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.

Crackdown 3

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

In Crackdown 3 you’re a super-cop in an open-world city, using your powers to fight crime and likely smash the whole place up in the process. We haven’t actually seen the game since 2015 but, given the ambitious nature of it, that’s no surprise. While there’s a regular single-player story to tackle, multiplayer co-op takes place in a whole different city which you can tear apart piece by piece. The Xbox is doing some fancy stuff with the Cloud to make this one of the most technically impressive games ever. Hopefully we’ll see more of it in 2017. 

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.

Sea of Thieves 

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

Who doesn’t love pirates? The swashbuckling, the loot, the rum, the fabulous hats, most of us have at one time or another wished we could leave it all behind and run away to sea. The time has come to live out that dream and to bring friends along for the ride. Sea of Thieves is due to make land some time in 2017.  

Gran Turismo Sport

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2017

Sony's Gran Turismo series is a legend in the racing genre, but players itching for ultra-realistic driving simulations have a lot to choose from these days, with competitors like Forza, Driveclub, and Project CARS taking advantage of GT's absence on modern consoles. With any luck, Gran Turismo Sport can bring GT back into the limelight with the series' PS4 debut. It's been a long time coming, but GTS should have the kind of obsessive detail, lifelike handling, gorgeous vehicles, and stupidly pretty tracks (with 4K and HDR support on PS4 Pro, of course) that racing sim fans have come to expect.

Detroit: Become Human

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2017 

As is the trend nowadays, Detroit is an adventure about Androids achieving sentience. Remember the Kara tech demo Sony showed off years ago? Well, it’s the same character from that. We follow her as she makes her way into a futuristic version of Detroit. It’s a game of staggering ambition - it took David Cage two years to write the script, and 100s of actors have done mo-cap work for it. Let’s hope it’s a bit more than just a ‘moral decision making’ game, which early trailers suggest. 

Spider-Man

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2017

This new Spider-Man game was revealed in 2016, and is already being touted as a showcase for PS4 Pro. Because it looks incredible. This superhero game should be an interesting departure for Insomniac Games, the studio most famous for the Ratchet & Clank series. Oh, and it isn't tied to any specific comic or movie, so the creators aren't bound by a specific existing story (phew), but it will cover both the Spidey and Peter Parker aspects of the franchise.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance 

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

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is like a historically accurate Skyrim, because this large-scale, first-person medieval RPG takes place in a massive open-world devoted to the real-world history of Bohemia (no Rhapsody here). In some ways, it's even more hardcore, stripping away the HUD indicators and minimap markers you've probably come to expect from giant RPGs. And amazingly, quests and world events will carry on with or without you, adding a real sense of urgency to your hero's actions; stopping to chit-chat with every NPC could mean missing out on the melee battle of a lifetime. Kingdom Come's refusal to hold the player's hand sounds like a refreshing change of pace, and if the finished product can pull off the kind of grandiose living world suggested by our preview, it should be something special indeed.

Vampyr

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

Vampyr is an action RPG which puts you in the shoes Dr. Reid, who's recently been turned into a blood-sucking denizen of the night. It's up to you to decide whether to kill enough people to become powerful beyond belief, or heal London’s citizens from the Spanish Flu and bring peace back to the city. 

Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom 

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

With its beautiful, Studio Ghibli-inspired art direction, Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is unmistakable, and it looks like the sequel iterates on the original's gameplay in all the right ways. Ni no Kuni 2's RPG action is more Pikmin than Pokemon: instead of controlling individually collected Familiars from the sidelines, your party members Evan, Roland, and Tani are always in the thick of each real-time fight, assisted by a horde of cutesy elemental creatures called Higgledies. Though the events once again takes place in the parallel realm of Ni no Kuni, this story has a much grander scope than the first, as the deposed young king Evan endeavors to reclaim his kingdom of Ding Dong Dell after a hostile takeover. 

The Last of Us Part 2

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 

The Last of Us 2 picks up the story of Joel and Ellie five years after the original game. While survival in a post-outbreak world will still be the key theme of the game, we know very little else... other than the fact that Ellie is seriously pissed off about something in the reveal trailer. Fan theories suggest that Joel is actually dead and Ellie is simply imagining him, but we won’t know for sure until the game releases some time in the next couple of years. 

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