Sequels are cornerstones of the entertainment industry, especially when it comes to movies and video games. While original content can make take the world by storm and make quite a splash, franchises are how developers and publishers make most of their money. For instance, some of the biggest game franchises out there are Super Mario, Halo, and Call of Duty, which have been around for 15 years or more.
What's more, many AAA titles nowadays receive new installments annually, to quench players' thirst for more content as well as the companies' shareholders who crave more money. Sometimes, though, a video game series can take an extraordinarily long hiatus, only to return to the fold several years, if not decades, later. As it turns out, more than a dozen such games are finally going to hit store shelves in 2018.
Here are all the long-awaited video game sequels that are finally releasing in 2018.
This Page: Kingdom Hearts III, God of War, Underworld Ascendant, Crackdown 3, Darksiders III and Metro Exodus
18. Kingdom Hearts III
Square Enix revealed Kingdom Hearts III - the long-awaited sequel to 2005's Kingdom Hearts II and the concluding chapter in the Dark Seeker saga - was in development at E3 2013, following years of speculation. A PS4 teaser debuted at that year's expo, with the developer later confirming plans to develop the game for the Xbox One as well. While the game is a sequel to Kingdom Hearts II, it takes place after the events of 2012's Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Square Enix has showcased Kingdom Hearts III at virtually every major convention and expo over the past few years, and they plan on releasing the sequel in 2018, though an exact release date hasn't been set yet.
17. God of War
Kratos got his vengeance in God of War III, and he also seemingly killed himself with the Blade of Olympus so that the world could be imbued with the same hope that he had. But his story didn't end that day. Sony Santa Monica is in development on a God of War soft-reboot that continues the story that left off with Ready at Dawn's 2010 installment. The game comes eight years after God of War III hit store shelves and is moving the franchise away from Greek Mythology and into Norse Mythology. To cap it off, Kratos is back with a son named Atreus, who may or may not continue his father's mantle in the God of War franchise going forward.
16. Underworld Ascendant
Origin's open-world fantasy franchise, Ultima, spawned numerous spin-off series in the 1990s, and one of them is making a comeback in 2018. Underworld Ascendant - the sequel to 1992's Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and 1993's Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds - is being developed by Otherside Entertainment and published by 505 Games, as part of an ongoing licensing arrangement with EA, who dismantled Origin in 2004. Furthermore, the long-awaited sequel only started to move forward due to a successful crowdfunding campaign. Although not much is known about Underworld Ascendant's plot, the sequel's gameplay is expected to be reminiscent of the original titles.
15. Crackdown 3
The first Crackdown became popular primarily because the game contained an access code for the Halo 3 beta - and Microsoft marketed the title as such. But what spawned out of that was a critically acclaimed action-adventure franchise that's now made a name of its own. Crackdown 2 released in 2010, though the response was more tepid than the first game. However, Microsoft has been keen on making another installment, and Crackdown 3 is finally scheduled to release in spring 2018. In addition to continuing Crackdown 2's story, the game will feature Azure-powered destruction, which makes virtually everything in the game destructible.
14. Darksiders III
THQ is finally returning to the fold after being sold to Nordic Games in 2013. THQ Nordic is slated to release their first new game since the sale in 2018. Darksiders III is being developed by Gunfire Games since Vigil Games' rights to the franchise were sold to Nordic along with THQ, though many developers working on the game are former Vigil employees. The long-awaited sequel runs parallel to 2010's Darksiders and 2012's Darksiders II, with players taking control of War's sister, Fury, a mage and member of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
13. Metro Exodus
Ukraine developer 4A Games is known for their graphically impressive Metro series, based on Dmitry Glukhovsky's novels of the same name. The first game, Metro 2033, released in 2010 to critical acclaim and spawned a sequel in 2013, Metro: Last Light, which took place one year after the events of the first game. And now, 4A Games is back with Metro Exodus, the third installment in the core Metro series, which is due out sometime in 2018. The story takes place two years after Last Light and is said to follow the sequel's Redemption ending.