kid Icarus was announced as one of the debut franchises to kick off the system's release. We don't know much about the game, but judging from the videos we've seen, Uprising looks to be a brand new take on the 20-plus-year-old adventure game.
Mario and friends debut a handful of sports we've yet to see attempted in such a game. Hockey, volleyball, basketball (among others) are all playable in this compilation, complete with a Nintendo spin that makes them perfect for multiplayer.
Michael Jackson: The Game (multiplatform)--Q4 2010
Ubisoft announced that the King of Pop will live on in an interactive video game for various platforms. Players will learn some of the classic dance moves made famous by the artist using motion control where applicable. As long as we can learn the "Thriller" dance, we'll definitely be picking this one up.
The most recognized fighting franchise of all time returns to consoles and its roots by bringing back 2D-inspired game play and the classic fatalities that made the series so infamous. Core fans of Mortal Kombat have been begging for a reboot, and it looks like this is the answer.
Arguably one 2008's best games of the year, Dead Space introduced us to a new type of horror. Fantastic graphics and innovative gravity effects made the original Dead Space and instant classic. In January 2011, the franchise returns as Issac Clarke must take on more necromorphs and ugly enemies.
EA is resurrecting the classic arcade 2-on-2 basketball game exclusively for the Nintendo Wii. Complete with classic gameplay and some new motion control additions, NBA Jam is set to capture audiences new and old.
The Sorcery demo at Sony's E3 press conference was our favorite of all the Move-compatible games. Players use their Move controller as a wand to cast various spells and attack enemies. The apprentice can also drink potions that will transform him into various creatures, giving access to hidden areas.
Twisted Metal headlined the Sony press conference at E3, teasing us with a few minutes of live gameplay.
Heading up the project is David Jaffe, the man responsible for God of War, so we think the longest-running
franchise on PlayStation is in good hands.
Based on the classic turn-based strategy games of the same name, XCOM has now evolved into a suspenseful first-person shooter. Set in a fictionalized American 1950s, XCOM has players smack in the middle of what appears to be an alien invasion.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (multiplatform)--October 26, 2010
This follow-up to one of our favorite Star Wars games introduces more force powers and dual lightsabers. Players will once again assume the role of Starkiller and face hordes of enemies and insurmountable odds in this action-heavy sequel.
The original Portal was a breakout hit when it was included in Valve Software's Orange Box bundle as a bonus game. Since then, the title has evolved into a gaming phenomenon thanks to its mysterious story, unique puzzle gameplay, and lovable electronic villain. Portal 2, the full-length sequel, will hit consoles in 2011.