If you think that 2019 couldn’t possibly release more games than 2018, you’re making a mistake. 2019 is shaping up to be a non-stop onslaught of video game goodness, from indie platformers to triple-A shooters. In fact, by the time 2019 is over, we might remember it as a more packed year than the incredible years before it. “What makes you say that?” Well, we have a list here of games that are either confirmed or rumoured for a 2019 release. Spoilers: there are forty of them!
Read on for the full list of every major game rumoured or confirmed to release in 2019.
Confirmed Games With Release Dates
New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe – January 11
New Super Mario Bros isn’t exactly Nintendo’s most beloved franchise. For the past decade or so, the updated take on the classic Super Mario Bros formula has gotten 4 entries, and they’re all largely similar. The art-style, theme, music, and level design of each New Super Mario Bros game hardly differs from the last, which is why this series has seen a bit of fatigue over the years.
That said, they’re still solid platformers, and none more so than the most recent Wii U entry, New Super Mario Bros U. But if you never owned a Wii U (not many people did), you wouldn’t know whether this Mario game was great or not. That’s why the confusingly titled New Super Mario bros U Deluxe is a great fit for Switch. Plus, it’s the first new(ish) side-scrolling Mario platformer to come to Nintendo’s most recent console. Be sure to check this one out if you like platformers.
Resident Evil 2 – January 25
Capcom’s seminal horror classic Resident Evil 2 is getting a full-on remake this January, and it’s shaping up to be a fantastic re-interpretation of an already fantastic PS1 title. Now, don’t go into this game expecting an updated remaster; it’s been completely rebuilt, with 4K assets, new areas, and an RE4-style over-the-shoulder camera. It ought to be just as terrifying as you remember the original game being. Don’t sleep on this remake.
Kingdom Hearts 3 – January 25
At long, long, long, long last, Kingdom Hearts III is almost here. It’s been more than a decade since the last game, but Square Enix has worked their very hardest to make the 3rd game one of the series’ best. There are new worlds from some of your favorite Pixar films, like Monsters Inc. and Toy Story. There are transformations that each keyblade will go through during combat. You can have up to 5 allies fighting in your party. There’s a Winnie The Pooh world! It’s certainly seeming like this iteration will be worth the wait; we’ll have to wait and see.
Crackdown 3 – February 15
Realtime World’s open-world third-person shooter series, Crackdown, is making a comeback in just a month, and it’s looking like it will be a slamming good time. The major selling-point of Crackdown 3 is its destructible environments. And even though the single-player adventure won’t allow destruction, it is advertised to have a “completely non-linear campaign”, letting players hop from location to location and follow quests at their every whim. This is looking to be one of Xbox’s highlight first-person games; don’t let it pass you by.
Dead or Alive 6 – February 15
In the past, Dead or Alive has put more focus on its sexualized playable characters than its fighting game physics or meta-game. It seems like that will be changing in Dead or Alive 6. So far, none of the trailers have given an indication of a cast of scantily clad women, frolicking on a beach like in Dead or Alive Extreme 3. Instead, every character reveal has focused on their power in combat and tactical advantages. DOA 6 might be the next fighting game that the community latches onto. Keep an eye on it if you like Street Fighter, Soul Calibur, or any other fighting game.
Jump Force – February 15
Last year’s Dragon Ball FighterZ was a hit-and-run success for Bandai Namco, selling more than 3 million copies since last January. It only makes sense, then that Namco would want to publish another fighting game, and Jump Force seems like a worthy entry to the fighting scene. Featuring characters from a number of anime like One Piece, Naruto, Death Note, and Dragon Ball, Jump Force seeks to be the Smash Bros-style crossover of the anime world. Lufio, Frieza, Deku, Sasuke, and Ryo can all face off in a 3D, Tekken-like battle. If you’re a big fan of fighting games OR anime, be sure to give this one a shot.
Metro Exodus – February 15
Thematically speaking, Metro has always dwelt under Fallout’s shadow. Both are post-apocalyptic stories where humanity nearly kills itself off. Unfortunately, Metro has never had the benefit of a big-name studio like Bethesda behind its name. But, coming off of one of Bethesda’s worst years in a long time, Metro Exodus, the latest entry, might be worth a look for that post-apocalypse vibe.
Unlike Fallout, Metro Exodus isn’t a fully open-world game. As Huw Beynon, manager for Metro’s developer said in an interview with MCV, “[Metro Exodus does] have these huge levels that are miniature open worlds and take several hours to complete… then you get back on the train and roll on to the next environment.” (Source). It’ll be a nice change of pace from the steady stream of open-world FPS’s that flood the market.
Far Cry: New Dawn – February 15
The Game Awards gave us a nice peak at Ubisoft’s next plan for the Far Cry series, and it’ll be a follow up to Far Cry 5. Far Cry: New Dawn takes place in Montana’s Hope county, years after it is desolated by a nuke (as told in Far Cry 5’s canonical ending). It’s a bit strange that Ubisoft was willing to spoil the ending of their second-most recent game in the year of its release, but New Dawn’s crazy, color-filled, post-nuclear world might be enough to justify that decision. It’s a nice change of pace for the series; we’ll see how it goes down in February.
Anthem – February 22
BioWare has seen better days. Coming off the disappointment that was 2017’s Mass Effect: Andromeda, fans of the company and Mass Effect series have been questioning whether BioWare can make a comeback. Hopefully, Anthem will prove to be their redeeming chance. Imagine Destiny, but with Iron Man suits on another planet. That’s the elevator pitch for Anthem! You roam a distant, gorgeous planet with up to three other players as you defeat enemies, collect loot, and complete missions – all whilst flying around in jet-propelled rocket suits. It’s looking to be a beautiful game; let’s hope this is BioWare’s prodigal son.
Devil May Cry 5 – March 8
The Devil May Cry series originally spun off from an early build of Resident Evil 4, and since then, it’s evolved into something entirely different. Devil May Cry 5 is shaping up to be the zaniest, most heavy-metal iteration of the series yet. It follows Nero, a white-haired demon-slaughterer as he traverses Red Grave City and demolishes demons with his guns, swords, and robotic arm. It has the same hack-and-slash combat that we’ve all come to know and love from the DMC series, but cranked up to 11. If you’re a fan of Bayonetta or the old God of War games, don’t let DMC 5 pass you by.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – March 15
Tom Clancy’s The Division was never quite the success Ubisoft wanted it to be. Sure, it had solid gunplay, but the open-world was a bit too empty to be engaging until the end of the short campaign. Its sequel, The Division 2, is seeking to fix those issues with a detailed version of Washington DC to explore. Some have complained that the sequel isn’t doing enough new to justify its existence, but we’ll just have to wait and see until March.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – March 22
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a fresh change of pace for FromSoftware. Where their other games, Dark Souls and Bloodborne, are tactical, methodical, and low to the ground, Sekiro seeks to be much quicker, although not necessarily more forgiving. Enemies are still as demanding as always, but the new death mechanic might prove to be a relief for any newcomers to FromSoftware’s games. Instead of respawning at the last checkpoint after death, the player can simply get up and surprise attack the enemy from behind! FromSoftware says there will be more revealed about this mechanic at a later date. For now, look forward to becoming infuriated at the next FromSoftware game.
Mortal Kombat 11 – April 23
It was a pleasant (albeit gratuitous) surprise to see Mortal Kombat 11 unveiled at The Game Awards this year. Unfortunately, the only thing we’ve heard about the game was that initial trailer. The release date is slated for just a few months from now, so we ought to be getting some more details about the hyper-gory fighting game soon. Stay tuned!
Days Gone – April 26
2018 is the year for post-apocalyptic shooters! Days Gone, Sony’s upcoming action-adventure shooter, promises to be as open as a Far Cry or Metro game, but with an emphasis on Deacon’s (the main character) motorcycle. Throughout the adventure, players are given the option to upgrade the muffler, paint job, speed boosts, and handling. Aside from that, Days Gone’s Freakers (a sort of proprietary term for zombies) are absolutely everywhere, with up to a hundred being on screen at once. Be sure to avoid them as best you can when Days Gone releases in April.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled – June 21
Another surprising-but-not-surprising reveal at this year’s Game Awards was the companion piece to the recent Crash Bandicoot trilogy remaster, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. Now, the long-standing debate of whether Mario Kart or CTR is the better kart racer is a simply resolved matter: it’s Mario Kart. That said, the original CTR series are wonderful games in their own right, and you would be foolish to completely discount it this summer.
Confirmed Games With Release Ranges
Fire Emblem Three Houses – Spring
Admittedly, there’s not much to touch on with the newest Fire Emblem game. Ever since its initial reveal at E3, Nintendo hasn’t made a peep about it. Some obvious assumptions: It will be a turned-based, strategy-heavy game where you fight an evil force and ship main characters. Aside from that, there’s not much to say! Stay tuned if you’re into strategy games.
Yoshi’s Crafted World – Spring
2014’s Yoshi’s Woolly World was an adorable, artistic interpretation of the SNES classic Yoshi’s Island, and Yoshi’s Crafted World is looking to be an even more adorable sequel to that! Imagine a diorama of grade-school projects, with cardboard, glue, sequence, glitter, buttons, and tape scattered all over the wall and floor. Now imagine a little green knitted dinosaur running through that collage of child-crafted school materials; that’s Yoshi’s Crafted World! You run through an arts-and-crafts project, finding collectibles and occasionally flipping the entire perspective to see the backside. It’s looking to be a delightful little platformer; we can’t wait.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course – February
Cuphead was a wonderful blend between 80’s run-and-gun platforming and the art-style of an old-timey cartoon. It’s a charming (albeit difficult) game, which is why we’re so excited for the upcoming DLC The Delicious Last Course. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the DLC pack, other than what was shown in the initial E3 trailer. What we do know is that it will include a new character (Ms. Chalice), a new isle with stages and boss fights, and a handful of new weapons and charms to equip. If you’re up for the difficulty, be sure to look forward to Cuphead’s next venture.
Confirmed games coming in general 2019
Skull and Bones
Last year’s Sea of Thieves wasn’t as nearly as big a hit as Microsoft or Rare had planned, but if you’re still longing for a pirate-themed MMO, you might be in luck yet. The closest comparison to Ubisoft’s upcoming Skull and Bones is their own Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, but with a multiplayer-heavy component. Players form make-shift crews and take hold of the same pirate ship together, traversing the seas, hunting for treasure … y’know, pirate stuff!
Creative director Justin Farren has gone on record to state that adversarial ranking will be a key component of Skull and Bones. “[You work] your way up the food chain — building your pirate gang, recruiting a deadly crew, recruiting the people who are going to help you fuel that progression.” (Source). If Ubisoft plays their cards right, this could be a fantastic open-world (or open-sea) online game.
Tim Schafer, director of Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, and Brutal Legend, hardly ever makes sequels. But for a platformer as legendary as the cult classic Psychonauts, it was only reasonable that he had to make an exception. After more than 13 years, Psychonauts 2 should be making its way to PS4, Xbox One, and computers in 2019. From the few trailers Double Fine showed, it’s shaping up to be every bit as zany and stylized as the original 2005 game. While there isn’t a set-in-stone release date for this one yet, Tim Schafer and his crew at Double Fine are likely to release more info in the following months.
After three years, the fifth entry in the Gears of War series is coming, and it’s ditching the traditional naming convention. Gears 5, as it’s officially named, will follow protagonist Kait Diaz as she struggles with nightmares about the Locust threat. In the past, the Gears of War series has always had pivotal female roles, but this is the first time that a woman will take center stage as the protagonist. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more details on The Coalition’s next third-person shooter.
It might not be in the cultural zeitgeist that surrounded it nearly a decade ago, but Minecraft still has a massive following. So naturally, Minecraft Dungeons, the upcoming 4-player dungeon-crawler spin-off, ought to gain quite a following as well. For a game that has been modded and endlessly expanded on by a dedicated community since 2009, it’s awesome to see that the original creators can still take the initial concepts in new directions. The linear, Diablo-ish dungeon crawler will be quite the change of pace from Minecraft’s totally open-world approach, but it’s precisely changes in pace like that that continue to keep Minecraft alive. We’re looking forward to it.
Take one look at Wasteland, and you might assume that it’s a rip-off of the original top-down Fallout games. Well, you’d be wrong; Wasteland is the older series of the two, so if anything, Fallout is the rip-off! Okay, that’s not exactly accurate either, but the point still stands that the Wasteland series is one of the oldest and most dependable top-down RPG series around. Wasteland 3, the newest entry, has been in the works for over four years, and from the one trailer we’ve gotten, it looks to be great interpretation of classic nineties CRPG’s, but with modern sensibilities and voice-acting. If you’re into the old Fallout titles, or even modern strategy games like X-COM, be sure to give Wasteland 3 a look-see.
It’s more Spelunky! What else do you really need to know? Derek Yu’s classic 2008 rogue-like platformer is making a comeback on PS4, and it ought to be as addictive and spontaneous as ever. The main addition to this iteration is online play, which ought to add even more chaos to the already ridiculously chaotic mining action. There are also all-new items, characters, animals to ride, and enemies. Basically, it’s Spelunky, but with new stuff! What more did you expect?
The Surge 2
If you like Soulsborne games but want a bit of a change in tone from the gothic, medieval titles that FromSoftware makes, The Surge 2 might be right up your alley. It’s a high-tech, science-fiction take on the careful, strategic combat that made Dark Souls so popular. Instead of fighting massive demons or monstrous armored rhinoceroses, you’ll fight massive mech suits and laser-shooting robot goddesses. And of course, it has a gorgeous art direction that looks like something pulled straight out of Halo or Gears of War. So while you wait for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, be sure to keep your eyes pointed toward The Surge 2.
Ori and The Will of the Wisps
In 2015, Ori and The Blind Forest came seemingly out of nowhere, with a charming, ambient art direction, solid platforming, and a clever level design philosophy. Ori sits at an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ review average on Steam at the time of writing, so it’s understandable that so many people are excited for Ori and The Will of The Wisps. From what we can tell, Ori 2 will bring a lot of what made the first game so great: a magical 2D action-platformer with Metroidvania-style upgrades. We can’t wait.
If you were a big fan of 2017’s Wolfenstein 2, BJ Blazkowicz’s next outing, Wolfenstein: Youngblood is coming out sometime this year, although, we should clarify. BJ himself will not be the main highlight of this Wolfenstein 2 continuation. Instead, Newblood has you playing as Blazkowicz’s two twin daughters, Jess and Soph, as they attempt to fight against the 1980’s Nazi force, guns blazing. Also to clarify: Youngblood is not a DLC campaign for Wolfenstein 2, but instead is an adjunct to Wolf 2’s fantastic plot. If you’re curious to see how BJ’s bloodline gets on, be sure to pick up Wolfenstein: Young Blood.
The original Shenmue on Dreamcast was one of the first influential open-world games, released a full two years before Rockstar’s classic Grand Theft Auto III. 20 years later, the longevity of the first (and even second) game is a bit debatable, but Shenmue 3 is attempting to bring the series into the modern open-world era… or at least, we assume! So far, all that developer Deep Silver has shown is a couple of teaser trailers and a logo. It has a gorgeous art-style, no doubt, but we’ll have to wait for more concrete details before calling the verdict on this one. Stay tuned!
Nioh is often compared to Dark Souls; well, what isn’t being compared to Dark Souls these days? But the comparison here is valid – for all intents and purposes, Nioh and Nioh 2 are Soulsborne games. The careful, position-based combat that made Dark Souls and Bloodborne so renowned is ever-present here, except with a futile Japanese tone that separates the game from FromSoftware’s titles. Not too many details have been given about Nioh 2 thus far, but we do know that there will be more character customization options and “more satisfying deaths”, according to director Fumihiko Yasuda (Source). Between Sekiro, Ghost of Tsushima, The Surge 2, and Nioh 2, there are certainly many combat-driven games to look forward to in the couple years. Be excited!
One of the most unconventional games of this past E3 was Remedy’s new project, Control. In it, you control (eh?) a member of a government organization called the Federal Bureau of Control (Sounds ominous, right?). Problem is, this bureau has been taken over by a mysterious force, and your character has been given the power of telepathy to pick up desk lamps and debris and throw them at mind-controlled colleagues. Not only that – you wield a blocky, transformative “service weapon” that shoots various forms of ammo based on the weapon’s current configuration. Frankly, when we watch the trailers for this game, we’re confused, mesmerized, and excited all at the same time.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Castlevania, as we know it, is probably lost. There hasn’t been an entry in the massively influential Metroidvania series since 2014’s Lords of Shadow 2, and frankly, that one didn’t do much for us. So to hear that Castlevania: Symphony of The Night director Koji Igarashi is working on a new Metroidvania of his own is beyond exciting! Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night seeks to provide the same kind of tone and level design that the later Castlevania games adhered too. Initially a Kickstarter project, the game has picked up more than 6 times the original goal in funding, so it’s safe to assume that Ritual of The Night will reach the finish sometime in 2019.
But if you can’t wait that long for a Castlevania throwback, another Igarashi-directed game, Bloodstained: Circle of The Moon is out right now! This one takes inspiration directly from the older, more linear NES and SNES games. Good news: it’s fantastic, and it’s only ten bucks! Be sure to give that one a try while you wait for Ritual of The Night.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
It was quite the surprise when Team Ninja (developer of Nioh and Dead or Alive) announced that the long dead action-RPG franchise Marvel Ultimate Alliance would be making a return – and exclusively on Nintendo Switch! Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is Team Ninja’s first team-up with Nintendo since Metroid: Other M. It’s especially interesting, considering that the last Ultimate Alliance was created under Activision’s supervision. Will Team Ninja bring the series back to its former glory days? Here’s hoping!
The Outer Worlds
Following the recent failure of Fallout 76, there really couldn’t have been a better time for Obsidian to announce their newest project. The Outer Worlds is a first-person shooter RPG. You fight off colorful monsters in slow-paced, number-popping combat, while traversing a extraterrestrial planet and min-maxing your stats. In a nutshell, it’s Fallout: New Vegas in space, which makes sense when you consider that Obsidian is the same developer that created New Vegas. From the short trailer and little gameplay that Obsidian showed, The Outer Worlds seems very promising. If you like Fallout, be excited!
The notoriously difficult NES classic Battletoads is getting a long-in-the-works revival this year. As last year’s trailer says, it will have “body morphing genre mash-ups, 3 player couch co-op, 4K hand-drawn 2.5D graphics,” and most importantly, “broad, non-specific feature declarations!” That’s pretty accurate, considering we haven’t seen any gameplay footage, or really heard anything definitive about the new Battletoads. One thing’s for sure: it’ll be really, really hard. It wouldn’t be Battletoads if it wasn’t!
Frankly, Dreams isn’t as much a game as it is a beautiful piece of creation software. With a vast set of tools that allows you customize levels, characters, music, and coding, it’s astonishing that Dreams works wonderfully with a Dualshock 4 controller and not keyboard and mouse. It’s exciting to think what the inevitable community of creators will come up with in this vast artistic suite. If only Media Molecule would give a release date…
Games rumored for 2019
Pokémon generation 8
Last year’s Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee were a phenomenal success for Nintendo, to no one’s surprise. Pokémon is the highest-grossing entertainment franchise on the planet, so it only makes sense that a simplified version of the traditional Pokémon game design model would sell like hotcakes. But if you’re still holding out for a “traditional” Pokémon game on Switch, have no fear. Game Freak went on record to say that a full-fledged game is on the way, but that’s as far as the details go. We don’t know anything about the gameplay, story, region, location – heck, they haven’t even shown a name or logo yet. We can’t know for sure that Pokémon’s next evolution is coming in 2019, but the chance is certainly there if Game Freak has a reveal in the next couple months.
Metroid Prime 4
Metroid Prime 4’s development has gone radar silent. E3 2017 brought us the reveal trailer of Samus’s next first-person adventure, but ever since that logo reveal, Nintendo has given precisely zero details for us to go on. A year and a half later, we’re still waiting in anticipation for something – anything to dissect or analyze, but as of now, we still don’t even know the official developer of the game. Will it be Retro, developer of the first Metroid Primes and the recent Donkey Kong Country series? Or will a new studio step up to bat? We’ll only know in the months to come.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Nintendo’s September Direct packed a horde of great new reveals, including the next entry in the Luigi’s Mansion series. From the little gameplay that Nintendo showed off during that Direct, Luigi’s Mansion 3 seems to have the same spooky yet comical art-style that made the first two games approachable. Other than that, there’s not much to go off, but we expect to hear more from Nintendo sometime this year – possibly even a release date.
Bayonetta 3 hasn’t been as long in waiting as Metroid Prime 4, but it’s been darn near close. Ever since the first (and only) trailer at the 2017 Game Awards, Bayo 3 has been similarly radio-silent, with nothing but a fantastic (albeit morbid) cinematic trailer to go off of. In it, we can see Bayonetta firing a volley of bullets at a mysterious, transfigured enemy, before the enemy rips her in half (off-camera) and her legs fall apart in opposite direction. Yikes! Let’s hope that Bayonetta fairs well in her next adventure, and let’s hope that Nintendo and developer PlatinumGames give more details on the release date this year.
Animal Crossing on Switch
This might be the most innocent game on the entire list. Animal Crossing is confirmed to get an entry on Switch, although, like the four other Nintendo titles, we have no idea about any of the details. The game’s reveal came alongside the announcement of Animal Crossing’s adorable canine Isabelle being in Super Smash Bros Ultimate in a Direct last September. It didn’t show any gameplay, however, so we can only hope and pray it won’t be a sequel to the Wii U’s Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. It probably won’t!
And that’s it! It’s certainly an incredibly exciting year to be a fan of video games. 2019 holds a lot of potential for the video game industry, but if you’d prefer to look to the past with a cynical eye, be sure to read our list of the most disappointing games of 2018.
Which games are you most looking forward to? Are there any other games that we missed? Let us know! And for all things related to video games, stay tuned to Culture of Gaming.