Gaming certainly saw its ups and downs for 2018. Red Dead Redemption 2 swept the board in terms of positive fan reception, Fallout 76 completely polarized longtime fans of the series, and Fortnite... somehow managed to win Game of the Year? Yeah, don't look to me for answers there. I just write this stuff.
Anyway, we truly wound up with a "good, bad and ugly" situation with those examples, and they didn't even scratch the surface in terms of the triumphs and tribulations endured as we peeled each month off the calendar. But with 2018 drawing to a definite close, gamers are looking towards 2019 to gauge the road ahead. And man, let me tell you, it certainly looks like we're in for a smooth, yet remarkably exciting ride into the new year.
Of course, all titles are generally hyped to and past the limit preceding release, but a lot of these seem to be pure gems in the making. Here are thirty games coming up in 2019 that we've dug into and kept tabs on, some of which you probably didn't even know were coming! Did we miss out on a title you've boarded the hype train for? Did you learn about an upcoming release that's got you crying tears of joy? In either case, make absolutely sure to let us know in the comments. But first, let's dive in and see what's in store.
30 Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4, XB1, PC)
Meteoric industry success story CD Projekt Red has had Cyberpunk 2077 on the table for a long time, as far back as 2012, but it has very recently received a release window for late 2019.
It's hard not to expect great things from this project. I mean, the developer that brought us The Witcher throwing back to an absolutely classic oldschool tabletop RPG for inspiration? "Sign me up and ship me out, I'm ready to hit the dystopian streets of Night City and get some cybernetic implants," I said, then promptly grew anxious over the idea of getting needled for my flu shot.
29 Mortal Kombat 11 (PS4, XB1, Switch, PC)
Announced with a target release date towards the end of April 2019, the latest entry in this long-lived fighting franchise has big shoes to fill. But hey, as long as it isn't Deadly Alliance or Special Forces, fans are sure to be absolutely thrilled.
This trailer shown at The Game Awards 2018 teased us with an epic clash between Dark Raiden and Scorpion. And if that's anything to judge the game by, then we've got absolutely nothing to worry about. NetherRealm has this one well in hand.
28 DOOM Eternal (PS4, XB1, Switch, PC)
Following up DOOM's triumphant 2016 revival is another violently chaotic roller coaster that puts us back into the Doomslayer's boots to wreak some righteous vengeance on the demonic hordes.
This time, it looks like we might visit earth. Which is a fitting love letter to the original Doom 2: Hell on Earth.
And who isn't ready to check out that wrist-mounted blade? The new grappling hook? An energy sword? I know I've got my fingers crossed for this one, Bethesda definitely needs to publish a winner after the controversy surrounding Fallout 76. But with id Software handling the development? I'm less than worried about this one. Feel free to get a little too excited.
27 Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch)
Not to be confused with the 3DS remake of the original, Luigi's Mansion 3 is actually a brand new chapter in the series coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2019. While we're a little short on details, we're definitely pumped for this long overdue comeback.
We might end up seeing the name updated soon, with Luigi's Mansion 3 being a working title. Regardless, in the short run it's telling us all that we want and need to know about this slightly spooky sequel for Nintendo's handheld hybrid. Hopes are definitely high and unlikely to be left hanging.
26 Wasteland 3 (PS4, XB1, PC)
inXile entertainment has developed a pedigree for maintaining the spirit of golden age RPGs while bringing them just far enough into the modern era of gaming to keep them feeling fresh, and they're looking to maintain their command of that tricky balancing act with Wasteland 3 in late 2019.
Having already crowdfunded $3.2 million dollars at the time of this writing, Wasteland 3 will package the old school charm it revived in Wasteland 2 with so much more. This time they're dropping your Ranger squad into the snowy backdrop of Colorado while promising an exceedingly immersive and reactive post apocalyptic roleplaying experience that rivals all others.
25 The Outer Worlds (PS4, XB1, PC)
Speaking of ambitious RPG epics, Obsidian Entertainment is in position to hit the scene hard with The Outer Worlds sometime in 2019. It has been tentatively described as "Fallout in space," which is more than enough reason to sit up and pay attention.
You'll play the part of an interstellar colonist, contentedly deep-frozen on a space faring trip to the setting of Halcyon before things go a little pear shaped, landing you a bit out of place and out of time. The plate's piled high with tantalizing offerings, including total player freedom and innovative combat mechanics incorporating a "time dilation" concept, though the rest of us just call that "bullet time," I think. Anyway, it looks like a blast!
24 Days Gone (PS4)
You might be tempted to say that the zombie apocalypse survival-horror shtick is played out, campy and out of fashion. And that's understandable, really. It's not just the gaming industry that is absolutely packed the gills with one iteration of the concept or another.
But developer SIE Bend Studio would like to have a word with you concerning Days Gone.
Days Gone looks like The Last Of Us taken to its grittiest extremes, with visceral combat and a nice blend of exploration and intensely narrative-driven game play. Oh, and the lead character travels the longer exploration bits with an incredibly rad motorcycle, if that's a selling point for you.
23 Dead Or Alive 6 (PS4, XB1, PC)
Dead Or Alive certainly isn't dead, but that's probably best illustrated by the fact that we're soon getting a sixth installment in this series of jiggle physics simulators. Er, fighting games. Well, it can be both at once, can't it?
Okay, being absolutely fair, Team Ninja has stated that they're actively focused on toning down said physics for this title.
Nonetheless, it'll still be a Dead Or Alive title so it's safe to expect fan favorites like Kasumi, Ayane, and Hayabusa to turn up, aiming to take a shot at the tournament. They all throw down in February, 2019.
22 RAGE 2 (PS4, XB1, PC)
Rage did well enough to warrant a sequel, apparently, and here it is! For the uninitiated, Rage is a post-apocalyptic FPS in which the planet was smashed by an asteroid, leaving lucky you to deal with the mess after waking up from your nice, peaceful cryogenic nap.
Rage 2 picks up thirty years after the original, bringing back familiar elements like the "Wingstick" stealthy weapon, as well as a cast of both new and familiar, though obviously aged, returning characters. We seem to be looking at an early 2019 release for this one, so keep an eye out if this one's on your radar.
21 Shenmue III (PS4, PC)
Shenmue was something of a cult success, telling the tale of Ryo Hazuki's brawl-heavy yet genre-bending revenge quest. Though the 1999 original and 2001 sequel failing to garner a meaningful commercial breakthrough, it built an incredible and passionate fan following that endlessly petitioned for another release.
Those petitions didn't fall on deaf ears, though it may have been a while in the making.
After several failed attempts to develop spin-off properties and nearly a decade in waiting, developer Sega renewed the series in 2015. Nearly seven million dollars in crowdfunding later, Shenmue III is poised to hit stores in August of 2019. We did mention the incredible and passionate fan following, yes?
20 Metro Exodus (PS4, XB1, PC)
The Metro series was a snowballing success in survival horror, hitting the market quietly and quickly gaining momentum as players ravenously sank their teeth into the very post-apocalyptic, and very Russian atmosphere of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.
The aim of Exodus is pretty simple, to bring us more of these things, but bigger and better. Exodus promises to drag us from the dank, dreary and claustrophobic confines of the metro and into the uncertainty of the open, ruined world above. We'll accompany familiar leading man Artyom on his cross-country journey and explore new survival and crafting mechanics in February of 2019.
19 Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course (XB1, PC)
While it's technically DLC, it's really hard to ignore the next chapter of this infamously difficult, old school throwback title preparing to hit shelves.
This "most exciting addendum" to the adventures of Cuphead and Mugman is slated for early 2019.
They're also rolling new playable character Ms. Chalice into the mix this time, giving us an appropriately inclusive alternative to our classic pair of leading men. Just keep the duct tape handy, you never know when a controller might get damaged in a fit of... let's just call it passionate gaming, shall we?
18 The Sinking City (PS4, XB1, PC)
The Sinking City is shaping up to be a truly unique ride, taking us on an investigative journey through a Lovecraftian horror backdrop. Think L.A Noire meets Shadow Over Innsmouth and you should be getting an accurate picture, from the looks of things.
Needless to say, that's an intensely exciting prospect.
The creature design looks absolutely spot on, with the 1920's aesthetic, tense action and fantastic horror elements tying things up into a definite must-see for March of 2019. It's probably about time we saw Lovecraft done right in gaming.
17 Final Fantasy VII (PS4)
This is the upcoming title that should have every Playstation-loving 90's kid anxiously wringing their hands together. It's been confirmed that 2019 will be a big year for Cloud and the gang, could that possibly mean we'll see a release for this highly anticipated sequel?
We can certainly hope so.
While the precise release date has avoided the press, director Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed that some pieces of Final Fantasy VII are ahead of Kingdom Hearts III in terms of development, giving us more than a little hope that we'll see this one drop in the later portions of the year.
16 Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (Switch)
Gaming industry enigma Suda51 returns with protagonist Travis Touchdown to continue challenging gaming conventions and tropes with his highly stylized and unique take on the action-adventure genre.
Travis Strikes Again definitely keeps faith with Suda51's reputation, the narrative taking a very meta approach with Travis venturing through different video games and defeating the "bugs" within each title to progress. This one's on the immediate horizon for us, targeting a release date in January, 2019.
15 Anthem (PS4, XB1, PC)
There's been absolutely no shortage of hype behind BioWare's upcoming open-world RPG-shooter. And it really looks like they're putting in the effort to ensure a smooth release, with most of the gameplay demonstrations showcasing a vibrant and sharp multiplayer experience. We should be seeing this in February of 2019, barring any further delays.
The concept revolves around customizable exosuits called "Javelins," with each one geared towards a specific role in cooperative play. While players can develop relationships with various NPCs, BioWare seems to have given up their trademark romance options, so make what you will of that. Regardless of alien love prospects, Anthem certainly looks like an action-packed RPG hybrid fit enough for their typically excellent catalog.
14 A Plague Tale: Innocence (PS4, XB1, PC)
This action-adventure from Focus Home Interactive is made up of incredibly unique components, from the historical context of the Hundred Years' War to the puzzle centered game play involving plague rats, utilizing fire to either clear them from your path or direct them to attack hostile knights impeding your progress.
We'll be taking the role of Amicia as she guides her siblings through the war torn and rat infested streets. The game play is tense and the mood is grim, but what's out so far indicates a rewarding and fresh experience for gamers. A precise release date isn't mentioned, but we know it's coming in 2019.
13 Resident Evil 2 (PS4, XB1, PC)
It seems like we're looking at a year packed full of awesome throwback titles, whether they're remakes or revivals of classic, time-tested intellectual properties. This is one of the former, bringing the godfather of survival horror back to the front of the line with a major graphical and mechanical overhaul.
While we're losing the tank controls and fixed camera angles of the original, Capcom is going to lengths to ensure horror is prioritized over action, which is still music to my ears. We'll get to guide Leon and Claire through Raccoon City once more in late January of 2019.
12 Jedi: Fallen Order (TBA)
EA has stayed pretty light on the details when it comes to their upcoming Star Wars action-adventure title, but we've gleaned enough to start getting ourselves excited over what's on the way. We know it's a single player game, and that we're playing the role of a Jedi padawan, set some time after the events of Star Wars: Episode III.
We also know that there will be epic lightsaber duels, and that the game is due during the holiday season of 2019. That all sounds good to me, so long as EA can avoid finding an excuse to cram loot boxes into the thing.
11 Halo Infinite (XB1, PC)
The Master Chief's coming back, and he's looking awfully sharp dressed in his shiny new engine. While fans met the series' shift in narrative focus in Halo 5 with varying degrees of enthusiasm, it looks like the spotlight will be returning solely to everyone's favorite Spartan for this one. We don't have a solid date just yet, but the holidays for 2019 seem like a natural target.
Four player split screen support has been confirmed, so if you're itching to relive your adolescent days crammed onto the couch with three buddies then you're in luck. The teaser gives us very little to go on, but we do see the Chief, a Halo installation, and some beleaguered marines needing rescue. Furthermore, we definitely won't see a Battle Royale mode or loot boxes, which is sadly refreshing these days.
10 Skull And Bones (PS4, XB1, PC)
If you were disappointed by Sea Of Thieves and really just wanted Assassin's Creed: Black Flag with a much bigger focus on the seafaring pirate aspect of the game, then Skull and Bones might be the title you wanted to see in 2019.
With both single and multiplayer components, customizable captains, several different ship types, boarding mechanics and more, this really seems to be the all-inclusive piracy package. The promise of microtransactions is a little dubious, but with so many goodies on the table, it's definitely worth seeing what Ubisoft has cooked up for us before casting the first stone.
9 Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch)
This will be the first proper entry in this tactical RPG in roughly twelve years to hit home consoles that isn't a spin-off, and as such expectations are pretty high. Though what we've been shown so far looks like it will meet these expectations without breaking a sweat.
With the in-game combat sequences drawing on an amazingly vibrant animated style in direct contrast to previous titles and large scaled battles, Three Houses is absolutely sure to be a treat for the eyes. Though the release date has already been pushed back a time or two, we're currently tentatively expecting this one in spring of 2019.
8 Far Cry New Dawn (PS4, XB1, PC)
Man, I love the setting as much as anyone else, but I'm starting to wonder how many times I've used the term "post-apocalypse" over the course of this list. Anyway, that's where 2019's Far Cry title is taking us this time around!
And it actually looks pretty wild, which says a lot for a Far Cry title.
It's gilded with all of the expected, open world Far Cry shenanigans along with an incredibly interesting looking collection of unique post-apocalyptic weaponry, and it'll be keeping continuity from Far Cry 5 with some returning characters to boot.
7 Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night (PS4, XB1, Switch, PC)
Led by Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi, this spiritual successor to the timeless series of vampire slaying simulators is poised to deliver a solid and satisfying 2.5D experience that fans can't wait to get their hands on.
A successful Kickstarter campaign topping more than five million dollars would indicate that fans want it, anyway.
We did say 2.5D, which will mean full, 3D graphics and environments fused with a Metroidvania play style. We'll follow the story of orphan Miriam as she confronts and defeats a host of demons utilizing powers that have been infused into her body via a series of experiments gone wrong. Or right? Guess that's a matter of perspective. Either way, this looks awesome.
6 Team Sonic Racing (PS4, XB1, Switch, PC)
I'd usually force a dad-tier "gotta go fast" joke into here somewhere, but that seems a little too obvious so I'll let it slide for now. Does Sonic himself really need a vehicle, though? Isn't that more of a handicap for him than anything else?
Regardless, developer Sumo Digital is taking the Sonic gang back to the track for their third kart racing venture. Cooperative play is mentioned as a definitive focus, which is a pretty bold departure from the usually highly competitive angle these games take on.
5 Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PS4, XB1, PC)
That's right, B.J Blazkowicz is back to keep right on sticking it to the Third Reich. Well, sort of. His two daughters are actually stepping up to bat this time, and giving us a chance to struggle against the Axis powers with a buddy in glorious cooperative mayhem for this new chapter in the Wolfenstein revival.
Taking place nineteen year after The New Colossus, we'll be taking the fight to an occupied 1980's France and following B.J's offspring as they attempt to locate their now MIA father. While we lack a specific release date, we know we'll be seeing the title sometime in 2019.
4 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4, XB1, PC)
You could be forgiven for mistaking From Software's latest offering as a continuation of the Souls games, though the developer is definitely looking to break new ground with this release. With most of the RPG elements absent and a laser focus placed on the single-player experience, Sekiro is shaping up to be something different.
We'll be taking control of a mysterious shinobi that has had his arm replaced with a modular prosthetic that can be equipped with a wide range of gadgets and weaponry to aid in his vengeful quest. The action-forward combat and open, exploration inspiring environments are hard to look away from, and we're definitely looking forward to checking it out in March of 2019.
3 Code Vein (PS4, XB1, PC)
Speaking of Dark Souls... well, do you like it? Do you like anime? If the answer to both questions was "yes," then Code Vein is likely the game that you'll want to keep a close eye on as we break into the new year.
Developed and published by Bandai Namco, Code Vein makes no secret of its Soulsborne roots, playing out in a remarkably similar manner. But for those interested, that isn't likely to be much of a bother. Themes will revolve around a post-apocalyptic backdrop, with players taking the role of a vampire-like being known as a "Revenant." While the original release date was September, 2018, it's been delayed to 2019 without further detail as of yet.
2 Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (PS4, XB1, PC)
The Division had a rocky start, but Ubisoft eventually ironed out the wrinkles to shape it into a cohesive and fun online RPG-shooter that garnered a pretty prolific base of supporters.
The sequel is taking the timeline seven months after the events of the original and into Washington D.C for this post apocalyptic joyride.
Developer Massive Entertainment apparently took some serious notes concerning the reception of the first game and seems to be actively working to address concerns raised by the players, chief among which was endgame content. Developers taking cues from the players is always a good sign, so things are already looking positive.
1 Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, XB1)
Twelve long years have passed since fans received a proper sequel in the Kingdom Hearts series, and it's looking like January of 2019 will finally bring that agonizing wait to a definitive end.
It's about time, Square Enix. It's about time.
The game's story picks up right after the events of Dream Drop Distance. Alongside the exhaustive list of returning characters and settings we'll get to visit the Toy Story universe, Monstropolis from Monsters, Inc. and many more. And we haven't even touched on the new character summons! Look, to tie it all together in summary, this is definitely the game that Kingdom Hearts fans have been waiting for.