The best upcoming games of 2018 (and beyond)

***UPDATE December 6: We Happy Few, Biomutant, Metal Gear Survive, Agony, and Ghost of Tsushima have been added to the list!*** 

Unbelievable though it may seem, 2018 is about to be in full swing, and it's bringing a slew of amazing-looking games with it. You've probably still got many of the best games of 2017 piled up in your backlog, but we always seem to find a way to be perpetually excited for the next big thing. With that in mind, these are the hottest games on the horizon - a mix of blockbuster AAA titles and bold projects made on a smaller scale. Many of these games will be here before you know it - and though exact dates are still up in the air for the majority of these exciting titles, we've ordered them by their planned launch window, from 'soonish' to 'probably a ways away.'

Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom  

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Release date: January 19, 2018

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.  

Dragon Ball FighterZ 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: January 26, 2018

Previous Dragon Ball Z games have certainly found their fans, but this 2.5D, 3v3 team fighter from Arc System Works (makers of the legendary Guilty Gear series) looks like it's going to finally tap into the mainstream's powerful DBZ nostalgia. Using the same ingenious, gorgeous art style as Guilty Gear Xrd, Dragon Ball FighterZ's bold, bright 3D models look like they jumped straight out of the anime, courtesy of some clever lighting techniques - and even better, almost every attack animation is a reference to the manga and anime source material. Being able to unite Goku, Vegeta, and Cell on a single team, chaining flashy supers and assists together, looks like the realization of the secret dream we've all been having ever since Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

Monster Hunter: World 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: January 26, 2018

This marks the new era for Capcom's beloved, long-running action series, as Monster Hunter: World trades handheld portability for exceedingly shiny graphics, refreshing the co-op, third-person hunts for the modern market. This new Monster Hunter has you pursuing some very big game - think dinosaurs and dragons - as you lurk through tropical jungles and conceal your approach using foliage-based camouflage. It's all in the name of fancier armor and outlandishly large weaponry, and a new grappling hook should add a new layer to the series' hard-to-master movement and attack options.  

Kingdom Come: Deliverance 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: February 13, 2018

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is like a historically accurate Skyrim - 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. 

Metal Gear Survive 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: February 20, 2018

Hideo Kojima's got absolutely nothing to do with this Metal Gear game, besides its reuse of assets built for Metal Gear Solid 5's Fox Engine - but there's reason to have an ounce of cautious optimism for Metal Gear Survive. This is a third-person multiplayer survival game, taking place in a strange alternate dimension(?) in which the many supporting soldiers on Mother Base suddenly find themselves swarmed by crystal-covered zombies. The production values and core gameplay are nowhere near the pedigree you'd expect from a Metal Gear game, but it's hard to go too wrong with co-op horde modes (complete with crafting and the ability to construct fortifications). At the very least, it'll probably be preferable to a tangentially branded pachislot machine from Konami.

Far Cry 5

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: February 27, 2018

Far Cry 5 won't take place in some exotic far-off region like Far Cry 4's Kyrat, or an ancient history setting as in Far Cry Primal - it'll be bringing its first-person mayhem to the US of A. The fictional region of Hope County, Montana is thrown into disarray by a cult known as the Project at Eden's Gate, led by the charismatic Father Joseph who advocates religious fanaticism and militia-style stockpiles of high-powered firearms. As Hope County's newest deputy sheriff, you'll have to band with the unturned townsfolk to take down Eden's Gate in the most chaotic ways possible - including aerial dogfights and bombing runs in a pilotable plane, or vicious takedowns using pitchforks, sledgehammers, or trusty animal companions, to name a few options.

Agony 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: March 30, 2018

There's a pretty easy way to figure out if the first-person horror of Agony is for you: can you stomach the sight of virtual babies being smashed into bloody stumps? If you answered 'yes', then you're just twisted enough to enjoy this harrowing trip through Hell itself. You're a tortured soul seeking out the Red Goddess, the so-called ruler of the underworld, in a desperate bid to escape eternal suffering. To do so, you'll need to fearfully sneak past demons in your meek human form as a feeble Martyr - though later on, you can possess them and use their terrible powers to your own ends.   

We Happy Few 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: April 13, 2018

We Happy Few is practically a must-play based on the concept alone, which somehow manages to blend a BioShock-style society of deranged drug addicts and the kitschy 1960s whimsy of Austin Powers into one delightfully creepy survival game. You play as one of several residents of the fictitious English city of Wellington Wells, navigating in first-person through a society where residents are forced to take a daily dose of the hallucinogenic pill known as Joy. You've refused to take your medicine and have been labeled a kill-on-sight Downer, forced to flee from the mind-altered citizens and coppers while crafting and scavenging for anything that might help you survive. All the while, you're taunted and oppressed by Uncle Jack, a live-action TV host who's like a sinister, pill-pushing Mr. Rogers. 

Wargroove 

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

It seems Nintendo isn't about to revive Advance Wars any time soon; thank goodness developer Chucklefish stepped up to the plate to bring back turn-based strategy featuring delightful GBA-style sprites. The overworld map and battle animations perfectly mimic the charming aesthetic of the Advance Wars series, set in a high fantasy world full of knights, dragons, skeleton dogs, and witches. As one of 12 unique commanders, you'll wage war over land, sea, and air to establish dominance over the map, one little square space at a time. With online and local multiplayer for up to four players, custom map creation, and loads of adorable unit types, Wargroove's got everything an Advance Wars fan could ask for.  

Sea of Thieves 

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

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 our world 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 Rare's latest, with first-person pirating (the fun, family-friendly kind) full of cooperative crewmates collaborating in the pursuit of treasure. Competitive types can also try to rule the seas by battling (and ideally sinking) other players' ships.  

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