The 30 most anticipated games of 2018

UPDATED: Don't miss our list of the year's biggest video games
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Well, 2017 truly lived up to our expectations: it was one of the best years that gaming has ever seen. But we're an optimistic bunch, and we think 2018 can be even better.

It's true! Why? Well for starters, developers are flocking to the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo itself has been delivering knockout experiences. Meanwhile, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One should be well-stocked with greatness from first-party and third-party studios. Oh, and the PC remains the destination for the widest selection of games large and small.

It's early days still at this point and we only know about some of the games that'll grace our devices for the rest of the year, but the initial list is already stacked. We'll update this article monthly to usher in fresh selections, but here are all of the most exciting new releases we've following so far...

1) RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One

It's really no surprise at all that Red Dead Redemption 2 is our most anticipated game of the year: it's not only the successor to one of Rockstar's absolute best games of all time, but it's also the studio's next project following the world-dominating Grand Theft Auto V. That's huge.

And in fact, it's a prequel rather than a sequel, making it a pretty ideal starting point even if you didn't play the brilliant Red Dead (which you should fix ASAP). As the trailers show, RDR2 is shaping up to be absolutely gorgeous, and an open-world Western with the ambition and capabilities of Grand Theft Auto V could be truly mind-blowing. We want it bad.

Due: Spring 2018

2) FAR CRY 5

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

It's been a few years since the last mainline Far Cry game (Primal was perfectly solid though), so we're itching to get our hands on Far Cry 5. And Ubisoft seems unafraid to wade into some potential controversy with the plot, which centers on a cult of violent, religious fundamentalists in rural Montana in the United States.

You'll take the role of a sheriff's deputy sent out to arrest the leader, and as you might expect, that's not going to be an easy or straightforward task. Expect another wild open-world romp that lets you approach missions however you see fit, this time with the ability to commandeer planes and drop in from above. Amazing.

Due: 27 March 2018

3) GOD OF WAR

Platform: PlayStation 4

Eight years after the last core God of War game, Sony is ready to revisit Kratos' quest – this time with a shift from Greek to Norse mythology. And that's not the only change in what looks like a soft reboot for the series, continuing his saga but shaking up a lot of what we've seen before.

For instance, God of War now uses an over-the-shoulder perspective, Kratos' twin chained blades are swapped out for an elemental axe, and… oh, he's got a son with him. That's right: you'll be both protecting and mentoring young Atreus along the way, which might even inspire Kratos to quell his legendary anger.

Nah, just kidding: it's as gleefully violent as ever.

Due: 20 April

4) KINGDOM HEARTS III

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Will Kingdom Hearts III really release in 2018 following years of teases, not to mention a 13-year span of inane spinoffs? We don't know. But that is Square Enix's current promise, and we seriously hope that the fans' agonising wait is finally over.

And wow does this game look marvellous, with Toy Storyleading the charge of amazing new Disney locations that we can't wait to fight through. Other worlds include those from Big Hero 6 and Tangled, and the combat looks dramatically more dynamic and exciting than in the past entries. Hopefully the game makes a lick of sense to anyone who didn't follow the myriad handheld and mobile editions.

Due: 2018

5) SPIDER-MAN

Platform: PlayStation 4

Superhero games usually suck, and the wall-crawler hasn't had a great starring role in ages – but we have high hopes for the Sony-exclusive Spider-Man. Why? Well, it hails from Insomniac Games, the studio behind the brilliant Ratchet & Clank and ultra-entertaining Sunset Overdrive.

Also, it looks pretty phenomenal in motion, although we still need to be convinced about how much you'll actually be controlling the webhead during these frantic, spectacular action scenes. The fact that it's not tied into a movie seems like a plus, but we're anxious to get hands-on and see how it feels before we can be sure of anything. The trailers make a fantastic first impression, though.

Due: 2018

6) A WAY OUT

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

We rarely see big publishers push games that feel truly unique and original anymore, but that's exactly what's coming with A Way Out. EA's surprise E3 reveal is a prison escape game that must be played in split-screen co-op, whether your ally is online or next to you on the couch.

That's right: there's no single-player version with an A.I. partner, unless EA is just keeping that bit under wraps for now. That adds a compelling twist to this slick-looking action game, which has sort of an Uncharted-meets-The Shawshank Redemption feel to it, plus it's from the director of the also-special co-op game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

Due: 23 March 2018

7) ANTHEM

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

Now here's something more in line with what we expect from EA: a big-budget, vast shared-world shooter with a sci-fi theme. Yes, that does sound quite a bit like Destiny, only this is Mass Effect maker BioWare's take on the formula with its own compelling premise and hooks.

It looks gorgeous, of course, and the premise of being one of the rare soldiers ("freelancers") willing to exit civilization and battle monsters in the wild is certainly cool. We don't know how BioWare's usual narrative approach will translate to a shoot-and-loot kind of game – but we're excited to find out.

Due: Q4 2018

8) DAYS GONE

Platform: PlayStation 4

Bikers vs zombies in an open world? Yeah, we're sold.

It's a compelling elevator pitch in its own right, but the actual game looks even more promising than the basic premise suggests. Days Gone is one of Sony's most exciting new original IPs on the horizon, and while it's earned comparisons to Naughty Dog's brilliant The Last of Us, there are actually more differences between them than meets the eye.

True, they're both third-person shooters starring grizzled, regret-filled heroes, but Days Gone sometimes pits you against hundreds of frantic, pursuing zombies. And the most compelling twist is the ability to tackle encounters and problems in many different ways, using the open world to your advantage.

Due: 2018

9) NINTENDO LABO

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo is always keen on innovation in gaming, and Nintendo Labo certainly embodies that approach: it's a series of cardboard accessories that you can build and then use with the Switch console for an array of unique experiences.

For example, you can build a functional Switch-powered cardboard piano, or build an RC car that actually moves thanks to the rumble of the tucked-in Joy-Cons – and there's even a cardboard robot costume you can don as you punch in-game robots. It's wild, imaginative stuff, and it puts as much emphasis on the play as it does creation and STEM-like learning. The two starter packs launch in late April with their included games, and we imagine they'll be quite scarce.

Due: 27 April

10) SEA OF THIEVES

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

The most exciting Xbox exclusive on the near horizon isn't a big-budget shooter or or a lavish action game – and believe it or not, it comes from Rare. Sea of Thieves is a pirate game, as you might surmise, and it's a very silly one at that.

Effectively, it's a freeform, open-world pirate simulation that lets you set sail alongside a crew of online companions, blast the hell out of rival ships, drink grog, and have a damn fun time doing all of it. The cartoonish look and open-ended design ensure ample entertainment every time, especially when no two games will end up the same way.

Due: 20 March 2018

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