The Top 7... Games we want announced at E3 2011

2) Final Fantasy XV

This one might be a bit premature, with FFXIII-2 still distant on the horizon, but that doesn't mean we can't already yearn for something that's a complete unknown like FFXV. Final Fantasy historically has been one of the few AAA franchises that doesn't shy away from taking huge risks with its marquee titles, but as is the way with risks, some have been successful and some haven't. Even the biggest flops can be forgiven in time though, if they're used as a lesson for the future, to build upon what worked and throw away what didn't. Cherry-picking the strengths from each past game, it's easy to put together a composite ideal of what we'd love to see in FFXV.

Above: Take the tense, strategic battles and overall polish of FFXIII and add more fully-developed characters and the freedom to explore

Surely, at this point Square-Enix knows that FF fans don't want another MMO, but that doesn't mean we don't want the next FF to have an expansive, open world to explore. FFXIII was an interesting extreme at the other end of the spectrum, because it sacrificed freedom for a highly controlled, highly polished experience. We'd love to see FFXV marry the best aspects of both extremes, with an open world akin to some of the western RPGs of this generation (it's easy to imagine a Mass Effect-style exploration structure with airships instead of spaceships) but with a deep combat system and cinematic story befitting a traditional JRPG.

Thanks to deviantARTistsk-sammy-joefor use of the logo above.

1) Super Mario Caf%26eacute;

No, not some bizarre spin-off that has Mario and Luigi engaging in Diner Dash minigames – we’re talking about a brand new Mario adventure for Nintendo’s upcoming console, still codenamed Project Café. Once upon a time, Nintendo made sure there was a robust new Mario game ready to help launch its new machines, but the past two (GameCube and Wii) ditched the trend. Given how many eyes will be on Nintendo, what with all the mainstream attention it received with Wii, it absolutely needs to announce a massive, day-one Mario game that hits with the force of Super Mario 64. No Luigi’s Mansion cop out, no motion-controlled gimmick to lure in casual Wal-Mart and Target shoppers, but a deep, lengthy experience that reminds the world why Nintendo does platforming better than anyone else.

Above: Mario 3DS is already confirmed, but Nintendo’s announced two major Mario games in one show before

Galaxy and Galaxy 2 are amazing, no doubt. But we still pine for a new 3D Mario that features whole worlds to explore instead of floating globes. Imagine the stretching horizons of Mario 64 or Sunshine, but with immeasurably more detailed environments, cleverer puzzles and, most importantly, gloriously high-definition graphics. It’s an experience Nintendo fans (like us) have been waiting for since finishing Galaxy’s comparatively tiny, modular levels. The NES, SNES and N64 all charged out of the gate with Mario – if we had our way, Project Café will do the same and instantly endear us to Nintendo’s newest console.

May 30, 2011

Clear your calendar. Prepare your wallet

Developers, please make these a reality ASAP

Which big releases are going to get slapped with delays this year? We've got a few educated guesses