Guide to the games of 2017

Sports and racing

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Forza Motorsport 7

Release date: October 3, 2017
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Link: Official site 

The first full-on entry in the Forza sim racing series is coming to PC alongside the Xbox One this fall. After the fantastic Forza Horizon 3 in 2016, Forza has a shot at becoming one of the PC's premiere racing series going forward. And Microsoft's talking big game about how amazing this one looks at 4K and in HDR, which will make it a great testbed for the new wave of 4K HDR monitors.

Need for Speed Payback

Release date: November 10, 2017
Developer: Ghost Games
Link: Official site 

Need for Speed is back, and this time it's... Fast & Furious? That seems to be the vibe of the new Need For Speed, which showed off a heist sequence in its E3 presentation. You'll be taking down other racers, stealing cars from convoys, outrunning the cops, and customizing your cars. It feels like a bit of a kitchen sink racer, but in the right hands that could be really cool. Recent PC Need For Speeds have had some PC issues, so hopefully that's not the case for Payback. 

Fifa 18

Release date: September 29, 2017
Developer: Electronic Arts
Link: Official site

The trusty annual football (or soccer) game is definitely coming to PC, and along with the expected graphical improvements, it’ll also boast more detailed player traits and even better dribbling than ever before. One can never stop perfecting dribbling. 

Super Mega Baseball 2

Release date: Mid 2017
Developer: Metalhead Software
Link: Official site

We had one wish for the otherwise enjoyable Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings, and that was online play. Happily, Super Mega Baseball 2 will support four-player online co-op and head-to-head modes, and more robust stats and player customization systems.

Old Time Hockey

Release date: March 28, 2017 (Out now)
Developer: V7 Entertainment
Link: Official site

The moment editor-in-chief Evan Lahti published the words “the PC needs a hockey game,” the trailer for Old Time Hockey, set in the rinky-dink 1970s minor leagues, reached up and punched him full in the face. Sure, we were hoping for an official NHL game, but we’ll take it where we can get it.

We were excited about this one, and not just because Evan keeps threatening to drop his gloves and throw down. Old Time Hockey looks like it’s got the speed and physicality of classics like NHL ‘94, but that’s not all. It’s got fashion like small-town Michigan, speed like small-town Wisconsin, and mustaches like small-town British Columbia. In the end, we found it to be a bit of a letdown.

Pixel Soccer

Release date: June 1, 2017
Developer: Super Rock Games Limited
Link: Official site

As far as soccer games go, this one wins the award for Most Adorable Athletes. There’s something charming about seeing the world’s most popular sport played by little pixel sprites, but we’re more excited about the possibility for local multiplayer.

BeamNG.drive

Release date: 2017? (Out now in Early Access)
Developer: BeamNG
Link: Steam page

Currently in Early Access—which it will leave at some undetermined date—BeamNG.drive is a simulation focused driving game. It’s a sandbox more than strictly a racing game, providing soft body simulation to drive realistic handling and crashes, whether you’re steering a truck or a race car.

Project Cars 2

Release date: 2017?
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Link: Official site

The crowdfunded follow-up to Project Cars was announced back in 2015, and development has been quietly going on behind private forums. It promises over 200 cars and over 200 tracks, and a continuation of the Project Cars dedication to high-fidelity graphics and simulation.

(This is actually Project Cars because we don't have a screenshot of Project Cars 2.)

Road Rage

Release date: December 29, 2017
Developer: Team 6
Link: Official site

It’s not exactly a racing game, but there are no other motorcycles in this section—so here’s some motorcycles! And also pipes, swords, and axes that you can bash and slice and hack at people with.
 

Drift Stage

Release date: 2017?
Developer: Super Systems Softworks
Link: Official site

A crowdfunded throwback to arcade racers with a colorful vector illustration style that’ll make your pupils contract. It’s the ‘80s, baby. And good news if that sounds awesome: there’s a free public alpha version you can play.