It's not until you throw them all together in one list that you realise what a stonking year 2011 is looking for games. We originally intended on this being a list of twenty, but couldn't bring ourselves to publish it with so many notable omissions. Even with thirty we're still guilty about a few absentees, but it's still a very good looking list indeed. Join us then, as we take a look at the games that will define 2011. Here's 20 through to 11.
20. inFamous 2 - PS3
inFamous 2 will be to inFamous what Uncharted 2 was to Uncharted. That's the hope, anyway. With a new city, new actors and performance capture - the same technology that gave Uncharted 2 such high calibre cutscenes - this is another sequel that looks vastly superior to its predecessor. 2011 will see Cole MacGrath return with a bevy of new moves, a new weapon known as the Amp, and - fingers crossed - some new powers to go alongside his lightning abilities.
19. Crysis 2 - PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
If you're not excited about Crysis 2 you clearly haven't played Crysis or its excellent expansion Warhead. Yes, the games aren't as good when you stop fighting soldiers and face off against the aliens, but it's still a brilliant series that boasts some of the finest visuals we've ever seen. The sequel is set in New York and looks to raise the bar for graphics, both on PC and consoles. We can't wait to pull on our Nano suit again.
18. DiRT 3 - PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
Codemasters doesn't disappoint when it comes to racing games and DiRT 3 should be the rally racing king of 2011. It already looks spectacular and it's not even out until the middle of the year. As well as the expected assortment of rally shenanigans gamers will be able to take part in Gymkhana, a showcase for your powersliding and precision driving skills. While the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo are for hardcore racing fans, DiRT manages to appeal to a wider audience and we can't see anything but huge success for the third game in the series.
17. Dead Space 2 - PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
Brutal, tense and dripping with atmosphere; few predicted quite how good the original Dead Space was going to be. Its sequel, however, bears the hefty weight of expectation. But from what we've seen so far, there's every reason to be excited. Dead Space 2 sees Isaac Clarke aboard a new Necromorph infested space station known as the Sprawl. Although Clarke has a voice this time round, it's - and this is a good thing indeed - essentially more of the same. There's more of an emphasis on action too. If the original Dead Space was Ridley Scott's Alien, Dead Space 2 would be Cameron's Aliens. That's a good thing.
16. Rage - PC, PS3 and 360
Rage looks pretty. Very, t-2.html">very pretty. Ironically though, id's Tech 5 engine brings to life a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is anything but. Rage is full of arid wastelands, hideous mutants and gnarled textures, yet it's still muscling in on Crysis 2 and Killzone 3 as the best looking FPS ever. Those who are particularly keen would do well to check out the iPhone version, which gives a visually tantalising first glimpse at the world of Rage.
15. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
In 2027, a time before the nanotechnological augmentations that would appear in the original Deus Ex 25 years later, biomechanical implants are all the rage. Deus Ex: Human Revolution promises multiple options for getting out of sticky situations - using social skills, augmentations and stealth, for instance, you'll be able to progress through the entirety of the game without killing a single enemy (with the exception of bosses). It's this out of the box thinking that made the original game such a critical success, and there's every hope Human Revolution will go down just as well.
14. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - 3DS
Ok, so the game is technically twelve years old, but as it's the best game of all time ever, it's not hard to get excited about playing it again in 3D. Alongside Kid Icarus, Solid Snake and the cast of Street Fighter, Link will be one of several high profile characters making an appearance on Ninty's new handheld. There's not much more to say to be honest: it's Ocarina of Time, on a new 3D console. Be excited.
13. Duke Nukem Forever -PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Indeed, it's finally happening. It's been so long since we first heard about Duke Nukem Forever that most of us here were still at school when it was announced. Over 10 years later we've all grown up to be old enough to actually buy an 18-rated game, and from what we've seen Forever certainly seems to be aiming for the most crude content ever. The demo we played started with the main man urinating and concluded with a very happy ending.
12. XCOM - Xbox 360 and PC
X-Com - for those of you who might have missed the games back in the mid-90's - is a turn-based strategy series developed by Microprose. As Bethesda did with Fallout 3 a few years back, 2K Marin is reviving the series in the first-person perspective. Players assume the role of William Carter, an FBI agent whose job it is to identify and eliminate an unknown extraterrestrial threat. Details are still scarce, but the developers are keen to retain the sinister atmosphere of the original game.
11. Forza 4 - Xbox 360
Just missing out on a place in the top 10 is Turn 10's Forza 4, which will undoubtedly be the best racing sim of 2011. It's a series that has matured brilliantly over the last few years and now stands as one of the most respected racing sims on the market. From the teaser trailer we reckon the fourth game is going to include rally racing, night time events and snow. There'll also be Kinect support, for anyone who wants to look around the shiny car models.