With the potential for two new consoles to arrive just in time for Christmas, 2013 could well be a landmark year in the video game world. But it's also a year full to the brim with AAA releases for current consoles that we hope won't disappoint. Here's our look at 18 through to 13.
18. Gears of War: Judgment
We love Gears of War, well at least Tom does, and seeing as he's the one writing this paragraph, that's all that matters. There's a worry that Judgment (with its missing first e) might be a stopgap release that’s come too soon after Gears of War 3, but most people are just glad we're getting more of the brilliant third-person combat and thrilling multiplayer. Unless Microsoft throws some surprises our way in 2013, Judgment will also be the final triple-A Microsoft Studios release for the Xbox 360.
17. Rayman Legends
Rayman's rockin' sequel was the reason many of us stumped up the cash for a Wii U in the first place, so a little extra time to dot the "i"s, cross the "t"s, and possibly draw some arms sits fine with us. Besides the game's beautiful watercolour worlds, it's the musical stages that excite us the most about Legends, with Ancel's superb level design being put to the test in stages synchronised to the beat of the music. Rounded off with co-operative play that actually relies on co-operation, this could be one of 2013's brightest stars, and a shot in the arm for Wii U.
16. Tomb Raider
Before her breasts swelled to the size of The Incredible Hulk's fists and she spoke like someone off of Made In Chelsea, gaming's greatest girl was fending off wolves and hunting wildlife in a forest. Or at least, that's what Lara Croft's origins story will lead us to believe, as Crystal Dynamics returns with a reboot of one the industry's most iconic characters. Let's hope it goes somewhat better than the last two...
15. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
The original Lords of Shadow was a game people either loved or couldn't care less about. We thought it was pretty spiffing marvellous, with its slick combat and highly detailed visuals. If the sequel can offer a similarly sized epic adventure, but with the few lumbering acts replaced with more engaging offerings, CLOS2 could be one of the best games of 2013.
14. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
The follow-up to the bazillion-selling, life-stealing Starcraft 2, Heart Of The Swarm expands the story via 20 new missions. Which is nice, but Starcraft is really about competing, and we're hoping that Blizzard will have refined the already-brilliant SC2 gameplay into something even better. Given that it's been over 2 years since the release of Wings of Liberty, you'd hope so, and with 7 new units (as well as previous ones being tweaked or removed) it looks as if the developer has another hit on its hands. And we have another timesink in our lives.
13. Saints Row 4
Dildos are only really good for one function in society, and if you believe Saints Row: The Third, it's for smacking old ladies around the chops. Over-enlarged sex toys or not, Saints Row's kerrazy sandbox sequel should prove a nice distraction from the relatively grounded GTA 5, and if Volition can ramp up the quirk and continue to distance itself from the series' serious undertones, Saints Row 4 could take on Rockstar's behemoth for the crime-sim crown.