Even during the slowest months of the year (January 2018, for example), you’ll find the release list stocked with literally hundreds of games across consoles, PC, and mobile. It’s madness.
Given that, it can be easy to overlook some magnificent game releases amidst the stack, but worry not: we’re here to help. Games Watch points out the five biggest and brightest games on the immediate horizon, and outlines why each seems like it’ll be well worth your time and money.
With that in mind, here’s your monthly compendium of the five most scintillating new releases coming before February rolls around. You can thank us later.
STREET FIGHTER V: ARCADE EDITION – 16 JANUARY
Street Fighter V didn’t feel fully-baked when it launched two years ago, but as you might’ve learned from the last 25 years of the franchise, Capcom never stops with just one edition. Updates have improved the game significantly since, but now here’s the big Arcade Edition release to bring even more into the fray.
Available as a new retail package, the Arcade Edition bundles in all of the DLC characters, a fresh Arcade mode, extra V-Trigger special moves, and some other perks. And if you already have Street Fighter V, all of this stuff will come in a free update for you.
Platform: PS4, PC
THE INPATIENT – 23 JANUARY
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard showed how amazing virtual reality can be for super-freaky horror experiences, but we’ll get another chance in a few short weeks with The Inpatient.
As the trailer shows, this PlayStation VR exclusive finds you trapped in a sanatorium where some really gnarly stuff is happening all around you. Better yet, The Inpatient is actually a prequel to the great Until Dawn, and is set 60 years before that campy horror favourite. How long can you last before ripping off the headset?
Platform: PlayStation VR (PS4)
DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ – 26 JANUARY
After years and years of mostly bad Dragon Ball Z games, this one looks pretty damn fabulous. Dragon Ball FighterZ has been making fans drool since its reveal last year, delivering a spot-on visual recreation of the beloved anime series with fighting mechanics provided by a hugely respected developer.
It hails from Arc System Works, the studio behind Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, and it has been pegged by fighting game pros as a potential competitive gem thanks to its rich, complex gameplay. We’ve been burned before by licensed anime games, but hopefully this is the one that finally captures the raw excitement of DBZ.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Price: From R990
MONSTER HUNTER WORLD – 26 JANUARY
Western audiences have always seemed like an afterthought for Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, which is huge in Japan but less popular elsewhere – but with a global release and some new enhancements in tow, Monster Hunter World could hit it big everywhere.
As before, Monster Hunter World is all about equipping killer gear to your warrior, tracking down enormous beasts with a crew, and beating your prey to a pulp. The worlds are larger, the graphics are dramatically improved, and streamlined controls and a new eye towards accessibility should make for a much more appealing co-op combat game.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY NT – 30 JANUARY
It’s a fighting game frenzy in January – but if you have the attention span, budget, and nimble-enough fingers for one more, then consider adding Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT to your list.
As the name suggests, this fighter pulls its roster from the wide worlds of the juggernaut role-playing franchise, and you’ll assemble a three-hero team as you battle across large environments. With fighters from every numbered Final Fantasy (and more) and what looks to be an incredible amount of chaotic brawling, Dissidia ought to be pretty entertaining for fans.
Platform: PlayStation 4