Each year brings the promise of new video games being released and today I thought I’d share my most anticipated games of 2019. The games below are listed in no particular order and for the sake of full disclosure let me state now that some of them do not have official launch dates yet, meaning they might end up being released in 2020.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Ten years ago this would have easily been my most anticipated game but the gap between Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdoms 3 has been so long that I might now officially be on the brink of becoming a lapsed Kingdom Hearts fan. Before purchasing this game I’ll probably play the remastered versions of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, along with maybe Birth By Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 0.2. After that I’ll consult Youtube for the storyline of all those other Kingdom Hearts games that I didn’t ask for in order to bring myself up to speed on the notorious convoluted Kingdom Hearts storyline.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
The original Division had a few rough edges but I ended up liking it quite a bit and sank many hours into restoring order in Manhattan. With the Division 2 it looks like Ubisoft is making some notable improvements over the first game while keeping the parts that players loved—such as being able to play the entire game solo or with friends—while also changing the game’s locale from New York City to Washington DC. As always I’ll wait awhile to play the Division 2 to give the developers time to iron out any bugs found at launch but I’m looking forward to joining up with the Division again.
Of all the games on this list, Anthem is the one I’m most nervous about. Gameplay footage of the Javelin suits in combat and flying around the game’s world looks cool but I’m not yet convinced that Anthem will have much depth beyond that. The last few years have not been kind to developer Bioware and they really, really need a win with this game. If Anthem does not perform well commercially then we could see some significant downsizing at Bioware and the studio being relegated to support duty on other games.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
Taking the award for the most awkward game announcement of E3 2018, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is on my radar partly for being a singleplayer Star Wars game and partly because it’s being developed by Respawn, the studio behind the Titanfall games. Fallen Order is supposed to be an original Star Wars story that takes place between Episodes 3 and 4 and according to a leak last month we will be playing as a Jedi apprentice who escaped the initial slaughter of Order 66. Lightsaber duels have been confirmed for the game, and let’s be honest, that’s probably the biggest thing anyone wants for Jedi Fallen Order.
The Last of Us Part 2
I know this sounds weird, but I kind of don’t want The Last of Us Part 2 to exist. The first The Last of Us was a very special experience for me—to the point where I don’t want to ever play it again for fear of ruining that gaming memory—and it worked so well as a standalone game that when the sequel was announced I released a very heavy sigh inside my head. That said, I don’t doubt developer Naughty Dog will give us one of the very best games of this console generation with The Last of Us Part 2 and when I finally play it I’ll be glad that I did.
After the disappointment of the Halo 5 story campaign I’m really hoping that Halo: Infinite gets the series back on track. The confirmation that splitscreen co-op will be returning in Infinite is a good sign and will rectify one of the biggest failings of Halo 5 but we’ll have to wait and see whether developer 343 Industries can get the story right. It also remains to be seen if this game even comes out this year, seeing as how a new Halo game would make for a powerful launch title on next Xbox console, which is widely suspected to be released in 2020.
Ghost of Tsushima
This list isn’t ranked, but if I were to rank it then Ghost of Tsushima would likely be my most anticipated game of 2019. The first reveal trailer for this historically inspired samurai game caught my attention immediately and after seeing the E3 2018 gameplay demo I was sold beyond any shadow of doubt. Developer Sucker Punch hasn’t released a full game since 2014 but it looks like they’ve spent the last five years crafting a masterpiece.
Mortal Kombat 11
I had a roommate in college who was a big fan of the Mortal Kombat games but I was never all that interested in them until the series reboot with Mortal Kombat 9. While I’m still not a huge fan of Mortal Kombat I now enjoy playing them (along with the Injustice games that are also developed by NetherRealm Studios) and Mortal Kombat 11’s reveal at last years’ Game Awards was a pleasant surprise. Soon it will once again be time to wince as kombatants fight and disembowel each other in the most gloriously violent ways possible.
The Last Night
Generally speaking I’m not a big fan of the Cyberpunk genre—hence why Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t on this list—but The Last Night’s beautiful pixel art and interesting premise caught my attention when it was revealed at E3 2017. In the world of The Last Night peoples’ lives are ostensibly good since the government provides everything they need and machines do most of the work but this “era of leisure” has created a degenerate society full of people with nothing better to do than act as moral busybodies. Not long ago it was revealed that The Last Night’s developer was going through some legal and financial trouble, so sadly this game has a decent chance of not coming out this year, or possibly not coming out at all.