In a recent post, I wrote about my favorite games of 2018 and what makes them great. Now that we’re already in February, it’s time to stop reflecting on the past and start looking forward to the future.
As of now, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for gaming. We’ve already gotten off to a strong start with the releases of the incredible Resident Evil 2 remake and the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3, and there is still so much more to come. If everything goes as planned, we may be looking at the best year for gaming this decade. Here’s to hoping that it doesn’t disappoint!
From the return of legendary franchises to the introduction of exciting new IPs, here are my most anticipated games of 2019:
Crackdown 3 – February 15
I loved the first and HATED the second, so I’m hoping the third will redeem the series. There’s nothing quite as invigorating as cleaning up a crime-infested city as a superhuman soldier that can leap from skyscraper to skyscraper and hurl 18-wheelers hundreds of feet through the air. I’m intrigued to see the “Gangs Bite Back” system in action, which promises that enemies will intelligently respond to your actions by sending strike teams after you and fortifying besieged buildings.
Dead or Alive 6 – March 1
I’m a big fighting game fanatic
, so of course I’m going to be excited for a new Dead or Alive game. One of the cooler aspects of Dead or Alive 6
is that the physical appearance of characters will change during fights. Through the progression of the battle, you’ll see fighters get sweaty, battered, and bruised. There will also be slow-motion moments for critical blows and, for the first time in the series, a costume customization mode.
Total War: Three Kingdoms – March 7
When I was younger and had more time on my hands, I would spend countless hours playing Medieval II: Total War
and Rome: Total War
. The latest installment, Total War: Three Kingdoms,
will take you to China’s Three Kingdoms period where you will have a choice to play as one of 11 factions led by legendary warlords like Cao Cao, Lui Bei, and Sun Jian. These characters will have their own ambitions and desires that need to be catered to in order to get the most out of them on the battlefield.
Devil May Cry 5 – March 8
Going back to the basic, Devil May Cry 5
picks up where the fourth installment left off. While Ninja Theory’s DmC
was a fantastic reboot of the series, I’m excited to play as Nero and classic Dante again. Additionally, there will be a third playable character named “V” who, according to Capcom, has a vastly different fighting style from Dante or Nero.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – March 22
FromSoftware claims Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
will be much different than the Souls games
. There will be no role playing elements, such as character creation, class selection, and equipment upgrades, and combat will be more focused on knocking enemies off balance and perfectly timing a killing blow instead of pattern recognition. Stealth will also play a big role, as players can silently and immediately eliminate enemies if they get to a close enough range undetected.
Days Gone – April 26
While there is a chance Days Gone
could be extremely repetitive, I’m going to keep my hopes up that it’ll be as thrilling as it looks. While titles like DayZ, Dead Island,
and Dying Light
have already delivered open world zombie apocalypse experiences, Days Gone
has potential to do it better. The environment looks lush and gorgeous and the zombie hordes look intense. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the objectives won’t get redundant, the enemies will vary, and the world will offer some sort of interactivity.
Mortal Kombat 11 – April 29
Back on the topic of fighting games and how much I love them, we’re being graced with the release of a new Mortal Kombat game this year! It’s set to have 25 playable characters at launch, including, favorites like Baraka, Raiden, Scorpion, Sonya, and Sub-Zero, as well as a newcomer named Geras. New gameplay elements have been added, such as “Fatal Blow,” which is available when your character’s health drops below 30%, and “Krushing Blow,” which can be executed when certain requirements are met. “Flawless Block” is another added mechanic that allows for a counter window after a perfectly timed block.
Shenmue III – August 27
Shenmue was one of the first games I played that I was absolutely enamored with. When I caught wind of the Shenmue III
Kickstarter, I couldn’t help but throw money at it. Now that the time is almost here, I hope to see that money has been put to good use. Picking up after the events of Shenmue II
, the third installment revolves around protagonist Ryu Hazuki continuing the search for his father’s killer, Lan Di, in the mountains of Guilin, China. According to the Kickstarter page
, there will be three main areas, each of which will feature side activities and exploration.
Psychonauts 2 – TBD
We’re finally getting a follow up to Double Fine’s 2005 cult classic, Psychonauts
. Set to release this year, Psychonauts 2
will feature gameplay similar to its predecessor, having the players use “Psi-Powers” such as telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and levitation to platform across and explore the mental worlds of other characters. Director Tim Schaeffer has stated that some ideas introduced in the original – such as Raz’s family, their history, and their curse – will be further explored in the sequel.
The Last of Us Part II – TBD
Since there is a small chance The Last of Us Part II
could release this year, I’m including it on the list. The first is still my favorite game of all time, so of course I’m dying to play the second. While much hasn’t been revealed, writer/director Neil Druckman has stated that Part II
will be centered on hate. Taking that information into consideration, along with the extremely brutal and graphic second trailer, one could conclude that this game will be even darker and grittier than the first. Also, multiplayer will be making a comeback, so it’ll be interesting to see what’s been changed to enhance the experience.
Animal Crossing – TBD
One of the only times I’ve ever pulled an all-nighter playing a game was the first time I played Animal Crossing
on Gamecube. The latest installment, which was announced during a Nintendo Direct conference back in September 2018, will likely focus on the core elements that have skyrocketed the series to popularity (farming, fishing, decorating, etc.). Nothing is for certain yet, as there has only been a teaser released featuring everyone’s favorite raccoon, Tom Nook.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 – TBD
All I can say is it’s about damn time. Luigi is back and ready to kick some ghost ass this year in Luigi’s Mansion 3
. The first installment is one of my top five favorite Gamecube games, and Dark Moon
was a great follow up that should’ve been also been made for Wii or Wii U. Like most upcoming Nintendo games, nothing is known about Luigi’s Mansion 3.
Given the company’s great track record of first-party titles, I’m sure we’re in for something amazing.
Cyberpunk 2077 – TBD
Like The Last of Us Part II
, there is a small chance we’ll be able to get our hands on Cyberpunk 2077
this year. Featuring detailed character creation, choices that affect story progression, pulse-pounding combat, and a futuristic world full of interesting characters, stories, and places to explore, it’ll be a shoe in for Game of the Year if it executes on its all of its great ideas. You can read more about Cyberpunk 2077
in the piece I wrote about the gameplay demo that was released last year.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps – TBD
Ori and the Blind Forest
was one of my biggest gaming surprises of the decade. Its gorgeous, colorful visuals and fluid platforming gameplay stole my heart. Now, just four years later, our glowing friend is coming back for another adventure. This time around, players will traverse beyond the forest of Nibel, uncover the truths of the lost ones, and uncover Ori’s true destiny.
Dreams – TBD
Media Molecule is back with another extremely creative IP. Like the Little Big Planet series, Dreams
will put emphasis on creating, sharing, and playing custom gameplay experiences. There will be levels created by the development team that players can complete to unlock new items, but the main focus will be on user-generated content. From the looks of it, the possibilities seem endless. I’m interested in seeing the creative ideas brought to life by other players.
Are you interested in any of these games? Are there any games you’re dying to play this year that aren’t on my list? Share your thoughts in the comments!