SLIDESHOW

The Top Upcoming Games You've Never Heard Of — Part One

What about all the smaller, under-the-radar games that are cool but aren't exactly household game brands?

The 29 Best Upcoming Games You've Never Heard Of

With mammoth games lined up for all three consoles like two new Metal Gear Solid games, Uncharted 2, two Halo games, God of War III, and two Mario games for the Wii just to name a few, there's certainly no shortage of blockbuster games coming in 2009 and 2010. But what about all the smaller games that are cool but aren't exactly household game brands?

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Persona PSP

Persona PSP

For: PSP

In a genre populated by spiky-haired protagonists, over-sized swords and rag-tag groups of adventurers, the Shin Megami Tensei series made a name for itself by taking an incredibly unique and considerably darker approach to the traditional role-playing formula in the franchise's North American debut, Revelations: Persona for the original Playstation. While Persona was met with both critical acclaim and a cult following of fans at release, it was often overlooked in favor of the Final Fantasies and Dragon Quests of the world. Thankfully, the good people at Atlus are bringing the game that started it all to the PSP in this complete overhaul of the original Persona title, including a brand new user interface, cinematic cut-scenes, never-before-seen dungeons, and an entirely new localization from the ground up. If you're a fan of the Megaten franchise, or if you simply missed it the first time around, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the September 22nd release of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona for the PSP. --Will Herring (follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

C.O.P. The Recruit

C.O.P. The Recruit

For: DS

While open-world gameplay has become a staple in countless contemporary titles, only a handful of games have successfully executed a living, breathing sandbox capable of truly immersing the player. Ubisoft's latest effort looks to captivate and intrigue audiences by offering up one of the deepest real-time worlds to date in their newest adventure, C.O.P. The Recruit. Players fill the shoes of former street racer turned undercover agent Dan Miles as he takes on the criminal underbelly of New York City. "Expansive" is an understatement for this ambitious action title, as C.O.P. will not only feature an impressive, six square mile recreation of New York for players to explore, but will feature NO loading screens, not to mention gameplay that consistently runs at 60 FPS. Throw in about 60 missions, 30 vehicles and over 20 hours of gameplay and Ubisoft may very well have the next definitive open-world action game on their hands. --Will Herring (follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Muramasa: Demon Blade

Muramasa: Demon Blade

For: Nintendo Wii

Even with most of the E3 showroom floor focused on next-gen texture and bump-mapped protagonists, there were few titles that could hold a light to the jaw-dropping, drool-inducing world on display in Vanillaware's Muramasa: The Demon Blade. From the creative forces behind the 2007 sleeper hit Odin Sphere comes an absolutely stunning twist on the action-RPG genre. In this exciting Wii exclusive adventure, players are invited to explore an amazing world of legend inhabited by enchanting Japanese mythology, brought to life through breathtaking hand-drawn environments, characters and animations. As either the warrior princess Momohime or the amnesiac shinobi Kisuke, players will hack and slash their way through this immersive and magical world, tasked with collecting 108 mystical katana, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. --Will Herring (follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

A Boy and His Blob

A Boy and His Blob

For: Nintendo Wii

A remake of the 1989 NES game, not to be confused with the DS version which is a sequel, A Boy and His Blob has me wishing it was autumn already. If the idea of having a pet blob that turns into things like a bomb and a blowtorch doesn't immediately win you over, you really need to see this game with your own eyes to be convinced of its cute awesomeness. The NES original A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia may not have been as huge as Super Mario Bros., but it's definitely good to see this inspired series being reinvigorated. --Heather Bartron (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Afrika

Afrika

For: PS3

So it may not be the most explosion-filled, high energy game on the planet, but you'd be surprised how addicting this oddly spelled game turns out to be. During the first hour, I wanted to shoot myself as I waited for a Hippo to stop yawning so I could snap a photo of it. But when I was awarded a new, more complicated camera and the chance to shoot a Cheetah stalking its prey, I was in it for the long haul. --Heather Bartron (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom

For: Nintendo Wii

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is freaking insanity. Its birth spawns from the strangest of blends, but the outcome is the Wii's greatest fighting game. Try to imagine if Marvel vs. Capcom's crack-cocaine dealer made whoopee with all of Tatsunoko's Japanese production staff and Street Fighter IV's art director while Nintendo execs watched, liked what they saw, and wanted to see that same magical moment recreated on the Wii. That is Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, the zaniest fighting game the Wii will ever see. Just look at that screen and tell me it's not beautiful. --Travis Moses (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

For: Xbox 360, PS3

Relic's new game, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, is friggin incredible. Warhammer 40K fans know they can expect nothing less than what the series is known for: Ork on Ultramarine mega-violence, massive blood-spurting battles, and BFG-type weapons that make World of Warcraft players blush. But one thing long-time fans won't expect is that the game is not real-time strategy. Space Marine is an action-RPG like Devil May Cry where you'll play as a single Space Marine, hacking and slashing through tons of Orks to earn upgrades, such as jetpacks and new weapons, to customize your badass Ultramarine. --Travis Moses (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Shadow Complex

Shadow Complex

For: Xbox 360

Microsoft's Shadow Complex, developed by Chair, is far too under the radar. I previewed Shadow Complex in GamePro's August issue and then blew up the internets with the extended preview on GamePro.com after Microsoft's E3 press briefing. There's exclusive info you won't find anywhere else. I think this game is rad because it's a side-scrolling shooter that blends my favorite features from several games: Super Metroid, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Uncharted, Pitfall, and Gears of War. Imagine Contra on steroids with a next-gen facelift and you'll have a good idea what Shadow Complex is like. --Travis Moses (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Tales of Monkey Island

Tales of Monkey Island

For: Wii, PC

The original Monkey Island series is one of the funniest and original game franchises around. Now, one of the original developers, Ron Gilbert, is back with another hilarious adventure starring Guybrush Threepwood, inept pirate extraordinaire. I'm excited because TellTale games, the company responsible for bringing back Sam & Max, is handling development, so you know it's going to be awesome. You can expect some smart writing, challenging puzzles and ridiculous pirate adventures. The game's getting a new visual style to similar to TellTale's other adventure games. --Tae Kim (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts

For: DS

I've already gushed about this game after seeing it at E3 but I'll say it one more time: Scribblenauts has tons of serious potential. I basically begged Warner Bros. for a copy, even promising that I'd drive to their HQ to pick it up if I have to. There are a lot of triple-A titles releasing in 2009 but this is probably the one I'm most excited for. The first thing I'm going to do when I get my copy is conjure up a zombie and put it on a skateboard. And I can't wait for the crazy videos that are going to pop up on Youtube. --Tae Kim (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Darkest of Days

Darkest of Days

For: PC

This is sort of a sleeper title that could make some noise when it comes out. Take FPS shooter action and mix in a dose of time-travelling -- that's the gimmick behind Darkest of Days. You're basically a Time Cop (Jean Claude Van Damme's finest movie -- just kidding) and you hop all around time making sure the natural course of history stays intact. That means blasting people during Custer's Last Stand with lasers and witnessing the disaster of Pompei with your own eyes. Time travel always makes for an interesting premise, so this is one indie shooter that bears watching. --Tae Kim (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Half-Minute Hero

Half-Minute Hero

For: PSP

I've decided that Half-Minute Hero is going to be an RPG for people with ADD. Giving players only 30 seconds to complete each mission, the game does away with many typical RPG mainstays, such as spending hours leveling up, and completely throws the long-winded story custom right out the window. The game itself has a decidedly old-school look to it, and the characters and enemies are basically a parody of RPG sprites; you can literally count the pixels on each character. With four different modes which range from typical (but extremely short) random battle fare to a full on shoot-em-up mode, Half-Minute Hero may be a schizophrenic RPG that anyone can jump in and play for... half of a minute. --Andy Burt (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

PixelJunk Shooter

PixelJunk Shooter

For: PS3

When one of the most creative development houses in gaming comes up with a new title, you'd do best to listen up. PixelJunk's latest is a frenetic take on the classic arcade-style shooter genre (hence the name) with enough quirky twists and puzzle elements to make it all their own. The main goal in Shooter is to pilot a spacecraft and rescue humans who are stuck in underground channels (how they got there is anyone's guess) from a fiery death by lava by strategically destroying rock formations, releasing refreshingly cold water into the levels to extinguish the lava. Somehow bats and other enemies made their way down into the lava-infested channels (maybe they followed the humans in?) which you'll need to destroy, all the while rescuing humans and avoiding getting torched by the lava. PixelJunk, just hurry up and give me the damn game already, I'm tired of waiting. --Andy Burt (Follow me on Twitter here!)

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Ghostwire

Ghostwire

For: DS

For a DS game, Ghostwire looks pretty freaky and I'm interested to see if the ghosts and ghouls found within the game provide some legitimate scares. The game will be Nintendo's first foray into Augmented Reality, which allows users to see ghosts everywhere and anywhere in the real world. The game utilizes the DSi's built in camera as a kind of seeing stone into the paranormal world, and your purpose will be much like Haley Joel Osmond's character in the Sixth Sense: Finding ghosts and helping them resolve some unfinished business so they can move on peacefully. It could turn out to be a surprise ghostly treat, later this year. --Sean Mirkovich

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con

Invizimals

Invizimals

For: PSP

Invizimals could turn out to be the next big RPG in the style of Pokemon if the gameplay is as exciting as it looks to be. Invizimals is another upcoming title that uses Augmented Reality, allowing players to see 3D monsters floating around in real space via their PSP camera. Players can search their homes or any other area, using their PSP to track and sense monsters, eventually capturing them for training and battle. The battles utilize all new PSP add-ons, such as wind attacks (blowing into the mic), lightning attacks (using your own shadow) and earthquake attacks (shaking the console). While it seems lacking in story, the incredibly interactive battles seem more than enough to make up for it. --Sean Mirkovich

See related stories

20 Games That Changed Gaming Forever

10 iPhone Games You Gotta Have

Top 5 Games to Appear at Comic Con