2016 has been a good year for gaming. Uncharted 4, Doom, Gears of War 4, Overwatch, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and many other games highlighted a year of heavy hitters. And there are still a few games to come, such as Final Fantasy XV, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Dishonored 2. But by the end of November, another year of gaming will be pretty much over – although Dead Rising 4 and The Last Guardian should keep us warm in December.
Now that another holiday season of gaming is about to pass us by, it’s time to start looking to what 2017 has in store. A year that will be headlined by the launch of the Nintendo Switch and its exclusives, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the return of Mass Effect and Red Dead Redemption, and the sequel to Destiny, 2017 could be the best year in video games yet.
Den of Geek has created this comprehensive list of 2017 video game releases that should give you a bit of insight on what’s to come in the upcoming year. There are quite a few titles to keep on your radar already, and that’s not counting those that don’t have confirmed release dates. We’ve tried to keep the list to games that at least have 2017 release windows, though. We’ll keep updating this list as more release dates are announced, of course.
Along with info on each game, we’ve also included links (where applicable) to pre-order any title that catches your fancy. Convenient, yeah?
Here are the video games we’re most looking forward to in 2017…
Resident Evil 7
January 24 | Capcom | PS4, XBO, PC
Capcom is really bringing the franchise back to its roots in terms of horror. Resident Evil 7, which comes five years after its predecessor flopped, wants to scare the hell out of you. Although it’s technically a continuation of the main story, there hasn’t been any indication that there are any zombies, viruses, or parasites in this game. Instead, the focus of Resident Evil 7 is something even more frightening: a family of psychopaths who’ve captured you and want to have you for dinner. It’s very Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Inspired by modern survival horror darlings such as Amnesia and Outlast, Resident Evil 7 is played in the first-person perspective – a first for the main series – and it’s being developed with virtual reality in mind. In fact, I played the game with PS VR at E3 2016 and had a very spooky time!
January 24 | Sega | PS4
Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the Japanese action-adventure series from Sega. The game stars series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu once more and takes place 17 years before the events of the first game. Before Kazuma’s fateful time in prison, he finds himself in the middle of a power struggle between rival organizations for control of the Tokyo crime world. This open-world gangster game might be just the thing for fans who just can’t wait for the next Grand Theft Auto.
February 9 | Team Ninja | PS4
Nioh has been a long time in the making. Originally announced by Koei in 2004, the game began its life as an adaptation of an unproduced script by celebrated Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. Nioh was originally going to be called “Oni,” and would have had a companion film directed by Hisao Kurosawa, Akira’s son. Of course, none of that ever came to pass, as development went quiet for many years.
Koei Tecmo re-revealed the title in 2015 at the Tokyo Game Show, and it finally looks like this samurai epic will see the light of day. The game stars William Adams, a Western samurai, who must slice his way through ronin, bandits, and the supernatural threats that stalk Japan. The game takes more than a little inspiration from the Dark Souls series in terms of its combat and RPG elements, but its historial roots should make it enough of a fresh experience for action RPG fans.
Halo Wars 2
February 21 | Creative Assembly | XBO, PC
The announcement of Halo Wars 2 was one of the great surprises of Gamescom 2015. No one, including myself, ever expected to play another Halo real-time strategy game. A sequel to the 2009 original, which was developed by the now-defunct Ensemble Studios, Halo Wars 2 picks up 28 years after the events of the first game, which saw the UNSC warship Spirit of Fire drifting into space after a confrontation with the Covenant and the Flood. Well, now the crew has come out of cryosleep to discover the Ark, the Forerunner installation that created the Halo rings. Although humanity beat the Covenant and the Flood at the Ark in Halo 3, the crew of the Spirit of Fire don’t know that. Now they’re faced with a new threat: a group of Covenant outcasts known as the Banished.
I played Halo Wars 2 at E3 2016 and was impressed by how well the Halo franchise still translates to the RTS genre. Creative Assembly has added enough complexity to military maneuvers that hardcore fans of the genre should be hooked, while simplified controls should allow RTS newcomers to enjoy another Halo game.
Horizon Zero Dawn
February 28 | Guerrilla Games | PS4
Horizon Zero Dawn, from the makers of the Killzone series, really looks like a winner. This open-world action-adventure game presents a primitive world overrun by robots. And it all looks absolutely gorgeous. You play as a hunter named Aloy, as she explores her world while fighting giant, mechanized creatures. Just watch the trailer above and tell me those robot dinosaurs didn’t just make you run out and buy a PS4.
Ghost Recon Wildlands
March 7 | Ubisoft | XBO, PS4, PC
Although The Division proved to be a bit of a flawed success in the long run, it hasn’t stopped Ubisoft from applying that game’s open-world tactical shooter formula to one of its most well-known franchises: Ghost Recon. The series hasn’t quite been able to find its footing since its early years, but what I played of the game at E3 2016 (admittedly, a heavily-scripted demo) suggests that this latest installment shows promise. You can team up with three of your friends to take down enemy bases, pilot vehicles, and plan coordinated attacks on targets. It’s not quite the military simulator of yore, but Ghost Recon Wildlands might just be the next best thing.
April 4 | Atlus | PS4
There’s no doubt that Persona 5 is the most highly anticipated JRPG of 2017. The game lets you experience a year in the life of a high school student and all the social activities that go along with it. You can make friends, find true love, work a part-time job, and dress up as a masked vigilante to fight supernatural threats from another realm of existence. Basically, your classic high school experience. The Persona series has made a name for itself for its unique presentation and RPG gameplay, and Persona 5 doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
Q1 | Ubisoft | XBO, PS4, PC
South Park: The Stick of Truth proved that Trey Parker and Matt Stone could bring their signature brand of parody to video games, and not just as an adaptation of the antics we’ve seen on television, but as a parody of games themselves. The Fractured but Whole is the sequel, which takes inspiration from South Park‘s Coon & Friends episodes. Expect crimefighting, lots of racial slurs, and Butters being the most adorable villain ever.
Mario Sports Superstars
Q1 | Nintendo | 3DS
What does Nintendo do when it’s already created games inspired by every popular sport? It makes a game featuring a bunch of sports! This handheld title includes soccer, baseball, tennis, golf, and horse racing. Basically all the hits. As long as Nintendo can pull off staying true to its best titles in each sport, I think this will be one of the great 3DS games of the year.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Q1 | BioWare | XBO, PS4, PC
It’s been way too long since the last Mass Effect game. BioWare’s finally bringing the franchise back with a whole new adventure in a completely different galaxy. Taking control of either a male or female character – they’re siblings with the last name Ryder – you play as a Pathfinder, a human operative tasked with finding new planets for humanity to colonize beyond the Milky Way. You’re basically a space pioneer. That should bring an entirely fresh perspective to the series.
Sea of Thieves
Q1 | Rare | XBO, PC
Rare, one of the great developers of the 90s and early 00s, is finally allowed to make a game that has nothing to do with the Kinect. That game is called Sea of Thieves, and it’s the pirate adventure you’ve always wanted – with Rare’s colorful style to boot. Sail across the seas with your friends and do battle against enemy ships. We’re going to assume that whatever this game ends up being, it will be a great return for Rare.
Q1 | Red Barrels | XBO, PS4, PC
There aren’t many games scarier than the original Outlast, which drops you in a mental health facility turned murderhouse with nothing but a camera that eats batteries faster than your controller. Outlast 2 is more of the same except it’s set in a scary ass part of the Sonoran desert at night. The place is infested by this crazy cult that believes the end of days is upon us, which means that they’re more than down to take an unsuspecting camerman with them.
Q1 | Pixel Titans | PC
This first-person shooter inspired by 90s hits such as Doom and Quake was one of the best games I played at Pax East 2016. Its perfect combination of run-and-gun gameplay, procedurally-generated levels, and over-the-top gore is tailored for the nostalgic gamer in all of us. It’s the perfect arcade experience for anyone looking to unwind and blow up some monsters with a shotgun.
Q1 | Bandai Namco | XBO, PS4, PC
Man, it really seems like Tekken 7 has taken longer than usual. The arcade cabinet has been out for quite some time, and it’s even playable at arcades in the US, which means that there shouldn’t be much holding this sequel back from a console release. Bandai Namco is finally putting this one out in early 2017. Prepare for some Mishima ridiculousness.
Q1 | Playtonic Games | XBO, PS4, Wii U, PC
Even though Rare’s next game isn’t a Banjo-Kazooie sequel, we are getting the spiritual successor to that cartoony platforming classic in the form of Yooka-Laylee, which is a celebration of the late 90s era of fantastic platformers. In true N64 fashion, the game stars a duo of animal adventurers, as they try to stop the dastardly Dr. Quack from taking over the world. This one’s a must-have for fans of that era of gaming.
Q2 | Headcannon & PagodaWest Games | XBO, PS4, PC
It’s probably been said a million times before, but here it goes: 2017 might be the year that the world really starts caring about Sonic the Hedgehog again. Brought down by one mediocre sequel after another, the Blue Blur hasn’t caught a break in a very long time. So Sega is going back to basics with its mascot, bringing Sonic back to his 2D platforming days. Sonic Mania features new levels as well as remixed stages from Sonic’s early adventures. This might be the win the series desperately needs.
Q4 | Sonic Team | XBO, PS4, NS, PC
Project Sonic combines everything great about 2D Sonic with everything that works with his 3D incarnation. At least that’s what Sega hopes. The game is not unlike Sonic Generations, which was critically acclaimed and sold over four million copies back in 2011. Players will once again get to play through a mix of 2D and 3D levels in order to defeat an army of giant of robots that are destroying Sonic’s home.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Q4 | Rockstar Games | XBO, PS4
We all knew it was coming, right? Rockstar Games finally stopped toying with our hearts when it announced the highly-anticipated sequel to perhaps the greatest Old West game ever made. There’s not much else to say about this sequel, as we’ve only seen a short teaser so far. But what we’ve seen at least confirms that the game looks gorgeous.
Q4 | Neilo & Ys Net | PS4, PC
Video game designer and director Yu Suzuki meant for the Shenmue series to be told in four parts, and he envisioned his story as a “revenge epic in the tradition of Chinese cinema.” Fans will finally get to play the third part of the story in 2017. Shenmue III was announced at last year’s E3 after a 13-year absence (Shenmue II came out in 2002 for the Dreamcast and Xbox!) that once seemed to indicate that the series was dead. But Suzuki managed to successfully crowdfund the new sequel in under eight hours, and the adventures of series protagonist Ryu Hazuki continue! Will Ryo finally catch up to his father’s killer? Probably not till Shenmue IV, right?
Star Wars Battlefront 2
Q4 | DICE | XBO, PS4, PC
Electronic Arts plans to release a new Star Wars game every year, starting in 2017 with the sequel to its Battlefront reboot. While the first game didn’t allow players to dive into single-player skirmishes for much of the first year of the game’s existence, the sequel might finally give fans everything they want, on top of delivering an authentic Star Wars experience worthy of the name. Personally, I’m most excited to see a bit more X-Wing action.
Q4 | Night Dive Studios | XBO, PS4, PC
This is probably the most exciting remake you’ll encounter in 2017. The original sci-fi horror game is a classic that inspired later hits, such as Deus Ex and BioShock. The game stars a nameless hacker who wakes up from a coma aboard a space station turned house of horrors controlled by an evil AI named SHODAN. The player must survive creepy corridors filled with mutated crew members and cyborgs in order to defeat the evil AI and destroy the station. With a modern touch, the game could be one of the great survival horror games of the year.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
TBA | Nintendo | NS, Wii U
This upcoming Zelda title might very well be the 2017 Game of the Year. This open-world adventure sees Link wake up from a 100-year slumber in order to defeat Calamity Ganon, who has taken over the land of Hyrule for himself. Link must explore the world surrounding Hyrule Castle, enter dungeons, defeat bosses, hunt, and cook in order to come face to face with the greatest threat this mythical land has ever faced.
I spent some time with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at E3 2016 and was immediately impressed by the epic scale of the game – a mix of classic Zelda and Skyrim. The world is expansive, the combat is more refined than ever before, the storytelling is minimalistic and beautiful, and the art style is absolutely stunning. There’s really nothing holding back this game, as long as it actually arrives in 2017!
TBA | NetherRealm Studios | XBO, PS4, PC
Finally, something that shows us what it would be like if Batman decided to fight Superman… All jokes aside, NetherRealm’s next fighting game is very exciting. All of your favorite DC heroes and villains face off in three rounds of punching, kicking, and insane combos that should satisfy every comic book nerd out there. Plus, this time the rosters is way more customizable, with gear rewards to spice up all of your favorite characters.
TBA | Bungie | XBO, PS4, PC
Destiny is one of those experiences that you either love or hate at this point. What it lacks in straightforward narrative, it more than makes up in first-person shooting. Bungie’s follow-up to Halo can be one of the most immersive FPS experiences if you allow yourself to be taken away by its quest lines, story missions, and addictive multiplayer. Destiny 2 will hopefully be more of the same, but with way more story attached!
TBA | Arkane Studios | XBO, PS4, PC
Here’s another sequel we never thought would actually see the light of day. Well, actually it’s not a sequel but more of a reimagining of the original 2006 FPS title. You control main character Morgan Yu, who lives on a space station that’s suddenly overrun by evil aliens. It’s your classic setup that sparks a whole lot of shooting and carnage. Bethesda now owns the rights to Prey, which means that we should expect a polished experience with an emphasis on narrative.
Telltale’s Untitled Marvel Game
TBA | Telltale Games | XBO, PS4, PC
Not much has been said about this Telltale project since it was originally announced in April 2015. All we know is a release window: 2017. We expect to hear way more in the coming months if Telltale is indeed sticking to that promis. We’re not too worried about this one, as the developer has done a fantastic job with Batman this year. I think Insomniac’s release plans for its own Spider-Man game will probably decide when Telltale’s game actually hits shelves.
TBA | Reagant Games | XBO, PC
Crackdown 3 seems to be the Xbox’s flagship title in 2017, which means that this game has to be bigger, better, and more badass than its predecessors. Toting a powerful engine that allows much of the in-game environment to be destroyed during combat and other crazy stunts, Crackdown 3 once again puts you in the boots of an Agent. Your mission: take out the bad guys in any way you see fit – including blowing everything up.
TBA | Studio MDHR | XBO, PC
This stylish platformer is a celebration of 1930s cartoons, down to its grainy visuals. As Cuphead (and Mugman, if you play two-player co-op), you must defeat an endless gauntlet of bosses in order to repay a debt to the Devil. It certainly looks charming, but it sounds a bit darker than meets the eye.
TBA | Nintendo | 3DS
Any new Pikmin game is welcome, even if it isn’t the proper sequel Shigeru Miyamoto promised us ages ago. This side-scrolling adventure brings Pikmin to handhelds, which is enough of a consolation prize for fans waiting on Pikmin 4 – which will hopefully finally arrive on the Nintendo Switch.
Dragon Quest XI
TBA | Square Enix | PS4, NS, 3DS
This highly-anticipated new installment in the JRPG series from Square Enix will finally arrive in Japan in 2017. I can only hope that means it will arrive in the West around the same time.