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. After years of waiting, we'll finally get to play Red Dead Redemption 2 later this month, Fallout 76 will take you to a multiplayer post-apocalypse come November, 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.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: October 16, 2018
It might've seemed like third-person space shooters featuring a team of spunky pilots died out after the disappointing Star Fox Zero floundered on Wii U. But Ubisoft has stepped in to carry the torch, even leaning on its good ties with Nintendo to include Fox as a Switch-exclusive character. Starlink is a new attempt at the toys-to-life genre, with a neat twist: the optional figures you can buy are actually customizable ships you can mount onto your controller, complete with different parts you can swap on the fly. You'll be able to cruise around the wide-open Atlas star system, then seamlessly enter a planet's atmosphere to explore and shoot down hostiles near the surface. With its fun premise, vibrant visuals, and two-player split-screen co-op, Starlink seems like it'll be a great game for anyone who thinks of Star Fox fondly.
Soul Calibur 6
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 19, 2018
Welcome back to the stage of history! Fighting game fans have long awaited the return of Bandai Namco's long-running Soul series, starring weapon-wielding warriors locked in flashy one-on-one duels. Soul Calibur 6 looks to bring back the beginner-friendly, surprisingly deep fighter in all its 3D, eight-way-running glory. So far, we've seen Sophitia and Mitsurugi clashing swords again just in time for Soul Calibur's 20th anniversary, and recaptures the fast pace and tight feel of the timeless Soul Calibur 2 while furthering the light-trail-filled aesthetic last seen in Soul Calibur 5. It's even got The Witcher's Geralt as a guest character!
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
Platform(s): PC (coming to PS4 and Xbox One on December 4)
Release date: October 23, 2018
No, it's not The Witcher 4 - but this spin-off installment expands CD Projekt Red's beloved series with Gwent-inspired gameplay and a story that doesn't revolve around Geralt. Instead, the narrative concerns Meve, queen of Lyria and Rivia (who's been mentioned a smattering of times in previous games). Thronebreaker started life as the single-player component to the standalone Gwent game, but it's been deemed worthy of becoming its very own title, promising a sweeping RPG story and brain-teasing card battles.
Lethal League Blaze
Platform(s): PC (Switch, PS4, and Xbox One in Spring 2019)
Release date: October 24, 2018
You either know and love Lethal League or you've never heard of it before. This super stylish duel is a cross between a fighting game and pong, as opponents bash a baseball around a contained room hoping to knock each other out as the ball's velocity becomes increasingly more absurd. And praise be: it's getting a 2.5D sequel with Lethal League Blaze, which retains all the old characters and their unique traits, then adds in a few more for good measure (including a skater who looks straight out of Jet Set Radio, appropriately named Jet). Speaking of JSR, Blaze even has music composed by that game's musical mastermind, Hideki Naganuma. With more of the same slick aesthetic, smooth gameplay, online modes, and a fresh selection of phat beats, Lethal League Blaze will surely be a home run with anyone who enjoys raucous multiplayer matches with deceptively deep strategy.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Release date: October 26, 2018
Red Dead Redemption 2 has a lot to live up to, so it's reasonable that Rockstar Games wanted a generous amount of time to get this open-world, Wild West sequel just right. Set before the first RDR, you're filling the cowboy boots of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw in the employ of familiar villain Dutch van der Linde. Morgan seems to be a rougher, thornier character compared to the stoic John Marston - but we'll surely get to know him better across dozens of hours spent moseying across quaint plains, hunting for wild animals (now with a new bow and arrow combo!) in verdant mountain regions, and carrying out many a high-stakes train heist.
My Hero One's Justice
Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 26, 2018
My Hero Academia is a mega-popular manga and anime with legions of fans, but if you haven't heard of it, it's something like a cross between X-Men and Naruto. And with so many beloved heroes and villains in its superpowered cast, it's the perfect fit for a 1-on-1 fighting game from the folks at Bandai Namco. This third-person 3D fighter is as arcadey as they come, rife with hard-hitting autocombos, speedy movement, and special moves that give way to flashy mini-cutscenes as you beat the snot out of your opponent. Along with your primary pugilist, you can pick two characters to be your Sidekicks, letting you assist-attack your foe for some ludicrous juggles up in the air or into the walls of the destructible environments. And nothing spices up an intense duel like hearing the heroic All Might bellow out his hilarious English catchphrases.
Call of Cthulhu
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: October 30, 2018
The influence of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos creeps across the gaming landscape like the black tendrils of some otherworldly Elder God, so it's about time a game used modern hardware to take those nightmarish, existentially terrifying themes head-on. Made in the same style as 2005's Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, this Call of Cthulhu reimagining is a first-person RPG that's equal parts investigation and delirium. Combat takes a backseat to critical thinking as you poke around the shadows of Darkwater, and all the while you'll need to manage your sanity meter to stave off the madness so commonly associated with Cthulhu-worshipping cultists.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum 'n' Fun! / Drum Session!
Platform(s): Switch, PS4
Release date: November 2, 2018
Sometimes you're just in the mood for a cheery rhythm game - and Taiko no Tatsujin will let you forget all your troubles while you focus on hitting a series of smiling notes in time to the beat. This is the first we've seen of Bandai Namco's cult hit rhythm game in the West since the PS2 days, and while there's no giant taiko drum peripheral this time, the musical gameplay still works great on a controller. The Switch gets Drum 'n' Fun, which features plenty of minigames and some cameos from Nintendo characters, while Drum Session on PS4 plays up the online multiplayer. If you often find yourself jamming out to anime themes, Japanese pop songs, or classic Namco soundtracks, you'll have a blast with Taiko no Tatsujin.
Release date: November 9, 2018
You when you've been playing a puzzle game - like, say, Tetris - for hours, then you start to see blocks and patterns every time you close your eyes? That scientifically studied phenomenon shares the same name as this hypnotizingly beautiful permutation of Tetris from Enhance Games, the studio founded by Rez Infinite and Lumines luminary Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Though it's still playable without a headset, Tetris Effect was clearly made with PS VR in mind, as psychedelic visuals and ambient beats surround you as blocks drop and lines are completed. Like Lumines, Tetris Effect will cycle through over 30 stages, each with their own visual styles that evoke the same mesmeric trippiness as Rez's Area X. Along with traditional Tetris play blended with ethereal visuals, some modes will also use a new Zone mechanic that lets you slow time for last-second saves or high-scoring maneuvers.
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.
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