Despite numerous delays, the fall video game release schedule still holds plenty of promise. Highly anticipated action games are set to arrive alongside deeply engrossing visual novels; turn-based strategy games are looking to avoid a sophomore slump; gods are still trying to be good dads. With such a wide swath of genres to choose from, it’s a daunting time to keep up with video games.

So, we’re here to help you sort through big-budget AAA titles, under-the-radar indies, and everything in between as we head into the last quarter of 2022. Mark your calendars and find some free time.

Roadwarden

A map in Roadwarden

Image: Moral Anxiety Studio/Assemble Entertainment

An entirely text-based adventure, Roadwarden goes the way of the MUD (a type of text-based RPG) — minus the online components.

With sepia-colored pixel art, Roadwarden feels like it’s been ripped right out of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Players assume the role of the titular roadwarden, and are tasked by a powerful merchant guild to explore an unknown peninsula. There will be plenty of puzzles to solve along the way in this blend of visual novels, adventure games, and interactive fiction. Players can also pursue a variety of play styles, from a wizened wizard to a fearsome warrior. It’s an enticing throwback to the era of adventure-driven PC games.

Roadwarden will be released on Sept. 8 on Windows PC, Mac, and Linux.

Splatoon 3

Inklings and Octolings face off in a city street in artwork from Splatoon 3

Image: Nintendo

The Splatoon series has always been a more eclectic take on competitive shooters, and Splatoon 3 seems to be following suit — albeit with a more overtly postapocalyptic aesthetic. You’ll drop into dilapidated arenas to engage in highly competitive multiplayer matches or fight swarms of salmon that are encroaching upon the land. And of course, it doesn’t seem to be skimping on the quirkiness that the series established from the outset.

As Mike McWhertor wrote after his recent hands-on time with the game, Splatoon 3 is shaping up to be a lot more of a good thing.

Splatoon 3 will be released on Sept. 9 on Nintendo Switch.

The DioField Chronicle

The heroes of The DioField Chronicle look over a tactical map lit by a glowing orb

Image: Lancarse/Square Enix

Another Square Enix tactical RPG that’s set to launch this fall, The DioField Chronicle has been compared to Final Fantasy Tactics — but it seems to be a more reactive title that has players actively moving units around the field to engage squadrons of enemies.

It isn’t every day that a developer says that League of Legends inspired its strategy RPG title — at least in relation to how it structures its gameplay around the uniqueness of every protagonist and the skills they’ll be bringing to the table. It looks to be a nice deviation from more class-focused strategy RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea.

The DioField Chronicle will be released on Sept. 20 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.

Valkyrie Elysium

Combat in Valkyrie Elysium

Image: Soleil/Square Enix

Despite the series long being thought dormant — or dead, depending on who you ask — Square Enix has surprised fans with the announcement, and fast-approaching release, of Valkyrie Elysium. And judging by what details we have, this new installment seems like quite the drastic shift in gameplay from Valkyrie Profile.

As opposed to its predecessor’s turn-based combat, Valkyrie Elysium is a third-person action game, and it seems to be taking cues from Nier: Automata and Nier Replicant. Initial trailers were a bit jarring, with some interesting aesthetic choices (the visuals have a more “painterly” look to them), but new footage has made the game look more appealing. Combat looks more refined, even revealing that characters met along your journey can join you in combat against impressive enemies inspired by Norse mythology. Players will take the role of the titular Valkyrie to purify souls and save a doomed world at the behest of Odin, which seems like a tall task indeed. Regardless of its final quality, it’s exciting to see this series come back.

Valkyrie Elysium will be released on Sept. 29 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Mario firing a laser blaster at enemies in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

Image: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan/Ubisoft

In keeping with the tone and philosophy of its predecessor, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope promises to bring more weirdness to turn-based tactical combat.

The previous entry in the series, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, proved to be a solid tactical title. It showed that hardcore tactical games like XCOM could be adapted into something altogether cuter and more approachable. Sparks of Hope, then, can be seen as an attempt to avoid a sophomore slump. And who isn’t excited about the iconic Bowser finally appearing as a member of your tactical team?

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope will be released on Oct. 20 on Nintendo Switch.

Persona 5 Royal (Xbox/Nintendo Switch)

Characters from the Persona 5 Royal video game

Image: Atlus/Sega via Polygon

For years, the idea of Persona 5 coming to platforms outside of PlayStation was a pervasive meme. But not anymore.

The Phantom Thieves will appear on Windows PC, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch this fall. It won’t just be the base game, either; Persona 5 Royal will be available on both platforms, which means that players will get to kick off their journey with all of the extra content PlayStation players had to wait for. It’s the first of several in the series to venture onto new platforms, and its portability — on both Switch and the Steam Deck — has us worried for our free time.

Persona 5 Royal will be released on Oct. 21 on Windows PC, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.

Gotham Knights

Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Hood walk down a wet alley in artwork from Gotham Knights

Image: WB Games Montreal/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

In keeping with Arkham Knight’s DLC, Gotham Knights will feature a rotating cast of playable characters with their own respective move sets. What’s notable this time around, however, is that said playable cast doesn’t include the Dark Knight himself (at least, that’s what WB Montreal’s marketing has led us to believe thus far).

Regardless, the stakes are high in the upcoming entry: The sinister Court of Owls is making moves to take over Gotham, and Batgirl, Robin, Red Hood, and Nightwing are assuming the mantle of detective-vigilantes to stop them. You can utilize the entire foursome to tackle missions, and return to the Belfry, the squad’s base of operations, between missions. Developer Rocksteady is still working on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League — until that’s released, here’s hoping that WB Montreal’s second effort in the Batman universe (after Arkham Origins) sticks the landing. —Mike Mahardy

Gotham Knights will be released on Oct. 21 on Windows PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X.

Star Ocean: The Divine Force

Raymond charging into battle in Star Ocean: The Divine Force.

Image: tri-Ace/Square Enix

Square Enix just can’t stop reviving old franchises, and Star Ocean: The Divine Force is one of the most unexpected revivals to date.

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for the series, especially after mobile exclusive Star Ocean: Anamnesis was shut down in North America and Japan. But The Divine Force seems like it’s going to be packed full of action and plenty of planets to explore. Despite its somewhat generic-looking sci-fi visuals, the new environments and more action-focused combat could be a turning point in the series. And even if the narrative is spotty like those of most Star Ocean games, it’s exciting to see Square Enix give yet another one of its series a second chance.

Star Ocean: The Divine Force will be released on Oct. 27 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta contemplates an orb in a screenshot from Bayonetta 3

Image: PlatinumGames/Nintendo

Out of the handful of exciting Nintendo Switch games launching this fall, none promise to be brimming with as much excitement and vigor as the one featuring everyone’s favorite Umbra Witch.

While development on Bayonetta 3 went dark for a few years after its initial announcement in 2017, there has been a slew of updates in recent months — namely, new trailers that showcase the new types of demonic entities Bayonetta can summon to pulverize her enemies in style.

Bayonetta 3 also looks like it’s gonna be shaking things up a little bit, with new characters and plenty of mystery surrounding the titular femme fatale herself. It’s driven the Bayonetta community into a frenzy of translating runes, desperate to figure out if the Bayonetta shown in the trailer is the Bayonetta we’ve all grown to know and love. Regardless, Bayonetta 3 seems like it could be another great action title in the ranks of PlatinumGames’ already impressive catalog.

Bayonetta 3 will be released on Oct. 28 on Nintendo Switch.

Resident Evil Village – Winters’ Expansion

Rose Winters in Resident Evil: Village Winters’ Expansion

Image: Capcom

While not necessarily a 2022 release, Resident Evil Village Gold Edition will arrive alongside some brand new content. Resident Evil Village Winters’ Expansion will feature a third-person mode. It won’t transport players back to the “classic” era of fixed-camera titles like Resident Evil Code: Veronica X or Resident Evil 0, but plays off of the popular over-the-shoulder perspective the series transitioned to with Resident Evil 4.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it goes the way of the Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes, potentially making the game even more accessible to those prone to motion sickness. What’s more, Winters’ Expansion will see the addition of an entirely new scenario featuring Rose Winters, the daughter of Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil Village protagonist Ethan Winters. Lastly, those who enjoyed the Mercenaries mode will have the option to tear through hordes of enemies as series mainstay Chris Redfield, the popular Lady Dimitrescu, and the deplorable Karl Heisenberg. It’s a slew of new content for one of the best games of 2021, and it’s great to see Capcom continuing to support it.

Resident Evil Village Winters’ Expansion will be released on Oct. 28 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Harvestella

Combat in farming sim/dungeon crawler Harvestella

Image: Square Enix

Into dungeon crawling, farming, and fishing? Harvestella has you covered.

With what appears to be a quintessential JRPG narrative about community and persisting through an apocalyptic event a la Final Fantasy:Crystal Chronicles, it’ll be interesting to see if Harvestella can manage the delicate balance between the two genres it’s trying to blend. With its colorful landscapes and gorgeous homestead, Harvestella (we hope) might make up for the lackluster Rune Factory 5.

Harvestella will be released on Nov. 4 on Windows PC and Nintendo Switch.

God of War Ragnarok

a creature that looks like an alligator attacking Kratos from the air in God of War Ragnarok

Image: SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment

God of War 2018 took on the unenviable task of redefining Kratos. Going from the openly angry and vengeful Greek demigod to a quiet and gruff father figure was more than a small change. And it pulled it off with flying colors.

God of War Ragnarok will continue the storyline of Kratos as a father, as he shepherds his son Atreus through even more trials, tribulations, and, as the name suggests, a cataclysmic event.

With everything shown so far, it looks like this new entry in the series will have the same sleek combat as its predecessor. Whether Ragnarok can continue the momentum of the previous title, however, remains to be seen.

God of War Ragnarok will be released on Nov. 9 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn

combat map in Tactics Ogre: Reborn

Image: Square Enix

This fall, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together will appear on modern consoles as Tactics Ogre: Reborn. A classic entry in one of the most defining JRPG series of all time, Tactics Ogre: Reborn will come with some additional bells and whistles that weren’t included in the PlayStation Portable release of Let Us Cling Together. And it’s hard not to be excited for the series to return in some way, shape, or form. After all, it’s inspired titles like Final Fantasy 14, Final Fantasy Tactics, and other politically driven JRPGs within the past two decades.

Not only will the game feature enhanced visuals and a rerecorded score (featuring live performances), but Tactics Ogre: Reborn will also include Japanese and English audio options. With a game as text-heavy as Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, it’s definitely one of the more enticing improvements for this unexpected rerelease. (With various classes and multiple endings to unlock, the game also seems tailor-made for grinding on both Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck.)

Tactics Ogre: Reborn will be released on Nov. 11 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

The protagonist trainer in Pokemon Violet

Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

After the structural changes that Pokémon Legends Arceus introduced, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet appear to be making changes of their own: most notably in the tweaks to the series’ items, moves, and battle system.

The Paldea region also takes some pretty obvious inspiration from Spain, not only in its locales, but also in the naming conventions for a plethora of the new Pokémon that will appear in the game. Whether Scarlet and Violet can capitalize on their intriguing new setting and more experimental mechanics remains to be seen.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be released on Nov. 18 on Nintendo Switch.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

a brawny man holding a grenade launcher in Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

Image: Fatshark via The Game Awards/YouTube

If you’ve ever wanted to plow through hordes of enemies with a plethora of crude but effective weapons at your disposal, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is for you. Developer Fatshark created one of the most successful Left 4 Dead-alikes on the market with Warhammer: Vermintide 2, so its upcoming foray into the futuristic sci-fi of the 40K universe is all the more exciting.

You’ll cut, tear, and shoot your way through endless waves of grotesque and mutated monstrosities unique to the 40K universe. As opposed to the discrete characters of Vermintide 2, you’ll also be able to customize your own avatars in the studio’s new project. And what makes for better quality time with friends than min-maxing your builds to keep yourselves alive for as long as possible?

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide will be released on Nov. 30 on Windows PC and later on Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

Pentiment

Screenshot of Andreas Maler in a courtyard from Obsidian Entertainment’s historical adventure-narrative RPG Pentiment.

Image: Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios

No recent game has looked like Pentiment. Taking visual inspiration from medieval artwork (you know, the kinds of tomes that feature illustrations of knights riding snails), Pentiment is a murder mystery game in which players will collect clues and interrogate their fellow villagers to investigate murders occurring at the local abbey. Outside of branching dialogue paths, Pentiment appears to have different puzzles to keep players equally engaged in the gameplay and narrative.

What’s more, knowing Obsidian’s track record, it could be something of a sleeper hit — especially since some of the team involved had a hand in the creation of classic Black Isle titles like Icewind Dale II and the beloved cult classic Fallout: New Vegas.

Pentiment will be released in November on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

Love Shore

Characters in the cyberpunk visual novel Love Shore

Image: Perfect Garbage

Announced on Kickstarter, Love Shore quickly received all of the funding it needed (and more) to complete its development cycle. And it’s easy to see why. Not only does this visual novel feature interesting character designs and neon-lit environments — it also purports to be a more subversive take on the cyberpunk genre.

Players can assume the role of one of the two protagonists, Sam or Farah, as you uncover the secrets of Love Shore, a futuristic town where society shifts once night falls. You can romance more than a handful of NPCs, and encounter Old Gods that are entwined with the mystery of this city that never sleeps.

Love Shore will also feature over 24 different endings and eight different storylines, which could be more than enough to satiate even visual-novel diehards. Truly subversive entries in the cyberpunk genre are few and far between, and we’re hoping that Love Shore becomes one of them.

Love Shore will be released sometime this fall on Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.