The best upcoming games of 2018 (and beyond)

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The rest of the year is looking ridiculously stacked when it comes to the best new games of 2018. You've got long-awaited sequels to legendary games, like Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros. for Switch, and Kingdom Hearts 3, bumping up against excitingly fresh ideas like Indivisible, Ooblets, and Dreams. Whatever you're playing on, from PS4 to gaming laptop, there are plenty of highly anticipated titles set to debut in the months (and years) to come. So here we're collecting the standouts for your viewing pleasure, updated weekly with new additions. Browse our list (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 have your rapt attention.

God of War 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: April 20, 2018 

Having torn the Greek pantheon asunder, Kratos (now sporting a scruffy beard) has set his sights on a new mythology to conquer: Norse. The fourth main entry in the legendarily brutal PlayStation series - God of War - drops the numbering and looks like it'll force Kratos to control his endless rage, as he raises his young son Atreus to become a hardened warrior. Don't worry, you'll still slay plenty of fantastical creatures along the way, using Kratos' new lightning axe main weapon - but expect a lot more character development and quieter moments in between all the carnage.

Nintendo Labo 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: April 20, 2018

Nintendo has always excelled at innovation, but this is the kind of inspired design that no one saw coming. Part cardboard construction kit, part peripheral-centric gaming made possible by the advanced sensors in the Switch's Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo Labo has you building your own peripherals (called Toy-Cons) to play a variety of unique games designed for your newly made device. It's a simple-but-brilliant concept, evoking fond memories of putting together Lego sets, and is sure to delight any aspiring engineers in your life. While the prices to pre-order Nintendo Labo do seem a bit steep, building the means of play is part of the fun - and it looks like we won't have to worry about the kind of limited supply issues that plagued amiibo and NES Classic stocks in the past. 

State of Decay 2 

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release date: May 22, 2018

If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it's that forging bonds between survivors and building up a community is essential to surviving the zombie apocalypse. State of Decay 2 takes those values to heart with co-op for up to four players, provided you all agree to work together instead of backstabbing one another for precious supplies. To build up your customizable encampment, you'll need to scavenge on foot or four wheels, splattering the skulls of countless undead along the way. And if someone's unfortunate enough to get bitten, their allies will have the tough choice between curing them with a limited supply of medicine, or ending their impending suffering with a bullet to the brain.

Detroit: Become Human 

Detroit: Become Human box art

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: May 25, 2018

As is the trend nowadays, Detroit: Become Human is a choice-driven adventure revolving around androids achieving sentience. Remember the Kara tech demo Sony showed off years ago? She's back as one of three playable androids in a futuristic Detroit, along with detective 'bot Connor and the aspiring revolutionary Marcus. It’s a game of staggering ambition: it took David Cage two years to write the script, and hundreds of actors have done mo-cap work for it.

Vampyr 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: June 5, 2018

The last great vampire-centric game was Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, and that cult classic debuted way back in 2004 - but soon enough, Vampyr should sate our bloodlust and fill that vampiric void. Made the eclectic studio Dontnod, developers of Remember Me and Life is Strange, Vampyr casts you as the recently fanged Jonathan Reid in the Victorian-style streets of 1918 London. You have the option of roleplaying Reid as London's savior, using the doctor's powers of healing to find a cure for a deadly flu epidemic, or a sinner, hunting human prey under cover of night and serving only your eternal thirst. Hopefully, Vampyr will play like a Dishonored game starring Dracula.

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 

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.

Agony 

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

Hollow Knight 

Platform(s): Switch (out now on PC)
Release date: Q1 2018

Hollow Knight is a modern Metroidvania masterpiece - but if you don't game on PC, you might've missed it in 2017. Fortunately, Switch owners will be getting a portable version of this lavishly illustrated, beautifully crafted journey later this year. You play as a diminutive warrior wielding a sharpened nail, exploring the treacherous nooks and crannies of the expansive Hallownest, an insect kingdom that's fallen into ominous ruin. This 2D platformer has it all: gripping combat, phenomenal hand-drawn artwork, enchanting music, rich lore, and a world full of fascinating NPCs and enemy designs. You'll wonder why you didn't do everything in your power to play it sooner. 

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.  

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