The best upcoming games of 2019 (and beyond)

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Even after just a few months, 2019 is already jam-packed with amazing games, and it shows no sign of slowing down. With so many exciting titles in the works, it's never too early to start planning for the future and figure out what you need to start saving up for now. With that in mind, we've compiled some of the biggest new games of 2019 that we're most anticipating, along with some sleeper hits you might not have heard of yet. It's all ordered by release date for easy browsing, with weekly updates to expand the lineup (Astral Chain has just been added to the list) and account for any unfortunate delays. Be sure to check back regularly, and prepare yourself for another year full of wonderful games big and small.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: March 22, 2019

A new game from the masters of the action-RPG FromSoftware tends to be a blessing and a curse all at once. A blessing, because it means another lovingly crafted world to explore and soak up for months. A curse, because it also means we're going to be terrified, beat up, and killed over and over again by the studio's punishing approach to gameplay challenge. Set in a mythologised take on Feudal Japan, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will continue the FromSoft hack-and-slash tradition with thematic tweaks and forward-thinking changes to suit the new milieu. The most enticing feature spotted so far? A grappling hook, which could drastically change how we traverse the expertly made zones and arenas. Get ready to die all over again. 

Yoshi's Crafted World 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: March 29, 2019

Nintendo's lovable dino has swapped out his wool look for a felt aesthetic in Yoshi's Crafted World, the Switch follow-up to the delightful (if a bit samey) Yoshi's Wooly World on Wii U. The levels in this vibrant 2.5D platformer are built from colorful construction paper and cardboard, as the legion of multicolored Yoshis chase after Baby Bowser to reclaim the pieces of the Sundream Stone. To make the most of the Switch's built-in two-player via the Joy-Con controllers, Crafted World includes two-player co-op, which allows for a sort of Yoshiception where one player can ride the other's back. As with previous Yoshi games, you'll need to slurp up enemies and make some precision egg shots - but the primary innovation in Crafted World is the ability to flip your view of the stage, highlighting foreground and background elements that are surely hiding crafty secrets. 

Mortal Kombat 11 

Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: April 23, 2019

NetherRealm Studios has such a good thing going, able to alternate its mastery of highly polished fighting game design between the Mortal Kombat and Injustice franchises. This year, NetherRealm is going back to its bone-crunching, intestine-obliterating roots with Mortal Kombat 11, which expands on the different playstyles of Mortal Kombat X's Variations with customizable moves, and includes collectible gear in the same vein as Injustice 2. You can expect another extensive, lavishly rendered storyline in Mortal Kombat 11, which will focus on the corrupted Dark Raiden and the evil machinations of time travel. 

Days Gone

Platform(s): PS4 
Release date: April 26, 2019

If you think zombies have been done to death, well... you're right, but that isn't stopping the PS4-exclusive Days Gone. The enemies in this open-world post-apocalypse aren't technically undead - the so-called 'Freakers' are actually infected humans who have gone feral and seem eager to devour our hero Deacon (voiced by and modeled after Sam Witwer, who you might recognize as Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed). What really sets the Freaker horde apart is just how many can be chasing you at once; there are times when they're practically flooding out of the environment, and all you can do to survive is simply run. 

Rage 2 

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: May 14, 2019

If all the bright colors and Andrew W.K. jams in the trailers didn't tip you off, Rage 2 treats the post-apocalypse like one giant, raucous party. After a giant asteroid decimates most of humankind, the survivors have to fend for themselves against legions of vicious bandits and mutants with murderous tendencies. As Walker, the last living Ranger of the wasteland, you'll engage in frenetic first-person shootouts and high-speed vehicular combat, wreaking havoc across all kinds of diverse environments beyond the classic 'barren desert' setting. Rage 2 brings back the lethal boomerang known as the wingstick, and amps up the firefights with plenty of dashing and an adrenaline-pumping, neon-soaked berserker mode. It's only fitting that Rage 2 feels like an FPS take on the world of Mad Max: Fury Road - it's being developed by Avalanche Studios, which also made the open-world Mad Max game (and the famously chaotic Just Cause series). 

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: May 14, 2019

Amicia and Hugo are in a living nightmare. A Plague Tale: Innocence follows these orphan siblings and their struggles in a Dark Age not unlike the first Dishonored, where swarms of supernatural rats have started to nibble at society and citizens' sanity bit by bit. Said rats are the size of footballs, and can devour humans in no time flat; fortunately, you can ward them off with sources of light. As Amicia, you'll have to watch after your little brother while the two of you flee from the fanatical Inquisition, sneaking around danger for some tense stealth gameplay. You'll grow up real fast the first time you take out an Inquisition guard's lamp with a carefully aimed sling shot and watch as he's eaten alive by vermin, screaming all the while.  

Team Sonic Racing

Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Release date: May 21, 2019

Sonic and his many anthropomorphic pals are back for their third kart-racing competition - and before you ask, Sonic races in a car as a handicap because there'd be no contest if he was running on foot. Sumo Digital, the same developer behind the brilliant Sonic All-Stars Racing games, is back for Team Sonic Racing, which focuses solely on the Sonic universe and puts drivers in teams as they vie for a combined score rather than pole position. It's definitely a departure from the more traditional arcade racing of the previous games, and the Sonic focus sadly excludes all that wonderfully obscure Sega fan service. But the vibrant visuals and finely tuned fundamentals are still there, with all the boosting, item-blasting, and mid-air tricking you could hope for.

Total War: Three Kingdoms 

Platform(s): PC
Release date: May 23, 2019

The Three Kingdoms time period in ancient China has long captivated Dynasty Warriors fans, but sometimes you want something more than mindless hack-'n'-slash action. Total War: Three Kingdoms is the tactician's choice, where turn-based planning on a map is interspersed with intense real-time skirmishes featuring thousands of units duking it out. With 11 factions to choose from, you'll need to claim and unify China piece by piece in large-scale conflict, complete with multiple hero types to deploy and recruit at your command. With its mix of grand strategy and RTS battles, Total War: Three Kingdoms will surely please all you armchair generals with an appreciation for historical warfare.

Dreams

Platform(s): PS4
Release date: Spring 2019 (limited Creator Early Access)

LittleBigPlanet is beloved for letting players create their own 2D platformer levels, but Dreams is on an entirely different scale: you can craft entire worlds down to the smallest detail. This staggeringly ambitious new game from developer Media Molecule gives you all the tools you need to shape a self-contained experience, be it a sidescroller, first-person exploration game, space shooter shmup, or anything in between. As we said in our recent preview, the next generation of games begins with Dreams and the way Media Molecule is empowering new gamemakers - but if you just want to play through other people's visions, that's fine too. As with LittleBigPlanet, there will be ample ways to show off your work or sample the very best concepts that the Dreams community has to offer, which - in theory - means infinite replayability.  

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled 

Platform(s): Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: June 21, 2019

Depending on who you ask, Crash Team Racing is the superior kart racer to the genre-defining Mario Kart series. Some might go so far as to say it's the greatest game Crash Bandicoot has ever been in. But even if you're not one of the CTR devout, there's always fun to be had from multiplayer races full of chaotic items, crafty shortcuts, drift-friendly turns, and copious amounts of explosive crates. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled gives this PS1 classic a modern makeover just like Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy did, with spiffy new graphics, kart customization, and online multiplayer (in addition to local splitscreen races). It's the perfect party game, and will surely hit older folks' nostalgia centers like a speeding car driven by an orange marsupial. 

Super Mario Maker 2 

Platform(s): Switch
Release date: June 2019

Nintendo is bringing player-created Mario levels to Switch with Super Mario Maker 2, a continuation of the first game's amazing toolset for constructing your very own 2D levels. If you can think it, there's a good chance you can build it - and as we've already seen on Wii U and 3DS, the community is a boundless well of inspiring designs and unexpected challenges. On top of all the existing tools that let you make stages in the many styles of Mario's biggest 2D games, Super Mario Maker 2 adds new course parts, enemies, and features, including custom camera scrolling and the oft-requested ability to create slopes. You can also add in the Super Bell from Super Mario 3D World that turns everyone's favorite plumber into an adorable, wall-scaling cat.

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