How is it August already? We are merely a week away from the official start of video game season.
While quality games release all year long, the time between "Madden NFL" and Thanksgiving is prime real estate for the biggest titles of the year. Assuming they don't slip to February or March, of course.
Since we are on the precipice of the busy season, I thought I would share my top 10 games coming for the rest of the year. Not that there aren't some other great games coming — from "Mega Man 11" to "Battlefield V" — that are certainly worthy of some lists, but this is my column, so I get to make my own rules.
Here are the official Rocky Mountain Gamer top 10 releases for the rest of the year, presented in order of release date:
'Madden NFL 19' on Aug. 10
Let's be honest, it doesn't matter how big of an upgrade we get from year to year, "Madden NFL" is the sports game to play in the fall. This year includes the sequel to last year's "Longshot" story mode, "Longshot 2: Homecoming," and a focus on better player control. See this game in action, and you'll be ready for some football!
'Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age' on Sept. 4
The last non-handheld, western "Dragon Quest" release was way back in 2004, with "Dragon Quest VIII" on PS2. The game's return is worth noting not just because of the 14-year gap, but because it is a truly spectacular-looking and -playing game. For fans of JRPGs, this is the year's biggest release. Get ready for an epic journey.
'Marvel's Spider-Man' on Sept. 7
Exclusives like this keep the PS4 on top. Developer Insomniac's take on the friendly neighborhood web-slinger promises to raise the hero's game cachet to "Batman: Arkham" levels. Not only is the game packed with iconic villains for Spidey to fight, the giant Marvelized version of Manhattan offers plenty of opportunity to swing your tights off.
'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' Sept. 14
Considered the final game in the rebooted Lara Croft origin trilogy, "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" is the final puzzle piece showing how Lara became the badass adventurer we all know and love. Expect even more refined gameplay with a hearty mixture of stealth, action and exploration. Lara has never looked so formidable.
'Forza Horizon 4' on Oct. 2
One of the most popular racing series moves to the United Kingdom for its jam-packed fourth entry. Though playable offline, "Forza Horizon 4" features a fully synchronized world where you can race against others instead of the AI-controlled opponents. With the new dynamic weather system and changing seasons, this version looks amazing.
'Assassin's Creed Odyssey' on Oct. 5
No one expected another new "Assassin's Creed" game quite so soon after "Origins," but that doesn't mean "Odyssey" is half-baked. Featuring everything that made "Origins" such a revelation, the new game expands on RPG elements, giving players game-changing choices during pivotal moments. Looks like another masterpiece awaits.
'Red Dead Redemption 2' on Oct. 26
You can hold "Red Dead Redemption 2" directly responsible for the number of great games coming in early 2019. Few publishers wanted to release a big game around this behemoth. Eight years in the making, the next installment in Rockstar's Wild West answer to "Grand Theft Auto" will be what everyone is talking about this fall.
'Fallout 76' on Nov. 14
Speaking of games no one was expecting, "Fallout 76" came out of nowhere right before E3 and is poised to land before the end of the year. A prequel to previous iterations, "Fallout 76" allows players to tackle post-apocalyptic West Virginia alone or with others. Plus, the collector's edition comes with a full-size, wearable helmet. Take that, "Halo!"
'Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu!' and 'Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee!' on Nov. 16
The first "Pokémon" game for the Switch takes a familiar game, "Pokémon Yellow," and remixes it with "Pokémon Go!" type features and integration. It will include the 151 Pokémon from the original games with their new forms as seen in "Pokémon Sun and Moon." There's even a new Pokéball controller to round things out.
'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' on Dec. 7
It's a new "Super Smash Bros." game with every character that has ever appeared in any "Super Smash Bros." game, and then some. 'Nuff said.