Now that the fall season is in full swing, you know what that means: It’s getting darker earlier, the temperatures are dropping, and few things sound better than being cozied up on the couch playing video games. To that end, we put together a list of five new or upcoming games that haven’t just caught our attention—they’re the definition of must-buys. Now let’s see what we have on the docket.
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Longtime gamers, especially those fond of fighting games, have a special place in their hearts for the Killer Instinct series. And after nearly 20 years, it’s set to make its return to consoles on Nov. 22 as one of the launch titles for the XBox One. There will be six characters available for battle at first, though more are set to be released through downloadable content down the line.
Fans of the original games will see some familiar faces, including Jago and Glacius, and likely get nostalgia chills setting up ultra combos on their opponents. With many of the core elements of the first two Killer Instincts remaining, the developers worked to expand the experience with some new touches. Like the instinct mode, for example, which allows fighters to adopt super power-ups like ice-plated armor for Glacius.
Grand Theft Auto V
Without question, this isn’t just the biggest game on this list; Grand Theft Auto V is the game of the year. You could even argue that it’s the best game of the past few years as it allows even more freedom to XBox 360 and Playstation 3 owners alike. The locale in this installment is Los Santos, an imagined version of Los Angeles where you can seamlessly play as three different protagonists.
That aspect of the game takes it to another level on its own, but how about the immersive mini games (golf anyone?), scuba diving, the ability to hunt, and so, so much more. As another added bonus, the game is set to include gambling side-quests in planned downloadable content in the near future. But until then, you can always head to Betfair and enjoy its myriad gaming options if gambling’s your thing.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
You would think that a series would grow stale with a lineage like Call of Duty, but that’s simply not the case as long as developer Infinity Ward is in charge. They will unfortunately not be handling the Wii version of the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts, but at least the rest of us will be OK, right?
As far as the narrative goes, Ghosts takes place a decade or so after the U.S. has been devastated so greatly that it’s not even a superpower. Therefore, you’re not playing as a member of a tactical squad trying to maintain power or take over another country—you’re just trying to survive. Both single and multi-player gaming have been improved in numerous ways, like the 30 added guns, added player dynamics, and the new feature called Squads. Nov. 5 can’t get here soon enough. As for you PS4 and XBox One owners, you can buy the game on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, respectively.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins‘ predecessor, 2011′s Arkham City, was so unbelievably enjoyable that it would be a crime to leave this game off the list. Speaking of crime, that’s exactly what drives our masked protagonist. He’s much younger in this game and must avoid the bounty placed on his head by a murderous mob boss.
With that in mind, stealth and detective work have a large role in the gameplay that comes with some new gadgets and enemies. Even better is the new travel system that should take the headache out of going from one place to the next thanks to his handy plane, the Batwing. But the best part? They have finally added multiplayer. Praise the gamer gods. Oh yeah, it’s out Oct. 25 on all systems.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Anyone with a penchant for stalking video game baddies and taking them out in silence already has the fourth Assassin’s Creed installment on their radar. They also probably have the release date of Nov. 22 circled and highlighted on their calendar. But if not, here’s the deal: Multi-player will return with some killer new modes; there will be three main locations where you’ll do your dirty work; and the environment will be and feel much more wide open as opposed to the preceding AC games.
Also, because a large portion of ACIV takes place on the water, you’ll also be the captain of a ship named Jackdaw. You’ll be able to upgrade it as you make your way through missions and you can even recruit people to join your crew. The only downside is that your cohorts will not be able to join you on quests or battles.