2017 was an incredible year for video games. Gamers were lucky enough to witness the resurgence of Nintendo thanks to the Switch and its first party titles Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Sony too have been in superb form, with critically acclaimed exclusives NieR:Automata, Nioh, Persona 5, and Horizon Zero Dawn all releasing last year. Microsoft were a little quiet on the games front but did release the Xbox One X, which has been delivering on its promise of being the world’s most powerful console – check out a comparison video of Halo 5: Guardians to see this first-hand.

2018 is showing no signs of slowing things down. Let’s look at five of the many games that we’re excited for this year, starting things off with a long-overdue Western prequel.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Q1/Q2, 2018)

Rockstar’s other world-renowned action-adventure franchise is finally back. Red Dead Redemption was one of the most popular games of 2010, and for good reason. The American frontier proved a beautiful setting for Rockstar to work their open world craft. It featured fantastic writing backed up by believable voice acting. The soundtrack successfully captured the essence of Ennio Morricone’s iconic Dollars Trilogy score. The gunplay felt slicker than ever thanks to the insanely cool ‘Dead Eye’ mechanic. Despite the proposed release date not being too far off, very little is known about the game – as is typical of Rockstar titles. We do know that Red Dead Redemption 2 aims to improve on perfection, and if Grand Theft Auto 5 is anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Kingdom Hearts III (TBC, 2018)

Kingdom Hearts II came out in Japan way back in 2005. Sure, we’ve had Birth by Sleep, Dream Drop Distance, and a dozen other ridiculously named minor additions since then, but it’s the third major instalment that fans have been chomping at the keychain for. For the uninitiated, Kingdom Hearts is an action-RPG franchise that mixes Final Fantasy and Disney to great results. The mainstay fusion of stylish melee combat and flashy magic will return and should be better than ever. Sora’s arsenal has evolved to include wall running, team-up attacks, Keyblade transformations, and a whole host of other new abilities. The only positive about waiting thirteen years for this game is that Square Enix have even more material to pull from – who doesn’t want to explore an Inside Out world?

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

God of War (Q1, 2018)

God of War is reinventing itself for the fourth major instalment in Sony’s gruesome hack and slash. Fan favourite anti-hero Kratos returns as the protagonist and he’ll be slaying hordes of mythological creatures, but that’s where the familiarities will end for series veterans. Norse mythology is the focus now, and it isn’t too hard to see why; Kratos has already decimated just about every major character from Greek mythology in the games leading up to this one. The developers have opted to abandon the archaic fixed camera perspectives in favour of an over the shoulder view. The combat appears to have slowed down to emphasise weight and strategy. Perhaps the most interesting addition is Kratos’ son, Atreus; he’ll be accompanying his father throughout the adventure. We can’t wait to see how the father-son dynamic changes things.

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Spider-Man (Q1/Q2, 2018)

Anyone that remembers Spider-Man 2 from the PlayStation 2 era will also remember that it was one of the greatest licensed games available at the time. It was to Spider-Man games what Batman: Arkham City is to Batman games these days. The awesome web slinging made you really feel like Spider-Man exploring a faithful recreation of New York City. Fans have been waiting for a great Spider-Man game for quite some time now and the 2018 PlayStation 4 exclusive just might be that. The hero’s abilities are more expansive than ever as Spider-Man can navigate using a new parkour system. Environmental combat, quick time events, stealth, and classic web slinging will all be featured in their most advanced forms yet. Your Spider-Sense should be tingling in excitement for this game.

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Dragon Ball FighterZ (January 26th, 2018)

Dragon Ball games have never been very competitive – they haven’t even been consistently good. Publishers Bandai Namco are working with respected fighting game developer Arc System Works to remedy the aforementioned concerns with Dragon Ball FighterZ. The game borrows heavily from other fighting games, namely Marvel vs. Capcom and Guilty Gear. Players each select three characters from a roster of twenty-four (plus eight post-release DLC characters) to form a team. The teams battle it out until a victor is determined. The fighting looks gorgeous and is just as much a joy to watch as it is to play. Arc System Works have created a love letter to Dragon Ball that is filled to the brim with fan service. Whether you’re a fighting game fan, Dragon Ball fan – or both – you should absolutely check this one out.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows