“Sonic Mania” – Aug. 15 for PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC

Image courtesy of Sega

Kicking off the month is yet another return to a bygone era of platformers, this time coming in the shape of Sonic The Hedgehog himself. The series has no doubt hit a few bumps in the past couple of years, though “Sonic Mania” seems to be heading in the right direction. Some of the developers behind the game were actually in the process of creating a fan-made “Sonic” game, until Sega saw what they were doing and loved it, giving the group a full development team to work with on the game. The game is in the traditional 2D side-scroller format and has visuals that look like they came right off of a Sega Genesis, albeit with some welcome improvements. If you have played some of the original “Sonic” games, you may recognize some of the levels though there are completely new ones to be played as well. Fans of the blue hedgehog will have a chance to go even faster when “Sonic Mania” releases on Aug. 15 for PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC.

“Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” – Aug. 22 for PS4

Screenshot courtesy of Naughty Dog

Though Nathan Drake’s story may have wrapped up in “Uncharted 4,” the incredibly talented Naughty Dog is taking one last ride in the “Uncharted” universe in a story focusing on the fan-favorite character Chloe. The game was originally set to be a short DLC for “Uncharted 4,” but quickly grew so big that it justified becoming its own standalone game. Chloe finds herself working with Nadine, a semi-antagonist in “Uncharted 4,” to uncover a relic in India, a location that always seemed perfect for the series. Knowing Naughty Dog’s caliber of story-telling, “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” will no doubt impress both longtime fans of the series and new, all while continue Sony’s success at first-party exclusives this year. PS4 owners can embark on adventure when “Uncharted: The Lost Legacy” releases on Aug. 22.

“Madden NFL 18” – Aug. 25 for PS4 and Xbox One

Screenshot courtesy of EA

With the NFL set to kickoff very soon, “Madden 18” arrives just in time to give the yearly dose of pigskin to gamers. This years entry looks to bring some promising new features for veterans of the series, including an all new story-driven career mode entitled Longshot, the story of a player in a small-town high school who works his way up to the highest playing field in football. The game also introduces some noticeable improvements for fans of the long tenured series, as well as a new 3v3 mode for Madden Ultimate Team, one of the biggest cash producing modes in the games industry. “Madden” fans will have their chance to jumpstart their NFL season early when the game releases on Aug. 25 for PS4 and Xbox One.

“Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle” – ¬†Aug. 29 for Switch

Image courtesy of Ubisoft

When the above image of “Mario + Rabbids” was first leaked prior to the games E3 debut, many people including myself wondered just what Nintendo was doing crossing over one of its most beloved game franchises with the likes of Ubisoft’s Rabbids. Thankfully the E3 presentation calmed my fears and quickly got me excited for a fresh take on the excellent “XCOM” turn-based strategy form of gameplay, all while having Mario and company take the center stage. While it was a bit jarring at first to see Mario blast someone at point blank range, seeing the games charm shine through its comical characters and unique weapons really helped to alleviate any concerns I may have had. From early previews, it looks like the game won’t just be a cake walk through a knock-off “XCOM,” with the game producing some notable challenges as the levels progress. Switch owners can take a unique dive into the Mushroom Kingdom when “Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle” releases on Aug. 29.

Noah Howell is the Arts & Entertainment Assistant Editor for Niner Times. He is currently majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Journalism. He is a fan of all things "Star Wars" and "The Muppets," and spends his free-time playing too many video games and watching the Oklahoma City Thunder.