To say that 2017 was a great time for games may be a bit of an understatement – in fact, it easily takes the spot as one of the best gaming years in recent memory. From the ingenious creation that is the Nintendo Switch to a slew of game of the year contenders, 2017 has been the gift that kept on giving.
A quick look at last year’s lineup shows an impressive string of game launches, with the likes of Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild leading the charge.
All good things have to come to an end, however, and as 2017 ends, one can’t help but question if the momentum will be kept up in the coming year. After all, several top games that were slated for 2017 have been pushed to 2018.
The truth is, nothing can quite beat all the rich gaming experiences of the past 12 months – and that includes 2018. Yes, it doesn’t have quite the list of highly-anticipated games, but its current repertoire is far from being disappointing, especially with hot favourites Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, and Kingdom Hearts III on the list.
Here are 35 games to look forward to in the new year.
(Note: While it’d be wonderful to catch the teasers for the likes of The Last of Us Part II and Metroid Prime 4, their release dates have yet to be confirmed, so they’ll be missing from this article. Same goes for the other known titles.)
1) A Way Out (March 23, 2018 – PS4)
This prison break game really encourages co-op play, to the point of allowing players to play together with just one copy. Just like its creator Josef Faris, the multiplayer-exclusive title is brutally honest, and follows the journey of two starkly different protagonists as they break free from jail and seek freedom in a world beyond metal bars. With a trusted buddy to play with, A Way Out is set to be an exciting take of the Shawshank Redemption troupe.
2) BattleTech (TBC 2018 – PC, Mac, Linux)
The return of turn-based tactical genre, mech combat is returning – but this time, with the added DNA of critically-acclaimed sci-fi series Firefly. Sporting a gritty art style that adopts the use of harsh lighting, BattleTech follows the story of a fledgling mercenary as he attempts to upgrade the base of operations, maintain his inventory of aging BattleMechs, and defeats enemies on the battlefield. A simple premise, yet the world is bleak: humanity is on the verge of extinction following generations of bloody civil war, and the galaxy is still wracked with constant warfare. Its fate now lies in your hands, commander.
3) Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game (TBC 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
L.A. Noire, but with a dash of horror and supernatural elements? Enter Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game. Inspired by HP Lovecraft’s short of the same name, the survival horror title also doubles up as an adaptation of its 1981 counterpart, which sees private investigator Edward Pierce investigating the death of an entire family, prior to his discovery of the Cthulhu. The addition of a semi-open world feature also means that the crawling horrors are about to become an even bigger nightmare.
4) Code Vein (TBC 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
“Prepare to Dine” is indeed the perfect tagline for this vampire-themed game. Touted as the anime answer to Dark Souls, Code Vein has the player walking in the shoes of a vampiric revenant tasked with defeating demonic creatures. Recruit an ally, consume blood, travel across the ruined world, gain special abilities – more remains to be seen, but fans of the RPG genre should consider picking this up.
5) Crackdown 3 (TBC 2018 – PC, Xbox One)
It’s that trailer. You know, the one that had Terry Crews screaming at the camera? Nobody exactly understands what’s happening in the trailer that was first unveiled at E3 2017, but it’s precisely this sort of wild energy and chaotic excitement that catapulted the original to overwhelming popularity. With the newest addition of multiplayer support, things are just about to get heated up, and that means more devastation of entire cities, leaping between buildings, and mass bazooka destruction.
6) Darksiders 3 (TBC 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
With a spiky whip in hand, and a touch of magic at your disposal, battling against the hellish embodiments of the Seven Deadly Sins and their degenerate servants should make for quite an enjoyable affair. A brand-new protagonist, Fury, is the face of Darksiders 3, and unlike her brothers, her abilities are more magic-oriented. With puzzles to overcome, and a hint of Devil May Cry in the combat system, the third entry in the Darksiders franchise is worth keeping an eye out for.
7) Days Gone (TBC 2018 – PS4)
A new year, another zombie title – or in the case of Days Gone, it could easily be classified as a Freaker game instead, considering how the supposed undead are actually infected humans called Freakers. As with every other zombie game, there’s lots of blood and gore, so how does a new entry stand out from the others? By letting a whole horde of ‘em run loose, of course! It’s no hyperbolic statement: there will be times where the player is simply overwhelmed, and the best course of action is to run. Sorry, even the added element of stealth just doesn’t cut it.
8) Detroit: Become Human (Early 2018 – PlayStation 4)
Hopping onto the sci-fi bandwagon is Detroit: Become Human, which tells the story of androids achieving sentience in a futuristic dystopian setting. This well-worn genre has already been done to death, with several niche titles already cementing their spot in the market, but the rising popularity of choice-driven adventure titles may just put David Cage’s ambitious project in the running to be a surprise hit.
9) Dragon Ball FighterZ (January 26, 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Dragon Ball Z has amassed a very large following over the years, and its games have definitely captured the hearts of many fans. With a three-versus-three battle system similar to that of Marvel vs Capcom, this upcoming team fighter is the ideal for those who’d prefer some classic brawling action in the world of beautiful Guilty Gear-esque visuals.
10) Far Cry 5 (March 27, 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Following a slight delay, Far Cry 5 is set to return even stronger and better than before. Expect chaos and extreme wackiness in big servings, as players try to regain control of a town controlled by asinine cult leaders. Where the past titles stay true to the spirit of Far Cry and didn’t take themselves too seriously, the newest addition aims to adopt a more severe tone by touching on current issues, which could help to give a refreshing spin to the series.
11) God of War (Early 2018 – PS4)
Kratos is now a dad. He’s also still a God killer, but instead of doing the slaying in ancient Greece, he has been transported to the harsh, wintry landscapes found in Norse mythology. Between roaming the world with his son Atreus, and a more RPG-oriented playing system, God of War should make for an interesting spin on the anti-hero’s tale that we’ve all grown to love.
12) GWENT (TBC 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was and still is a phenomenal game. It has been 3 years since the title was first released, but it still remains largely relevant in the world of gaming. Now, meet GWENT. The competitive card game breathes life into the lore of The Witcher, and slots players into best-of-three rounds – as they activate powerful spells, summon diverse units with special abilities, and cunningly lead their opponents into a set trap. A cocktail of ingenuity, quick wits, and easy gameplay, the formula to crushing your enemies in GWENT is to play, observe, and experiment with different decks often.
13) Lost Sphear (January 23, 2018 – PC, PS4, Switch)
In an industry filled with AAA titles and huge names, it can be easy for classic, old-school games to be swept off-grid by the competition. Tokyo RPG Factory’s I Am Setsuna managed to stand its ground in face of opposition, and hopefully its spiritual successor Lost Sphear can keep the momentum going. Sporting a more varied world, revamped battle system, and inns to take a break from fighting, the game looks set to follow in its predecessor’s successful footsteps.
14) Kingdom Come: Deliverance (February 13, 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One, Mac, Linux)
Fans of the RPG genre, rejoice, for Kingdom Come: Deliverance is on the horizon! Travel back into the medieval times of Bohemia, and step into the shoes of a blacksmith’s son, who’s on a journey to seek revenge for his parents’ death. It’s no Skyrim – the game will not feature any dragons, magic, or any unrealistic elements, preferring to take on a more grounded approach instead – but it’s shaping up to be as good as the Dragonborn’s narrative. With a treacherous route of bloodshed, tough decisions, and story twists ahead, Kingdom Come: Deliverance promises to deliver (ha) a bumpy, thrilling ride down the history lane.
15) Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (March 23, 2018 – PC, PS4)
Following recent news about another delayed release, Ni no Kuni II promises be better than its predecessor and more. The game’s distinctive Studio Ghibli-inspired design returns, this time with extra servings with the new Skirmish and Kingdom Modes. Fans of the series can also look forward to building and managing their own kingdom, where the arrangement of work-forces within the town is key. And with famous composer Joe Hisaishi leading the music front, the JRPG title is set to receive a warm response.
16) Marvel’s Spider-Man (TBC 2018 – PS4)
The resident webslinger is back with heroic saves, acrobatic movesets, and an explorer’s spirit! Developed by Insomniacs, the highly-anticipated game pits Spidey against the likes of Kingpin and Mr Negative in the vast expanses of New York City, and offers the choice of playing as MJ and Miles Morales – allowing for the perfect introduction to the upcoming animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
17) Mega Man 11 (Late 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
The Blue Bomber strikes back! If he looks different, that’s because he is – instead of being decked out in the classic 8-bit design, the beloved super robot now sports a 2.5D aesthetic, as well as a change in appearance upon the acquiring of a new weapon. Old-time fans need not worry, however, for there’ll still be plenty of side-scrolling action, and robot-shooting goodness.
18) Metro Exodus (Late 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
After a hiatus of four years, players return once again to assume the role of Artyom, who’s looking to leave the wintry surroundings of Moscow, and have a shot at living a better life to the east. Like its two predecessors, the game is still filled with mutated beasts in a post-apocalyptic nuclear setting, but unlike them, it offers a more open sandbox experience that’s made better by a revamped weapon system, and new environmental changes. Just a friendly tip: never, ever let your guard down, for there’ll always be monstrosities lurking in the shadows.
19) Monster Hunter: World (January 26, 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
The fate of the New World is in your hands, hunters. Soon to be available on current-gen consoles, the fifth primary title of the phenomenal franchise throws players into a larger, more realistic world. Of course, chasing down massive creatures is still the norm, but the revamped controls and tutorials means players are in for some good ol’ slashing action.
20) Phoenix Point (Winter 2018 – PC, Mac, Linux)
This upcoming turn-based strategy game is touted as a strong, potential XCOM (both the classic and modern variants) competitor, and it’s easy to see why. With familiar elements such as alien battles, and tactical combat, Phoenix Point throws players into the depths of a lone base called…well, “Phoenix Point”, in which they have to save humanity from aliens. Sounds easy? There’s where Phoenix Point aims to kick you down. Not only are these extraterrestrial creatures bringing city-sized, alien land-walkers into battles, they will also evolve over time, and adapt to the different strategies being adopted. And coming from the original brains behind XCOM, Julian Gollop, this is one to watch.
21) Red Dead Redemption 2 (Spring 2018 – PS4, Xbox One)
The highly-anticipated prequel to Rockstar Games’ masterpiece, the newest addition to the Red Dead series follows outlaw Arthur Morgan as he robs, steals, and fights across the Wild West’s barren terrains with the Van der Linde gang. Breathtaking visuals, multiplayer support, new and familiar faces (read: Bill Williamson and possibly James Marston), and chock-filled with rugged badassery – what’s there not to like about the game? Saddle up, for the ride’s going to get rough.
22) Sea of Thieves (March 20, 2018 – PC, Xbox One)
Another pirate game is on the shore! The co-op title allows players to plunder, pillage, and sink nearby ships with a group of friends, while embarking on a high sea adventure. Hoist sails, steer a frigate – the game’s shaping up to be some good fun, and although initial impressions have been rather positive, there’s no way of telling if Sea of Thieves will eventually end up as a treasure or fool’s gold. Hopefully the former.
23) Shadow of the Colossus (February 6, 2018 – PS4)
A surprise reveal at E3 2017, the PS4 version of Shadow of the Colossus hovers between a remaster and a remake. Older fans of the series would be glad to know that the game mechanics remain largely the same as the original 2005 classic, with breathtaking visuals to boot. Needless to say, the revamped features help to deliver a more powerful experience – one that strikes a fine balance between storytelling, and fascinating gameplay.
24) Skull & Bones (Fall 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Heave ho, here’s a game about sailing the high seas! The brainchild of Ubisoft Singapore (local pride!), Skull & Bones features swashbuckling elements similar to those found in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, with the fan-favourite naval battles being a huge part of the game. High expectations are riding on this one, especially since it supports both single-player and multiplayer modes, the latter of which will also include treasure hunting. And for a pirate, that’s all in a day’s work.
25) SOULCALIBUR VI (TBC 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
With SOULCALIBUR mainstays Mitsurugi and Sophitia making an appearance via trailer, the sixth instalment of the series has never looked better. Fans of the series can look forward to the return of past characters, a more back-to-the-basics approach, and the debut of a new technique called Reversal Edge – in addition to delicious graphics and well-choreographed fight scenes.
26) State of Decay 2 (Spring 2018 – PC, Xbox One)
Take a leaf from The Walking Dead: teamwork and the community spirit are both essential to surviving the zombie apocalypse. Thank god, then, that State of Decay 2 is offering co-op support for up to four players, where there’s the choice of working together, or be a backstabbing, selfish jerk. In the case where bad luck befalls, and a group member is bitten, allies have the decision to either cure them with a limited supply of medicine, or end their suffering by killing them off. The original was a fun time, and hopefully the sequel will be even better.
27) System Shock (TBC 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Ah, the famous classic that has inspired the likes of Bioshock, Dishonored, and Mass Effect. The 24-year wait has finally resulted in a reboot of the original System Shock, in which players assume the role of a resourceful hacker, and attempt to survive the terrors of Citadel Station. It’s sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia in the older players, with an interesting enough premise to hook in the newcomers. Watch out, SHODAN, we’re all coming for you.
28) The Last Night (TBC 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One, Mac, Linux)
If an indie title is able to overshadow the more well-established names of the industry at one of the world’s largest gaming events, you’d do good to pay attention to it. At E3 2017, the trailer of The Last Night was unveiled to raving feedback, and it’s no wonder why – the canvass of vibrant colours amidst a stylish cyberpunk setting did more than enough to capture the hearts of many event-goers. The influences of Blade Runner ring strongly throughout the game, which has players navigating through a futuristic city with distinct class divisions.
29) Vampyr (Spring 2018, PC, PS4, Xbox One)
The leap from Life is Strange to Vampyr is a huge one, but one fundamental thing remains the same: choices matter. Away from the student life of Max Caulfield, and into Dr Jonathan Reid’s life, the player is forced to make a decision between sparing citizens, and feeding off them to survive. In a world where your actions will either save or doom London, do remember to bite with care…
30) We Happy Few (April 13, 2018 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
In the fictitious English world of Wellington Wells, conformity is key. Residents are forced to take a daily dose of Joy – but unlike its name, there’s no joy in consuming a hallucinogenic pill. Then there’s you, who’s on the run from brainwashed, deranged citizens after being labelled as a kill-on-sight Downer, a term reserved for individuals who refuse to take medication. With an extremely compelling premise, and Bioshock-infused elements, We Happy Few is definitely a must-play for the new year.
31) Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (March 20, 2018 – PS4)
One of the most underrated series on the current market, Yakuza enjoyed a fresh lease of life with Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami in recent years. This next chapter of the dragon of Dojima stays true to the spirit of real-life yakuza, and will feature deep combat, thrilling criminal action, and a strong loyalty sense for the ultimate playing experience – alongside a newborn, no less. What’s with gruffy characters taking up the dad role?
32) Yoshi (December 29, 2018 – Switch)
Details are scarce for this one. The adorable anthropomorphic dinosaur is coming back in the form of a new Switch game, which will likely take place in a diorama decked out in paper. It’s quite possibly a cross between Paper Mario and Yoshi’s Woolly World, and looks to be shaping up into a cute, fun game.
33) Anthem (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Exosuits? Check. A sci-fi universe? Yup. Firing shotguns? Been there, done that. No, it’s not another Destiny game, but rather, Bioware’s upcoming new title Anthem. First announced at E3 2017 to overwhelming response, the game sees players taking on the role of a Freelancer to explore the unknown, while protecting humanity at the same time.
Pretty familiar ground for Bioware, it would be interesting to see what they bring to the table in a post-Destiny world.
34) Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, Xbox One)
Truly, it’s about damn time for the supposed final instalment of the Kingdom Hearts trilogy to materialise. Following a 12-year gap, the Disney-Final Fantasy crossover strikes back with brand new worlds, and familiar faces from existing Pixar franchises, such as Toy Story’s Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The bigger cast and a bigger world promise a whole load of fun moments, exciting battles, and nostalgic times for players – a fitting bittersweet farewell to the end of a wonderful series.
35) Shenmue III (PC, PS4)
Back in the golden days of 1999, Shenmue held the title for being the most expensive video game to be ever developed at that time, albeit with a tarnished reputation. Fast forward to 19 years later, and the honour of Kickstarter’s highest-funded video game goes to Shenmue III, a direct sequel to its previous predecessor. The newest instalment sees protagonist Ryo Hazuki’s going on a hunt for his father’s killer, with a lineup of unfamiliar faces such as Shenhua – who doubles up as your ally – and Niao Sun, a never-before-seen antagonist, in a world of better-looking textures, and improved graphics.
While we are bound to receive more game-related news between now (early January 2018) and the next December, the above list of 35 games is a good reference point for players looking to usher in another new year of gaming.
Here’s to many more gaming adventures ahead!
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.