The 30 most anticipated games of 2019

UPDATED: These are autumn's must-play games

We're more than halfway through the year and we've already seen a bunch of great games, including Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Kingdom Hearts 3. What about the rest of the year, then?

Some of the games we'd hoped to see later this year have been pushed into 2020, as we found out at E3, but worry not: there's still loads of seemingly awesome stuff on the horizon. Whether you're looking for something on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, or PC, we've got you covered.

Here is our current list of the 30 most exciting games still coming out in 2019, and be sure to check back often as we'll be swapping in other titles as these ones release.

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? Look, at this point, it seems very unlikely that The Last of Us Part II will still sneak out in 2019 - but Naughty Dog just announced a big event for late September, so hey, never say never.

Due: TBD

2) Death Stranding

Platform: PlayStation 4

What, you thought the Metal Gear Solid games could get strange? That was apparently nothing, as every new and deeper look at Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding shows a dazzling, daring, and seriously confounding experience.

This open-world game implements stealth and shooting elements with a heavy ladling of narrative, complete with stunning-looking recreations of actors like Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen. However, it also has some seriously surreal and supernatural elements like that ever-present baby and the connection between the worlds of the living and dead. We honestly weren't expecting Death Stranding to release this year, but Sony has pinned it for 8 November. We can't wait.

Due: 8 November

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: 22 November

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4) Pokémon Sword and Shield

Platform: Nintendo Switch

It's finally happening: a proper, full-fledged, totally new Pokémon game is coming to Switch. Of course, it's really two games – Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield – which will share key elements but likely feature differences in the kinds of creatures you'll discover all the while.

Sword and Shield take players to the new Galar region, which is inspired by the UK and features a diverse array of terrain, plus it introduces adorable new Pokémon like Sorbunny, Grookey, and Sobble. The crisp, cel-shaded look finds the middle ground between last year's Pokémon: Let's Go and the most recent Nintendo 3DS entries, finally ushering the core series onto a home console… that's also a handheld, of course.

Due: 15 November

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) Sega Mega Drive Mini

Platforms: Plug-and-Play

Sega might be a little bit late to the bite-sized, mini-console trend, but the Mega Drive Mini looks to be worth the wait. Loaded up with 40+ titles in a single box that you can just plug into your TV, the Mega Drive Mini brings the 16-bit console back in impressive style.

It's loaded with classics ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic 2 to Shining Force, Ecco the Dolphin, Earthworm Jim, Altered Beast, and Phantasy Star IV. Better yet, it has two totally new arcade ports – of Tetris and Darius – that were never actually released for Mega Drive. At £70 for 42 games, this looks like a steal, and early impressions have been very positive so far.

Due: 4 October

7) 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. Given the recent radio silence, it's probably coming in 2020 or beyond, but we're keeping fingers crossed just in case.

Due: TBD

8) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

Wait, didn't Modern Warfare already get a remaster? It did, but this game isn't the 2007 original. Instead, it's a reboot of Call of Duty's most successful sub-series to date, bringing back familiar characters while retconning the old storyline to give it a totally fresh take.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare introduces a new game engine and it shows in this first trailer, with incredibly realistic-looking graphics and the use of high-end graphical features like ray tracing. Early journalist impressions suggest edgier, more realistic content – perhaps too edgy and realistic, according to some writers. Hopefully Infinity Ward can nail the tone on this one and give us a fresh Modern Warfare that can stand up to the iconic original.

Due: 25 October

9) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo already released one unbelievably amazing Legend of Zelda game on Switch, but the next one won't be quite as epic or franchise-redefining in nature. In fact, it's a remake of an original Game Boy game.

Humble beginnings, no doubt, but The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening looks spectacular in its new form. It has an adorably cartoonish look like a CG movie, all while delivering a classic top-down (and occasionally side-scrolling) Zelda adventure refreshed for a new era. Good on Nintendo for not just porting another semi-recent Zelda, but actually giving fresh life to a beloved-but-very-dated old-school entry.

Due: 20 September

10) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Electronic Arts and Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment took the wraps off of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at this year's Star Wars Celebration, and it looks like a promising – and fully single-player – take on the beloved sci-fi franchise.

Jedi: Fallen Order stars young Padawan (Jedi trainee) Cal Kestis, who is in hiding after much of the Jedi order has been wiped out by the Empire. Eventually, he shows his true abilities, which kick-starts what ought to be a thrilling narrative campaign. The E3 trailer above shows a deeper look at how the game plays and how it ties further into the Star Wars universe, and we're even more optimistic now.

Due: 15 November

11) Sayonara Wild Hearts

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, others TBA

Simogo's games (like Device 6 and Year Walk) are anything but typical or boring, and Sayonara Wild Hearts definitely embodies that approach. It's the team's first console game, but this larger-than-usual project seems to be overflowing with peppy spirit.

Described as "a pop album video game," Sayonara Wild Hearts stars several faux bands as you play through various arcade-style rhythmic games.  It's called a "euphoric music video dream about being awesome, riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts at 200mph." Have we ever been more down for a game?

Due: TBD 2019

12) Luigi's Mansion 3

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Even more Resident Evil games are being ported to Switch, but if you ask us, the survival horror game you should be paying attention to this year is Luigi's Mansion 3.

The sequel to the GameCube original and Nintendo 3DS sequel transports Luigi and crew to a haunted hotel, as you suck up cartoonish ghosts with your Ghostbusters-esque vacuum backpack contraption. "Gooigi" (yes, really) and an online multiplayer mode look like fun twists on the entertaining theme here.

Due: TBD 2019

13) 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: 25 October

14) FIFA 20

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

FIFA 20 is hardly a surprising entrant to the autumn release calendar, but EA Sports has opted to lead with an unexpected feature: a new Volta Football street soccer mode, which brings back memories of the old FIFA Street series.

Of course, FIFA 20 will still have traditional 11v11 matches in enormous, incredibly lifelike stadiums, with some gameplay tweaks tossed in for good measure. But Volta Football looks like it could be a lot of fun, packing in different terrain amidst a career mode that could keep even fatigued FIFA fans coming back for more. (Note: The Switch version won't have Volta Football.)

Due: 27 September

15) Need for Speed Heat

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

It's been some time since there was an actual Need for Speed game we loved, after a couple iffy releases with the simply-titled Need for Speed and story-driven, Fast and the Furious-esque Need for Speed: Payback. Will Need for Speed Heat set things right again?

Here's hoping. Heat seems to have the personality and swagger that we loved about some of the older games, with both daytime and nighttime racing: legit races happen during the day, while the evening brings the illicit street variety. We're staying optimistic that this Miami-inspired open-road racer is one worth firing up this winter.

Due: 8 November

16) Super Meat Boy Forever

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Remember Super Meat Boy, the amazing, tough-as-nails side-scroller and major focus of the wonderful Indie Game: The Movie? Well, nine years have passed, and the franchise is finally coming back in the form of Super Meat Boy Forever.

What's changed? Well… Meat Boy and Bandage Girl have a daughter now, and you'll have to save her. Also, Meat Boy now runs on his own, letting you focus on jumping, mid-air attacks, diving, and sliding. It's a simplified version meant to play nice on touchscreens, likely, but adaptive difficulty and the same kind of driving ethos as the original game ensures that it'll be no walk in the park.

Due: TBD

17) Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville

Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC

The name might have changed, but make no mistake: this is essentially Garden Warfare 3. The latest colourful, comedic Plants vs. Zombies shooter builds off of the previous entertaining entries, now with new characters to play on both sides as well as a shared-world hub to explore with other online players.

Battle for Neighborville also adds Overwatch-esque multi-stage matches in which you'll escort or defend against a payload. And actually, you can already buy and play Battle for Neighborville now – at least part of it. EA has taken an early access-like approach, rolling out new content weekly for "founders" until the full game releases on 18 October.

Due: 18 October

18) Concrete Genie

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Sony has some really intense-looking games on the horizon, including Death Stranding and The Last of Us Part II – but amidst those blockbuster releases is a charming little game called Concrete Genie that we've been anticipating for quite some time.

Concrete Genie tells the story of a kid who is suddenly imbued with artistic powers, and we're talking about more than just doodles. He's able to bring colorful creatures to life on the city walls using spray paint cans, and they'll help him solve puzzles and revive the darkened environments alike.

Due: 8 October

19) Overwatch

Platform: Nintendo Switch

What's this? Overwatch? On the Switch?

It's true! Normally we don't get too hot and bothered over years-late ports, but the idea of whipping out our Switch and playing Blizzard's brilliant hero-shooter anywhere sounds pretty amazing to us. This is a pretty big deal for Nintendo's little console that could.

Granted, it'll all come down to performance – and we have reason to be suspicious there. If the online matches are sluggish or blurry, then it might not be worth it. But until we know for sure, we're excited about the prospect ahead.

Due: 15 October

20) Pistol Whip

Platforms: VR TBA

What do you get when you mash up two of the absolute best VR games to date? You get Pistol Whip, apparently, which brings together elements of Beat Saber and Superhot VR.

It's like a rhythmic shooter, sending you along a path as you rapidly blast the enemies that pop up all around you. You don't have to hit everyone and the game seems to be a bit forgiving with accuracy – really, it's about maintaining the thumping beat while blasting the baddies that pop into view. Looks like a lot of fun! Unfortunately, Cloudhead Games hasn't announced which VR headsets it'll hit this year.

Due: TBD 2019

21) Untitled Goose Game

Platforms: Switch, PC

As innocent as they might seem, geese can be real jerks sometimes. And now, here's a game all about that, played from the perspective of the rude goose. Untitled Goose Game (yes, that's the final name) looks like a delight, naturally.

What's it all about, then? Well, you're a terrible goose, and it's up to you to go about the peaceful village the bother as many people as possible. That's about it, as far as we can tell. But as with something like Donut County, this little indie game looks to be packed with charm and personality.

Due: 20 September

22) Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Ghost Recon Wildlands shifted the Tom Clancy tactical shooter series to open-world terrain with pretty good results, and now Ghost Recon Breakpoint is here to give it another shot.

Breakpoint's map is about the same size as Wildlands, giving you another massive playground to battle through – and a compelling foe in Jon Bernthal, a.k.a. Netflix's The Punisher. Breakpoint seems to have more of a survival bent than previous entries, too, so here's hoping it pumps some fresh blood into this veteran franchise.

Due: 4 October

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) MediEvil

Platform: PlayStation 4

You know, of all the classic PSone games to get a fresh PS4 coat of paint, this isn't one that we expected. Sony's MediEvil is back in action, with the undead hack-and-slash game looking a lot fresher than it did two decades ago without being a top-to-bottom redo.

The fear with upgrading older games like this is that they won't hold up, and a previous PSP remake wasn't so great – but with camera tweaks amongst the modern upgrades, we're hopeful this Halloween-ready release will still be worthwhile. Besides, it's great to see a spooky game that isn't terrifying or filled with blood and gore.

Due: 25 October

25) Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

Platforms: Switch

Looking for an epic role-playing quest to keep you busy until Pokemon Sword and Shield release later this year? Surely Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition can do the trick, and hopefully it's as satisfying as the name is long.

Ported over from PS4 after last year's acclaimed launch, Dragon Quest XI S tells a modern tale in the classic RPG franchise, but there's a fun twist: you can switch between lavish 3D visuals and 16-bit style pixels whenever you want, swapping a vast open world for a top-down map. Add in other bonus content and this truly looks to be definitive indeed.

Due: 27 September

26) Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Platforms: Switch, PS4, XB1, PC

While we wouldn't call the original Yooka-Laylee the most memorable game we've ever played, it served up a charming dose of N64-era early-3D platforming, with the former Rare developers essentially paying homage to their own Banjo-Kazooie from back when.

Well, sequel Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair looks to be their Donkey Kong Country tribute instead, shifting gears to a side-scrolling experience. The first game showed solid promise, and with a tighter focus and some really entertaining-looking stages, the sequel could prove to be even better. We'll find out in October.

Due: 8 October

27) MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

Platforms: PC

It has been ages since the last core MechWarrior game, but the iconic PC franchise will be back in action before the year's up thanks to MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries.

Luckily, it looks to be sticking to what made the classic entries great while giving it modern touches and a fresh coat of paint. It's still a unique kind of mech experience, with lumbering machines rather than graceful brawlers, and the XCOM-esque permadeath and market systems sound like intriguing evolutions on the core concept.

Due: 10 December

28) Shenmue III

Platforms: PS4, PC

It's been 18 years since the last Shenmue game released, but Sega's cult-classic adventure franchise is getting a new lease on life with November's Shenmue III, now published by Deep Silver and brought to life by millions of dollars in crowdfunding.

The original games were open-world pioneers, but Shenmue III seems more content now to more or less pick up where those chapters left off. It'll please the die-hards, no doubt, but this is unlikely to be the place to start if you don't already know the series. Luckily, the original games have been remastered and re-released if you want to help Ryo unravel the mystery behind his father's murder. You've got some time to catch up before November

Due: 19 November

29) Manifold Garden

Platform: PC

The above trailer is four years old, and it's the latest one for this mesmerising-looking game – and this title has been on the horizon for so long that it probably was on our 2015 or 2016 Anticipated Games list at some point. But finally, Manifold Garden has been confirmed to release by year's end via the Epic Games Store.

How does Manifold Garden play? We have no clue whatsoever. All we know is that this puzzler looks like nothing else we've ever seen, and we can't wait to experience it ourselves (and it's coming to PS4 at some point too). After seven years of development, we really hope it's worth the wait.

Due: TBD 2019

30) The Touryst

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Arriving at beautiful tropical islands wearing a flowery button-up shirt? That's a sure sign of a holiday – but what awaits our hero in The Touryst is something much more ominous.

The Touryst has a something of a retro-Zelda-made-3D vibe to it, with a chunky pixel world for you to explore and fool around in… and embark on tense adventures in mysterious dungeons. We love the look and feel of this Switch indie, which comes from Fast RMX developer Shin'en Multimedia, and we're looking forward to seeing what secrets the islands hold.

Due: 14 November