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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Alan Wake's American Nightmare (XBLA)

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (360, PS3)

Resident Evil Revelations (3DS)

Inversion (360, PS3)

The Darkness II (360, PS3, PC)

SSX (360, PS3)

Twisted Metal (PS3)

Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita)

Escape Plan (Vita)

Syndicate (360, PS3, PC)

Max Payne 3 (360, PS3, PC)

Mass Effect 3 (360, PS3, PC)

XCOM (360, PS3, PC)

Ghost Recon Future Soldier (360, PS3, PC)

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD (XBLA, PSN)

Tomb Raider (360, PS3, PC)

Call of Duty: Whatever (360, PS3, PC)

Halo 4 (360)

BioShock Infinite (360, PS3, PC)

Lollipop Chainsaw (360, PS3)

Borderlands 2 (360, PS3, PC)

Diablo III (PC)

Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)

Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)

The Last Guardian (PS3)

Darksiders II (360, PS3, PC)

Metro: Last Light (360, PS3, PC)

Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance (360, PS3)

Paper Mario (3DS)

Prey 2 (360, PS3, PC)

This download-only follow-up to Alan Wake focuses more on the action, where the original concentrated more on story. In American Nightmare, Wake is up against his evil twin, Mr. Scratch, in this pulp-inspired spin-off.

Developer: Remedy
Expected release date: Q1 2012
Caption by / Photo by Remedy
Say it with me, "Final Fantasy Thirteen-Two." This highly anticipated title is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, preserving that game's storyline and most of the same characters.

Developer: Square Enix
Expected release date: January 31
Caption by / Photo by Square Enix
Resident Evil Revelations looks like it'll be the closest thing we'll ever get to another true Resident Evil 4 sequel. Best of all, it'll be available in the portable variety.

Developer: Capcom
Expected release date: February 7
Caption by / Photo by Capcom
Inversion makes our list because the game makes use of some interesting gravity effects. From what we've played so far, the mind-altering gameplay will provide some truly unique scenarios that go well beyond the average third-person shooter.

Developer: Saber Interactive
Expected release date: February 7
Caption by / Photo by Saber Interactive
We've gotten to see a lot of The Darkness II these past few months and it's shaping up to be a compelling sequel. Back with a new art style, The Darkness II also boasts quad-wielding, which lets the player use four appendages for maximum carnage.

Developer: Digital Extremes
Expected release date: February 7
Caption by / Photo by Digital Extremes
The SSX franchise won over action sports gamers during its run on the last generation of consoles, and now EA Canada is bringing the game back to its roots.

Developer: EA Canada
Expected release date: February 14
Caption by / Photo by EA Canada
Sweet Tooth and company make their triumphant return to the combat derby universe with new cars, new levels, tons of destructibility, and insane online multiplayer modes.

Developer: Eat Sleep Play
Expected release date: February 14
Caption by / Photo by Eat Sleep Play
A portable version of Uncharted? Sign us up. Golden Abyss looks to lead the PlayStation Vita's launch lineup when it's released alongside the portable this February. Will Golden Abyss be the Vita's killer app?

Developer: Bend Studio
Expected release date: February 22
Caption by / Photo by Bend Studio
Escape Plan has flown mostly under the radar, but after a recent hands-on, we're really starting to get excited about this Vita launch title. In the game, players must navigate characters Laarg and Lil through various booby traps to progress.

Developer: Fun Bits
Expected release date: February 22
Caption by / Photo by Fun Bits
We're already impressed with what we've seen from Syndicate, the first-person relaunching of the franchise of the same name. A handful of futuristic weapons are at your disposal, in addition to neurological powers that allow mind-hacking.

Developer: Starbreeze
Expected release date: February 22
Caption by / Photo by Starbreeze
Max Payne 3 is looking like the true sequel loyal fans have been clamoring for. While some initial screenshots had us thinking otherwise, the third Payne game will feature everyone's favorite disgruntled cop in various new environments as well as some familiar ones.

Developer: Rockstar Games
Expected release date: March 6
Caption by / Photo by Rockstar Games
The Mass Effect trilogy ends here. For the last time players will suit up as Commander Shepard and take on the Reaper invasion.

Developer: Bioware
Expected release date: March 6
Caption by / Photo by Bioware
The franchise reboot XCOM impressed us at E3 2011 with its unique alternate-history alien invasion storyline and intense gameplay. Shooters are nothing new, but XCOM has enough originality to keep us anxiously waiting.

Developer: 2K Marin
Expected release date: March 6
Caption by / Photo by 2K Marin
The highly anticipated follow up to Ubisoft's fantastic tactical shooter is upon us. Future Soldier will give players a host of new technologically advanced weapons and gadgets to use on enemy forces.

Developer: Ubisoft
Expected release date: March 2012
Caption by / Photo by Ubisoft
Enough with the plastic skateboard accessories. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD brings the franchise back to its roots with a focus on chain-linking tricks and grinds for maximum points.

Developer: Robomodo
Expected release date: Summer 2012
Caption by / Photo by Robomondo
Tomb Raider will act as a relaunch of the series, allowing for a gritty retelling of Lara Croft's origin.

Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Expected release date: Q3 2012
Caption by / Photo by Crystal Dynamics
No shock here. Activision will publish a new Call of Duty game in 2012, and if the pattern of the last five years continues, it will see Treyarch coming in as the developer. Write down a bunch of military conflicts from the world's past, shuffle them up in a hat, pick one, and you've got the next Call of Duty game.

Developer: Most likely Treyarch
Expected release date: November 2012
Caption by
Halo developer Bungie has passed the reins over to 343 Industries for the next Halo game. Little is known about the next iteration of the now-legendary first-person shooter, but a late 2012 release is looking like a real possibility.

Developer: 343 Industries
Expected release date: Q4 2012
Caption by / Photo by Microsoft
It's tough to downplay the insane amount of hype that BioShock Infinite has around it, but it's one of the only game franchises that really deserves it. Because the original had such an engaging storyline, brilliant art direction, and fantastic gameplay, we can only assume BioShock Infinite will deliver in all these areas and more.

Developer: Irrational Games
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Irrational Games
From the developer that brought us No More Heroes and this year's sleeper hit Shadows of the Damned comes what is sure to be another trip never before experienced in a video game. Lollipop stars a chainsaw-wielding cheerleader who must take on a swarm of teenage zombies.

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Grasshoper Manufacture
The sequel to the highly addictive shoot-and-loot RPG with its distinctive cel-shaded art style will hit consoles and the PC in 2012.

Developer: Gearbox Software
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Gearbox Software
The third iteration of the immensely popular role-playing game is scheduled to hit in 2012 now that the beta has been pushed out.

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Blizzard Entertainment
Far Cry 3 really surprised us at E3 2011 with a great gameplay demo that teased the game's tropical locale. The yet-to-be-named habitat in which it takes place has a terrible secret that's making its citizens go crazy.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Ubisoft Montreal
The gaming world stood still as the Grand Theft Auto V trailer debuted a few weeks ago, shedding light on where the next game would take place. Now that the dust has settled, we're expecting to see GTA V next holiday season.

Developer: Rockstar North
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Rockstar North
It seems like we've been waiting for The Last Guardian forever, but all signs are pointing to 2012 as the year we finally get to play Fumito Ueda's latest epic. If Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are any indication of what to expect from The Last Guardian, PlayStation 3 owners are in for an amazing experience.

Developer: Team Ico
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Team Ico
The follow-up to 2010's surprise hit, Darksiders II will take place after the original and will give players the chance to control another member of the Four Horsemen.

Developer: Vigil Games
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Vigil Games
While Metro 2033 took a while to get going, the hype train is in full effect for Last Light, which continues the story of an underground civilization in post-apocalyptic Russia.

Developer: 4A Games
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by 4A Games
Just another title making its second appearance on a "most anticipated" list--all we know now about Metal Gear Solid Rising is that it's added "Revengeance" to its title. Chances we'll finally see it this year? Better than last year's.

Developer: Platinum Games
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Platinum Games
We've loved every Paper Mario game before, and the 3DS seems like the absolute perfect platform for a sequel. Look for this 2D/3D mashup to hit 3DS portables in 2012.

Developer: Nintendo
Expected release date: TBA 2012
Caption by / Photo by Nintendo
Prey 2 won't be the gravity-shifting first-person sequel we thought it might be. Instead, Prey 2 has a completely new direction as players will take on the role of a galactic bounty hunter.

Developer: Human Head Studios
Expected release date: TBA 2012

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Caption by / Photo by Human Head Studios
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