It's that time of the year again: a chance to look ahead at games we're really starting to get excited about.
Only 13 games on our list are completely unique franchises, whereas the rest are sequels, prequels, and reboots. Whether you consider that a good or bad thing, publishers are clearly looking to play it safe in 2011. Not surprisingly, a few stragglers from 2010's list appear again in our 2011 collection, and we'd be shocked if all 40 listed here actually see the light of day before 2012.
All things considered, we think 2011 will certainly impress, especially when 2010 seemed to fizzle out in the second half of the year. Of course, 2011 will also bring with it a new handheld console for us to experience, the Nintendo 3DS.
Exclusivity-conscious gamers should take note of some interesting numbers from our list. The PlayStation 3 owns the most games with seven titles; the Wii boasts only two; and the Xbox 360 has just one (two if you count the one it shares with a PC title).
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride through our massive 40-game slideshow. We think we've covered just about everything, but if you're looking forward to a game in 2011 that we somehow missed, make sure to sound off in the comments section below.
Editors' note: Games are in release date order (though it's likely that many ship dates will change).