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We take a look at some of the biggest games heading to shelves before Christmas.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Developer: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: Out Now

Three games in one, and it’s three of Nintendo’s best. Super Mario 64 will forever go down in history as one of gaming's turning points for 3D innovation. Super Mario Sunshine, the sequel, is boundless amounts of fun set in a tropical paradise, and Super Mario Galaxy sees Mario leave this world behind to tackle his next big adventure: space. Whether you're collecting coins, Shine Sprites or stars, any one of these games is a masterpiece and a staple of gaming history.

Mafia: Definitive Edition

Developer: Hangar 13

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release Date: Out Now

Remakes have been abundant this generation, but is that such a bad thing? Enhanced editions of previous releases give studios a chance to apply more experience and polish to them, and also give a new age of gamers a chance to try them for the first time. Mafia: Definitive Edition is a remake of 2002 classic Mafia. The story involves main character Tommy Angelo getting involved with, you guessed it, the mafia. Expect the typical GTA-like sandbox gameplay, except set in 1930’s Chicago. With Mafia already on shelves, whatever you do, don’t fuhgeddaboudit.

Baldur’s Gate III

Developer: Larian Studios

Platform: Stadia, PC

Release Date: Out Now

A parasite enters your eye socket and into your brain. It’s not all bad news, though, as its evil power gives you new abilities galore in this game based off the Dungeons and Dragons ruleset and lore. Now in Early Access, developer Larian Studios promises no two playthroughs will be the same thanks to a sprawling amount of story choices and in-game characters to recruit. A big change in this game is the shift from action-based to turn based combat system, so Larian is asking for players' help by providing feedback for when the final version of the game eventually arrives.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Developer: Toys for Bob

Platform: PS4, Xbox One

Release Date: October 2nd

One of gaming’s most beloved characters, Crash Bandicoot hasn’t had a new mainline game in 20 years but the best-selling 2017 remake of the original trilogy proved there’s still plenty of demand for his particular brand of 3D platforming. Play as Crash himself, Coco, Neo Cortex and more in brand new levels developed in the style of one of gaming’s most frustrating (but satisfying once mastered) childhood memories. Free from the limitations of earlier consoles, Crash’s new adventure now has sprawling vistas in the background and there are more powers to help players conquer the most complicated stages, such as flipping gravity and slowing down time.

Star Wars Squadrons

Developer: Motive Studios

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release Date: October 2nd

Step into the cockpit of a Starfighter and experience classic Star Wars dogfighting combat. Set after the events of Return of the Jedi, Squadrons allows the player to go back and forth between fighting for both the New Republic and the Empire, as you pilot various classes of starfighters in stunning fan-favorite and never before seen environments. And the whole experience can be made even more immersive in virtual reality. Online modes include five vs five dogfights, which allow for cross-platform play between both consoles and PC.

FIFA 21

Developer: Electronic Arts

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

Release Date: October 21st

If you’re football crazy, football mad, the football it will take away the little bit of cash you had. FIFA 21 boasts a bunch of improvements such as new agile dribbling, more responsive controls, increased positional awareness, match sharpness and more. FIFA has been one of the best-selling games in the UK every year for well over a decade, and EA continues to fine tune to provide fans with a more accurate, detailed and realistic representation of football in the virtual world.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Developer: Velan Studios, Nintendo

Platform: Switch

Release Date: October 16th

Mario Kart Live Home Circuit is the first home interactive experience in the series. Each toy car has a camera on top, and the accessories allow you to build a track in your living room – the idea being to crearte a real-life Mario Kart you can play with your Nintendo Switch. Using the console as a remote control, you drive the car around the track with other racers and items appearing virtually on camera feed shown on the Switch’s screen or TV. Following Nintendo Labo, this is Nintendo’s latest venture into the toy market – fitting as Nintendo actually started out as a toy company.

Watch Dogs Legion

Developer: Ubisoft

Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbone, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia

Release Date: October 29th

Watch Dogs Legion is a cyberpunk-esque game taking place in a futuristic version of our very own city of London. This game really emphasizes the multitude of personalities the city holds with everyone being playable. Yes, everyone. You are tasked with recruiting as many different people as possible to create a resistance to fight against a secret terrorist group and the private military corporation that is controlling London. This open world game centres on technology, hacking and playing as a wide range of characters, including an old granny who also happens to be former kickass assassin.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Developer: Nintendo

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: October 30th

Want a break from fast-paced action and violence? Try Pikmin 3 Deluxe, a souped up port of the Wii U title. Pikmin 3 was one of the many acclaimed games on Wii U but that console’s smaller audience means it’s likely to get more attention on the best-selling Switch. Pikmin  centres around managing a bunch of the titular little critters, calling on them to aid you in moving obstacles, fetching items and generally being helpful. With bonus content featuring Olimar and Louie, the protagonists from the previous games, enjoy bossing around everyone’s favourite plant-based meat substitutes, Pikmin.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Developer: Ubisoft

Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbone, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia

Release Date: November 10th

The Assassin’s Creed series has constantly raised the bar since 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins and Ubisoft aims to keep the ball rolling with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Whilst Watch Dogs Legion takes a look at the UK’s future, this game delves into our past by taking a look into the Viking invasions of Britain in 873 AD. Other than finding and stabbing your enemies, the focus here is on Viking culture and community. Players help to build and manage a new settlement on Britain’s shores, growing their clan and raiding the Saxons – all with the historical accuracy the series is known for. A history lesson wrapped up in a gory violent mess:  the perfect present for any kid (over the age of 18).

Dirt 5

Developer: Codemasters

Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia

Release Date: November 10th

The finest developers of off-road racing games are about to release their fifth mainline entry in the best-selling seres. This time, there’s a new career mode which features the voice acting talents of Troy Baker and Nolan North. Players must earn sponsorships and unique rewards, whilst also taking on a rival in the biggest career mode ever seen in the series. Once that’s mastered, there’s also the new Playgrounds mode which allows Dirt 5 players to create and customise their own racing arenas, whether they’re crazy time trail runs or arenas for general carnage.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio

Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Release Date: November 10th

Yakuza has long been known for its kickass real-time combat but for the first time, the game is taking a different approach as a turn-based RPG. Another departure – quite literally – is its setting, now located in the Izsezaki Ijincho district of Japanese city Yokohama, with the new character of Ichiban Kasuga. After serving a prison sentence for someone else in his clan, Kasuga has finally been released only to find out his clan has ditched him. In a story of revenge, the campaign sees him gather a group of allies as he takes on the Yakuza.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Developer: Insomniac Games

Platform: PS4, PS5

Release Date: November 12th (PS4), November 19th (PS5)

There aren’t many games out right now with a BAME protagonist, which makes the follow-up to Marvel’s Spider-Man even more important. The story takes place after the DLC of the previous Spider-Man game, and centres around Miles Morales. Miles handles similarly to the way Peter Parker did in Insomniac’s first Spider-Man adventure, but also has an array of unique abilities players won’t have seen before. The game is coming out on both PS4 and PS5, with the latter version showing off the next-gen console’s ray-tracing capabilities, DualSense controller and more. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is shaping up to be the must-have title when the PS5 launches in November.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Developer: Treyarch, Raven Software

Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Release Date: November 13th

As the name suggests, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War takes place in the 1980s. The game’s hero Russell Adler is on the hunt for a Soviet spy, a mission that will take players across locations such as East Berlin, Vietnam, Turkey and the Soviet KGB Headquarters. For the first time in the series, Adler is customisable, allowing players to define their gender, race and even personality. The series’ Zombies mode has been confirmed to return and Activision has promised the game will connect with free-to-play battle royale Call of Duty Warzone.

Cyberpunk 2077

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Platform: PS4, Xbone, PC, Stadia (end of year), PS4 and Xbox Series X/S (2021)

Release Date: November 19th

Perhaps the most anticipated game of the year. For those of you living under a rock, Cyberpunk 2077 is a futuristic RPG made by the creators of The Witcher series. This first-person epic is set in the open world of Night City with an insane amount of customization, with players able to choose their character’s appearance, cybernetic abilities and even their backstory. Players interact with eight gangs as they explore the city and experience a world based on a series of tabletop RPGs. And if all this wasn’t, the game stars Keanu Reeves as a mysterious but key character, futuristic Rockstar Johnny Silverhand.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Developer: Koei Tecmo

Platform: Switch

Release Date: November 20th

A surprise release for all Legend of Zelda fans. This game is made by Koei Tecmo, the producers of the Dynasty Warriors series, and tells the story of the war 100 years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In this action hack-and-slash game, you’ll be battling hordes of enemies using Link, Zelda and, for the first time, the four Champion characters seen in the acclaimed Switch and Wii U game. Age of Calamity builds on the style of the previous Hyrule Warriors, but this time tells a crucial and canonical story Zelda fans have been wondering about since 2017.

Football Manager 2021

Developer: Sports Interactive

Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Stadia, Android, iOS

Release Date: November 24th

Even COVID can’t stop Football Manager. The latest game in the series usually sees a release in early November and Sports Interactive promise FM2021 will still release this year – just with a minor delay. More information on the new features of the game will be revealed soon, with the studio teasing that it will have “a renewed focus on the role of the manager, adding more tools that allow managers to develop their personalities and powers.” It will also be released on more platforms, including – for the first time since 2007 – Xbox consoles. Yes, including the next generation Xbox Series X/S.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Developer: Insomniac Games

Platform: PS5

Release Date: PS5 ‘launch window’

More 3D platforming icons making a well-deserved return, Ratchet and Clank will demonstrate the power of the PlayStation 5 as a key pillar in the console’s launch line-up. The story focuses on a disturbance in the space-time continuum. Dr Nefarious is back to his old tricks again in an adventure where the duo go from world-to-world nearly instantaneously thanks to Ratchet's ‘Rift Tether’ – and the PS5’s solid state drive, of course, which makes for seamless transitions between levels. The game will also demonstrate other next-generation technology such as dedicated ray tracing hardware and the PS5’s DualSense Controller.

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