The game is set much earlier — in the first century B.C., around the time of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra — than previous Assassin’s Creed games, so players can explore the beginnings of the Brotherhood of Assassins, a renegade group fighting for freedom. The game’s combat system has been overhauled, with the duel-style action of previous games replaced by a lock-on mechanic that means enemies don’t really wait before they attack.
In addition, players can now pursue or leave quests whenever they like, instead of having to finish off a quest to return to the main world.
Released: Oct. 27
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Nintendo’s console has been a hit with hard-core and casual gamers alike. As Nintendo’s first new home console since the Wii U in 2012, the Switch remains in tight supply — and demand is not slowing.
Reviews for the Switch have been unanimously positive, praising its streamlined design and ability to seamlessly switch between at home and on the road without affecting how the games look and play.
“Not only does it have two of the best games released this year — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey — it’s also an impressive piece of gaming tech that works well both as a home console and a portable machine,” Mr. Ramsay of GameSpot said.
Released: March 3
Super NES Classic Edition — Nintendo
Nintendo’s SNES Classic console, which debuted in September, has become another hit.
The console is a miniaturized rerelease of the classic SNES console from the 1990s, a kind of novelty box that comes loaded with 21 games, including Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Final Fantasy III.
The console plugs directly into a TV via HDMI, so players can use their current tech setup to play their childhood favorites.
“The Super NES Classic is a surefire glorious trip down memory lane,” Mr. Ramsay said.
Released: Sept. 29
Microsoft Xbox One X
Microsoft is hoping its new Xbox One X console can become the ideal partner to 4K televisions that promise better picture quality and higher resolutions.
Microsoft has touted the Xbox One X as the most powerful console on the market, with more memory and bandwidth to allow better-looking games and faster loading times.
But the device is priced relatively high: $499, compared with less than $300 for consoles like the Xbox One S and Sony’s PS4. As a result, the Xbox One X may not immediately be a mainstream gaming product, at least not until far more people own 4K televisions.
Released: Nov. 7