Sequels are big business in the entertainment world. Hollywood may get a bunch of flak for pumping them out unnecessarily, but it's pratically the law for hit video games to have follow ups these days. Most big "AAA" studios have several attention-grabbing series on the go, each with legions of fans eager to hear when the next installment of their favorite franchise will be available for their gaming pleasure. It's a self perpetuating hype cycle that has made the video game industry one of the biggest entertainment industries going, with projected earnings of an insane $108 billion for 2017.
In comparison to how jam-packed the holiday season usually is, 2017 hasn't got quite as many heavy hitters due out, with several huge titles delayed until early next year. This makes perfect business sense. of course. Why invest a ton of money into your game and then directly compete (and almost definitely lose) against something like Call of Duty when you can release a few months after all the hype has died down? With that in mind, we decided to showcase some of 2018's most intriguing and exciting releases, just in case they've slipped under your personal radar. Here are the 18 Video Game Sequels You Didn't Know Were Coming in 2018.
18 Red Dead Redemption 2
Perhaps Rockstar Games' most beloved series after Grand Theft Auto, the Red Dead franchise had been suspiciously dormant since the release of Red Dead Redemption in 2010. After years of radio silence, Rockstar confirmed that Red Dead Redemption 2 was on its way, slated for a 2017 street date. This was all very exciting, but outside of a trailer, no new information seemed forthcoming. Then it was announced that the game had a Spring 2018 release date instead, with Rockstar saying they needed the extra time to ensure the “best possible experience”, which is hard to argue with. While this is pretty much common knowledge, consider this a PSA for those who were unaware.
Details are still thin on the ground for the title, but you can bet that the hype train (or locomotive) will start steaming ahead once 2017 is done and dusted. As Red Dead Redemption enabled the player to live out their cowboy fantasies and basically play through every Western movie ever made, we're hoping the sequel does the same. Even from the short trailer, it looks like every effort has been made to make the experience as fun and authentic as possible.
17 Crackdown 3
People have been waiting a long time for a new Crackdown game. The first one was a blast, playing as a super powered agent who could (eventually) leap buildings in a single bound and throw cars at gang members. Best of all was the co-op that allows you and a buddy to cause twice the havoc and destruction. The sequel, Crackdown 2, was still good, but some fans were left wanting something more substantial. In 2014, Crackdown 3 was revealed, slated for a 2016 release. Then it was delayed until November 2017. After months of nothing but a few tidbits of info, it was announced that the game had been delayed yet again until February 2018.
The delay isn't nearly as lengthy as the first one, but it's still disappointing. On the bright side, this does look like it'll be the final time the game is pushed back. The fun gameplay looks to be intact, and it promises an ambitious multiplayer mode where you can literally level the city and raze the skyscrapers to the ground. As a bonus, there's also a playable Terry Crews. There are very few things that can't be improved with the addition of Terry Crews.
16 Psychonauts 2
Much like most of Double Fine Productions' output, Psychonauts was an inventive, witty, and endlessly creative game that earned a huge cult following. The platformer didn't sell particularly well on its original release, but since then, Psychonauts' reputation has grown bigger and bigger, and has sold consistently on various games platforms like Steam. It's easy to see why, too. There aren't many games that allow you to explore the psyches of your party and literally sort out their emotional baggage.
Double Fine crowdfunded a cool $3.8 million to make the sequel and have been hard at work on it, hoping to make the scheduled 2018 release date. Director Tim Schafer has promised that the sequel will delve further into Raz's past and his family history, which all sounds pretty great. Recreating the original's fun and charm may be a tall order, but Double Fine is more than capable of delivering. This one has been a long time coming, but hopefully, the end is in sight.
15 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
Fans of the MechWarrior series haven't had a single player game since 2002, with the last one being the now confusingly titled Mercenaries stand-alone expansion for MechWarrior 4: Vengeance. Gameplay is mostly dedicated to stomping around in a big mech suit laying waste to all and sundry, and it's as fun and as badass as that sounds. As the pilot, you are tasked with customizing and fixing your mech to withstand some of the game's toughest enemies and challenges.
So far, MechWarrior 5 looks great. The graphics, sound design and effects all seem solid, and there's a sense that the series is returning to its roots after the controversial MechWarrior Online. Last time we checked, huge death cannon wielding supermechs still don't exist in real life, so MechWarrior 5 is probably the closest you can get to controlling one without sneaking into top secret government bases. Let's hope for VR support too - surely that's a no-brainer.
14 Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ isn't a direct sequel to anything, but as it's the latest game in Bandai Namco's long-running partnership with the beloved series, we're counting it all the same. Whereas the Xenoverse games were more fighting RPGs, FighterZ looks like a classic brawler akin to Street Fighter or Marvel vs. Capcom.
The game looks gorgeous, and there's clearly been a lot of hard work and effort put in to making it look as faithful as possible to the show. Seriously, there are points where it looks scarily like the anime. Fighting appears to be fun, fast, and fluid, with all the special attacks looking suitably and completely badass. According to early previews, the game has nailed the “easy to pick up, hard to master” aspect that makes quality fighting games so addictive and rewarding. Dragon Ball FighterZ is also tipped as a new competitor to the pro fighting games scene, but we won't know for sure until its release in February for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
13 Far Cry 5
Ubisoft's open world wilderness series Far Cry underwent a change with Far Cry 3, with the game and marketing focused on charismatic villainous nutjob Vaas (played by the excellent Michael Mando). Since then, the franchise has been making a big deal of its main villains, with Far Cry 4's Pagan Min taking center stage and dominating the box art. The fifth main installment (although technically eleventh of the series), the imaginatively titled Far Cry 5, doesn't look to buck that trend any time soon, with violent religious zealot preacher Joseph Seed serving as the game's big bad.
The series' stunning vistas are all present and correct, but this time, the action takes place on American soil, in the fictional Hope County, Montana. From the trailer, it looks like Far Cry 5 will contain all the gun toting, hunting, and explosive mayhem fans of the series have come to expect, but with prettier graphics and a genuinely compelling main antagonist. Release is slated for February 28th 2018, so it won't be too long before we're capping heavily armed maniacs and making wallets out of the local wildlife.
12 Monster Hunter : World
One of the best things about Monster Hunter as a series is that all you need to know about is it is right there in the title. What do you do? You hunt monsters. Why? To gain loot to hunt bigger monsters, of course. As of this year, the franchise is Capcom's third best selling series, after Resident Evil and Street Fighter. That's seriously impressive considering the caliber of the competition. The Monster Hunter games aren't nearly as popular in the West as they are in Japan, so Capcom is hoping that World bridges the gap between the two markets.
Monster Hunter: World is slated for a January 28, 2018 release. Following the literal naming thing, World promises to be much bigger than previous titles. Not only that, but it apparently will do away with loading screens between zones, in an effort to create a more seamless experience. In a first for the series, both Japanese and Western hunters will be able to work together to ground the game's impressive roster of beasties, which can only be a good thing and give the online community a serious boost right out of the gate.
11 Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
Unusually for a game on this list, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is already out. At least in Japan, anyway. Sorry if that got your hopes up. Japanese fans have had the game since December of last year, while we in the West will have to sit patiently until March. That's not to say the U.S. has been hurting for Yakuza games, with both the '80s-tastic prequel Yakuza 0 and the remake of the first game, Yakuza Kiwami, released in 2017.
Yakuza 6 already has a ton of positive reviews in Japan, with the notoriously hard to impress and respected magazine Famitsu giving it a coveted near-perfect score of 39/40. Apart from the expected brawling and genuinely enjoyable karaoke and bowling minigames will be the ability to take selfies, which adds a whole new level of fun to the proceedings. The fights look to be as wince-inducing as ever too, with Kiryu taking on armies of thugs who should know better, especially when he's brandishing a bicycle in a menacing manner.
10 Metro Exodus
The Metro series is based on Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky's post-apocalyptic novel Metro 2033 which told the story of the last survivors of a global nuclear war, holed up in the underground Moscow Metro tunnels. Both the Metro 2033 game and its sequel, Last Light, were well received by fans and critics alike, and hopes are high that 4A Games can deliver a solid trilogy.
In a big step for the series, the action will move away from the cramped and claustrophobic setting of the Metro and move into a much wider world. 4A were quick to clarify that the game isn't open world, but it will feature a lot more player freedom in terms of how they tackle certain missions and objectives. If 4A Games have managed to keep the game's all-important atmosphere intact while expanding the scope and scale of the levels, we could be on to something special.
9 Underworld Ascendant
If you really want to get your old school on, you should check out the upcoming Underworld Ascendant, slated for release in the second half of 2018. Not to be confused with the Kate Beckinsale vampire movies, Ascendant is the sequel to the Ultima Underworld RPGs that appeared on computers roughly 700 years ago (actually 1992). The series is credited with inspiring several of today's biggest titles, including Deus Ex and BioShock, and a successful crowdfunding campaign has brought it screeching into the present.
The game brings back the original team behind the games as well as several developers from games like The Last of Us, Dishonored, and BioShock Infinite. There's still a lot of development time between now and its scheduled launch, but the developers' goal of using modern technology to make a game that feels as immersive as the originals did back in the day is admirable, and definitely what fans of the series have been clamoring for over two decades.
8 Freedom Planet 2
Freedom Planet started life as a Sonic the Hedgehog fangame, but soon developed into its own thing. The game's Sonic origins and influences are plain to see, but Freedom Planet takes it beyond homage and delivers a colorful, retro-styled experience for players to enjoy.
The sequel has a different art style to the first, opting for slightly more realistic proportions for Lilac and the other heroes, but the gameplay looks like it's stuck to the same winning formula. It all looks great in motion and if Youtube comments are anything to go by, there are plenty of people incredibly excited for it, sometimes to the point of incomprehensible lunacy. With Sonic returning to his roots with the critically praised Sonic Mania, Freedom Planet 2 is coming out at the perfect time to capitalize on 16 bit nostalgia. The game was greenlit on Steam earlier this year, with the final version slated to come out at some point in 2018.
7 Yoshi/Kirby 2018
Released earlier this year, the Switch looks to be a big hit for Nintendo after the comparatively low sales of their previous console, the Wii U. The console has just started to find its feet with hefty exclusives like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey, but 2018 is going to be a crucial year for Nintendo's new baby.
One of Nintendo's biggest strengths is its roster of beloved characters. At E3 2017, the Big N announced that two of its most enduring and adorable mascots, Yoshi and Kirby, would be getting their own games in 2018, exclusive to the Switch. Yoshi 2018 already looks awesome. The game has an appealing cardboard cutout look and adds a gimmick of flipping the level around to find hidden paths and secrets. Kirby also shows a ton of promise, with cute as anything colorful graphics and manic four player co-op.
6 The Bard's Tale IV
Many of our readers may be too young to remember the classic and innovative Bard's Tale series of dungeon crawlers. But going by the game's crowdfunding success, there are still plenty of people who do remember it and want to see more. InXile Entertainment launched a Kickstarter for the game in June 2015 and it surpassed its goal in under two weeks. Since then, the game has reached a ton of stretch goals, promising additional dungeons to explore and deeper game mechanics, all backed by authentic Gaelic music that affects the actual gameplay.
The game promises to be the first proper sequel to the venerable franchise in 30 years, with a tentative release date of 2018. It'll be interesting to see how the update plays out and where it fits with the franchise's legacy, but early impressions seem positive. There have been plenty of updates on InXile's official site, but no mention of a concrete release date as of yet.
5 The Walking Dead: The Final Season
Telltale Games made their mark on the industry when they adapted The Walking Dead comic book series into an old school adventure game about surviving in Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore's bleak zombie apocalypse. Season 1 told a mature and emotional story that garnered critical acclaim and wheelbarrows of awards. While Seasons 2, 3, and the Michonne spin-off didn't hit the high points of their predecessor, they still received decent write-ups from critics, although fan opinion was more divided.
As you may have guessed from the title, The Walking Dead: The Final Season seems like it will be the last time we catch up with fan-favorite character Clementine. As we've seen Clem grow up and evolve through the games and spent so much time in her company, this could be a somber and poignant end to the character's arc with the potential to be genuinely heartwrenching. The series will probably live on in some form, but fingers are crossed that this is the proper send-off Clementine deserves.
4 Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
According to series creator Goichi Suda aka Suda 51, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is both a sort of sequel and a spin-off of the cult hit No More Heroes series. Players will once again control supernerd Travis Touchdown as he lightsabers his way through hordes of enemies and plays diverting minigames.
Suda 51 has a reputation for his wacky sensibilities, but even accounting for that, Travis Strikes Again sounds insane. Travis and antagonist Badman (no, really) get sucked into a games console named the Death Drive Mk. II and have to compete in order to have their wishes granted by the all powerful Death Drive. Suda has teamed up with a ton of indie developers, and the game will feature sections based on popular titles like Shovel Knight and Hotline Miami.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes has a simple 2018 release date, but it shouldn't be too long until more details drop.
3 The Last of Us Part II
Very few of you won't have heard of Naughty Dog's The Last of Us. It's a critical darling stealth/survival/horror/action/father simulator and is pretty much considered one of the best games of the last generation. Expectations are understandably high for the next one and many people turned to the this year's E3 for more details. Except there weren't any. The Last of Us Part II was a no-show at the expo, with Naughty Dog choosing to showcase Uncharted: The Lost Legacy instead.
There have been very few solid facts about the sequel other than the obvious one that it's officially in development. As far as release dates go, Part II's is still up in the air. The game is expected to release sometime in 2018, but we're hoping to get more concrete details soon. As the game was originally revealed at the 2016 Playstation Experience, the chances are this year's show, slated for December, will spill the beans further. Until then, we'll have to take a page out of the game's "Savage Starlight" comic books and simply endure and survive.
2 State of Decay 2
There's no escaping the fact that the video game market, like the rest of the entertainment industry, is rather saturated by zombies. There was a point in time where it seemed no franchise was safe from including the walking dead in some form, and did so with varying degrees of success. One game that did the zombie apocalypse justice, however, was State of Decay. Instead of purely consisting of acts of violence against the living impaired, State of Decay focused on survival and testing the player's leadership skills, charging them to build bases and look after the survivors' wellbeing.
State of Decay 2 looks to build on all that with refined mechanics and the addition of four player co-op to the mix. Here's the kicker though: if you die in your friend's game, you die in your campaign too, losing all of your XP and gear. If intense, friendship-straining survival sounds like your bag, you'll have to wait until the annoyingly vague Spring 2018 release date for it. It can't come soon enough.
1 Darksiders III
Fans of the Darksiders games have had to endure quite a bit since the first two titles. Darksiders II sold under expectations and developer/publisher THQ went bankrupt in 2012, throwing the series' future into uncertainty. Since then, Nordic Games snapped up the rights, and E3 2017 featured the announcement of the series' triumphant return, scheduled for a 2018 release.
For those unaware, Darksiders is a hack and slash game series in which you play the literal horsemen of the apocalypse. In the first, you were War, the second, Death, and in this third installment, you play the whip-wielding Fury and guide her through her quest to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins. The franchise already has a cult following, but depending on how the final product turns out, this could be the start of a new run of popularity for the criminally underrated series.