The best upcoming games of 2017

Star Wars Battlefront 2 

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

The rebooted Star Wars Battlefront laid a fantastic foundation for an FPS that makes players feel like supporting troops (or iconic heroes and villains) within scenes from the films - but Star Wars Battlefront 2 sounds like it'll be the real deal. On top of the expansive multiplayer conflicts - now with heroes pulled from all three film eras - this sequel includes a full-on single-player campaign, played from the perspective of Empire elite soldier Iden Versio. Also, space battles will be making their triumphant return, so you can zoom around blasting bogies in an X-Wing or TIE Fighter. We got a ton of additional insight at this year's Star Wars Celebration, so be sure to check out these 8 Star Wars Battlefront 2 things you need to know (including the addition of rideable tauntauns as vehicles).
 

Pokemon Ultra Sun / Ultra Moon 

Platform(s): 3DS
Release date: November 17, 2017

The journey to catch 'em all never truly ends, and dedicated Pokemon trainers can expand their collection even further with these fresh installments for 3DS. Rather than full-blown sequels, this pairing builds off of the tropical Alola region presented in Pokemon Sun and Moon, offering alternate stories and some new Pokemon we haven't seen before. Details on how exactly these new spin-offs will justify a return journey have yet to be revealed, but for some, the mere presence of new Pokemon should be enough to spur another purchase.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: December 1, 2017

Expect massive, open, and wholly alien landscapes to explore with a group of anime buddies wielding absurd, magical weaponry in highly-tactical real-time battles. That it's simply big isn't all that impressive considering how big pretty much every game is today, until you realize that the Switch will allow you to take this sprawling JRPG with you on the go - and that more than anything makes us very excited about what Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has to offer.

Hello Neighbor 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: December 8, 2017

Here's a refreshingly different take on the first-person stealth that's become synonymous with the biggest horror games: the seemingly benign face of sunny suburbia. You play as a home intruder in Hello Neighbor, breaking into the suspicious house next door while the owner's still there (bad move) and praying that they don't discover you poking about in pursuit of dark secrets hiding behind the bolted-up basement door. The neighbor's AI will adapt itself to mess with your expectations from previous playthroughs, and it's entirely possible that you're the villain here, invading an innocent person's home through some misguided mission to expose them.

Knights and Bikes 

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Release date: TBD 2017

This charming top-down adventure game, developed by two Media Molecule alums and published by Double Fine, strives to recapture the sense of wonderment and improvised fun inherent to childhood expeditions. Our two young heroines, Nessa and Demelza, explore their quaint island town brought to life by charming picture-book visuals, battling imaginary creatures with frisbees, water balloons, and all manner of improvised weaponry. Though it's playable solo, the ideal way to enjoy Knights and Bikes is in two-player co-op, where Nessa and Demelza will often devise spur-of-the-moment competitions - like racing their bikes to the next point of interest - that create fleeting moments of giddy rivalry with your co-op pal to see who can lay claim to those sweet bragging rights.

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 open beta is in full swing as we speak, so jump in now to see what the fuss is about in the lead-up to the full launch.

Call of Cthulhu 

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

The influence of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos creeps across the gaming landscape like the black tendrils of some otherworldly Elder God, so it's about time a game used modern hardware to take those nightmarish, existentially terrifying themes head-on. Made in the same style as 2005's Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, this Call of Cthulhu reimagining is a first-person RPG that's equal parts investigation and delirium. Combat takes a backseat to critical thinking as you poke around the shadows of Darkwater, and all the while you'll need to manage your sanity meter to stave off the madness so commonly associated with Cthulhu-worshipping cultists. 

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord 

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

If you've not played the PC-centric Mount & Blade games before, they're essentially For Honor on a sprawling Battlefield-sized scale. Whether on foot or on horseback, players take part in massive medieval skirmishes in a giant sandbox world, with intricate melee combat mechanics that take physics and positioning into account. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord promises the same scope and intense dueling, modernized with a much-needed facelift of its predecessors aging visuals. Anyone with a fondness for chaotic close-quarters combat should love wildly swinging a sword and shield in this sequel's monumental sieges, regardless of which side of the ramparts you're on.

Earth Defense Force 5 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2017

Granted, the EDF has never garnered much mainstream attention - but for those that know the joys of this Japanese take on giant insect B-movie horror, Earth Defense Force 5 looks like a real treat. This third-person shooter makes up for simplistic textures with a massive sense of scale, letting you run amok in giant, fully destructible cities overrun by colossal ants, killer robots, and Godzilla's distant relatives. This sequel - which promises revamped class abilities and wild new monster types - hasn't been confirmed for release outside of Japan, but we've got our fingers crossed that a worldwide launch could happen if we chant "EDF! EDF!" often and loud enough.

Looking for games to play in the here-and-now? Check out our list of the best games of 2017!