The best upcoming games of 2018

Fallout 76

E3 2018 is in our rear-view mirror, so it's time to look ahead to the rest of the year and all the great new games that await us. Highly anticipated games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Fallout 76, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are all coming later this year, making the wait for the new games of 2019 and beyond that much easier. Whatever you're playing on, from console to the best gaming laptop, there are plenty of games worth checking out in the weeks and months to come. 

We've gone ahead and collected the standouts for your viewing pleasure, updated weekly with new additions. Browse our list, which is 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. 

Mario Tennis Aces

Mario Tennis Aces

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: June 22, 2018

Of the many Mario and co. sporting events, the tennis and golf series have always been the clear standouts - so it's great to see Mario Tennis Aces continue the legacy on Switch. The basics are just like you remember from the N64 days, with up to four players taking the court to slam the ball around with power shots, topspins, slices, and lobs, all signalled by those distinct color-coded light trails. But Mario Tennis Aces borrows from the fighting game genre with the introduction of meter management, letting you build up a special bar to unleash moves like the first-person-aimed Zone Shot, flashy Trick Shot, or KO-punch Special Shot. There's also racquet durability, forcing rallies to end if a player's racquet shatters from the impact of too many hits, and blocking, which acts like a pinpoint-timing parry of incoming super shots. It's a lot of extra complexity, but should hopefully deepen the strategy of your contests on the court - and purists can still forego the new mechanics entirely if they so choose.

Lumines Remastered

Lumines Remastered

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

I try not to clutter this list with too many ports and souped-up rereleases, as they're always in plentiful supply - but I'll happily make an exception for Lumines Remastered, the hypnotic puzzle game from Rez mastermind Tetsuya Mizuguchi. The pacing of this PSP HD remake is similar to Tetris, as you drop squares of dual-colored cubes and try to set up huge chains. But there's a strong emphasis on rhythmic play, as you slowly enter a flow state to become one with the music and color-matching. All the while, the background theming continues to shift through a variety of mesmerizing art styles and musical genres. Switch players can enjoy the added bonus of HD Rumble in the Joy-Con; you can even play with a separate controller while the Joy-Con vibrations massage whatever part of your body you deem worthy in time to the beat. 

The Crew 2 

The Crew 2

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: June 29, 2018

Despite strong sales, Ubisoft's open-world racer The Crew didn't seem to make much of an impact in 2015 - but there's a dedicated group of players still roaming its virtual USA roadways to this day. Hopefully The Crew 2 will entice them to make the jump and bring in droves of new racers with its expanded scope: now you can get behind the wheel of boats and planes in addition to the first game's souped-up luxury cars and off-roading rides. You'll be speeding around gigantic slices of world-famous American cities like Las Vegas and New York, taking on plenty of cooperative driving missions as you bond with your crewmates across land, sea, and air. 

Octopath Traveler 

Octopath Traveler

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: July 13, 2018

In a rare case of an absurd working title becoming the actual game name, Octopath Traveler is a new JRPG from Square Enix that puts major emphasis on dedicated role-playing. You must choose from one of eight unique heroes when starting your quest, each with their own personality, fighting style, and most importantly, distinct commands when interacting with NPCs. Are you the kind of player who wants to challenge everyone you see to a feat of strength, or someone who wants to charm folks with your provocative dancing? Your experience of the world all comes down to your chosen hero, but no matter who you pick, there's plenty to explore as you take in the lavish, 16-bit-meets-HD sights and engage in nuanced turn-based battles.

We Happy Few 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: August 10, 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. 

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth 

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Platform(s): PC
Release date: August 14, 2018

Blizzard's touchstone MMO is still going strong after almost 14 years worth of content, and its seventh expansion, Battle for Azeroth, is something of a throwback to the classic conflicts between the Alliance and Horde factions that trace back through Warcraft history. Leaders on both sides have risen, fallen, and been replaced, and now things are gearing up for what could very well be the turning point after years of animosity. Besides the potentially faction-altering impact of this expansion's plot, its biggest feature is the addition of Allied Races - NPC races you can earn the right to play as - and two massive new zones, Kul Tiras and Zandalar. Of course, there will also be a bevy of fresh dungeons and raids to tackle as you work your way to the raised level cap of 120 and strive to get the latest must-have gear.

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate 

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: August 28, 2018

Monster Hunter World was a perfect gateway game for legions of players earlier this year, enticing plenty of series greenhorns with its slick visuals that put the PS4 and Xbox One to the test. Switch owners might've felt left out at the time - but now the Switch-exclusive Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is here to fix that, with a substantially upgraded port of the 3DS entry from 2016 (complete with save data importing if you already played it back then). Veterans who thought World's endgame content and exotic bestiary felt a bit lacking compared to previous entries will be overjoyed to hear that Generations Ultimate has the largest monster list of any game in the series, so it'll be hundreds of hours before you and your multiplayer hunting party have seen everything. The aesthetics of Generations Ultimate are definitely more in line with its portable predecessors - but that look could easily be a plus for anyone who prefers supersaturated colors and simpler environments in their Monster Hunter. 

Yakuza Kiwami 2

Yakuza Kiwami 2

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: August 28, 2018

Just as Yakuza Kiwami remade the first game in this long-running, open-world crime series, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a spruced-up version of Yakuza 2 from way back in the PS2 days. Our debonair lead Kazuma Kiryu must once again bust some heads on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka as he attempts to defuse a gang war before it even begins. The plot follows Yakuza 2 closely, but the gameplay includes most of the niceties and refinements from more recent games in the series, making for a modern take on a cult-classic beat-'em-up.

Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: August 28, 2018

One look at Strange Brigade, and you'll wonder why nobody thought to make a co-op monster shooter set in the 1930s sooner, because you need it in your life immediately. As one of four intrepid adventures braving the heat and sand of early 20th century Egypt, you'll have to fend off hordes of mummies, zombies, animated statues, hulking minotaurs, and all manner of supernatural creatures that want you dead. Each Indiana Jones-esque environment is loaded with secrets to seek out, and traps you can use against your rotting enemies. Strange Brigade comes to us from Rebellion, makers of the cult favorite Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army trilogy, so you can bet it'll deliver plenty of intentionally campy, mummy-mutilating fun.

Spider-Man

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: September 7, 2018

This open-world superhero game should be an interesting departure for Insomniac Games, the studio most famous for the Ratchet & Clank series. You'll be web-swinging between buildings and beating up thugs as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, dealing with the likes of Kingpin and Mister Negative in your efforts to keep the peace in the Big Apple. This game isn't tied to any specific comic or movie, so the creators aren't bound by an existing storyline; here's to hoping we don't have to see any origin stories play out for the umpteenth time.

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