Gaming has greatly evolved over the years and the quality of games that are being produced have increased by tenfold. Video games are inching closer towards looking as jaw-dropping as CGI films while still maintaining solid framerates and impressive gameplay at the same time. However, captivating aesthetic designs, intuitive gameplay elements, and graphical overhauls aren't the only things that modern gaming has improved upon. Games are becoming more than just mindless entertainment now that they're becoming more of an art-form.
Modern video games are now utilizing brilliant narrative and engaging storytelling that could generate an emotional response and significant impact on the gaming community. With that said, gamers are already seeing the massive improvement in the quality of games, from last year's Senua's Sacrifice to this year's God Of War. Fortunately for gamers, there will be even more gaming masterpieces to come in the near future. In fact, there's an abundance of promising game titles that are actually coming a lot sooner than they anticipated.
There certainly won't be any shortages of great games this year and in the next. Tons of sequels to iconic game franchises are heading our way including some fresh new game IPs as well. Gamers have already seen some incredible game releases this year so far but 2018 is far from over. Here we count down the top 15 games that fans should definitely look out for this year as well as 15 promising titles that 2019 has to offer. The coming months will undoubtedly become a turning point for gaming and that momentum won't seem to be slowing down in the following year either. Without further ado, gamers, start your engines!
30 This Year: Swordplay At Its Finest (Soulcalibur VI)
There certainly isn't any shortage of great sequels arriving in October and Soulcalibur VI proves just that yet again. The sequel's graphical improvements are quite noticeable given its switch to utilizing the Unreal Engine for the first time in the franchise's long history. Apart from getting a visual overhaul, the game will also welcome The Witcher's Geralt into the series, sweet!
The game —will still maintain its captivating visual flair— is set to improve on its core gameplay mechanics with new elements such as Reversal Edge and Lethal Hit, according to BandaiNamco. Soulcalibur VI arrives on October 19, 2018.
29 2019: Get Ready For War (Gears Of War 5)
Microsoft is prepping for another console exclusive hit in their upcoming third-person shooter epic Gears 5. According to the official site, the game's visceral action can now be enjoyed in 4K Ultra HD resolution and HDR, all at a mouthwatering 60 FPS. Gears 5 is going to feature the “largest and most diverse Gears world ever created.”
Aside from showcasing what's touted as the “most beautiful Gears world,” there will also be local split-screen co-op and online co-op modes as well. Fans can bask in the game's glorious visuals and epic action once the game releases in 2019.
28 This Year: Revisiting The Wild West (Red Dead Redemption 2)
There's yet another highly-awaited sequel coming in October in the form of Rockstar's critically-acclaimed game franchise Red Dead Redemption. In Red Dead Redemption 2, players take on the role of fugitive Arthur Morgan as he's being pursued by a legion of federal officers and bounty hunters, according to RockstarGames. The game's premise sounds as exciting and action-packed as its predecessor.
Rockstar's epic releases on October 26, 2018.
However, the staggering visuals and ridiculously detailed environments seen in its trailer make the game even more promising.
27 2019: It's Time To Rock! (Devil May Cry 5)
While 2018 is certainly a year for awesome sequels, 2019 is going to keep that pace going with epic follow-up titles such as Devil May Cry 5. The game's stylish trailer features the return of both Nero and Dante. Of course, the high-octane combat and dazzling visuals are still evident albeit with some scintillating next-generation visual upgrades.
According to the game's website, the game takes place years after its predecessor and is built using the same ultra-realistic game engine that was used on Resident Evil 7. The game is targeting a Spring 2019 release.
26 This Year: Strength In Numbers (OVERKILL'S The Walking Dead)
Developer Overkill Software is best known for their adrenaline-pumping co-op game PAYDAY and they are bringing its action-fueled formula to The Walking Dead universe. OVERKILL'S The Walking Dead aims to deliver a heart-racing FPS co-op survival experience that the ultra-popular series is known for. Finally, a topnotch zombie survival game worthy of bearing the Walking Dead name!
According to the official website, players get to explore a Washington DC that's littered with hordes of walkers. The game's expansive progression system, scavenging mechanics, weapons crafting, unique characters and dynamic gameplay make it worth looking out for once it releases some time this year.
25 2019: The Power Of Friendship (Kingdom Hearts 3)
The Kingdom Hearts sequel has been a long time coming since the last game was released for the PS2 way back in 2005. After skipping one console generation, Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally on the horizon, but is it worth the wait? Based on the images and videos released on their official website, the game looks very promising.
The game almost looks like a controllable CGI film.
Aside from the sleek and awe-inspiring visuals, there's a wealth of familiar Disney and Pixar characters that could instantly hit any fan with nostalgia! Sora and Disney's magical world arrives on January 29, 2019.
24 This Year: Fear The Barcode (HITMAN 2)
This year has another fan-favorite sequel in store which puts players on the shoes of the legendary agent 47 once again. HITMAN 2 picks up where its predecessor left off while ditching the episodic narrative of the previous game. The sequel will be a complete package featuring 6 sandbox locations.
Agent 47 return when HITMAN 2 hits stores on November 13, 2018.
According to the official website, the game's expansive environments offer players “endless opportunities” of dispatching their targets. In addition, free content such as new Elusive Targets will also be making a return.
23 2019: The Definitive Sci-Fi MMO (Anthem)
Fans of games like Destiny or Titanfall should look no further than the upcoming sci-fi epic Anthem. The game's graphics, lighting, and visual aesthetic simply looks jaw-dropping. According to EA, this online multiplayer adventure features a dynamic world with “unpredictable conditions, hazards and enemies” that constantly change over time.
Destiny has now met its match.
However, the highlight of the game is its Javelin exosuits, customizable armors that can be upgraded into hulking mech suits. Anthem arrives on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on February 22, 2019.
22 This Year: Enjoy The Wasteland Together! (Fallout 76)
There can never be too many Fallout games and Fallout 76 is a fine example of why there should be more. Fallout 76 opted for a more dynamic and diversified online multiplayer experience where every NPC is played by actual people. According to Gamespot, the game will still have robots and collectible holotapes, so players could flesh out the story on their own.
Exploring the post-apocalyptic wasteland will never feel lonely.
Players can form a party and explore the vast wasteland together, which is reportedly four times bigger than Fallout 4's map. The wasteland expedition begins on November 14, 2018.
21 2019: End Of Days (Days Gone)
Upcoming survival game Days Gone is a testament that zombie games won't be going anywhere next year. The game sets itself apart from other zombie games with its beautiful Unreal Engine 4 visuals. According to PlayStation, every challenge in the game can be approached “in an almost infinite number of ways.”
This dynamic gameplay gives players complete freedom in this hostile sandbox world where day, night, and weather conditions constantly change, affecting their chances of survival. Survive the apocalypse on February 22, 2019.
20 This Year: Unleash The Fury (Darksiders III)
Fans of the series who've played it since the first game will greatly appreciate the significant visual improvement that Darksiders III brings to the table. The newest Horseman Fury is on a quest to prove herself worthy of being called the strongest among the Four Horsemen.
Unlike the previous horsemen, Fury can evolve into different Hollows granting her special powers in each form. Those willing to step in Fury's blazing shoes can do so on November 27, 2018.
19 2019: May The Force Come Soon (Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order)
It's been a long time since a Jedi-centered Star Wars game was released but fortunately, that time has finally come. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a promising action-adventure title about a yet-to-be-revealed Padawan survivor. According to EA, it will feature an original story that begins right after Revenge Of The Sith.
This is a pivotal moment in the films since it's a time when every Jedi are being pursued and eliminated. Although fans might have to wait a bit for this one as it won't be out until the Holidays of 2019.
18 This Year: Catching Pokémon Just Got Real! (Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu/Eevee)
One of the Nintendo Switch's more promising titles comes from none other than Nintendo's ever-popular Pokémon franchise. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu makes players feel what it's like to actually take on the role of a Pokémon trainer. According to Nintendo, players get to choose between Eevee and Pikachu as their partners.
Players can capture Pokémon by throwing an actual Poke Ball!
Players get to explore a lush Kanto region that's teeming with life-sized Pokémons to catch. Fans are also given an authentic Pokémon-catching experience with the use of motion controls. Watch for its release on November 6, 2018.
17 2019: Master The Bionic Ninja (Sekiro Shadows Die Twice)
Whenever From Software comes up with another adventure game, fans know it's gonna be good. The Dark Souls developer is going back to their feudal Japan roots with their upcoming samurai-themed game Sekiro Shadows Die Twice coming early 2019. The game's trailer shows lots of slick ninja action and innovative swordplay, as expected from the developers behind Tenchu and Armored Core.
The games' protagonist is a lethally-efficient and vengeful samurai known as the “one-armed wolf,” according to the official site. Players are able to utilize grappling hooks while blending ninja abilities and stealth to take on enormously fiendish enemies, such fun!
16 Out Now!: Welcome To Spidey's Amazing World (Marvel's Spider-Man)
There's a good reason why the highly-anticipated PS4 Marvel's Spider-Man game carries such a tremendous amount of hype. First of all, the game is being developed by Insomniac Games, the studio behind epic open-world games such as Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive. If that's not enough to convince gamers, then the game's jaw-dropping visuals and action-packed gameplay definitely would.
According to PlayStation, players won't just use “the most masterful Spider-Man you've ever played,” they'll also deal with the complexities of normal life as Peter Parker. The game released on September 7, 2018.
15 2019: Chaotic Sandbox Fun (Crackdown 3)
The last Crackdown game brought epic open-world destruction to the Xbox 360 when it was released back in 2010. However, the long wait is almost over as Crackdown 3 is finally prepping for a February 2019 release, according to the official website. Xbox One owners can enjoy the game's sandbox chaos in full mouthwatering 4K as they explore a futuristic world filled with nefarious activities to hinder.
Players utilize a barrage of destructive including a morphing vehicle that could transform from a sports car into a tank! After all, who would want to pass off an opportunity to wreak havoc as Terry Crews?
14 This Year: Enter The Battlefield (Battlefield V)
War never changes but the Battlefield franchise has certainly evolved! With the help of the epic Frostbite engine, Battlefield V is able to depict a truly visceral and gritty experience that's as breathtaking to look at as it is intense to behold.
According to the official site, players are able to craft a unique team of soldiers individually and this team would also evolve along with the player. Gamers can enlist in this historic battle once the game comes out on October 19, 2018.
13 2019: Into The City Of Madness (The Sinking City)
H.P Lovecraft-inspired game The Sinking City sets itself apart from other Lovecraftian-based titles by featuring an open-world filled with mysteries. The game's world is teeming with enchanting visuals that are as gorgeous as they are macabre. According to Frogwares, Players take on the role of a private investigator in a quest to unravel the city's mysterious flood and supernatural phenomena.
The game's open-world design, breathtaking graphics and detective noir-theme sound even more promising when coupled with Lovecraftian elements. Both Lovecraft and adventure game fans wouldn't want to miss the game's March 21, 2019 release.
12 Out Now!: The Revival Of Classic JRPG (Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age)
The Dragon Quest franchise has always been a household name when it comes to Japanese Role Playing Games. While previous entries in the franchise became more action-oriented, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes Of An Elusive Age brings back the old-school turn-based combat the series is known for. Although players shouldn't let the game's retro roots fool them, this JRPG still looks as gorgeous as any next-generation game.
Old-school gameplay meets glorious next-generation visuals.
According to the official website, the game comes with “tons of side-quests and mini-games” that could keep players occupied for “over 100 hours.” The game released on September 4, 2018.
11 2019: The Metro Awaits (Metro Exodus)
The stunning Metro Exodus game might not make it in time for a 2018 release but at least it's coming early next year. The latest iteration of the Metro series takes players to a gorgeously-detailed world that's brimming with hazardous anomalies and ferocious mutants like Humanimals and spine-tingling Demons. According to its website, there will also be radically factions, armed forces, and bandits to encounter.
The game delivers exhilarating survival gameplay while focusing on telling an epic tale of Artyom's wild adventure. Explore the fascinating yet nightmarish world of Metro Exodus on February 22, 2019.
10 Return Of The Brawler King (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
One of the best fighting game franchises is back with the Nintendo Switch's superhero-mashup brawler game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There are a plethora of iconic game characters to choose from, ranging from the dangerous Mewtwo to the quirky Inkling. Jigglypuff can finally settle the score with Kirby to see which of them is fluffier!
The game's character roster is made up of a whopping 66 fighters. According to the official website, the game is regarded as “the biggest Super Smash Bros. game ever.” Series fans certainly wouldn't want to miss this game once it comes out on December 7, 2018.
9 2019: Reincarnation Of Evil (Resident Evil 2 Remake)
The survival-horror classic, Resident Evil 2, is finally getting a proper remake next year. According to Gamespot, the Resident Evil 2 Remake has numerous exciting new features including ammo crafting and a barricade system to keep zombies at bay.
Aside from the switch to third-person perspective, fans can expect the game's premise to stay faithful to the original. The highly-awaited remake that fans have been longing for releases on January 25, 2019.
8 This Year: March Of The Valkyrie (Valkyria Chronicles 4)
Riveting tactical JRPG Valkyria Chronicles 4 blends real-time action and turn-based tactics in one stylish-looking package. According to Sega, the game is beautifully-rendered using the CANVAS engine making everything in the game seem like a surreal water-colored painting brought to life. Of course, tactical gameplay is still the meat of this game and there isn't a shortage in this department either.
Fans of the series will certainly appreciate the graphical upgrade, new narrative and gameplay mechanics this title has to offer. The game just released in Japan back on March 21, but its Western release won't be out until September 25, 2018.
7 2019: Divided We Fall (Tom Clancy's The Division 2)
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 improves on its predecessor with a wealth of new content and innovative features that could “engage players for years to come.” According to Ubisoft, the sequel will feature a brand new progression system as well as some “unique twists and surprises.” Players will still have plenty of things to do even after reaching level 30.
The sequel includes neat endgame features such as new co-op activities including “a full year of free story-driven missions, map expansions and new game features.” This is definitely worth watching out for once it releases on March 15, 2019.
6 This Year: Bigger, Better & Faster (Forza Horizon 4)
Forza Horizon 4 takes the series to new heights with its massive automobile roster and its scintillating environment detail. The latest entry will feature dynamic seasons, diverse weather system, real-time progression and breathtaking locations all in glorious 4K resolution and HDR. According to ForzaMotorsport, the game has over 450 cars to choose from making it the “most diverse Horizon car roster yet.”
There's enough content to keep petrolheads occupied for a long time.
There are tons of customizations options including a new Route Creator which expands the game's already diverse tracks and courses. The game arrives on October 2, 2018.
5 2019: Godfather Of FPS Is Back! (DOOM Eternal)
It's no surprise that a new DOOM title was announced given the cliffhanger ending of the hit 2016 reboot. According to Bethesda, DOOM Eternal will have twice as many demonic adversaries as the last game. The developers teased that the game will feature the “ultimate combination of speed and power.”
Players will get to use an “even more powerful” DOOM slayer that comes with new weapons and abilities. What's even more interesting is that, the developers hinted that there will be surprises that fans “might not be expecting.” Now that just makes waiting for its 2019 release even harder!
4 This Year: Mega Man's Long-Awaited Sequel (Mega Man 11)
Mega Man is an iconic franchise worthy of a sequel but it took 8 years before it was able to come up with a new entry. Mega Man 11 is the latest game in the legendary franchise since the release of its predecessor back in March 2010. Nintendo Switch owners will be delighted to know that the game will be sticking to its side-scrolling roots albeit with improved 2.5D visuals.
According to Nintendo, there's also a new Double Gear system which grants players special abilities such as boosting firepower and slowing time. The game releases on October 2, 2018.
3 2019: Fuel The Rage (Rage 2)
Fans of the first Rage game would be ecstatic to know that its sequel is going to be even more ambitious. Rage 2 features a seamlessly massive post-apocalyptic wasteland populated by various mutants, beasts and all sorts of deranged factions. According to Bethesda, players can basically drive every vehicle they can see including Mad Max-esque monster trucks and gyrocopters.
The game gives players a satisfyingly cathartic experience by letting them “go anywhere, shoot anything and explode everything” using customizable weapons, superpowers and the Overdrive ability. Look out for this dystopian wonderland sometime in Spring 2019.
2 This Year: This Is Sparta! (Assassin's Creed Odyssey)
Ubisoft's massively successful adventure game franchise is back and this time, it's taking players on a historic trip to Greece! Assassin's Creed Odyssey puts players in the shoes of a mercenary on the path of becoming a legendary Spartan hero. According to Ubisoft, the game's breathtaking world will drastically change depending on the player's decisions.
The series is aging like fine wine.
The game boasts multiple endings, over 30 hours of dialogue, loads of side-quests including a fully-customizable naval ship! Fans can embark on this epic odyssey starting October 5, 2018.
1 2019: Shenmue Enters The Next-Generation (Shenmue III)
Shenmue pioneered open-world action RPGs when it released on the Dreamcast way back in 1999. Now that the latest Shenmue III title is finally releasing some time in 2019, fans can expect it to revolutionize the genre once again. In an interview, the game's creator Yu Suzuki revealed that Shenmue III is going to be “the full-on Shenmue experience” that fans “have dreamed of.”
Let's hope the game is worth the ridiculously long wait.
Suzuki revealed that the game won't just be a spin-off but an actual sequel instead. Fans can expect the return of protagonist Ryo Hazuki now in glorious HD.