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.
Racing the world's most advanced sports cars can be a pretty costly hobby — unless you can settle for a digital alternative. Forza Motorsport 7 will put players behind the wheels of hyperrealistic Porsches, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins — and also Mazdas, Nissans and Datsuns, if you want to see how your old jalopy would take to the racetrack. In addition to its huge variety of cars and racetracks, Forza Motorsport 7 will show off what the Xbox One X is capable of, with full 4K resolution.
Credit: Microsoft Studios
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.
Assassin's Creed has taken us from the Third Crusade up through the Victorian era, so it'd be difficult to bring the series any further forward in time. Instead, Assassin's Creed Origins will move it backward, to Egypt during the end of its Hellenic era. Featuring a revamped combat system in addition to the franchise's tried-and-true stealth mechanics, Assassin's Creed Origins will explore the beginning of the Brotherhood of Assassins and how its ongoing war with the evil Templars has evolved throughout history.
A sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War (PC, PS4, Xbox One) continues the story of Talion the Ranger. In this noncanonical addition to the J.R.R. Tolkien mythos, Talion continues his assault on the Dark Lord Sauron by gathering orcish and trollish allies to his cause. The Nemesis system, which customizes and randomizes bosses, is back. This time, though, Talion also will be able to customize entire fortresses and assign his conscripted forces to manage them.
Credit: Warner Bros. Interactive
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.