The best upcoming games of 2018 (and beyond)

Shenmue 3

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Release date: Second half of 2018 

The Shenmue series was never a huge commercial success, but thanks in part to Kickstarter and thousands of fans' hard-earned dollars (plus some generous funding from Sony), the project is fully underway. In Shenmue 3, you'll take the role of a martial artist named Ryo Hazuki as he attempts to uncover who is responsible for his father's murder. The game promises to have gameplay reminiscent of the previous titles, enabling players to take on enemies in hand-to-hand combat, upgrade combat abilities, and explore a living world full of villages, shops, and an active populous.

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.

Mega Man 11 

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

After Capcom all but ignored its legendary Blue Bomber for years, the mainline Mega Man series is finally getting a new entry - and it's looking like a pleasant mix of old and new. Just over 30 years since the original NES game, Mega Man 11 is going fully 2.5D for a charming aesthetic that totally eclipses the lackluster look of failed competitor Mighty No. 9. You already know what to expect from this platforming shooter: new abilities absorbed from defeated bosses, colorful levels full of inventive gimmicks, and oodles of old-school challenge.  

Soul Calibur 6 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: TBC 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 the game looks to be recapturing 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.


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

Nothing can prepare you for the unbridled cuteness of Ooblets. It's got a little bit of everything from your favorite adorable game obsessions: the cuddly creatures and turn-based battles of Pokemon, the rich farming simulation of Stardew Valley, and the interior decorations and vibrant color scheme of Animal Crossing. Developed by a core team of just two people, Ooblets looks to be the kind of relaxing, endlessly charming town sim that makes hours feel like minutes as you maintain your farm, raise and train a herd of the titular ooblets, or meticulously perfect the feng shui of your virtual bedroom. You just know it's going to take over some players' lives in the best way possible. 

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: TBC 2018

The brash, twisted, beam katana-wielding assassin Travis Touchdown is back, and he's looking stylish as ever. Don't think of this as No More Heroes 3 - instead, it's something of a spin-off, revolving around crossovers with notable indie games like Hotline Miami. Badman, the burly father of the slain Rank #2 assassin Bad Girl, is itching for some murderous revenge on our sideburned anti-hero. But while the two are duking it out, they're sucked into the Death Drive MK-2 game console, trapping them in deadly worlds lifted from beloved indie hits. Expect Suda51 and his team at Grasshopper Manufacture to stuff Travis Strikes Again full of their trademark panache, absurdity, and over-the-top violence.  


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

Back in 2015, over $2 million in crowdfunding was raised for Indivisible, and it's easy to see why: this RPG/Metroidvania hybrid has gorgeously drawn, beautifully animated visuals and inventive combat mechanics to match the captivating presentation. Made by Lab Zero Games, the studio behind the equally stylish fighter Skullgirls, Indivisible follows the intrepid Ajna as she encounters environments and monsters inspired by Southeast Asian mythology. As you explore 2.5D forests, temples, and tombs using your host of acrobatic abilities, you'll recruit party members called Incarnations (which boast some delightfully unconventional character designs). The battles themselves play out like a real-time take on Valkyrie Profile, with a fighting game twist: if you time your attacks correctly, you can combo and juggle opponents in the air for tons of extra damage. The Indivisible Prototype Beta is still available on PSN if you want to check it out, and the game's come a long way since that already-impressive showing.


Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2018

LittleBigPlanet is beloved for letting players create their own 2D platformer levels, but Dreams is on an entirely different scale: you can craft entire worlds down to the smallest detail. This staggeringly ambitious new game from developer Media Molecule gives you all the tools you need to shape a self-contained experience, be it a sidescroller, first-person exploration game, space shooter shmup, or anything in between. Judging from our early preview, the creative possibilities will set your imagination on fire - but if you just want to piece together a map from premade pieces or play through other people's visions, that's fine too. As with LittleBigPlanet, there will be ample ways to show off your work or sample the very best concepts that the Dreams community has to offer, which - in theory - means infinite replayability. 

Darksiders 3  

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


Platform(s): PC
Release date: TBC 2018

If you often reminisce about the horrific hordes and harrowing escapes of the Left 4 Dead series, GTFO looks to be your next fix of four-player, co-op FPS. There's a heavy emphasis on suspense, as you and your squad of operatives (in employ of the mysterious Warden) explore mutant-filled catacombs. An AI director ensures that your party gets to enjoy the chills of creepy exploration and the thrills of staving off swarms of attackers in equal measure. And unlike the standard zombies of L4D, these ghoulish creatures can terrorize you from a distance with their grotesque extending necks. But what really has us excited is the cryptic - yet mesmerizing - narration from an unknown narrator in GTFO's gameplay-filled reveal trailer.  

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