With 2018 drawing to a close, it’s time to look ahead to the new year and all the excellent games we can look forward to keeping us from our work and loved ones.
Most of the games in this top 10 have already been confirmed for a 2019 launch, but there are one or two that still don’t have solid release dates (such as The Last Of Us) – but I’m quietly confident/hopeful that these games will be out before 2019 is over, because I don’t know what I’ll do if they aren’t.
Without further ado, grab yourself some Christmas leftovers, put ’em in a sandwich, and look ahead to some of the most exciting games of 2019.
Gears 5 may have dropped the “of war” from its title, but it’s still the same old franchise we know and love, complete with all the bleak third-person violence and post apocalyptic vibes you’ve come to expect from the series.
Old man Marcus Fenix is still knocking about being a grumpy old codger of course, but the real star will be Kate Diaz. The former Outcast first appeared in Gears of War 4, and this time around she’ll be discovering the origins of the subterranean Locusts, answering questions many of us have had since the first Gears of War released back in 2006.
The prospect of finally learning more about the locusts after over a decade, plus all the big guns and weapons we get to play with make Gears 5 one to watch in 2019.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
There are a couple of reasons you should be excited for Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. The first is that the single player game is being developed by Respawn, the studio behind the brilliant – and often underrated – Titanfall games.
The second is the game’s story. Reportedly set just after Revenge of The Sith – you know, the one where all the Jedi are wiped out and Anakin kills a bunch of kids – we’ll be playing as a Padawan who managed to survive the purge and decides to embark on a quest to avenge his fallen Jedi.
There’s no solid release date for this one yet, but all the rumours seem to be pointing towards a holiday 2019 release. If EA and Respawn can keep the focus on single player, story driven action, this could be the best Star Wars game we’ve had for a while.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is hard. You’d expect as much from the studio who gave us Bloodborne and Dark Souls of course, but don’t go into this game thinking it’s another Souls clone, because it’s so much more.
For a start, the game is a lot faster than Dark Souls. Where the Souls games are slower, methodical affairs, Sekiro has players zipping around, making use of every inch of the game’s gorgeous Samurai-inspired levels before they’re inevitably battered around by the brutal enemies. Aggressive play is key, and if you give your foe the slightest opening, they will rip you in two.
If you’re ready to die countless times before putting your fist through the wall in a blind rage, you can play Sekiro when it hits PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on 22 March.
After being revealed during E3 2016, fans have been patiently waiting to get their hands on Days Gone, a game that looks and plays like a combination of Horizon Zero Dawn and The Last of Us, with World War Z style zombie hordes that come after you with a mindless, singular desire to gobble you up like a drunk with a kebab.
The zombie slaying PS4 exclusive was originally set to release in 2018, but the game was then pushed back to February 2019, before being pushed back again to April 26 to allow further time to polish it up.
A number of publications came away fairly underwhelmed with preview builds of the game, but I’m confident the extra work will help make it another strong PS4 exclusive. If nothing else, I’m fully down to ride around an open world on a motorbike killing zombies and getting into fights with rival gangs.
The 2016 reboot of DOOM was one of the best games of the year, and easily one of the strongest FPS titles of the last decade. id Software took everything that we loved about the original game – fluid movement, big guns, bigger demons – and turned it all up to 666. See what I did there?
If DOOM Eternal can build on what made its predecessor great, which means more gory executions, more insane weapons to play with, and the heaviest of metal soundtracks, then we’re looking at one hell of a game.
I’m still not sure what sorcery is gonna get this game on Switch, but I can’t wait to find out when it launches at some point in 2019 – provided it isn’t delayed.
I think there’s a concern among a lot of gamers that Anthem won’t amount to much more than EA’s version of Destiny, but I believe we should give developer BioWare a little more credit than that.
Yes, they might have released the divisive Mass Effect Andromeda, but this is also the studio that gave us the original Mass Effect Trilogy, Dragon Age, and Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic. In short, they’ve made far more hits and misses.
This is a studio that knows how to make a truly great RPG, and if they can actually populate Anthem’s undeniably gorgeous world with interesting things to do instead of relying on players to create their own fun in an empty sandbox (like Fallout 76), then we’re in for a treat when the game launches in February.
Devil May Cry V
Devil May Cry V has all the potential to be the biggest and most bombastic entry in the Capcom’s demon busting franchise yet.
As with previous DMC titles, frenetic combo based combat is at the heart of everything you do in this game. Beating the snot out of otherworldly monsters using a blend of guns, swords, and a detachable exploding fist – building up ridiculous combos is as you cut your way through levels is as addictive as it ever was, and the fact that the excellent soundtrack builds and gets more intense the higher your score is just the icing on an already delicious cake.
I’ll be honest, I rarely have a clue what’s actually going on in a Devil May Cry game, and this one is no different – but when it looks and plays as good as this, March 8 can’t come fast enough.
Far Cry New Dawn
As soon as the credits rolled on Far Cry 5’s shocking nuclear holocaust, I had a feeling that Ubisoft would be taking the Fallout route for the inevitable sequel, and I was right – kind of.
See, what really strikes me about Far Cry New Dawn is that it doesn’t look like every other post apocalyptic game out there. Sure, it’s gonna be grim and violent, but the drab greens and browns you’d expect from a game set after a nuclear bomb drops have been replaced by lush vivid greenery and colours that really make the world come alive.
The Far Cry games are always a guaranteed good time, and Ubisoft’s take on the post apocalypse looks like one of the most entertaining I’ve ever seen in a video game. Who said the end of the world couldn’t be fun?
Resident Evil 2
Is it fair to continue to call Resident Evil 2 a remake at this point? The upcoming survival horror game shares a name and plot with the 1998 PlayStation classic, but trust me, this feels like an entirely new entry in the series.
Raccoon City has been recreated in stunning detail, and the shambling, rotting zombies that literally decompose before your very eyes are perhaps the most alarming I’ve ever seen in a video game.
Smart updates to combat and exploration don’t stop the game from being a survival horror through and through, of course. That same sense of creeping dread, that there’s no safe place to hide, is as present here as it was in the original game.
They do say that the best remakes are interpretations of what made the original truly great, and by that token Resident Evil 2 could be the best remake of all time. Look for it on January 25, just over 20 years after the original game scared the pants off of us all.
The Last Of Us Part II
No, we still don’t have a release date for Joel and Ellie’s next adventure, but given that Naughty Dog said back in December 2017 that The Last of Us Part II was around 60 percent done, I think we can assume that a late 2019 release date is likely.
So what is it about this game that has so many people so jazzed? Well, for a start the original Last of Us, released in 2013, was an absolute masterpiece of a video game. I’ll pause here for a second to let the “Last of Us is overrated” crowd get that tired take out of their systems.
Naughty Dog really made us care about Joel and Ellie as they bonded, and fought to stay alive in a hostile world full of monsters and other desperate survivors who would do absolutely anything they needed to to survive.
This emotional rollercoaster of love, loss, acceptance, survival, guilt, and betrayal was all wrapped up in a stunning looking game with some tense stealth and brutally violent combat. Part II looks set to deliver more of the same, and we can’t wait.