If you’re wondering what amazing games you have to look forward to in the coming year, our comprehensive list of the best new games of 2018 is a great place to start. But while there’s plenty of hype to go around for the many big-budget sequels and fresh ideas headed our way, it takes something truly special to be the game you look forward to playing above all else. The GamesRadar+ staff will be playing pa-lenty of games over the next 12 months (it’s our job, after all), but we wanted to share with you the ones that are especially important to us; the standouts we have the highest personal hopes for. As with most things, anticipation is subjective, but all of these games seem destined for greatness by our estimation. See if you agree with our personal picks, then tell us about your #1 most anticipated game of 2018 in the comments section.

Days Gone 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2018

Days Gone is treating me mean, keeping me keen. It’s got bikers, it’s got zombie-style creatures, it’s got undead bears – but we haven’t heard anything new about Bend Studio’s take on survival horror since E3 2016. What we saw back then was promising: an open-world game where pockets of humanity struggle to survive against Freakers, an undead enemy with a distinctive swarming behavior. The hero is just my type – an emotionally unavailable biker and bounty hunter – and I like the look of stealthing my way through rainy woods to take out my prey.  Can Bend knit all that into something as cohesive and involving as Horizon Zero Dawn? I think so, and I think Sony agrees: the game had hands-down the best stand at the recent PlayStation Experience show in December, even if it didn’t have a new trailer. I’ve got my fingers crossed that everything is on track for a 2018 of filleting Freakers. Rachel Weber

Skull and Bones 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC  
Release date: Late 2018

It’s a widely known fact that Black Flag is the best Assassin’s Creed game ever made. Don’t @ me. One of the things that makes it superior is the naval combat, where you spend hours smashing up other pirate crews and burning down Spanish trading vessels with your band of lovable skallywags. All the while your crew sings amazing sea shanties, which I sometimes still listen to in my spare time. Again, please don’t @ me. Skull and Bones is that concept condensed, polished, and made roughly 100% more piratey. That’s a word. On top of that, it evokes the classic Sid Meier’s Pirates!, which is one of the finest strategy games ever created AND lets you romance the daughters of 18th century Caribbean governors by showing them your fancy dance moves. For me, Black Flag is one of my favourite games of all time, but it didn’t spend long enough in the boat, so Skull and Bones feels like a surefire thing. If there’s no waltzing with the governor’s daughter mini-game, however, I will riot. Andy Hartup


Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: TBC 2018

For someone with such a storied history in SNES RPGs and fighting games as I, it’s impossible to not be eye-wateringly excited about Indivisible. Developed by Lab Zero Games, a studio made up of the original team behind the rather great 2012 fighter Skullgirls, Indivisible’s blend of 2D, platforming Metroidvania action, combo-driven monster-bashing, and turn-based team combat is seriously amplified in the excitement stakes by an evolution of the stunning and gorgeously animated hand-drawn sprite work in the studo’s previous game. Drenched with colour, charm, and – most importantly – stacks of beautiful, painterly parallax, it’s absolutely the game that we all thought video games would evolve into in the naive old days of 1993. Not only that, but the soundtrack is unmistakably composed by Hiroki Kikuta, the man behind Secret of Mana – aka the best **** 16-bit action JRPG ever made – fulfilling all my greatest cheese-dreams of ‘Things too beautiful to ever happen’. There’s actually a 3D remake of Secret of Mana coming this year. I was once furious about that, for obvious reasons – but with Indivisible on the way, I now really could not give a crap. David Houghton 

Red Dead Redemption 2 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Release date: Spring 2018

Whoever decided to make a game that’s essentially Grand Theft Auto with horses is a genius. Red Dead Redemption combined the mad antics of a GTA sandbox with the old school, rustic charm of the Wild, Wild West, and threw in an incredible story to boot. We might be done with John Marston’s saga, but the events of Red Dead Redemption 2 have to feature him, at least at some point. After all, this is the story of Dutch van der Linde’s gang – which Marston was once part of – but this time around, we’ll be playing as a new fella by the name of Arthur Morgan. From the looks of the almost cryptic trailers from Rockstar Games, it looks to be more of the revolver-waving, train-jumping, horse-riding antics of the first game, and that’s more than alright with me. I can’t wait to be part of the infamous van der Linde Gang and find out more about Red Dead Redemption 2’s world. After all, Rockstar hasn’t given us much yet, and that makes it all the more intriguing. And don’t even get me started on the potential of Red Dead Online. Let me get my stetson. Sam Loveridge 


Platform(s): PS4, PC
Release date: January 23

We talk about video game ‘auteurs’ like Hideo Kojima, but the truth is that it takes a whole lot of people to make a video game like Metal Gear Solid 5. If you want to see a game that truly is the end product of one person’s vision and dedication, look no further than Iconoclasts. Joakim Sandberg’s self-described “long-term, life-commanding game” is finally coming out on January 23 after years and years of overwork. If you’ve ever played Noitu Love 2, the last project that Sandberg poured his mortal essence into, you know why that’s exciting. If not, look for it on Steam, then watch some Iconoclasts trailers and take in all the beautifully animated pixel art and smooth-as-silk combat platforming. How could you ever resist the allure of whacking everything you can reach with a giant wrench and shooting everything else with almost-as-massive bullets? I’d end this with some optimistic message about Sandberg finally taking a vacation once Iconoclasts comes out, but I know he’ll almost certainly get right back to work. Maybe after a celebratory nap, at least. Connor Sheridan 

Hunt: Showdown 

Platform(s): PC
Release date: TBC; alpha starts January 2018

I first played Hunt back in yonder days of 2014, when it was known as Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age – though it should be noted that a ton has changed since then. Originally a team-based co-op game, Hunt: Showdown is now more complex and competitive. You (either solo or with a partner) are dropped into a large map with other monster hunters, all trying to locate and kill the beast you’ve been sent to banish first. You aren’t going to want to sprint for the fences though, as death is permanent. And as if the nasty you’re looking to eliminate wasn’t enough, there are other threats lurking in the dark as well (not least of which are those other players), and traps to avoid if you want to make it back home in one piece. As a sucker for both creature features and 19th century aesthetics, Hunt: Showdown is already pleasing to my eyes. But really, it’s the emphasis on teamwork and vulnerability that has me excited. I’ve had enough games where I’m some unstoppable god who can shake off bullets, arrows, or claws to the chest – give me a game that makes me afraid for my (virtual) life, that makes me be cautious, that encourages smart plays over twitch machine gun fire. Give me Hunt: Showdown. Sam Prell 

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: TBC 2018

The older I get, the more I appreciate any piece of entertainment that truly surprises and delights me – and Grasshopper Manufacture’s games get me every time with their sheer, unbridled idiosyncrasy. I’m stoked that Goichi ‘Suda51’ Suda is sitting in the Director’s chair for the first time since the original No More Heroes, and pairing Travis Touchdown’s crass, somehow-still-lovable bravado with the worlds of various indie superstars is a stroke of genius. Having chatted with Suda about Travis Strikes Again (and other, somewhat salacious topics), he’s full of the same invigorating energy as all of his studio’s games; it’s easy to see how they consistently turn out to be so frenetic, stylish, and joyously celebratory of everything weird and unexpected. Even without any hard gameplay footage to go on just yet, I already know for a fact that Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes will shower me with sights, sounds, and duels to the death that I would’ve never imagined, like an off-the-wall arthouse film in a sea of by-the-numbers blockbusters. I’ve already started feverishly waggling my Pro Controller in anticipation. Lucas Sullivan

Marvel’s Spider-Man  

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: Early 2018

Why am I so excited about the webhead’s PS4 exclusive, you ask? Two words (or is it 3?): Spider-Man 2. Probably my favourite PS2 game of all time, the adaptation of Tobey Maguire’s second movie outing by rights should’ve been terrible but, well, just wasn’t. A rich open-world Manhattan and a swinging mechanic so satisfying it should probably be illegal, means that Spidey 2 is still one of the best superhero games to rule them all. So there’s no pressure or anything, but Insomniac really needs to deliver something truly special in 2018 with Marvel’s Spider-Man. The combat from last year’s Sony E3 conference looks suitably crunchy and inventive, and I’m all for quips while hanging people upside down – but it’ll be the swinging that’ll seal the deal here. I’m not even against the odd QTE in cinematic sequences if that stomach-dropping sensation of falling with style across the New York skyline is done right. Oh, and yes, of course I want pizza delivery missions. Louise Blain  

God of War 

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: TBC 2018

Kratos had to change if he was ever to return to PlayStation. The overtly nasty violence that was his trademark on PS2 was fine when things were more cartoony, but as the games got more realistic on PS3 it was harder to ignore… that he was kind of a dick. Anyone remember when he shoved a passing girl in a door mechanism to solve a puzzle? It’s hard to root for an antihero like that. Which is why this God of War reboot is so exciting, and necessary. Kratos is a changed man, trying to come to terms with all the relentless murder and fury, and with a son in tow. That alone is a fascinating dynamic to explore before you even get to the new, closer combat mechanics to focus more on character time. And there are so many questions. How is he a viking now? Did he get there the long way ’round – passing through all the other time zones along the way? And what is a man famous for gouging out monsters’ eyes going to do with Norse mythology? Leon Hurley

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