The 30 most anticipated games of 2017

UPDATED: All the big games you need to know for the rest of the year

Last year was a great one for gaming, but 2017 has its sights set on being one of the best of all time.

We've already had some brilliant releases, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn, and there's plenty more ahead. Switch owners are surely looking for the next batch of releases, and we'll see Microsoft's Project Scorpio later this year, but PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players have lots ahead too.

Wonder what all the fuss is about? Have a look below: we've collected the 30 games that we're most excited about for the rest of 2017, and since many other huge games will surely be announced during the year, we'll be updating this article frequently with the latest and greatest picks still on the horizon.

1) Super Mario Odyssey

Platform: Nintendo Switch

A brand new 3D Mario game pegged as a successor to the absolutely classic Super Mario 64? Yes, we'll surely buy a Switch for that, if Zelda hadn't already done the trick. We'll have to wait a little while for this one, unfortunately, but the early tease is equally amazing and perplexing.

A realistic human city? Bouncing fork creatures? Mario's hat is… alive? Clearly, Miyamoto hasn't lost his creative touch, and if Super Mario Odyssey ends up being a bit mad, well, so be it. Bring on the weird, Mario.

Due: Holiday 2017

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2) PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2018

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Could Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer reclaim the throne from EA's FIFA? It might happen this year. We're impressed with what we've seen so far, with fine-tuned pacing, improved presentation, more modes, and a stronger PC version promised.

That said, we haven't seen enough of FIFA 18 yet to make the early call, and it's certainly possible that this grand football war will continue unresolved by the time it's all said and done. But we think Konami might pull it off.

Due: 12 September

 

3) Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Thankfully, the wait between games is much shorter than last time, as Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is coming out in 2017 across multiple platforms. It's the same crossover fighter that we all know and love, albeit with some notable changes to the gameplay.

Gone are the three-fighter teams from the past couple of entries, dropped down to two-on-two battles, plus assist attacks are gone. Also, the new Infinity Stones mechanic lets you choose a special type of boost to augment your skills. We don't know much of the roster as of this writing, but newcomers Captain Marvel and Mega Man X are confirmed so far.

Due: TBD 2017

4) NEED FOR SPEED: PAYBACK

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

EA may not have the Fast and the Furious film license to play with, but Need for Speed: Payback certainly seems to mirror the action-car-flick franchise's ethos. This story-driven new entry focuses on a crew attempting to take down an underground cartel, and it promises big action set-pieces amidst the racing.

The series' last attempt at a makeover, the eponymous Need for Speed, was pretty but underwhelmed, so maybe it's time for something new; on the other hand, this franchise botched its last narrative attempt, Need for Speed: The Run. But we're optimistic until we see reason to feel otherwise.

Due: 10 November

5) Call of Duty: WWII

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

After several years of modern and futuristic battles, Call of Duty is finally going back to its roots. Call of Duty: WWII will take players back to World War II action, with a campaign that focuses on the European theater in 1944-45 but includes other big moments from throughout the war.

Besides the cinematic campaign, we'll see a return to boots-on-the-ground multiplayer – no more jetpacks, thanks to the era rollback. And even if the campaign aims for historical accuracy, the Nazi Zombies mode is back for some undead antics.

Due: 3 November

 

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6) Agents of Mayhem

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

Volition is known for making over-the-top games, given its insane Saints Row series, and Agents of Mayhem is no different in that regard. It is different in other ways, though: for example, it has 12 playable characters, rather than just one customisable hero, and it's a strictly single-player affair.

Agents of Mayhem has something of a Crackdown-meets-Overwatch vibe to it, and is clearly chock full of humour, not to mention loads of action. Given the studio's pedigree, we have to believe that it'll be a blast.

Due: 18 August

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7) God of War

Platform: PlayStation 4

Sony's sensational hack-and-slash franchise is getting a fresh start with the plainly-titled God of War, which swaps out Greek mythology for Norse and gives Kratos some interesting new things: a beard, a giant axe instead of dual blades… oh, and a son, too.

It's not a reboot since it still falls into chronology after God of War III, but this new game makes some big changes to the combat, adds RPG-like elements, and has more of a behind-the-back perspective rather than a zoomed-out third-person view. Can Kratos still be the ultimate badass while mentoring and protecting his son? We'll find out – hopefully before year's end.

Due: TBD 2017

 

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8) Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Platform: PlayStation 4

Another Uncharted game already? Didn't Uncharted 4 put Drake's story to bed? It did, true, but The Lost Legacy doesn't star that well-known explorer, nor does it star any dude at all. Instead, series favourite Chloe Frazer from Uncharted 2 takes the lead, and is flanked by Nadine Ross from Uncharted 4.

It's sure to strike a different tone, given the lack of Drake, but don't expect anything too different: The Lost Legacy was planned as an Uncharted 4 expansion before it was bulked up and turned into a standalone release. Still, we'll happily take another shot of Naughty Dog's vaunted cinematic storytelling before the further-off The Last of Us Part II comes around.

Due: TBD 2017

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9) Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

Platform: Nintendo 3DS/2DS

Are we upset that a brand new Pokémon adventure is only coming to the 3DS in late 2017? Yes, absolutely. But that probably won't stop us from whipping out the nearly-retired handheld to play Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon come Christmastime.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon piggyback off of last year's Sun and Moon, offering up a new storyline set in the same world along with fresh Pokémon and other play elements. It's insane that this isn't on the Switch, but we can't turn down some Pikachu-packed fun, wherever it is. (And we'll happily loop back on Pokken Tournament in the upcoming Switch port, too.)

Due: 17 November

 

10) Days Gone

Platform: PlayStation 4

The Last of Us meets Sons of Anarchy meets World War Z? It's an imperfect comparison, but it'll do for Sony's Days Gone for now. Developed by Sony's Bend Studio (Syphon Filter), this PS4 exclusive finds its biker hero faced with roving packs of zombie attackers.

These zombies (or rather, "infected") are fast and they are surely plentiful: in demos and trailers, we've seen giant packs of them burst through doors as they scramble to attack hero Deacon St. John. Survival is the goal, of course, and you'll have lots of options as you tackle each frantic new scenario that emerges.

Due: TBD 2017

Pre-order Days Gone

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11) Ruiner

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

You might not have heard of Ruiner before now, but just take a look at that trailer: it's stunning. This glossy indie blaster is so brutal and unflinching in its depiction of violence, and the world around it is absolutely infused with dizzying style.

The top-down action gives you an array of guns to wield in the grim, fiery future setting, but you can also pummel the stuffing out of enemies in satisfying fashion. It looks like Hotline Miami mixed with Blade Runner and cyberpunk anime, and we can't wait to lay the smack down this summer.

Due: Summer 2017

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12) Star Wars Battlefront II

Platforms: TBD

If there was one key complaint about EA's first Star Wars Battlefront, it was the lack of a true story-driven campaign – but Battlefront II has that covered. You'll fill the boots of Empire commander Iden Versio, who sees the second Death Star go boom in the sky and vows revenge.

You'll fight for that vengeance across 30 years of Star Wars action, along with some apparent deviations that let you control Kylo Ren or Luke Skywalker instead. And Battlefront II will again go big on multiplayer, with 40-player showdowns spanning all three film eras and a larger focus on space combat.

Due: 17 November

Pre-order Star Wars Battlefront II

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13) Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor pushed back against the notion that licensed games are trash, delivering a strongly Tolkien-flavoured open-world romp with some debt owed to Assassin's Creed. And now Warner Bros. and Monolith plan to do it all over again.

Just announced and coming late this summer, Middle-earth: Shadow of War puts us back in the shoes of Talion as he quests to forge a new Ring of Power, as well as take part in massive battles and apparently soar on flying mounts. And a more advanced Nemesis System should keep enemy encounters plenty interesting.

Due: 10 October

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14) Crackdown 3

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

The original Crackdown was once known as the "free game that came with the Halo 3 demo," but that inglorious branding didn't last: the Xbox 360 game ended up being one of the most entertaining open-world titles of its generation, with superhero-like agents smashing up the city while snagging loads of collectibles.

Crackdown 2 wasn't great, but a decade after the original, Crackdown 3 has a chance to make this series meaningful again. Expect an incredible level of destruction, including the ability to take down skyscrapers, thanks to a cloud-powered computing assist.

Due: TBC 2017

 

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15) Pyre

Platforms: PS4, PC

If your game studio begins its hopefully-long career with the games Bastion and Transistor, then yes, we're definitely in for the third game, whatever it is. In the case of Supergiant Games and this summer's Pyre, the latest effort looks just as compelling.

And stunning, too! Both of those earlier games were true beauties, and Pyre likewise impresses with its hand-drawn animation. But we're also intrigued by the game itself, which puts you in command of battling trios caught in purgatory, with a storyline that lets you continue your own quest whether you win or lose.

Due: 25 July

 

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16) Spider-Man

Platform: PlayStation 4

Spidey's had a rough run of standalone games under Activision's watch, but Insomniac Games could be just the studio to deliver the wall-crawler's magnum opus: the team behind Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive is making it as a PS4 exclusive.

The new Spider-Man game will be a standalone tale featuring an older version of the hero than we'll see in the summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming flick, and should deliver open-world antics with plenty of fun and personality in tow. Plus it'll be enhanced for PS4 Pro owners, as well. Here's hoping Spider-Man finally gets his Batman: Arkham-quality game in 2017.

Due: TBD 2017

 

17) South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Read the title super fast. Got it? Yeah, this is South Park alright. The enduring cartoon series will follow up its best-ever game – 2014's The Stick of Truth – with The Fractured But Whole, another hilarious role-player with a brand new premise.

This time, Cartman is trying to earn a heap of cash by making his own superhero film franchise, and naturally that leads to all sorts of vulgar, violent shenanigans. Whatever you do, don't play this one with the kids around. And if you missed The Stick of Truth, it comes free with pre-orders.

Due: TBD 2017

Pre-order South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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18) Sea of Thieves

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

It has been a very, very long time since Rare has made something richly original and essential, but Sea of Thieves could be its long overdue return to form. The studio that gave us Perfect Dark and Banjo-Kazooie is about to make us all online pirates.

Rather, fantasy pirates playing together online – and against each other. This open-ended, delightfully cartoonish pirate sim lets you band together with other merry men and women, drink some grog, and battle it out on the open seas. Loosely-structured design and creation tools mean no two games are ever the same, and we loved it at E3 2016.

Due: TBD 2017

 

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19) Gran Turismo Sport

Platform: PlayStation 4

We assumed that Gran Turismo Sport would be massively delayed, like most of the series' semi-recent entries… and yeah, that definitely happened again. But while 2016 wasn't in the cards, hopefully this full-fledged, content-packed release will be worth the wait in 2017.

As before, it's targeted at racing die-hards, but the multiplayer aspect is enhanced with new online championships governed by the real-life FIA racing body. Also, it will have PlayStation VR support via a special VR Tour Mode, but sadly not throughout the entire game.

Due: TBD 2017

Pre-order Gran Turismo Sport

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20) Absolver

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Likened to a mix of Dark Souls and Street Fighter, upcoming indie darling Absolver is a martial arts game with a heap of finesse, with smooth, balletic moves thrown as you engage in duels against A.I. foes and other online players while exploring an action role-playing world.

The actual fighting takes centre stage here, as you can swap between four distinct stances at any time, find new moves in combat (including when they're used against you), and tap into a lot of depth with feints and varying blocks. Fantastic animation work and distinctive styles make this one an exciting pick for fighting aficionados.

Due: 29 August

21) Project Cars 2

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

The original Project Cars? Pretty great – and Project Cars 2 sounds even better. The crowd-funded simulation experience will only get larger and more detailed with this autumn's sequel, promising a wider selection of licensed cars (170+ in total) and 60+ tracks.

Those tracks could be a bit trickier to navigate, too, thanks to dynamic weather conditions that can dump puddles at the bottom of slopes after a downpour, plus rally racing will be an enticing new addition. It'll also support both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on day one, with PlayStation VR support in the works for later.

Due: Late 2017

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22) FIFA 18

Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

We've already said some rather kind things about Pro Evolution Soccer 18, saying it might wind up beating FIFA this season. On the other hand, EA's series has been the gold standard for video game football for years now, and they sure can put together a nice-looking teaser trailer.

As of this writing, we're still awaiting more details before we know what kind of improvements EA Sports is bringing to the table this season, but with Cristiano Ronaldo and his motion capture animation promised, hopefully EA has an updated sim that's just as impressive as the player on the box. We should have more info very, very soon.

Due: 29 Sept

23) Sonic Mania

Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC

We've been burned before – so many times, really. But once again we're thinking, "Hey, maybe this Sonic will be the one that recalls the glory days."

Hopefully we won't learn another painful lesson with Sonic Mania, which seems to have the best shot of any of the modern entries simply because of its strict adherence to the classic design: it's a new Sonic made to look and play exactly like the old Sonic games. Hopefully it can recapture the magic by sticking with what worked 20+ years ago.

Due: 15 August

 

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24) Cuphead

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

You've never seen a game quite like Cuphead, but you probably have seen cartoons like it: this side-scrolling indie perfectly encapsulates the visual style of 1930s animated shorts, and it's put to perfect use in a run-and-gun shooter about a man with a coffee cup for a head.

Cuphead is easily one of the prettiest 2D games we've ever laid eyes on, but it's not just a nice-looking game - it's also one that builds interesting play mechanics and boss showdowns based on its inspirations. We can't wait to pummel foes as Cuphead and his co-op mate, Mugman.

Due: TBD 2017

25) Splatoon 2

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 2 seems like it really ought to be called Splatoon Deluxe, taking a cue from Mario Kart 8 on Switch, because from what we've seen and tried, it's not terribly different from the mostly overlooked Wii U original.

That's OK, though. While Splatoon felt a little thin when it first landed, we eventually came around to it thanks to the one-of-a-kind feel and entertaining online matches. If Splatoon 2 can drop a heartier experience while being on the Switch, a console we actually want to play (unlike its predecessor in the later years), then it ought to be a blast… of paint.

Due: 21 July

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26) Arms

Platform: Nintendo Switch

What, you thought Nintendo's fascination with motion controls ended with the Wii? Nope. It seems the Switch's detachable Joy-Cons will enable new kinds of experiences, and despite the dopey name, Arms seems like a lot of fun based on our brief demo.

It's like Punch-Out!! for a new generation, only your superhero-esque fighter's arms extend out for jabs and uppercuts, and you'll flail your own limbs to deliver the blows. This looks like a Splatoon­-esque creative twist on a popular genre, and maybe one of the Switch's early stars.

Due: 16 June

27) Destiny 2

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

It's official: Destiny 2 is coming in September, and not only is it hitting both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One again, but it's also releasing on PC. That's right, Guardians – now you won't be forced to a console to continue your epic loot hunts.

With the Tower destroyed by the evil Ghaul and his Red Legion, the Guardians must start anew and explore previously unseen worlds to power up for a big showdown. We haven't seen any actual gameplay yet, but Bungie will hold a livestream event on 18 May ahead of a promised beta test this summer.

Due: 8 September

 

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28) Detroit: Become Human

Platform: PlayStation 4

Heavy Rain showcased the power and potential of Quantic Dream's cinematic, choose-your-own-path adventures, and Detroit: Become Human may take it all to the next level. This futuristic quest lets you take control of human-like androids in the titular city and live out their stories, for better or worse.

We've seen the tale of Connor, a police android who attempts to stop a deviant bot from killing a young human girl – and depending on how you analyze the scene and make decisions along the way, the outcome can go many different ways. Expand that out to numerous characters and a web of interlinked narratives and we can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

Due: TBD 2017

 

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29) CRASH BANDICOOT N. SANE TRILOGY

Platform: PlayStation 4

Crash is back, baby! It's been ages since we've seen a great new Crash Bandicoot game, and that hasn't changed here: this is actually a three-pack of his original PSone adventures, but they won't look quite like before.

Scrapping the usual resolution-boosting remaster approach, Activision has rebuilt every bit of these games on a modern engine, taking care to maintain the late-90s feel with less rugged graphics. Look, we're not expecting anything totally brilliant here; they're bound to feel aged. But this could be a really nice shot of nostalgia later this month for PlayStation die-hards.

Due: 30 June

 

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30) Tacoma

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Gone Home… in space? Yeah, kind of! Tacoma is the next game from The Fullbright Company, and it's another first-person narrative adventure in which you piece together the storyline by exploring a 3D environment.

Here, it happens to be an abandoned space station, but you'll bring it somewhat to life by interacting with augmented reality systems that recorded exactly what happened to Lunar Transfer Station Tacoma. And you're also there to recover a brilliant artificial intelligence onboard, which we hope ends up messing with you in a very Portal-like manner.

Due: TBD 2017