The best upcoming games of 2018

Get ready to say goodbye to all of your free time, because the best new games closing out 2018 are going to steal all of it. Red Dead Redemption 2 is already transporting countless players back to the Old West, Fallout 76 will officially launch its multiplayer post-apocalypse in a few short weeks, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be the de facto fighting game for the holidays when December rolls around. But those aren't the only games you can look forward to in the near future. There's plenty of greatness left to go this year before we start thinking about the new games of 2019 - and you might not have even known about some of these titles until now. Whatever your platform of choice, from your favorite console to the best gaming laptop, there are plenty of games you should keep an eye on over the weeks and months to come. 

We've gone ahead and collected the standouts for your viewing pleasure as we near the end of 2018. Browse our selections, all ordered by release date, and see what you need to start saving up for ASAP - then be sure to let us know in the comments which games you're most excited for. 

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

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

Not to be outdone by the revival of Sony's other would-be mascot in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, everyone's favorite purple dragon Spyro is getting his very own three-pack remaster. Spyro Reignited Trilogy features the first three games in the series (i.e. all the best ones) rebuilt from the ground up with wildly improved Unreal Engine 4 visuals and a refined control scheme. We'd be shocked if this oft-requested trilogy didn't eventually make its way to Nintendo Switch as well, so for anyone who missed them back in 1998, Reignited Trilogy will be a great way to enjoy a beloved slice of 3D platforming history.

Hitman 2

Hitman 2

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

Hitman 2 sees the return of expert assassin Agent 47, and though the series has switched publishers from Square Enix to WB Games, it's still being developed by the dedicated folks at IO Interactive. As always, there will be plenty of exotic locales to explore, hilarious disguises to don, and high-value targets to eliminate through ingeniously crafty or violently direct means. You simply haven't lived until you've knocked out a guard with a coconut while wearing a flamingo mascot outfit. 

Fallout 76 

Fallout 76

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: November 14, 2018

First things first: though Fallout 76 takes place in the same '50s-esque, post-apocalyptic setting the series is known for, this isn't a new single-player-focused story from the folks at Bethesda. Instead, Fallout 76 is a shared-world survival game set in in the irradiated expanses of West Virginia, 25 years after the conclusion of the Great War. You don't necessarily have to play with others, but they'll be out there, gathering resources, killing mutated beasts, building their own encampments, and possibly even launching nukes from silos found all around the map. Fallout 76 is reportedly four times bigger than Fallout 4's map, and it'll be fascinating to see how players interact in a Fallout that doesn't revolve around a single wasteland hero.  

Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee

Pokemon: Let's Go

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: November 16, 2018

Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee are two versions of the same game (in classic Pokemon style) that are set to make a splash on Nintendo Switch - but they're not the core RPG you might've been expecting. Instead, think of this outing as a mix between the classic Pokemon Yellow on Game Boy and the megahit mobile game Pokemon Go. You'll explore a spruced-up, 3D version of Kanto from a top-down perspective, with either Pikachu or Eevee at your side, catching Generation 1 Pokemon through simplified mechanics with Joy-Con motion controls (or the new Poke Ball Plus peripheral). There will be battles against other Pokemon Trainers, but you won't be weakening wild Pokemon before you attempt to catch them. 

Battlefield 5 

Battlefield 5

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

Battlefield 5 is taking the series back to its World War 2 roots, with infantry, tanks, and aircraft aplenty locked in combat across massive multiplayer skirmishes. Choose your preferred class between Assault, Medic, Recon, and Support, then master your role to turn the tide of battle one spawn location at a time. Veterans should be aware of a few key tweaks this time around: now any class can revive downed allies, so no more ignoring cries for help when you're getting your snipe on. The classic spotting mechanic now highlights general areas rather than individuals, encouraging you to seek out enemies yourself without immediately flagging a target for death. And there's a strong focus on Squad play in Battlefield 5, which rewards you for sticking with a designated group of men and women (including your very own customizable soldier). As in Battlefield 1, War Stories provide some single-player action, while the multiplayer does away with the traditional Season Pass in favor of Tides of War, a system modelled around Fortnite's Battle Pass featuring limited-time events.

Darksiders 3

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

First there was War, then Death, and now Fury is the next Horseman (or more accurately, Horsewoman) of the Apocalypse to star in her own fantastical action adventure. The Darksiders series is famous for essentially being a blood-soaked, bone-crunching take on The Legend of Zelda's open-world exploration with a dash of Devil May Cry combat mixed in, full of ridiculously proportioned (but undoubtedly cool-looking) character designs by cult favorite comic artist Joe Madureira. Darksiders 3's leading lady Fury is more magic-focused than her compatriots, and wields a spiky whip as her signature weapon. You'll be cutting down swaths of demons across the ruins of post-Biblical-apocalypse Earth, fighting back against hellish embodiments of the Seven Deadly Sins themselves.  

Artifact 

Platform(s): PC
Release date: November 28, 2018

Valve is finally making games again, starting with Artifact, the studio's first foray into the card game genre. Featuring the many heroes, minions, and items of team brawler Dota 2 (which still tops Steam's most-played charts daily), Artifact plays like a cross between Hearthstone and the three-lane battlefields typical of most MOBAs. Minions spawn, towers must be taken down, and five heroes on each side fight for victory - all via cards played during rapid-fire turns. Beyond some gorgeous art and Valve's exemplary levels of polish, Artifact has some amazing things going for it: the design team is being led by none other than Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering, and unlike Hearthstone, players can actually trade and sell cards via the Steam Community Market. Interestingly, it's also one of the few digital TCGs that will not be free-to-play, requiring a $20 upfront cost before you even think about buying card packs.   

Battle Princess Madelyn 

Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Wii U, PS Vita
Release date: Fall 2018

If Ghouls 'n' Ghosts swapped out Arthur and his heart-emblazoned boxers for a heroic, 7-year-old girl, it'd be Battle Princess Madelyn, a loving tribute to Capcom's legendarily difficult 2D platformers. This spiritual successor has a heartwarming origin, as the lead developer is essentially making the game for his young daughter by featuring her as the protagonist (and taking diligent notes on her feedback and art direction). All the old-school tuning is spot-on, from the imaginative, pixelated monster designs, to way Madelyn double-jumps in a set arc, to the optional scanlines for that classic arcade feel. And with its scaleable difficulty, Battle Princess Madelyn should be way more accessible for anyone who didn't have to take their lumps during the 16-bit era.

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