12 New Games We’re Most Excited For in 2018

Games Lists 2018 Preview
12 New Games We’re Most Excited For in 2018

We haven’t even caught up with everything that came out in 2017 (I’ll play you some day, Death of the Outsider) but we’re already required by our jobs and our own innate senses of responsibility to be laser-focused on the new games coming out in 2018. (That’s the year it currently is, believe it or not.) The captains of our game crew—assistant editor Holly Green and editor Garrett Martin—picked 12 games coming out this year that, for whatever reason, look intriguing and/or exciting, and then wrote this thing you’re reading right now. The way this industry works, there will almost definitely be some as-yet-unrevealed major announcements that would easily pop onto this list (remember, a year ago today we had no idea Super Mario Odyssey would be out in 2017), but for now, these are the games that we’re most looking forward to in 2018.

Donut County
Platforms: PlayStation 4, iOS, PC, Mac

Donut County’s trailer ends on the line “In Donut County, you are the hole,” as if that’s something we’ve been waiting for games to make possible for years. Well, maybe we were, without realizing it? This long-gestating oddity from Ben Esposito should finally be out in 2018, years after wowing audiences at GDC and Indiecade and scoring an honorable mention for the Seamus McNally Prize at the 2015 Independent Games Festival. Intentionally aiming to be the opposite of Katamari Damacy, with your hole growing as you consume more and more objects in a variety of whimsical locales, Donut County has an art style and sense of irreverence that feels as inspired by ‘80s underground cartoons as any videogame.—Garrett Martin

Dragon Ball Fighter Z
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

As I said back during PAX West 2017, Dragon Ball Fighter Z seems like exactly the DBZ fighting game I’d always wanted as a child. I have so many reasons for anticipating a game, but of all the ones on the horizon, my desire for this one is the most pure. Basically I just want to feel like a kid again, and this game does a great job of capturing all the little details that made the series’ debut decade so outrageous. The soundtrack and aesthetics are particularly delightful, screaming ‘80s hair band with every menu and music cue. I can’t wait to play this goofy game.—Holly Green

Platform: PlayStation 4

Media Molecule’s new psychedelic sandbox game seems to offer far more creative possibilities than its predecessor, Little Big Planet. Hopefully it’s not too much to expect this to be the next generation of that game, but with more options for how user-created levels both look and feel.—Garrett Martin

Far Cry 5
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

As a longtime Far Cry fan with a rural white American background, my anticipation for Far Cry 5 is tinged with conflict. If past installments tell us anything, the plot will likely rip a real-world issue from the headlines and then apply a lukewarm devil’s advocate position on it, and wind up saying nothing of value. That being said, I look forward to seeing how some of the changes, including a new companion system, affect the final product and what I’ve come to know from the series. If it does not heavily feature hunting, however, I will send it back.—Holly Green

Kentucky Route Zero Act V
Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Cardboard Computer hasn’t released a trailer for Act V yet, so let’s just revisit this one for Act IV.

Yeah, I don’t care, I’ll make the obvious analogy: like good bourbon, games like Kentucky Route Zero take their time. It’s been almost two years since Act IV came out, which was over two years after Act III, and absolutely worth the wait. This surreal point-and-click adventure game set in a dreamlike, almost mythical version of Kentucky has kept us entranced since the first acts were released in 2013. The finale should finally be out in 2018, and it’s probably our single most anticipated game of the year. And if you haven’t played the first few acts, look for Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition for consoles, later this year.—Garrett Martin

Mega Man 11
Platforms: Switch, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4

I’d like to extend my congratulations to Capcom for making one of the better Mega Man-related decisions in years: returning to the original formula. It’s been so long since Mega Man 10, I genuinely thought they were done. The series is at its best in its most nascent form. I welcome the punishing action, boldly textured pixel art and bizarre bosses to come.—Holly Green

Red Dead Redemption 2
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

I realized something as I replayed LA Noire recently: I kinda miss Rockstar. I’ve been letting my copy of GTA V gather dust on a shelf, and haven’t had a taste of their open world mischief in years (no, LA Noire does not count). I’ve also never played the Red Dead games, and now seems like a good opportunity to get in on it, especially since the game is a prequel, not a linear sequel. Details are scant at the moment but if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I like cowboy stuff, so I’m looking forward to giving Red Dead a shot.—Holly Green

Runner 3
Platforms: Switch

One thing I love about Bit.Trip Runner is that it improves just slightly with each iteration. In Runner 3, the game will now feature, among other things, something of a perspective switch, allowing the player a more strategic field of view. And as always, it features a head bobbin’ beat that’s perfect for timing each jump and slide.—Holly Green

Valkyria Chronicles 4
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One

I am no anime man, but Sega’s classic 2008 tactical RPG Valkyria Chronicles remains one of the most poignant and enjoyable games I’ve played this century. The two PSP sequels were fine if slight, and the less said about last year’s spin-off Valkyria Revolution the better. The latest sequel promises to bring the original’s anime-influenced, fake WWII strategy action to the consoles of today, including the Switch, which means this will probably be my airplane game of choice for the next few years. (You had a good run, sudoku.)—Garrett Martin

Platforms: Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4

We’d probably put any upcoming game by Dontnod on this list—with Life is Strange and Remember Me they’ve produced two fascinating games that don’t fit easily into any genre. Vampyr promises to continue their uncommon trajectory with a unique setting (London during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic) full of well-defined characters and a central conceit that lets the player be as upstanding or murderous as they want to be. A demo at one of publisher Focus Home’s media events last year focused on the scope of the world that the game puts you in; its background characters are in no way part of the background, with personalities and routines and relationships to other characters that can all be upended if you choose to feast upon them, making an impact on your playthrough. Maybe that storefront will close if you eat its owner, or certain possible narrative paths might be altered or shut off entirely. You don’t have to drink anybody’s blood to survive, but doing so will bring your character great advantages and unlock new abilities that will help in combat. Morality systems are old hat in games, but most wind up as binary decisions whose ramifications can be easy to guess. From what we’ve seen Vampyr aims to expand on that either/or dichotomy, while also exploring a historical era rarely seen in games before.—Garrett Martin

Platforms: PC, Consoles

Keita Takahashi seems obsessed with things consuming each other. The director of Kamatari Damacy (a game about rolling up basically all of creation into a ball) and Noby Noby Boy (where the constantly growing hero could eat almost anything on screen) returns in 2018 with Wattam. We don’t really know much about this one, but this adorable trailer has us hooked, and Takahashi’s work speaks for itself.—Garrett Martin

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Platforms: PC, Mac

We’ve been waiting for Johnnemann Nordhagen’s game about American folkways for years, and thankfully it should be out early this year. With an eclectic crew of writers contributing different sections of its narrative (including multiple former Paste contributors, and former assistant games editor Gita Jackson), this cross-country adventure hopes to capture a snapshot of the diverse array of cultures and voices that came together to craft America’s folklore. It’s a story-driven game about the power of storytelling itself.—Garrett Martin

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