20 Video Games We Can’t Wait To Play This Summer

6 minute read

A few weeks ago the notion of a classic but modernized and fully realized Metroid game would have seemed chimerical. Yet here we are, just a few months shy of Metroid: Samus Returns, a reimagined version of the similarly titled 1991 Game Boy adventure.

The entire summer’s games lineup feels unusually robust, from Splatoon 2‘s eSports-angled, ink-splashed madness or Uncharted: The Lost Legacy‘s fortune-hunting antics, to Pyre‘s curious action-roleplaying inversions and Tacoma‘s evocative exploration-driven enticements.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest games for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, the Nintendo Switch and 3DS due over the next four months, from June 20 to September 22.

Ever Oasis

Studio Grezzo, best known for its work with Nintendo on 3DS games like The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, takes a stab at a roleplaying game of its own in which players complete missions to fund an ever-expanding sanctuary.

Buy now: Nintendo 3DS

June 23

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Sony’s radioactive orange bandicoot returns in a remastered compilation of original developer Naughty Dog’s goofball 3D run-jump-and-spinner, including Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped.

Buy now: PlayStation 4

June 30

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

More than a spiffed up remaster of this 2006 fantasy roleplaying romp, Square Enix’s return to a world of warring city-states will include a reimagined (and previously Japan-only) character progression system.

Buy now: PlayStation 4

July 11

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

An under-the-radar open world from former Activision and Rocksteady personnel, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles transpires on a lush (if predictably corruption-afflicted) isle, wherein players can cook, craft, farm and fish while attempting to aid the land’s inhabitants by purging the forces of darkness.

PC, PlayStation 4

July 18

Splatoon 2

Nintendo’s ink-inspired vamp on third-person ballistic mayhem gets a sequel that both doubles down on this area-coverage shooter’s eSports angle (players spray walls and floors with their team’s color to earn points), but adds a new single-player campaign as well.

Buy now: Nintendo Switch

July 21


Bastion and Transistor studio Supergiant Games’ third project is an action-roleplaying game in which adversarial trios attempt to destroy each other’s “pyre” on battlefields, the catch being players can only control one uniquely skilled character at a time.

Buy now: PC, PlayStation 4

July 25

Hey! Pikmin

Nintendo’s peculiar series about manipulable throngs of rainbow-colored critters gets its first handheld installment, shifting from omnidirectional 3D to side-scrolling levels in which players (still playing as Captain Olimar) deploy pikmin to solve puzzles and do battle with enemies.

Buy now: Nintendo 3DS

July 28


Nintendo’s exuberantly strange roleplaying game lets players cast their favorite Mii characters in fantasy roles to do battle with the forces of a dark lord who’s stolen the faces of Miitopia’s townspeople.

Buy now: Nintendo 3DS

July 28


Wander through a derelict and gravitationally unsettled space station, unearthing animated replays of crew interactions in an attempt to understand what went wrong in studio Fulbright’s followup to its acclaimed Gone Home.

PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One

August 2

Agents of Mayhem

This open world action game set in developer Volition’s signature Saints Row universe’s future lets players switch between super-powered teams of uniquely talented agents who set out to thwart nation-destabilizing terrorists.

Buy now: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

August 15


Another outlandish shoot-em-up from Resogun and Alienation studio Housemarque, Matterfall puts players in an armored battle suit, then has them tangle with alien enemies while traversing levels partly designable (as well as destructible) on the fly.

Buy now: PlayStation 4

August 15

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

This stand-alone sequel to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is studio Naughty Dog’s latest fortune-hunting escapade for PlayStation 4, but this time the protagonists are both women, including a character we haven’t seen since Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

Buy now: PlayStation 4

August 22


Studio Slocap’s debut online brawler Absolver lets players build decks of cards that dictate martial combat maneuvers, unleashed against other players in multiplayer matchups.

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

August 29

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

This Ubisoft-led mashup of the company’s Rabbids and Nintendo’s Mario franchises melds a turn-based tactical combat game with the antics of mustachioed plumbers, crazed bunnies and psychedelic landscapes in a quest to restore the Mushroom Kingdom.

Buy now: Nintendo Switch

August 29

Yakuza Kiwami

A remake of the first installment in Sega’s acclaimed Yakuza action-adventure series, inspired by the eponymous transnational crime syndicate, Yakuza Kiwami picks up some time after prequel Yakuza 0, one of TIME’s best games of 2017 (so far).

Buy now: PlayStation 4

August 29

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm — Episode 1

Stripped of Life Is Strange‘s time-rewinding mechanic, this prequel focuses in more straightforward fashion on narrative choice and consequence, telling the story of 16-year-old Chloe Price’s friendship with a popular girl who harbors an apparently dark family secret.

Buy now: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

August 31

Knack II

PlayStation 4 architect Mark Cerny directs this sequel to his 2013 action-platformer about a craggy creature who can change form, size and function to grapple with environmental and adversarial challenges.

Buy now: PlayStation 4

September 5

Destiny 2

Destiny’s 2‘s big rethink involves an alien invasion force shock-and-awing Earth, torpedoing the game’s signature tower-scape and Nerfing everyone’s powers — the sort of cliché that goes down easier when it includes a host of new features, play modes, locations, public events, strikes, raids, even more alluring vistas and overall interface streamlining.

Buy now: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

September 6

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

A standalone post-quel to Dishonored 2, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider chronicles assassin Billie Lurk’s quest to dispatch the morally capricious but meddlesome Outsider (a kind of supernatural chaotic force) by wielding an array of new powers and abilities.

Buy now: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

September 15

Metroid: Samus Returns

Samus is finally back in this reimagined version of 1991 Game Boy adventure Metroid II: Return of Samus, which preserves that game’s side-scrolling spelunking while modernizing the gameplay with new controls like melee counterattacks and a 360-degree “free fire” option.

Buy now: Nintendo 3DS

September 15

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