Happy spooky month, everyone! For a long time, October was the period when AAA studios started dropping their biggest titles to be a part of the holiday release cycle. It’s also a very popular month for horror games or anything using a horror aesthetic to release. It feels seasonal with Halloween capping off the month and everyone seeking out scary games to stay on theme.
Of course, video games don’t really have a dead period anymore with major titles releasing throughout the calendar. Horror games definitely still come out during October, but they’re also pretty spread out throughout the year as well. It’s a bit of a bummer, because having those times of the year to anticipate big and/or seasonal titles seems like a thing of the past.
Of course, with all of that said, October 2021 is stacked with must-play games that everyone should be keeping an eye on.
Games With Gold – Xbox ONE, Xbox Series X/S
After a weaker September, Xbox came out strong for the month of October. Anyone looking to get their spooky fix will have two options to choose from with Resident Evil – Code: Veronica and Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. Both games are spin-offs from the main series, except Veronica was originally designed to be a sequel to Resident Evil 2. Both games each have a healthy amount of support behind them. Of course, not everyone gets down with the spooky during Halloween season, so there are alternative options like the parkour game Hover or the rhythm shooter game Aaero.
PlayStation Plus Games – PlayStation 4/PlayStation 5
The highly-acclaimed Mortal Kombat X alone makes this a month worth having a PS Plus Subcription. The other two games will depend on the taste of the player. Only golf fans are going to appreciate the details of PGA 2K21, while Hell Let Loose might appeal to anyone that wants a World War II FPS not called Battlefield or Call of Duty.
Metroid Dread – Nintendo Switch
It feels unreal to be saying this, but a new 2D Metroid game is releasing this month and it looks incredible. Metroid Dread is Samus’ first completely new 2D adventure in 19 years. Every trailer has given off the vibe that this game is going to continue with the horror themes of Metroid Fusion and take them even further. Every trailer feels more eerie than the last, but it also shows off the potential for some really fun action. This game has the potential to be one we’re talking about through the end of the year.
Far Cry 6 – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Far Cry 6 is the latest game in the series and let’s just say there are some huge expectations for this one. Fans have been growing tiresome of the formula that was perfected in Far Cry 3 and have been asking for something new. Not only that, but this game has the added expectation of acknowledging the politics that inspires its story. Far Cry, along with developer Ubisoft, have always had a difficult time walking the line it wants to walk between video games and politics. Could Far Cry 6 finally be the one that nails it, or will it once again come off as a game that couldn’t decide what it wants to be?
Back 4 Blood – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
We got a chance to play Back 4 Blood during its open beta period and came away feeling mixed on it. The game definitely gave us what we promised, which was more of the Left 4 Dead formula that its inspired by, but it felt like it was missing something. Back 4 Blood was supposed to be a game that enhanced the formula instead of just repeating it. There wasn’t too much new in that beta, but that was back in August. They’ve had time to fine-tune it and we really want to see what it’s going to look like as a final product. At worst, it’s going to be a fun zombie game to play for a few weeks.
The Jackbox Party Pack 8 – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Hey, a new party pack! The Jackbox games have become a party game staple that can be played both online or in-person with friends. Some packs are better than others, but it’s always worth checking out releases to see if a new favorite is going to be in the pack. That’s why we have to give a recommendation to the upcoming Jackbox Party Pack 8. With the right group of friends, these games can be a really fun time. The eighth pack releasing this month is a great excuse to get everyone together, online or off. All you need is a single copy of the game.
FIFA 22 – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
The latest game in the FIFA franchise has the potential to be one of those titles that mark a change in the franchise. This game introduces a new feature called Hypermotion. This new technology has allowed the developers to capture the most accurate animations to date. The result is a game that, gameplay-wise, looks very smooth. Unfortunately, because it’s a modern sports game, that means there are still plenty of microtransactions plaguing the experience. Anyone that enjoys sports games may want to look into picking this up, though, because FIFA games are consistently solid. Just be wary of the microtransactions going in.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Marvel’s infiltration into video games has had mixed success so far. The Spider-Man games were wildly successful, with both Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales receiving seemingly universal praise. However, Marvel’s Avengers hasn’t had nearly the same level of success due to a plethora of issues since launch. This new Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game is hoping to replicate Spider-Man and the gameplay early on looks like it may do just that. The key is going to be in the writing. The Guardians movies are all extremely well written and we to expect the same from the game.
Solar Ash – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4
Solar Ash has been shown at many gaming showcases because of its art style and gameplay hook. This artistic action platformer features beautiful visuals with striking colors and a style that leaves you anticipating what’s next after every jump. It has the chance to be a really special game. We want to play it because every year, there’s an artistic indie games that takes the world by storm and Solar Ash has the chance to do just that. It’s one of 2021’s most anticipated games and nobody should miss out on it.
Riders Republic – PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Riders Republic has the potential to be the action-sports game many of us have wanted for years. We got a chance to play it early a few months ago and couldn’t stop praising it. It has a gigantic world, fun gameplay, and exploration was rewarded constantly. There’s something for everyone, whether it’s races, exploration, competing, or hanging out with friends. We are curious to see how long that formula lasts before it gets tiresome, but early signs are something we’re very excited to play more of.