This November, Google is hoping to change the way we think about gaming when its new platform, Google Stadia, launches. Its main claim to fame is offering games that you can stream from anywhere through a disc-free streaming service hosted by none other than Google itself. As long as you have a computer, TV, mobile device, or PC, you can use just about anything you wish to play some of the latest and greatest games available.
Stadia is currently targeting a November release, and with it will come several exciting games that you won't have to purchase pricey new consoles to play. While some are ports of titles that already exist on other platforms, some are new releases exclusive to Stadia. We don't have an exhaustive list of what's coming to the system yet, either, but these are some of the top picks for your first few buys when it comes to getting your gaming setup Stadia-ready.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an interesting departure from the typical Assassin's Creed games, centering around a voyage through ancient Greece with two protagonists: the male twin Alexios and female twin Kassandra, who you can swap between for a relatively similar campaign for each of them. Both are Spartan mercenaries that you can guide through a world teeming with personality, all the while unraveling the secrets of the ancient Assassin's Order before it came to be. Yes, if you're wondering, there's plenty of romance to go around too, and both characters can have same-sex lovers if you so choose. The game is already available on platforms like Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, so you don't have to wait for its debut on Stadia if you don't want to.
Baldur's Gate III
Larian Studios is bringing the hotly anticipated RPG in the long-running Baldur's Gate series to PC and Google Stadia, marking the game's debut on both platforms simultaneously. We don't know much about its story or other features just yet, but we do know it will include both single and multiplayer elements with optional cooperative objectives. It's a hefty dose of classic dungeon-crawling that old-school gamers will no doubt appreciate, and players will be experiencing it first on Stadia and PC.
Borderlands 3 is an adrenaline-fueled, run-and-fun adventure that's more like a kick to the face than just another shooter. You'll rip through enemies like a hot knife through butter and make short work of any unsuspecting bad guy who comes across you as you take on the role of a Vault Hunter on the planet of Pandora. It's your mission to find as much loot as you can and snap it all up in a bid to outwit the bad guys once more. You can choose from four different and unique classes and play with your best friends, just like the previous two games, only this time there are tons more guns, enemies, and places to explore. Currently, the game is targeting a simultaneously release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Stadia, so you and your buds can all play together.
Darksiders Genesis will be making its debut on Stadia alongside the rest of the platforms it's scheduled to arrive on. For the first time in the series, this entry will have players taking on the role of Strife, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as he comes face-to-face with a terrifying threat that could wipe out all of humanity. This game won't be a single-player affair like the rest of the games in the series, and you can invite others along for the ride if you wish. You can team up with another player for co-op gaming with one person taking on the role of Strife and the other War as you work to clear Diablo-like dungeon areas. This makes it a perfect candidate for Stadia since it relies so heavily on streaming.
Bungie is bringing its massive, lore-heavy adventure Destiny 2 along with its newest expansion, Shadowkeep, to Stadia. While it's already available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, it's an extremely popular game with a strong player base, and giving them the ability to jump in-game from virtually anywhere by way of streaming essentially makes it one of the world's biggest, most lucrative online shooters with MMORPG elements. Plus, the Shadowkeep DLC will have plenty of content to keep players new and old busy for quite some time.
Doom Eternal is the next chapter of the iconic shooter series that's all about "ripping and tearing" through enemies as if they were soft, pliable tissue paper. This time, the Doom Slayer must eliminate the demonic forces of Hell that have overrun Earth itself in a bid to save humanity. Things might look bleak, but the Doom Slayer has a huge arsenal of guns, a ferocious attitude, and plenty of ways to completely shred any demon (or human) who might get in his way, It'll launch alongside its console and PC editions, so you can enjoy it on Stadia at the same time as the rest of the other versions of what will inevitably be another instant classic for shooter fans.
Tequila Works' upcoming puzzler Gylt is a Stadia-exclusive game, and one of the launch titles you'll be able to play through when the platform debuts. There are scant details about the upcoming title, but you play as a young school girl named Sally who's forced to search for her lost cousin in a town positively riddled with monsters. It's got some major horror movie vibes, and it might be just what the doctor ordered since the Stadia isn't launching with any "traditional" horror titles otherwise.
Metro Exodus is another post-apocalyptic delight that will feel right at home for anyone who enjoys exploring an open-world. Set on a nuclear war-ravaged Earth where players take on the role of Artyom, who lives with his family on the Moscow Metro. After becoming frustrated with constant fighting and corruption in the area where he's made a home for himself, he takes it upon himself to leave with his wife, her father, and other companions on a locomotive called the Aurora across the continent to see allies in the east. It's a sprawling, often frustrating (but fulfilling) game that won't let up at any point, but it's well worth the ride. And now it's coming to Stadia, so you have no real excuse to not have time for it. If you can't wait, it's also available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Mortal Kombat 11
Love hyper-violent fighting games? Mortal Kombat 11 is where it's at, and it's every bit as frenetic and painful (for the fighters) as the previous entries. It's got a fighter for everyone, a challenging narrative that lets you try out each character, and countless different ways to explore the Mortal Kombat roster through online play. Simply put, it doesn't get much better than this, and now it's taking the leap from consoles to Stadia so you can enjoy a nice, ridiculous Fatality while on the go. If you can't get enough of the thrill that comes from Scorpion's iconic phrase "GET OVER HERE!" you'll want to make sure you add this to your Stadia launch list ASAP. If you'd rather go ahead and start cleaning some clocks, you can try it now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Thumper is one of the weirdest and coolest gaming distractions you'll ever have. Imagine you're in a small, metallic ship zooming down a track, dodging obstacles in time with glossy, thumping beats. Make one wrong move, and it's game over in an instant. The music is unforgiving and you'll be destroyed in a flash. As you avoid obstacles, you'll also have to defeat enemies that move toward you at a ridiculous speed and eventually face bosses that force you to re-evaluate how you’ve been playing the game thus far. If it sounds terrifying and exhilarating, that's because it is. It's available elsewhere beyond Stadia as well, and makes a breathtaking VR experience.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Lara Croft finally makes her last stop on the journey to become the Tomb Raider she was meant to be in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Taking place two months after Rise of the Tomb Raider, this equally harrowing adventure follows Croft as she works to keep the Mayan apocalypse from raining down on the unsuspecting world. It's already available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, so it will just be making its Stadia debut this November. If you've been following the series of Tomb Raider reboots since they began back in 2013, you've got a lot to catch up with, but this particular adventure is definitely the series' best so far, and a great cap to Lara's evolution.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series is getting even grittier with its latest installment: the online tactical shooter Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which will take players into an austere open world called Auroa, a fictional island set in the Pacific Ocean. As Lieutenant Colonel Anthony "Nomad" Perryman, players will head out to the island to check out a series of odd disturbances based on a military contractor named Skell Technology. The third-person adventure will require squads to work together for a bigger tactical advantage and play to its four character classes' strengths. It will be making its debut on Stadia as well as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Can't wait to get your hands on Stadia? There isn't much longer to wait. Google Stadia will debut in November, though there's yet to be a concrete date revealed just yet. Early adopters who purchased the Founder's Edition version for $130 can look forward to receiving their device that month as well. It's certainly a promising service, but will it be the game-changer it purports to be? We'll have to wait and see. For now, though, this initial list of games is truly something to be excited about.