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

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It feels like just yesterday we were waiting with baited breath for E3 2018, the tradeshow that promised 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 in the final fews months of the year, 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to keep this page updated when new release dates are announced, but feel free to reach out if there's any egregiously outdated info that needs to be fixed.

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 the rest of 2018 but this was 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.

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

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

Far Cry 5 caused controversy before it was even 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’s up to you 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 returned earlier this year, moving away from the Greek myths to the Norse and turning the legendary lone wolf Kratos into something of a father figure. This revamped God of War has more of a focus on narrative than anything we’ve seen from the series but the hack and slash god fighting still remains.

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 can 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 cements the Switch as one of the most individual consoles on the market and a must-have for families.

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 courted some controversy with its themes. The script took two years to write and hundreds of actors have lent their faces for motion capture.

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.

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? Now (Released September 7, 2018)

Marvel's Spider-Man did not disappoint when it released earlier this year, offering the strongest narrative and most fluid web-swinging of any Spider-Man game to date.

Whether you're swinging through New York, taking down some familiar enemies or searching for all the collectables, Spider-Man will provide hours of superhero action.

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

When can I play it? Now (Released September 28, 2018)

The latest addition to the FIFA franchise saw the introduction of the Champion's League to the soccer sim alongside the return of The Journey single-player mode.

Though FIFA 19 makes no groundbreaking changes, it does offer an add a series of small adjustments (such as the Active Touch system) that continue to push the series in the right direction.

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

When can I play it? Now (Released September 14, 2018)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider sees intrepid explorer Lara Croft racing through South America in an attempt to stop the Mayan apocalypse. You know, just the usual.

Not straying far from previous entries in the series reboot, Shadow of the Tomb Raider includes all the puzzles, exploration and hostile environments you come to expect from a Tomb Raider game.

What can I play it on? Xbox One and PC

When can I play it? Now (October 2, 2018)

Forza Horizon 4 has been somewhat of a surprise success. The open-world racing adventure lets you tour the stunning sights of Britain, from lavender fields to quint English cottages. There's even a dynamic weather system which changing according to the seasons.

In addition, Forza Horizon 4 offers a shared multiplayer mode which lets you race and explore with friends.

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

When can I play it? Now (October 12, 2018)

Fans were concerned when Activision revealed Black Ops 4 wouldn't have a single-player mode, but the title more than makes up for it with the introduction of the new Battle Royale Blackout mode along with the return of fan favorite modes such as Multiplayer and Zombies.

What can I play it on? PS4 and Xbox One

When can I play it? Now (October 26, 2018)

Voted TechRadar’s most highly-anticipated game of 2018, Rockstar’s latest outing is one biggest releases of the year.

The Wild West adventure sees you stepping into the shoes of outlaw Arthur Morgan, a gunslinger in the notorious Van Der Linde Gang. With a vast open world, varying terrains, and activites ranging from bounty hunting to fishing, RDR2 will keep you busy for a while.

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

When can I play it? November 20, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

When can I play it? November 14, 2018

There are mixed feelings among fans about the latest upcoming addition to the Fallout franchise, which sees the series hitting an online platform for the first time. While Bethesda promises the gameplay we've grown to love about the series, some remain unconvinced the West Virginia wasteland will deliver the same thrill.

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