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Josh West

The must-play video games of winter 2024

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth screenshot showing Cloud in conversation .

Winter is here, and there's plenty of great-looking video games to help see you through the cold months. The season is set to run until the end of March, so your friends at GamesRadar+ figured that now would be a great opportunity to help you get a sense of what the must-play games of Winter 2024 are going to be. 

Below you'll find our pick of 14 games you need to have on your radar throughout the winter season, from massive RPGs like Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth to awesome survival games such as Pacific Drive and Nightingale. Of course, there are plenty of other games launching in the next three months that we've been watching for a little while now, the likes of Skull and Bones and Sons of the Forest. For a more all-encompassing look at what's on the near horizon, you'll want to check out our lists of the upcoming PS5 games, upcoming PC games, and upcoming Xbox Series X games

We'll also be exploring each of these games (and plenty more) throughout January in our Big in 2024 series – your guide to the most anticipated games of the year. Everyday this month, we'll have new articles which explore the biggest games of 2024 with exclusive interviews, hands-on reports, and new analysis. While you wait for all of that, keep on reading to find our pick of the biggest games of winter 2024 that you shouldn't miss, no matter your platform of choice or genre preferences. 

14 essential games of winter 2024

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

(Image credit: Sega)

Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release date: January 26, 2024

Ichiban Kasuga is set to line up alongside Yakuza legend Kazuma Kiryu in what is promising to be one of the most outrageous adventures of the year. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is expanding the borders of the long running RPG series, shifting the turn-based action outside of Yokohama and into the sun-soaked streets of Hawaii's Honolulu City. Developer Ryu Ga Gotoku is widening the scope of play, expanding the Jobs system to give each character a wider set of perks and playstyles to draw from, and increasing the audacity of the world as it introduces a suite of new minigames to distract you from the darker overtones of the core storyline. 

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice Squad 

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Games)

Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Release date: February 2, 2024

It's somehow been nine years since developer Rocksteady Games delivered Batman: Arkham Knight, and 2024 will see the studio leave Gotham City behind for Metropolis – home of Superman. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice Squad is dragging some of the best DC villains into a madcap adventure, letting you take control of Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and King Shark in a battle against Brainiac and a corrupted Justice League. That's right, you'll be zipping around Metropolis trying to find inventive ways to take down the likes of Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, and others before the city is brought to its knees. Suicide Squad will be one of the wildest open world games of the year.

Helldivers 2

(Image credit: SIE)

Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS5
Release date: February 2, 2024

The original Helldivers landed in 2015 and quickly established itself as one of the best co-op games on PS4, a top-down shooter that let you and your buddies fight back against hordes of creatures to ensure the survival of Super Earth. Well, Helldivers 2 is set to expand the scope of the action – shifting perspective to a tighter third-person camera, and expanding opportunities for you to team up with your friends to unleash devastating attacks. This wondrous love letter to the world of Aliens and Starship Troopers looks like an absolute blast, and one which will undoubtedly strain friendships as you contend with challenging combat conditions and the ever-present fear of friendly fire casualties. 

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

(Image credit: Focus Entertainment)

Developer: Don't Nod
Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Release date: February 13, 2024

Don't Nod has always shown an aptitude for experimentation. The studio has delivered everything from Jusant to Life is Strange to Vampyr in the last decade, and now it's trying its hand at a fully-fledged paranormal action-RPG in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. You'll be playing as two ghost-busting protagonists, one of whom becomes a spirit herself over the course of the game's opening hours, as they battle phantasmic forces plaguing the town of New Eden. The slick third-person combat and unique movesets of each character are a far cry from the clunkier play of the action-focused Vampyr, but Don't Nod shines when telling sweeping narrative-driven adventures and this looks like a story set to make this winter a little more interesting.


(Image credit: Kepler Interactive)

Developer: Hadoque
Platform(s): PC, PS5
Release date: February 13, 2024

Come for the trippy wicked vibes, stay for the challenging combat and excellent platforming. Ultros is a new metroidvania which has you attempt to wield a time loop to escape the horrors contained within a cosmic uterus, battling all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures as you move through vibrant levels – the cleaner the kill, the better the bounty of organs that you can harvest to improve your suite of skills. Ultros is a pretty wonderful experience with a unique approach to progression, tied to a gardening system that has you planning seeds and cultivating them across multiple loops – the vines eventually unlocking new pathways or improving certain abilities. It's weird, fun, and challenging. 

Open Roads

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Developer: Open Roads Team
Platform(s): PC, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X
Release date: February 22, 2024

Open Roads looks to be the next step forward for the narrative-driven adventure game, building on the foundational design of titles like Gone Home and Tacoma. Taking on the role of teenager Tess Devine, you'll embark on a road trip with your mother, Opal, to explore a series of long-abandoned family properties in order to better understand your past and place in the world. The cast is headlined by actors Keri Russell and Kaitlyn Dever, the pair driving a unique approach to interactive dialogue, and a narrative focused on unearthing buried truths. Switching between first-person exploration and beautiful hand-animated story scenes, Open Roads is bound to be one of the most emotionally-effective games of 2024.

Pacific Drive

(Image credit: Kepler Interactive)

Developer: Ironwood Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS5
Release date: February 22, 2024

Ironwood Studios is putting forward a pretty novel take on the survival genre, pulling focus away from ensuring you have enough energy and sustenance to see another day and is instead shining the spotlight on an old station wagon. In Pacific Drive, you'll need to venture out into the Olympic Exclusion Zone – a reimagined Pacific Northwest that's being assaulted by a raft of supernatural dangers. You'll do this from the driver's seat of your vehicle, something you'll need to keenly maintain, repair, and improve between excursions from an abandoned garage which acts as a homebase. Driving to survive in a hostile world is a great concept, and everything we've played of Pacific Drive so far has certainly ignited the imagination.  


(Image credit: Inflexion Games)

Developer: Inflexion Games
Platform(s): PC
Release date: February 22, 2024

Nightingale has been a long time coming. Built by former BioWare veterans, this open-world survival crafting game is set to enter Early Access on February 22, letting you and your friends explore a labyrinth of fantasy realms connected by an old arcane portal network. You'll need to work together to gather valuable resources, use them to assemble new equipment and resources, and then use anything left over to build impressive homesteads. You'll also need to contend with fearsome creatures who are intent on snuffing out the last hopes for humanity, and deadly apex foes who will be hellbent on ripping down your most impressive creations. Nightingale is set to be one of 2024's most interesting cooperative PvE games, and we can't wait to see more. 

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PC
Release date: February 29, 2024

Square Enix is about to take one of the best RPGs into an entirely new direction. Final Fantasy 7 Remake was a pretty interesting reimagining of the 1997 original, and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth seems intent on further upending expectation. The second installment in a planned trilogy, Rebirth is essentially building a fresh experience around foundational story beats – so while you should expect open-area exploration beyond the confines of Midgar and as much time at the Gold Saucer as you can handle, who knows what's going to happen to key characters from there. Factor all this in with further refinements to the action-combat systems, and we're looking at one of the most anticipated RPGs of the generation.

Life by You

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Developer: Paradox Interactive
Platform(s): PC
Release date: March 5

Paradox's upcoming life sim Life By You is set to rival The Sims 4 when it launches into early access on March 5. Described by the developer as "the most moddable life sim ever", Life by You offers players seemingly infinite ways to customize the experience, from the families you create to the worlds they live in. Paradox delayed the game into 2024 to ensure that it had the time to get the launch right and, from everything we've seen of it so far, Life By You is shaping up to be one of the best simulator games of the year – and the first real contender to The Sims' throne that we've seen in quite some time. 

Homeworld 3

(Image credit: Blackbird Interactive)

Developer: Blackbird Interactive
Platform(s): PC
Release date: March 8, 2024

For a great many years now, Homeworld has long-been considered one of the best RTS games of all-time. That's why we're so damned excited by Homeworld 3 from Blackbird Interactive, a return to the pioneering strategy set throughout space. An extensive campaign mode is showcasing a truly impressive 3D ballistics system, with combat necessitating that you're aware of threats coming at you from all angles. Homeworld 3 is also launching with a new co-op more that's been infused with a roguelike structure, a smart push to get players to experiment further with the variety of ship classes and combat styles available in the game. Whether you're a longtime franchise fan or new to the series, Homeworld 3 looks essential for all strategy game fans. 

Dragon's Dogma 2 

(Image credit: Capcom)

Developer: Capcom
Platform(s): PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
Release date: March 22, 2024

12 years on from the first game, Dragon's Dogma 2 will see the return of the Arisen in another medieval high fantasy world. The action RPG was announced back in 2022 during a 10-year anniversary live stream of Dragon's Dogma, so this is one sequel we've been dying to get our hands on for quite some time. From what we've seen of it so far in our hands-on Dragon's Dogma 2 preview, we know to expect magic-infused melee combat, mystical beasts, and the return of Pawns to recruit to our party when we set out to explore this epic narrative-driven adventure in March.

Princess Peach: Showtime! 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Nintendo
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release date: March 22, 2024

It's a swordfighter! It's a pirate! Not really, it's Princess Peach Showtime. The Mario universe's original Royal Highness is finally taking the spotlight again in this upcoming Switch game launching in March. The action platformer will see Princess Peach battling Grape and the Sour Bunch in an effort to rescue Sparkle Theater from their evil clutches, and she'll have to take on a variety of starring roles to do so and make use of her new powers in the process. We haven't had a Peach-centric game since Super Princess Peach launched on Nintendo DS in 2006, so this is one magical adventure worth picking up this winter.

Rise of the Ronin

(Image credit: Team Ninja)

Developer: Team Ninja
Platform(s): PS5
Release date: March 22, 2024

The masterful studio behind some of the best action games is back with Rise of the Ronin. Launching in March, the game sees you stalking the open-world streets of feudal Japan as a lone samurai, operating by your own credo. It's a very combat-heavy adventure, as you might expect from the creators of hack n' slash epics like Nioh and Nioh 2, but the rich historical context of 19th century Japan is the perfect backdrop for a story of war, struggle, and retribution. Team Ninja has dubbed Rise of the Ronin as its "biggest game to date", so it's certainly grabbed our attention as one of the most exciting games of early 2024.

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