Even during the slowest months of the year, you'll find the release list stocked with literally hundreds of games across consoles, PC, and mobile. It's madness.
Given that, it can be easy to overlook some magnificent game releases amidst the stack, but worry not: we're here to help. Our Games Watch column points out the five biggest and brightest games on the immediate horizon, and outlines why each seems like it'll be well worth your time and money.
With that in mind, here's your monthly compendium of the five most scintillating new releases coming before December rolls around. You can thank us later.
Hitman 2 – 13 November
The Hitman franchise got a welcome shot in the arm with the episodic reboot a couple years back, and now Hitman 2 is here to build off of that momentum – and give you plenty of new ways to execute the ultimate assassination mission.
The episodic format is gone, but you'll find six vast sandbox levels to explore from the jump, each brimming with goofy costumes, lethal tools, and plenty of possibilities to handle each hit. And the new 1v1 Ghost mode is an utter delight, challenging two online players to see who can stealthily slay the target first.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Fallout 76 – 14 November
Fans know Fallout as an epic single-player experience that you can lose yourself in for months at a time, but Fallout 76 is not that kind of game – it's a purely multiplayer experience.
Surprised? Dismayed? We understand the reaction, but there's seemingly a lot here to like. The other fundamental elements of the Fallout universe, from compelling environments to complex character customisation, all remain on-hand in this newly shared world.
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Pokémon: Let's Go – 16 November
Finally, a proper Pokémon game on the Switch. Well, kind of.
See, Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are part remake of Pokémon Yellow from Game Boy, and part Pokémon Go. It's a hybrid. A super-cute, gotta-catch-'em-all hybrid.
Essentially, it's a streamlined take on the classic Pokémon adventure. You'll still explore and battle, but now you'll catch the pocket monsters by tossing a ball like you would in Pokémon Go, plus it has interactions with the mobile smash. It's Pokémon for a new, younger era of players. And if you can't stand that idea, don't worry: a "proper," full-fledged Pokémon adventure is still slated to hit Switch in 2019.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Battlefield V – 20 November
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 opted to go with a strictly multiplayer approach, but chief rival Battlefield V hasn't abandoned campaign fans. Battlefield V's War Stories mode will deliver several emotion-packed standalone single-player missions, much like Battlefield 1 did with great success a couple years back.
Of course, this World War II shooter isn't ditching multiplayer. Quite the contrary: it'll have the famous 64-player shootouts of past entries, along with a new focus on squads. It will also add a battle royale mode in 2019, following the recent trend, although we'll see if it can contend with Fortnite or Black Ops 4's Blackout mode.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC
Artifact – 28 November
Valve still won't make a proper new Half-Life, Portal, or Left 4 Dead, but instead, we're getting a collectible card game spinoff from Dota 2. Did you just yawn and consider closing your browser? We understand the urge, but hold tight a moment.
See, Artifact hails from Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield, plus it's not another free-to-play Hearthstone clone. This properly premium game looks to add a new level of richness and complexity to the card-battler, and you don't have to be a Dota 2 fan to appreciate it. And it'll expand to iOS and Android in 2019, as well.