Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Box Art

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a 1080p remaster of the original game from nearly a decade ago which includes five campaign chapters never released on Xbox, modernized multiplayer running at 60 FPS (campaign is still 30 FPS), a total of 19 maps, updated controls tuned for Xbox One, and new Xbox Live achievements. There also are five Gears of War comic books which can be unlocked and read in-game.

Perhaps most impressively, all Xbox One versions of GoW: UE (Standard, Deluxe, or Bundle) come with free access to the whole Gears collection via Xbox One Backward Compatibility, which is set to launch in full this November. All you have to do is play the Ultimate Edition on Xbox Live any time from August 25 to December 31, 2015, according to Xbox Wire. In addition, buying the game grants the owner access to the Gears of War 4 Beta when it launches in 2016.

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NHL 16

NHL 16 Box Art

NHL 16 is the next installment in EA’s highly popular hockey video game franchise. Developed for the current-gen consoles, the game will also be released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 as NHL: Legacy Edition.

After the poorly-received NHL 15, the developers are making numerous changes to the upcoming title, such as bringing back the fan-favorite EA Sports Hockey League (EASHL) mode and online-enabled couch co-op. Other notable features include more precise goalie controls, new player morale mechanic in Be a GM, and various visual improvements for added authenticity.

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Forza Motorsport 6

Forza Motorsport 6 Box Art

Forza Motorsport 6 is an upcoming Xbox One exclusive racing sim developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft. Compared to its predecessors, the game boasts improved graphics, audio, AI, and physics. The latter is said to be particularly impressive, with Forza 6 featuring accurately simulated rain and puddles, as well as all the hazards associated with racing in wet weather such as hydroplaning.

The ambitious game includes more than 450 cars and 26 tracks, ten of which are new to the franchise. The story mode offers 70 hours of content, and multiplayer allows for races with up to 24 cars. Forza Motorsport 6 also includes nighttime driving for the first time in the series.

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Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians Box Art

Halo 5: Guardians is the next installment in Xbox’s flagship franchise, and the second title in the Reclaimer saga. The story of the game takes place 8 months after the events of Halo 4. Humanity’s colonies are under attack, and to make matters worse, Master Chief has gone AWOL. Jameson Locke, a newly-made SPARTAN-IV, is tasked with hunting him down.

Both Agent Locke and Master Chief are playable in Halo 5. The protagonists are accompanied by three squad members who each have their own loadouts and specialties. These companions are controlled by the AI or other players in case of cooperative play. Halo 5 does not feature a split-screen mode, and Xbox Live Gold is required to play with your friends online. The game does come with a two week Gold trial, however. As for competitive multiplayer, there is a new Warzone mode with AI Units and up to 24 players on the map. The devs also promise free DLC maps after launch.

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NBA 2K16

NBA 2K16 Box Art

NBA 2K16 is a basketball simulator developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. Compared to its predecessor, it features more lifelike crowds, better player movement animations, and even more realistic shoes – all changes aimed at making NBA 2K16 “the most authentic NBA gaming experience yet.” It is also said that the game improves post play and allows taller athletes to use their height advantage over the smaller defenders when close to the basket.

Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Anthony Davis all get their own individual NBA 2K16 covers; the distribution is entirely random. That being said, the game comes with a folded insert featuring all three famous NBA players, so you can choose the star to grace the cover of your copy.

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Madden NFL 16

Madden NFL 16 Box Art

Madden NFL 16 is an upcoming football game developed and published by EA. It runs on both current-gen and last-gen consoles using tried-and-true Ignite and Impact graphics engines, respectively. The title introduces reworked receiver and defender controls, as well as new quarterback mechanics like body-relative throws.

Other features include a streamlined Connected Franchise Mode, an overhauled scouting and drafting system, and improved camera to give the game a more realistic feel. EA Trax program is also making a return in Madden NFL 16, and is said to bring back fan-favorite songs from the past installments.

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Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 Box Art

Mighty No. 9 is a side-scrolling platformer developed by Inti Creates and Keiji Inafune’s Comcept. Touted as a spiritual successor to the Mega Man franchise, the game raised $3.8 million on Kickstarter and was developed with significant input from the Beckers (a pun on the protagonist’s name). According to the developers, they intend to bring the best elements of the classic 8- and 16-bit era titles to the modern gaming platforms.

PlayStation owners will be happy to learn that Mighty No. 9 features Cross-Buy across PS4, PS3 and PS Vita. The game is 3D-enabled on the 3DS, and supports Wii U’s GamePad. The system requirements for the PC version have also been announced, and can be found on the official website.

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