Hot Games of 2018: The Ultimate List

The biggest games on our radar.

The fall video game release schedule is upon us, and pretty soon, you’re going to be overloaded with new games to play — that is, if you aren’t already drowning in your backlog.

But with all of the games still to come in 2017, we can’t forget about the hot games of 2018. After all — some of our most anticipated games are actually coming in the spring and not in the fall.

While we still don’t know much about when the majority of the games in the list below are going to release, we do have tons of new information about them already, including the latest trailers, news, and what to expect.

Here’s a look at 2018’s most compelling games, and if there are any that we missed, please let us know in the comments:

**Update 1/1/19: Check out our list of the hot games of 2019 here.


1. Insomniac’s Spider-Man

insomniac's spider-man

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: 
Sony
Release Date:
TBA 2018
Platform: 
PS4
Genre: 
Superhero Adventure

Spider-Man typically fares very well in both the movie and video game space, and it’s rare that we get a Spidey game that’s absolutely garbage (in fact, it has been 17 years since the miserable Spider-Man game from the original PlayStation era). In 2018, Insomniac Games, creators of Ratchet & Clank, Sunset Overdriveand Resistance, will venture into superhero territory with their own Spider-Man game that will be exclusive to the PS4.

The game is set eight years after Peter Parker first became Spider-Man as he has settled into his role as New York City’s protector. Thanks to the E3 2017 demo, we now know that the story revolves around Wilson Fisk (best known as Kingpin) and a new gang named the Inner Demons who are overtaking his territory. Spider-Man has to step in to defend Kingpin’s men during an attack, and while doing so, he discovers that Mister Negative, the head hancho of the Inner Demons, is actually Martin Li, one of New York’s biggest philanthropists.

Interestingly enough, we recently learned that all of the game’s concept art has led to playable scenes in the game, which is exciting in itself because the concept art looks so incredible. We’ve seen Spidey taking on Wilson Fisk, an apparent bank heist in progress, and even Peter Parker’s filthy bedroom — all of which appear to be well-designed, at least in concept. We also have confirmation of Mr. Negative being in the game.

Almost everything about Spider-Man for the PS4 is sounding good, except for the few QTEs we saw during the E3 demo; we’re hoping these QTEs are few and far between.

Of course, one of the main draws of a Spider-Man game in 2018 is that you’ll be able to freely roam New York City at your leisure, swinging from building to building. And, as you’d expect from a Spider-Man game, there appears to be a heavy emphasis on this sort of movement, with not only web slinging and swinging being important but also parkour as well. Here’s to hoping Insomniac’s Spider-Man is as formidable as it appears to be, and here’s to hoping that we don’t have to wait all the way until Fall 2018 to play it.

Spider-Man PS4 Trailer

Pre-order Spider-Man here.


2. Detroit: Become Human

detroit become human

Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: TBA 2018
Platforms: PS4
Genre: Action Adventure Story-driven Game

We were only previously mildly interesting in Detroit: Become Human, because we weren’t exactly sure what it was. However, after its glorious E3 gameplay footage, we’re more intrigued than ever, and it quickly has become one of our most anticipated games of 2018. The game is a neo-noir thriller being developed by Quantic Dream, makers of Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls. Most importantly, it looks like nothing we’ve ever played before.

This PS4 exclusive stems from the developer’s 2012 tech demo, Kara, and it’ll revolve around androids, with the basis of the plot being similar to AMC’s Humans. More specifically, the story follows three androids: Kara, a now sentient android who escapes the factory she was created in to discover herself, Connor, an android created solely to hunt rogue androids, and Markus, set on releasing all androids from servitude. According to Quantic Dream, their survival is wholly dependent on choices the player makes, allowing the player to shape the story.

However, if a player doesn’t like the end result, they’re able to rewind the story  to certain points to reshape their initial decisions.

Why we’re so interested in Detroit: Become Human is because, frankly, we’ll never get tired of stories about androids becoming sentient and taking over, despite how many times we’ve seen it happen in pop culture. On top of that, it looks graphically insane, and we still haven’t seen much along the lines of games pushing the PS4 to its limits. Hopefully, Detroit can be that game to push the console’s visuals forward.

Detroit: Become Human Trailer

Pre-order Detroit: Become Human here.


3. Days Gone Pushed back to 2019

days gone ps4

Developer: SIE Bend Studio
Publisher:
Sony
Release Date:
TBA (Recently rumored for August 2017)
Platform: 
PS4
Genre:
Zombie third person shooter

Despite popular opinion, we’re never going to grow tired of zombie culture, either, which is why we have Days Gone on our list of the hot games of 2018. Days Gone is still shrouded in mystery, but one thing we already know is that it will be LOADED with zombies.

What makes Days Gone different from other games in the genre is that the zombies are apparently more abundant and relentless in nature, more akin to World War Z’s zombies than the zeds in Dawn of the Dead. And, we haven’t seen that type of zombie in a video game yet, believe it or not — at least not to the extent we’ve seen in the game’s two gameplay demos.

This zombie romp will follow Deacon St. John, a former motorcycle-toting badass bounty hunter who is now roaming the earth two years after a global pandemic killed the majority of humanity, turning many of them into “Freakers” (aka zombies, zeds, walkers, the undead).

Days Gone is set in an open world environment where players will be able to complete different objectives in various ways and with various weapons. You’ll also be able to use different vehicles, with a motorcycle being most prominently featured in the marketing for the game so far. It will also have a dynamic weather system and a day-night cycle similar to Dying Light, one of our favorite zombie games of all-time. On top of that, the game will also take some notes from Dead Rising by allowing players to craft new items and weapons to use for killing these Freakers.

While it doesn’t appear that Days Gone does much along the line of uniqueness, aside from having a higher number of zombies on-screen at once, it appears to take some notes from other top games in the genre and bring them together to create something new. Here’s to hoping the landscape is filled with unique areas to explore, and tons of zombies to slay in the process.

Days Gone Trailer

Pre-order Days Gone here.


4. Anthem Pushed to 2019

hot games 2018

Developer: Bioware
Publisher: EA
Release Date: TBA Fall 2018
Platform: Xbox One, PC, PS4
Genre: Shooter

Taking clear inspiration from the Destiny formula would likely turn us off in any other instance, but something about Anthem works so well that we don’t even care. It’s set in an open world where players will take on the role of a Freelancer in fully customizable exosuits named Javelins, each of which can be equipped with numerous unique weapons and superhuman abilities.

On top of that, these Javelins will allow players to take on different classes by simply switching into that set of gear, meaning if you want to be a tank you can just throw on your tank Javelin. Anthem will have a shared world where players can team up to take on different beasts and marauders while exploring lost ruins.

One thing that really piqued our interest during the game’s extensive E3 demo was when one of the Freelancer dove underwater in his Javelin, outfitted with jetpacks akin to something Tony Stark would wear.

We’ve already seen Anthem running on the Xbox One X, and its graphical prowess can’t be ignored. From lush jungles to underwater ruins, everything we’ve seen in the gameplay demo looks visually stunning and vivid.

We don’t know much else about EA’s Anthem yet, but we’re on the edge of our seats anticipating more news any day now.

Anthem Trailer


5. Death Stranding Had no chance for 2018

death stranding 2018

Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: TBA (Likely 2018)
Platform: PS4
Genre: Action Game

One of the most mysterious games coming in 2018 is Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, the upcoming first game from Kojima Productions.

The game has an all-star cast that includes The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus and Hannibal‘s Mads Mikkelsen, and we’ll undoubtedly get a few more surprises, cast-wise, soon. In fact, a female protagonist will soon be revealed.

Our first introduction to Death Stranding included a stark naked Reedus crying while holding a baby, so if that’s not delightfully strange enough for you, we don’t know what would be. Kojima noted that the idea behind the announcement trailer was the balance and connection between life and death.

The game’s title stems from cetacean stranding, where whales strand themselves on land and die from dehydration or collapsing under their own weight. Death Stranding, meanwhile, appears to be unlike any game we’ve ever seen before, and the more we see from it, the stranger things get.

In fact, we’ve seen such strange imagery as giant worms on army tanks, a baby floating down a river in some sort of incubator thing, beings floating in the sky, and an odd-looking Mads Mikkelsen. It’s Death Stranding‘s vague weirdness that has us so interested.

We don’t even know for sure that Death Stranding will release in 2018, but Kojima said it would be ‘out before when Akira was set’, and with Akira being set in 2019, it sounds like we’ll see it in 2018.

Death Stranding Trailer

Pre-order Death Stranding here.


6. Visceral’s Star Wars Canceled

visceral star wars

Developer: Visceral
Publisher: EA
Release Date: TBA 2018
Platform: TBA
Genre: Action Adventure

We’ve unfortunately only gotten a mere glimpse of Visceral’s Star Wars game — eight seconds to be exact — but thanks to some internet sleuths (thanks to the help of Games Radar’s video breaking down every secret from the gameplay), we’ve been able to put some of the pieces together on our own regarding what in the world Amy Hennig’s Star Wars is going to be like.

Even that brief gameplay glimpse is enough to excite, as we see Star Destroyers, Tie Fighters, and our main protagonist (which could be one of TWO protagonists). But aside from that, there are simply too many rumors swirling around this game for us to make any other sort of conclusion about it.

So, then, what’s to really be excited about? Well, for one, it has a sort of who’s who of game developers on the project, including the former lead writer of the Uncharted series, Amy Hennig, and the former executive producer of both Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell, Jade Raymond. And with those series being some of the most notable in gaming, we’re incredibly excited to see what these two can do with the Star Wars property.

Visceral’s Star Wars Trailer


7. Red Dead Redemption 2 Pushed to 2019

hot games

Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: Q2 2018
Platform: PS4, Xbox One

Westerns are coming back in a big way, and right behind HBO’s Westworld series is Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar’s follow-up to their popular western game from the Xbox 360/PS3 era. The game is set in an open world western environment, and it’ll have both single player and online multiplayer components.

Now, to what extent those online components will be still remains a mystery; we don’t know if they’re going to go the GTA Online route with numerous, free updates. But given the success Rockstar has seen with GTA Online, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a similar model with RDR2, and that’s where the majority of our excitement stems from. Having a western console MMO (let’s be honest, GTA Online is super close to MMO territory) certainly piques our interest.

And, with Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare DLC being so well-received, the possibility of yet another zombie western has us excited as well.

We don’t have much along the lines of actual details regarding the game’s story, and other details are still light at the moment. But, if RDR2 gives us another opportunity to explore a vast, rich world created by Rockstar, count us in.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer

Pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2 here.


8. Far Cry 5

far cry 5

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Genre: FPS Adventure

While Ubisoft has had some problems with its newer IPs, the Far Cry series is always reliable. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that you pretty much know what you’re getting when you buy a new Far Cry game. Yet somehow, they don’t feel samey in nature, and Ubisoft has also done some great things with the series’ setting to vary things up a bit.

With Far Cry 5, Ubisoft is looking to take the ‘good’ Far Cry series into greatness territory, with a story and setting that are both close to home. The game will take place in a fictional county in Montana, and it’ll set players against a militia formed by a religious cult named Eden’s Gate. We’ve also been teased that the game’s campaign will be entirely playable as two-player co-op, and we’ve seen some stuff that has alluded to character customization.

With a unique setting like Montana, Far Cry 5 has the opportunity to create a rural playground for players unlike anything we’ve seen before. The E3 trailer showed off some pretty interesting vehicle choices, including a big rig truck, ATVs, planes, and more. Also, expect to hunt some bison and mountain lions.

While its antagonists and setting can be somewhat controversial in nature, we’re expecting Far Cry 5‘s story to be handled with tact.

Far Cry 5 Trailer

Pre-order Far Cry 5 here.


9. State of Decay 2

2018 games

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: Spring 2018
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Genre: Zombie Survival

Say what you will about having too many zombie games to play already, but, again, we’ll never get tired of the genre. And, let’s be honest, State of Decay 2 is a much-needed first party exclusive for the Xbox One (and now with Crackdown delayed, specifically the Xbox One X), so it can potentially make or break the Xbox One X in the hearts of many gamers.

Despite being buggy at launch and lacking any sort of online capabilities, the original State of Decay clicked with a lot of people, including myself. And with Undead Labs being a developer that is open ears to its community, we’re expecting State of Decay 2 to take the series to the next level.

In SoD 2, players will this time be able to team up with their friends and work together to take down zombie hordes. You’ll be able to team up with up to three of your friends with drop-in/drop-out co-op or play the entire game on your own.

The game will include three individual maps at launch, with all of your resources being able to carry across to each map. Each map will be incredibly varied, and each will be similar in size to its predecessor’s map.

Honestly, we could see it going either way for the Xbox exclusive, but the game’s potential upside easily outweighs the bad. Slaying zeds in 4K? My body is ready.

State of Decay 2 Trailer

Pre-order State of Decay 2 here.


10. Sea of Thieves

2018 hottest games

Developer: Rare
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: TBA 2018
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Genre: Action Adventure

The other big Xbox One exclusive of 2018 is Sea of Thieves, a pirate-themed adventure game that allows you to be a pirate with your friends in cooperative multiplayer.

In Sea of Thieves, you’ll group up with other players to travel and explore an open world on a pirate ship, with each player assuming different roles. Players will also take on various quests in an effort to collect booty, with many quests involving PvP with other players. The game has a shared world, so you and your friends will run into other pirate groups of players regularly.

It’ll also feature cross-platform play between the Xbox One and PC, so if your friends don’t have an Xbox you’ll still be able to play with them.

It’s also worth noting that everyone who has actually played this pirate adventure at E3 has raved about the experience, and the latest round of gameplay footage we’ve seen has us even more interested than we initially were after that cringeworthy demo from last year.

With the game being developed by Rare, we’re fully expecting a formidable and memorable experience that you and your friends are going to want to play (and, hopefully, keep playing). Their track record is overwhelmingly impressive (despite a dud or two), and the developer has been responsible for some of the best video games of all-time.

Sea of Thieves Trailer

Pre-order Sea of Thieves here.


Bonus: Darksiders 3

hot games 2018

Developer: Gunfire Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Release Date: TBA 2018
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Genre: Action RPG, Hack and Slash

We found it hard to make our list of the hot games of 2018 that we were most anticipating, and while some deserved to be cut, Darksiders 3 does not. So, consider it #11 on this list.

The trajectory for the franchise is pointing up, with the game getting better with each iteration. While some players actually preferred the original Darksiders over its sequel, we found Darksiders 2 to add some great new mechanics. With Darksiders 3 set to come out in 2018, we’re hoping it can also add some interesting new ideas.

And, that appears to be the case right off the bat, with the game having a female protagonist this time around in Fury, a mage who is being described as ‘the most unpredictable’ of the Four Horsemen, using whips and magic to take down her enemies in style.

As far as the game’s plot is concerned, it’s set to take place alongside the events of the first two games on the war-torn planet Earth. The game will follow Fury as she attempts to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins.

Even though the game is no longer being officially developed by Vigil Games, its development team at Gunfire Games is primarily made up of former Vigil employees who helped developed Darksiders and Darksiders 2. So, clearly, the franchise is still in good hands, and we’re excited to see what the developer can do with a third entry.

Darksiders 3 Trailer

Pre-order Darksiders 3 here.

See Also: 52 Most Anticipated Upcoming Games of 2018

More from Nerd Much?