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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Nothing on this list excites me more. This is the one. Lord grant me the patience to endure the wait for this game.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from the creators of Dark Souls and Bloodborne -- two of the best video games ever made. Sekiro looks like it retains the spirit of those games, but takes that spirit in a unique new direction. 

This is perfect timing. Some have argued the Souls/Bloodborne formula was getting a teensy bit stale. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice looks like it ripped up the rulebook. In a good way.

Release date: March 22

Updated:Caption:Photo:From Software/Activision
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Trials Rising

Trials is the punishing motorcycle/platform game that requires an incredible amount of patience and skill to master. It's amazing.

Trials Rising is the brand-new entry into the series, and it looks phenomenal so far.

It's been five years since we've had a proper Trials game. The world is ready -- I'm personally extremely ready -- to have my nerves shredded all over again. 

Bring the pain!

Release date: February 26

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest. A beautifully made Metroidvania of sorts, the original Ori blew everyone away upon its release. This sequel has been a long time coming. 

Expect greatness.

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios/Screenshot by CNET
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Untitled Goose Game

It's a game about being a goose.

And not just any goose, a horrible goose. An asshole goose that makes life extremely difficult for everyone around him. This one, developed by Australian studio House House, is coming out late 2019.  

Release date: Late 2019

Updated:Caption:Photo:House House
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Rage 2

Rage 2, from Bethesda, is the sequel to the 2011 original. Like that title, the new installment mixes frenetic gun combat and "drive anything" combat racing -- think Mad Max meets Doom, or Bulletstorm crossed with Far Cry. 

What makes this sequel especially exciting is that ID Software brought in Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios to help out with the open world and vehicle combat issues players didn't like about the original.

This promises to be complete chaos if they pull it off. Count me in.

Release date: May 14

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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

The remake of Link's Awakening, the Zelda handheld game originally released on the Game Boy, looks glorious.

If you're a fan of the Zelda series, you know how big a deal this is. Link's Awakening might be the best one. It's so far so good with this remake. The art style is gorgeous, and it makes perfect sense to release it on the Switch which is, like the original Game Boy, a portable device. 

Release date: Nothing official yet

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Pokemon 2019

Look, there are a lot of Pokemon games in the works -- but the one we're excited about? The next proper RPG Pokemon that Nintendo has confirmed. 

Pokemon Let's Go will be very cool and we're excited. But the next RPG game? That's the big kahuna. And it'll be on the Switch, a console that's perfect for it.

Release date: Late 2019

Updated:Caption:Photo:Nintendo/Screenshot by CNET
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Luigi's Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 2 (or Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon in some territories) was a flat-out underrated masterpiece. For this reason I cannot wait to check out Luigi's Mansion 3 on the Nintendo Switch. 

Its predecessor was perfect for 20-minute bursts of play, which makes it perfect for the Nintendo Switch, which is portable and a mainstay in my daily commute. 

Again, I cannot wait for this.

Release date: March 20

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In the Valley of the Gods

This is the latest game from the creators of Firewatch, and it's looking good so far. 

The interesting thing about Firewatch: It felt less like the type of story you might see in a game, and more like an interesting tale spun that just happened to be a game. You weren't shooting or punching anything. You were just exploring, and having conversations featuring well-written dialogue. 

I'm hoping for more of the same with In the Valley of the Gods. I'm also hoping to be surprised!

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:Campo Santo
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Skull & Bones

One of the best parts of Assassin's Creed over the last few years has been sailing. 

So Ubisoft finally did what it should have done a long time ago -- make a game purely about being a pirate and sailing big-ass pirate ships into battle. 

Hook it to my veins.

Release date: Nothing official yet

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The Division 2

The Division was something of a failed experiment. But it failed spectacularly, and some might argue it didn't fail at all.

A grounded, reality-based Destiny of sorts, The Division had a lot going for it. There's a high chance that The Division 2 might pull the same trick that Assassin's Creed did. Take an incredible, flawed concept, add a layer of depth and polish and then... take over the world basically.

Release date: March 15

Updated:Caption:Photo:Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft
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The Last of Us Part 2

The Last of Us was a real high point for video game storytelling, and all signs point to the sequel hitting the same bar. 

All signs also point to a different kind of video game violence. A kind that's less glorified and more confronting, coupled with the kind of performances and performance capture that developer Naughty Dog is renowned for. Potential game of the year stuff right here.

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
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Cyberpunk 2077

Yep, I know what you're thinking. The chances of Cyberpunk 2077 making it in 2019 are slim. Extremely slim. But we can hope! We can dream! 

Allow us to dream.

Given The Witcher 3, given the pedigree of CD Projekt Red, given the tone of what we've seen so far, this could be unforgettable. This could be a confident team of developers flexing their muscles and creating something truly spectacular.

Give it to me. 

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:CD Projekt/Screenshot by CNET
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Super Mario Maker 2

I mean why the hell did this take so long? 

Super Mario Maker is a game that allows people to build, share and play their own Mario levels. It originally came out on the Wii U and was successful despite being on the Wii U. It makes absolute sense Nintendo would create a sequel for the Switch, a console people are buying in droves. 

This will be great. The original already had a great community producing bizarre levels. I'd expect an even broader subset of people will transfer to the Switch version. That means we can expect pure insanity.

Release date: June 2019

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Days Gone

Hype for this game has tapered in light of a crowded PlayStation 4 schedule, but Days Gone still has potential to be an interesting little number.

Yes, it's zombies. Yes, it's had a few less than stellar demos. But developer SIE Bend Studio has put in the hard yards, creating solid PS Vita versions of Uncharted. This is a chance to shine with a brand-new concept. Keep an eye on this one.

Release date: April 26

Updated:Caption:Photo:SIE Bend Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment
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Animal Crossing for Switch

This was recently announced by Nintendo. We don't know much, but we know enough: Animal Crossing is perfect for the Nintendo Switch. This was meant to be. 

Can't come soon enough.

Release date: Nothing official yet

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Remedy Entertainment's last game, Quantum Break, was a rare mistep for a development team that's delivered hit after hit. Looks like they've come blasting out of the traps with Control. This time-bending third-person shooter looked spectacular at E3. Best of all: It's multiplatform. It'll be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:Remedy Entertainment/505 Games
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Jedi: Fallen Order - No official release date

Star Wars and video games feel like a bit of a cursed duo right now. Star Wars 1313: canceled. Star Wars as reimagined by Uncharted co-creator Amy Hennig: currently in the process of being "reimagined." 

Star Wars Battlefront? Weighed down by micro-transaction and lootbox controversies

Does Respawn Entertainment have what it takes to bring Star Wars video games back to their former glory?

I suspect yes. Its last game, Titanfall 2, is low-key one of the best games of this generation. Expect something special here.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
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Gears 5

Much like Halo, the Gears of War series feels like it's losing a bit of relevance. 

But that doesn't mean that a brand new game isn't an event. Gears 5 will almost certainly be a spectacular showcase for the Xbox One and, in particular, the souped-up Xbox One X.

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:The Coalition/Microsoft Studios
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Yes, we're all desperately waiting for EA to resurrect the Skate franchise. Surely that'll happen in due course.

But while we wait, Session looks extremely promising and may even fill that void. A crowd-sourced skateboarding sim, Session looks tasty and seems to take its cues from Skate. That's a good sign. 

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:Crea-ture Studios
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Spelunky 2

This has been a long time coming. 

The original Spelunky is an insanely challenging, randomly generated platformer. It's genius and has developed quite the cult following. Spelunky 2 adds an online co-op alongside a suite of new features. This might be the game you spend the most time with in 2019. 

Sign me up.

Release date: Nothing official yet

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Hollow Knight: Silksong

Hollow Knight is one of the best games released in the last two or three years and it came out of nowhere. Silksong, the expansion, has now outgrown its scope and become a full blown sequel. This is good news, particularly if you're a fan of Metroidvanias. And if you're not, maybe this game will change your mind. Hollow Knight is just that good.

Release date: Nothing official yet

Updated:Caption:Photo:Team Cherry
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