Reported by Ben Gilbert

The 29 hottest video games you shouldn't miss in 2019

With 2018 in the past, we're hurriedly preparing for 2019's major video game launches.

What does the new year bring? Plenty! The year starts with a trip into the worlds of Disney with the long-awaited arrival of "Kingdom Hearts 3" in January. Not too long after that, the folks behind "Mass Effect" have a brand-new series launching in February: "Anthem."

And that's just the first two months of the year! Here's a look at 2019 in games:


1. "Resident Evil 2" (re-mastered)

Capcom

The long-awaited remake of fan-favorite horror classic "Resident Evil 2" is nearly ready - it's set to arrive early in 2019, just like so many other great games currently in development.

"Resident Evil 2" introduced the world to Leon S. Kennedy (seen above) - the main character in "Resident Evil 4." Kennedy and Claire Redfield find themselves in the middle of a surprise zombie outbreak in the fictional town of Raccoon City. It's an action-packed introduction to many of the major themes of the "Resident Evil" franchise, and it's getting gorgeously remade for modern consoles.

Release Date: January 25, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


2. "Kingdom Hearts 3"

Square Enix

Woody, Buzz, Rex and the rest of the "Toy Story" gang are moving from film to video games with "Kingdom Hearts 3," an upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 action-adventure game.

The game is the long-anticipated third entry in the "Kingdom Hearts" series - the last major entry, "Kingdom Hearts 2," launched all the way back in 2005 on the PlayStation 2. In "Kingdom Hearts," various Disney characters and their worlds are mashed up with characters that would be right at home in a "Final Fantasy" game.

Alongside the cast of "Toy Story" (and their Earth-like setting), "Kingdom Hearts 3" also stars Goofy and Donald Duck. You may've noticed a third character here - that's "Sora," the main character of "Kingdom Hearts 3" and who you'll play as.

Release Date: January 29, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One


3. "Far Cry New Dawn"

Ubisoft

A new "Far Cry" game? Didn't one of those come out, like, in 2018?

Yep! That game was "Far Cry 5," and it came out back in late March on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The open-world first-person shooter was set in America for the first time ever, and featured a new antagonist: a maniacal cult leader with nuclear ambitions.

"Far Cry New Dawn" is a sequel to that game, set in a post-apocalypse Montana 17 years after the events of "Far Cry 5." The trailer alludes to a period of extreme weather following a nuclear detonation, eventually leading to a new world - a world where people shoot sawblades from crossbows, apparently.

Release Date: February 15, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


4. "Crackdown 3"

Microsoft

"Crackdown 3" has been in the works for years at this point, having been delayed multiple times.

As the name implies, it's the third game in the open-world, third-person action "Crackdown" series. But this time, apparently, it stars Terry Crews?

The series is big on mobility - allowing you to go anywhere you want - and huge explosions. It looks like the third game in the series is no different in this respect.

Release Date: February 15, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC


5. "Anthem"

BioWare/EA

Remember "Mass Effect"? How about "Dragon Age," or "The Knights of the Old Republic"?

That trio of blockbusters came from the folks at EA's BioWare studios - the same people behind next year's "Anthem," an all-new action-RPG. Like "Destiny," BioWare's "Anthem" is played online and focuses on players grouping up to collectively take on missions.

Frankly speaking, what we've seen so far looks gorgeous and thrilling. Each player has the ability to fly through the air, Iron Man-style, whenever they want. It adds a layer of exploration that makes it unlike anything else available.

Release Date: February 22, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


6. "Metro: Exodus"

4A Games

Like so many other video games, the "Metro" series is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Unlike many of those games, "Metro" is set in Russia. It envisions a post-apocalypse shaped by nuclear radiation, dwindling resources, and unpredictable, extreme weather conditions.

It's a game about nuclear monsters, survival, and humanity. It's also a first-person shooter, so expect lots of shooting.

In "Metro: Exodus," the series finally exits the underground subway tunnels of previous games for higher ground. What you'll find there remains to be seen, but we're betting it's gruesome.

Release Date: February 22, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


7. "Trials Rising"

Ubisoft

The "Trials" series is years-deep at this point, and it's still a surprising delight. The game is pretty straightforward: Carefully pilot a dirt bike through precarious stages that are rife with traps and pitfalls.

If you've spent any time watching bicycle or motorbike-based trials, you're no doubt familiar with what this game series is all about: Precision movement in extremely dangerous settings. "Trials" takes that formula and turns it into a risk-free video game, and then it adds massive, ridiculous explosions.

Release Date: February 26, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch


8. "Dead or Alive 6"

Koei Tecmo

The fighting game renaissance is in full swing, and "Dead or Alive" is the next major fighting series to get a new entry in 2019. "Dead or Alive 6" continues in the tradition of the dozens of "Dead or Alive" games before it, featuring 3D fighting focused on counters and parries.

If history is any indication, "Dead or Alive 6" will also feature stages with multiple areas and interactive elements. We'll see soon enough, as the game is due out in just a couple months.

Release Date: March 1, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


9. "Devil May Cry 5"

Capcom

Early 2019 is going to be rife with slick-looking third-person action games, and "Devil May Cry 5" is the perfect example.

The series is known for its ultra-stylish characters, deep fighting system, and over-the-top settings. If the first trailer for the game is any indication, "Devil May Cry 5" takes those ideas and runs with them (then leaps into the air and murders like two dozen flying demons).

Release Date: March 8, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


10. "The Division 2"

Ubisoft

New York City? That's old hat - in "The Division 2," you're headed straight into the nation's capital to straighten out some bad guys from a third-person perspective.

As in the first "Division" game, players group up online to tackle missions. It's reminiscent of games like "Destiny" and the upcoming "Anthem" - a third-person shooter with a focus on cooperative play online.

Release Date: March 15, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


11. "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice"

From Software

The folks behind the "Souls" series ("Demons Souls"/"Dark Souls") and 2014's incredible "Bloodborne" are back at it - only this time, instead of a Cthulu-inspired Victorian setting, the new game takes place in Feudal Japan.

In "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice," you play as a ninja out for justice. Like previous third-person action games from the folks at From Software, "Sekiro" promises to be extremely difficult. Any enemy can take you down, and your best bet is to carefully, tactically, take down each foe. Unlike previous From Software games, "Sekiro" features a major stealth component, as well as a ton of mobility (as seen above).

Frankly speaking, it looks rad.

Release Date: March 22, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


12. "Mortal Kombat 11"

WB Games/Netherrealm

A new "Mortal Kombat" is on the way from the same folks who have been making "Mortal Kombat" for the last 20-plus years: Creative director Ed Boon and the team at Netherrealm Studios in Chicago.

Boon himself revealed the debut trailer on stage during The Game Awards, which prominently featured franchise-favorites Scorpion (seen above) and Raiden. No gameplay was shown, but that's coming in January.

Release Date: April 23, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch


13. "Days Gone"

Sony

"Days Gone" is "Sons of Anarchy" meets "28 Days Later." You play as a lone biker surviving in the wake of a global pandemic. Billions were wiped out, and many millions more became "freakers" - that's zombies to you and me.

As if zombies weren't scary enough, "Days Gone" turns them into a water-like mass capable of flooding into corridors with the speed and fury of a tsunami. They're a far more overwhelming threat than the "Night of the Living Dead" zombies in games like "Resident Evil."

That is, of course, when you're not riding away on your sweet hog - which is always an option.

Release Date: April 26, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


14. "Rage 2"

Avalanche Games/Bethesda Softworks

If "Mad Max" were an ongoing series of video games, it might look something like the "Rage" franchise.

It's set in a very familiar post-apocalypse, where gangs of extremely theatrical-looking survivors endlessly battle for control of the remaining world around them. There are scrappy-looking off-road vehicles to battle in, and horrific mutated creatures, and a whole bunch of crazy-looking guns.

If nothing else, it should provide a fantastic excuse to blow stuff up.

Release Date: May 14, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


15. "Yoshi's Crafted World"

Nintendo

Like "Yoshi's Island" for the Super Nintendo, "Yoshi" for the Switch is a platformer starring Yoshi. He can pause to aim and throw eggs at enemies, or he can consume them, or he can leap into the air and butt stomp down. Yoshi is versatile!

In the new "Yoshi" game, you'll be able to walk into the background, and occasionally switch up the entire orientation of levels. In so many words, it's a new spin on the classic 2D formula.

Release Date: "Spring" 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


16. "Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled"

Activision

Remember "Crash Team Racing"? It was the "Mario Kart" equivalent on PlayStation 1 that some folks swore by, and in 2019 it's coming back!

The original game is being re-created in loving/ridiculous detail for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. In addition to all the original racers and tracks, the new game is getting online racing - something that didn't become commonplace in gaming until two full game generations after the original PlayStation 1.

Since this game's a reboot of an older game, it comes with a lower price tag: Just $40.

Release Date: June 21, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch


17. "Shenmue 3"

Deep Silver

On the cusp of the millennium, Sega launched an ambitious third-person action game for its similarly ambitious new game console, the Sega Dreamcast. That game was "Shenmue," and it went on to become a cult classic.

The game - and the subsequent franchise it spawned - are known for offering players a level of freedom previously unseen in a console game.

In 2019, "Shenmue" is coming back with a brand new entry from the original creators: "Shenmue 3." The game is notorious for having outright broken Kickstarter when it was announced back in 2015. Now, nearly four years later, it's nearly here.

Release Date: August 27, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC


18. "The Outer Worlds"

Obsidian Entertainment/Private Division/Take-Two Interactive

The creative duo behind the original "Fallout" are working together again on a new series that feels suspiciously familiar: It's called "The Outer Worlds."

The kitschy first trailer for "The Outer Worlds" is a delight, and follows in the tradition of irreverent role-playing games like "Fallout."

The story is simple: "You awake from hibernation on a colonist ship lost in transit to its destination on the edge of the galaxy, only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the colony." How you play out that scenario is seemingly up to you.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


20. "The Last of Us: Part 2"

Sony

The folks behind the Indiana Jones-esque blockbuster third-person action "Uncharted" series are true veterans of video game creation. The studio, Naughty Dog, goes all the way back to the first PlayStation console, having created the beloved "Crash Bandicoot" series.

Beyond those two (massive) game franchises, Naughty Dog is also responsible for the incredible, genre-pushing PlayStation game "The Last of Us." Naughty Dog's next game is a highly anticipated follow-up, the aptly-titled "The Last of Us: Part II."

In "Part II," the duo of protagonists Joel and Ellie are making a return.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


21. "Metroid Prime 4"

Nintendo

What is "Metroid Prime 4"? Little more than a logo at this point, at least publicly speaking.

"Metroid Prime 4" is the fourth game in the longtime first-person "Metroid Prime" series. The franchise began life on the Nintendo GameCube, and drew a legion of loyal fans across several subsequent sequels. It's been over a decade since the last major entry, "Metroid Prime 3," arrived on the Nintendo Wii.

The next game is said to be in production by Japanese game company Namco Bandai, rather than the studio responsible for the previous three games, though Nintendo has yet to confirm as much.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


22. "Luigi's Mansion 3"

Nintendo

If you're old like me, you may remember playing an early Nintendo GameCube game named "Luigi's Mansion." It came out way back in 2001!

It wasn't anything like a typical Super Mario game - instead of jumping on Goombas and clearing treacherous gaps, Luigi was sneaking around a haunted mansion with a flashlight and a vacuum. His goal: Stun the villainous ghosts with his flashlight, then vacuum them up. Naturally!

The game got a sequel, many years later: "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon" for the Nintendo 3DS console. But the series has been absent from a Nintendo home console since that original game. Soon, in 2019, a third entry in the series is finally coming: "Luigi's Mansion 3."

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


23. "Gears of War 5"

Microsoft

Are you ready to chainsaw some more Locust? With "Gears 5" in the works, Microsoft's betting that the answer is a resounding yes.

The next entry in the gruff and grisly "Gears of War" third-person shooter series was announced by Microsoft in June during the company's annual E3 media briefing. A new character is at the forefront, introduced during a short trailer - her name is Kait, who previously debuted as a supporting "Gears" character.

Like previous games in the series, "Gears 5" features third-person shooting with a focus on movement and cover.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC


24. "Ghost of Tsushima"

YouTube/PlayStation

Sucker Punch, the studio that created the PlayStation blockbuster "inFamous," is working on something completely new: a samurai game set in Feudal Japan, called "Ghost of Tsushima."

All we know about the game is that it's a tale of revenge. Here's the full description from Sucker Punch:

"The year is 1274. Samurai warriors are the legendary defenders of Japan - until the fearsome Mongol Empire invades the island of Tsushima, wreaking havoc and conquering the local population. As one of the last surviving samurai, you rise from the ashes to fight back. But, honorable tactics won't lead you to victory. You must move beyond your samurai traditions to forge a new way of fighting - the way of the Ghost - as you wage an unconventional war for the freedom of Japan."

From what the trailer shows, "Ghost of Tsushima" is a third-person, character-driven action game with a focus on swordplay. This is a samurai game, after all.

Beyond the story, and the pedigree, "Ghost of Tsushima" simply looks incredibly unique. It's gorgeous, and set in a time period rarely explored in blockbuster video games.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


25. "Cyberpunk 2077"

CD Projekt Red

"Cyberpunk 2077" is what happens when you mix "Blade Runner" with "Grand Theft Auto" - an open-world action game set in a dystopian future, where body modification is standard and cold, empty capitalism is the driving force of society.

How you choose to live in the world of "Cyberpunk 2077" is up to you. The game is a role-playing game in the truest sense: You create a character and shape who they are through your actions in-game.

Whether "Cyberpunk 2077" launches in 2019 is anyone's guess, but it's been in the works for years at this point. Fingers crossed!

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC


26. "Death Stranding"

"Death Stranding"/Kojima Productions

What is "Death Stranding"? That's a great question. Even though I've seen several trailers for the game, I have no idea what it is.

Here's what we know for sure:

- The game is being created by "Metal Gear" series creative lead Hideo Kojima, a legendary figure in the video game business. - It stars Norman Reedus, of "The Walking Dead" fame. He's the main character. Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor best known as the bad guy from "Casino Royale," appears to be the antagonist. - The game is a collaboration between Hideo Kojima and famed film director Guillermo del Toro. - It's being funded by Sony, which means the game is only coming to the PlayStation 4.

Is it a first-person or third-person game? A survival game? Open world, or linear? All of this stuff is still up in the air. Even after seeing the latest trailer, I'm no closer to knowing exactly what it is.

All that aside, it's clearly gorgeous and doing something totally different.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


27. "Dreams"

Media Molecule / Sony Computer Entertainment

The British studio behind "Dreams," Media Molecule, is most well-known for its previous franchise: "LittleBigPlanet." Like that series, "Dreams" focuses on letting players create their own game worlds. Also like the "LBP" series, "Dreams" offers a straightforward campaign that's intended to introduce the kinds of worlds that players can create.

What that actually means in practice is far more complex. "Dreams" is almost more of a tool than a game, but you're also able to buy it and play creations from other players without ever actually creating anything yourself.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4


28. "Halo Infinite"

343 Industries/Microsoft

The new "Halo" is the next major entry in the long-running first-person shooter series, and it once again features the iconic supersoldier Master Chief as its main protagonist. And "Halo Infinite" is rife with nods to "Halo" tradition.

But let's be clear: It's not named "Halo 6" for a good reason. The game features a new art style, and is said to take the series in "new and unexpected directions."

But let's not get too crazy: This is still a "Halo" game, and that means that everyone's favorite supersoldier, Master Chief, is still front and center. The game's story focuses on him, and you playing as him, and - if history serves as a guide here - shooting like a trillion aliens as him.

Regardless of the name, "Infinite" is a follow-up to "Halo 5: Guardians," and will continue the story that began in that game. Given that it's been over three years since the last "Halo" game, we expect to see this one in 2019.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC


29. "Animal Crossing"

Nintendo

A brand new "Animal Crossing"? Yes, a brand new "Animal Crossing"! If there's one game that Nintendo Switch owners have been clamoring for, it's a new "Animal Crossing" game.

The beloved home-making game that's endeared so many fans across nearly 20 years is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch. The tiny bit of tease that Nintendo offered during its Nintendo Direct presentation isn't intended to directly represent gameplay, but I'd be surprised if it didn't look similar when the game arrives at some point in 2019.

Release Date: 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch


19. "Pokémon RPG"

The Pokemon Company

Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch - prepare yourself!

Indeed, Nintendo says a "core RPG Pokémon title" is coming to the Nintendo Switch - not a spin-off, like "Pokémon Stadium" and "Pokémon Snap" way back on the Nintendo 64, but a full-on main series entry.

The Pokémon Company president specifically calls the game a "core RPG Pokémon title." That seems to indicate it's the next main entry in the long-running Pokémon game franchise - the successor to "Pokémon Ultra Sun" and "Pokémon Ultra Moon." Here's hoping we'll learn more in the near future!

Release Date: "Late" 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

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