What are the best upcoming games to keep an eye on this year and the next? Hope, anticipation, agony, and elation – it is the endless cycle of emotions we go through during the annual PC release schedule.
Year in, year out, games – via Steam and otherwise – are produced in such varying degrees of quality that no game is destined for certain success. Masterpieces are released alongside utter disasters, franchises are born while others dwindle and occasionally – so very occasionally – a game actually lives up to our expectations.
If you are looking for something to play right now, these are the new PC games you should be playing.
So how can we possibly navigate all the dizzying number of announcements, trailers, and teases to find the upcoming PC games to which we should be devoting our finite supply of hype? Us old PCGamesN sages have been round the videogame block plenty of times already, so we are perfectly placed to tell you about the titles for which you should be saving your pennies. Below you'll find the upcoming PC games you should keep on your radar.
Upcoming PC games Q2 2018
Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy
Good news: PlayStation’s icon marsupial Crash Bandicoot will be rolling and jumping his way onto PC. The bad news? This remastered trilogy including Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped is damn hard. On the plus side, we will be getting all the players PS4 players enjoyed, with luscious 4K-o-vision to sweeten the platforming deal.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy release date: June 29, 2018
The Crew 2
Cars! But not just cars. That is the concept of The Crew 2: it adds biplanes and boats to the formula, along with the usual massive collection of cars and other road-based vehicles. You can even switch between them on the fly, weirdly.
The Crew 2 release date: June 29, 2018
Steel Rats is a bike adventure game that blends Trials with Inside, which would be excellent if we were any good at it. This really is not a game for casuals: messing around on your Harley Davidson-esque motorbike in this dark, dieselpunk world feels like actually learning to ride.
From the developers behind Urban Trial Freestyle, Steel Rats allows you to choose one of four greaser gang characters to save the industrial Coastal City from an invasion of dastardly robots. The Blade Runner and Tron influences are clear throughout; Steel Rats promises to be a treat.
Steel Rats release date: Summer 2018
Upcoming PC games Q3 2018
The Banner Saga 3
For fans of turn-based RPGs that appreciate an attractive, hand-drawn art-style with their role-playing, we come bearing good news: The Banner Saga is back with a third game. Unfortunately, there is also bad news: this will be the last in the series.
A character we know about is Varl loyalist Fasolt. We find him in something of a quandary, weighing up whether to help or hinder humanity as the end of the world looms.
The Banner Saga 3 release date: July 24, 2018
Dragon Quest 11
For the first time we will be getting a numbered entry of the Dragon Quest series on PC. Like many in the series before it, Dragon Quest XI tells a standalone story about a reincarnated hero on the run from a massive army. With a diverse cast of characters, large world, and plenty of quests with which to test out your JRPG, turn-based combat skills, Dragon Quest XI will have around 100 hours of role-playing goodness.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age release date: September 4, 2018
The Walking Dead: The Final Season
It feels like only yesterday that we stumbled upon the small, terrified Clementine, hidden away in her suburban home as the zombie apocalypse swept society away. In 2012, as Lee, it was our job to protect Clem, but now, in 2018, she is a fully-grown, experienced survivor looking out for the diminutive AJ as Telltale’s The Walking Dead comes to a close. Featuring the return of Gary Whitta on writing duties, expect blood, sweat, and an ocean of tears for The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season release date: August 14, 2018
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner - Mars
In case you missed Konami’s adored hack-and-slash and third-person shooter mash-up when it initially launched on PS2 in 2003, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is coming to PC in 2018.
It is 2174 and your job is to take down the evil BAHRAM military organisation, who are suppressing society across Earth and Mars, with the help of a powerful mech called Jehuty. The enhanced edition adds 4K and VR support to the sci-fi action game, so it should not look too shabby for a 15-year-old console game.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner - Mars: September 4, 2018
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
In this third entry to Lara's grave-robbing reboot, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will have an even darker tone. The nervous, inexperienced explorer we found in the first game is long gone: Shadow proves to be the famous tomb raider's most predatory hour yet.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider release date: September 14, 2018
Monster Hunter: World
The PC is getting a Monster Hunter game with all the bells and whistles you could hope for, just without the release date. The PC version will appear at an unspecified date in Autumn, around half a year after the console launch. That extra time better pay off.
Monster Hunter release date: Autumn 2018
Remember Theme Hospital? Developer Oxymoron Games does, too. In fact, they are pretty brazen about their version, Project Hospital, and how similar it is to its inspiration. Oxymoron Games claim that it will “cure your nostalgia.”
But you will not just be running a hospital: this upcoming PC game will charge you with building your own medical empire. Since you will be juggling the needs of patients and the power supply of our hospitals, we admire your commitment to the Hippocratic Oath.
Project Hospital release date: Autumn 2018
Upcoming PC games Q4 2018
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
It is Treyarch’s turn to get boots on the ground with the Call of Duty license this year. It will be a continuation of the Black Ops series and we are looking forward to the next zombies outing and the new multiplayer mode. It also, unsurprisingly, boasts its own battle royale mode, Blackout.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 release date: October 12, 2018
Following the successful return to the poppy-strewn trenches of Battlefield 1, Battlefield V will see DICE's series explore a new side of the Second World War. Historically accurate weapons and vehicles will feature and the single-player War Stories mode will return alongside the co-op gameplay of Combined Arms. The headline mode, Grand Operations, includes fort building and has a distinct whiff of battle royale to us.
Battlefield V release date: October 19, 2018
We are excited to have a go at some more city builder goodness with Anno 1800. This Victorian-flavoured entry is a welcome change after the futuristic outing we enjoyed with Anno 2205. Expect lots of ships, smog, and vintage dresses.
Anno 1800 release date: Winter 2018
Upcoming PC games TBC 2018
BioMutant came from pretty much nowhere, but its vibrant and mysterious world revealed in its initial trailer has made us embrace it with open arms. So far, we’ve seen some typical RPG fare and character creation screens, but we do also know BioMutant has a karma system and a variety of attractive worlds from arid deserts to snowy mountaintops.
BioMutant release date: TBC 2018
Artifact: The Dota Card Game
Valve have another game coming out - which, being made by Valve, means it’s certain to be excellent. Revealed at The International, Artifact is a digital card game set in the Dota 2 universe. You play across three boards with each player taking control of five heroes, playing them down lanes with spawning creeps. Heroes, cards, and spells will be repurposed for this collectible card game - obviously, we are very excited.
Artifact release date: TBC 2018
Via the original team (who have since made the rather good VR Souls-like Chronos) and continuing the story, Darksiders 3 features the whip-wielding witch you see above, Fury. It appears to have all the stylised monster-slaying you are used to from elsewhere.
Darksiders 3 release date: TBC 2018
Super Meat Boy Forever
While Super Meat Boy Forever is to debut on Switch, we have been promised a PC version. The name refers to the fact that each stage can be played endlessly, but will get harder with each visit. The bright, precisely-designed levels return from the original as you aim to rescue your loved one. This time, though, you play as Nugget, the child of Meat Boy and Bandage Girl.
Super Meat Boy Forever release date: TBC 2018
Metal Gear character designer Yoji Shinkawa, Armoured Core director Toshifumi Nabeshima, and Mobile Suit Gundam mech designer Takayuki Yanase are the esteemed names attached to Square Enix’s forthcoming survival action shooter, Left Alive.
It is set in the same universe as the Front Mission games and takes place in version of the 21st century where most of the world powers have been consolidated into supranational blocs, which are inevitably at war with one another. You switch between three characters, each of whom is alone and fighting for their survival in an unknown war-ravaged city. There are gathering and crafting systems, as well as action and stealth gameplay. It all sounds ace, and the artwork brings all sorts of fuzzy feelings from the glory days of PS1-era Metal Gear back.
Left Alive release date: TBC 2018
If Into the Breach wasn’t enough to sate your rampant Advance Wars nostalgia, there’s always Wargroove. In this tactical, turn-based upcoming PC game, you take charge of one of 12 commanders from four feuding factions to wage war against your bright, cartoonish foes.
Wargroove release date: TBC 2018
Sequel to tactical multiplayer FPS Insurgency, Insurgency: Sandstorm looks to take the successful formula a step further: Developer New World Interactive haved ambitions to establish this upcoming PC game as the indie film of military shooters. The chances of that will certainly be helped by the addition of a single-player campaign, where you play as a female insurgent fighter through the Middle East.
Insurgency: Sandstorm release date: TBC 2018
Tropico 6 is just as dastardly dictatorial as previous entries. This time you can quite literally steal the Statue of Liberty and there are some upgrades to come, too.
Tropico 6 release date: TBC 2018
The ex-Blizzard devs at Frostkeep Studios have their problems with the survival genre, and their answer is Rend. In their attempt to smooth out the ‘pain points’ of the genre, you join one of three factions and collect souls to fill your Divinity Stone and the gargantuan World Tree at the centre of the map. Your base might be shielded, but beware that it will go down during the weekly Reckonings, where waves of vicious monsters can destroy everything and wipe you off the server for good.
Rend release date: TBC 2018
Klei’s latest is an RPG, and that should be enough to get you excited on its own, but Griftlands is also built on the concept of tradable resources. Klei have basically nailed everything they have ever tried, bringing originality and quality to whatever they touch.
Griftlands release date: TBC 2018
Frozen Synapse 2
After distilling the merits of their turn-based tactical shooter into the purist sports strategy of Frozen Cortex, Mode 7 Games have returned to the Synapse series with a view to expand. The aim is to retain the waypoint system that evokes early Rainbow Six, but move the action outside those familiar office complexes in favour of “open world tactics.” However that manifests itself, it will be a huge departure from the taut, two-player maps of the original Frozen Synapse.
Frozen Synapse 2 release date: TBC 2018
Upcoming PC Games 2019 and beyond
How do you make explosions even more explosive? Get the cloud to compute them. That is the plan for Crackdown 3, the years-late sequel to one of the Xbox’s most popular games.
Crackdown 3 release date: February 2019
Anthem release date: March 2019
The Division 2
Two years on from the release of The Division, Massive Entertainment are returning with a sequel to one of Ubisoft’s biggest service games this side of Rainbow Six Siege. We cannot wait to get back to betraying our teammates in the Dark Zone all over again.
The Division 2 release date: Before April 2019
Despite running out of books, Metro is not done. It’s heading outside, for a year-round story – but Metro Exodus isn’t in an open world, instead taking place around several massive, interconnected levels.
Metro Exodus release date: Q1 2019
Total War: Three Kingdoms
We’ve united Viking-era England in spin-off Thrones of Britannia by now but, while Blighty’s green and pleasant battlefields looked a treat, we are looking ahead to an upcoming PC game that moves on from the ageing Total War: Attila engine. Total War: Three Kingdoms is shaping up to be just that, the first era-spanning historical grand strategy game since Rome II.
Total War: Three Kingdoms release date: Spring 2019
The next game from original XCOM creator Julian Gollop looks, well, quite a lot like XCOM. Phoenix Point is closest to Terror from the Deep in aesthetic and plays like a more complex version of his classic. If you're well into the resurgence of turn-based strategy and tactics games, you should be excited. And ready to wait...
Phoenix Point release date: June 2019
The Surge 2
Plenty of games have imitated the influential Dark Souls since its release in 2011. Labelled ‘Souls-likes’, games like sci-fi action RPG The Surge was one of them, pinching FromSoftware’s diamond-hard difficulty level that rewards players by not holding their hand and trusting their skill and patience.
The Surge was one of the better Souls-likes to emerge and we are pleased to see the game’s dynamic limb-targeting system return in The Surge 2. Deck 13 claim that the sequel will “expand greatly upon the formula” with more ambition and scale featuring in a brand new environment, “a sprawling, devastated city.”
The Surge 2 release date: TBC 2019
Well, it is happening. A massively successful Kickstarter, a presumably large amount of Sony cash and an almost bottomless pile of hype. Delays have disappointed but some will wait for Shenmue 3 however long they need to.
Shenmue 3 release date: TBC 2019
The sequel to the game nobody asked for, Rage 2 is a distinctly Fallout and Borderlands-flavoured follow-up to id Software is being made by Avalanche Studios. Vehicular combat and ridiculous weapons such as the Wingstick return, and as protagonist Walker looks to take revenge on the evil Authority, it looks as if we have a good story to go with it, too.
Rage 2 release date: TBC 2019
Avalanche Studios have a veritable, er, avalanche of games in the offing, and one of them features robots and their devastation of late 80s Sweden. Revealed with a Generation Zero trailer, the upcoming PC game from the Just Cause studio is a multiplayer co-op game with a distinct techno-Stranger Things feel.
Generation Zero release date: TBC 2019
Guacamelee was an excellent Metroidvania wrassle ‘em up, and the platforming sequel is chokeslamming its way onto PC. In Guacamelee 2, the original game’s famous chicken returns, but is complimented by a four-player co-op mode.
Guacamelee 2 release date: “soon-ish”
Besides the Facebook announcement from GSC Game World owner Sergiy Grygorovych that STALKER 2 is in development, we know absolutely nothing about the upcoming survival horror sequel. All we have is an official site with a new logo and a release date below it. This isn’t the first time the game has been in production, but fingers crossed everything goes swimmingly this time - at least better than a nuclear accident site.
STALKER 2 release date: TBC 2021
Paris Games Week 2017 gave us plenty of goodies, but Spelunky 2 is up there with the biggest announcements. Expect more, well, spelunking and randomly-generated levels in this challenging indie game sequel as the now older platforming protagonist has been replaced by his daughter - and her beloved pug, Monty.
Spelunky 2 release date: TBC
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered
Most FPS fans will have fond memories of killstreaks, assiduously maintaining kill/death ratios, and blasting away noob campers in seminal shooter, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. These fans will undoubtedly be shocked to learnt that, according to trusted source, CharlieINTEL, that its 2018-bound remaster will not include multiplayer. The story is still strong and it will cost a reduced $25 in relation to the $40 price of the the original game’s remaster, at least.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered release date:TBC
Unreal Tournament has been in open development since its earliest stages. As in, since they were still developing weapon models, deciding on movement mechanics, the very groundwork of the game. It is going to be free and supported by cosmetic microtransactions. They are still calling it pre-alpha so who knows when it will be out.
Unreal Tournament release date: TBC
Werewolf: The Apocalypse
In Werewolf, chances are you will be tearing stuff up at a high rate. It is to be the first WOD game since Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, so a heavy weight is on it to be proper good.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse release date: TBC
Age of Empires 4
Age of Empires 4 is being developed by Relic Entertainment - the team behind Dawn of War and Company of Heroes. It was also revealed at Gamescom 2017 that us lucky folk were to receive definitive editions of Age of Empires 2 and 3.
Age of Empires 4 release date: TBC
Morphies Law is a bizarrely engaging “robot morphology-driven” shooter. In other words, shooting an opponent means you steal some of their body mass. Precisely where you target on your opponent’s anatomy matters, too: if you are a sniper and you keep nailing those headshots your own head will grow, and if you keep shooting people in the legs, your own grow longer.
This impacts how you interact with and navigate the environment. For instance, your extended legs will allow you to jump higher and an increased butt mass enables you to use your posterior as a jetpack. We did say it was bizarre.
Morphies Law release date: TBC
World of Warcraft Classic
Blizzard are finally doing what fans have been badgering them to do for years: World of Warcraft Classic. For this upcoming PC gamewe know that, according to executive producer J. Allen Brack, Blizzard “want to replicate the game experience.” This, obviously, sounds excellent, but we could do without the grind, thanks.
World of Warcraft Classic release date: TBC
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Following the leaked photo of a keyring, Ubisoft confirmed the existence of their next Assassin’s Creed game. While we do not have an Assassin’s Creed Odyssey release date, we can speculate as to how Greek myth will bring this stabby series to life.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey release date: TBC
Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass
Partly funded by Humble and first revealed in the prehistory of 2013, Croteam confirmed that we would see more of Serious Sam 4 at Devolver Digital’s conference at E3 2018. From what we have seen so far, this is definitely Serious Sam: in a teaser trailer we can see the big man cruising through an idyllic countryside on a motorbike before rendering a brainless goon, well, brainless with a shotgun.
Serious Sam 4 release date: TBC
Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2, apparently, still exists and is making “fantastic progress” at take-over developers Sumo, according to an issue of industry magazine MCV. Exactly how much it will resemble the weird Californian sun-pocalypse we saw on display during the original announcement is anyone's guess.
Dead Island 2 release date: TBC
Watch Dogs 3
From a series of cheeky hints, we had an idea that a third instalment of Ubisoft’s hack-a-thon series is in development. However, it was Sam, Ubisoft’s own gaming assistant, that confirmed that Watch Dogs 3 is a thing. If you ask Sam about the game it says: “Watch Dogs 3 is not finished yet, but from the last early build I tried it’s very solid. The Dev team works wonders! Can’t wait for you to try it!”
Watch Dogs 3 release date: TBC
Magic: The Gathering Arena
You have probably heard of the famous trading card game Magic: The Gathering. Now Wizards of the Coast are bringing out Magic: The Gathering Arena. Arena is the first game to come from Wizard of the Coast’s in-house studio, Digital Games Studio.
Wizards say that Arena will focus on “fast-paced, exciting, and easy-to-follow” gameplay and that there will be a beta test initially focusing on casual play featuring cards from the card game’s Ixalan release.
Magic: The Gathering Arena release date: TBC
Ascent: Infinite Realm
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a smash hit, turning the notion of battle royale into a genre, and an immensely popular one at that. Now Bluehole are looking to be just as successful in the MMORPG space, with Ascent: Infinite Realm.
This upcoming PC game is a steampunk take on the genre with elaborate, customisable airships doing battle with gargantuan dragons and massive mechs. Its PvP mode sees players do battle between realms, where “factions fight for fame and glory, taking turns to lead offensive and defensive efforts using all kinds of fantastical flying vehicles.” We are in.
Ascent: Infinite Realms release date: TBC
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord
The long-awaited followup to the crowd favourite Mount & Blade, the sequel is promising to be bigger and better in pretty much every way. The developers have focused on two areas so far in reveals: humongous siege battles and making the game moddable. With the latter they are going as far as possible, giving modders as much power as possible to make their game even better.
Mount & Blade 2 release date: TBC
With New Vegas in mind, a couple of years on from Fallout 4 is the perfect time to announce a new post-apocalyptic spin-off. Bethesda Games Studios duly obliged by announcing Fallout 76, which will be an "entirely online" game in which you reclaim the Virginian wasteland with friends and build wherever you like.
Fallout 76 release date: November 14, 2018
Transforming the hardboiled detective into an isometric RPG, Disco Elysium is a refreshingly zany high-fantasy adventure. It is up to you to crack a large, open-ended case by interrogating suspects, explore the city of Revanchol, and make choices that will define the kind of cop you would like to be.
Disco Elysium release date: TBC
Skull & Bones
Black Flag and For Honor meet for PvP boating, pirating, and cannoning in Skull & Bones. With a very familiar UI and control mechanism for anyone that played Assassin's Creed’s seabound entry to the series, it has got some strange scoring mechanisms and is not just about wiping out the enemy team.
Skull & Bones release date: TBC
Without a doubt the most wildly ambitious game in a long time, Star Citizen aims to be the ultimate space exploration experience. Taking to the skies in one of numerous ridiculously detailed craft, you will engage in military service, become a reputable trader of goods, live the life of a smuggler, or become a universe-famous race pilot. If it ever gets finished, of course.
Star Citizen release date: TBC
Nobody knows what is going on in Death Stranding. Probably not even Hideo Kojima. We are not even sure it is coming to PC as well as its Sony-funded home, but its footage so far have been as mad as a box of frogs and we cannot wait to see more.
Death Stranding realease date: TBC
Life is Strange 2
Beyond an extremely short video celebrating incredible sales for the original game, Life is Strange 2 is mostly a mystery. We expect to hear more before the year's out but it's almost certainly a 2018 game. Chloe and Max are unlikely to return and you can expect more feels right to the face.
Life is Strange 2 release date: TBC
System Shock 3
The other side of the System Shock development split, System Shock 3 is likely a long, long way off. We know Warren Spector is involved and… that’s about it. Otherside Entertainment are doing the actual production, with Spector now there as studio director – we’re expecting to hear more from them through 2017.
System Shock 3 release date: TBC
The next game from those guys who made a little thing called The Witcher – you might have heard of it. CD Project RED are a little sick of answering questions about Cyberpunk 2077, it seems, but did get funding for some special city tech recently. Supposedly, it will be out before 2019, but who knows.
Cyberpunk 2077 release date: 2077?
Beyond Good & Evil 2
Yes, it is happening (dot gif) but the Beyond Good & Evil 2 release date is probably a long, long way off. According to creator Michel Ancel, the team are looking for a lot of community input to get it moving, with help from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and hitRECord. Expect to hear more as we approach 2019's playable BG&E2 beta.