After the launch of "Grand Theft Auto V" last week, the rest of the year may feel anticlimactic. Aside from the console releases, "Theft" was the biggest launch of the year, with Rockstar racking up more than $1 billion in sales over three days.
But that doesn't mean there isn't anything else worth your time for the rest of 2013. Here are a few you can look forward to:
"Batman: Arkham Origins": Although a new team is working on this prequel, the game appears to be just as impressive as its Rocksteady predecessors. Warner Bros. Montreal creates a more vertical Gotham and gives the Dark Knight new gadgets as he fights off Black Mask and his bounty hunters. It looks like more of the same, but that may not be a bad thing. (Coming Oct. 25)
"Watchdogs": Ubisoft's hacker-themed title will be the other important open-world game this year. It wowed crowds at its E3 unveiling in 2012, and its focus on privacy and computer spying touches on hot topics. What's more impressive is Ubisoft Montreal's merging of single-player campaign and multiplayer modes across numerous devices. The team also appears to have created a Chicago that's just as detailed as south San Andreas in "Grand Theft Auto V." This could be the game that gives Rockstar some competition. (Nov. 19)
"Battlefield 4": Technically, the next-gen experience will come early for PC gamers. DICE set the bar for next-gen visuals with "Battlefield 3," and it ups the ante with this sequel. This time around, the team polishes gameplay ideas and separates itself from the competition with multiplayer maps that change over the course of a battle (they call it "Levelution") and deeper customization to equipment and vehicles. (Oct. 29)
"Call of Duty: Ghosts": For Activision, this franchise has become a yearly release on par with "Madden NFL." Some years, there's a good version, while other iterations are subpar. With "Ghosts," Infinity Ward and company introduce a revamped game engine along with a separate storyline about an America in ruins and a highly skilled team of operatives trying to fend off a new superpower invading U.S. borders. This could breathe life into the flagging series. (Nov. 5)
"Killzone: Shadow Fall": For the PlayStation 4, this could be the game to get. Guerrilla Games is known for its visual wizardry, and this is no exception. The sci-fi world matches anything that "Battlefield 4" puts out, but the gameplay is the intriguing part. The developer offers players choices in how to go through stages and defeat foes almost like "Far Cry 3." It sounds like a formula for success. (Nov. 15)
"Forza 5": Aside from "Dead Rising 3," this could be the launch title to pick up for the Xbox One. Turn 10 Studios may have finally surpassed "Grand Turismo" with this iteration of its racing franchise. The game is expected to be one of the best-looking launch titles, and improvements to AI and the new controller's force-feedback triggers bring some innovation to the genre. The team has excelled when it comes to accessibility and social focus, and fans should expect more improvements on that front. (Nov. 22)