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Worthy Contenders

We've already covered Alan Wake (Xbox 360), Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360, PS3), Killzone 2 (PS3), Empire: Total War (PC) and Gran Turismo 5 (PS3) several times before, so we'll assume you already know of their existence and will be looking forward to them every bit as much as we are. The nearer future brings us the updated and expanded Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena plus F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC, Xbox 360, PS3), which looks to build on the strengths of the mostly phenomenal original while improving on its one major weakness (the lack of interesting environments).

We also have high hopes for Batman: Arkham Asylum (PC, Xbox 360, PS3), which might just be the first game to do the Dark Knight justice. Fans of super-heroics should similarly look forward to Infamous (PS3), from Sly Racoon's creators, Sucker Punch, and Prototype (PC, Xbox 360, PS3) from Radical, the guys behind Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Both games, like Crackdown, explore a mix of open-world gameplay with super powers, and both look utterly dazzling.

StreetFighter IV (Xbox 360, PS3) and Tekken 6 (PS3) are the year's big beat-em-ups, and both have a strong chance of toppling Virtua Fighter 5 off its genre top spot. Meanwhile, fans of fast-paced FPS games have a brand-new Wolfenstein (PC, Xbox 360, PS3) to look forward to, with a final chapter in the Half-Life 2 saga an intriguing possibility.

Finally, next year brings us some very interesting MMOs, with Sony's DC Universe Online (PS3, PC) squaring up against Champions Online (Xbox 360, PC) for caped crusade action, while Sony's The Agency (PS3, PC) gives us a new online world of Bond-esque espionage and action.

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