Presents, turkey and Call of Duty—the holidays are a time for family, comfort food and giving thanks, but they also play host to some of the biggest video game releases of the year. Nielsen Game Rank surveyed nearly 6,000 active gamers ages seven to 54 to find out which upcoming titles have them the most excited. Nielsen then used the data to list the top 14 most-anticipated video games of the holiday season, based on titles that ranked 75 percent or above from respondents. For this analysis, the survey included all titles releasing October 1-December 31, 2017.
New installments to beloved franchises are garnering the most excitement.
Activision’s Call of Duty: WWII tops the holiday wish list for games releasing across different platforms with a rate of 99 percent—“extremely high anticipation.” After a romp through the battlefields of World War II, gamers are eagerly awaiting a trip to ancient Egypt, a la Assassin’s Creed: Origins. The franchise took a year off from releasing a main storyline in the action/adventure franchise, which seems to have gotten Ubisoft fans ready for more sneaky, stabby fun with an anticipation rate of 95 percent.
Not far behind for multi-platform releases are Star Wars: Battlefront II and WWE 2K18 with anticipation rates of 90 and 80 percent, respectively.
Nintendo is hoping for another record-breaking holiday release for the 3DS with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon. According to Nielsen’s findings, players who want to “catch them all” are slightly more excited about the Ultra Moon version, at 99 percent anticipation versus Ultra Sun at 97 percent.
Racing To Buy
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both have their own racing game exclusives, and both are tied for most-anticipated video games on their respective platforms. At 85 percent each, Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One and Gran Turismo Sport on PS4 currently have the same levels of overall anticipation from their respective fans.
Gamers raced out to snag up their copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild earlier this year, so Nintendo will count on Super Mario Odyssey to keep the Switch momentum going into the holiday season. With an anticipation rate of 96 percent, the game seems ready to toss its hat into the ring—or onto a T-Rex, as the case may be.
Updated versions of old favorites are using nostalgia to influence how gamers feel about new releases, especially on PC. This is especially the case for Microsoft’s Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, the classic strategy game with a 92 percent anticipation rate.
Titles getting the VR treatment are also turning PC gamer heads, such as Bethesda’s Fallout 4 VR (79 percent anticipation) and Rock Star’s L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files at 75 percent.
Nintendo 3DS is getting a healthy dose of nostalgia as well, with a compilation of fan-favorite mini-games from Mario Party. Mario Party: The Top 100 is anticipated at 93 percent by fans, and a remake of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, which allows players to experience the game from the perspective of enemy characters is anticipated at 96 percent.