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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
/ Photo: Blizzard Entertainment
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)
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
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
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
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