Most of the announcements from the Xbox camp weren’t specifically about gaming, like SmartGlass, Internet Explorer for the 360, and Xbox Music. That said, they did show off a few games that piqued my interest.
Naturally, Halo 4 leads the pack. Microsoft’s biggest exclusive game has been a favorite of mine since before I owned my own Xbox, so I’m very interested to see what the newest development brings. But more importantly than that, this is the first Halo game not made by Bungie, so there’s a lot riding on this game being spectacular. Just like in the game, the fate of the Halo world rests in Master Chief’s hands, so here’s hoping it’s great.
Second on my list is Madden 13. I love football, and have been playing Madden since my PS2 days. Usually the annual updates don’t do much for me, but this one has me excited. The reason: Kinect voice integration. I’ve always struggled trying to call audibles, but with voice controls, hopefully that will change.
Forza Horizon is third on my wish list. Nearly every driving game made for the 360 has focused on track racing. They’re fun, but frankly, it all blends together after a while. Forza has a tradition of great racing simulators, so I’m really excited to see them put that pedigree into an open-world scenario, complete with off-roading and what looks to be a gorgeous backdrop.
Next on the list is South Park: The Stick of Truth. If you’re a fan of the show like I am, Matt and Trey’s direct involvement in the production of this game practically guarantees raunchy hilarity, and that should be more than enough to make you want it. Just make sure you steer the kids clear of this one, especially if you’re not familiar with their work.
Rounding out my top five picks is Fable: The Journey. Usually, I’m not really into RPGs. Building your character up slowly, while emotionally endearing, is tedious for someone with a short attention span. But putting down the controller and experiencing that process through Kinect might just change that.
Honorable Mention goes to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, if only because I’m afraid COD fans will lynch me for not including it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the series and own several titles, but frankly, I fear they’re headed the direction of the Guitar Hero franchise: too many full-price titles with too few substantial changes.
What Xbox 360 game(s) are you most looking forward to in the next year? Tell me in the comments below.