MLB The Show 17
Sony has this centuries-old sport pretty much locked up with its annual The Show installments. This year’s upgrade sheet includes improved ball physics: the ball now caroms off accurately modeled (and curving) bats, as opposed to prior versions, in which the bat was essentially a “wall.”
Drawn to Death
Studio/publisher Atlus’ dark surrealist social sim turns six (Persona 2 was a duology), once more serving up a troupe of conflicted high schoolers who can project Jungian “personas” to do battle with everything from supernatural villains to their own insecurities and foibles.
The Sexy Brutale
A priest in an English mansion that’s been turned into a surreal casino must live the same day repeatedly to solve a series of murder mysteries—and perhaps unearth what’s really going on in the process.
Pre-order now: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
It’s been 13 years since designer Benoît Sokal’s steampunk adventure-puzzler graced PCs, the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft’s original Xbox. This crowdfunded three-quel, still led by Sokal, continues protagonist Kate Walker’s saga as she encounters a nomadic group of people after leaving the game’s eponymous Russian island in the last game.
What Remains of Edith Finch
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
Relic’s Dawn of War II was an exemplar approach to Games Workshop’s science fantasy dystopia in 2009, and so anticipation is doubtless sky-high for the studio’s circling back to the series (after dallying with a Warhammer 40,000 shooter and Company of Heroes 2), as well as Dawn of War III‘s reintroduction of base building.
Pre-order now: PC
A 9-year-old girl winds up enslaved in a BioShock-like underwater-verse. It’s a puzzle-platformer by Tarsier Studios, the Swedish indie that partnered with studio Media Molecule on various LittleBigPlanet spinoffs, as well as Tearaway and Tearaway Unfolded.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Nintendo’s magisterial Wii U kart-racer comes to the Switch with a visual polish that has it running at 1080p and 60 frames per second. The Deluxe version incorporates everything the original had, including all the downloadable stuff as well as five new characters, new karts inspired by Nintendo’s Splatoon, the option to hold two items simultaneously, a smart-steering driving option designed to ease in newcomers and a revamped Battle Mode that’s playable both local or online.
Pre-order now: Nintendo Switch
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
The newest entry in Nintendo’s longstanding tactical roleplaying series is a fully reimagined version of the 1992 Japan-only Famicom title Fire Emblem: Gaiden, including full voice acting and animated cutscenes.
Pre-order: Nintendo 3DS
Disgaea 5 Complete
Yes, it’s just a Switch port of the 2015 game with all the downloadable content baked in, but I can think of few games more finely suited to Nintendo’s totable game system than studio Nippon Ichi Software’s acclaimed tactical roleplaying opus.
Pre-order now: Nintendo Switch
An open world game about a boy trying to escape an island by solving environmental puzzles, Rime may have been overhyped by some in the press as the next Ico or Journey, when in fact it may turn out to be a perfectly solid, beautifully illustrated, straightforward adventure.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
We’ve seen little of this game since its reveal last June, but the idea is that up to four players can clap on virtual reality headsets, then play as captain, tactical officer, engineer or helm officer in the alt-Trek reality J.J. Abrams spawned (circa the 2009 reboot film).
Pre-order: PC, PlayStation 4
The Japanese arcade version of Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7 (and ninth installment in the publisher’s iconic fighting series) is approaching two years old, recalling coin-op’s halcyon days, when the arcade versions of a hit game preceded console ports by considerable periods of time.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
The second expansion for Square Enix’s revamped online fantasy roleplaying extravaganza (which last year topped six million players) raises the level cap to 70, adds new dungeons, raids, zones, two new jobs (red mage and samurai), and an entire continent devoted to flying mounts, swimming and diving.
Pre-order now: PlayStation 4