Action games are one of the oldest and most popular genres in gaming, dating all the way back to the 8-bit and arcade games of the ’70s-’80s. Pretty much anything that requires some semblance of timing, speed, and skill to complete falls into the action genre in some way, and this allows for a wide variety of subgenres. Between fighter games, platformers, Pac-Man clones, certain RPGs, third and first-person-shooters, hack-and-slashes, beat-‘em-ups… Every gamer is bound to have at least one action game that they can find enjoyable.
Fortunately for fans of the action genre like I am, the last few years of game announcements have been kind to us. E3s, conventions, and Game Awards have given us a plethora of information about upcoming action games, many of which are being released this year. We have so many coming out from both big-name and indie developers that we can’t even fit them all on this list! Some of these are sequels, while others are originals or reboots, but they represent a wide variety of subgenres as diverse as the action genre itself.
In this article, we’ll take a look at twenty action games we know for sure are in development, some of which we know more about or might be closer to release than others. We’ll also speculate about ten games that might currently be in development, and what kinds of things we might be able to expect from them. Hopefully, reading this list will get you just as excited about the games slated for release the next two years (and beyond) as we are!
30 In Development: Anthem
BioWare is traditionally known for its two big franchises — Mass Effect and Dragon Age. However, they announced something a little outside of their wheelhouse during EA’s 2018 E3 presentation. Anthem appears to contain similar third-person shooter game mechanics to the Mass Effect series, but marks a new venture into online gaming. Character designs seem to be a delightful blend of the two things BioWare knows best — high fantasy and science fiction. BioWare's newest foray into online play is slated for release on February 22, 2019.
29 In Development: Rage 2
The follow up to 2010’s Rage by Avalanche Studios and iD Software features a significant change in artistic style from the drab, gray environments of its predecessor. The E3 2018 demo showed us a bright color palette that brought a new feeling of whimsy to the hyper-violence of the Rage series.
Rage 2 takes place 30 years after the events of Rage and features new weapons, new vehicles, and new monsters to fight. This post-apocalyptic first-person-shooter looks delightfully chaotic, and we can’t wait to play on May 14, 2019!
28 Possibility: Fable 4
Lionhead Studios, the original developer of the Fable series, went under in 2016. But that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of another studio taking the helm and developing Fable 4. Rumors abound that developer PlayGround is going to rise to the challenge of developing the next installment to the open-world fantasy RPG.
Phil Spencer, of Xbox, stated in a 2017 tweet that although there was nothing (at the time) to announce, he thought the Fable series had a lot of potential. However, if there is a Fable 4 in the works, it’s probably a few years away.
27 In Development: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
This artistically gorgeous action-adventure game by is directed by FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki, who also created the Bloodborne and Souls series. However, much of the gameplay of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is different than Miyazaki's most known works. For starters, this action-adventure game features a fixed protagonist, which means that customizable character options are pretty much nonexistent.
The combat system is also markedly different from Bloodborne and Souls games, emphasizing stealth and tactical thinking to expose an enemy to a killing blow, as opposed to Souls and Bloodborne's hack-and-slash attack methods. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice comes out March 22, 2019.
26 In Development: Doom Eternal
The astounding success of the 2016 Doom revival has paved the way for a highly-anticipated sequel, as players get ready to take control of the Doom Slayer once again. The Quakecon 2018 gameplay demo showed us an astounding variety of finishing moves for players to perform, new weapons (such as a meat hook), and new demons to fight.
They also demonstrated a new “destructible” system as a sort of health gauge for larger enemies — the worse-off an enemy looks, the lower its health. There also appears to be work in place for a multiplayer mode. Although no definitive release date has been given, Doom Eternal is anticipated to be released sometime in 2019.
25 Possibility: Grand Theft Auto VI
It’s been a whopping six years since the release of Grand Theft Auto V. And now that Rockstar games has the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 out of the way, turning to their other major series seems like the next logical step.
It would be surprising to hear that a new Grand Theft Auto title wasn’t somewhere in the works somewhere — but with no official statement, announcement, or title, there’s no way of knowing for certain. If there is one down the Rockstar pipeline, it’s most likely a ways away, possibly waiting for the next generation of Xbox/PlayStation consoles, or an upgraded engine to render the new content in.
24 In Development: Code Vein
This Bandai Namco action RPG is often referred to online as an “anime Dark Souls”, but gameplay trailers show us that Code Vein is so much more than that. This game features stunning post-apocalyptic backgrounds, futuristic dystopian themes, and lots and lots of vampire lore.
Code Vein was originally slated to be released September of 2018, but got delayed to an unspecified 2019 date. Pre-orders are already available on the Bandai Namco website, so it seems probable that a Code Vein release might be sometime in the coming months.
23 In Development: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3
It’s been almost a decade since the release of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, and it will be interesting to see how the growth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since then will impact Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.
This Team Ninja action RPG was revealed at the 2018 Game Awards a few months ago. Characters confirmed for the game include heroes and villains that cover a wide range of Marvel properties, such as the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, and the Inhumans. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3 is a Switch exclusive scheduled to be released sometime in 2019.
22 Possibility: Bully 2
Fans have been crying out for a sequel to the action adventure-game Bully for a while. Rockstar Games is currently riding high on the commercial and critical success of Red Dead Redemption 2, so this would be the perfect time to resurrect one of their other series.
Some concept art believed to belong to a Bully sequel leaked on various sites in 2017, but so far there has been no statement about what project the art actually belongs to. Additionally, a 2018 casting call was believed to be for a Bully sequel, but this was disproven by the casting director on Twitter. That doesn’t mean that Bully 2 can’t be in the works, though – it just might be a few years off.
21 In Development: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
This action-adventure game developed by Respawn was officially revealed during EA’s E3 2018 conference. Don’t confuse this with the news of an untitled open-world Star Wars game by Respawn that was canceled earlier in January—Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is absolutely still happening.
This game is set after the fall of the Jedi Order, and follows the story of a young Padawan during a tumultuous time in the galaxy. No word on an official release date for Fallen Order just yet, but sources seem to point towards sometime in 2019.
20 In Development: Psychonauts 2
The original action puzzle-platformer released in 2015 ended up becoming a cult hit. Double Fine wanted to keep the Psychonauts party going, and announced a crowdfunding campaign that year on Fig to help with the sequel.
It was massively successful, raising more than $3.8 million, and frequent updates by Psychonauts creators have shown us plenty of gameplay and story. Psychonauts 2 entered its Alpha phase in December 2018, so it looks like everything is on track for this quirky platformer to be released sometime in 2019.
19 Possibility: Borderlands 3
There’s been speculation about a Borderlands 3 (Bord3rlands?) for the last five years, but no official title or release date as of yet. The hype for Borderlands is definitely still real, with a Borderlands 2 release for VR coming out in late 2018.
There has been quite a few winks and nods towards the existence of a new sequel to the madcap first-person-shooter over the years, such as a GD 2017 tech demo for Borderlands on the Unreal 4 engine. Many fans are speculating (or, rather, hoping) for Borderlands 3 news sometime in 2019.
18 In Development: Kingdom Hearts 3
The long-awaited installment Kingdom Hearts III is technically the twelfth game in the Kingdom Hearts franchise and was announced all the way back during E3 2012. We know that there are tons of new worlds for players to get excited about: The Kingdom of Corona (from Tangled), San Fransokyo (Big Hero 6), Monstropolis (Monsters Inc), and the Kingdom of Arendelle (Frozen).
There’s also a new, original world for players to explore called Scala ad Caelum. Kingdom Hearts III is right around the corner with a January 25th release date.
17 In Development: Dragon Age 4
Up until the 2018 Game Awards, the existence of a new Dragon Age game had been nothing but speculation — but now we have a short, cryptic trailer from BioWare to at least confirm to us that it is there, and it is real!
It is unknown whether #theDreadWolfRises is merely a marketing campaign or a potential Dragon Age 4 title, but the presence of Solas as the trailer's narrator might imply a continuation of where the Dragon Age: Inquisition Trespasser DLC left off. There’s no word on a scheduled release for the next Dragon Age installment just yet, but a 2020 or 2021 release seems more than likely.
16 Possibility: Watch Dogs 3
We’ve had a few winks and cryptic nods over the years for Watch Dogs 3, but nothing really official. The closest we’ve come was the "accidental" confirmation of the game from Sam, Ubisoft’s virtual assistant, but Sam's programming was changed when enough people caught wind of it.
Other cryptic nods include an April Fool’s joke from Ubisoft that required fans to hack into an “admin console”, and a quickly deleted tweet from the verified Watch Dogs 2 Twitter account that simply said, “This is everything”. If Ubisoft isn’t gearing up for a Watch Dogs 3 announcement soon, they’re very good at building up hype for when they do.
15 In Development: Cyberpunk 2077
Not much was known about CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 until its E3 2018 trailer made waves for its “hacker takeover” presentation. A gameplay-reveal last August further compounded the buzz surrounding this game. We know that Cyberpunk 2077 has fully customizable characters and classes, an “upgrade” system that involves cybernetically enhancing the player character, and a huge open world to explore.
Any fans of Blade Runner, and other cyberpunk properties should be absolutely thrilled by what this game has to offer. Unfortunately, we have yet to hear whether Cyberpunk 2077 will be a 2019 or 2020 release.
14 In Development: Mortal Kombat 11
NetherRealm’s biggest series is back with yet another installment of their beloved fighting game, Mortal Kombat, on April 23, 2019. A recent press conference on January 17 showed us all sorts of new content. There’s a new character, Geras, with the ability to manipulate sand, add or remove time from the round clock, and rewind time to dodge a move or even resurrect himself.
There was also news that popular character Sonya Blade would be returning, this time voiced by MMA and WWE star Ronda Rousey. Mortal Kombat 11 also has new features such as a Towers of Time mode, which allows players to face certain challenges and obstacles with a character to earn upgrades and rewards.
13 Possibility: Skate 4
In what was possibly the greatest fake-out of the year, Microsoft’s E3 2018 presentation featured a trailer for a skating game that many believed to be a Skate 4 announcement, only for the title screen reveal to be a game called Session. But that doesn't mean Skate 4 isn't happening.
A tweet from EA Community Manager Daniel Lingen in early 2017 simply said “#skate4”. Skate 3 was made backward-compatible for the Xbox One in 2016, which brought new attention to the buggy-yet-beloved skate simulator. Additionally, Skate servers were reactivated in 2018, implying the possibility of a Skate 3 remaster or a new Skate title altogether.
12 In Development: Tom Clancy's The Division 2
E3 2018 gave us a gameplay trailer for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, the next online action RPG by Massive Entertainment. The story is set in Washington D.C. a few months after the events of The Division.
The Divison 2 has online multiplayer capabilities that feature raid events, allowing groups of up to eight players to perform missions and earn rewards. There are also certain areas, known as Dark Zones, which allow for player-versus-player coupled with player-versus-environment gameplay. The game is already in beta and will be released on March 15, 2019.
11 In Development: Dying Light 2
This survival horror sequel by Polish developer Techland was announced during E3 2018 and immediately set itself apart with how enormous of an impact the choices you make have on your play environment (and vice versa). Additionally, environmental factors, such as time of day, impact the kind of enemies you can face.
This means that each gameplay will be unique. Certain features from the last Dying Light game, like the parkour and combat systems, remain in the sequel and are even enhanced. There is no word yet on a Dying Light 2 release date.
10 Possibility: Diablo 4
Much to fan disappointment, the only new Diablo content announced during Blizzcon 2018 was Diablo Immortal, a new mobile game for Android and iOS that at one point led to developers getting booed at onstage. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other new Diablo projects are in the works.
A few job listings on the Blizzard website have surfaced looking for people to work on unannounced Diablo projects. And we know this unannounced project isn’t for the mobile game, because those postings are already specified as Diablo Immortal jobs. Is it possible that Blizzard is gearing up to start development on Diablo 4?
9 In Development: Far Cry New Dawn
The open-world FPS developed by Ubisoft Montreal is taking a new step into post-apocalyptic play. The sixth Far Cry game, titled Far Cry New Dawn, was announced at the 2018 Game Awards. The game is set 17 years after the nuclear event in Far Cry 5, and developers wanted to create an environment that was different than the normal drab scenery found in most post-apocalyptic games.
The world is full of vibrant colors and lush greenery as if to declare that this really is a new world (also, you can have a pet boar). Far Cry New Dawn will be released February 15, 2019.
8 In Development: Shenmue III
The last installment in the series about teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki was released all the way back in 2002, but a successful Kickstarter campaign reaching over $6,000,000 caused a surge of renewed interest in the sandbox action-adventure series.
Shenmue III is anticipated to have an even larger world to explore than its predecessors. With its unique setting and limitless open-world aspects to explore, it’s sure to be a one-of-a-kind experience for old and new Shenmue fans alike. Shenmue III comes out August 27, 2019.
7 Possibility: Destiny 3
After developer Bungie’s split with Activision, many are speculating about the fate of possible sequel titles such as Destiny 3. However, the split might be just what Bungie needs to keep Destiny content new and exciting.
At this point, it seems that there’s two possible paths that Destiny 3 might go down — continue with the partially online formula of Destiny 2, or become a full MMORPG with constant new content. Bungie being separated from Activision might also let them take their time with any new Destiny content, and it might feel less rushed than Destiny 2 did.
6 In Development: The Last Of Us Part II
This Naughty Dog follow-up to the survival horror game The Last of Us was such a prominent feature of Sony’s E3 2018 event that they rented out an entirely separate venue for it. Fans of the first game were excited to see Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson reprising their roles as Joel and Ellie, respectively.
Resource management still seems like an absolutely vital aspect of gameplay in Part II, and there are all sorts of new ways for Ellie to use her environment to her advantage against enemies. There is no word yet on a The Last of Us Part II release date, but given that we saw a gameplay trailer last E3, a 2019 release might be probable.
5 In Development: Gears (Of War) 5
Fans got their wish last E3 with the announcement of Gears 5. Although the protagonist of this third-person shooter is Kait this time around, Gears of War 4 protagonist JD Fenix is also present in the gameplay trailer, and presumably plays a prominent secondary role.
Other previous Gears characters, such as Delmont Walker and JD’s father Marcus Fenix, also pop up this time around as Kait searches to uncover her Locust connections. Gears 5 seems to come with a whole slew of features like as Xbox Play Anywhere, split screen, and online co-operative capabilities, and will be released sometime in 2019.
4 Possibility: Fallout 5
Fallout 76 was less successful than Bethesda might have hoped, so Bethesda might be itching to get a successful Fallout title under their belts. There’s a possibility that Bethesda might be waiting for the next upgrade to their engine before beginning developer work. Hopefully, we will see a return to a single-player Fallout adventure, and fixes to the problems with Fallout 4, like its much-criticized dialogue system.
Fallout 5 absolutely is coming, it’s just a question of whether the writing and development process has already begun.
3 In Development: Death Stranding
This open-world action game developed by Hideo Kojima has been shrouded in mystery and cryptic trailers that have left us with more questions than answers since its original announcement in 2016. Perhaps the most compelling parts about Death Stranding are its cerebral concepts about life and death, and the star-studded cast featuring Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelson, and Guillermo del Toro.
A gameplay trailer during E3 2018 served to not answer any of our questions while simultaneously getting us more hyped for… whatever this game is. In typical Kojima-fashion, there’s no release date. However, with pre-orders already available, the release should be this year... we hope.
2 In Development: Elder Scrolls VI
Remember excitedly sitting through Bethesda’s E3 showcase last summer, eagerly awaiting Elder Scrolls VI news, only for Todd Howard to briefly give us something in the last twenty seconds with no title, location, or even a release year? That wound is still fresh for us, too.
The good news is — with the existence of an already separate Elder Scrolls Online franchise, Elder Scrolls VI is bound to be a single-player RPG, just like every main Elder Scrolls title before it. The bad news? With Bethesda having a few massive projects slated to be released in the coming years, it might be some time before we get any major Elder Scrolls VI information.
1 Possibility: BioShock 4
It’s been six years since BioShock Infinite, and original developer Irrational Studios closed its doors in 2015. However, Take-Two has announced that this closure would not be the end of the BioShock series. In fact, 2019 might be just the right time to announce development of a new BioShock installment.
Rumors abound job postings at 2K, and some developers being moved to a secret studio to work on an unnamed project. Could this project be the new BioShock game we’ve been waiting for? Furthermore, will we stay above ground like in Infinite, or will BioShock 4 be returning to Rapture?