E3 2017's biggest games: Super Mario Odyssey, Beyond Good & Evil 2, and more

Middle-earth: Shadow of War 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 10, 2017

You know what more fantasy universes need? Orcs acting as the sassy sidekicks. I never knew I wanted that until watching the demo for Middle-earth: Shadow of War, but now that I’ve seen it, that is the new gold standard to be matched. The follow-up to the excellent Shadow of Mordor also promises to add some much-needed variety in the settings while building on the nemesis system that made the original such a standout. Rather than just dismantling the orc legions all by your lonesome, you can now turn the members of Sauron’s army to help your cause. This just keeps looking better and better. Anna Washenko

Monster Hunter World 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC

Finally, the proper current gen, console Monster Hunter we’ve been craving; and not just on an underpowered Nintendo system, but a real PlayStation 4 take on all the massive-beast-slaying, giant-weapon-crafting action. Monster Hunter World allows for up to four player co-op with fellow hunters, and is the first game in the series to feature cross region connectivity, so hunters from Japan and the west can team up seamlessly online. With an emphasis on changing terrain and adaptable monsters, hunters will need to rely on the suite of new gear World offers up, from camouflage cloaks to zip line grapples. Alan Bradley 

Need for Speed Payback 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: November 10, 2017

It's everyone wildest arcade racing dreams come true: a fusion of all the character drama from The Fast and the Furious and the mesmerizing slow-mo car crashes of the Burnout series. Need for Speed Payback followed up its reveal trailer with a closer look at the gameplay, which takes clear inspiration from Burnout's takedowns as you eliminate rival vehicles with full-contact driving, mixed with the occasional cinematic moment (like your passenger leaping from the hood of your car to a moving truck to steal a new whip). We'll gladly play Payback if it offers even a fraction of the racing glory we enjoyed in Burnout Paradise. Lucas Sullivan 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC

Ori and the Blind Forest was a flagship for Microsoft's ID@Xbox program - a smooth and beautiful sidescrolling metroidvania with challenging platforming, developed by a small studio and unique to Microsoft's console. The original resonated well thanks to its hauntingly beautiful world and minimal story, and we can't wait to see what the team does with what is clearly (clearly!) a bigger animation budget. Just be prepared to get a little misty-eyed while playing Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Sam Prell 

Sea of Thieves 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: Early 2018

First, the bad news. We won't get to play Sea of Thieves until early 2018. But now, the good news: it's looking like just the kind of wacky, clever fun you'd want from Rare's first all-new project in years. Microsoft showed off some extensive gameplay for the online swashbuckling game at its press conference and there was a whole lot going on. You could dive into a wreck to retrieve some cannonballs, then fight through NPC monsters to dig up some buried treasure with friends. But this is a pirate game, remember? Other players who aren't on your crew are never far, and they may just try to scoop up your booty over your dead, musket-ball-ridden body. Connor Sheridan

Skull and Bones 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: Fall 2018

Skull and Bones is essentially Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, without the Assassins. You control a ship in the 18 century Caribbean waters, battling other vessels to snag their loot and enslave their crews. Oh, and it has multiplayer co-op, allowing you to form pirate gangs with friends, and terrorise the high seas. Don’t worry, it’s fully playable for solo buccaneers, but the real fun looks to be tactically smashing your enemies with help from your buddies. Sea shanties are in. There’s a giant squid. This is basically the pirate sim you’ve been waiting for. Andy Hartup 

Spider-Man 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC

Who'd have guessed that Insomniac could make such an eye-popping adventure starring Marvel's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? Or that it would seemingly take so many cues from Rocksteady's Arkham series? A new gameplay trailer showed us just what Spider-Man PS4 will feel like, and it's action all the way down. Er, up. Look, the point is that it looks really, really good. The abundance of QTEs seen has some fans worried, but there's still plenty of time for Sony and Insomniac to clarify that portion of the game. Sam Prell 

Star Wars Battlefront 2 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: November 17, 2017

The first thing EA said about Star Wars Battlefront 2 at E3 this year? 'We heard your feedback'. Though the first game was easily the most visually authentic and impressive Star Wars game ever created, many players quickly tired of its simplified shooting mechanics and aggressive DLC scheme. Star Wars Battlefront 2 broadens its battlefield with distinct classes and representation from all three film trilogies and it makes all of its DLC maps and heroes free. Feedback addressed! Now we just have to hope it's still as fun to shoot battle droids as it was back in the first Star Wars Battlefront 2. Connor Sheridan 

Super Mario Odyssey 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: October 27, 2017

It seems like Mario's taking a page from demon-kind with his new ability in Super Mario Odyssey: the power to possess any NPC in the world by tossing his cap a them. As you can probably imagine, this is a game-changer for the various ways you'll explore Odyssey's many worlds, where every enemy and bystander - or even inanimate objects like tanks or taxi cabs - becomes a new method of movement or attack. It's almost a little creepy, if you think about it: imagine being one of those unwitting New Donk City citizens who's suddenly taken over by Mario and forced to do anything he wants. Anything. Lucas Sullivan

The Evil Within 2 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 13, 2017

Shinji Mikami's The Evil Within might not have lived up to the Resident Evil director's pedigree, but despite the flawed execution, it showed a distinct flair for some seriously spooky (and grotesque) themes surrounding its third-person gameplay. Fortunately, Bethesda's giving the game another chance with The Evil Within 2, which brings back our hero Sebastian as he plunges back into the STEM mind-realm to search for clues related to his deceased daughter Lily. If the gameplay is anything like the disturbing cinematic trailer, this sequel will be keeping you up at night in the best way possible. Lucas Sullivan

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: August 22, 2017

What’s truly surprising is how fully-formed this game looks. Sure, it’s a stand-alone mini-adventure - a spin-off from Uncharted 4 - yet it seems to have the scope and scale of a proper, named entry in the series. You play as Chloe Frazer, partnered by Nadine Ross from U4, and by the looks of it our girl has just as many slick moves, witty one-liners, and global travel disasters as Nathan Drake. Locations seem nice and varied, set-pieces deadly, and the villain suitably sinister. In all, it looks massively promising, and it’s a smart way to expand the franchise now that Nate and Elena have officially retired. Even better news is that it’s out in August, so you’ll be playing real soon. Andy Hartup 

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 27, 2017

Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of my favorite games of 2014, using its old-school shooter sensibilities to lull me into a sense of security while it blindsided me with a surprisingly human tale of the toll war takes on the people who live through it. If that was where things ended, I would have been happy. But with the sequel - Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, long teased but only just now confirmed - BJ Blazkowicz is back, and he's coming back to 1960s America to take down the Nazis once and for all. If anyone can thread the needle between dual-MP40-wielding pulp action and a serious rumination on man's inhumanity to man, it's the folks over at MachineGames. I'm all in. David Roberts