The 5 Most Anticipated Games of September 2018

Lucas DeRuyter

September is here! Students will hit the books once more, and working adults will need to hustle to hit those end-of-year goals. Luckily, there are plenty of exciting games coming up to help make this month of transitions more manageable.

September has a fun combination of niche games and triple-A titles, with a healthy amount of nostalgia bait thrown in as well. We may not be at the end-of-year barrage of titles quite yet, but these upcoming games are a taste of things to come. These are the five games releasing in September 2018 that we’re looking forward to the most.

Dragon Quest XI

Dragon Quest XI protagonist
  • Release Date(s): September 4
  • Developer(s): Square Enix
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch (TBA), and 3DS (TBA)
  • Genre: JRPG

After eight long years, gamers outside of Japan will experience a brand new Dragon Quest game! The series, seemingly as old as the gaming medium itself, has a brand new entry, Dragon Quest XI. With one of the most influential and beloved JRPGs returning to the world stage once again, it’s a great time to be a fan of the genre.

If you’ve ever played — or even heard of — Dragon Quest, chances are you know what you’re in for with this upcoming title. Dragon Quest XI will feature a fantastical story where a boy of humble origins is destined to save the world. This time around, though, you can expect zero random encounters, stunning graphics, and loads of callbacks to previous titles. If Octopath Traveler’s unconventional storytelling was a bummer for you, Dragon Quest XI is set to bring things back up with a solid dose of the traditions the series invented.

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy

SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
  • Release Date(s): September 7
  • Developer(s): SNK
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Arcade Machine
  • Genre: Tag-Fighter

Wow, fighting games became mainstream again overnight, didn’t they? Between the highly anticipated release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the phenomenal EVO 2018, and Dragon Ball FighterZ’s commercial and critical success; now’s a great time to get into or start following the fighting game scene. Entering the stage during this resurgence is SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. It will feature female characters from several SNK series — and a considerable amount of fan service. The combat system will allow players to combine different fighters in attack and support roles.

Fighting games tend to be better in both story and execution when they lean into more ridiculous elements. SNK Heroines is definitely going for that over-the-top tone. The story centers on numerous characters waking up in an alternate plane of existence and will feature a genderbent Terry Bogard. It’s too soon to tell if this title will become a mainstay in the competitive scene, but even if it doesn’t reach those heights, it’s still sure to be a fun and silly experience.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

  • Release Date(s): September 7
  • Developer(s): Insomniac Games
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure

First revealed at E3 2016, the highly anticipated Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 is finally dropping in early September. Taking place in a universe where Spider-Man wasn’t erased by Thanos, this game will have players take control of the successful and well-established crime fighter. Players will battle some of Spider-Man’s greatest foes, as the Sinister Six escape from prison and try their best to exact their revenge against the web-slinger.

While there is some worry over the presence of quick-time events, many gamers are interested in this upcoming title because of its web-swinging mechanic and entertaining combat. If exploring this New York-based open world feels as good as the trailers make it look, then Spider-Man is on track to be one of the best PlayStation 4 exclusives yet.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  • Release Date(s): September 14
  • Developer(s): Eidos Montreal
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Action-Adventure

The third installment of the Tomb Raider prequels and the twelfth entry in the franchise overall is set to end this summer with a bang. Raising the already high bar set by the previous reboots, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will improve the swimming mechanics, place more emphasis on stealth, and offer more optional tombs to explore than ever before. However, the astonishingly detailed and realistic graphics present in previous games will thankfully remain in this new title.

It’s shocking how far the Tomb Raider series has come since the original PlayStation games. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is set to push the series to even greater heights, and further cement it as a juggernaut of the gaming medium. Now if only we could get a better-than-mediocre movie adaptation.

Life Is Strange 2

  • Release Date(s): September 27
  • Developer(s): Dontnod Entertainment
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Graphic Adventure

At long last, the next entry in perhaps the greatest graphic adventure series currently in production is right around the corner. Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 is the third entry in the series and will bring back the paranormal elements absent in the prequel, Before the Storm. While there isn’t a ton of information on this upcoming game, we do know that the events of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit will influence the story and that Chris Eriksen will appear in the sequel.

It’s fair to say that fans of this series have some pretty lofty expectations for Life is Strange 2. The first game was a masterful blend of compelling characters, small-town drama, and a terrific time travel mechanic. If the same level of charm and passion is poured into the sequel, it’s sure to be as big a hit as the original. Although, it would be nice if it had one less Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within reference than the original Life is Strange.

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