The best upcoming games of 2018 (and beyond)

Ghost of Tsushima 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC

Sucker Punch hit us with quite the surprise when it revealed Ghost of Tsushima out of the blue: a samurai-led tale of ancient Japan from the studio that brought you the Infamous and Sly Cooper series. You play an as-yet-unnamed swordsman fighting for his life against the invading forces of the Mongol Empire, living out real historical events that kicked off in the year 1274. Prepare yourself for plenty of intense melee combat in a large, open-world take on feudal Japan. 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps 

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

Ori and the Blind Forest is an absolutely enchanting game, with gorgeous, hand-painted backdrops, an affecting story, and the kind of demandingly difficult 2D platforming that's hard to put down. And fortunately, this gem is getting a sequel: Ori and the Will of the Wisps, which takes us back to Ori's beautiful but treacherous world and shows us new regions and creatures in the lush Nibel forest. Details are still hazy, but it looks like Ori will be teaming up with a purple-feathered owl whose species seems to have been wiped out (save for one) by some calamity. 

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

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 includes revamped class abilities and wild new monster types - is already out in Japan, but we've got our fingers crossed that a worldwide launch could happen if we chant "EDF! EDF!" often and loud enough.

The Last of Us Part 2 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC

The Last of Us Part 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 Naughty Dog reveals more. Don't hold your breath for this one to be out in 2018, though - it's reportedly still early in development.

Death Stranding 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 

Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima’s first game after the Metal Gear franchise, and it’s exclusive to PS4. Naturally, it features weird old babies and stars Guillermo del Toro and Mads Mikkelsen. Trailers have been incredibly enigmatic so far, but fans are already pulling them apart for hidden meaning. Here’s the best breakdown you’ll read, but if you want the TLDR version: it’s Kojima doing another high-quality action adventure, so get excited.  

Bayonetta 3 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: TBC

Thank you based Nintendo: first you made Bayonetta 2 possible by bankrolling a Wii U sequel, and now you're giving Platinum fans more of their favorite bullet-blasting witch with a third game on the Switch (in addition to Switch ports of the first two games). All we have to go on so far is a brief cinematic teaser, but its implications are dire: Bayonetta is caught in a losing battle under a blood moon, deprived of her guns (and quite possibly her entire legs) by a mysterious enemy bathed in purple flames. Looks like your precision third-person action combat skills are about to be tested like never before.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 

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

At long last, Michel Ancel and his team at Ubisoft have confirmed one of the most asked-for, anticipated sequels of our time. Beyond Good & Evil 2 is actually a prequel to Jade and Pey'j's journalistic escapades in the original game, taking on a much grander scale in a cyberpunk, Luc Besson-looking future full of high-tech ships and anthropomorphic animals. The lively crew of space pirates in BG&E2's cinematic reveal trailer are just some of many - you'll be starting from scratch with the hopes of one day reaching their level of professional thievery, visiting (and stealing from) the residents of multiple cities on myriad planets.  

Kingdom Hearts 3 

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

Our relationship with Kingdom Hearts 3 feels like a Jane Austen novel: we constantly write letters professing our love and pining need for it, yet we only get a fleeting glimpse into how it's doing every few months. While you wistfully wait for more of Sora, Donald, Goofy adventuring through Disney-themed worlds, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 should help ease the pain, because it includes an all-new playable prologue (made in Unreal Engine 4) leading up to KH3. Otherwise, you'll just have to longingly gaze at those in-game pictures of Hercules' Mount Olympus and dream of Sora riding atop Baymax over Big Hero 6's San Fransokyo.  

Metroid Prime 4 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: TBC

You know a series is popular when a teaser showing literally nothing besides a numbered logo can garner 2 million views on YouTube. At E3 2017, Nintendo dropped a bombshell by finally confirming that Metroid Prime 4 is currently in development for Nintendo Switch, sending our imaginations into overdrive at what the next iteration of Samus' FPS explorations might look and play like on the portable console. As ever, Nintendo is sure not to reveal its hand until the moment we least expect it - but when we finally do get our first glimpse of the game, prepare to be amazed.

Cyberpunk 2077  

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

This is probably a case of a game being teased way too early, but after what CD Projekt Red's accomplished with The Witcher series, anything new this studio makes demands your attention. We've heard little from Cyberpunk 2077 since its cinematic teaser debuted all the way back in 2013, but it promises a Blade Runner-style dystopian future with Deus Ex-like RPG elements. That core concept, as made by developers promising a world even larger than The Witcher 3's, is more than enough to get our excite-o-meter peaking.