The 30 most anticipated games of 2016

From Uncharted 4 to The Legend of Zelda and everything in-between

No Man's Sky

It's a game-changing year for… well, gaming. Virtual reality has become very real with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the upcoming PlayStation VR, Nintendo will reveal (and maybe release) its next hardware concept, and Sony might even have an upgraded PlayStation 4 on the horizon.

Of course, the hardware isn't the fun part: it's what you can do with it that's really exciting, and there's plenty to look forward to in 2016 on all fronts. Whether it's big PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC games, alluring indies, enticing VR experiences, or even a Wii U game or two, the year promises many delights all across the gaming spectrum.

Starting with a rather massive list, we've whittled it down to just 30 picks – these are the games we're most excited to see and play for the rest of 2016. And please check back regularly, as we'll update the list throughout the year as new games are announced and others released.

1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Platform: PlayStation 4

Naughty Dog's blockbuster action-adventure trilogy delivered some of the most amazing moments we had on PS3, and now Uncharted 4 looks to do much the same on PS4. Expect more tense set-pieces, thrilling shootouts, and remarkable performances, along with some new tweaks: more open-ended navigation, along with conversational choices.

Will this really be Drake's demise? We doubt it, but we can't wait to find out either way. Don't miss The Nathan Drake Collection in the meantime!

Due: 10 May

2. Titanfall 2

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Titanfall made an awesome initial impact when it debuted in early 2014, although the mechs-and-infantry shooter had some first-game shortcomings: the lack of a proper campaign limited the appeal to some extent, and the community didn't stick around the multiplayer as long as we'd hoped.

Still, it built a stellar foundation, and EA has teased a Titanfall 2 reveal at E3 this year. Based on the leaks and teases, we should see more of a narrative campaign included, plus the massive electric sword in the first teaser should be loads of fun to wield. And this time around, it's coming to PS4 as well.

Due: Holiday 2016 (Expected)

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3. No Man's Sky

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC

Who knew that a game made by a tiny indie team would be one of the headline games of the year? That's the case with No Man's Sky, a jaw-dropping space simulation that gives you your very own procedurally generated planet to explore, full of odd creatures and distinctive sights.

And at any time, you can fly your ship into the stars and drop in on other users' planets as well. It looks amazing, but can it really live up to the surprising hype? Based on our extensive hands-on experience, we remain very optimistic.

Due: 24 June

4. The Walking Dead: Season 3

The Walking Dead: Season 2

Platforms: TBD

Telltale Games has expanded its episodic storytelling approach to everything from Game of Thrones to Minecraft, but its biggest success to date – The Walking Dead – remains its best and most accomplished work. And it will continue its tale before the year's up.

While this spring's The Walking Dead: Michonne has been a nice side story, Telltale says a proper third season of the core Walking Dead storyline is in the works. We're not going to get into spoilers, but the first two seasons were gut-wrenching and glorious takes on the zombie apocalypse. Get caught up now if you haven't played them!

Due: Late 2016

5. The Legend of Zelda

Platform: Wii U

Nintendo's NX will debut in 2016, and is rumoured to possibly release this year as well – but the fantastic-looking, open-world Legend of Zelda seen at E3 2014 is still slated for the Wii U, the company says.

We wouldn't be surprised to see it release on both, Twilight Princess-style, but whatever the case, we want it. Slated to be the largest and most open-ended entry to date, it should be a fine sendoff for Nintendo's quirky, underperforming console.

Due: TBD 2016

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