2017 was a banner year for video games, and 2018 (almost) kept up with that insane pace. The next few years are looking better than ever for games, which is surprising when you consider we may see the next generation of consoles as soon as 2020.
Here are my 20 most anticipated games of 2019 (and beyond). While not every game on this list has a firm release date, it’s safe to assume we’ll see it on current hardware.
Marketing for Anthem has gone relatively quiet since E3 2018, which isn’t necessarily a great sign. But this is still Bioware we’re talking about, and I’m excited to see the studio’s take on a Destiny-inspired live service game. I’m not sold on the story or promise that the game is still enjoyable while played alone, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. At this point, if the game runs better than Fallout 76 and I enjoy it more than Destiny, it’ll be success in my eyes. Anthem releases February 22, 2019, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Biomutant represents that B-tier of games that are becoming rarer as development costs rise and studios continue to expand, merge, and get acquired. Publisher THQ Nordic seems to be the best game in town for these types of games, with recent releases Darksiders 3, Sunset Overdrive, and Quantum Break. The game itself has an action-RPG slant with a unique anthropomorphized character and post-apocalypse wasteland as a setting. This is a game that could be very hit or miss, but what we’ve seen so far — while early — has looked promising. Biomutant is slated to release in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The more I see of Control, the more excited I am for it. But it also looks more and more like a horror game, which normally isn’t my cup of tea. The setting of the game just seems fascinating, with The Oldest House serving as a headquarters for an agency that deals with the paranormal. As they always do, things go bad. Remedy has proven time and time again that they know how to craft an engaging story and setting, so my expectations are high that Control can deliver on both fronts — and hopefully a solid shooter, too. Control is expected to release in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
A remastered Crash Team Racing has been rumored since the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy release in 2017. It just made sense to also redo the beloved kart racer originally made by Naughty Dog. The game falls in line with the Crash remaster in terms of visuals, with a colorful, furry, classic-yet-updated look. My memories of this game are very positive, and I know plenty of folks remember it more fondly than even Mario Kart 64. We’ll see whether or not that’s rose-tinted nostalgia when Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on June 21.
Dreams is worth paying attention to just because it’s coming from Media Molecule, developers of LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway. The studio always finds creative ways to play with creativity, and Dreams looks to expand upon LittleBigPlanet’s level-building mechanics in a major way. Surprisingly, even the pre-made narrative of the game seems interesting, following a down on his luck musician trying to get his groove back. Dreams is a Playstation 4 exclusive releasing in 2019.
Dying Light 2
The first Dying Light is a great example of why it sucks not being able to play video games all day every day, because it boasted a really cool concept and awesome parkour gameplay, but I never found time to give it a shot. Well, that’s going to have to change because Dying Light 2 looks like an even better game. There’s less of a focus on the zombie killing gameplay, with more story and choice implemented. As it always happens with post-apocalypse stories, it’s the people that are the real monsters. Dying Light 2 is aiming for a 2019 release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Far Cry: New Dawn
Speaking of the post-apocalypse, Far Cry is taking on its own version of this well-trodden setting. This game is a direct sequel to Far Cry 5, which was honestly of little interest to me because I heard the game came far from sticking its landing on the story. Still, this smaller Far Cry experience could be a nice palate cleanser that doesn’t seem to take itself nearly as seriously. There’s a clear relation to the color scheme and rad attitude of Rage 2, so I’m curious to see how the two games differentiate. We’ll find out when Far Cry: New Dawn releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 15.
Gears of War 5
The Gears of War series remains an Xbox heavy hitter, so the time is right for the next installment in the franchise. Gears of War 5 follows Kait Diaz — introduced in Gears of War 4 — on a journey to learn more about her family. The trailers thus far have been heavily focused on the story and characters, so we’ll have to wait and see how the next game ups the ante and changes up the gameplay mechanics. Gears 5 is slated for release in late 2019 for Xbox One.
Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima was announced as the next project from Sucker Punch Studios, makers of the inFamous franchise. We saw a lot more of the game at E3 2018, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m withholding judgment on the gameplay until we see more of
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
It feels weird to have a mobile game on this list, but there have been so few great Harry Potter video games that I’m forced to hold out hope for any new take on the franchise. Much like Niantic’s other huge hit, Pokemon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an AR game for mobile that will undoubtedly take the world by storm for at least a few weeks. I’m hoping for some more interesting gameplay mechanics, otherwise this game may wear out its welcome just as fast as Pokemon GO. We’ll see soon, as it’s expected to release sometime in early 2019.
Kingdom Hearts 3
I can’t believe Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally releasing January 29. I’ve literally been waiting for this game for over a decade. The series has taken a major nosedive since the release of Kingdom Hearts 2 (in my opinion), with several weird handheld and offshoot games muddying the already complicated story. At this point, I have almost no faith that Kingdom Hearts 3’s story will make sense, but I don’t even care anymore. There are so many amazing Disney properties left to explore, and the over the top colorful combat looks amazing. Hopefully the game doesn’t disappoint when it hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order was a surprise announcement at The Game Awards 2018, and it’s definitely maximizing the full gamut of Marvel characters, with the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy all present. The graphics looks a little “kiddie” for my tastes, but if it modernizes the gameplay from the original two games, I’ll be happy. I think this one will be a hit with Marvel movie fans when it hits Nintendo Switch later in 2019.
The Metro series is one of the more underrated game series in recent memory. I particularly loved Metro: Last Light’s focus on story. The games have an element of horror to them that I appreciate, and the shooting mechanics are loose in a way that feels more grounded than most first-person shooters. Exodus looks to be the final game in the Metro series, and judging from the trailers we’ve seen thus far, it’s absolutely stunning. I’m hoping this game hits a wider market when it comes out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 15.
I view Pokemon Let’s Go as an immense disappointment, despite it modernizing my nostalgia for one of the greatest games ever made. The Pokemon GO mechanics are just so unbelievably unfun that I cannot comprehend how anyone would want to engage with them. Thankfully, Nintendo has promised we’re getting a “core” Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch in 2019. Let’s see if they follow through on that promise. Please, just let me play a normal Pokemon game without the crappy mobile gameplay mechanics.
This is a sequel I think most people assumed we’d never see. Rage was a gorgeous-looking game and the shooting was solid, but the world wasn’t fully realized and the story might as well not have existed. Avalanche Studios and id Software seem to be having more fun with the game this time around, making it a true open world with more guns, customization, special moves, and skills. This game is leaning heavily into the Mad Max: Fury Road vibe, and I dig it. Rage 2 hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 14.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
It’s a bit of a cheat to include Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on this list since we’ve basically seen and heard nothing about the game. But when the makers of Titanfall are working on a Star Wars game, you get hyped for it. Period. Fallen Order takes place between episodes III and IV in the film franchise, and follows a padawan that escapes Order 66. I can’t wait to see the game in action, but at this point, a Holiday 2019 release date seems unlikely. I’ll just wait patiently for this to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The Last of Us Part II
I’ve said it a few times, but if The Last of Us Part II comes out and isn’t the best game of all time, people will look at it as a disappointment. That’s a pretty high bar to set, but Naughty Dog has crushed it with basically every game the studio has ever released. The game takes place five years after the first, with a more adult Ellie tackling the awful remains of humanity. I’m firmly in the “Joel is dead” conspiracy theory camp, but we’ll just have to wait and see when The Last of Us Part II releases for PlayStation 4 in 2019. Please don’t delay this one.
The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment teased a game announcement leading up to The Game Awards 2019, and the studio did not disappoint with its trailer for The Outer Worlds. The game is a clear rival for the Fallout series, and the timing couldn’t be better after the colossal disappointment that was Fallout 76. The Outer Worlds has a similar sense of humor as Fallout, but apparently is a smaller style western RPG. If the final package feels tight and well-crafted, that’s totally fine with me. Obsidian has said The Outer Worlds is release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2019, so we’ll just have to take them at their word.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
The Division was another game I missed out on the first time around, having already been burned by a similar-style game in Destiny. But props to Ubisoft, because the game was very well supported after launch and still has a strong player-base. The second game looks to add more variety in landscape and missions, which were sorely needed in the first attempt. I’m still not sure if this basically mandatory co-op experience is what I’m looking for, but I’m willing to give The Division 2 a shot when it releases on March 15 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi’s Crafted World was supposed to release in 2018 and I’m still bummed that it didn’t. I was a big fan of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, despite it being on the easier side. The game just had so much charm. Yoshi’s Crafted World looks to follow in similar footsteps, only with a papercraft aesthetic and perspective-manipulating mechanics. Having already been delayed a few times, I’m starting to get just a little bit nervous for this one, but I still have hope that it’ll deliver the charm and fun when it releases for Nintendo Switch in Spring 2019.
And there you have it, 20 games I can’t wait to play in 2019 (or later since at least a few of these will be delayed). What games are you looking forward to most? Let me know in the comments below, and check out my other video game rankings!