The Most Anticipated RPGs of 2019
I’m gonna level with you. I cheated a lot for this list. While 2018 was an amazing year for the “pure” RPG, it’s a genre that is going out of style. Instead, hybrid RPGs are all the rage, from platform RPGs like Indivisible to action RPGs like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. So I stretched the definition of RPGs on this list so that I could flesh it out. I did not, however, include shooters like Anthem or massively multiplayer RPGs as I feel like those deserve their own genre.
So what new RPGs will 2019 have to offer us? Let’s take a look.
The creators of The Witcher doing an open world Cyberpunk game? Sign me up! Granted CD Projekt Red has some high standards to live up to. They are practically a household name for open world RPGs right now, and while The Witcher 3 was a masterpiece for sure, the challenges inherit in creating a futuristic urban open world are completely different from creating a medieval fantasy open world. They are promising an unprecedented amount of density, a living breathing world packed with NPCs and activities to do. Will that promise be delivered on, or have the trailers up until this point just been digital smoke and mirrors. We will have to wait and see when Cyberpunk 2077 comes out, and we can only hope it comes out in 2019.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
HAH! Ok this was probably my biggest cheat. We have no idea whether the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is going to come out in 2019. Heck we have no way of knowing if it will come out in the next decade. Still, it’s a game that we have next to no information about, that has gone through several revisions, changed engines, and even changed genres, and yet we are still drooling for any new piece of info about the project. That’s just what happens when you remake an RPG property that is so incredibly loved by so many, and it’s likely that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake will make this list for quite a few years to come.
There are so many reasons to be hyped for Indivisible. It’s being created by Lab Zero, the genius studio behind Skullgirls. It’s formulated as a 2D platformer RPG similar to popular PS1 cult classic Valkyrie Profile. It has a plot and world influenced by southeast Asian mythology, a well that has rarely been visited by RPG developers. It has incredibly detailed and fluid hand-drawn animations that look like a moving cartoon or anime. Quite frankly, Indivisible might not be one of the most high-profile RPGs of 2019, but from everything I have seen so far it could easily be a contender for RPG of the year.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Yep, I’m cheating again. Kingdom Hearts has always been more of an action series than an RPG series, but its close ties to Final Fantasy keep getting it put on RPG lists nonetheless. I’m not even sure I have to explain why Kingdom Hearts 3 is so hotly anticipated. It’s the grand conclusion of the original Kingdom Hearts saga, 17 years in the making. It will finally give us closure to the incredibly convoluted plot that has gone to alternate worlds, dabbled in time travel, revealed that computers can develop hearts, and much much more. It will also feature a bunch of never before seen Disney worlds from Tangled to Frozen to Big Hero 6. It’s a major release both for the dedicated fan with plot charts plastered on their walls, to the causal Disney fan who just wants to play a Disney video game with solid action-RPG mechanics.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
I shouldn’t have to explain to you how hot Marvel properties are right now, or did you not spend the first half of 2018 making “I don’t feel so good” and “Thanos Truck” memes? The Marvel fan’s dream is to finally see all of Marvel in the same place at the same time outside of comics. That means X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the rest of the Marvel Universe.
While MVCI’s flop made it appear as if this simply couldn’t happen in the near future, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3’s reveal proved that theory wrong. To steal a phrase from Smash Bros. Ultimate, EVERYONE IS HERE! From the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Avengers, from Wolverine to Venom, from Dr. Doom galactic dictator raisin chin himself. It’s the Marvel fan’s dream come true, and it’s coming to the Switch.
Persona 5 was the very first game that Gamecrate gave a perfect 10/10. Now we are getting news that a brand new version of the game is coming out with new content and new mechanics. Damn you Atlus! We already maxed out our review score! There’s nowhere to go from here!
In all seriousness, we have no idea how Atlus is going to improve on the Persona 5 experience. More confidants? More palaces? The ability to play as a female protagonist? It’s all just wild speculation at this point. One thing is for certain: whatever Atlus has in store for Persona 5R we want to play it.
This is another game that we have very little information on, but do we really need it. We all know the drill by now. Set out on an adventure from your life in a small town on a quest to become a Pokemon Master. Start by catching some birds, insects, and rodents, build up to giant dragons, fight a quirky criminal team, get involved in some strange mythical plot about time travel or dimension hopping or something, catch some legendaries, and triumph over the Pokemon League.
The formula is there, but the devil is in the details. Still, Nintendo has never really produced a bad mainline Pokemon title, so whatever this new Pokemon project is, we are sure it will be a killer app for the Switch.
The Outer Worlds
So here’s the pitch: Borderlands and Fallout have a baby and it’s made by Obsidian entertainment. Are you interested yet? The Outer Worlds takes place in a universe dominated by megacorporation. After a freak accident that cuts your cryosleep short, you embark on an adventure to discover the true nature of these corporations in the only way you know how: guns.
Yes, this is technically a FPS RPG and it might fit better in a list of most anticipated shooters, but whatever. Details like that don’t matter when you’ve already signed your freedom away to your nearest friendly megacorp. What? You said you never signed your freedom away? Guess you should have read those terms of service before accepting.
There’s always a soft spot in my heart for RPGs that really try to mess with the traditional RPG formula. Town is an RPG that takes place in one setting, a Town. When it’s invaded by monsters, it’s up to you to rally the townsfolk and mount a defense against the forces of impending darkness. However, as you get more powerful and delve deeper into this town, you might find that it’s not what it seems. It’s essentially an RPG with city building elements that has only one hub city that acts as the focus for the whole game, and I think that’s a gutsy enough design decision to put Town on this list.
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
This one flew under our radar until just this month and now we can’t wait for it. It’s a quirky RPG in the vein of Earthbound set in the nineties and surrounding a group of hipsters looking into the strange disappearance of online blogging personalities. I guess they were really active on America Online. Players will make use of common hipster items from protest signs to cameras to record players to combat near Lovecraftian forces of madness, and we can’t help but love anything that makes use of Lovecraft lore and that makes fun of hipsters at the same time. It’s the perfect RPG to play on your laptop between novel writing sessions at your local Starbucks. Grande soy chai latte please!
Those are our picks for the most anticipated RPGs of 2019. What are yours? Let us know in the comments.