25 New Video Games We Can’t Wait to Play This Fall

9 minute read

From the David Lynch-esque pastiche of Virginia to Nintendo’s first Mario iOS game Super Mario Run, these are some of the biggest and most interesting games for consoles, computers and mobile devices due this fall—in order of release.

Sorcery! 4

The fourth entry in word-wizarding studio inkle’s magnificent fantasy is also its last, though you needn’t have played the prior three to ease in comfortably here. Boasting “tens of thousands of choices” and a tale that “rewrites itself around your actions,” now’s as good a time as any to introduce yourself to this superlative narrative romp from the developer of 80 Days (TIME’s game of the year 2014).

iOS, Android, PC, Mac

September 21


If you love David Lynch, you have to play newcomer Variable State’s Virginia—it’s really that simple (read TIME’s review here). It’s a “walking simulator,” sure, but unlike any yet drafted, framing its mysteries in strictly visual terms, without audio logs or text dumps or even the grounding cadences of spoken dialogue. Ever more sublime off multiple play-throughs, Virginia trades that sort of clarity for another: that of the subjective, ever-precarious moment.

PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

September 22

Forza Horizon 3

Irresistibly exquisite and staged in gobsmacking Australian locales like Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise, Forza Horizon 3 offers pure visual immoderation, if you’re up for a mammoth free-roaming racer that deliberately trades realism for flair.

PC, Xbox One

September 27

Burly Men at Sea

I’m not sure how to describe Brain&Brain’s Burly Men at Sea, though the studio calls it “a folktale adventure for PC and mobile.” ZZ Top meets Neil Gaiman? Hemingway on the half-shell? Whatever the case, it looks both mischievous and delightful.

iOS, Android, PC

September 29

Yo-kai Watch 2

Level-5’s alt-Pokémon game gets a sequel set in the same urban fantasy open world with new combat wrinkles. As before, you’re off to pal up with sundry yōkai (a.k.a. ghosts or spirits), befriended during realtime battles. But those battles now include an option to scan for enemy vulnerabilities that can spark perks like extra damage, money or experience.

Nintendo 3DS

September 30


Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation took ambient retro survival horror to grand heights, and Syndrome sounds like a worthy attempt to recapture that sense of solitary, claustrophobic dread. Set on a denuded but gloriously intricate spaceship that’s been overrun by something nightmarish, you’re trying to make sense of what’s happened, and why.


October 6

Mafia III

Where the first two games in this open world mob saga transpired in the 1930s and 1940s, Mafia III leaps ahead several decades. This time players follow the story of a biracial Vietnam War veteran who returns home to New Orleans in 1968 but finds himself drawn into a factional crime war.

PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

October 7

Paper Mario: Color Splash

Nintendo’s story-lite Paper Mario series continues its march toward more action-oriented gameplay in Color Splash, here lending Mario a hammer that splashes paint on anything it hits. Your goal: to restore color to the world.

Wii U

October 7

Dragon Quest Builders

“Dragon Quest meets Minecraft” doesn’t do justice to what Dragon Quest Builders is up to. Yes, it’s Square Enix’s celebrated fantasy series made over in cubist visuals and with a block-by-block building motif. But Minecraft‘s resource extraction and refinement particulars are procedurally amorphous. This is what that might look like if you suddenly injected a rigid quest framework, plus vastly more (as well as unique) franchise-themed creatures.

PlayStation 4, PS Vita

October 11

Gears of War 4

Leaping 25 years forward in the series fiction, Gears of War 4 imagines a future in which the cataclysmic measures that eliminated the original trilogy’s enemies also triggered global storms and other post-apocalyptic tropes. Still a tactics-focused third-person shooter, you play as the son of the original trilogy’s protagonist, doing battle with a new enemy dubbed The Swarm.

PC, Xbox One

October 11

Rez Infinite

Arguably best experienced with the upcoming PlayStation VR, Rez Infinite seems like the most obvious case for Sony’s foray into virtual reality. It’s a remake of the original 2002 music-rhythm shooter, but with the benefit of wraparound audio-visuals if you opt to rock a headset. (PS VR isn’t required to play, however.)

PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR

October 13

Skylanders Imaginators

Get ready to cobble together the world’s weirdest toy-heroes in Skylanders: Imaginators, a radical rethink of studio Toys for Bob and publisher Activision’s multibillion-dollar toys-to-life franchise. If you’ve ever wanted to draft your own Skylander, this is the version to get.

PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, Wii U

October 16

Battlefield 1

The crazy thing about Battlefield 1 is that it transpires during World War 1, a campaign generally avoided by studios because its chemically ghastly, nightmarishly dull trench warfare doesn’t align with the sort of nimble run-and-gunnery to which shooter fans flock. Not so in Battlefield 1, whose developers (longtime series custodian DICE) seem to be channeling Michael Bay in infusing the period with as much panache as a Transformers flick.

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

October 21

Civilization VI

Setting aside sales as a quality barometer, it’s been since Civilization IV that this turn-based strategy series has felt genuinely interesting (and that’s including Civilization: Beyond Earth). Will Civilization VI have an A.I. that coheres with the game’s own tactical logic? Systems that feel dynamic and lively a hundred turns in? That maddeningly ineffable balance struck between engaging management of complex systems and vacuous turn-clicking busywork? Fingers crossed.


October 21

World of Final Fantasy

Miss Final Fantasy‘s good old days of youngster warriors battling through charming fantasy vistas? World of Final Fantasy hopes to resurrect that vibe, informed by gameplay that’s designed to appeal to younger players.

PlayStation 4, PS Vita

October 25

Titanfall 2

The most interesting thing about Respawn’s robo-parkour shooter Titanfall 2 may be that it’s added a story mode, expanding its appeal from mere competitive free-for-all to something that’ll reward tactical puzzling and environmental exploration.

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

October 28

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty is about to have its Star Wars moment with this sojourn spaceward. You play as Captain Reyes, a special-ops pilot who takes the helm of one of Earth’s last remaining warships. No, you won’t spend all of your time in spaceships as you slug it out for control of the solar system. But yes, there’s dogfighting in this one.

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

November 4

Dishonored 2

This sequel to one of the better post-Thief stealth titles transpires in a coastal city where you’ll hunt new adversaries, optionally playing as Dishonored‘s original male protagonist, or a new female alternative with her own abilities and retro-futura gadgets. As in the original, you can optionally tiptoe through the game without killing a soul.

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

November 11

Watch Dogs 2

In this sequel to Ubisoft’s 2014 open-world tech thriller, you play as hacktivist Marcus Holloway roaming the streets of San Francisco, adept at parkour in ways the last game’s protagonist definitely wasn’t. The world itself is now capable of more nuanced, recombinant permutations, hopefully giving occasion to the sort of player-driven surprises too often absent from the last installment.

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

November 15

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Fresh off Pokemon Go’s galloping success, you’ll have to catch two more this holiday season: Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the latest critter-snatching roleplaying binary from longtime studio Game Freak, will transpire in a new Hawaii-themed setting dubbed Alola. And it brings support for Pokémon Bank,” an online storage tool designed to let players move Pokémon collected from different series installments to and from the cloud.

Nintendo 3DS

November 18

Final Fantasy XV

No more delays, Square Enix’s developmentally convoluted Final Fantasy XV should ship without fail just as we’re recovering from our holiday food comas. Can step-in director Hajime Tabata’s turn at the rudder resuscitate this once-beloved roleplaying franchise after a string of critically ambivalent installments? Fans who’ve waited to see the series go fully open-world can hope.

PlayStation 4, Xbox One

November 29

Gravity Rush 2

Gravity Rush was one of best PS Vita titles virtually no one played because of that platform’s adoption challenges. While it eventually made its way to PlayStation 4, it looks like it’ll be up to Gravity Rush 2 to sell director Keiichiro Toyama inventive gravity-related concepts to players intrigued by post-Super Mario Galaxy platforming.

PlayStation 4

December 2

Dead Rising 4

Welcome back, Frank West (Dead Rising‘s protagonist), and welcome too, Willamette, Colorado circa Christmas, for what looks to be a pleasingly festive zombie beat-em-up. The most unusual thing about Dead Rising 4? Capcom’s fourth foray into a survival horror open-world won’t feature a timer system, giving you all the space you need to give the gift of your weaponized fists cleaving through hordes of undead noggins.

PC, Xbox One

December 6

The Last Guardian

Sony’s Fumito Ueda-led The Last Guardian (read TIME’s interview with Ueda here) stars a boy, controlled by you, and his giant sphinx-like companion, who wend their way through beautiful, puzzle-like levels. As in PlayStation 2 game Shadow of the Colossus, you can cling to your animal companion, clambering around its feathered bulk and guiding it to help you progress.

PlayStation 4

December 6

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run is just what it sounds like: Nintendo’s take on the mobile running genre. In it, Mario automatically dashes across the screen, navigating Mario-ish obstacle courses, then you tap to make him jump (higher or lower, depending on how long you press). A second challenge mode lets you compete against other players’ times and styles, and a third lets you “create your own Mushroom Kingdom” using the coins you’ve snatched in the prior two modes. (Read TIME’s interview with Super Mario Run producer Shigeru Miyamoto.)


December 2016

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Write to Matt Peckham at matt.peckham@time.com