Best Video Games for Teens

If you have a teen gamer on your hands, this list is for you. We've compiled some of the best options on the market for the 12-and-older set, from classic RPGs and adventure sims to turn-based strategy games and brainteasers loaded with learning. Be forewarned: We know that content for older gamers can sometimes push the edge of what parents are comfortable with. These top-rated titles aren't as mature as Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, but some still contain edgy content some kids may not be ready to handle. Be prepared to discuss how sex and violence are depicted in these popular picks. 

Browse Best Video Games for Teens

Aegis Defenders Game Poster Image
Complex but highly rewarding adventure focused on teamwork.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows
(2018)
(2018)
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Aven Colony Game Poster Image
Off-world city-builder rewards patience with deep gameplay.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Blasters of the Universe Game Poster Image
Fast, fun VR action lets you dodge virtual bullets.
Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
(2018)
(2018)
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Brass Tactics Game Poster Image
VR strategy delivers fun, accessible robotic combat.
Platforms: Oculus Rift
(2018)
(2018)
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Burnout Paradise Remastered Game Poster Image
Harsh crashes dominate in intense, exciting racer.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Echo Arena Game Poster Image
Stellar multiplayer VR action-sports hybrid game.
Platforms: Oculus Rift
(2017)
(2017)
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Galaxy of Pen and Paper Game Poster Image
Retro adventure full of cheesy jokes, fun gameplay.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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Hand of Fate 2 Game Poster Image
Approachable RPG has cool presentation, fussy combat.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Lone Echo Game Poster Image
Great space adventure showcases great story, VR technology.
Platforms: Oculus Rift
(2017)
(2017)
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Metroid: Samus Returns Game Poster Image
Great sci-fi remake reinvents itself for a new generation.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2017)
(2017)
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Monster Hunter Stories Game Poster Image
Buddy up with fantasy creatures in fun RPG spin-off.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2017)
(2017)
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Moss Game Poster Image
Charming VR story immerses players in a living fairy tale.
Platforms: PlayStation VR
(2018)
(2018)
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Professor Layton and the Last Specter Game Poster Image
Captivating puzzle game makes doing brainteasers a blast.
Platforms: Nintendo DS
(2011)
(2011)
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Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask Game Poster Image
Superb puzzler is a smart treat for kids and their parents.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2012)
(2012)
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ReCore: Definitive Edition Game Poster Image
Upgraded action game has robot violence, strong heroine.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Songbringer Game Poster Image
Challenging gameplay, content stronger than visuals.
Platforms: Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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The Jackbox Party Pack 4 Game Poster Image
Hilarious, at times confusing party pack can thrill players.
Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Trials Evolution Game Poster Image
Exciting motorbike races with create-your-own tracks option.
Platforms: Xbox 360
(2012)
(2012)
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Trials Fusion Game Poster Image
Creative, social racer lets kids learn from fun, risky ride.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
(2014)
(2014)
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Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Game Poster Image
Updated historic strategy has great tactics, bloody combat.
Platforms: Windows
(2018)
(2018)
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Broken Age Game Poster Image
Witty story with memorable characters and good message.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
(2014)
(2014)
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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Game Poster Image
Emotional puzzler has great role models, some dark moments.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
(2013)
(2013)
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Code Name S.T.E.A.M. Game Poster Image
Unusual but fun turn-based strategy game with mild violence.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2015)
(2015)
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Destiny 2 Game Poster Image
Online shooter promotes social play, has violent combat.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Dragon Ball FighterZ Game Poster Image
Super-powered brawler brings fun, lots of deep gameplay.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Game Poster Image
Epic RPG adventure with some violence, mild innuendo.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2017)
(2017)
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EA Sports UFC 3 Game Poster Image
Violent sim of digital sport best for hard-core fans.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Final Fantasy XV Game Poster Image
Epic tale has deep gameplay and characters, loads of combat.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
(2016)
(2016)
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Fire Emblem: Awakening Game Poster Image
Excellent strategy RPG skews older because characters die.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2013)
(2013)
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From Other Suns Game Poster Image
Stellar sci-fi VR shooter blasts off with fast-paced action.
Platforms: Oculus Rift
(2017)
(2017)
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Grim Fandango Remastered Game Poster Image
Stellar adventure game revisits the Land of the Dead.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Gundam Versus Game Poster Image
Fun robotic brawler adds larger multiplayer combat.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2017)
(2017)
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Half the Sky Movement: The Game Game Poster Image
Empowering sim explores women's issues and activism.
Platforms: Facebook
(2013)
(2013)
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Halo 5: Guardians Game Poster Image
Violent, addictive sci-fi shooter remains very engaging.
Platforms: Xbox One
(2015)
(2015)
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Heroes of the Storm Game Poster Image
Accessible, fun multiplayer battler emphasizes pay-to-play.
Platforms: Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Game Poster Image
Expansion offers new map, missions, intense robot combat.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2017)
(2017)
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Iconoclasts Game Poster Image
Ambitious, philosophical action title is a delightful joy.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows
(2018)
(2018)
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Knowledge Is Power Game Poster Image
Amusing, funny trivia game fuses console with mobile.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2017)
(2017)
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Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Game Poster Image
OK superhero plot still delivers a KO fighting punch.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Game Poster Image
Exceptionally fun, deep action-adventure promotes teamwork.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2015)
(2015)
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Nidhogg 2 Game Poster Image
Vivid multiplayer game provides hours of surreal action.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology Game Poster Image
Excellent time-traveling tale whose time has come again.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2018)
(2018)
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Scoot & Doodle Game Poster Image
Collaborative drawing tool helps distant families play.
Platforms: Google+
(2012)
(2012)
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Sea of Thieves Game Poster Image
Pirate sim promotes teamwork but has unmonitored chat.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Shadow of the Colossus (PS4) Game Poster Image
Beautiful, mysterious, haunting tale gets new life on PS4.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2018)
(2018)
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Sprint Vector Game Poster Image
Thrilling VR joyride puts players in a futuristic game show.
Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
(2018)
(2018)
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StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Game Poster Image
Exceptional strategy sequel with some mature themes.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2010)
(2010)
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Tacoma Game Poster Image
Mature sci-fi tale founded on strong storytelling.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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The Escapists 2 Game Poster Image
Prison escape strategy sim returns with a breakout hit.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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The Unspoken Game Poster Image
Engaging VR action puts magic in palm of your virtual hands.
Platforms: Oculus Rift
(2016)
(2016)
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Titan Quest Anniversary Edition Game Poster Image
Classic fast-paced action, combat against mythical monsters.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Valiant Hearts: The Great War Game Poster Image
An educational, emotional exploration of World War I.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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WWE 2K18 Game Poster Image
Heavyweight fighter packed with characters, customization.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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XCOM 2: War of the Chosen Game Poster Image
Extremely tough strategy game with lots of bloody combat.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Xenoblade Chronicles Game Poster Image
Great adventure has themes best suited for teens and adults.
Platforms: Nintendo Wii
(2012)
(2012)
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Ark: Survival Evolved Game Poster Image
Violent survival MMO tests skills against humans, dinos.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2015)
(2015)
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Battle Chasers: Nightwar Game Poster Image
Classic but repetitive RPG with comic book flair.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Castle Crashers Remastered Game Poster Image
Warped, violent medieval adventure full of action, laughs.
Platforms: Xbox One
(2015)
(2015)
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Culdcept Revolt Game Poster Image
Fantasy game fun, engaging for card battle fans.
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
(2017)
(2017)
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Deep Rock Galactic Game Poster Image
Deep space mining action drills up trials, unmonitored chat.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Game Poster Image
Combat-focused expansion deep with gameplay, new features.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Gravity Rush 2 Game Poster Image
Strong female lead returns in soaring action-adventure.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2017)
(2017)
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Mulaka Game Poster Image
Artistic adventure based on a rich cultural mythology.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy Game Poster Image
Great remastered fighting compilation; some violent combat.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Game Poster Image
Arcade enhancements turn brawler into a perfect KO.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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The Beatles: Rock Band Game Poster Image
Amazing band simulator features the biggest group. Ever.
Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
(2009)
(2009)
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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Game Poster Image
Polished spin-off highlights female characters' adventure.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2017)
(2017)
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This War of Mine Game Poster Image
Violent, bleak survival game has new look at horrors of war.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2014)
(2014)
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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Game Poster Image
Set sail with this fantastic fantasy shipwreck adventure.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows
(2018)
(2018)
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Apotheon Game Poster Image
Modern Clash of Titans has alluring art, challenging play.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition Game Poster Image
Combative Dark Knight game has some blood and death.
Platforms: Nintendo Wii U
(2012)
(2012)
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Darwin Project Game Poster Image
Violent battle royale isn't always fair but is lots of fun.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition Game Poster Image
Updated adventure has bloody combat, moral flexibility.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Gone Home Game Poster Image
Terrific narrative game tackles tough teen identity issues.
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
(2013)
(2013)
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Monster Hunter: World Game Poster Image
Fresh take on epic battle between man and beast.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Nioh Game Poster Image
Gory action-RPG set in feudal Japan tests, rewards players.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2017)
(2017)
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Persona 4: Dancing All Night Game Poster Image
Slightly mature dance game promotes being true to yourself.
Platforms: PlayStation Vita
(2015)
(2015)
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Republique Game Poster Image
Dystopian stealth action is fun but has clunky controls.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2015)
(2015)
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Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Game Poster Image
Brutal strategy game is gory, tough, yet hard to put down.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Sine Mora Ex Game Poster Image
Mature action game's topics, time controls redefine genre.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Switch Game Poster Image
Skyrim's move to Switch brings huge adventure on the go.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
(2017)
(2017)
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The Sims Social Game Poster Image
Mature but lighthearted life sim with new social features.
Platforms: Facebook
(2011)
(2011)
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Torchlight II Game Poster Image
Excellent fantasy RPG is too bloody for younger players.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2012)
(2012)
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Total War: Warhammer II Game Poster Image
Steep learning curve leads to epic violent fantasy battles.
Platforms: Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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Yomawari: Midnight Shadows Game Poster Image
Cutesy horror game can be alternately tense, vague.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court Game Poster Image
Bloody, tough expansion goes deeper into brutal dungeons.
Platforms: Mac, Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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ECHO Game Poster Image
Unique sci-fi adventure with flawed smart enemies.
Platforms: Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition Game Poster Image
Frenzied football fun on a violent, trap-filled gridiron.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition Game Poster Image
Homage to classic adventures brings fantasy to consoles.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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That's You Game Poster Image
Fun, mature social trivia has some repetitive questions.
Platforms: PlayStation 4
(2017)
(2017)
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The Council Game Poster Image
Thrilling tale is blend of intrigue, careful conversations.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2018)
(2018)
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Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series Game Poster Image
The Dark Knight returns for an epic but violent new chapter.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Game Poster Image
Online shooter is close look at brutality of Vietnam War.
Platforms: Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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Torment: Tides of Numenera Game Poster Image
Complex role-playing adventure asks mature moral questions.
Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
(2017)
(2017)
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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III Game Poster Image
Difficult yet rewarding RTS tailor-made for 40K experts.
Platforms: Windows
(2017)
(2017)
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