This month, publishers break out some killer games ahead of the holiday shopping season. Every week is loaded with titles to grab; here are eight highlights. PCMag reviews products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use.

Summer is over and the kids are headed back to school. Shops are starting to push holiday-themed goods, and of course, publishers are breaking out their killer video games to capitalize on the shopping upswing.

If you've been shopping for games regularly, you no doubt saw Monster Hunter World on digital shelves last month. The game made its way onto PCs, further boosting sales of the dragon-slaying action title and making it one of the year's must-own games. Yakuza 0 also arrived on PC last month, giving gamers a kooky Japanese adventure game with silly side quests, brutal beat-'em-up action, and touching storytelling. August even got a few old-school side-scrolling games, like the brutal fantasy action game Death's Gambit and the Metroid-esque Dead Cells.

September has plenty in store, though, from Japanese RPGs to fighting, sports, and adventure. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age will deliver old-school turn-based action and Akira Toriyama's iconic aesthetic. If you're trigger finger is itching for a workout, Lara Croft might have the routine you need with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which concludes her origin story arc and gives you mountains of baddies to mow down.

Every week of this month is loaded with games to grab. We've limited our list of recommendations to eight great titles, in hopes of sparing your wallets, and your video game backlog. But let us know what you're looking forward in the comments.

  • 1 Forza Horion 4

    Platform: PC, Xbox One
    Release Date: October 2
    MSRP: $59.99

    There are racing games, and then there's Forza Horizon, a series that marries intense driving simulation with leisurely travel and social interactions. Horizon 4 features over 450 licensed vehicles, and 72-player servers that accommodate a beefy number of concurrent players. This new iteration also boasts dynamic season changes to go along with the weather system, so the road and scenery change radically when you play.

  • 2 Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise

    Platform: PS4
    Release Date: October 2
    MSRP: $59.99

    Fist of the North Star is a martial arts story for the ages. It follows the adventures and tragedy of the manliest of men, Kenshiro, as he fights gangsters and assassins in a post-apocalyptic world. Lost Paradise takes Kenshiro to Eden, a city where his kidnapped Yuria is rumored to reside. Lost Paradise combines brawling beat 'em-up action with open-world character interactions, similar in style to Sega's Yakuza games, to deliver a unique, skull-bashing adventure.

  • 3 Mega Man 11

    Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
    Release Date: October 2
    MSRP: $29.99

    Mega Man 11 is a return to classic form for the iconic series. It is the eleventh main-line entry in the series, and follows our beloved blue bomber as he struggles to take down eight corrupted robots in linear, challenge-riddled side-scrolling levels. Mega Man has access to a new Double Gear ability, which can slow down time or boost his attack power, letting players cleverly overcome obstacles and enemies. Mega Man 11 launches on all platforms, so if you have a platforming itch, this is the game you want to scratch with.

  • 4 Assassin's Creed Odyssey

    Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
    Release Date: October 5
    MSRP: $59.99

    Set in ancient Greece, Assassin's Creed Odyssey depicts the Peloponnesian War, which pit Athens and Sparta against one another. Players can choose which faction to side with, and carry out assassinations while also uncovering secret truths about the assassin's origins as well as the supernatural mystery that surrounds the series. Odyssey retains the RPG-style character development and enemy design, so you can train to focus on stealth or brute force at your leisure. Odyssey also reintroduces the naval combat system from older games.

  • 5 Super Mario Party

    Platform: Nintendo Switch
    Release Date: October 5
    MSRP: $59.99

    Super Mario Party is a reinvention of the series, making heavy use of the Nintendo Switch's functionality to create a unique and refreshing party game. The four-player board game style is back, but features over 80 new joy-con-focused mini-games. Super Mario Party is also the first in the series to feature online play, and even includes leaderboards and a ranking system.

  • 6 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

    Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
    Release Date: October 12
    MSRP: $59.99

    The fourth iteration of Treyarch's Black Ops series hits store shelves this month, giving FPS fans a chance to work out their trigger fingers. Interestingly, Black Ops 4 drops the campaign mode in favor of solo missions, which feature the game's multiplayer cast. With a lack of a campaign, Treyarch is focusing instead on multiplayer, and Black Ops 4 features plenty of competitive and cooperative modes to enjoy.

  • 7 Valkyria Chronicles 4

    Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
    Release Date: September 25
    MSRP: $59.99

    The World War II-inspired tactical RPG Valkyria Chronicles gets a sequel this month. Like in previous games, your ragtag group of anime misfits is caught in a war between the fictional Atlantic Federation and the Eastern Imperial Alliance. Your soldiers play different roles depending on their class, and you move them around the field in real time, picking off targets until you run out of action points and forfeit your turn to the enemy.

  • 8 Life is Strange 2

    Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
    Release Date: September 27
    MSRP: $39.99 (Compete Season)

    Life is Strange 2 is an episodic graphic adventure game that follows two boys, Sean and Daniel Diaz, on the run from the law after a bizarre accident results in the death of a police officer. This story is more familiar than the original Life is Strange, and explores themes of brotherhood and growth, and is structured like a road film. The first of five episodes will be available this month.