5 Games We Can’t Wait to Play This December

Lucas DeRuyter
Games Xbox
Games Xbox Nintendo PC Gaming PlayStation

Winter is officially here. Now’s the perfect time to bundle up in a blanket, get something warm to drink, and play some video games. While there are a couple of highly anticipated titles coming in December, and a few eyebrow-raisers, the last month of the year is light on new releases.

This eclectic month in games will feature new installments in long-running and beloved series, a spiritual successor to a series gaining ground in the public eye once more, a long overdue remake, and a ridiculous number of rhythm games. In the season of “best ofs” and “year in reviews,” don’t forget to take a minute to check out these highly anticipated titles.

Just Cause 4

  • Release Date(s): December 4
  • Developer(s): Avalanche Studios
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Action-Adventure

The Just Cause series is back! After Just Cause 3’s mixed reception back in 2015, Just Cause 4 will have Rico Rodriguez face off against another criminal organization in a beautiful South American setting. Packed with more over-the-top action than even the zaniest of ’80s action flicks, this next game seems like it’ll be the most ridiculous entry yet. Traveling to the island nation of Solís in search of information about his father’s death, Rico will once again fight against the Black Hand criminal syndicate who now possess weather-controlling technology.

Just Cause 4 has a plot that feels like it was ripped straight out of a G.I. Joe cartoon and that could not be more perfect for a game whose protagonist can travel anywhere using a grapple gun and a wingsuit. If Just Cause 4 can rid itself of the bugs and technical issues that plagued its predecessor, playing as Rick will be a blast. The Just Cause series is at its best when it leans into the absurd, and thankfully, this upcoming game seems like it will be delightfully extra.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

  • Release Date(s): December 4
  • Developer(s): The Game Atelier
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Platformer

Coming off the heels of last year’s delightful Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap — a remake of Wonder Boy 3 — Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom looks like a delightful side-scrolling adventure. Similar to The Dragon’s Trap, this game will have the player control a boy who gains various animal transformations as the story progresses, giving him new powers and the ability to explore new areas. This boy, Jin, must stop his evil uncle Nabu from using dark magic to destroy the kingdom they live in. While this might not be the most original set up for a fantasy game, it looks like this title will have enough quirky charm to make the idea their own.

Developed by the indie studio The Game Atelier, this title has the full endorsement and support of the creator of the original Wonder Boy series, Ryuichi Nishizawa. As this game is not trying to be a mechanically identical copy of a Wonder Boy game, like The Dragon’s Trap was, it’ll be interesting to see this title’s new take on platforming combat. It’s also hard not to get excited for a game that has a theme song with such a strong Saturday morning cartoon vibe.

Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection

  • Release Date(s): December 4
  • Developer(s): P-Studio
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4
  • Genre: Rhythm

The Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection is technically three games rolled into one $100 bundle. Continuing the brand new Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, this collection will also contain a PlayStation 4 port of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, which was previously only available on the PlayStation Vita. Additionally, Dancing in Moonlight and Dancing in Starlight are available on the PlayStation Vita for $40 each, but do not come with Dancing All Night. Considering the Vita is a dying system, it might just be best to pick up the collection for PlayStation 4 and get the entire series in one convenient package.

These rhythm games will delight anyone who enjoyed the charming and endearing characters in the mainline games. Mixing the iconic music of the franchise with extra character-focused content is a brilliant idea — even if rhythm games tend to cater to a more niche audience. If you want to spend a bit more time with the lovable Persona protagonists and enjoy some of the best music in gaming, this collection will make a terrific gift to yourself this holiday season.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

  • Release Date(s): December 7
  • Developer(s): Bandai Namco Studios, Sora Ltd.
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Fighting

Super Smash Bros Ultimate might be the most talked about and anticipated game of 2018. Since its surprise announcement back in March, every new piece of information about this game spawns dozens of articles, hundreds of analysis and opinion videos, and countless memes. Initially criticized as seeming like a port of the fourth Smash Bros. title, it’s now clear that there is enough unique and enticing content to call it a wholly new entry in the beloved fighting game franchise. It has more characters, a variety and single and cooperative modes, and an adventure mode where Kirby is the universe’s only hope. No wonder so many eyes are on this upcoming game.

Longtime fan of the Smash Bros. franchise will definitely love this latest entry in the series and all of its weird decisions, like the introduction of the Piranha Plant as a playable fighter. Newcomers will be drawn to Ultimate due to its tight controls and the genuine love shown for the many different franchises under the Nintendo label. Super Smash Bros Ultimate will likely be one of the best-selling games of this holiday season.

Katamari Damacy Reroll

  • Release Date(s): December 7
  • Developer(s): Namco
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Genre: Puzzle, Action

When Katamari Damacy premiered in 2004, it received a decent amount of praise in Japan and became a sleeper hit in the United States. Featuring a minuscule cosmic prince who has to recreate the stars after his gigantic father destroyed them during a night of binge drinking, the quirky game definitely earned all of its praise. Its mechanics, which centered on rolling a ball around to collect random junk until it’s big enough to become a star, set Katamari Damacy apart from every other game in the early 2000s.

A remake of Katamari Damacy seems a bit overdue at this point. Luckily, Katamari Damacy Reroll will give younger players a chance to play and appreciate this eccentric title at an affordable price on either Switch or PC. It’ll also finally give gamers in the PAL region a chance to play this enjoyable game legitimately.

Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.