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

Bethesda’s been hinting that they have a showstopper to announce at E3. The public certainly isn’t clamoring for WET 2 or another Rogue Warrior. So what could be more showstopping than a new Elder Scrolls game? Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was the first jaw-dropping RPG of this generation, filled with amazing unscripted events and a massive open world to explore. The promise of next-gen graphics and gameplay were gloriously realized as we poured hundreds of hours into Oblivion and its expansions. So a new Elder Scrolls in this post-GTA IV, post-Mass Effect 2 age would be simply phenomenal.

Above: What happens when you try to pass off an MMO as a proper sequel

A second-wave Oblivion with co-op would suit us fine, just so long as Bethesda doesn’t try to pass off some crap MMO as “the next Elder Scrolls game.” Look at how well that turned out for FFXIV at E3 last year (palpable disappointment). If we can import our Oblivion characters, who we worked so long and hard to level up, so much the better! It’s time to let the Fallout universe rest and go back to high fantasy. This one’s been stewing in rumor-land for far too long – if you don’t hear about Elder Scrolls V at E3, expect a separate announcement soon.

Half-Life 2: Episode Three

We were hoping for a Half-Life 3 announcement last year, but this year we think there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll finally have a new Half-Life title to look forward to. Let’s do the math. The first Half-Life was released in 1998. Then Half-Life 2 was released six years later in 2004. Well, another six years have passed since then. So wouldn’t it be the perfect time for Valve to announce the final conclusion of the Half-Life 2 story arc with a brand new Source engine?

Above: It seems like too much time has passed for Valve to announce Half-Life 2: Episode Three on anything less than a new Source engine

Remember how much better Half-Life 2 looked than the original Half-Life? Imagine a new Source engine that looks and feels that much better than the current one, setting the groundwork – not just for a brand new Half-Life adventure – but also for future Valve games. And don’t even get us started on all the funny fan-made Garry’s Mod videos that will surely follow.

Are hopes are further encouraged by a recent message sent to games media outlets that teased a special “surprise.” What could the surprise be? While we’d love to witness the drama that would erupt from an announcement for Left 4 Dead 3, we’re pretty darn sure it’ll be Episode Three.

An email we recently received from Valve Software that hints at a surprise. Click on it to see an enlarged version