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The Top 7... Games we want announced at E3 2010

E3 is like a birthday present. Once a year, this massive box of potential awesomeness appears before us, wrapped in speculation and secrecy. What could be inside? Will we get what we want?

Next week, we'll find out, ripping that gift open and discovering exactly what's in store for gamers over the next few years. In exchange for that knowledge, however, we lose all the mystery and anticipation. In some ways, this is the fun week, when we still get to stare at the box, shake the box, pass the box around and excitedly discuss what wonders the box might hold.

Okay, enough silly metaphor. Here are the games we hope are unveiled at E3 2010. Share your hopes in the comment section below.

If you'd asked us a couple of years ago, we wouldn't have wanted BioShock 3 announced at E3. To be perfectly honest, we wouldn't have wanted BioShock 3 at all. Or BioShock 2, for that matter. The tragic tale of Rapture had been perfectly – and, it seemed, completely – told through the first game. Sequels were unnecessary at best, and would ruin our memories of the original at worst.

But now we're convinced, and much to our own surprise, we want more. With the release of BioShock 2 earlier this year, the developers at 2K Marin proved that the game's unique underwater setting could be revisited – and further explored – without losing any of the mystery or malice. They introduced new characters who were just as philosophically interesting and psychologically complex as the old ones. They succeeded in telling a second story that not only didn't ruin the first, but in some ways, enhanced it.

And, of course, they left the ending tantalizing unresolved and ready for another sequel. Eleanor Lamb, finally free of her birthplace, has the world-changing powers of a Big Sister – and arguably, depending on which ending you got, the powers of a Big Daddy as well. Will she return to Rapture? Will she serve as the next game's hero or villain? Does Sofia Lamb survive in the franchise's canon? Can this crumbling city survive a third, fourth or fifth power struggle?

This time, we're looking forward to the answers rather than dreading them. Well, so long as those answers don't involve an Andrew Ryan prequel, anyway…

At this point, we’re 99.9 percent certain InFamous 2 will make an appearance at E3 (even if it’s just as a teaser trailer at the Sony press conference), because its existence was finally confirmedjust last week. And if InFamous 2 is a near-certainty, then we can’t imagine a world in which Prototype 2 wouldn’t be far behind.

While the two games really have little to do with one another, their themes and gameplay were so similar (each can be summarized as “confused, morally challenged wild talent awakens to new superpowers as his free-roaming city spirals into chaos”), and their mid-2009 release dates so close together, that they’re inextricably linked. Fans of one frequently seemed to dislike the other, and comparisons between the two were impossible to avoid. And given Activision’s stated commitment to annual franchises, we’d be immensely surprised if they let Prototype peter out after one game.

Above: McGrath or Mercer? Can’t we have both?

As for why we actually want Prototype 2 to be announced, well, it was a pretty enjoyable game regardless of which side of the Infatype/Protomous debate you were on. Controlling hero/ horrifying abomination Alex Mercer eventually got to be so much fun that playing through the actual game took a backseat to the simple thrill of finding creative ways to mess with its inhabitants, sometimes for hours on end.

We’d like to see a lot more of that in the sequel, maybe along with different types of (preferably non-virus-created) superbeings for Mercer to go toe-to-toe with. And as much as we liked tearing around the game’s version of Manhattan, the setting’s been done to death and should be retired. We don’t even care if it’s rebuilt or completely changed by the mutant plague – we just want to run up the sides of some other city’s buildings for a change.

Above: SEEN IT