SLIDESHOW

The 20 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2011

Check out our picks for the 20 most enticing computer and console video games due to ship in 2011.

Our List of Gaming 2011's Best and Brightest

Is it sad that most of the titles on our list are sequels? Kind of--but then they wouldn't be half as "anticipated" without a devoted fan base.

With that in mind, check out our rundown of 2011's most promising games, including a few last-minute 2010 surprise announcements.

For more game news, visit PCWorld's games blog Game On, or follow the blog on Twitter (@game_on).

You May Also Enjoy:

• "The Top 10 Video Games of 2010"

• "The 7 Most Overrated Games of 2010"

• "The Video Games and Gear of Christmas 2010"

Lost in Shadow (Wii)

It's a puzzle-oriented platform game in which you control a boy's shadow and alter his environment by manipulating light sources. What's not to like?

By: Hudson Software
Expected: January 4

LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3)

Sackboy returns to puzzle through new levels and user-generated content. This time the game boasts multigenre elements, making possible everything from a quick game of hoops to build-your-own-HUDs to race tracks generated through a music sequencer. (Yes, you read that last bit correctly.)

By: Media Molecule
Expected: January 18

Dead Space 2 (PS3, Xbox 360)

Dead Space gets even creepier in this direct sequel about flesh-chowing aliens on sepulchral space stations. Power through the single-player story, or try the new four-versus-four multiplayer mode.

By: Visceral Games
Expected: January 25

Killzone 3 (PS3)

Hey, it's Killzone 2 with jet packs, expanded melee combat, and 3D support! That's not so bad, since Guerilla's last übergrim first-person shooter was pretty remarkable.

By: Guerilla Games
Expected: February 22

Dragon Age II (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Dragon Age II refreshes BioWare's dark-fantasy role-playing series with new areas, spells, and weapons, as well as a new visual style that looks vaguely cartoonish (in a good way), the series' first full-voiced protagonist, and, of course, more awkwardly written romantic trysts.

By: BioWare
Expected: March 8

Crysis 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Most of us still can't run Crytek's three-year-old alien-shooter Crysis at a decent frame rate with the bells and whistles maxed. Crysis 2, staged in New York three years after the events of its predecessor, promises to cripple a whole new generation of graphics cards.

By: Crytek
Expected: March 22

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

The original Deus Ex won a bunch of awards, but Deus Ex 2 was kind of a mess. Whither Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Who knows, but you can expect more body mods, transhuman abilities, and cyberpunk voguing from this action-role-playing Deus Ex prequel.

By: Eidos Montreal
Expected: April 2011

L.A. Noire (PS3, Xbox 360)

Imagine Los Angeles circa 1947. Now imagine it parked on your hard drive and rendered with painstaking fidelity as a noir-themed sandbox game with startlingly lifelike characters. Also: The city is inhabited by a serial murderer (or murderers) it's your job to track down.

By: Team Bondi
Expected: Q2 2011

Rage (PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360)

Id Software makes heart-stoppingly gorgeous technology demos that someone else usually has to turn into a decent game. There's no reason yet to think otherwise of the post-apocayptic first-person shooter Rage--but as they say, there's a first time for everything.

By: Id Software
Expected: September 13

Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)

The guys behind Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic make an MMO sequel set 300 years after the Knights series with two factions (guess which two!) and eight instantly recognizable classes? What could possibly go wrong?

By: BioWare
Expected: Q3 2011

Batman: Arkham City (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Batman breaks out of the asylum and roams around Gotham City in this sequel, doing more or less what he did in the last game: scanning for clues, untangling forensic mysteries, solving riddles, pounding villains, and looking oh-so-cool in gun-blue latex.

By: Rocksteady Studios
Expected: Q3 2011

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)

It seems like only yesterday we were raving about Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. A year on, and the next game in Naughty Dog's premier action-adventure series is already well under way, boasting 3D support, the ability to tango with multiple enemies at once, and--surprise--a firm release date.

By: Naughty Dog
Expected: November 1

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

What we wouldn't give for a few screens of Bethesda's fifth-in-the-series role-playing epic. All we know so far is that it uses a new 3D engine and that it's set in Skyrim, a northern province in the Elder Scrolls geography. Oh, and it'll have dragons.

By: Bethesda Game Studios
Expected: November 11

Diablo III (PC, Mac)

In late 2011, expect the action-role-playing game Diablo III to set the world of mouse-spamming games on fire--over a decade after Diablo II inspired critics to scribble stuff like "It's utterly mindless, but I can't stop playing it."

By: Blizzard
Expected: Q4 2011

Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)

The Gears of War trilogy--at least, they keep telling us it's a trilogy--finally wraps in 2011. Expect a four-person cooperative option, three playable female characters (a series first), new melee moves and ballistic toys, and a multiplayer update that inverts Gears of War 2's "Horde" mode and lets you play as Locust aliens defending against waves of human COG attackers.

By: Epic Games
Expected: Q4 2011

Mass Effect 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

The Earth looks pretty much screwed, judging from the trailer that BioWare teased for Mass Effect 3 in early December. No doubt you'll have something to say about that in the concluding chapter of the sci-fi role-playing trilogy.

By: BioWare
Expected: Q4 2011

The Last Guardian (PS3)

A boy and his man-eating eagle roam around a hauntingly beautiful dilapidated castle trying to escape from the bad guys. If that doesn't grab you, remember we're talking about the team that came up with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, two of the greatest action-puzzle games ever made.

By: Team Ico
Expected: Q4 2011

InFamous 2 (PS3)

How to top InFamous's city of saints and madmen? With InFamous 2's New Orleans-inspired New Marais, of course, where protagonist Cole has gone to ground in hopes of enhancing his electrical superpowers and preparing for a rematch with the first game's archbaddie, The Beast.

By: Sucker Punch
Expected: TBA 2011

XCOM (PC, Xbox 360)

The classic turn-based strategy game X-COM rebooted as a first-person shooter? We'd be holding our noses, too, if it weren't under development at 2K Marin, the same studio that gave us BioShock 2, one of 2010's very best.

By: 2K Marin
Expected: TBA 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

I had nothing but positive things to say about this sword-obsessed Zelda update after taking it for a spin at E3 2010. Will the Wii survive long enough for this Ocarina of Time prequel to breathe? Of course. After all, a Wii sales surge is only an inevitable $50 to $100 price cut away.

By: Nintendo
Expected: TBA 2011