Happy New Year! (yeah, I’m a week late!)

Another year ended and another one begun. As we have finally said goodbye to 2016 (an amazing year gaming wise. The rest? Not so much), we’re looking straight ahead to 2017 and the amazing games scheduled to release. Now, obviously, keep in mind that release dates are subject to change (Persona 5 already got delayed from February to April). So with that in mind, here are 10 games you guys should keep your eyes out for.

Persona 5: Where do I even begin? Ever since it’s announcement what seems to be ages ago, Persona 5 has been one of my highly anticipated games. Ever. Persona 3 consumed over 200 hrs of my life, spread across the PS2 version and the enhanced PSP port. While Persona 4 on PS2 didn’t grab me as much, it’s PS Vita counterpart has also consumed over 200 hrs of my life. The Persona series is something special as it mixes a plethora of gameplay mechanics such as traditional turn based JRPG combat, demon collecting and handling life as a high schooler: friends, homework, part time job, extracurricular activities… Just to name a few. Trying to accomplish everything sure is a challenge, but one thing is for sure, it’s impossible to be bored. Release date was recently moved from February to April. The game is coming exclusively to PS3 and PS4.

Friday the 13th: Recurrent GGS Gamer readers (and my Twitter followers) can attest to the fact that I’m a huge supporter of this game. I will not hide away that I pitched in over 330$ US in the Kickstarter Campaign, however objectively speaking along with the beta feedback for this asymmetrical multiplayer experience, I can safely say this will be one to watch in 2017. The game is currently set for an early 2017 release, after being delayed from its original Fall 2016 release schedule. My only gripe is that the single player will release later this year as an add-on. Friday the 13th will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Crackdown 3: The first of two open world games on my list. I’ve been a fan of the series when I picked up the first game out of curiosity. Back then, the crazy shenanigans found in Crackdown weren’t as common as they are today, which made players feel something special by jumping insanely high for example. It was also the first game I felt amassing collectibles was actually fun. While the sequel felt a bit bland, I’m still excited for this sequel, mostly because it’ll let you destroy the entire city when playing with friends. If all goes well, Crackdown 3 will release sometime this year for Xbox One.

Agents of Mayhem: As I was being a good boy and patiently waiting for Volition to announce Saints Row V, the developer came out of left field with Agents of Mayhem. The game looks even crazier and over the top than Saints Row IV. While I didn’t enjoy Saints Row IV as much as the previous three games, AOM acts as a spiritual successor to the crazyness of the latter Saints Row titles. Despite being disappointed with Saints Row IV and Gat out of Hell, if Volition can retain the Saints Row The Third flavor with an actual open world, then this will be amazing. Currently scheduled for a release sometime in 2017 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Outlast 2: While I wasn’t a big a fan of the original Outlast, this sequel promises more creepiness and scares. The demo of the sequel caught me off guard and after playing through it a few times, I actually wanted more. Along with Claire, the Outlast 2 demo actually gave me a few scares. You can read my thoughts and hear me scream like a little girl right here. PC, PS4 and Xbox One players might want to pick up a change of underwear for Q1 2017.

Double Dragon IV: When Arc System Works announced a new Double Dragon game late last year, I was quite apprehensive. Admittedly, 2010’s reboot, Double Dragon Neon, ended up on my top 10 favorite games of all time, the sequel was quite utter garbage. However, during the Holidays, we were blessed with an official announcement and trailer which put my fears to rest. DDIV will retain the visuals of the highly successful 1990 sequel, Double Dragon II: The Revenge along with a few similarities combat wise. Arc System Works also managed to bring back original team members who worked on The Revenge to ensure a successful and trustworthy sequel. Hopefully, this game will feature both local and online co-op. Double Dragon IV will be available at the end of January for PC and PS4.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy: Yes, I willingly admit that I skipped those games on PS1. The PS1/N64 came out when I was in college and trying to figure out what to do with my life so I basically went from the Super NES era to the PS2. Even when I tried to catch up on the PS1 era, I looked away from these games. But as I grew older, I have a much better appreciation for games of all genres. And hearing so many good things about this series made me regret skipping them. But thankfully, sometime this year, I will be able to correct a wrong and finally give Crash Bandicoot his fair chance. I’m a sucker for a good platformer, so after all the high praises I’ve heard, this better be good. Besides, I loved the Crash easter egg in Uncharted 4, nothing could go wrong, right? It is currently scheduled to release sometime in 2017 exclusively for PS4.

Tekken 7: One word: Akuma. Seeing as Capcom seriously dropped the ball with Street Fighter V (I mean… it took close to ONE YEAR to include Akuma in their own game…), Bandai Namco and Harada-san have faithfully represented Gouken’s antagonist in the upcoming iteration of the long running fighter. And interestingly enough, they’ve created a storyline in the Tekken universe where Akuma plays a pivotal role. While one of the trailers released over the last year points out to Akuma’s role, it’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds. Tekken 7 is slated to release during the first half of 2017 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Old Time Hockey: As a teenager, I spent countless hours playing the Super NES. One of the games I’ve spent most time with was definitely NHLPA ’93. Sounds odd, right? During sleepovers, me and my friends would always play this addictive hockey game for hours on end. When I first heard about Old Time Hockey, I will admit that I was a bitskeptical, however, after seeing the game with its Super NES era visuals, so I was ready to go all in. It also promises a mix of old arcade sports game such as NBA Jam and Tecmo Bowl along with some inspiration from the classic Slap Shot movie. How can this go wrong? The game is currently scheduled to release this year for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Cuphead: Remember this one? The game was first announced way back at E3 2014. Thanks to yearly gaming conventions, the developers have reminded players that the game is still in development. While at first I dimissed this game due to its look, the more I read about it, the more I’m intrigued. Having been raised in the NES era with the Contra franchise, I have a soft spot for run-and-gun platformers. A friend of mine had the opportunity to go hands-on with it in September during Toronto Fan-Expo and his feedback left me optimistic. Challenging and always good times with friends, keep an eye out for this one… if it releases this year.

Trying to narrow down my most anticipated games of the year was very difficult as there’s a lot of quality scheduled to release. With that being said, here are a few honorable mentions:

The Nintendo Switch: I grew up with Nintendo. It’s a new Nintendo console. It’s a no-brainer.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole: South Park: Stick of Truth was easily one of my favorite RPG of the last decade, while it may be difficult to top it (seeing as development duties have been delegated to Ubisoft San Francisco instead to original development team Obisidian), I’m staying optimistic that Ubisoft can deliver a solid sequel.

Sniper Elite 4: Bigger and better sequel? BRING IT ON! Oh did I mention X-Ray Kill Cam?

The Fall Part 2: Unbound: I took a gamble a few years ago when I reviewed the first part and came out quite surprised at how fun this 2D Metroidvania style game actuallt was. From the aesthetics to the ending, this was a fun, albeit short, ride. Looking forward to finally playing this sequel.

Which games are YOU most excited for?