It's perhaps a little far into the new year already to be offering you a preview of what's to come - sorry about that - but piecing together a full picture of coming attractions in 2019 hasn't been easy. After a first quarter packed with big releases and dominated by EA's would-be juggernaut Anthem, the picture is quite hazy, with big names being scarce and release dates - even of the very loosest variety - even scarcer.

Nintendo has a very busy year ahead (Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, Luigi's Mansion, another Pokémon, potentially Metroid Prime and Bayonetta) but Sony's plans for PS4 are vague at best, and we would be shocked to see the likes of Death Stranding this year. It will be a long while before Microsoft's studio acquisition spree pays off, too, leaving Gears 5 and not much else to wave the Xbox flag. On the third-party side, we can be sure of seeing EA's next Star Wars game, and Ubisoft will surely have something as yet unannounced up its sleeve, while Cyberpunk 2077 seems more like a 2020 game - at the earliest.

Dig around a little, however, and you uncover a wealth of fascinating software from indie teams (headlined Spelunky 2), from what may be the last of the major crowdfunding projects (Shenmue 3 and Psychonauts 2) and from an emerging category of larger-scale, semi-indie productions with publisher backing, of which Obsidian's The Outer Worlds is the most exciting prospect. At first, we thought we'd struggle to find 50 games for the list, but by the end we had far more than we could feature.

(You can also listen to us run through the 2019 release calendar and hear our predictions for the year ahead in the latest Eurogamer Podcast - scroll to the bottom for a Soundcloud embed and links.)

The list more or less divides into three parts: firmly (and a couple of loosely) dated games for the first half of the year; games with just a '2019' date attached, most of which we expect to see in the second half of the year; and games with no release date that we have some reason to hope will see the light of day in 2019, although there is some wishful thinking involved in a couple of these.

One thing's for definite, though - many of 2019's biggest and best games won't be on this list, because we don't even know they exist yet. And that's the most exciting prospect of all.

Resident Evil 2

One of the boldest exercises yet in remaking a classic game, this is such an extensive overhaul - not least in its modern camera and complete control and gameplay revamp - that we reckon it qualifies as a 'new' game. Aside from that, this could be the game to finally bring Resident Evil's two identities together in perfect harmony: its roots in tense, jumpy survival horror and its post-RE4 incarnation as an OTT action game. Now that would be something.

Kingdom Hearts 3

It can still be hard to believe that Kingdom Hearts exists: an arcane, densely-plotted crossover series blending Final Fantasy-style role-playing with every Disney property under the sun, from Pirates of the Caribbean to The Little Mermaid. And it takes itself so seriously. Even if you are not one of its unhinged fanbase, remember that this third mainline game is one of those agonised decade-in-the-making epics that Square Enix seems to specialise in: not all of them work out well, but they all demand your attention.

Trials Rising

  • Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • 12th February
  • Trials Rising game page

The globe-hopping settings may be the most obvious selling point for this latest instalment in RedLynx's wonderful motorbike disaster simulator, but the real treat promises to be a new Tandem Bike mode that sees two players struggling to control a single motorbike between them. That, combined with a wheelie-heavy jaunt up the side of the Eiffel Tower, makes this pretty exciting stuff. And then there's RedLynx's Antti's fantastic face-plant providing the brightest moment of E3 2018, of course.

Metro Exodus

  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • 15th February
  • Metro Exodus game page

Metro's always been about attention to detail: the reload animations, the cobbled-together weaponry, and those glorious Nixie tube watches. It's pleasing, then, that a game that delights in the small things hasn't gone fully open-world for its latest instalment. Instead, expect a mixture of linear levels and sandbox environments as you brave the irradiated wastelands and their mutated horrors once more.

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Metro Exodus.

Anthem

  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • 22nd February
  • Anthem game page

We've spent the past year wondering whether BioWare fans will ever warm to Anthem: an online sci-fi action game seemingly made for a different audience, without the studio's usual focus on single-player story, companion characters and romances. But when Anthem launches, the question will be whether its new audience falls for it instead - and gives the studio its first successful franchise launch in a decade.

Dirt Rally 2.0

  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • 26th February
  • Dirt Rally 2.0 game page

Codemasters has a tricky balancing act here - maintaining the purist focus of 2015's Dirt Rally that won back hardcore fans of the Colin McRae games, while opening it out enough to accommodate more licensing (including the official World Rallycross Championship) and to attract a broader audience to what was a pretty unforgiving, if brilliant, racing game. The heritage is there, though, and the success of the likes of Project Cars and Assetto Corsa proves that people do still like real motorsport games.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

The quest to unify and rule China forms the basis for the latest entry in Creative Assembly's ludicrously ambitious strategy series, and along with real-time battles and a host of new units to get your head around, there's been a lovely bit of social tinkering taking place as your generals make connections and form bonds with other in-game characters. The Three Kingdoms era is an ideal setting for Total War: hopefully the team can avoid the launch hiccups that have often plagued the series.

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Total War: Three Kingdoms.

Devil May Cry 5

'Proper' Devil May Cry returns for the first time in 11 years, during which time Ninja Theory's controversial reboot DmC came and went, and original Devil May Cry director Hideki Kamiya redefined the boundaries of outrageousness, sexiness and combat depth in this kind of action game with Bayonetta. Do Dante and Capcom still have it? From what we've seen so far, yes, it appears they very much do.

The Division 2

If you're thinking you'd prefer not to have to build a vast and expensive shared-world shooter in an era in which even Destiny 2 is struggling to keep people interested in the form, spare a thought for Ubisoft, which has to do all of that while simultaneously convincing itself and everyone else that this story of a heavily militarised Washington DC, branded throughout with the estate of America's favourite deceased neocon writer, has nothing at all to do with politics.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Hidetaka Miyazaki returns with a savage, fluid ninja action game under the unlikely auspices of Activision. You can't really classify it alongside Dark Souls and Bloodborne in the micro-genre created by Miyazaki and his developers at From Software - the level design is more open, the storytelling more overt and there's a tighter focus on a single playable character and class, while the Western Gothic and dark fantasy inflections are set aside for old-school Japanese ninja myth-making. But it bears the indelible mark of those classics in its fearsome and precise melee combat.

Wargroove

  • Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • First quarter 2019
  • Wargroove game page
2019_game_releases_wargroove

Squint a bit and Wargroove is Advance Wars or Fire Emblem, a turn-based tactical affair with bright, chunky 16-bit art delivering chunky units and lovely tile-based landscapes. It's been a long time since we've ventured out in a Medium Tank, so even though Wargroove keeps things medieval it should still be a bit of a guilty treat to head back to the battlefield.

Mortal Kombat 11

  • Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • 23rd April
  • Mortal Kombat 11 game page

The hoary, gory fighting series returns, with a new character customisation system that sounds rather like the Gear system from Injustice 2 (the DC superhero fighter is developer NetherRealm's other series). You might cringe now at Mortal Kombat's distinctly 90s brand of edginess, but these are great, accessible fighting games and NetherRealm has no peer when it comes to putting together a generous and rewarding single-player offering.

Rage 2

  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • 14th May
  • Rage 2 game page

It would be a real shame if Rage 2 was caught up in anti-Bethesda sentiment following the disastrous release of Fallout 76, because, amongst other things, this open-world blaster looks to be an awful lot of fun. Taking as many aesthetic nods from the likes of Borderlands as it does the original Rage, development is handled by Just Cause's Avalanche Studios, and the team's even brought its own engine along. Hopefully id's feel for gunplay will combine nicely with Avalanche's flair for grand chaos.

Judgment

  • PlayStation 4
  • 25th June
  • Judgment game page

An intriguing spin-off from Sega's ever-popular Yakuza series, Judgment swaps gangster melodrama for legal thriller. It's set in the same (under)world, but this time the lead character is private detective Takayuki Yagami, who's investigating a serial murder case. We're told to expect drastically different gameplay and storytelling within a familiar setting.

Phoenix Point

This is true game design generosity, isn't it? Julian Gollop making a long-awaited follow-up to X-Com, while using plenty of ideas borrowed from Firaxis' reinvention of XCOM. Don't worry if you're not clued up on the lineage, though: this promises to be lovely turn-based tactical battling from one of the giants of the genre.

Sea of Solitude

Every now and then EA likes to get behind a whimsical indie game about emotions - that every now and then generally coinciding with the middle of the publisher's E3 conference. Sea of Solitude is a colourful exploration game based in a submerged city that's heavily influenced by Berlin. Heroine Kay must root about and discover why she's been turned into a monster. It all looks kind of wonderful, to be honest.

Shenmue 3

  • PlayStation 4 and PC
  • 27th August
  • Shenmue 3 game page
2019_game_releases_shenmue

Another fan favourite returns via crowdfunding, but this one's a bit different. Shenmue doesn't belong to some beloved yet neglected genre; it is a unique and highly specific experience. It aims for microscopically detailed realism, which will be tough to achieve without the big budget and cutting-edge tech Yu Suzuki's team enjoyed at the turn of the millennium (now employed to the same ends by the likes of Quantic Dream and Rockstar Games). To be honest, in the cold light of day it looks pretty gauche. But there is still nothing else like it, it will at the very least be fascinating - and who doesn't want to know what happens next?

The Good Life

  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • Third quarter 2019
  • The Good Life game page

From cult director Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro, of Deadly Premonition infamy, comes this game about a photojournalist solving murders and enjoying daily life in a small English town where people magically transform into cats and dogs once a month. Other activities in the game reportedly include sheep-shearing, making jam and mining for cryptocurrency. It took Swery's team two attempts to get this crowdfunded, for reasons that escape us entirely.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

Patrice Désilets, creative director of the first three Assassin's Creed games and thus someone who has done as much to shape modern blockbuster gaming as anyone else, hasn't had a credit since 2008's brilliant Brotherhood. After wasting a few years at a dying THQ, he is back with his own studio and no less ambitious an aim than describing man's evolution from the ape, in playable form. You've got to give him credit for chutzpah.

Animal Crossing

2019_game_releases_animal

It is almost frightening to think how effective Nintendo's brilliantly sweet deconstruction of capitalism is going to be nestled on the Switch. Move to town, watch the seasons, and find the perfect sofa: millions and millions of human hours are going to be spent in this magical bucolic wonderland.

Control

  • PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • 2019
  • Control game page

Gunplay, magic and unpredictable physics converge in Control, the new third-person shooter from Remedy. Set inside a shifting brutalist playground and focusing on gunplay with supernatural flourishes, there is just enough reason to hope that this generation may be about to get its Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. Fingers crossed.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

Here's a welcome sequel to the secret best Dragon Quest game of recent years. Dragon Quest Builders is a charming and extremely moreish blend of Minecraft-style harvesting and building with gentle JRPG grind. The sequel, already released in Japan, is more of the same plus a co-op mode that will go down very well in certain Eurogamer households.

Dreams

  • PlayStation 4
  • 2019
  • Dreams game page
2019_game_releases_dreams

Dreams is another mind-bending toolbox from Media Molecule, the people behind LittleBigPlanet. Allowing people to craft and share a bewildering variety of different creations, the big question hanging over this project is whether brilliant developers can make software that helps the rest of us to feel brilliant too. Fingers crossed. (Also, beware: while it has been given a 2019 date by Sony's Shawn Layden, it was in a rather vague and tentative way.)

The Elder Scrolls: Blades

Bethesda fared a little better than Blizzard when it announced it was taking a beloved RPG series to Android and iOS, but it's still been hard for people to get excited about a touchscreen Elder Scrolls with a free-to-play business model. There's quite a bit to Blades itself though, with a Roguelike mode offering a blend of procedural and hand-crafted dungeons, and then an arena offering for PvP. And because this is mobile, there's also a central town hub which the player upgrades over time.

Falcon Age

  • PlayStation 4 (PlayStation VR)
  • 2019

VR and falconry kind of belong together, don't they? Niche pursuits whose delights seem hard to understand for anyone on the outside. Barring a video game adaptation of H is for Hawk - never too late, Ubisoft! - this is the closest many of us are going to get to the world of jesses and coping. If you ask us, it looks marvellous.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Wargroove notwithstanding, Intelligent Systems remain the kings of toothsome tactical combat, with a nearly peerless design record going way back past Advance Wars and even the first Fire Emblem. We hope that the focus is squarely on the battlefield in this sequel, and not on the somewhat alienating manga tropes of its convoluted, soapy storyline.

Gears 5

  • Xbox One and PC
  • 2019
  • Gears 5 game page
2019_game_releases_gears

Gears' stompy emoting looks increasingly stranded by history, particularly when former custodian Epic has transformed itself into the fleet, fast-pivoting masters of the world's most popular service game. Can Gears 5 turn things around? At the very least this promises to be big, bad and... you know the rest.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Pokémon Go developer Niantic reckons it won't compete with itself too much when it launches its next augmented reality mobile game, this time themed around JK Rowling's magical Wizarding World. But it's easy to imagine some Pokémon fans having to split their time when this eventually arrives - or simply buying a second phone.

In the Valley of Gods

Campo Santo's follow-up to Firewatch seems to be another confident and poised narrative adventure game. This time we're in Egypt in the 1920s following Rashida, a young filmmaker and a disgraced explorer. Once again human relationships and landscape are at the fore here, so expect a thoughtful, self-conscious wander through what's more often Saturday matinee territory.

2019_game_releases_valley
In the Valley of Gods.

Luigi's Mansion 3

Nintendo has released just 20 seconds of Luigi's Mansion 3 footage to date, but that's enough to know Mario's scaredy-cat brother is back doing all the things we loved in the first two games - sucking up troublesome ghouls in his trusty Poltergust vacuum cleaner, exploring spooky side-scrolling corridors, and pulling that Macaulay Culkin face from Home Alone.

Minecraft: Dungeons

2019_game_releases_minecraft

This game is exactly what it sounds like, a dungeon-crawler set in the Minecraft universe. Expect loot, surprising weapons, terrifying mobs and hectic multiplayer, all wrapped up in the most recognisable aesthetic in modern games.

Pokémon

  • Nintendo Switch
  • Late 2019

Pokémon games have long followed a successful formula - one which last year's Let's Go disrupted to great effect. It'll be interesting how many of those changes stick when this year's all-new "core" entry rolls around. And at the very least, we'll be getting a new region to explore and another expansion to the franchise's bulging menagerie to capture and enslave.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

The sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest is another luminous Metroidvania, in which the titular guardian spirit must venture beyond the first game's woodlands to discover their real destiny. None of this story stuff matters, of course, since this is all about delicate, evocative visuals and a magical sense of place.

Psychonauts 2

One of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns ever will finally bear fruit this year with the release of this sequel to Double Fine's cult 2005 platformer. The enchanting premise remains - use our hero Raz's psychic powers to explore the imaginary worlds in others' minds - although it will now have to compete with Pixar's brilliant visualisation of the same topic in the 2015 movie Inside Out.

Ooblets

  • Xbox One and PC
  • 2019
  • Ooblets game page

Farming and creature-collecting combine in this gorgeous pastel-coloured riff on games like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley and Pokémon. Described like that, this sounds a bit clinical, but the art style and atmosphere promises that the final game should have plenty of soul.

The Outer Worlds

2019_game_releases_outer

With the Fallout community baffled and enraged by Bethesda's online game Fallout 76, there could be no better time for original Fallout co-creators Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain to pop up at Obsidian Entertainment with an anarchic retro-sci-fi RPG set in the farthest reaches of colonised space. Published by Take-Two's new label Private Division, its multi-platform release will be unaffected by Obsidian's recent purchase by Microsoft.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

This isn't just the next game from Simogo, the brilliant studio behind Year Walk and Device 6, it's also shaping up to be lurid, stylish, intoxicating and - best of all - largely indescribable. What do you even do in a game that looks and moves and sounds like a pop video? You hang on and savour every moment, most likely. What a team!

Skull & Bones

Open-world piracy is, as ever, an intoxicating promise, and Skull & Bones seems comfortably different in its approach to Sea of Thieves. Forget Rare's gloriously cartoony skullduggery - this is the naval elements of Assassin's Creed writ large. And that sounds pretty brilliant, doesn't it?

Spelunky 2

How do you make a sequel for a game that you can play forever? With stakes like this, Spelunky 2 is 2019's most fascinating prospect. It's also its most tantalising, promising new weapons, enemies, locations and mechanics, all wrapped up with a new protagonist. So how do you make a sequel for a game you can play forever? With more stuff, by the looks of it - all thrown together with ingenuity and rigour.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

We know nothing of EA's next Star Wars game beyond this title, a setting just after Episode 3, and the fact that it's an action adventure game developed by Respawn Entertainment. If you've played Respawn's majestic Titanfall 2, though, that should be all the encouragement you need. After the loot box brouhaha that all but sunk Battlefront 2, there's a lot riding on this, and Disney will be watching very closely, but Respawn is the definition of a safe pair of hands.

Stormdivers

Room for another Battle Royale? If brilliant arcade developer Housemarque is involved, that shouldn't be too hard a sell. Expect sci-fi classes, lavish environments, terrifying weather and years and years of learning how to make gloriously over-powered weaponry. Stormdivers' name is a little too generic and forgettable, but the game behind it might be a proper treat.

UFO 50

A 50-game compilation of retro morsels made by a supergroup of indie developers, led by Derek Yu of Spelunky fame. It comes across as the a sort of greatest hits package for an 8-bit console that never existed, with shooters, beat-'em-ups, strategy games, dungeon crawlers, sports games and more, all played fairly faithfully and straight but with a few "new ideas and modern game design sensibilities" mixed in.

Untitled Goose Game

  • Nintendo Switch and PC
  • 2019

Not the only game to feature in this list two years in a row, but the concept, so succinctly expressed - "it is a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose" - is still irresistible. Also, we played it at PAX last year and it was a lot of fun.

The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti

  • Xbox One and PC
  • No release date

Astonishing animation combines with colourful psychodrama in this 2D platformer that explores the struggles of a musician to escape from the shadow of an illustrious relative. Music, along with the gloriously inventive art, is the key to this one by the looks of it, shaping the landscape and threading itself through boss encounters.

Bayonetta 3

  • Nintendo Switch
  • No release date
  • Bayonetta 3 game page

Astonishingly, Osaka's prolific Platinum Games did not release anything at all in 2018. The third game in its best-loved series, Bayonetta, has no official release date but we give it good odds of seeing the light of day this year. Nintendo once again plays unlikely fairy godmother to the adventures of the saucy witch with guns in her stilettos and magic in her hair, so this will be a Switch exclusive.

Doom Eternal

  • Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • No release date
  • Doom Eternal game page

This one may be a little optimistic: the sequel to id's triumphant comeback game, the brilliant 2016 Doom, has no release date officially, and id does like to take its sweet time. It is absolutely one of the most exciting prospects on the horizon, though, considering the previous game's refreshingly brutal, close-quarters reconfiguration of first-person shooting, and the inspired relocation of the action from Hell to - where else? - Heaven.

The Last of Us Part 2

Video games' most convincingly human kiss will compete with astonishing levels of super-brutality in this deeply frowny sequel to Naughty Dog's grim zombie classic from 2013. There's absolutely no doubting the skill involved, but the violence displayed so far suggests a tricky tonal balancing act. Is Naughty Dog up to the challenge? (This one featured in our list last year, and we wouldn't necessarily bet against it completing the hat trick and appearing in 2020, too.)

Metroid Prime 4

Officially, we know next to nothing about this return for Nintendo's fan-favourite sci-fi series - indeed, it's only informed guesswork that has us expecting it to see release this year. Sources tell us it's being made by Bandai Namco, not the Texans at Retro Studios responsible for the first three Prime games. Nintendo producer Kensuke Tanabe will be monitoring development closely either way, of course. After a disappointing third game in 2007 and a long wait since, the stakes are high, but a little lonely space exploration would be a fine thing, wouldn't it?

Skin Deep

Brendon Chung mixes Die Hard and science fiction in this game about the emergent possibilities of shooting people, hiding in vents, and doing the splits in space. Stuff like Thirty Flights of Loving has proved Chung is one of the greats when it comes to game-elevating details and cinematic flair, so it's going to be fascinating to see what kind of treats Skin Deep turns out to offer.

Tunic

  • Xbox One and PC
  • No release date
  • Tunic game page

Is Hipster Zelda something of a tautology? Link certainly spends a lot of time drinking strange brews out of glass jars. Anyway, Tunic looks absolutely delightful, a colourful spin on classic 16-bit Zelda in which your plucky fox hero waves a sword and shield about as they explore a bucolic wonderland of ancient ruins and lovely little diamond-shaped trees. Expect plenty of shield-and-dodge-based combat and a creeping sense of wonder. Hardly an original concoction, but as Zelda itself is well aware, these stories gain potency in the re-telling.

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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