2012 is on its last leg and 2013 is looming just around the bend. And, boy, does next year seem like it’s going to be a good year for gaming. There’s a ton of great games coming out in the near future. So what games am I most looking forward to in the coming year? Well, let me tell you. Keep in mind that there are a couple limits to this list. One, I’m only limiting it to games that are confirmed to be coming to consoles that I own. So, while I may be excited about Watch Dogs, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and GTA V, I’m a little wary about getting too excited for them as they are, as of yet, unannounced for a console I own, namely the Wii U. Two, I will only mention games that are announced and confirmed for a 2013 release date. As much as I may revel in the thought of Half-Life 3, Metroid Prime 4, or The Legend of Zelda HD I won’t be talking about them, as it’d be mostly speculation on my part.

With that out of the way, here’s my most anticipated games of 2013.

5. Aliens: Colonial Marines

Not many of you may know this, but I love me some Aliens. I’ve recently gotten into the films, but this game was what sparked my interest in the franchise in the first place. The developer, Gearbox, has said that the Wii U version of the game will be “the definitive version”. I had to give them credit for sticking up for Nintendo’s console when it was essentially the butt monkey of the internet.

I know licensed games like this are of usually poor quality. But every once in a while, a licensed game will come out that bucks this trend and turns out to be something spectacular.

Judging from this trailer, this game seems to be going for the one thing a game like this needs to be successful: atmosphere. The multiplayer also looks like a whole barrel of fun. You can play as a marine or as a Xenomorph, stalking your prey from the shadows. Whether the team at Gearbox will succeed with this game remains to be seen. But I’ll be among those willing to give the game a go when it does come out.

Game over, man, game over.

4. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon

I’m among those who think Luigi doesn’t get nearly as much love as he should. And yet I’ve never played the original Luigi’s Mansion… It’s on my list, though. Just put GameCube games on the Wii U’s Virtual Console and we’ll be golden, Nintendo.

That said, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon has caught my attention. It’s high time Mario got a break and gave his underappreciated sibling a chance in the spotlight. Soon, Luigi will be back at his ghost-busting antics. With an eerie atmosphere and several mansions to explore, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon will be one 3DS title you do not want to miss.

Although Luigi might prefer to miss it himself.

3. Rayman Legends

Are you ready for Rayman Legends?

Pretty much anyone who played last year’s Rayman Origins will tell you that it was one of the best platformers of recent memory. But, it didn’t sell well. Fortunately, that hasn’t stopped Ubisoft from making a sequel, Rayman Legends. I’ve had the privilege to play the game at a demo at Best Buy, and I have to say that Rayman Legends captures the whimsical fun of the first game while creating a new fantasy setting at the same time. The game looks absolutely gorgeous with its new art direction.

As a Wii U exclusive, Rayman Legends will be putting the Game Pad to good use. Like New Super Mario Bros. U, the game will allow a fifth player to toy around with the environment: moving platforms, grabbing enemies, and increasing the value of Lums. Unfortunately, as with Rayman Origins, I’ll probably wind up going at this adventure solo. But that’s not such a bad thing as Rayman Legends is shaping up to be one heck of a platformer and a killer exclusive for the Wii U.

2. Fire Emblem: Awakening

I was pretty disappointed when Fire Emblem: Shin Monsho no…that second Fire Emblem game on the DS didn’t come to the West. But all is well now that Fire Emblem: Awakening is on its way. This 3DS entry to the series looks like it will be a great one. At the core of every good Fire Emblem experience is the story and Awakening‘s plot already has me hooked. At this point, I don’t know a great deal. It tells the story of Chrom, the leader of a group of warriors known as Shepherds. There’s someone impersonating Marth, a horde of undead soldiers, and a couple of dragons that could cause the end of the world. How does this all turn out? We’ll have to wait and see.

If only I could read Japanese.

 1) The Wonderful 101

What’s so “Wonderful” about The Wonderful 101? I have no idea. I’ve never played it, but I am quite interested in it. This new IP reminds me of Pixar’s The Incredibles, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It looks like a crazy, off-the-wall action game, the sort of thing Platinum Games is best at. You play as a group of superheroes tasked with defending the Earth from an alien invasion. How do they go about this, you might ask? Why, by turning into giant objects of course! You have access to a giant sword, fist, and gun to help you combat the invading extraterrestrials.

Eat your heart out, Doom.

In an industry starved for new ideas and originality, The Wonderful 101 might just be one of the exclusive titles that the Wii U needs to give it its necessary edge.

Those are my most anticipated games for 2013. Be sure to tell me what you’re looking forward to in the comments below.

James Best
James Best is a recent addition to the oprainfall staff, joining just before E3 2012. Primarily a video game critic, he also reports on news occasionally. He hopes to become a professional critic sometime in the future. While he does enjoy a good RPG, he can appreciate a wide variety of genres from platformers to shooters.