1) STAR TREK: BRIDGE CREW
VR headsets are opening up new kinds of play experiences, and here’s a perfect example: Star Trek: Bridge Crew puts you in a first-person view as a Federation officer, dealing with threats that emerge.
It’s so unlike the usual licensed action games we usually see, yet it’s a totally perfect fit for the immersive nature of VR. Working as part of a four-player team with other headset wearers is such a spot-on premise – we can’t wait to suit up.
2) CRACKDOWN 3
The original Crackdown was once known as the “free game that came with the Halo 3 demo,” but that inglorious branding didn’t last: the Xbox 360 game ended up being one of the most entertaining open-world titles of its generation, with superhero-like agents smashing up the city while snagging loads of collectibles.
Crackdown 2 wasn’t great, but a decade after the original, Crackdown 3 has a chance to make this series meaningful again. Expect an incredible level of destruction, including the ability to take down skyscrapers, thanks to a cloud-powered computing assist.
3) WIPEOUT: OMEGA COLLECTION
While undoubtedly brilliant, Sony’s WipeOut anti-gravity racing series has always been a bit niche, so we worried about whether we’d get a proper PS4 entry. Well, this is a start: the Omega Collection will bring together Wipeout HD and Fury from PS3, as well as Wipeout 2048 from PlayStation Vita.
All three games (especially HD/Fury) looked pretty slick the first time around, but now they’ll be playable in 4K (on the PS4 Pro) with HDR support, which ought to be damn near mind-blowing. We’d love to see a brand new WipeOut for PS4, as well, but we’ll happily pour both our dollars and hours into this for now.
Spidey’s had a rough run of standalone games under Activision’s watch, but Insomniac Games could be just the studio to deliver the wall-crawler’s magnum opus: the team behind Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive is making it as a PS4 exclusive.
The new Spider-Man game will be a standalone tale featuring an older version of the hero than we’ll see in the summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming flick, and should deliver open-world antics with plenty of fun and personality in tow. Plus it’ll be enhanced for PS4 Pro owners, as well. Here’s hoping Spider-Man finally gets his Batman: Arkham-quality game in 2017.
5) South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Read the title super fast. Got it? Yeah, this is South Park alright. The enduring cartoon series will follow up its best-ever game – 2014’s The Stick of Truth – with The Fractured But Whole, another hilarious role-player with a brand new premise.
This time, Cartman is trying to earn a heap of cash by making his own superhero film franchise, and naturally that leads to all sorts of vulgar, violent shenanigans. Whatever you do, don’t play this one with the kids around. And if you missed The Stick of Truth, it comes free with preorders to current consoles.
6) UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY
Another Uncharted game already? Didn’t Uncharted 4 put Drake’s story to bed? It did, true, but The Lost Legacy doesn’t star that well-known explorer, nor does it star any dude at all. Instead, series favourite Chloe Frazer from Uncharted 2 takes the lead, and is flanked by Nadine Ross from Uncharted 4.
It’s sure to strike a different tone, given the lack of Drake, but don’t expect anything too different: The Lost Legacy was planned as an Uncharted 4 expansion before it was bulked up and turned into a standalone release. Still, we’ll happily take another shot of Naughty Dog’s vaunted cinematic storytelling before the further-off The Last of Us Part II comes around.
7) SEA OF THIEVES
It has been a very, very long time since Rare has made something richly original and essential, but Sea of Thieves could be its long overdue return to form. The studio that gave us Perfect Dark and Banjo-Kazooie is about to make us all online pirates.
Rather, fantasy pirates playing together online – and against each other. This open-ended, delightfully cartoonish pirate sim lets you band together with other merry men and women, drink some grog, and battle it out on the open seas. Loosely-structured design and creation tools mean no two games are ever the same, and we loved it at E3 2016.
8) GRAN TURISMO SPORT
We assumed that Gran Turismo Sport would be massively delayed, like most of the series’ semi-recent entries… and yeah, that definitely happened again. But while 2016 wasn’t in the cards, hopefully this full-fledged, content-packed release will be worth the wait in 2017.
As before, it’s targeted at racing die-hards, but the multiplayer aspect is enhanced with new online championships governed by the real-life FIA racing body. Also, it will have PlayStation VR support via a special VR Tour Mode, but sadly not throughout the entire game.
Likened to a mix of Dark Souls and Street Fighter, upcoming indie darling Absolver is a martial arts game with a heap of finesse, with smooth, balletic moves thrown as you engage in duels against A.I. foes and other online players while exploring an action role-playing world.
The actual fighting takes centre stage here, as you can swap between four distinct stances at any time, find new moves in combat (including when they’re used against you), and tap into a lot of depth with feints and varying blocks. Fantastic animation work and distinctive styles make this one an exciting pick for fighting aficionados.
10) PERSONA 5
Starting with the fifth main entry of a story-centric role-playing series might seem like a recipe for confusion, but like Final Fantasy, the Persona games are standalone releases – and if you haven’t experienced this cult-favourite series, then Persona 5 might be the ideal jumping-on point.
You’ll play as a teenage student in Tokyo, but aside from attending class and chatting up friends, you can enter a supernatural realm and battle creatures based other people’s psyches. Weird? Totally, but in a charming and really gripping way, and the contrast between the two worlds and lives is super intriguing. Furthermore, Persona 5’s cel-shaded look is dazzling, and it has some of the most amazing UI/menu work we’ve seen in a game. Really!