20 - 16

Reducing the total to twenty was hard work, with a number of deserving titles missing out on the list, but we had to draw the line somewhere. Even here we have some very big releases, with the latest entry in the incredibly successful Souls series, a sequel to Level-5's big fairytale adventure, the surprising resurgence of the Yakuza series in the West, and another hugely successful Kickstarter campaign from Larian Studios.

Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III (PC/PS4/One) - Official Site
Pub: Bandai Namco Games | Dev: FromSoftware | Release: 04.12.2016 (NA/EU)

Dark Souls II was a very good game, but there were more than a few fans who felt that the game was a little off, especially when it had to follow up the now famous original. Dark Souls III, which is promised to be the last one under series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, is looking to right what might have gone wrong and deliver a strong finale for a hopefully great trilogy of games. Dark Souls III will change up some of the game's mechanics again, such as adding an additional type of Estus for magic, adding a "Ready Stance" option — an attack unique to each weapon — and altering the short bow so that it functions as a close-range weapon. Most importantly, there will be no more agility stat. - Zack Webster

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PS4) - Official Site
Pub: Bandai Namco Games | Dev: Level-5 | Release: 2016 (NA/EU)

Despite much excitement and great sales in the West, many were left disappointed by the original Ni no Kuni. It had lots of potential, and certainly was great to look at. Sadly, story issues and lackluster combat held it back. Despite this, the potential of the original makes a sequel something to keep a close eye on. If it can capture gameplay magic equal to its beautiful gameplay engine, then it could turn out to be something quite special indeed. - Michael Apps

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4/Vita) - Official Site
Pub: Bandai Namco Games | Dev: Media.Vision | Release: 02.02.2015 (NA), 02.05.2015 (EU)

When I was younger I always preferred watching the Digimon animation to Pokémon, though when it came to games the latter was really the only option for a few reasons. However, now that I've grown tired of the Pokémon games, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth seems almost perfectly geared towards me; a game suited for past fans of the series that have grown up and want to return to it under a more mature guise. Impressions from highly trusted sources have lead me to believe that I will adore it when it hits at the beginning of February. - Alex Fuller

Yakuza Zero

Yakuza Zero (PS4) - Official Site
Pub: Sega | Dev: Sega | Release: 2016 (NA/EU)

Until the release of Yakuza 5 in 2015, this particular series had been left in limbo by Sega. Thankfully sales exceeded expectations, with Sega announcing that Yakuza Zero would see light in 2016. Yakuza Zero means seeing protagonist Kazuma Kiryu in his humble beginnings, well before the events of Yakuza. Taking place in 1988, players will be treated to the story of Kazuma's rise to fame, and for long-time fans of the series, the game will also let them play as Goro Majima. It's easy to get giddy over the release of Yakuza Zero and the amount of bicycle violence the game promises along with bad 80s haircuts. Sign me up! - Sam Wachter

Divinity: Original Sin II

Divinity: Original Sin II (PC) - Official Site
Pub: Larian Studios | Dev: Larian Studios | Release: Q4.2016 (NA/EU)

The first Divinity: Original Sin was one of the nicest surprises of 2014 and one of the best games that year. At its core was a finely-tuned and streamlined turn-based combat system that was as dynamic as it was entertaining and surrounding all of it was an irreverent take on the generic fantasy story, taking the game in a more humorous route that better fit its shoes. While I don't expect the sequel to surprise like the first did, it looks to be an all-around improvement on the experience. The number of possible players has been doubled from two to four and greater emphasis is being put on individual characters, from including multiple races to playing through an origin that shapes how NPCs react to players and opens different game paths based on those choices. If Larian can nail the introduction, then another campaign in the Original Sin universe will be a welcome sight. - Zack Webster

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