The Top 7... games we want announced at E3 2009

Contributors: Charlie Barratt, Brett Elston, Chris Antista,
Joe McNeilly, Shane Patterson

Next week, we’ll know. Next week, the Electronic Entertainment Expo will begin and nearly every major publisher and developer will reveal their secrets. Next week, we’ll know which rumors were true and which games actually exist. Next week, the future will be (somewhat) clear.

Seriously, though, where’s the fun in that? We prefer this week, when the mystery still remains and our imaginations can still roam wild. This week, we can dream about major sequels that might never happen… about technology that’s barely out of the labs… about Nintendo, Square Enix and Rockstarfulfilling our every fanboy demand.

These are the games we want announced at E3 2009, not the ones we actually expect. While most may not appear – this year, anyway – we’ve got a pretty good track record overall. Before reading on, take a look at our past two countdownshereandhere.

Don’t think for a second the DS isn’t up to it – Super Mario 64 DS looked better than the N64 game and online multiplayer, not to mention local, has been up and running since 2005 in games like Metroid Prime Hunters, Mario Kart DS and Star Fox Command. Basically this means the DS can pull off a functional, fun as hell sequel that looks and plays better than 1999’s N64 original.

Above: It could totally happen

A DS version also allows for new playable characters that have so far been handheld-specific, like the Advance Wars crew, Professor Layton and, Capcom willing, Phoenix Wright. We know, the series has been around for10 yearsand in that time there have only been three games, so a sequel so soon after 2008’s Brawl seems unlikely. Then again, Phantom Hourglass was 2007 and Spirit Tracks is still down for 2009…

Today, we have no idea what to expect. Grand Theft Auto IV was such an enormous – and enormously detailed – upgrade that it’s hard to imagine leaving behind Liberty anytime soon. Can the Rockstar developers really build another setting that expansive, that intricate andthat lifelikeby 2010?
If not, when? If so, where?

Above: Yes, please

A return to Vice City would fulfill many fans’ dreams. A recreation of San Andreas would be technologically astonishing. Hell, we’d be satisfied with only San Fierro, the open-world equivalent of our beloved home base, San Francisco. How about somewhere in Europe? Asia? South America? And what about the hero? Will his face be familiar or fresh? Could Niko, CJ, Tommy or even Fido make a return? Could we do away with “his” entirely and see our first female lead?

The mind reels, as it always does between GTA entries. This time, however, the wait might be longer than usual and the answers might be far less predictable. Until they come, we’ll just keep staring at these doctored screenshots of Godfather II and wishing they were real…