1. SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE
Nintendo Switch Switch owners have been hyped about the prospect of a new Super Smash Bros. this year, and Nintendo took off the wraps at E3 – and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate looks like it will absolutely live up to its billing. Ultimate is a new entry in the series, but it also feels like a best-of compilation: it’ll feature every single fighter seen in the franchise to date, including past guest and DLC characters, along with newcomers like the Splatoon squid-kids and Ridley from Metroid. It’ll support GameCube controllers and bring back the extra 8-player mode, as well. Ultimate Smash? Yeah, we’d say so.
This might be the most beautiful game we’ve seen all year. Gris is an indie platformer about the titular character, a young girl who is recovering from a traumatic event. Her emotional growth is manifested in the game design, as the world expands along the way.
Developer Nomada Studio describes the game as being “free of danger, frustration, or death” – which means it’s probably not for anyone seeking a tense gameplay challenge. But it still looks like a deeply compelling, and possibly evocative experience that we’re looking forward to savouring.
3. FORZA HORIZON 4: FORTUNE ISLAND EXPANSION
How great is Forza Horizon 4? We called it the “best racing game ever created,” so yes, the idea of having more Forza to play right about now sounds pretty fantastic.
Luckily, Microsoft will deliver just that in December with the Fortune Island expansion. What we’ve seen so far reminds us of the Storm Island expansion from Forza Horizon 2, with plenty of inclement weather to battle amidst the tight turns and extremely varied terrain. Forza Horizon 4 is already huge on its own, but if you need more to play, you’ll want to pick this up.
4. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
Although overshadowed by Fortnite – and to some extent, at least briefly, by Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s Blackout mode – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) was the original battle royale survival sensation. And after PC and Xbox One launches, it’s finally coming to PlayStation 4. PUBG puts a realistic military spin on the 100-player, open-world shootouts, challenging each player to use his or her cunning, wits, and weaponry to outlast the competition. If you’re wearing thin on Fortnite, put PUBG on your PS4 wish list in December.
5. BORDERLANDS 2 VR
New Borderlands?! No, not quite: it’s the same Borderlands 2 from several years back, but now the wild world of Pandora has been redesigned and reimagined to be experienced in virtual reality.
If you own the PlayStation VR headset, this is sure to be one of the must-play experiences for the rest of the year. It packs in the entire first-person shoot-and-loot experience, but it’s now a single-player experience – losing co-op is the one obvious drawback of switching to VR.