August 23rd, 2010
The rules: They have to release in either September, October, or November. They can't be named "World of Warcraft." And they have to look awesome.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (Nov 9)
Call of Duty 4 was a phenomenal game. To a lesser extent, so was Call of Duty 5 (aka World at War). Last year's Call of Duty 6 (aka Modern Warfare 2)? Yawn—at least when compared to its predecessors. The upcoming Black Ops, however, has all the intensity of the first Modern Warfare, plus fresh and varied level designs. That, and Black Ops has dedicated servers. And mod tools. Which means it's gonna be awesome.
Fallout: New Vegas (Oct 19)
Uh, 2008's Fallout 3 was kind of awesome. Okay, it was more than awesome. It was like "I could play this RPG all day long" awesome. And people did. For hours on end. Before replaying it again. And again. Although not a direct sequel, the stand alone New Vegas looks a lot like 3, in that its huge. Only this time, you'll have new weapons and new characters to experience the hugeness. And headshots. And that's awesome.
Civilization V (Sep 21)
How can I endorse something you arleady know will be awesome? Let's see: It's made by Sid Meier, who knows a thing or two about strategy games (Pirates!, Civ). It lets you go from itty-bitty culture to "take over the world" type status. And it's a melting pot of everthing you would expect from a turn-based "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate" game. Plus it looks hella slick. If the recently released StarCraft II doesn't appeal to you, this one might do the trick.
Dead Rising 2 (Sep 28)
If you didn't play the first Dead Rising you should have. The action-heavy survival-horror game pitted a photojournalist—trapped inside a shopping mall—against 800 on screen zombies at a time. The sequel is a lot like the first. Only this time, our hero Chuck Greene will fight up to 7000 zombines on screen at a time. Yes, I said 7000. Zombies, mind you. Trying to eat your brains. Better carry a big stick. Or a shotgun. Should be loads of fun.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (Nov 16)
Need for Speed is old. Developer Criterion Games is hot. Put 'em together, and you have modern revival on your hands. Having previoiusly made the excellent Burnout Paradise, Criterion has updated Hot Pursuit to carry a blistering sense of speed and gorgeous slow-motion wreckage. And thanks to beefy online multiplayer, cops and robbers is the new capture the flag. Easily in the running for racing game of the year.
HONORABLE MENTION: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (Sep 28). After 14 years of crap, Lara is back. Seriously. This one's a keeper.