The 30 most anticipated games of 2019

UPDATED: Get familiar with this year's essential releases

We played a load of great games in 2018, from God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and plenty more in between, but now we're thinking about 2019's new releases.

And the year looks mighty fine indeed, with incredible-looking sequels and compelling original affairs in the mix. We've scoured the release lists and come up with our picks for the 30 most anticipated games that are set to arrive in 2019.

As of now, we haven't included potential/likely 2019 games that we currently know next-to-nothing about, like the new Pokémon and Animal Crossing games for Switch, but you can bet that those games will join our list should they emerge more fully later in the year. We'll be updating this list throughout the year as games release and others are announced, so check back regularly for the latest and greatest games out on the horizon.

1) The Last of Us Part II

Platform: PlayStation 4

Our most anticipated game of 2019 hasn't even been confirmed to release in the year – but we're so ravenous for it that we can't help but put it here anyway and hope it works out.

We picked the original The Last of Us as our all-time favourite game, and what we've seen so far of The Last of Us Part II only seems poised to deliver an even greater experience. Ellie is all grown up now and facing what seems to be some freaky cult, and Naughty Dog has put all of its additional expertise and skill into making this look pretty phenomenal.

Uncharted 4 lived up to the hype, after all, so why can't The Last of Us Part II?

Due: TBD

2) Cyberpunk 2077

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is one of the best games on the current generation of consoles, so it's no surprise that we have incredibly high hopes for Cyberpunk 2077, the next huge, open-world game from CD Projekt RED.

As the trailer shows, it's a very different kind of world, swapping classic fantasy for… well, cyberpunk in the futuristic American setting of Night City. You can customise your mercenary however you please and take on a wide array of missions, all of which look incredibly cool. Cyberpunk 2077 hasn't yet been officially confirmed for 2019, but given the extensive gameplay demo and hints of a release during the year, we feel pretty confident that it'll arrive before 2020.

Due: TBD

3) Doom Eternal

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

The 2016 Doom reboot was pretty awesome, but Doom Eternal is ready to amp things up to an entirely new level.

There's a whole lot of demon slaying going on here, with even more aggressive-looking action and a "meat hook" shotgun grappling hook attachment that lets you anchor into enemies and swing around the world. Even with that new element, Doom Eternal seems to keep the rapid-paced, run-and-gun dynamic that made the last game (and the classics) so much fun.

Due: TBD 2019

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4) Anthem

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Looking more than a little bit like BioWare's take on Destiny, Anthem is a co-op, sci-fi shooter that drops you into an Iron Man-esque Javelin mech suit to try and save humanity from all manner of foul beasts.

BioWare has produced a fair few masterpieces in its time, although its last game – 2017's Mass Effect Andromeda – had a hit-or-miss launch and quickly disappeared from memory. But what we've seen and played of Anthem still looks super-cool, with the aerial combat hopefully lending the game enough of a different tone to stand out from Destiny 2.

Due: 22 February

5) Dreams

Platform: PlayStation 4

Media Molecule cemented its legendary status with the first two LittleBigPlanet games, but the studio might top those creative classics with its next game, Dreams.

Like LittleBigPlanet, Dreams is built around the "play, create, share" philosophy – but it provides a much broader toolset to create your own wild, distinctive game experiences and send them out into the world for other players to experience. The impressionistic art style looks incredible, and the ability to paint your worlds with the PlayStation Move controllers is probably the best non-VR reason to bust them out in years.

Due: TBD 2019

6) Ghost of Tsushima

Platform: PlayStation 4

Just feast your eyes on this trailer above. Ghost of Tsushima looks utterly gorgeous, and it comes from a studio with a real open-world pedigree: Sucker Punch Productions, the folks behind Infamous.

Set in 1274, Ghost of Tsushima drops samurai hero Jin Sakai into the middle of a fight for his home, as the Mongol Empire invades the Japanese island of Tsushima. This gameplay demo shows of a bit of what we're so excited about, with an incredible samurai duel set against falling leaves, dazzling terrain, and dreamy lighting effects.

Hopefully it has the story and gameplay to match the looks, but the first impression is massively impressive. Unfortunately, it's not yet confirmed for 2019, but it's been on the horizon for quite a while now.

Due: TBD

7) Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The Division was one of the absolute best games of 2016, delivering a chilling vision of New York following a devastating outbreak – and populating the eerie space with plenty of alluring shoot-and-loot action.

Now the sequel is coming to continue that trend while expanding on the original premise. The Division 2 shifts the action to Washington D.C. and looks to provide a wider array of terrain, along with eight-player raids and character subclasses that let you specialise in unique ways. And the first year of add-on content will be free for everyone. Hopefully that keeps the online community alive and engaged in a way that Destiny 2 failed to out of the gate.

Due: 15 March

8) Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

What's this? A ninja-themed action game from the director and developer behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne? Yes, that sounds like something we'd be into.

Even with that pedigree, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice doesn't just swap scenarios while keeping the familiar gameplay intact. Here, you'll wield a katana and attack enemies to find an opening to strike the killing blow, plus it lacks character creation and role-playing elements. Even so, if it can nail that intriguing twist on the surely-challenging combat, then we expect that Sekiro will be another essential FromSoftware experience.

Due: 22 March

9) Halo Infinite

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Halo 5: Guardians was a bit of a letdown, but Microsoft seems intent on turning a new leaf with Halo Infinite, which debuts a new game engine and brings back Master Chief as the focal point.

That's… pretty much all we know at this point, other than it's coming for both Xbox One and Windows 10, ending years of Xbox-exclusivity for the main shooter entries. The new engine looks pretty fantastic based on the brief demo above, but it doesn't give a sense of how far along development is. And a 2019 release isn't confirmed yet, although a rumour around E3 suggested a staggered release with single-player out in 2019 and multiplayer to follow in 2020.

Due: TBD

10) Mortal Kombat 11

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

It's back! NetherRealm Studios' iconic fighting favourite returns in 2019 with Mortal Kombat 11, which promises to deliver inventive new ways to utterly destroy your opponents.

The first trailer doesn't show any big tonal surprises: it's still wildly violent and gory, with Fatality moves that will surely walk the line between disturbing and hilarious. The trailer hints at some character changes, however, and the studio has promised fighter customisation along the lines of that seen in the great Injustice 2.

Due: 23 April

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11) Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

Platforms: TBD

Respawn Entertainment has thus far made a couple of stellar Titanfall games, but its next project will take players to a galaxy far, far away – yes, that one.

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order will tell an original tale set after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and it'll spotlight a Padawan who survived that film's grisly Order 66 massacre. Purported leaks suggest that it takes place five years after the film and claim that story details could come from the Star Wars comics.

The above promo video from 2016 shows a bit of motion capture and hyped-up talk around the game, but there's no official footage just yet. We're expecting that around E3 in June.

Due: Holiday 2019

12) Devil May Cry 5

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

DmC: Devil May Cry was a pretty divisive game – we loved the reboot, but a lot of the old fans couldn't grapple with the drastic makeover. Luckily for them, the original series is back in action.

Devil May Cry 5 features a trio of distinctive playable heroes – Nero, his brother (and original series lead) Dante, and new character V – each with a unique style as you hack and slash and blast your way through scads of demons. The early reaction has been very strong; between this, Resident Evil 7, and the brilliant new Resident Evil 2 remake, it seems like Capcom's classic franchises are back on track.

Due: 8 March

13) Gears 5

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

We don't know for sure whether we'll see Halo Infinite in 2019, but Microsoft has had Gears 5 on the calendar for a while now – and it looks like a pretty appealing twist for the series.

After the fun but predictable Gears of War 4, it's nice to see Gears 5 introduce not only a heroine to lead the usually dude-heavy franchise, but also pack a lot more colour into what Microsoft says are the largest environments yet. We still expect cover-based blasting at the heart of the experience, but here's hoping Gears 5 is the shot in the arm the series needs.

Due: TBD 2019

14) Days Gone

Platform: PlayStation 4

Days Gone's tagline is "This World Comes for You," and based on what the trailer shows... yeah, that actually seems about right.

Sony's PS4 game feels like it's been on the horizon forever, since the first E3 2016 showing that dumped seemingly hundreds of frantic zombie-like enemies loose on your biker hero. The rest of the game has been fleshed out gradually over time, and we came away from our E3 2018 hands-on feeling pretty optimistic about where it's going.

Due: 26 April

15) Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

If you didn't play it, Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the absolute best games you can play on Xbox One (and pretty great on PC too) – and the sequel certainly sits on our 2019 wish list.

The original was both stunning and heartbreaking, and early trailers for Ori and the Will of the Wisps suggests much the same, with the first teaser promising tears and the second showing off some slick gameplay. It's still a side-scrolling platformer with a bit of a Metroid influence in tow, but now it promises a new combat system and a bunch of customisation options.

Due: TBD 2019

16) Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Platform: Switch

Nintendo's excellent tactical role-playing franchise has mostly lived on handhelds of late, with the recent 3DS entries being especially great – but a proper new release is coming to Switch in spring.

As the trailer shows, Fire Emblem: Three Houses looks to maintain what's so alluring about those portable gems, with sharp, turn-based strategic combat and dazzling anime cut-scenes that amp up the drama. If you don't know the franchise or you've only played the simplified mobile version, then this looks like the perfect place to start. And die-hards should be thrilled.

Due: Spring 2019

17) Metro Exodus

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The previous Metro shooters weren't big commercial smashes, but they became cult favourites for their immense atmosphere and dashes of stealth and survival horror elements.

Metro Exodus could be the series' play at a larger audience, as it seems to amplify those elements with a stunning new environment. Here, your post-apocalyptic survivor finds some lush new terrain far from Moscow's subway tunnels… but things there aren't as peaceful and idyllic as they might seem at a glance.

Due: 15 February

18) Dirt Rally 2.0

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Codemasters' Dirt franchise made rallying a bit more accessible for the average racing fan, gradually shifting away from the technical nuance of the motorsport and towards flash and fun. Fair enough – but 2015's Dirt Rally delivered the real deal for sim-heads, and now the spinoff has a sequel.

Dirt Rally 2.0 doesn't seem to dramatically shift away from what made the last Rally entry such a tough, yet rewarding challenge, although the new dynamic weather system is sure to throw a wrench into your best-laid routes. Shame about the lack of VR support this time around, though.

Due: 26 February

19) Rage 2

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

id Software's original Rage was hyped as a Doom or Quake-level sensation in the making, but the actual game ended up being a bit flat. The studio aims to avoid that fate this time around with the clearly amped-up Rage 2.

Featuring an injection of personality and Mad Max-esque enemies to blast through, Rage 2 also brings in some super-powered abilities that let you run rampant through the wasteland. It has a heavy vehicular focus, which looks fun, and the open-world veterans at Avalanche Studios are helping to hopefully make this world a lot more interesting than the last game's.

Due: 14 May

20) Far Cry: New Dawn

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

No joke: less than a year after Far Cry 5, Ubisoft is back with another standalone game in Far Cry: New Dawn. In truth, though, it's like a sequel/spinoff hybrid that's apparently robust enough to be sold as a fresh experience.

New Dawn takes place 17 years after Far Cry 5's true, explosive ending, spotlighting a pair of twin sisters who are thriving in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Hope County. While those bandits are your targets, they'll surely lead you to a good time around this elaborate open world, which is filled with all sorts of enemies, weapons, vehicles, and animals to engage with. Far Cry is always a blast; hopefully the quick turnaround doesn't dampen its impact this time around.

Due: 15 February

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21) Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Platforms: TBA

What, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus didn't finally satisfy your urge to shoot Nazis in the face? Fair enough: Bethesda and MachineGames are happy to deliver even more with Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

Series hero B.J. Blazkowicz is no longer the lead here; instead, it's his twin daughters, picking up 19 years after he left off in The New Colossus. They're on a quest to find their father in Nazi-controlled Paris in 1980, which should prove to be another entertaining locale. It's unclear whether this is a full-fledged campaign or a shorter spinoff, but we're in either way.

Due: TBA 2019

22) Ooblets

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Ooblets cites such inspirations as Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Harvest Moon, and the combination of those elements looks irresistibly adorable.

This whimsical indie game is a bit of farming game at heart, but you'll grow and train the cute little Ooblet creatures and then battle them against each other. How do you battle, you might ask? With dancing, of course. Yes, this looks to be an odd little game, but that's exactly why we can't wait to plug our brains into it and wear a wide grin all the while.

Due: TBD 2019

23) In the Valley of Gods

Platforms: PC

Whatever you thought of Campo Santo's Firewatch – and our reviewer admittedly wasn't that hot on it – there was no denying that it was absolutely gorgeous, had fantastic characterisation, and was like nothing else out there. That's why we're excited about what we've seen of In the Valley of Gods.

Campo Santo's next game again has a very distinctive look, following a pair of women as they explore Egypt in the 1920s. There's backstory here: you're a disgraced explorer and filmmaker reteaming with a past partner that you definitely don't have a smooth relationship with. You'll revisit and rebuild that alliance over the course of this narrative adventure while documenting your quest.  

Due: TBA 2019

24) Yoshi's Crafted World

Platform: Switch

Yoshi isn't just Mario's faithful dino-companion – he's also been the star of his own games, and Yoshi's Crafted World looks like a real gem.

Hailing from the team behind the brilliant Kirby's Epic Yarn, Yoshi's Crafted World definitely has a LittleBigPlanet-esque feel to it as you explore side-scrolling levels made of realistic-looking materials. The neat hook here is that the diorama-esque design opens up some unique pathways and perspectives in each world.

Due: 29 March

25) The Outer Worlds

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Obsidian Entertainment's The Outer Worlds is pegged as something of a spiritual successor to the studio's Fallout: New Vegas, and even has the original Fallout creators working on it.

It's said to be a smaller experience than New Vegas and the humour seems to have a dash of Borderlands about it, but this original universe seems plenty engaging. In typical Obsidian fashion, this role-player will grant you a significant amount of choice in the storyline and character development, while the new "flaws" system tracks your qualities and deficiencies and adjusts the experience accordingly.

Due: TBD 2019

26) Crackdown 3

Platforms: Xbox One, PC

Is Crackdown 3 finally coming out this time? Announced in 2014, we were supposed to see Microsoft's raucous open-world sequel three years ago, but it's been delayed time and again with no results.

But this is the closest we've gotten to an actual release, and it may actually be time to unleash this super-powered successor on Xbox One and PC. The original Crackdown was one of the Xbox 360's best original titles, letting you run rampant around a cartoonish city and cause all sorts of mayhem. Hopefully Crackdown 3 can recapture that spirit again, albeit with modern tweaks and enhancements.

Due: 15 February

27) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Now this is surprising. After a decade away, the Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchise is back with a brand new entry – and this time, it's exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order brings in a more comic-like visual aesthetic, but otherwise it looks pretty similar to the past games, delivering an accessible action-RPG experience that hits a few different corners of the Marvel universe. This one is developed by Team Ninja (Dead or Alive), too, which is another interesting wrinkle. Should be a fun one.

Due: TBD 2019

28) Skull & Bones

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Spun out from the great naval combat seen in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (which just returned in Assassin's Creed Odyssey), Skull & Bones delivers a dedicated open-seas pirate simulation.

You can sail solo or team up with a crew, and the addition of role-playing elements should keep you glued to you ship as you attempt to become a legendary pirate captain. It's not actually an Assassin's Creed game, but hopefully Ubisoft can take that familiar core element and build a strongly compelling full-fledged experience out of it.

Due: TBD 2019

29) Minecraft: Dungeons

Platform: PC

Minecraft 2? Finally? No, not exactly – but this is the first new Minecraft experience that Mojang has developed in-house since the original blocky smash.

Minecraft: Dungeons apparently takes its cues from old-school dungeon-crawling role-players, letting you team up with a crew to battle through skeleton warriors and other demonic forces. Will it have enough depth to stand out? Will creation still play a role? We don't know yet on either front, but a new Minecraft is a big enough deal for us to get excited about.

Due: TBD 2019

30) Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Platforms: PS4, XB1, Switch

Crash Bandicoot's comeback tour continues with Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, another gussied-up remake of an original PlayStation classic.

Crash Team Racing was one of the best Mario Kart clones of its era, and hopefully that holds true two decades later with this refreshed edition. The graphics look dramatically better here, but that's not the only modern upgrade: it'll also feature online play and kart customisation. And this one is multiplatform from the start, instead of launching first only on PS4 (like The N. Sane Trilogy did).

Due: 21 June