2019's Most Anticipated Games

7:00 AM 12/21/2018

by Patrick Shanley

A new 'Kingdom Hearts,' BioWare's return and a grueling adventure set in a mystical version of feudal Japan by FromSoftware are just some of the games coming in 2019.

Courtesy of Square Enix

With groundbreaking titles such as God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2, 2018 was a year marked by incredible games, both from AAA publishers (Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Odyssey is among the best entries in the series) and from indie creators (Celeste and Donut County were both excellent new titles from smaller, independent studios).

While living up to the past year is a titanic task, a number of hotly anticipated games are set for release in 2019, from the latest entries in long-running franchises such as Kingdom Hearts 3 and Devil May Cry 5 to newcomers like Anthem and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Below, The Hollywood Reporter breaks down some of the most sought-after games coming in 2019.

  • 'Resident Evil 2' Remake

    Jan. 25

    A complete remake of Capcom's 1998 zombie classic brings an entirely new camera system, beautifully rendered visuals and lots and lots of undead bloodshed into the 21st century. Hailed as one of the best titles in the series, if not the best, Resident Evil fans have been clamoring for a remake of the survival horror game for years and come January their wait will finally be over.

  • 'Kingdom Hearts 3'

    Jan. 29

    The Disney-Square Enix mashup RPG returns after a lengthy hiatus to reunite Sora, Donald and Goofy as they travel to new lands inspired by popular Pixar and Disney animated films such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Toy Story and Hercules, among others. Originally launched in 2002, the series hasn't had a main numbered release since 2006's Kingdom Hearts 2, though many other spinoff games have been trotted out in the interim.  

  • 'Metro Exodus'

    Feb. 15

    Set two years after 2013's Metro: Last Light, the third installment in the post-apocalyptic franchise continues the story as players traverse a frozen Russian landscape aboard a train dubbed "Aurora." Murderous zealots, mutant creatures and the harsh elements all stand between the hero, Artyom, and a new life in the upcoming first-person shooter. 

  • 'Crackdown 3'

    Feb. 15

    Originally set to launch in 2016, the long-delayed shooter picks up 10 years after the events of 2010's Crackdown 2 as players once again join the Agency as it heads to battle against a new terrorist threat known as Terra Nova. Luckily, they're not alone as Terry Crews lends his voice and likeness to squad leader Commander Jaxon. The game marks a big exclusive for Xbox (at least for console players, the game will also be available on PC), which has struggled this generation with securing solid exclusive titles for its system.

  • 'Far Cry New Dawn'

    Feb. 15

    Coming just under a year after the last Far Cry title, New Dawn is the series' first take at a post-apocalyptic world. Featuring a brightly colored palette and lots of new weapons, the game follows the events that ended 2018's Far Cry 5 when nuclear war broke out across America, fulfilling antagonist Joseph Seed's prophecies. Speaking of Seed, expect him to make an appearance in New Dawn

  • 'Anthem'

    Feb. 22

    Following a disappointing release in 2017 with Mass Effect: Andromeda, BioWare returns with an attempt at an entirely new franchise. While the game's development was marred by a bit of a rocky road (Casey Hudson, the creative director of the original Mass Effect trilogy originally supervised Anthem before leaving the company in 2014 only to return as studio head in 2017), the gorgeous visuals and mixture of third-person shooter and action RPG gameplay has piqued fan interest. It also helps that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect writer Drew Karpyshyn worked on the game's script.

  • 'Devil May Cry 5'

    March 8

    Dante and Nero both return as the fifth installment in the demon hunting hack-and-slash franchise brings the carnage with massively improved visuals for the current generation. Also returning is director Hideaki Itsuno, who launched the series in 2001 on the PlayStation 2. 

  • 'Tom Clancy's The Division 2'

    From Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft, the online shooter-RPG takes place in Washington, D.C. in the midst of a civil war. Players can team up with others from around the world for raids and missions. The original Division game had the most successful first-week launch of any new title in gaming history in 2016, generating $330 million. 

  • 'Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice'

    March 22

    FromSoftware offers its own take on feudal Japan in its latest action RPG. Brutally hard yet gorgeously presented, the makers of the popular Dark Souls franchise know how to present a challenge to players, but also how to create indelible impressions that influence many others in the industry.  

  • 'Mortal Kombat 11'

    April 23

    Not for the squeamish, NetherRealm Studios and Midway Games worked the crowd at the 2018 Game Awards into a frenzy when they teased the latest title in the decades-old fighting franchise. Not shying away from the graphic violence that made it a fan-favorite when the series first launched in 1992 (and also sparked quite a bit of controversy), the first new installment since 2015's Mortal Kombat X looks to beat down the competition from other fighters.

  • 'Days Gone'

    April 26

    Sony looks to repeat the success of 2018 exclusive titles like God of War and Marvel's Spider-Man with the post-apocalyptic survival game Days Gone. Battling for survival against "freakers," the game's version of zombies, players control bounty hunter Deacon St. John as he traverses the sparse landscape on his motorcycle. 

  • 'Rage 2'

    May 14

    Perhaps no company needs a win as badly as Bethesda. The Maryland-based studio's latest offering, Fallout 76, was savaged by critics and multiple controversies have shaken fan support. However, Rage 2 offers a splash of color and light-hearted first-person shooter mayhem that imagines what Mad Max and the Lost Boys' dinner scene from Hook would look like as a mash-up.

  • Games Slated For 2019 Without Confirmed Release Dates

    Studios are often fickle with their release dates and 2019 is no exception. A number of the year's most anticipated titles have already been announced, and tentatively promised, for release in the new year, but no exact dates have been revealed.

    Here's some big games said to be coming this year without official dates as of yet.

    Gears 5
    An Xbox One and PC exclusive, Gears 5 is the first official Gears of War game since 2016's Gears of War 4.

    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
    The Nintendo Switch exclusive was announced at the Game Awards but no release date has been unveiled beyond a vague promise of sometime in 2019.

    Luigi’s Mansion 3
    Another Switch exclusive, the third installment in the ghost-hunting adventure returns the cowardly plumber-turned-ghostbuster for more spooky shenanigans.

    Biomutant
    THQ Nordic and Swedish game developers Experiment 101 first announced their kung-fu inspired open world adventure game in 2017. New gameplay footage was debuted in 2018 showing the titular mutant animals in action and showcasing the game's RPG elements as well as its combat system. The game is rumored to launch sometime in the summer.

  • Rumors and Long Shots

    Another year means another chance for gamers everywhere to speculate about when certain marquee titles will finally be available. On the top of that list are CD Projekt Red's long-gestating Cyberpunk 2077 (which showcased an hour of gameplay footage in a private room at this year's E3 before releasing the footage later in 2018), Hideo Kojima's mysterious Death Stranding (which showed off quite a bit of new footage in 2018 but still has no release date), The Last of Us Part 2 (the trailer shown at this year's E3 wowed audiences both with its emotional storytelling and its brutal, visceral violence) and Halo Infinite (a new title in the first-person shooter franchise that Microsoft announced at this year's E3).

    It's unlikely that all of these titles will release in 2019, but the possibility of Death Stranding or even Cyberpunk coming late in the year is real, particularly given the amount of footage and gameplay shown off by both games in 2018. 

    Other games teased in 2018 but far more unlikely to hit in 2019 are Bethesda's Elder Scrolls 6 and Nintendo's Metroid Prime 4. There's also the incredibly secretive Avengers project in the works from Tomb Raider developers Crystal Dynamics, but don't expect to get your hands on Tony Stark and co. until at least 2020.