#20: The Sims 3
2009: PC In 10 words: realer models, better aging, more community interaction. Still speaking Simlish.
#19: StarCraft II
2009: PC, Mac StarCraft is widely considered to be the best real-time strategy game ever made. Even ten years after its initial release in 1998, professional gamers still compete in StarCraft matches for big money. With StarCraft II, developer Blizzard plans to carry on the tradition by creating the "ultimate competitive real-time strategy game." In StarCraft II, you choose from one of three playable races: the mechanically adept and mobile Terrans, the technologically advanced Protoss, or the bestial alien Zerg. Although each race plays radically different, StarCraft's hallmark is balance. We're not expecting to see StarCraft II until 2009 at the earliest, and the wait won't be easy, but you can get up-to-date information on the game's many details by visiting starcraft2.com.
#18: Street Fighter IV
2009: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 The first true Street Fighter sequel in over a decade hits the PS3 and Xbox 360 early next year. Street Fighter IV keeps the retro feel by sticking to a 2D fighting style, using 3D character models and backgrounds to spice up the visuals. Street Fighter IV plays refreshingly similar to Street Fighter games of past (you still remember all the moves, don't you?), so anyone who has an affinity for old-school fighters will love it. Adding to the nostalgia, Capcom is bringing back 12 classic characters-Ken, Ryu, Guile, and the rest of the gang-but also adds five new brawlers including the lighting-fast Crimson Viper, the burly El Fuerte, and a sinister final boss known only as "Seth." Street Fighter IV is already up and running in Japanese arcades, so we'll see if Tekken 6 can keep up come later this year.
#17: Tekken 6
2009: PlayStation 3 Tekken 5 was one of the most balanced, fierce, and replayable fighters ever created, and Tekken 6 is following closely in its footsteps. Early hands-on experiences have highlighted the game's magnificent HD visuals - seriously, folks, this is one beautiful brawler - plus countless new costumes and accessories. But Tekken 6 makes a controversial addition in its new "bound" moves, which are smashing attacks that send your opponent bouncing off the ground...and right back into your fists for more punishment. Frustratingly, these new moves emphasize massive mid-air juggle combos instead of the more nuanced back-and-forth sniping of Tekken 5. Still, Tekken 6 is upping the ante with its enormous 40-man fighter roster, which the morbidly obese Bob, the Spanish hothead Miguel, and a contortionist named Zafina. The release date remains a mystery, but we're betting on early 2009.