25 upcoming Xbox 360 games for 2014 and beyond
Xbox One? Sure, but what about the current one?
The Xbox One is out now, but why leave the 360 in the dust so soon? There are plenty of games coming for the current Microsoft machine worth your time, and none require you to spend a bunch of money you don't have on a box you might not want.
The following is a list of 25 games you should be paying attention to in the near future. Some are established franchises, others are brand-new ideas, but all of them look to be quality gaming experiences. And good news! They're all coming to an Xbox 360 near you--no new hardware required. So what are you waiting for?
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Release date: August 5, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon](retail, digital upgrade available now)
Capcom can thank Street Fighter IV for a lot of success in the seventh console generation. We all knew it'd be great before it launched, but when it did it completely revived the dormant fighting game genre, and with it also restored those feelings of "I got next!" and putting a quarter on a giant arcade machine...only this time we didn't have to leave our house.
Ultra Street Fighter IV will add all new balancing to the current Super SF IV roster while also adding five characters: Elena, Hugo, Poison, Rolento, and a fifth mystery character Capcom has yet to unveil. We've gotten some hints: it's a female character with ties to the Street Fighter universe, but she's never been in a Street Fighter game before. We have no idea who it could be, but we hope she's revealed soon.
Release date : August 26, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls just launched in March, so we suspect we'll be battling hordes of enemies in an isometric view well into the summer. We ever project we'll tire of the game somewhere in August...which is perfect, because then Sacred 3 can swoop right in and fill the void. Sacred 2 was really fun, and we expect the new game to be the same way.
Sacred 3's always co-op approach is interesing, giving players three A.I. compatriots even when no human players have joined the game. This should also allow for quick drop-in/drop-out online experiences too, and seamless online play is one thing that'll keep Sacred 3 at the forefront of online RPGs for a long time. Nothing is worse that server issues. Nothing.
Release date: September 2, 2014
Have you ever found yourself wondering if you could run the country better than the people in charge right now? Admit it, you totally have. Tropico 5 gives you that ability right from the stary, dropping you into a flat land filled with vegetation and saying "OK, build everything, it's all you." Sounds great to us, let's get started on GamesRadaria!
For the first time in Tropico's history, players will be able to control their slice of the digital Earth from its initial inception all the way to modern times. Every war, every discovery, every single thing that our country does will be controlled by us, and we can choose if we which to follow the democratic ways of the Allies or try a more totalitarian rule like the Axis. Man, we're going to love the sovereign nation of GamesRadaria. GLORY TO GAMESRADARIA!
Release date: September 9, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
Bungie's next venture has impressed across the board, and we're glad that Destiny will be coming to the current-gen systems. Though we won't be surprised if Destiny thrives on next-gen consoles, giving late adopters the option to meet their Destiny is an honorable gesture.
The game looks to be the same incredible first-person shooter gameplay that Bungie is known for, just missing a familiar face. We get the feeling that it won't take us long to get acclimated with the new crew; we'll be shooting the bad guys just like we used to in no time.
Released on: September 9, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
Every year, when the big sports titles hit the shelves, everyone's attention immediately turns to Madden and FIFA and NBA 2K. Meanwhile, the NHL consistently puts out one of the most accurate simulations of its game with every single iteration, and more folks are starting to take notice. We expect NHL 15 to be no different.
A laundry list of changes have been announced already, including enhanced AI vision to see potential scoring chances and a brand new announcing team in Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and on-ice commentary from Ray Ferraro (watch the Stanley Cup and you'll hear them). Hopefully this is the year that the grand sports gaming audience sees NHL for the excellent game it is, because it's gone under the radar for far too long.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Lasy year The Walt Disney Company announces it's purchasing Marvel Comics. Disney follows that announcement with the announcement of Disney Infinity, a new Skylanders-esque game venture. The world then wonders how long it will take Disney Infinity to incorporate Marvel super heroes into its toy box. Apparently the answer is "one year," as Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will be available later in 2014.
It's truly a match made in heaven: Captain America fighting alongside Mr. Incredible, the Hulk and Wreck-It Ralph wrecking bad guys, and there's plenty more dream teams we can think up, but we don't want to fill this space with names. Disney Infinity was a great idea to begin with, but now Disney is starting to show us what kind of weight the idea really has. Skylanders beware.
Forza Horizon 2
Release date: September 30, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
The open road is calling us once again, as Microsoft announced Forza Horizon 2 for both Xbox systems at E3 2014. We loved being able to just jump in and drive wherever we wanted, from desolate country roads to the center of the festival the game centered around. Hopefully Forza Horizon 2 will give us the same amount of freedom.
We saw a small glimpse of what is to come during the Xbox media briefing, but all of that footage was on the Xbox One. We're not sure when we're going to get our look at the 360 version, but we'd bet that although the 360 Forza Horizon 2 may not look as shiny as its new-generation counterpart, it will have the same amount of content packed into the disc.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release Date: September 30, 2014
One of the hardest things to do in the gaming industry is take an existing popular franchise and try to adapt it to a different genre. Halo has tried twice to bring the intergalatic war to a real-time strategy setting with mixed results, while Metal Gear Rising traded the signature Metal Gear stealth for all-out hack-and-slash action. Arc System Works, under the tutelage of Atlus, took the famed RPG franchise Persona and turned it into a 2D fighting game that wowed both fighting fans and Persona fans alike.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is an expansion on the original idea, bringing new characters and mechanics to the already fun to play Persona 4 Arena. A broader canceling system allows for new types of combos, and the brand new S Hold System can give a special move brand new properties just by holding its attack button. The first Persona fighter was a hit, and we'd expect the sequel to see the same success.
Skylanders: Trap Team
Release date: October 5, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
The juggernaut Skylanders franchise is still bringing in the big bucks thanks to its addictive figured-based gameplay, so a new entry for this year was never in doubt. However, after the innovative Swap Force and its interchangeable parts last year, we had no idea how Activision would try and mix things up this year. As it turns out, the answer is harnessing evil in crystals, and we're totally cool with that; we're ready to join the Trap Team.
The main focus of this Skylanders adventure is Traptanium, a crystal-like substance that can trap villains inside, allowing them to then be used to our advantage. Think of it as Pokemon, but instead of catching 'em all, we're catching our enemies and forcing them to join our side. We hope there are some really cool villains to capture, or else this whole idea will be silly.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Release date: October 7, 2014
A measly teaser is all we saw of Dragon Age: Inquisition at E3 2013, a move that left some of us scratching our heads. Sure we saw Morrigan again, confirming a sorely missed presence in the next game, but aside from that we still had no idea what the game looked like, how it played, or anything else. Luckily, since then some information has come across the wire, and we like what we see.
Recent information tells us that we're once again playing as a brand new character in the DA universe, leaving Hawke and the Grey Warden by the wayside. We love that idea, but we hope we'll be able to meet our former compatriots somewhere in the land of Ferelden. We'd hate to think that something terrible happened to one of them...or both.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Release date: October 7, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
We've spent a lot of time in Middle-earth over the years, whether we've read about the inhabitants of the world, watched their adventures on the big screen, or controlled their fates in a ton of video games. However, we've never seen the mythical world like we're going to see in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor; it's going to open our eyes in a whole new way.
For the first time, we're going to feel like a true denizen of this tumultous world: we'll have our own powers, our own skills, and our own weaponry. If we go into battle and allow our opponent to win, we'll have our own enemies too, so we'll have to watch our backs. Best of all, since the game takes place between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, we'll have a new story to make our own, possibly without any sightings of storied LotR characters. We're more than ready to jump right in to Middle-earth again; let's hope our chance arrives soon.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Released on: October 14, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
Remember playing Borderlands 2 and seeing that big H hanging over your head in the sky above Pandora? Did you ever wish that a DLC offering would take you up there? 2K Australia (yes, not Gearbox) is answering your prayers with a full game, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, set between the first two games.
The game will offer the same insane first-person shooting that Borderlands fans have come to love, but with four new characters to choose from: Athena from the General Knoxx DLC; Nisha, the Sheriff of Lynchwood, Wilhelm, the first major boss from Borderlands 2, and Claptrap, the dubstep loving robot that we love and love to hate. It may not be Borderlands 3, but it is more Borderlands, and that's a great thing.
Released on: October 21, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
We've spent a lot of time in the battlefields of the Middle East. Every year Call of Duty and Battlefield try to put a new spin on the "fighting terrorists to save the world from destruction because America" motif, but fatigue is surely setting in. DICE must have realized this, as their next Battlefield offering takes us out of the desert and plops us right in the middle of our wildest childhood cops vs robbers dreams. We are loving this new direction so far.
The first beta test began just after its official debut, with another one planned for later this year, so the Battlefield team is clearly trying to avoid the awful launch problems of BF4 with extra testing. Maybe this will be a return to glory for EA's famed shooter series; if nothing else it'll at least be different. We're ready to join the police force in October.
The Evil Within
Release date: October 21, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
After the less-than-stellar performance of Resident Evil 6 last year, survival horror fans are starved for a game that will take them back to the glory days of being scared out of their wits. Shinji Mikami, the man responsible for Resident Evil 4, is going to make those people regret ever asking for a new horro game when The Evil Within launches.
The Evil Within looks SCARY. The E3 demo showed off some incredible gameplay, and the screenshots show a world full of mystery, suspense, and blood, lots of blood. With Mikami at the helm, we have no doubt that The Evil Within will make us scream in terror and delight...if we can handle it.
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Release date: October 21, 2014
Harmonix and Disney are teaming up to give us a brand new take on the motion-based dance games in Fantasia: Music Evolved. Now, instead of just dancing along with an on-screen avatar, we can use our rhythm to bring life back into the world, just as Mickey the Sorcerer’s Apprentice did so many years ago. We can’t wait!
The soundtrack will be a mixture of popular music and the classical soundtrack of the movie, and all of it can be remixed however we wish. We call a dubstep version of Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain (YouTube it, you know the song), and it will be the absolute best.
Just Dance 2015
Release Date: October 21, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
Fantasia is new to the music game scene; Just Dance has been boogieing down for years. The annual dance franchise is back in a big way, bringing new ways for more people to play together and a whole lineup of new tracks that'll make you shake your money maker. Ever wonder what a fox says? Want to clap along if you feel happy? Just Dance 2015 will let you do that.
The big new mode in Just Dance 2015 is the Community Remix, which will allow you to replace the animations of a song with a recorded video of yourself dancing and share it with the world. If you think you're hot stuff and you want the world to know about it, this is the perfect chance to showcase it to the world. We expect to see a lot of great YouTube dancers when this releases.
Release date: October 28, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
The WWE franchise makes its big debut on the new generation of consoles, but that doesn't mean the last generation is being left on the entrance ramp. WWE 2K15 is still hitting the Xbox 360, bringing the same great WWE action we see every Monday to the console.
Even the last-gen versions have a lot of questions surrounding them, as we have yet to see a single screenshot. All we know is that John Cena is on the cover and that Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Roman Reigns, and Hulk Hogan will be joining him in the game. We hope there's a big reveal soon, perhaps in August at Summerslam, but until then we'll just have to wait and see.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Release Date: November 4, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
Look, we know there's a lot of Call of Duty fatigue. We see it every time the next installment is announced, with detractors beating the same "Call of Duty is the samer every year" drum until the mallet falls apart. Well-earned or not, those criticisms do not change the fact that Call of Duty is one of if not THE most successful shooter franchise available now, and a new entry gets a lot of people excited.
We're particularly interested in Advanced Warfare because it's the first under Sledgehammer Games in the new three-studio, three-year development cycle Activision has put in place. With a new studio comes new ideas, new direction, and potentially a whole new experience. We're looking forward to seeing what Sledgehammer has in store, and we hope they can drop the hammer on those naysayers with an impressive debut.
Escape Dead Island
Release date: 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
We didn't know what to think when we first saw Escape Dead Island. We were thrown off by its cel-shaded visual style and lack of first-person gameplay, but the more we learned and the more we watched, the clearer the picture because. Escape Dead Island is going to be really cool, and we can't wait to play.
Playing as Cliff Calo, a guy who arrives in Banoi after the initial outbreak, we're going to be using our stealth and mystery-solving skills to make our way through the island this time around. Instead of taking on zombies face-to-face, we're going to stick to the shadows and try to avoid them as best we can. As much as we love zombie face-smashing, we're definitely intrigued by this new approach. We hope it pans out.
The Legend of Korra
Release date: 2014
The Legend of Korra is getting a video game! Platinum Games is in charge of development! We can't think of a better partnership for the franchise than the team that made Vanquish, Bayonetta, and The Wonderful 101, nor can we think of a more deserving show to get a long overdue video game. This is one of the coolest surprises of the year, hands down.
We're confident that The Legend of Korra will have a cool and unique play style, but we're also sure that the Platinum influence will be all over it. We're not sure if we want the speed of Vanquish or the insane combat of Bayonetta...or BOTH in the same game. Oh man, the more we think about it the better it gets. We want to play it as soon as possible.
Tales from the Borderlands
Release date: 2014
Telltale Games has made a name for themselves designing killer adventure games around known and licensed properties outside of video games. Back to the Future, Fables, and the Walking Dead all have seen the Telltale treatment, but what would happen if another video game franchise came under Telltale's microscope? We're going to find out soon when Tales of the Borderlands breaks new ground for the studio.
We've only seen a brief teaser trailer from last year's VGX awards, but the idea of Borderlands getting the full Telltale experience is incredibly cool. We're not sure who or what story we'll be following here: who are those two people in the trailer talking to Marcus? Why does one of them bear a striking resemblance to Handsome Jack? Where's Claptrap in all of this? We can't wait to hear more.
The Walking Dead: Season Two
Release date: 2014 (Episodes 4-5, Episodes 1-3 out now)
Never before have we laughed, cried, smiled, and frowned during a video game than while experiencing the incredible story of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead. Universal acclaim and a bevy of Game of the Year awards don't lie; the first season was a brilliant game from pillar to post, and the 400 Days DLC set up the second season perfectly...but now it's time to move on.
The first episode of the second season released in late December, and within ten minutes of playing it that old gut-punchy feeling we know and love came right back to us. Playing as Clementine may be even more stressful than playing as Lee, because now we're in direct control of her fate, and if anything bad happens to her, we won't be able to live with ourselves. Bring on the rest of Season 2!
Release date: 2015Pre-Order it on Amazon
After Dead Island Riptide, we thought that Techland might be finished with the zombie motif and would move on to something else. As it turns out, with a new developer comes a new twist on the formula, and while part of us wonders if Dying Light will be the spiritual Dead Island 3, we’re more than optimistic about what Techland can put together.
The idea of zombies getting stronger at nightfall has happened before, but we don’t think we’ve ever worried about the sun going down this much before. We’re afraid that sundown will turn every zombie into the Tank from Left 4 Dead, and if that happens…well, we guess it’s called DYING light for a reason.
Release date: 2015Pre-Order it on Amazon
When we saw that Mad Max was getting a video game, we had an avalanche of questions for developer Avalanche Studios. What’s the focus of the game? It sorta looks like Fallout, is it going to be like Fallout? Is Mel Gibson voicing Mad Max? The only question that disappointed us is the last one (no Mel Gibson boooo), but everything else sounds INSANE.
Mad Max sounds like it will mix the best of Fallout with Twisted Metal, focusing on vehicular combat through the wastes of the Mad Max world. Vehicles will be customizable, allowing to us to create and maintain our own post-apocalyptic asskicker. Mad Max sounds ambitious, but with Avalanche and their Just Cause pedigree at the helm, we’re not too worried about it. Bring on the madness.
Listen, we know you're busy--and that means you might have forgotten about one of the bigger Xbox 360 releases to come in the past few months. Here are some of the biggest recent releases, in case you want something to buy right now.
The Wolf Among Us
Release date: 2014 (Episode 5, Episodes 1-4 out now)
Telltale Games knows that they can't sit back and rest on the success of The Walking Dead. They need to again come up with a fresh and exciting subject for an episodic game, just to show they're not a one-trick pony. Enter The Wolf Among Us, a brand new game based on the very popular Fables comic books. Episodes One and Two are out now, but they're merely appetizers; three more episodes are due before the end of the year, and we can't wait.
If you're not reading Fables, we'll explain as we shake our heads in bewilderment: Fables is the story of countless nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters forced from their home by a being only called "The Adversary." The characters form a community in New York City called "Fabletown," where the game picks up. We'll play as Bigby Wolf (guess who he is) as he tries to control his wolf side. Yeah, that's Fables. Pretty cool, right? It's worth a read before you play Telltale's adaptation.
Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition
Release date: July 2, 2014
Last April when Drinkbox Studios released Guacamelee! to the world, the Microsoft faithful were left outside the ring looking in on the action. Drinkbox is graciously remedying the situation with the Super Turbo Championship Edition, hitting the 360 and the new-gen consoles later this year. Xbox fans will finally get to see why this is one melee that shouldn't be missed.
The Metroidvania gameplay is great, but it's the style and personality of Guacamelee that makes us love it so much. The lucha-libre themes are fresh and funny, and among the Mexican flair the game is stuffed with references to past games both famous and obscure. We're happy that more people will get to step into this ring soon. Viva lucha!
Sniper Elite 3
Released on: July 1, 2014 [Pre-Order it on Amazon]
The Sniper Elite franchise has always put a satisfying twist on being a sniper. Following the bullet from gun to enemy and watching how your show damages the poor sap's body is a sort of sick thrill, adding some insane realism to the otherwise standard pointing and shooting. If that's not enough, this game will allow us to point our rifle at one of the most notorious leaders in human history, and if that doesn't send your heart a-flutter, we're not sure what else Sniper Elite 3 can do.
Sniper Elite 3 will throw you into many different scenarios, but there's only one way out: ready your rifle, aim, and fire away. The series so far has been a surprising and satisfying romp, and we're thinking that the third game will keep the quality sniping going.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Release Date: June 25, 2014
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is the next game to utilize the fantastic UbiArt Framework engine, previously used by the recent Rayman games and Child of Light. Set in World War I (a war criminally under-represented by video game, if you ask us), the game is a puzzle-adventure that follows a beautiful story of love in times of war.
That's right, it's more puzzler than shooter, but that's okay with us. Not every game set in war time needs to be bullets and explosions. Sometimes it's cool to see the underworkings of a war, what happens behind the scenes to the people fighting it. We're sure there'll be some guns, but firearms will not be the main focus, and we're perfectly fine with it.
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
Release Date: June 24, 2014
For the first time since the series started, the Cybertron series of Transformers games is leaving the planet of Cybertron and making its way toward some familiar territory: Earth. Of course, the series had to go somewhere since the last game ended with the destruction of Cybertron, why not bring it to the one planet everyone who plays the game can relate to?
In bringing the party to Earth, Rise of the Dark Spark is also bringing in some extra narrative sources: the Michael Bay movie franchise. By pulling ideas from the films and merging them into the game series, Edge of Reality (yup, no more High Moon) will try and bring us the ultimate Transformer experience. We certainly hope they can do it.
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Release date: June 3, 2014
If given the chance to try and solve your own murder, would you do it? That's the basis of Square Enix's newest IP Murdered: Soul Suspect, due early next year. Combining the otherworldly detective work of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective with the world of LA Noire, Murdered will lead us through a murder-mystery thriller as we try to piece together why we woke up dead.
Strangely enough, the idea of Murdered came up when the game's creative director wondered aloud if John McClane from Die Hard was actually a dead man helping the cops from beyond the grave. If that means Ronan will emulate McClane during the adventure, we'll have zero problem with it. Perhaps Bruce Willis himself would want to lend his voice. Wouldn't THAT be something?
Release date: May 27, 2014
Using an entire city's security system against our enemies is something we've never done before, but you better believe Ubisoft has us interested in doing just that in Watch Dogs. We've seen Aiden Pearce do some pretty incredible things, like catching a criminal by overloading an electrical box he's running by or raise a security gate to cause a pursuer's car to crash. The possibilities are endless, and that's why we're so excited.
A new IP always feels like a breath of fresh air, and Watch Dogs may be the freshest air we get in 2014. We have no idea what to expect, and that's why we can't wait.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Release date: May 20, 2014
The Nazis won World War II, and they've developed an army of robots and mechs to impose their will. Who can the world turn to in this dark, awful time? None other than B.J. Blazkowicz, that's who. Welcome to Wolfenstein: The New Order, Starbreeze Studio's take on the storied Wolfenstein franchise.
While we don't know if MechaHitler himself will return, we do know that this is world we'd want no parts of living in. However, we'll certainly revel in taking control of B.J. as he tries to rid the Nazi blight from the world...again.
Super T.I.M.E. Force
Release Date: 2014
Do you like over-the-top insanity? Do you enjoy games where there can be so much going on at once the entire scene sounds like one giant explosion? Are you a fan of awesome retro-style graphics? If you'd say yes to all of these things, then Super T.I.M.E. Force is absolutely, 100% made for your tastes. Simply put: the game is bonkers.
The game plays like a classic Contra game, but with a twist: the ability to rewind or fast-forward time in order to regain fallen comrades, whose "ghosts" follow your player after you kill them and allow you to save them by killing the enemy that killed them. It's really hard to explain in this limited capacity, so go fire up a trailer and see what we're so excited to blow stuff up.
Child of Light
Release Date: April 30, 2014
Sure, it may not be the juggernaut genre it once was, but the JRPG is still holding strong in today's gaming world. Bravely Default on the 3DS is the most recent example of how the formula can be tinkered with to deliver a brand new experience that's just as fun as the old games. The JRPG isn't going anywhere anytime soon...at least not until Ubisoft throws their hat into the ring.
Child of Light is a brand new JRPG-style game from the creative minds behind Rayman Legends, and if you can recall those incredible visuals bringing that world to life, imagine what they can do here. We'll play as Princess Aurora (no, not Sleeping Beauty) as she quests to bring peace back to her beloved kingdom, using a turn-based combat system that makes us think of the good old RPG days. We can't wait to hear more about what this Child of Light has in store for us.
There's more evil within
See, and there you were saying "well, the Xbox 360 is surely dead this year!" Now who's the sucker? It's you. You're the sucker. We'll keep this sucker updated as more games come out/are announced--what games are you looking forward to on Microsoft's "outdated" last-gen console?
And if you're looking for more, check out 100 great games coming in 2014 and the best games of all time.
Looking for a console-by-console breakdown of every game you need to pay attention to? GamesRadar has you covered. We keep lists of the most anticipated upcoming games totally up-to-date to give you the best information available on the web.
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