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Fall Games Guide: The Year’s Biggest Games Are Here

Autumn is a season that signals the return of many things. The months of September through November bring the return of cooler temperatures, children head back to school, the NFL, NBA, and NHL seasons return to occupy sports fans, and pumpkin spice everything returns to take over supermarket shelves. But to gamers, fall means one thing: The return of video games. Fall is the time of year when publishers release their biggest and best games, just in time for the busy holiday shopping season. There are so many good games that come out in the fall that it’s hard to keep track of them all. That’s where we come in. In our Fandom 2016 Fall Games Guide we highlight the best upcoming games of the season, so you know which ones are worth returning to again and again.

Forza Horizon 3

Release Date: Sept. 27
Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Throw another shrimp on the Holden, because Forza Horizon 3 is going down under! Set in Australia, the game furthers the open world, go-anywhere racing the series is known for with a slew of specialized off-road vehicles. Speaking of vehicles, there’s over 350 of them, from a Polaris dune buggy all the way to the game’s flagship Lamborghini Centenario. The game also features cross-platform play for Xbox One and PCs, so koala your friends can get in on the action.

LEGO Dimensions Season 2

Release Date: Sept. 27
Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360

LEGO Dimensions is going strong with waves and waves of new playsets. LEGO will now include modern day favorites like Adventure Time, 2016’s Ghostbusters, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Additionally, lovers of the ’80s will be thrilled to see The A-Team, Gremlins, and E.T. also joining the ever-expanding collection of characters. November will even see the release of a Sonic the Hedgehog pack just in time for his 25th anniversary. So clear your shelves for all these new LEGO Dimensions toys coming in the next few months.

Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Souls and Fleshy Spirits

Release Date: Sept. 30
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

This Pokémon meets Ghostbusters creation is one of the most popular games in Japan, selling millions of games and tons of toys. Yo-kai Watch hasn’t had that level of success just yet in the United States, but that could change with this pair of spirited sequels. Both versions of Yo-kai Watch 2 tell a similar time traveling tale of Nate and his Yo-kai heading to the past to team up with his own grandfather. Yo-kai Watch 2 introduces even more weird and wacky spirits to the series, from scary skeletons to toilet-obsessed goofballs. Though aimed more at kids, Yo-kai Watch 2 has something to offer anyone looking for a silly action-RPG.

Mafia III

Release Date: Oct. 7
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

New 2K development studio Hangar 13 is looking to make a splash when their first big game release, Mafia III, arrives this October. The latest game in the open-world crime franchise offers a fresh take on the mob genre. The game is a revenge story set in the New Orleans-like city of New Bordeaux during the 1960s. You play Lincoln Clay, a U.S. Army veteran who, upon returning from the Vietnam War, discovers his family has been slaughtered by the Italian Mob. Clay sets out to make the Marcano Crime Family pay, and -- together with his underbosses -- take back New Bordeaux one district at a time.

Paper Mario Color Splash

Release Date: Oct. 7
Platform: Nintendo Wii U

If this is the last Wii U-exclusive game, then the console is going out with a vibrant bang thanks to the newest Paper Mario game. This new entry in the long-running series brings more the smart humor to this skewed version of Mario's world. Alongside the clever writing is more of the active turn-based battles that make Mario RPGs so much fun. This time around the flat hero is fighting off a vampiric squad of Shy Guys who are literally sucking the color out of the Mushroom Kingdom's citizens. Paper Mario: Color Splash sees the mustachioed mascot solve this crisis while also collecting playing cards that unlock some very random attacks. Seriously, you haven't lived until you've seen this game's breakdancing piggy bank.

Dragon Quest Builders

Release Date: Oct. 11
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita

Now this seems like a match made in heaven. Dragon Quest Builders takes one of Japan's most popular game series ever and combines it with the gameplay of international sensation Minecraft. Builders takes place in a world where the villain won in very first Dragon Quest, and now a new hero must rebuild society, one voxel at a time. You'll construct buildings, craft items, and much more, all as you experience the game's lengthy story that'll please longtime Dragon Quest fans. Dragon Quest Builders is coming to both PS4 and PS Vita, so you can even rebuild the world on the go.

Gears of War 4

Release Date: Oct. 11
Platforms: Xbox One, PC

It's only been five years since the last main numbered Gears of War title, but in gamer time that feels more like the full 25 years that have passed in the game's timeline between the events of Gears of War 3 and Gears of War 4. In the new game, you play as Marcus Fenix's son, JD, who must follow in his father's footsteps and take on an all-new enemy threatening to wipe out humanity. This is the first Gears of War game not developed by Epic, but the game should be in good hands with new developer The Coalition. The studio is lead by Rod Fergusson, former Epic Director of Production for the previous Gears games.

Skylanders: Imaginators

Release Date: Oct. 16
Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360

Competitors like Disney Infinity may be no more, but the Toys to Life genre is still going strong this fall. Genre pioneer Skylanders is back with Skylanders: Imaginators which not only features new figures, but also the ability to construct your own original Skylander within the game. Retro gaming enthusiasts will be happy to know that Crash Bandicoot is making his long-awaited return to gaming as a special figure with his very own stage.

Battlefield 1

Release Date: Oct. 21
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Modern warfare video games have been the norm as of late, but Battlefield 1 looks to lead the charge of the return of historical combat. Spanning across multiple countries in Europe and the Middle East, Battlefield 1 will replicate the intimate warfare of the early 20th century. Returning Battlefield players will find familiar game modes (six total) and cutting-edge graphical enhancements. Era-specific vehicles are present along with horses, and the game’s weaponry should be a nice change of pace from the complicated arsenal of futuristic shooters.

Civilization VI

Release Date: Oct. 21
Platform: PC

Sid Meier's Civilization series is back for its sixth installment. Fans of the Civ games can expect a plethora of leaders, features, and enhancements to the familiar formula that should help the franchise feel new again. Following an age of exploration theme, the developers at Firaxis have revamped the UI and added a more appropriate historical feel for Civilization VI. Firaxis has also made some small modifications to wonders, how cities are built, the Religion system (including a new Religious Victory condition that replaces Diplomatic Victory), and warfare. Still, the core gameplay is largely untouched, and fans of the franchise and newbies alike will more than likely be asking for “just one more turn” when the game comes out this October.

Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel

Release Date: Oct. 25
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The first major DLC for Dark Souls III, entitled Ashes of Ariandel, promises to bring another horde of challenges for Souls players to overcome. The Ashen One's quest for the ashes of powerful lords continues, as they stumble into a strange, snow filled land. The DLC will include new weapons, armor, bosses, magic spells, and major areas. Little is known about the Ashes of Ariandel story, but we do know there will be a major PVP focused area called Immortal Competition that will provide players a place to hone their skills in battle.

World of Final Fantasy

Release Date: Oct. 25
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita

Yes, Final Fantasy XV is the franchise's biggest title this fall, but let's not forget its sister title. World of Final Fantasy is an intriguing mix of all-ages storytelling, Pokémon-like monster battles, and large doses of Final Fantasy nostalgia. You play as a pair of tween twins who are exploring a weird dimension full of adorably tiny versions of iconic Final Fantasy characters. The pun-filled tale puts you in contact with the likes of Cloud, Terra, Tidus, and many more. Younger fans should get a kick out of the adorable adventure and simplified JRPG action. Meanwhile, older FF lovers can appreciate all the references to the series' history, as well as the return of the Active Time Battle combat system. If nothing else, World of Final Fantasy should tide you over until FFXV arrives in late November.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

Release Date: Oct. 28
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Five years after its original release, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is getting a remastered version with The Elder Scrolls V:Skyrim Special Edition. This updated version will have vastly improved graphics including new shaders, textures, screen space reflectors and more. While console players will have to pay for the upgraded versions on new platforms, Steam players who own the original version will be able to upgrade for free.

Titanfall 2

Release Date: Oct. 28
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

When Respawn released the original Titanfall in 2014, the game a great deal of potential. The blend of acrobatic environment transversal, Call of Duty-like shooting, and of course giant freakin' mechs set the game apart from the slew of other shooters out there. Unfortunately, the game's lack of a true single player campaign and Xbox exclusivity limited its potential audience, and the player numbers quickly dwindled. Titanfall 2 seeks to right the wrongs of its predecessor. It includes a full story campaign, and is now available to the larger PlayStation 4 base who get to feel what it's like to hop into a Titan and wreak havoc on the battlefield.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Release Date: Nov. 4
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

After World War II, Vietnam, the '80s, modern timelines, and even the near-future, Call of Duty is finally going futuristic this year. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes the series into a future where the solar system has been colonized, yet mankind is still going to war with each other. Only now the soldiers have cool spaceships and lasers at their disposal. The campaign looks to be full of all the flashy visuals and rollercoaster action you expect from Call of Duty, while the multiplayer feels fresher than ever with new tech upgrades for every class of soldier. On top of all that, Infinite Warfare comes packaged with a neon-'80s zombie mode and a current-gen remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. That's quite a lot of bang for your buck.

Dishonored 2

Release Date: Nov. 11
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The sequel to the 2010 stealth/action game continues the exploits of Corvo Attano and Empress Emily Kaldwin. After usurpers size the throne from the young empress, players have the choice between two major campaigns in Dishonored 2, one for each main character. They are outfitted with their own combat abilities and otherworldly skills. Similiar to the first game, players have the freedom to approach each mission differently -- either by stealth or combat. Missions take place in sprawling enviroments, with multiple paths, providing a variety of options to complete objectives.

The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series - A New Frontier

Release Date: Nov. 15
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Mac

Telltale already has a hit this year with its Batman adventure, but they aren't stopping at just one new episodic series. Telltale has a new season of The Walking Dead, arguably its most famous franchise, and the series is looking to freshen things up a bit. The first episode is planned for some time in November, and is reportedly not too connected to the previous seasons. Series lead Clementine will be back, but Telltale says the new mysterious story will be an easy jumping-on point for new players as well. Here's hoping they can keep that balance going all season long, because we can't wait to kill zombies and make heartbreaking choices all over again.

Watch Dogs 2

Release Date: Nov. 15
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Watch Dogs 2 looks to set itself apart from the 2014 original with an all-new setting (San Francisco) an all-new main character (Marcus Holloway), and plenty of new hacking tricks and toys, like a drone and RC car that can be used to take a variety of approaches to the game's many missions and side quests. You can choose to tackle missions head on, use a more stealthy approach, or use the many tools at your disposal to open up new paths to victory. Freedom is the name of the game in Watch Dogs 2. Players have the freedom to play the game the way they want, and go anywhere and hack nearly everyone and everything they see. All this is done in the name of freedom as you work with DedSec to fight against ctOS 2.0 and the corrupt corporations controlling it.

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Release Date: Nov. 18
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS may be long in the tooth, but Pokémon still has a bunch of new tricks for its huge fanbase. Pokémon Sun and Moon has many new monsters for its island-hopping approach to the monster-collecting classic. And even classic beasts like Vulpix and Pikachu get updates with new breed types or unlockable ultra-attacks known as Z-Moves. Then there's the novel approach to the day/night cycle, new ways to travel the map with Pokémon, and a new plot inspired by Hawaiian culture. The game looks to offer so much of what the series is famous for, which is great for dedicated fans as well as the newest Pokémaniacs who just got on the bandwagon with Pokémon Go.

Final Fantasy XV

Release Date: Nov. 29
Platforms: PlayStation4, Xbox One

Final Fantasy XV, the epic RPG over 10 years in the making, is finally coming out this November. The game that originally began life as the spin-off title Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now Square Enix's biggest release of 2016. The publisher has gone all-out in promoting Final Fantasy XV with its Final Fantasy XV Universe campaign, which included a tie-in anime series, a full CG movie starring major Hollywood talent, mobile tie-ins, and multiple playable demos. Of course, all that marketing won't amount to much if the game itself isn't good. Fortunately, based on what we've seen, we have high hopes. Final Fantasy XV is big enough to offer a little something for everyone. Action RPG fans will love the new Active X Battle system, which feels more Kingdom Hearts than Final Fantasy. Others will gravitate toward the game's epic story, massive world, and charming cast of four main heroes.

(The following editors and staff writers contributed to this Fall Games Guide: Matthew Allen, Henry Gilbert, Michael Grimm, Kim Deuel, Doug Trein, Nico Faraguna)


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