The fall often brings more games than gamers can handle. This year is no exception.

Hopefully the following titles will give us an excuse to call out of work for a day (or three), but the "jaded gamer" part of us -- whose rose-tinted horn rims have been cracked one too many times following unmet sky-high expectations -- demands cautious optimism.

The following is a countdown of our most anticipated titles based on what we've played or seen over the past few months. We really hope none of them suck.

Let us know which title you're most excited about by voting in our reader poll.

What's your most anticipated Holiday 2010 release?
Disney Epic Mickey49 (9.0%)
Donkey Kong Country Returns62 (11.4%)
Gran Turismo 5161 (29.7%)
Kirby's Epic Yarn21 (3.9%)
Medal of Honor116 (21.4%)
Rock Band 359 (10.9%)
The Fight: Lights Out7 (1.3%)
The Sly Collection14 (2.6%)
Tron: Evolution39 (7.2%)
Wii Party14 (2.6%)


10. "Wii Party" -- Wii (Oct. 3)
Nintendo's had no shortage of success selling party games to folks unversed (and uninterested) in the intricacies of complex role-playing games, job systems or realistic action games. "Wii Party" is the culmination of those efforts.

Whether you play "hide the Wii-mote" (not a euphemism for sex) with your friends or drop fruit into your girlfriend's bucket (also not a euphemism for sex), "Wii Party" offers dozens of innocent (we swear!) mini-games played out over a board-game format.


9. "Tron: Evolution" -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
"Tron: Evolution" seeks to bridge the enormous gap between the classic 1982 film and the upcoming sequel, "Tron Legacy." While the demo we played offered plenty of disc-throwing action and Olivia Wilde in a computerized bodysuit, the gameplay didn't stray far from your standard, third-person action platformer.

Still, we'll take any opportunity to ride around on light cycles with Jeff Bridges and hurl those cyber-frisbees outside of our dreams. And speaking of dreams ... Olivia Wilde in a computerized bodysuit.


8. "The Fight: Lights Out" -- PlayStation 3 (October)
Have you ever played "Wii Boxing," but thought to yourself, Man, I really wish, instead of this cartoony sh**, I could control a badass with a mullet and get into brutal fistfights with other mullet-heads in underpasses and rundown factories? Someone at Sony must have thought the same thing. "The Fight: Lights Out" is the result.

Though our hands-on time ran into some technical difficulties (a setting sun behind you will do that to motion controls), a simple recalibration fixed the issue. In-game punches and elbows are only as powerful as the ones thrown by players, so don't be surprised if you end up shirtless and sweaty by the end of a couple bouts -- just like your virtual brawler.


7. "Kirby's Epic Yarn" -- Wii (Oct. 17)
A disturbingly cuddly staple of Nintendo's vast mascot roster, Kirby is a pink puffball with a voracious appetite -- he (it?) is the Takeru Kobayashi of video games.

"Kirby's Epic Yarn" finds the heartwarming bastard skipping the usual menu of enemies and instead morphing into various forms -- from cars to submarines to giant tanks -- after transformed into yarn by a magical sock.

And the Japanese wonder why we think they're weirdos.


6. "The Sly Collection" -- PlayStation 3 (November)
The closest thing Sony has to rival Mario, Sly Cooper was a huge hit on the PlayStation 2. Expansive levels, stealthy platforming and unique gameplay twists (like dogfighting in a bi-plane) helped players deal with Sly's annoying talking turtle pal, Bentley.

While anthropomorphic video game characters aren't as popular as bald space Marines these days, this anthology pack of Sly's three previous adventures aims to reignite an interest in furry heroes. The spin here is that all three titles have been remastered in high definition and even support whiz-bang 3-D -- assuming you own a compatible 3-D TV, of course.


5. "Medal of Honor" -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC (Oct. 12)
"Medal of Honor" is the latest shooter franchise to get a modern setting reboot. The twist is, instead of offering fictional Russian bad guys as cannon fodder, you get to fight against the Taliban. In multiplayer, one team even has to play as them -- sparking some controversy. But like George W. Bush said, "When you refuse to stock a video game because of provocative content, the terrorists win."

From the looks of it, the game will be more David Petraeus than Michael Bay -- something war buffs and gamers sick of the ridiculously unlikely situations in other military shooters might appreciate.

4. "Donkey Kong Country Returns" -- Wii (Nov. 21)
We still have fond memories of old-school games that challenged us to the point of frustration (i.e., flinging a controller at a wall), but were so fun that we kept playing.

Nintendo's famous ape starred in some, and if the new mine-cart level in "Donkey Kong Country Returns" is any indication, gamers best stock up on extra controllers -- they're going to need them.

We called upon all the skills learned in the salad days of 2-D platformers and yet still fell into bottomless pits more times than we'd care to admit. Maybe we've been spoiled by Easy mode and forgiving re-spawns for too long.


3. "Gran Turismo 5"
-- PlayStation 3 (Nov. 2)
The long-awaited (five years!) fifth installment in Sony's venerable racing franchise is the best justification we've seen so far for jumping aboard the 3-D gaming bandwagon. The graphics are so stunningly photo-realistic, you're likely to get distracted by the scenery and send your souped-up Lamborghini hurtling into the nearest guardrail. And there's no "Call Geico" option in the menus -- we checked.

Even without a 3-D-compatible TV, "Gran Turismo 5" should please eager fans who've been waiting patiently since the early days of the second Bush term for some white-knuckle driving action.


2. "Disney Epic Mickey" -- Wii (Nov. 30)
This is one of those projects that must have been hell getting approved. The world's most famous cartoon rodent accidentally screws up an entire world with a magical paintbrush, creating an evil ink blob that sucks him into the resulting wasteland, where he faces moral choices, interacts with forgotten Disney characters and traverses levels based on 1930s cartoons.

And yet it all came together -- even Mickey's predecessor Oswald the Lucky Rabbit makes an appearance. It's a love letter to Disney fans courtesy of a huge Disney nerd.

But those unfamiliar with long-lost Disney lore may still enjoy the novel paint-and-thinner system, which lets Mickey create or erase the world around him to solve puzzles and fight blobs of ink.

1. "Rock Band 3" -- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii (Oct. 26)
"Rock Band 3" will give gamers a reason to get the band back together. With a real electric guitar controller from Fender, a keyboard and an all-new "Pro" mode, Harmonix could finally silence haters who insist that rhythm games don't require actual musical skill.

As usual, you can't beat the track list (everything from Foreigner to Phoenix) and new innovations like the ability to drop in and out mid-song. (Nobody better bail on "Cold As Ice" at our house.) Oh, and did I mention the keytar? Devo must be so proud.



Did your most anticipated fall release fail to make our list? Let us know what your next favorite game is in the comments section.

Contributions by Asylum's resident video game nerds
Justin Massoud and Nick Nadel.