The Top 10 Most Anticipated Games for the 2014/2015 Video Game Season

As summer winds down each year and the massive amounts of data that we took in at E3 and PAX is slowly sifted through and analyzed, one of the first things we do is sit down and study the new release schedules to see what is coming, and when.

Traditionally the new game season runs from late August through early June of the following year, having roughly a two month hiatus in mid-summer (in the northern hemisphere) during which there really are no new releases to speak of. That was not always the case.

At some point in the last five years the game season has grown longer - it used to run from mid-September through late-May, with June, July, and August being pretty dead in terms of new releases. Some years there was almost no detectible break at all - this year there was.

Some years have been slow-starters, with the much anticipated games closely tailored to the holiday release schedule, but thankfully with the addition of the next gen consoles, this year the game publishers and studios are spreading the release times for the big titles over the entire Fall rather than bunching them up nearer to Christmas.

They have to do that because thanks to the extended longevity that both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 still enjoy, there are a lot more big games coming down the pipe than would ordinarily be the case. And while more and more of them are appearing on both the last gen and the new gen consoles, we are still seeing a fair number that are console generation specific.

As part of our annual follow-up to E3 and PAX, we have collected the opinions of a wide pool of gamers and extrapolated them into this Top Ten Most Anticipated Games for the new game season.

10. Halo: The Master Chief Collection (11 November Microsoft Game Studio)

In the realm of video games there are few series with as much heft and following as that of the Halo Series. Its birth is forever linked to Microsoft's Xbox console, because the first game in the series, Halo: Combat Evolved, was released on November 15, 2001 as an exclusive launch title for the original Xbox. While there have since been ports for Windows, OSX, and Xbox 360, the connection between the series and the Xbox in all forms is concrete and complimentary.

The Master Chief Collection is the upcoming compilation of remastered versions of the Halo series created specifically for the Xbox One that includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4 (including their multi-player modes).

In addition the new package includes the complete and full set of add-on content, and access to the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians multi-player beta, which for serious Halo fans is a big deal indeed.

While all of the games have received graphical upgrades for this new release, Halo 2 has received some special treatment, including a Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary-style high-definition overhaul.

All four games have received frame-rate (60 frames per second), resolution (1080p), and lighting upgrades. The CE Anniversary edition is based on the Xbox 360 remaster in 2011, while Halo 2 is getting a similar treatment. Halo 3 and 4 don't need a Hi-Def remake because they were originally created in that format, so their upgrade path will follow the typical porting focus.

One of the major - and very anticipated - features for the collection is the re-imagined list of new Achievements and challenges, which are meant to provide both satisfaction in accomplishment and challenge to the players. The story from game to game remains the same, but it is said that a wider gap has been created in terms of challenge of play between the difficulty modes.

It is very hard to overstate our satisfaction with the results, which leaves us dealing with the only real issue inherent to this package: how to keep our job during release week?

Seriously, you might be able to call in 'sick' but we work in the industry - the first thing that editors do whenever we call in sick is check the release calendar to see which 'fever' we have!