Traditionally, November has been the fall month with the most games. In recent years, however, the rush has crawled backwards by a few weeks, making October the premier month for a large percentage of AAA titles. And this October may very well be the best we’ve seen in recent memory. With Mario’s return to the open world and plenty of racing titles — not to mention the return of Wolfenstein, South Park, and Middle-Earth — October is stuffed with must-play games. Here, we’ve rounded up the best new video games to watch out for in October. The scariest part of it all? The effect these releases might have on your wallet.
Forza Motorsport 7 (October 3)
Since 2012, the Forza franchise has been alternating years between its core, ultra-realistic Motorsport series and the open-world Horizon. Forza Motorsport 7 falls in the former category, and we already know it will be the most realistic entry yet. Thanks to a dynamic weather system, it’s no longer just the gorgeous cars and slick tracks that will grab your attention, but the clouds barreling overhead, the rain drops that accumulate into puddles on the track, and the dust that kicks up from screeching tires. Car enthusiasts are all about the rides, however, and Motorsport 7 won’t disappoint there. With more than 700 cars in the game, its the most robust lineup in the series thus far. Even better, during our time with the game at E3, each car handled like its real-world counterpart, as Turn 10’s physics system only continues to trend upward.
Forza Motorsport 7 will look and run great on any Xbox One, but if you plan on getting the Xbox One X in November, Motorsport 7 will show it off especially well, with in-game cars that look nearly identical to the real thing.
Forza Motorsport 7 launches on the Xbox One and PC on October 3.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (October 10)
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the direct sequel to Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, sees Talion on a quest to forge a new Ring of Power. Despite the uninspired title, it’s very clear that Monolith was energized by the reaction to Shadow of Mordor. If you were a fan of the original game, you’re going to be happy to discover that Shadow of War retains the best ideas of its predecessor, but greatly expands upon them. The innovative Nemesis system, for instance, is far more pervasive in Shadow of War. Rather than simply engaging in one-on-one battles with foes who seek vengeance, the system encompasses fortresses and varied factions, along with a growing army of supporters who will fight alongside you.
In its effort to build upon the success of Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War looks to be a much deeper experience. Even when the end credits roll, new missions will pop up that will eventually tie the games to the books and films. Throw in two asynchronous multiplayer modes and Shadow of War should scratch your Tolkien itch for quite some time.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War launches on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 10.
The Evil Within 2 (October 13)
Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami is back at it with the follow-up to the survival-horror game The Evil Within. Once again, players will step into the shoes of detective Sebastian Castellanos as he wades through the disorienting fantasia created by the power of STEM. Sebastian agrees to reenter the dreamscape world full of the user’s worst nightmares because he believes it will let him save his daughter Lily, who is presumed to be dead.
We recently spent time with The Evil Within 2 at QuakeCon and found that, unlike other modern horror games, The Evil Within 2 has an equal mix of traditional, third-person action and unsettling frights. The world consistently shifts and unravels around you, as you are frequently pulled in and out of the STEM world. On top of that, The Evil Within 2 will open things up, as the game’s primary, small-town setting unfolds into an open world that players are encouraged to explore.
The Evil Within 2 launches on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 13.
Gran Turismo Sport (October 17)
It’s hard to believe, but Sony’s flagship racing sim, Gran Turismo, hasn’t made its debut on the PlayStation 4. The last entry in the series, Gran Turismo 6, actually launched about a month after the PS4 arrived in 2013 — but on PlayStation 3. Gran Turismo Sport changes that, and don’t be alarmed by the lack of the numbered title — Sport is more than just another “Prologue” title.
Gran Turismo Sport features 177 cars and 19 different tracks. A traditional campaign mode will serve as your means for unlocking new vehicles and tracks, while the arcade mode offers time trials and an open lobby multiplayer mode. The most intriguing aspect of Gran Turismo Sport, however, is hinted at in the name. The apt-titled Sport mode matches players based on skill and “sportsmanship,” helping to create a level playing field every time you race online. So even though the Gran Turismo series is considered hardcore in terms of racing sims, Sport mode should make it easier for more casual racers to tune their skills.
Gran Turismo Sport launches exclusively on the PlayStation 4 on October 17.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole (October 17)
South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the sequel to the exceptional and hilarious The Stick of Truth, sees players assume the role of the New Kid again. You can pick both your gender and race in The Fractured But Whole, and in provocative, South Park fashion, your race supposedly corresponds to the game’s difficulty. Cartman has ditched his LARPing interest for an obsession with superheroes, so now players will pick between 12 different superhero classes. Since the kids of South Park can never seem to get along, a civil war breaks out between Cartman’s superhero squad and a rival squad.
Presentationally, The Fractured But Whole retains the same 2.5D perspective that admirably captures the aesthetic of the TV series. Gameplay-wise, however, the JRPG combat from The Stick of Truth has been replaced by a more nuanced tactical system. Think XCOM 2, or more recently, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole launches on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 17.