The first half of 2017 was an embarrassment of riches in regards to the gaming world. Resident Evil 7, the masterful return of the survival horror franchise, kicked off the year with some scares. Action RPG Nioh and open-world adventure Horizon: Zero Dawn followed suit as two of the best games of the year. Then we got the Nintendo Switch and the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link’s greatest adventure yet.
With such a strong opening lineup, one has to wonder if the rest of 2017 can even compare. Well, there are quite a few big games coming out this holiday season that might give the aforementioned titles a run for their money. Den of Geek spent some time with quite a few of these titles at E3 and we picked out 20 of our favorites:
Out Now | Nintendo | Switch
These days, it’s rare to see a new IP from Nintendo, a company that loves to bank on its classic stable of characters – and really, they’ve proven time and again that they can just coast on Mario and Link for all eternity. Yet, when the Big N introduced the world to the Inklings in 2015, they took the video game industry by storm. No one really expected Splatoon, a third-person shooter about splattering your enemies with paint and capturing as much territory as possible, to be a big success, but here we are two years later, waiting for the highly anticipated sequel. The game features a new single-player campaign as well as a new multiplayer horde mode called Salmon Run. If your Switch has been a bit dry on games recently, Splatoon 2 should be a nice addition to your library.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Out Now| Ninja Theory | PS4, PC
The folks behind Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry return with a nightmarish action-adventure game about a Celtic woman named Senua who must confront her own deteriorating mind and slay the monsters that haunt her. The game looks visually stunning and tackles themes of mental illness that are not often explored in video games. This should be an interesting one.
Out Now | Boss Key Productions | PS4, PC
LawBreakers is the first first-person multiplayer shooter of the year, and it’s just a bit different from the rest. This game is all about parkour and gravity and finding creative ways of getting around the map. It’s also a gritty shooter that features characters who are a little rough around the edges. You won’t quite find the optimism of Overwatch in this multiplayer-only game, but the characters are still really cool and also quite funny. This is veteran developer Cliff Bleszinski’s first game in a few years. You may know him from classics like Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. That alone should be enough to entice you to pick this one up.
Out Now | Headcannon & PagodaWest Games | XBO, PS4, Switch, PC
“Member Sonic the Hedgehog? Member Sega Genesis?” Nostalgia is the order of the day with Sonic Mania, a new game that revives many of the classic 2D platform levels from the Blue Blur’s 90s adventures. The game features remasters of levels such as the Green Hill Zone and the Chemical Plant Zone, as well as introduces all-new levels. Best of all, you can choose from three playable characters: Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails! This is Sonic the way it was meant to be played. We’re especially excited for the Switch version!
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Out Now | Naughty Dog | PS4 | Review
Naughty Dog isn’t quite done with the Uncharted series. This standalone expansion doesn’t star series protagonist Nathan Drake, though. Instead, supporting characters Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross take the reins this time around for an adventure in India that takes places several months after the close of Uncharted 4. Chloe’s on a mission to retrieve an artifact known as the Tusk of Ganesh from a warlord named Asav. She’ll need all the help she can get, so she’s partnered up with Nadine. Fans of the Uncharted series won’t want to miss this new chapter.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
August 29 | Ubisoft | Switch
Nintendo and Ubisoft unite for this adorable mash-up featuring Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Luigi, and four heroic Rabbids. This turn-based tactical RPG plays a lot like the XCOM games, except that every single enemy in the game is also the cutest. Needless to say, this is a pretty new direction for Mario and his friends. Another Switch title to definitely look forward to!
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm
August 31| Deck Nine Games | XBO, PS4, PC
This three-episode prequel to 2015’s Life Is Strange is all about Chloe Price. It takes place three years before the events of the first game and won’t feature Max Caulfield. In fact, Before the Storm won’t feature any time powers at all. Instead, the prequel will focus on drama and fleshing out Chloe’s story before she reunited with Max and investigated the disappearance of Rachel Amber. The biggest draw of this prequel is that we’ll get to learn much more about Rachel, Arcadia Bay’s very own Laura Palmer.
September 6 | Bungie | XBO, PS4, PC
This sequel has a lot to live up to. While Destiny certainly suffered a bit in its early days for its lack of story and a convoluted leveling system, The Taken King expansion really turned things around for Bungie’s follow-up to the Halo series. And despite what you might say about the narrative, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the combat. Bungie’s created a smooth FPS that tips its hat at Master Chief in a big way. Destiny 2 doesn’t change too much about the combat, but does introduce a new story in which the Guardians have been pushed back by the Darkness and the Tower has fallen. It also looks like there’s a lot of Cade-6 in this sequel, which is definitely a good thing.
Metroid: Samus Returns
September 15 | MercurySteam & Nintendo | 3DS
Nintendo made two huge announcements at E3 this year, and they both had to do with the Metroid series. While we’ll have to wait a while to play Metroid Prime 4, this new 3DS reimagining of Metroid II: Return of Samus should be enough to tide fans over for the time being. Samus Returns features new controls, visuals, and gameplay, including a new set of powers called Aeion abilities. This is the Game Boy classic like you’ve never experienced it before.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
September 19 | Capcom | XBO, PS4, PC
The last major Marvel vs. Capcom game released in 2011, so this sequel has been a long time coming. Featuring a roster that includes many of your Marvel favorites, such as Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain Marvel, as well as Capcom greats like Chris Redfield and Mega Man, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is the ultimate nerd dream come true. Plus, Ultron and Sigma fuse together to create the most devastating fighting machine ever known to man. If you’re a fighting game fan or just love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ll definitely get a kick out of this one.
September 29 | StudioMDHR | XBO, PC
From the very first reveal, Cuphead has looked absolutely delightful. A run-and-gun platformer that pays homage to 1930s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, Cuphead is unlike any indie we’ve ever seen. In fact, Studio MDHR used traditional hand drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings to faithfully recreate the look and feel of the era. The story sounds pretty interesting, too: Poor old Cuphead has sold his soul to the Devil and must defeat a series of bosses in order to pay his debt. You can also play this one with a friend, who takes control of Cuphead’s pal Mugman!
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
October 10 | Monolith Productions | XBO, PS4, PC
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was a surprise hit in 2014, raking in a couple of Game of the Year awards in the process. Shadow of War continues the story of Talion and the spirit of the elf lord Celebrimbor, as they use a Ring of Power to amass an army strong enough to defeat Sauron and his Nazgul forces. While the revolutionary Nemesis system returns in this sequel, the real draw is the new battle system that emulates the feel of the epic battles in Lord of the Rings. After you recruit followers to your cause, you can make them captains in your army as you lead an assault against an enemy fortress. We played through one of these battles at E3 and it was AWESOME.
The Evil Within 2
October 13 | Tango Gameworks | XBO, PS4, PC
While Shinji Mikami’s original creation, Resident Evil, made a big and impressive return this year, the creator returns with another survival horror sequel – The Evil Within 2. If you’ve played the first game, you know it’s pure madness with basically every living nightmare imaginable packed into one game. There’s no such thing as excess in this bloody series, and judging from the sequel’s first trailer, we’re in for a very wild and gruesome ride.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
October 17 | Ubisoft | XBO, PS4, PC
This sequel leaves the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones parody behind in favor of a new target: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. South Park’s very own superhero civil war has erupted, as Coon and Friends have split up over how to… go about building a film franchise. Now Coon and Friends and the Freedom Pals are at war with each other. You once again play as the New Kid, who must become a superhero to save South Park. Very kewl.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
October 27 | Ubisoft | XBO, PS4, PC
The rumors were true: the new Assassin’s Creed is set in Ancient Egypt and is a prequel to the rest of the series. Boasting a few upgrades, such as an Eagle that can scout enemy territory for you and the ability to guide an arrow to your target, Assassin’s Creed Origins has a bit of new while also keeping much of what made its earlier installments great. You play as Bayek, the last Medjay and the very first Assassin, as he protects his changing land from a new threat known as the Order of the Ancients.
Super Mario Odyssey
October 27 | Nintendo | Switch
Mario goes on a globe-trotting adventure in Super Mario Odyssey. Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach, and it’s up to Mario to find her before the villain can marry her. This sequel is a return to the open-world exploration of Mario classics such as Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. There are also a ton of new abilities, including the ability to possess certain objects and charactes in the game with your cap. Also, the photo-realistic worlds are a first. If you have a Nintendo Switch, this is an absolute no-brainer.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
October 27 | MachineGames | XBO, PS4, PC
Wolfenstein: The New Order is one of the best first-person shooters of the past few years. Now B.J. Blazkowicz is back to take down even more Nazis, and he’s bringing the fight home. It looks like a lot of what made the last game great is back in this sequel, including the dual-wielding, the giant robots, and lots of blood and guts. You can’t miss this one!
Call of Duty: WWII
November 3 | Sledgehammer Games | XBO, PS4, PC
For a minute there, it really seemed like the Call of Duty franchise had lost its way, as it left reality behind in favor of a more science fictional approach to the combat and settings. Well, this year’s installment is really reeling things in with a return to the series’ roots. The World War II setting was a staple of the shooter genre for years, but has been left at the wayside in the last few years. Luckily, Sledgehammer is bringing it back in gritty style that emphasizes heroism but also the horrors of war. We saw a bit of the campaign at E3 and would say that WWII is closest in tone to Treyarch’s underrated World at War. We did play the multiplayer, and we’re glad to see that wall-running is nowhere to be found.
Star Wars Battlefront II
November 17 | DICE | XBO, PS4, PC
Star Wars Battlefront II once again puts you in the boots of your favorite characters in the saga’s most iconic battles. This time around, there are two eras and way more characters to choose from. New heroes include Darth Maul, Yoda, Rey, and Kylo Ren. Now, you’ll also be able to fight in the Clone Wars! Oh, and this sequel actually has a single-player campaign with a whole new story that connects the Original Trilogy with The Force Awakens.That’s a lot of what was missing in DICE’s first game. We can’t wait!