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The best new games of 2018: everything you should play this year

It feels like just yesterday we were waiting with baited breath for E3 2018, the tradeshow that promises to illuminate the release calendar for years to come. It came and went like a whirlwind but in its wake, thankfully, we now have release dates for some of the biggest upcoming games of the year. 

Of course, while we love to look forward to the big titles coming down the pipe around the holidays, you might be here because you want something to play right now that’s hot off the presses. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of fresh new games on the following pages to keep you gaming well into 2019. 

Whatever brings you here, we’re not here to judge – we too are constantly on the look out for the next big game and it’s a problem we’re not dealing with. Are our backlogs miles long already? Yes. Will that stop us from looking at the best new games coming out this month? Absolutely not. 

In light of our struggles and to help you stay up to date on the latest and greatest games we’ve got spinning inside our consoles, we’ve put together this little guide that will point out the most unmissable titles coming this year – including the biggest PC, PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch games. (Sorry mobile!)

While we’ve done our best to nail down specific release dates for each and every game you see on the list, understand that not every game you’ll see has a firm release date – well, at least publicly. We’ll do our best to keep this page updated when new release dates are announced, but feel free to reach out if there’s any egregiously outdated info that needs to be fixed.

  • PS4 fan? Why not check out the best games on PS4 right now
  • Or, if you’re a member of the Xbox family, why not take a look at our best Xbox One games
  • It might be the new kid on the block, but the Nintendo Switch has some fantastic games and these are the best of them
  • We can’t forget the old faithful platform: these are the best PC games right now
  • Strapped for cash? Why not try the best free games instead

When’s it out? Now! (Released January 26, 2018)

What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and PC

Monster Hunter is a franchise that’s been going for a long time but for the first time in seven years we’re seeing it released on consoles. A global release that unties its fanbases in all markets, this is a game that will appeal to newcomers and veteran players alike. 

In our Monster Hunter World review, we called the game a “bold and confident new chapter” for the franchise and it’s our first “must-have” game of 2018.  We also have a tips and tricks guide that will help you to make your mark on the New World. 

What can I play it on? Xbox One and PC

When can I play it? Now! (Released March 20, 2018)

The Xbox One doesn’t have a large number of exclusives lined up for 2018 but this is one of the big ones. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something big and new from development studio Rare and we really can’t wait to dive back into a charming world with a distinct sense of humor. 

This is an online co-op extravaganza that will see you create your very own pirate, form a crew with your friends and go on wild adventures across a wide open world.

  • Want more info? Check out our in-progress Sea of Thieves review
  • Already playing? Why not read our tips and tricks guide

What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One, PC

When can I play it? Now! (Released March 27, 2018)

Far Cry 5 has caused some controversy before it’s even been released thanks to its close-to-home setting of Montana, America. When the small town of Hope County is taken over by a violent doomsday cult known as Project at Eden’s Gate, it’ll be up to you the player to become the new Deputy Sheriff and take them out. Expect violence, chaos and a whole lot of fun from this one. 

  • Want more info? Here’s our full review of Far Cry 5

What can I play it on? PS4

When can I play it? Now! (Released April 20, 2018)

The PlayStation exclusive God of War franchise is returning and this time it’s moving away from the Greek myths to the Norse and turning the legendary lone wolf Kratos into something of a father figure. When it’s released, this revamped God of War will have more of a focus on narrative than anything we’ve seen from the series but the hack and slash god fighting will still remain.

  • Don’t miss our full God of War review

What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch

When can I play it? now! (Released April 27, 2018)

It’s a concept that’s so utterly Nintendo, we’re pretty sure no other company could pull it off. Nintendo Labo was first announced in early 2018 and it’s captured the imagination of kids and grown-up kids alike. Nintendo Labo is a collection of DIY cardboard kits which can be used with the Nintendo Switch to create an entirely new kind of play. 

Players will be able to play cardboard pianos, use cardboard handles to control an on-screen motorbike, and step into the cardboard shoes of a giant robot. The potential seems endless and if the idea works it could make the Switch the most individual console on the market and a must-have for families. 

Don’t miss our full Nintendo Labo review!

What can I play it on? PS4

When can I play it? Now! (Released May 25, 2018)

The latest PS4 exclusive game from writer David Cage, this is a game that looks set to court some controversy with its themes. The script took two years to write and hundreds of actors have lent their faces for motion capture so we’re interested to see how this multi-choice narrative adventure plays out. 

  • Read our full review of Detroit: Become Human right here

What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch

When can I play it? Now! (Released June 22, 2018)

Mario Tennis Aces for the Nintendo Switch is a flashy arcade tennis game with plenty of special moves to master, and playing against someone that’s the same skill level as you is one of the most tense, frantic multiplayer battles you’ll have all year. 

If you can regularly get a few friends round—or sort out a time to play together online—then you won’t regret buying Mario Tennis Aces, because the moment-to-moment play is the perfect platform for fast, competitive matches.    

  • Read our full review of Mario Tennis Aces

What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One, PC

When can I play it? Now! (Released August 10, 2018)

Yes, yes, Madden comes out EVERY SINGLE YEAR but that doesn’t make this year’s gridiron sim any less special, as it’s one of the series’ best in the last decade. Changes to the passing game make it just as easy to throw a game-winning touchdown as it is to throw a pick, making defense more fun to play than ever. 

On top of the basic franchise and MUT versus modes, the addition of new solo challenges provides a fun new stream of content, enabling you to compete against teams put together by celebrities, athletes and the developers themselves.

Some of the commentary tracks have been carried over from last year and some of the best branching story decisions from Longshot have been cut, but overall this the football game both veterans and rookies alike can appreciate.

What can I play it on? PS4

When can I play it? September 7 2018

Yet another enticing PS4 exclusive for 2018 is Spider-Man, created by the studio behind Spyro and Ratchet and Clank. Don’t worry if you’re not invested in the latest movie reboot yet – this game stands completely seperate to that with an older more experienced Peter Parker and its very own story. 

There are few things more enjoyable than getting to swing around New York City as Spider-Man and we really can’t wait to do it on the latest generation of consoles.

  • Want more info? This is everything we know about Spider-Man (PS4)

What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and PC

When can I play it? September 14 2018

We all kind of knew that there was going to be another Tomb Raider coming in 2018 after a host of leaks. But now Square Enix has confirmed that the game will be called Shadow of the Tomb Raider and that it’s going to be released on September 14 2018. 

At the moment on what the game will be about but the tagline’s statement that this will be the “climactic finale” in Lara’s origin story suggests something dramatic. We also saw glimpses of what looked like Mayan pyramids in the short teaser trailer released in March 2018 so we could be in for a trip to South America. 

Make sure you check out our first hands-on impressions of the game. 

  • Read everything we know about Shadow of the Tomb Raider

What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

When can I play it? September 28 2018

At EA Play, which has kicked off E3 in LA this year, we got confirmation of a number of EA Sports titles, including FIFA 19. Sticking to the usual schedule of September release dates for FIFA titles, FIFA 19 will launch on September 28, 2018.

After it was confirmed that Pro Evolution Soccer developer, Konami, is reaching the end of its 10-year deal with UEFA and will not be renewing it a Dutch commentator who has done voice work for FIFA seemed to have leaked that EA Sports has picked up the contract for FIFA 19. The moment was captured on video. And, as EA has made clear at this year’s E3, it turns out to be true. FIFA 19 will include the Champions League gameplay which Pro Evo had for so long. 

  • Here’s everything we know about FIFA 19

What can I play it on? Xbox One and PC

When can I play it? October 2 2018

Since the release of the first Forza Horizon game in 2012, Microsoft has established something of a pattern with its Forza releases. When one year sees the release of a Forza Motorsport game, the next will welcome a new Forza Horizon game. Still, it was a welcome but unsurprising announcement during E3 2018 that Forza Horizon 4 will be coming to Xbox One and Game Pass in 2018 and that the game will be set across the United Kingdom.  

It was confirmed that the game will have a shared open world where co-op will be integrated into the main game, though there will be multiplayer and the option to play solo too. In the game’s online shared open world there will be changing seasons which affect all players in the same way. As the seasons change, the weather changes and that means the driving conditions and tracks change too. We were shown an example of a lake freezing over in winter and players being able to drive across it when they couldn’t during the summer. 

  • Read more about Forza Horizon 4

What can I play it on? Xbox One, PS4 and PC

When can I play it? October 12 2018

It’s not massively surprising given the success of Call of Duty WW2, but Activision has now confirmed that we’ll see a new Call of Duty game in 2018. This time it’s being developed by Treyarch and, as you’d expect, it’s another addition to the Black Ops series.

We now know that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be released on October 12 2018 and a community event held in May 2018 revealed that it’ll be dropping its single-player campaign and adding a brand new battle royale mode called Blackout.

  • These are all the latest news and rumors for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

What can I play it on? Xbox, PS4, PC

When can I play it? October 19 2018

After taking  a year out in 2017, Battlefield is making a return in 2018 with Battlefield V (or 5), set in World War 2. 

The game will see the return of War Stories, with some brand new multiplayer modes and the introduction of a live service element which will keep the game fresh long beyond its release. We know we’re going to see and hear more about the game during EA Play which takes place just before E3 in June 2018.

What can I play it on? PS4 and Xbox One

When can I play it? October 26 2018

Voted TechRadar’s most highly-anticipated game of 2018, Rockstar’s latest outing looks set to be one of the biggest releases of the year. Jumping back into the Wild West, this is the third Red Dead game but the first Rockstar game created from the ground up for the latest generation of consoles. 

We can’t wait to meet the brand new protagonist Arthur Morgan and rob and pillage our way across the wide open American heartland.

  • Want to know more? This is everything we know about Red Dead Redemption 2

What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch

When can I play it? November 16 2018

Pokemon Let’s Go is a set of spin-off Pokemon games which will launch on Nintendo Switch in November 2018. These games will integrate Pokemon RPG gameplay with mechanics from the mobile game Pokemon Go to create an adventure that’s accessible for new and younger fans. 

Players will return to the Kanto region where they’ll be able to catch and battle Pokemon alone or with a friend in co-op mode. There are a lot of new ways to play Pokemon in these releases and you can read more about them here. 

  • Read everything we know about Pokemon Let’s Go right here

What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch

When can I play it? December 7 2018

During its March Direct, Nintendo confirmed that a Super Smash Bros game will be coming to the Switch in 2018. The game will include every character ever released in a Super Smash Bros game, as well as every stage, too. (SNAAAAAAKE!) New characters will also be included in the line-up (Ridley and Inkling) but the game’s director says there may not be as many considering how many characters are returning from past games.

  • This is everything we know about Super Smash Bros on Switch

What can I play it on? PS4 and Xbox One

When can I play it? January 25 2019

Given it’s been 12 years since Kingdom Hearts 2 was released, it’s safe to say Kingdom Hearts 3 is one of the more highly anticipated titles for 2018. Once more players will take up the role of Sora as he travels with his closest friends Donald and Goofy across a variety of world themed around and populated by a host of famous Disney and Final Fantasy characters. 

There’s going to be plenty of familiar sights and faces but we’re really excited to see the brand new Toy Story world. 

  • Here’s everything we know about Kingdom Hearts 3

What can I play it on? PS4

When can I play it? 2019

Considering the first game has been continually hailed as a masterpiece thanks to its excellent, emotional story and engaging life-like characters, the decision to develop The Last of Us Part 2 isn’t actually all that surprising. This time around Ellie takes up the starring role and we’re being promised a much darker game with an even bigger story.

  • Want more information? Here’s the latest on The Last of Us Part 2

What can I play it on? Xbox One and PC

When can I play it? February 2019

It was supposed to be one of the key launch titles for the Xbox One X in November 2017 but Crackdown 3 will now be a big 2018 exclusive for the console. The main selling point of the Crackdown franchise is destruction and in this game’s online multiplayer mode every part of the game’s city is open to destruction thanks to a cloud-based physics calculations system. 

  • Want more info? Here’s everything we know about Crackdown 3

What can I play it on? PS4, Xbox One and PC 

When can I play it? 2019 or 2020

Revealed at E3 2017, this game was basically pitched as Assassin’s Creed Black Flag with the assassin bits removed. That leaves the naval warfare and in Skull and Bones you’ll find yourself engaging in single-player and online multiplayer seafaring adventures. Think Sea of Thieves but a bit more geared towards gritty realism.

Though it was originally slated for a 2018 release, it was pushed back in May 2018 to Ubisoft’s next financial year which means it could be launched anytime between April 2019 and March 2020. 

  • Read everything we know about Skull and Bones so far

There are some games to which no solid release date has been tied but we know we’re going to hear more about them this year, whether that’s at E3 2018 or Gamescom or just through another avenue. These are the titles we’re can’t wait to find out more about. Namely, a release date.

  • Final Fantasy 7 remake
  • Cyberpunk 2077 
  • Beyond Good and Evil 2 
  • Death Stranding 
  • Ghost of Tsushima 
  • Pokemon Stars
  • Age of Empires 4
  • Bayonetta 3
  • Metroid Prime 4
  • Splinter Cell
  • Halo 6
  • The Elder Scrolls 6
  • Starfield
  • Doom Eternal

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