The best upcoming games of 2017 (and beyond)

The games to watch on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch – from blockbusters to potential under-the-radar gems.

Injustice 2 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Release date:
May 16, 2017  

Batman, Superman, and a slew of other heroes and villains are back to duke it out in Injustice 2, Netherrealm Studios' return to the slick new engine that powered Mortal Kombat X. There's a ton of fanservice in this 2.5D fighter for anyone with even the slightest knowledge of DC Comics, and Injustice 2 is taking an interesting gamble with the addition of gear in a fighting game, gathered over time to give your preferred character enhanced abilities and a personalized look.

Rime 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release date: May 2017

We were happy to see Rime reemerge after two years of silence, because its colorful landscapes and mysterious ruins look like a joy to explore. This third-person action adventure follows the journey of a young boy, who washes up on a beach after a storm at sea. He awakens to find an idyllic island dotted with ancient-looking marble ruins, the most notable of which is a giant tower at the center of them all. You'll seek out a path to said tower via platforming and puzzle-solving, guided along the way by the help of a fox companion (and probably stop frequently just to soak in the beautiful cel-shaded sights).   

Tekken 7 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date:
June 2, 2017  

Funnily enough, Tekken 7 has been in Japanese arcades since early 2015, and it's taking its sweet time in making the transition to Western consoles. But with any luck, that extra wait will be worth it. Tekken 7 is the next iteration of Bandai Namco's famed 3D fighting series, bringing back veterans from the King of Iron Fist tournament alongside some spiffy-looking newcomers - including Kazumi Mishima, Kazuya's mother who can perform literal tiger uppercuts with her beast companion. Expect plenty of heavy-hitting animations, devastating ground bounce combos, and bizarre backdrops. 

Splatoon 2 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: Summer 2017

A decade ago, you'd be called a fool for saying Nintendo could make an amazing team-based shooter perfect for online competition - and yet, here we are getting a sequel to the Wii U's fantastic Splatoon. Those squid-kid Inklings are back for more 4v4 color-splashing warfare across a bevy of new stages, wielding fresh weapons like the twin-pistol Splat Dualies or refined versions of fan favorites like the Splat Roller. If you want to test your skills before going online, Splatoon 2 also allows for local multiplayer thanks to the Switch system link. And along with the extra precision provided by the controller's gyroscopic aiming, you'll have to master the added Dodge Roll maneuver to maximize your turf-tagging potential.  

Super Mario Odyssey 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: Holiday 2017

Super Mario Odyssey looks like a grand debut for Nintendo's mascot on the Switch, which whisks Mario away to different worlds involving rainbow-colored cookery, dancing sprinkler robots, and the bustling metropolis of New Donk City. The platforming plumber also has a few new moves: he can roll down hills like a certain blue hedgehog, and throw his boomerang-like cap to create a makeshift springboard. Oh, and it seems that Mario's headwear is alive this time around, complete with two bulbous eyes. Was... was it sentient all this time? 

Sonic Mania 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release date: TBC 2017

Sonic Mania is the culmination of what fans have wanted from the blue hedgehog for years: a return to his spin-dashing, ring-collecting roots established during his 1990s glory days. This is an all-new sidescrolling crusade against Dr. Robotnik, done up with ravishing spritework that evokes Sonic CD with an extra layer of polish. The gameplay framework is classic Sonic, but the levels are full of fresh designs and unique obstacles that mix things up nicely. Add in the ability to play as Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles, plus the fact that the game's on every major platform, and Sonic Mania starts looking like that ideal fusion of nostalgia and newness that we've been longing to see from Sega's mascot. From this moment on, let us never speak of Sonic Boom again.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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

South Park has a special talent for satirising current events and trends, so it’s no surprise that this latest game is focused on gently mocking Hollywood’s obsession with superheroes and super-teams. The forever-young children of South Park are at war, all dressed up as their favourite characters for tactical RPG combat. South Park: The Fractured But Whole will have 12 classes to choose from, and as the new kid you’ll get to pick a side in the conflict and a gender. Farts are making a comeback too. 

State of Decay 2 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC 2017

If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it's that forging bonds between survivors and building up a community is essential to surviving the zombie apocalypse. State of Decay 2 will take those values to heart with co-op for up to four players, provided you all agree to work together instead of backstabbing one another for precious supplies. To build up your encampment, you'll need to scavenge on foot or four wheels, splattering the skulls of countless undead along the way. What we saw in State of Decay 2's E3 trailer looked promising, so here's to hoping that the gameplay lives up the cinematic vignette.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game 

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

There's a reason your collector's sense is tingling. By popular demand, CD Projekt is breaking out the fan-favorite card minigame from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt into its own CCG so you can fall in love with it's two-player, turn-based strategy all over again. If you're not the competitive type, Gwent will have a full-fledged single-player campaign that could last upwards of 10 hours, with characters from the original RPG brought back for more voiceovers. The closed beta is in full swing as we speak, so hopefully Gwent is nearing its grand debut.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 

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

Anyone with a penchant for deep, story-driven RPGs viewed from the isometric angle like the PC adventures of old already knows and loves the first Divinity: Original Sin, which presents a fantasy world on a massive scale with support for two-player co-op play the entire way through. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is upping the ante two-fold, allowing for four players to team up, each making their own decisions that have repercussions on the narrative and combat alike. If you're a sucker for RPGs that really emphasize the role-playing, where your character's race, class, demeanor, and actions all send ripples throughout the rest of the game, this is one to watch.

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