It’s impossible to keep up with everything in pop culture these days — especially if you, like many of Polygon’s readers, are into great games, TV and movies. It seems like a promising new TV show debuts every other week, and even the summer is no longer a slow season when it comes to video game releases.
But the first half of the year seems barren compared to how stacked Oct. 27 is with new stuff we want to check out. On just one Friday — the weekend before Halloween, mind you — we’re getting three of the year’s biggest games, the return of one of our favorite shows and two anticipated films.
The Oct. 27 onslaught may seem overwhelming ... because, frankly, it is. But we’re doing our part by providing a survival guide to getting through everything that’s coming out on that day. Below, we’ve sorted the day’s top releases in order of priority, so you know just where to start and end when planning how to tackle the big day.
1. Stranger Things season two
Stranger Things, the breakout hit of last summer, is returning to Netflix just before Halloween for its second season. If you use social media of any kind, and there’s a chance you’d be interested in watching this, it absolutely needs to be at the top of your Oct. 27 list. Spoilers are certainly the main concern — RIP Barb, always in our hearts — but more importantly, everyone you know is going to be talking about season two pretty much as soon as it goes live. How quickly can you blow through nine hours of TV?
2. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
The sequel to one of 2014’s best shooters begins with B.J. Blazkowicz in a bad way, and even our write-up of the opening — which we played at E3 2017 — contains story spoilers. With its debut at E3, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus instantly became one of our most anticipated games of the year. And in practical terms, it’s a game that consists solely of a single-player campaign, which means you’ll be able to get through it more quickly than some of the sprawling titles listed below.
3. Cloverfield’s 2017 sequel
10 Cloverfield Lane was both surprising and surprisingly well-received. J.J. Abrams’ next installment is similarly mysterious; first announced as a project called God Particle, it’s since been stripped of its name to become an untitled Cloverfield sequel. That’s about the extent of what we know about this movie, but with trailers and studios prone to giving away so much pre-release information these days, it’s kind of nice to go into a movie with few expectations. It’s better to be on the early side with this kind of movie, so find time to see it opening weekend.
4. Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins is exciting not only because it’ll be the series’ first entry following a two-year hiatus, but also because it’s taking the franchise backward in history for the first time — all the way back to ancient Egypt, more than two millennia ago. Sure, the Assassin’s Creed games have stories, but the narrative usually takes a back seat to the freedom of exploration that these open-world experiences offer. Give yourself the time to get lost in the sands of Egypt. Origins has been in the works for a long time, and hopefully it’ll pay off with a grand assassin adventure in the desert.
5. Super Mario Odyssey
Hear us out — there’s a perfectly good reason why this game is ranked so low on the list. Super Mario Odyssey is easily one of our most anticipated titles of the year. It’s easily the Nintendo Switch’s biggest game this holiday season, but a new Mario title is an event, no matter the console. The thing with Odyssey is that it returns to the more nonlinear, sandbox-y style of Super Mario 64. This is a game you’ll want to spend a lot of time digging around in, so it’s not necessary to jump into it full-force on launch day. Super Mario Odyssey seems tailor-made for many, many, many hours of play. Don’t worry: You can wait on this one a little bit.
When was the last time a Saw movie was good? It’s been seven years since Saw 3D was set to close the franchise forever, but Hollywood came calling back, and here we are with Jigsaw. There have been plenty of quality horror movies this year already, and we’re not so sure a new edition of Saw will be one of them. You can probably hold off on this one, but if you’re dead-set on seeing it, at least play some Super Mario Odyssey first. After that, you can decide if you’re still feeling up to heading to the theater.