The best days of gaming are still ahead. If you need evidence of that, look no further than some of the most hotly anticipated releases. Over the next year or so, gamers can look forward to entries, in every genre, that promise action, adventure, romance, imagination, excitement and awe. Though there are dozens of promising games in the pipeline, the Tom's Guide staff has chosen a handful that stand out above the rest. Regardless of whether these games live up to their hype, they've done a great job of holding our attention until they come out.
When you pick up a Far Cry game, you know that you're going to explore a massive world, tackle missions with a variety of potential strategies, amass a truly impressive armory and explore a social issue in some far-flung corner of the world. Far Cry 5 will move the series into more familiar waters, tackling the rise of cult-like militias in the American Far West. The (fictional) Hope County, Montana, has fallen under the thrall of an eschatological Christian group known as Eden's Gate, and bringing them down may involve unearthing some uncomfortable truths.
Sometimes, it can seem as if there were over 9,000 Dragon Ball Z fighting games out there, but Dragon Ball FighterZ seems like a pretty convincing argument for one more. FighterZ is a lean, tight game from the same developers who brought you the Guilty Gear franchise. Expect lightning-fast action, fluid animation, crisp character designs and exquisite balance. In addition to making a whole generation of nostalgic ''90s kids very happy, Dragon Ball FighterZ just might have what it takes to make a splash on the competitive esports scene.
Kingdom Hearts will finally come out in 2018 — only 13 short years after the last major installment in the long-running crossover series. Once again, players will join protagonist Sora as he teams up with Disney's Donald Duck and Goofy. The three will explore various Disney worlds — including ones from Tangled, Big Hero 6, and Toy Story — while they cross paths with various Final Fantasy characters. Hopefully, Kingdom Hearts III also resolve the extremely convoluted storyline that the various spin-off titles have further twisted in the interim.
Credit: Square Enix
Kratos is back, but he's just about run out of Greek gods to disembowel. Perhaps the Norse pantheon will provide a more fertile killing field as God of War moves the series north to Scandinavia. Here, the tragic hero (anti-hero? villain?) will do battle with trolls, einherjar and giants as he takes on some of the greatest monsters and most fantastic heroes from Norse myth. Furthermore, a small boy will accompany him on his adventure, acting as both sidekick and ward. For all its over-the-top violence, God of War has always provided thoughtful stories and plenty of classical insight, and this one should continue the trend.
When it launched in 1997, Age of Empires became an instant classic, kicking off one of the longest-running and most beloved real-time-strategy series in gaming history. Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will remaster the classic historical strategy game for a whole new generation of PCs. Not only will the Definitive Edition feature 4K graphics and a re-recorded score, but the developers will also tweak the gameplay for smoother campaigns, more viable strategies, and a wider variety of effective units and civilizations.
Credit: Microsoft Studios
Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank series has demonstrated that the developer knows exactly how to handle snarky characters in an action-packed setting with semiserious storylines. In theory, that should make it the perfect fit for a new Spider-Man game. Although details are still scarce, Insomniac’s PS4-exclusive Spider-Man will feature the wisecracking web slinger in an open-world New York City. Beyond that, expect combat, gadgets, supervillains and tragic love interests to play significant roles.
Quantic Dream's games have always had lofty ambitions in interactive storytelling, but the final products (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls) generally don't have enough gameplay to justify sitting through their disappointing narratives. Detroit: Become Human could finally be what fans have been waiting for: an intense, story-driven experience where your decisions matter and your success is determined by your choices rather than your twitch reflex. In the near future, androids coexist in an uneasy peace with humans, but the status quo may not last when the machines realize that they're just as deserving of rights as their flesh-and-blood counterparts.
Credit: Quantic Dream