15 biggest video game releases of 2019 – from FIFA 20 to COD: Modern Warfare

GameCentral offers a rundown of the most anticipated video games for the rest of the year and what to expect from them.

It’s getting towards the middle of August now, the darkest point before the dawn when it comes to the annual summer games drought. You don’t need to know much about video games to know that most of the big-name games are released just before Christmas, with only a few reserved for spring and almost none for any other time of the year. This summer’s drought hasn’t actually been too bad, by previous standards, but it’s still bizarre how even indie developer regularly fail to take advantage of the lack of competition.

But either way the drought is about to end. Once Gamescom is over next week a trickle of major new releases will begin, quickly building up to a flood by October and November (the equally inevitable Christmas games rush) before instantly switching off again as soon as you get to December. The video games business has always dealt in extremes and with new releases you either get everything out at once or nothing at all for weeks on end.

Even this late in the year there are a few games that we still don’t know the release dates for, although most of them are indie titles such as Super Meat Boy Forever, Camp Santo’s In The Valley Of Gods, and Ooblets. Although we wouldn’t be surprised if most or all of them were delayed into next year.

There’s also no release date for PlayStation 4 exclusives The Last Of Us Part II and Ghost Of Tsushima but it seems highly unlikely they’ll be released this year, considering Sony already has Death Stranding and Shenmue III as exclusives this Christmas and they haven’t yet dated Dreams – which has been promised for 2019 and is already in early access.

So without further ado here are the 15 biggest games that are definitely coming out this year, assuming there are no last minute delays. They’re strictly in release date order though, so it’ll be up to you to decide which you’re most excited about…



The unofficial end of the summer games drought comes in the last week of August, with the release of the new game from Max Payne and Alan Wake creators Remedy. Ditching the tedious live action cut scenes of Quantum Break in favour of a tale of weird fiction at a secret government agency, Control has similar third person action to their previous games but more of a 3D Metroidvania style structure where you gradually gain new Force-like abilities, including telekinesis and flying. As long as it doesn’t run out of ideas before the end, and manages to keep the level design varied enough, this could end up being the best thing Remedy has ever done.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
Release Date: 27th August 2019


Gears 5

With no Forza this year (it’s undoubtedly being kept back for the launch of the next generation Xbox next year) this is the biggest Xbox One exclusive of 2019 and to be honest it’s a bit difficult to know what to expect. Microsoft has shown relatively little so far, and most of that has been the multiplayer, but they have promised more open world elements than ever before, a dash more colour, and a switch of lead characters to Kait Diaz. Gears Of War 4 was perfectly competent but it also played things extremely safe, so the challenge for Gears 5 will be to not only justify itself but to point the way forwards for the franchise as the next generation of consoles loom.

Formats: Xbox One and PC
Release Date: 10th September 2019


Borderlands 3

Outside of the usual big two of FIFA and Call Of Duty this is almost certainly going to be the biggest game at Christmas. Fans have been waiting seven years since Borderlands 2 and the hype for the third game is already through the roof, even though in truth it’s not all that different from the previous games. The larger open world environments and modern online conveniences do make a difference but despite what many assumed, given it all but invented the idea of a four-player shared world shooter co-op game, there’s no attempt to turn this into a Destiny clone. We’ll have a full hands-on preview and interview on Wednesday but already this seems like a game that is effectively critic-proof.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Stadia
Release Date: 13th September 2019


The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

It’s been an extremely quite year so far for Nintendo, with things only starting to pick up with the release of Super Mario Maker 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses a few weeks ago. But their line-up for nearer Christmas is the best since the Switch first launched and it kicks off with this remake of the beloved Game Boy classic. The original was already one of the best 2D Zeldas ever made and this remake seems to upgrade everything just enough to make it feel like a modern game and still retain the charm of the original. There don’t seem to be many completely new features though and given the original was fairly short by modern standards, and the remake is being sold at full price, there’s questions to be answered about longevity and value for money.

Formats: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 20th September 2019



Unless a new Grand Theft Auto is out FIFA is almost always the best-selling game of the year in the UK, and there’s little reason to doubt that’ll be any different this year. As ever the change is incremental, but this year’s game does boast one genuinely new addition (except on Switch): VOLTA Football. It’s a riff on the old FIFA Street games and while it’s not exactly jumpers for goalposts it’s about as close as you’re going to get with 3 vs. 3 up to 5 vs. 5 matches and customisable players wearing casual clothes. Of course, all the regular big match stuff will be there as well, all but guaranteeing this’ll be the biggest game of the year.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Release Date: 27th September 2019


Sega Mega Drive Mini

Not a single video game but 42 of them, as Sega prepares its answer to the hugely popular Classic Mini NES and Classic Mini SNES (and the hugely disappointing PlayStation Classic). The little miniature version of the UK’s favourite 16-bit console includes all the classics you’d expect, from Sonic The Hedgehog and Ecco The Dolphin to Shinobi III, Streets Of Rage II, and Golden Axe. There’s also less famous, but well respected, games like Alisia Dragoon and Light Crusader but the real rarities are a cancelled version of Tetris – of which only five physical copies exist in the world – and a version of 2D shooter Darius that a fan made just for this version of the console.

Release Date: 4th October 2019


Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint

One of the other big contenders for third place, behind FIFA and Call Of Duty, is Ubisoft’s follow-up to Ghost Recon Wildlands. The four-player co-op gameplay on a large open world map (a Pacific island this time) is very similar but the story is completely different, as you fight an ex-army commander who has gained control of a company that makes military drones. This creates a rather odd mix of fighting high-tech robots and duelling more realistic human combatants, where you can hide yourself in mud and have to set up a bivouac shelter to heal yourself. Although it tries to paint itself as a survival game there’s no sign that it’s anywhere near that involved, but if you’ve played the previous game you’ll know pretty much what you’re getting yourself in for.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Stadia
Release Date: 4th October 2019


Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare

Even when it was at its lowest ebb Call Of Duty could still challenge FIFA as the UK’s biggest game, and this year’s COD is set to be one of the most memorable ever. It’s a reboot of the Modern Warfare games that, unlike Black Ops 4, goes back to having a proper story campaign. And, just like the original Modern Warfare, it’s one that’s filled with missions ripped from current news headlines, with scenarios involving everything from terrorists in London to gas attacks against civilians. It’s knowingly controversial and given the current political climate in America is certain to cause waves for the whole games industry. Of course, there’s also standard multiplayer but for the first time in a while no Zombies and instead a return to the more grounded Spec Ops co-op mode.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
Release Date: 25th October 2019


The Outer Worlds

As we’ve already seen, video game publishers are never very sensible when choosing release dates but releasing an unknown new IP like this on the same day as Call Of Duty is particularly hard to understand. As a new Fallout style action role-player, from two of the original creators of the Fallout series, it does look extremely promising, with a sci-fi setting that has a sharp satirical edge as you pit rival corporations against themselves. Talking your way out of trouble is often just as effective as shooting your way out, with your computer-controlled allies bringing their own set of skills and equipment. If the final game turns out as well as hoped then this could be the sleeper hit of the season.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC
Release Date: 25th October 2019 (Switch TBA)


Luigi’s Mansion 3

It’s a spooky Halloween release for the sequel to one of the best games on the 3DS and a rare chance for Mario’s brother Luigi to take the limelight. The basic ghostbusting gameplay is the same as the first two but the setting of a haunted hotel is much bigger than anything that’s been seen before, with lots of fun exploration and puzzles that rely on you being able to create a clone of Luigi made out of green goo. This other character can be controlled by a second human player, plus there’s an eight-player online mode so you can play with even more people. As you’d expect, it’s not really scary but the cartoon style graphics are great and it already looks like it’ll end up as one of the Switch’s best games.

Formats: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 31st October 2019


Death Stranding

Describing what Death Stranding is isn’t going to be easy even once everyone’s played it, let alone now. The most important thing to say is that it’s the first game from Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima since he left Konami to set up his own company, and it’s almost certainly going to end up as the weirdest game of the year. As far as anyone can tell the game involves your character Sam (played by The Waking Dead’s Norman Reedus) working as courier in a strange, possibly post-apocalyptic world, with both him and other characters repeatedly being set to another dimension when they die. There’s also astral projection, time travel, and rain that makes you age instantly when it hits you, so be prepared for something very odd indeed…

Formats: PlayStation 4
Release Date: 8th November 2019


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

A Star Wars video game should pretty much sell itself just by existing, especially in a year in which the whole Skywalker saga finally comes to an end at the cinema, but Fallen Order had a pretty rough unveiling back in June and many people were left unimpressed. But that’s only because EA, bizarrely, didn’t mention any of the best bits. Despite what the initial trailer implied the game is actually a 3D Metroidvania, with puzzles and the ability to explore wherever you want – so it’s not just a linear action game. When you do get in a fight the combat is a lot more involved that it first seemed, with one of the key developers having worked on the God Of War series and a similar approach to the Dark Souls games, complete with a Force equivalent of bonfires.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
Release Date: 15th November 2019


Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

Nintendo’s biggest game of the year is the first time a mainline Pokémon game has ever been on a console that’s anything other than portable-only. That means a major upgrade in terms of the graphics and a semi-open world environment, as well as new gimmick Dynamax that lets you temporarily grow any pokémon to giant size during battles. Every new Pokémon game world is inspired by a real-world country and this time it’s the turn of the UK, with lots of amusing nods to British culture. The game is also perfect for the new Switch Lite version of the console, released on 20 September, that’s cheaper than the original Switch but only works in handheld mode.

Formats: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 15th November 2019


Shenmue III

If there’s only one game that’s delayed to next year out of this list then it’s bound to be Shenmue III. It’s already been delayed multiple times before, which only adds to its mystique as a sequel most people never expected to happen. Thanks to teaming up with Sony and a record-breaking crowdfunding effort it is really happening though and offers a continuation of the classic Dreamcast saga from back in the early 2000s. Whether the rather slow-paced storytelling and old school martial arts action will appeal to modern gamers remains to be seen but the sheer fact that the game exists at all will be a fascination to many.

Formats: PlayStation 4 and PC
Release Date: 19th November 2019


Doom Eternal

The last big release before Christmas is that classic seasonal tale of fighting the powers of Hell with nothing more than a shotgun and a few sci-fi weapons. As the follow-up to the 2016 reboot of Doom the first person shooting action is enjoyably familiar but there’s a lot more depth this time round as you use the demons themselves to recharge your health, ammo, and other abilities, via the time-honoured method of shooting them enough until they explode in a shower of gore. There is also a multiplayer mode but Doom Eternal is more single-player focused than most other shooters and seems to be a perfect mix between new and old school sensibilities.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Stadia
Release Date: 22nd November 2019


Honourable mentions

30 August – The Dark Pictures: Man Of Medan (XO/PS4/PC)
30 August – Astral Chain (NS)
30 August – Blair Witch (XO/PC)
6 September – Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne (XO/PS4)
10 September – eFootball PES2020 (XO/PS4/PC)
13 September – Daemon X Machina (NS)
24 September – The Surge 2 (XO/PS4/PC)
26 September – Contra: Rogue Corps (XO/PS4/NS/PC)
1 October – Destiny 2: New Light (XO/PS4/PC/Stadia)
1 October – Destiny 2: Shadowkeep (XO/PS4/PC/Stadia)
8 October – Concrete Genie (PS4)
22 October – WWE 2K20 (XO/PS4/PC)
25 October – MediEvil (PS4)
11 October – GRID (XO/PS4/PC)
5 November – Planet Zoo (PC)
10 December – MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (PC)


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