With the arrival of a new year comes a lineup of new games to anticipate. Despite the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 nearing the end of their lifespans, there are still a ton of great titles coming out for both consoles. The PC is no slouch when it comes to new releases, either, and the Nintendo Switch continues to truck along with a library of fantastic first-party and third-party games. Whatever system you happen to own, you’re in for a great year. These are our most-anticipated games for 2019.
‘New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’ (Switch – January 11)
A launch game for the Wii U back in 2012, New Super Mario Bros. U was a well-designed and accessible platformer that built on the simplicity of its predecessors, while also offering younger players the chance to experience Mario for the first time in cooperative mode.
On the Switch, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe includes the original game, its New Super Luigi U expansion, new game modes, the new Toadette character, and help features for less-experienced gamers. All you need is one Joy-Con to play, so two people can enjoy it together without purchasing any extra controllers.
‘Resident Evil 2’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC – January 25)
The original Resident Evil 2 is one of the most acclaimed horror games of all time, and it helped introduce fans to their favorite characters like Leon and Claire.
Rather than simply remaster the original PlayStation game, Capcom remade it from the ground-up with a camera angle similar to Resident Evil 4 or the recent Revelations games. The result is a gorgeous and gory action-horror title, and one that should still give older players a nice dose of nostalgia.
‘Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, Xbox One – January 25)
There have been countless Kingdom Hearts games released since Kingdom Hearts II launched over a decade ago, but fans have been waiting for Sora’s story to reach a true climax. That will finally happen with the launch of Kingdom Hearts III, a game that keeps the series’ tried-and-true action-role-playing while mixing in plenty of over-the-top set-piece moments.
Disney heroes like Goofy and Donald Duck return, and newcomers like Elsa from Frozen arrive to help Sora on his quest against dark forces.
‘Crackdown 3’ (Xbox One, PC – February 15)
It has gone through numerous delays and development changes, but the long-awaited Crackdown 3 will finally release on February 15. Starring a bio-enhanced Agent capable of leaping across buildings and causing unprecedented destruction, Crackdown 3 aims to recapture the magic of the original game while still playing as a modern-day third-person action game. In the cloud-powered multiplayer mode, nearly anything can be destroyed, as well, making it the ultimate sandbox for explosion fanatics.
‘Jump Force’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC – February 15)
Have you ever wanted to see Goku, Blackbeard, Kenshiro, and Yugi Moto all battle it out in a fight to the death for little discernible reason? Then Jump Force is a game to watch out for. The tag-team fighting game mixes together several different Shonen series like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Bleach together in a world-colliding tale that will pit heroes against villains.
It sounds absolutely bonkers, and knowing how different some of the series are from each other, there’s no telling what awaits once you jump into battle.
‘Anthem’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC – February 22)
Mass Effect Andromeda was a pretty colossal failure for BioWare, disappointing in both combat and its science-fiction narrative, but the studio has a chance to right its past wrongs with Anthem. A social action-role-playing game similar in structure to Destiny 2 or The Division, Anthem gives players incredible freedom thanks to their “Javelin” suits, which offer the ability to fly, launch storms of rockets, and deal damage to targets up close.
More Star Wars than Star Trek, it’s a departure from the nitty-gritty storytelling of BioWare’s past, but it points to a bright and different future for the company.
‘Metro Exodus’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC – February 22)
The third entry in 4A Games’ post-apocalyptic shooter series, Metro Exodus moves the action out of Russia’s extensive subway system and onto the irradiated surface, giving players more choice over how they proceed with their objectives.
Once again starring survivor Artyom, Metro Exodus forces you to always keep track of your supplies like air filters and ammunition, even while you’re attempting to avoid being ripped apart by mutants. If it’s anywhere near as good as 2033 or Last Light, fans are in for a treat.
‘Devil May Cry 5’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC – March 8)
A decade after Devil May Cry 4 hit shelves and baffled fans with the shift to new protagonist Nero, Devil May Cry 5 hits consoles and PC, and Capcom is perfectly ready to baffle players again.
Alongside lead character Nero are Dante and newcomer “V,” each of whom has a drastically different combat style that they can use to send demons back to hell. Dante can even swing a motorcycle as a melee weapon, and with replaceable “Devil Breaker” arms for Nero, the action will be getting switched up from the opening title to the final credits.
‘Tom Clancy’s The Division 2’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC – March 15)
Swapping the scenery from New York City to Washington, D.C., Tom Clanchy’s The Division 2 aims to be an even more engaging and addictive third-person shooter than its predecessor, with an increased emphasis on endgame content to keep you coming back after completing the main campaign.
The city is in ruins, with the government on the edge of total collapse, and with gangs of dangerous militants roaming the streets, it’s up to you and your fellow agents to restore order and keep your fellow citizens safe.
‘Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC – March 22)
From Software’s Dark Souls games are among the best action-role-playing titles of all time, with ingenious level design and some of the hardest bosses of any game in history. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, continues the studio’s legacy for brutally hard games, but with a few twists that should appeal to a broader array of action fans.
The feudal Japanese maps are opportunities for stealth and verticality, so you don’t have to take the fight directly to every enemy, and – like in Devil May Cry 5 – you can swap out one of your arms to acquire different abilities to suit a particular enemy or area.
‘Days Gone’ (PS4 – April 26)
If The Last of Us prides itself on subtlety in its zombie-infested world, Days Gone prides itself on over-the-top action. Set in a Pacific Northwest overrun with “freakers” who want nothing more than to eat humans as quickly as possible, Days Gone throws an almost comical number of enemies at you when things start to pop off.
Swarms of undead charge at you with the speed of Olympic athletes, and you’ll need your guns, your explosives, and your trusty motorcycle if you hope to make it out alive. Humans aren’t so kind, either, which means some sneaky stealth kills aren’t off the table, either, but you’ll probably still have to pull those guns out eventually.
‘Shenmue III’ (PS4, PC – August 27)
It looked like the cult hit Shenmue adventure games would never get a sequel, but with the help of fans and crowdfunding, Shenmue III became a reality. Once again starring Ryo, Shenmue III brings its bizarre mix of exploration, storytelling, and melee combat into the modern age, but without sacrificing the visual style that gave the original two games so much charm.
It’s a game being made for Shenmue fans, first and foremost, and though that makes it a bit of an oddity in 2019, that weirdness is what helped give the series its following.
‘Control’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Remedy Entertainment is the master of the cerebral third-person shooter, and it looks to be at the very top of its game with Control. Building on some of the gameplay ideas present in Remedy’s Quantum Break, the shooter features a constantly changing world and ditches some of its predecessor’s science-fiction elements in favor of the supernatural. With a unique weapon at her side, Jesse Faden must use her wits and gun skills as she investigates a secretive and mysterious agency.
‘Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ (Switch)
The first Fire Emblem game to hit a home console since Radiant Dawn in 2007, Fire Emblem: Three Houses features four protagonists – your avatar as well as three unique heroes – in a political struggle initiated by the Church of Seiros.
Like in Fire Emblem Echoes, there will be sections of the game where you can move freely in real-time, and your heroes will be joined by formations of troops as they march across the battlefield. With the Fire Emblem series on such a roll lately, we have very high hopes for Three Houses to raise the bar even higher.
‘Gears 5’ (Xbox One, PC)
It dropped the “of War” from its name, but The Coalition’s Gears 5 is the next chapter in the struggle between Sera’s inhabitants and its burrowing invaders. In place of Marcus of J.D. Fenix this time around, the game stars Kait Diaz on a mission to learn a personal truth – even as her mind is seemingly being invaded by the enemy. It promises conflict between human characters that we haven’t seen in the series for a long time, and the change of lead character could breathe new life into the long-running franchise.
‘Luigi’s Mansion 3’ (Switch)
Following the release of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon as well as the first game on 3DS, Luigi’s Mansion is making the jump to Nintendo Switch for Luigi’s Mansion 3. We know very little about the game so far, but it will feature an appropriately spooky setting and ghosts that Luigi must suck up with his trusty vacuum cleaner. We’re sure he’s going to get scared more than a few times along the way, but he always marches ahead and busts those ghosts, anyway.
‘Mario Kart Tour’ (Mobile)
After the success of mobile adaptations like Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo is taking Mario Kart Tour to mobile devices in 2019. The racing game’s details are being kept under wraps right now, but expect plenty of zany racing action, blue shells, and heartbreaking finishes that could put some strain on your close friendships. As long as you pick Yoshi, you should be just fine.
‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ (Xbox One, PC)
Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the best games on Xbox One, taking the Metroidvania formula and giving it a dose of Disney-like whimsy that transformed it into a classic platformer.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps further flesh out Moon Studios’ adorable adventure with all new traversal and combat tools, an even more gorgeous and detailed art style, and characters so pure that you can’t help but shed a few tears.
Untitled Pokémon RPG (Switch)
Game Freak and Nintendo released Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! in November, but for those more interested in a “core” Pokémon experience, that is also on the way. A more traditional role-playing game is currently in the works, and though details are being kept locked tight at the moment, we expect it will use the vibrant 3D art style of Let’s Go.
‘Psychonauts 2’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux)
Given the relatively modest sales figures for the original game, it’s remarkable that Double Find Productions is even getting the chance to make Psychonauts 2. With the help of crowdfunders on the service Fig, however, the game is well into production, and will once again star telepathic hero Razputin. Original creator Tim Schafer is once again taking the reins, so expect plenty of wacky humor and charm.
‘Rage 2’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
A sequel to Id Software’s post-apocalyptic shooter, Rage 2 looks to be a more irreverent and colorful game than its predecessor, and developer Avalanche Studios is teaming up with Id to make that happen.
Once again, the game will see players engaging in Mad Max combat driving scenarios before leaving the vehicle and blasting away enemies with guns, but new over-the-top powers give you more options for killing your enemies. It feels like fun came first with Rage 2, and that’s a very good thing.
‘Skull & Bones’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag revolutionized the series with its satisfying naval combat. Fans loved it so much that Ubisoft decided to spin it off into a brand new franchise, Skull & Bones.
The naval combat game offers much more customization and game modes than Black Flag, with multiplayer battles that see allies betraying each other in a bid to get treasure and strike it rich. Given the amount of gold at stake, we don’t exactly blame them.
‘Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order’ (Platforms TBA)
DICE isn’t the only studio EA has working on Star Wars projects. Titanfall creator Respawn Entertainment, now part of Electronic Arts, is working on its own Star Wars game set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and the original film, and it will star a Jedi. Given the studio’s pedigree and the critical success that was Titanfall 2, we can’t wait to pick up a lightsaber and start slicing.
‘Wolfenstein: Youngblood’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
A standalone sequel similar to Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Wolfenstein: Youngblood stars B.J. Blazkowicz’ twin daughters as they fight the Nazi oppressors in control of 1980s France. Because you’ll be playing as two separate characters, Wolfenstein: Youngblood will support cooperative play, and developer MachineGames’ knack for finding brutal new ways to kill Nazis will almost certainly be on display.
‘Twin Mirror’ (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Developed by Life is Strange and Vampyr studio Dontnod Entertainment, Twin Mirror is a murder mystery set in a quiet West Virginia town, and it has everything we could want from the studio – amnesiac heroes, dark, disturbing characters, and unresolved mysteries should all combine to give us the video game equivalent to Twin Peaks, and we’re pretty sure that naming choice wasn’t a coincidence.