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10 videogames we can't wait to play

Some of gaming’s greatest franchises are about to get much-anticipated new installments. Here are the ones we’re dying to get our hands on

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1. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Treasure hunter Nathan Drake goes on a quest for a lost Arabian city in a game that boasts expanded multiplayer capability and improved stealth, climbing, and fighting mechanics. Stakes are high for the threequel — Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was widely regarded as the best game of 2009, and another blockbuster could jump-start a stalled movie adaptation. (Nov. 1)

2. Batman: Arkham City
The sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum leaves the loony bin and turns the Caped Crusader’s blighted metropolis into a byzantine madhouse of puzzles and predicaments. Consider it a virtual prequel to next year’s final Christian Bale Bat-flick. (Oct. 18)

3. Rage
As seen on this season’s Breaking Bad! The newest shooter from the trailblazing makers of Quake takes place on a future Earth decimated by a meteor strike. As the memory-challenged, dune-buggy-driving hero, you must rebuild society while battling mutants and demented survivalists. (Oct. 4)

4. Battlefield 3
This installment — set partially in the Middle East against the backdrop of a devastating earthquake — is a souped-up war machine that represents a massive assault on Call of Duty‘s category dominance. Comes with the industry’s latest buzz feature: social-media capability. (Oct. 25)

5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Since making the masterful Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward has been rocked by behind-the-scenes turmoil. Can the company rally to mount a worthy encore? CoD loyalists will make the game a smash, just to have an opinion on the matter. (Nov. 8)

6. Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Having previously brought Venice and Rome to spectacular life, the brilliant architects behind Assassin’s Creed tackle Constantinople in a typically trippy, time-toggling journey that unites the different heroes of the three preceding games. (Nov. 15)

7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you like Game of Thrones but don’t think there are enough despotic, ethereal entities morphing into village-ravaging dragons, this role-playing game with a vast open world and stunning visuals is for you. (Nov. 11)

8. Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars fanatics, your official break from reality has finally arrived. Customize your own Republic-loyal hero or Sith-aligned baddie and go adventuring with countless other players in a huge online world inspired by George Lucas’ movies and created by the makers of Mass Effect. Ready Jedi One! (Winter)

9. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The first Zelda game developed exclusively for the Wii is a prequel to the franchise classic Ocarina of Time, with swordplay and fighting tailored to the console’s motion-sensitive wand controller. (Nov. 20)

10. Rayman Origins
A fave among fans of side-scrolling games, Rayman has been upstaged and sidelined in recent years by a spin-off series starring rabid rabbits known as Raving Rabbids. He’ll try to regain his star with a showcase revealing his shadowy background. (Nov. 15)

Falll’s First Blockbuster!
Gears of War 3
One of the season’s biggest releases came out Sept. 20, and it has some flaws: The duck-and-cover gameplay gets repetitive, and the original Gears‘ terse storytelling has devolved into emo-beefcake sentimentality. But the franchise’s eccentric vision of manic-depressive muscle-men exploring a ruined world has never felt so vividly expansive. This is pure steroid poetry: unrefined, unrepentant, unforgettable. B+Darren Franich