SLIDESHOW

Top 15 most anticipated PC and video games of 2013

Next year's most anticipated game titles seem surprisingly smart, cinematic, and (of course) action-packed.

Most anticipated games of 2013

Although 2013 hasn't even started yet, it's already shaping up to be a weird year for gaming. As the industry faces a crisis over its future, Microsoft and Sony will look to squeeze one more good year out of their current game consoles.

Meanwhile, Nintendo will be trying to get its new hardware, the Wii U, off the ground. But despite the turbulent environment—or perhaps because of it—the list of big game releases still looks encouraging.

It’s a vibrant lineup, with new ideas, creative takes on familiar series, and of course a handful of blockbuster sequels.

Here are 15 of the most anticipated video games of 2013.

Bioshock Infinite

Why it’s interesting: What’s most alluring about Bioshock Infinite is its alternate timeline for the early 20th century, where technology has advanced enough to allow construction of a city in the sky.

And as in the original Bioshock, players should expect a dose of philosophy with their combat, which combines old-fashioned gunplay with supernatural powers.

Genre: First-person shooter

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release date: March 26, 2013

Remember Me

Why it’s interesting: It’s delightfully uncomfortable to think about Remember Me’s setting of 2084 Paris, where surveillance is everywhere, privacy doesn’t exist, and certain people—including the game’s protagonist, Nilin—have the power to change people’s memories.

These “memory remixing” sequences, in which players influence the present by rearranging people’s recollection of past events, sound like a neat gimmick to complement the game’s hand-to-hand combat and exploration.

Genre: Beat-'em-up, adventure

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release date: May 2013

Beyond: Two Souls

Why it’s interesting: If all we knew about Beyond: Two Souls was that it’s from the same studio that made Heavy Rain, it would still pique our interest.

Beyond that, developers Quantic Dream have said to expect the same type of interactive drama, focusing on the main character, Jodie Holmes (voiced by Ellen Page), and her relationship with a supernatural being.

Genre: Interactive drama

Platform: PS3

Release date: 2013

Gears of War: Judgment

Why it’s interesting: This prequel to the Gears of War trilogy is expected to shed some of the macho attitude that once defined the series, and focus on telling a better story.

But while dialing back the testosterone, Judgment’s combat seems faster and more intense than that of its predecessors, partly due to an enemy-spawning system that adapts to the player’s abilities.

Genre: Third-person shooter

Platform: Xbox 360

Release date: March 2013

Grand Theft Auto V

Why it’s interesting: It’s Grand Theft Auto, so Rockstar Games should show its usual penchant for polished, cinematic, and sprawling open-world playgrounds.

This time the game will have three protagonists who work together to carry out their crimes, and players should still have plenty to do in the revamped region of San Andreas between missions.

Genre: Open-world racing, third-person shooter

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360

Release date: Spring 2013

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Why it’s interesting: It has been 12 years since the original Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube, so Mario’s brother could use another shot at the spotlight.

Like the original, this title will be more of a puzzler than a platformer, as Luigi explores haunted locales and sucks up ghosts with a special vacuum cleaner.

Genre: Puzzle, adventure

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Release date: Spring 2013

The Last of Us

Why it’s interesting: The developers at Naughty Dog know how to tell a good story, as they’ve shown us with the Uncharted series. In The Last of Us, they’ve created a fungus-ridden America where the survivors are just as hostile as the mutated humans that roam quarantined areas.

Instead of racking up a body count, the protagonists Joel and Ellie will have to steal, avoid confrontation, and use resources wisely, all of which makes this apocalypse seem a little more real.

Genre: Stealth, adventure

Platform: PS3

Release date: May 7, 2013

Star Wars 1313

Why it’s interesting: Although we don’t yet know much about this game, the idea of a new story focused on the underworld of Coruscant should be intriguing enough for Star Wars geeks.

Everyone else can just enjoy the spectacle, as Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation, and Skywalker Sound all work together on the special effects.

Genre: Third-person shooter, adventure

Platform: Unknown

Release date: 2013

Pikmin 3

Why it’s interesting: As the gaming world waits for a new Mario or Zelda game on the Wii U, Nintendo is dusting off another beloved franchise, one that it hasn’t touched since 2004.

In Pikmin 3, players lead a posse of up to 100 little plantlike creatures that you can toss at enemies and objects to break them down. It’s kind of creepy, but cute at the same time.

Genre: Strategy

Platform: Wii U

Release date: Spring 2013

The Cave

Why it’s interesting: The Cave has the kind of premise you’d expect to find in a children’s folktale. Enter it, and learn something about yourself—though you might not like what you discover.

While that description suggests some heavy plot lines, this platformer and adventure game should have a heavy dose of witty humor, coming from the creator of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion.

Genre: Platforming, adventure

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U

Release date: January 2013

Watch Dogs

Why it’s interesting: Forget iOS, Windows, and Android. In Watch Dogs’ future, everyone is jacked into a centralized operating system, which means that the game’s hacker protagonist has access to the digital lives of the entire city.

To complement the typical open-world fare of shooting and driving, the game will allow players to eavesdrop on cell phone conversations, manipulate city infrastructure, and even just look up the names of passersby.

Genre: Open-world racing, shooter

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release date: 2013

0x10c

Why it’s interesting: Mojang, the studio behind Minecraft, has a twist in mind for its sci-fi MMO: At the core of every player’s spaceship is a fully programmable 16-bit computer.

At best, 0x10c’s CPUs will spark the same type of creativity that made Minecraft a huge hit. At worst, they’ll probably be able to run Solitaire. Mojang founder Markus Persson has said that the studio hopes to release an alpha in early 2013.

Genre: Space MMO

Platform: PC

Release date: TBA

Destiny

Why it’s interesting: Little is known about the next big game from Bungie, the studio that created Halo. What people have heard so far outlines a story about an alien invasion, and a sci-fi universe that aspires to be as epic in scale as Star Wars.

We’ll see about that—but Bungie’s track record is enough to keep us listening.

Genre: Unknown

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360

Release date: 2013

SimCity

Why it’s interesting: As the name suggests, SimCity is a reboot of the classic city-building sandbox, and the first true sequel since 2004.

Just think of the leaps in processing power that computers have made since then, and imagine how much more detailed your little metropolis could be. It’ll be all the more devastating when a UFO comes and ruins everything.

Genre: Strategy, simulation

Platforms: PC, Mac

Release date: March 5, 2013

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Why it’s interesting: Although the plot of Revengeance should meet the Metal Gear series’ crazy quota, the cyborg ninja protagonist Raiden is known more for slashing things to bits than for sneaking around in the shadows.

It should make for a nice little departure as Metal Gear Solid fans wait for Ground Zeroes.

Genre: Hack-and-slash adventure

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360

Release date: March 19, 2013

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