All signs point to this being a vintage year for videogames – and here’s ten of the very best from what’s due over the coming months.

2012 might have had a bit of a quiet start in terms of new games releases - although this month's The Darkness II, Kingdoms of Amalur and Soul Caliber V and Final Fantasy XIII-2 have very much got the ball rolling - but the best is very much yet to come. There are dozens of games due between now and Christmas that we can't wait for, but if pushed, we'd name these 10 titles as the ones we're most shivering with anticipation for... (For more games reviews, games news and our games forum, visit GamePro UK.)

BioShock: Infinite

BioShock: Infinite

Publisher – 2K

Developer – Irrational

Formats – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Release month - TBC

With first-person shooters increasingly defined by the militaristic machismo of Call of Duty and whatever response to it EA come up with each year (rumour has it there’ll be another Medal of Honor in 2012), the time is more than right for a new BioShock game. Like its predecessors, Infinite promises to meld action with thoughtful storytelling, a choice of how to play and a painful moral dilemma or two. The big difference is that it moves away from the failed undersea utopia that was Rapture, and into the failed flying utopia project of Columbia. This means wide open spaces, dramatic skyrail travel and, perhaps most enticingly, a city that’s still alive and inhabited by civilians. We’ll also see time travel, a near-constant companion character in the form of the otherworldly Elizabeth, and giant mechanical bird-men. BioShock: Infinite remains a mystery in a great many ways – but that’s a big part of the appeal.

Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3

Publisher – Rockstar

Developer – Rockstar

Formats – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Release month  - May

It’s been long years since oft-betrayed New York city cop Max Payne last did his slo-mo, Matrix-inspired dance with legions of thugs and gangsters, but in May he’s dragging himself into action one more time. The setting has moved to South America, the dark and wintery streets of NYC replaced with sunshine and favelas, and Max’s distinguished hairdo and sharp suit with a big fat belly and a shiny bald head. Developers Rockstar are claiming Payne 3 offers a reinvention of shooting, thanks to a whole new targeting system and, of course, those slow-motion powers, but fans’ fears that it’s too much of a stylistic departure from the first two Maxes may take some allaying.

Dishonored

Dishonored

Publisher – Bethesda

Developer – Arkane

Formats – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Release month - TBC

With last year’s confident Deus Ex comeback proving there’s a clear appetite for cerebral shooters with generous lashings of player freedom, Dishonored looks to be exploring similar territory in a much weirder way. Set in an alternate reality where plagues, empires and steampunk defence systems rule the land, you take the role of a disgraced imperial assassin who, as well as being a master of stealth and guns, can possess animals to find alternative routes to his target. Or he can freeze time. Or, if you prefer, he can just blow a hole in everything that moves. The plan is that no two players will have quite the same experience.

Diablo III

Diablo III

Publisher – Blizzard

Developer – Blizzard

Formats – PC, Consoles TBC

Release month - TBC

From the makers of World of Warcraft, this hack’n’slash roleplaying game has been in ‘coming soon’ status for what feels like forever. Even after a successful beta late last year, creators Blizzard decided much still needed improving – so there’s still no sign of a definite release date. One thing’s for sure: it’ll be huge. Fusing the compulsive qualities of World of Warcraft with the more guided gratification of singleplayer roleplaying games, this’ll end up on almost every gaming PC the world over. Recently, a console version was confirmed too: it’s almost a mercy Diablo III isn’t out yet, because once it is, we won’t be able to escape it.

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

Publisher – EA

Developer – Bioware

Formats – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Release date - March

Speaking of things we can’t escape, Mass Effect 3’s marketing blitz has been long and constant: presumably we’re all supposed to have been brainwashed into believing it’s the ultimate sci-fi adventure by this point. But, while there will indeed be sex, violence and robots, what Mass Effect has traditionally done best is storytelling and the opportunity to shape your character and their crew into a reflection of your light or dark heart. Finding out how Earth’s last stand against the merciless mechanical Reapers, and what terrible sacrifices Commander Shepherd must make to stop them, is hopefully going to be a darkly dramatic journey to savour.

Next page - five more of the best

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution

Publisher – Square-Enix

Developer – IO Interactive

Formats – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Release month - TBC

The jury’s still out on whether chromedome assassin Agent 47 will be his usual stealthy self in his latest jaunt, or if it’s the all-out bloodshed the trailers so far have suggested. All being well, we’ll have a choice – silent assassin or Jason Statham. In either case, Absolution looks to offer a stylish tale of revenge, contract killing and a bald guy wearing not entirely convincing disguises.  "Familiar and yet significantly different experience from other Hitman games” is the official promise  - and given last title Hitman: Blood Money was quietly one of the best stealth-action games of recent years, this is one we’re keeping our laser sights trained unflinchingly on.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Publisher – 2K

Developer – Firaxis

Formats – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Release month - TBC

XCOM is a wonderful surprise for two reasons: number one, it’s an all-too-rare example of a strategy game being treated seriously by a large publisher, and number two it’s a remake of what many feel is the greatest game ever made. 1993’s X-COM: UFO Defense, aka UFO: Enemy Unknown, is a still-effortless blend of strategy, roleplaying, action, horror and management, and despite numerous unofficial sequels nothing’s been able to recapture its whip-smart wonder. Now, the makers of Civilization are ‘reimagining’ this squad-based secret war against alien invaders, and moving it into 3D and HD; some major changes and the news that it’s also console-bound have caused anxiety amongst the X-COM faithful, but at the same time it seems to have an acute understanding of why the original worked so well.  We’re very excited indeed about this one.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us

Developer – Naughty Dog

Publisher- Sony

Formats – PlayStation 3

Release month - TBC

The makers of Uncharted are leaving their comfort zones for this post-apocalyptic survival tale. On-rails Indiana Jones action is out, scavenging, mad mutants and a desperate journey across a devastated American are in. Yet developers Naughty Dog are also playing to their strengths, pushing incredible character facial animations and the promise of meaningful relationships between them to the fore. The Last of Us very much remains a mystery, however: we don’t know if it’ll involve an open world or the hyper-linear rollercoasters the Uncharted games offered. One thing’s for sure – as  No Country for Old Men and The Road are quoted as major inspirations, it’s going to be a sombre affair.

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6

Developer – Capcom

Publisher - Capcom

Formats – PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Release month – November

Resident Evil 4 was one of the most acclaimed games of its generation. Resident Evil 5… not so much. Capcom are hoping to get what’s arguably the quintessential zombie series back on track with number 6, which returns fan favourite character Leon S. Kennedy to the fray, alongside Resi 5’s Chris Redfield. The scope of the game is bigger than before, with Leon in the US (including an encounter with a zombified President) and Chris in Hong Kong, as the entire planet faces a bioterrorist threat. Capcom are describing 6 as "a giant stride forward in the evolution of the series”, though they’ve yet to reveal to much outside of ultra-dramatic but pre-rendered cinematics.

Halo 4

Halo 4

Publisher - Microsoft

Developer – 343 Industries

Platforms – Xbox 360

Release month – TBC, but ‘Holiday season'

The start of a second trilogy for what remains the most iconic Xbox game, Halo 4 sees perma-helmeted hero Master Chief return after a two-game absence, and also promises to move the game into new territory. Halo’s stuck to it’s run’n’gun guns for five games now, but with a new developer at the helm, word is Halo 4 will involve exploration and mystery alongside headshotting an army of aliens. As always though, there’ll be a big fat dose of the increasingly labyrinthine Halo lore to try and get your head around.