10. Assassin’s Creed III

We would love to place this game higher on the list, but the lack of a playable demo does not let us truly judge the game. On the surface, it looks like a new game, but we cannot measure how much has changed unless we can get our hands on it. However, the impressive crowd effects matched with the incredible new animations have got us really excited about the quality in store for Assassin’s Creed III.

9. Primal Carnage

Primal Carnage may seem like another multiplayer deathmatch title, but what sets it apart from the rest is the ability to play as dinosaurs. The game we played may have been in its pre-beta stage, but it’s definitely shaping up to be one of those titles to watch out for this year. Sniping from a distance with your rifle may be fun and all, but being able to pounce on your opponents as a raptor is truly satisfying.

8. Borderlands 2

The first Borderlands was so fun it should have been illegal. Playing through the stylized campaign with up to four friends while leveling up your character and collecting hundreds of randomly generated weapons can be straight up addicting at times. Borderlands 2 looks to be more of the same, granted, with the required “more of everything” approach video game sequels employ. More of a good thing has never been bad, has it?

7. Loadout

As its name suggests, Loadout is all about customizing the weapon you’ll take with you to battle. The game prides itself in the amount of customization it will offer players, and adds some familiar Team Fortress flair to make it stand out as one of the next go-to multiplayer shooters on the PC. There are hundreds of customization options for your weapons, and you get more each time you win a match. Oh, and did I forget to mention this is a free-to-play title?

6. XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Any fan of the original XCOM has been eagerly waiting for a true sequel that can grow on the concepts and mechanics of the original while respecting the hardcore mentality that made the atmosphere of the original game so unique. That sequel may be right around the corner. The video that was shown at PAX showed a game that looked just like the original cult classic but with a high-definition boost, fully destructible environments, and a scope that can truly fulfill the dream of the original.

5. Hell Yeah!

Metroidvania games may follow similar design structures, but each one is unique in the personal touches it brings to the genre. Hell Yeah! impressed us with its humor, colorful graphics, and unique mini-games that occasionally pop up when you’re about to slice through some enemies. With plenty of worlds to explore, skills to learn, and enemies to destroy, Sega’s charming platformer is one to look out for. You thought Sonic was badass? Think again.

4. Max Payne 3

Some of the best shooting mechanics we have ever felt did not come from a first person shooter. Max Payne 3 has rammed up everything that made the first two games stand out. Darker story, grittier gunplay, and incredibly slick bullet time moves. With just a month before release, we cannot wait for this game to reinvigorate one of Rockstar’s most beloved franchises.

3. Hitman: Absolution

Sneak past guards or blow off their kneecaps. Disguise yourself as an enemy or stick a crucifix in his skull. Life is full of choices, isn’t it? Hitman: Absolution is no different, and each choice you make shapes your overall experience with the game. The demo may have taken place inside a building, but its ending teased us with glimpses of the outside world you can explore. Agent 47 is back, and we can’t wait to see where his story will take him this time.

2. Mark of the Ninja

Stealth action games have become few and far between, with a great majority of them providing so many hints and abilities as to make the stealth an afterthought. Enter Mark of the Ninja, a 2D, hide in the shadows and kick some ass game from Shank 2 developer Klei Entertainment. With a clever mix of light and gameplay mixed with multiple paths through missions, this small downloadable title is sure to make some major waves when it lands on XBLA this summer.

1. Sleeping Dogs

United Front Games doesn’t want to reinvent the open-world games; it simply wants to make one of the best games the genre has seen. Drawing much inspiration from the film Infernal Affairs, Sleeping Dogs will let players explore Hong Kong and rely on their martial arts skills to take down the city’s top crime gangs. We played a build of the game that was two months old, and we were still impressed by its smooth graphics and smart controls. The developers have done a great deal of research capturing the feel of the city and refining various gameplay features like its combat and driving mechanics. We have high hopes for Sleeping Dogs and cannot wait until it’s out this summer.

Runner-ups: Quantum Conundrum, RaiderZ, Black Knight Sword, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Guacamelee, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, Heroes of Ruin, Mortal Kombat (Vita)

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