Nowadays, gaming is big business, and any half-way profitable AAA corporation has a marketing staff working around the clock to ensure that every potential customer is painstakingly aware of the developer's upcoming groundbreaking game! Every calendar year is punctuated with numerous high-profile conventions designed specifically to showcase the latest hardware or software; however, social media has made it simpler than ever to submerge an audience under a seemingly never-ending wave of adverts and hype. After being subjected to months of sneak peeks and tidbits of gameplay, players may find themselves desperate to get their hands on the prize!
Originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy XV hit the scene after more than a decade of delays; unsurprisingly, Square Enix's JRPG struggled to live up to such a ludicrous volume of hype. As marketing and development teams work in entirely separate fields, there have been numerous instances when a game's promotional material failed to truly reflect the content. While Hello Games has gradually started to deliver on its initial promises, No Man's Sky's launch coincided with a widespread case of buyers remorse, as customers realized they bought an experience that had practically nothing to do with the pre-launch marketing. Promising to show two sides of the same conflict, Halo 5: Guardians' ads promoted an intense conflict between Locke and Master Chief, implying that 343 Games' upcoming FPS might be among the most personal stories in the series. Unfortunately, these trailers seemed to be made for a different game, as they bore little in common with Halo 5's campaign.
Pre-order culture is not going away anytime soon, but which studios deserve the benefit of the doubt? Here are 30 upcoming console games that are actually worth pre-ordering!
30 Final Fantasy VII Remake
As a release date has yet to be announced, fans yearning to get their hands on Square Enix's highly anticipated remake should be prepared for a lengthy wait. Rumors suggest that Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to be split into several chapters, so this promises to be a really expansive endeavor that matches the ambition shown by the original PlayStation JRPG. Square's track-record includes its fair share of plot-holes, but the publisher rarely fails to deliver a refined experience. While the project's new direction may not please everyone, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a safe bet for any JRPG fans.
Despite Mass Effect Andromeda being somewhat of a trainwreck, BioWare has earned the benefit of the doubt, and Anthem appears to be a far more polished game. Obviously, we cannot discuss this 2019 title without mentioning the elephant in the room: EA is not a trustworthy company. With the exception of the genuinely excellent Origin Access subscription service, Electronic Arts loves to find new and exciting ways to anger players — nevertheless, Anthem is destined to be among the more prominent releases of the upcoming year.
28 Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Eevee!
At long last, Nintendo has graciously accepted our hard-earned cash for a proper home-console Pokémon JRPG. Set in Kanto, Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! allow gamers to battle the original 151 fictional creatures and take on Gym Leaders in their quest to be the best. Admittedly, Game Freak's forthcoming releases seem to be very similar to their handheld counterparts, but Pokémon has yet to birth a truly great console title. If nothing else, when it comes to its top brands, Nintendo always guarantees quality!
27 Gears Of War 5
Marketed as Gears 5 and set for a Summer 2019 release, Microsoft's iconic first-party IP is roaring back into the spotlight! Certain franchises are synonymous with high quality, so pre-ordering almost feels like a formality rather than a genuinely tough decision. Epic Games' original trilogy deserves to be mentioned among the greatest third-person shooters of all time, but The Coalition's fourth entry proved the studio has the potential to match its predecessor. Gears of War 3 brought Marcus Fenix' story arc to a satisfactory end, so 2016's sequel needed to effectively reboot the series, resulting in some pacing issues. Nevertheless, all the elements are in place for a fantastic fifth entry!
26 Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts II was a PlayStation 2 game. Seriously, let that fact sink in! Even if the handheld games are taken into account, Square Enix's sequel has been in the works for around a decade. After numerous delays, Kingdom Hearts appeared destined to be left unfinished, but the highly anticipated finale is finally right around the corner. With an insane level of hype surrounding Disney and Square's mash-up, Kingdom Hearts III needs to be near flawless to warrant the wait. Even if the sequel has a couple of problems, we just have to know how the story ends!
25 Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Following two thrilling adventures, Eidos Montreal is primed and ready to conclude Lara Croft's transition into the Tomb Raider. 2013's Tomb Raider pushed the property into a fresh and welcome direction, while Rise of the Tomb Raider improved upon the original in nearly every feasible way. Previews advice to not expect any significant innovative twists from the sequel, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider merely needs to be more of the same. By the end of the year, we would not be surprised to see Shadow of the Tomb Raider featured heavily on many Best of lists.
24 Forza Horizon 4
Even if the Xbox One lacks third-party exclusives, Microsoft's iconic IPs tend to always deliver. A goofy arcade racer to Forza Motorsport's sim, Forza Horizon 3 is comfortably the best racing game on the market. Frankly, we can almost recommend buying an Xbox One just for Playground Games' masterpiece. Trading Australia for the United Kingdom, Forza Horizon 4 should offer a ton of content and enough wacky stunts to keep players entertained for a number of months. As Playground Games' racer will be available on Game Pass, a pre-order might not be necessary.
23 The Last Of Us Part II
Naughty Dog's The Last of Us served as the perfect swan song to the PlayStation 3 and Sony's highly anticipated sequel might be set to accomplish the same thing on the PlayStation 4. Garnering near-universal acclaim, The Last of Us' success speaks for itself, while Naughty Dog's resume is nearly unparalleled within the industry. If asked to pick one entry which is destined to be a guaranteed success, there is no point in looking any further than The Last of Us Part II. We are ready for the feels...
22 Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games is always at the forefront of any technological advancements within the industry. As the eighth generation begins to unwind, it is starting to seem likely that Grand Theft Auto VI will not be arriving anytime soon. Thankfully, Red Dead Redemption 2 is set to pick up the slack! The third entry in the series and a follow-up to 2010's Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar's Western looks absolutely mesmerizing in the couple of trailers that have been made available. The level of detail is absurd and studios rarely explore this time period.
21 Shin Megami Tensei V
As the Nintendo Switch's second year gradually comes to a close, the console's library is starting to take shape. The 3DS seems unlikely to last much longer, so Nintendo's focus is squarely on amassing enough titles on the Switch to attract an exhaustive audience. While a release date has yet to be announced, Shin Megami Tensei V is a must-buy for any JRPG fan. Dating back to 1992, Atlus' turn-based role-playing franchise is like a twisted version of Digimon, with players catching and fusing monsters together. Information is still relatively sparse, but the battle mechanics should be similar to Persona 5, although Shin Megami Tensei tends to leave out the spin-off's social aspect.
20 Hitman 2
Putting aside some initial backlash, 2016's Hitman's episodic structure proved to be ideal for the franchise; unfortunately, the upcoming sequel has opted for a more conventional release model. Whether seen as a positive or a negative will depend on the individual, but Hitman's stealth-based gameplay should survive the transition unscathed. Pre-order bonuses are rarely worth the hassle, but Hitman 2 allows buyers to immediately access a new mode called Sniper Assassin, which places Agent 47 on a cliff and provides 15 minutes to take out three targets.
Absent from this year's E3 conference, Nintendo has confirmed that 2019 will celebrate Yoshi's solo debut on the Switch. Nintendo has perfected the art of making accessible platformers, and there is nothing to suggest that Yoshi will fail to reach the lofty standards set by the publisher. Going by the short clips shown to the public, a single screenshot from the anthropomorphic dinosaur's latest adventure seems to possess more charm than most AAA franchises can muster in their entire run. Bolstered by adorable cardboard cutout graphics, Yoshi may primarily target younger players, but veterans should also give this a look.
18 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
One of the more obscure entries on this list, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a niche fighting game that has amassed a small but dedicated fanbase within the eSports scene. Scheduled to hit shelves during 2018's holiday season, one cannot help worry that this type of game may end up being overshadowed by a number of other standout titles. While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is unlikely to sell-out, pre-ordering this Nintendo Switch exclusive might help convince the developer that the franchise has staying power. Who can resist supporting an underdog?
17 Cyberpunk 2077
Back in 2007, a tiny Polish studio made its debut with The Witcher, a janky but admirable RPG that quickly become rather dated. 2011's sequel was a vast improvement, but CD Projekt RED etched its name into gaming greatness with 2015's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Setting the standard for modern story-driven RPGs, the studio has proven to be among the most ambitious and progressive in the industry. Despite working only on one franchise, each entry in The Witcher stands as its own singular experience. As CD Projekt RED's next project, the level of hype surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 is nearly unprecedented and the studio deserves every ounce of support thrown its way.
16 Metro Exodus
4A Games' Metro is simply a fantastic first-person shooter series. If you have a passing interest in the genre and skipped Metro 2033 or Last Light, then we recommend rectifying this shortcoming sooner rather than later! Opting for a more open world design and far larger than its predecessors, Metro Exodus sounds almost too good to be true. With six years separating Last Light and Exodus, 4A Games' development team has wisely taken its time with the highly anticipated sequel, but we are more than willing for another excursion through post-apocalyptic Russia!
15 Valkyria Chronicles 4
As Sega's JRPG is already available in Japan, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a safer bet than most other entries included on this list. Due to the second and third games only being published on the PlayStation Portable, 2018's sequel feels like the first proper follow-up to 2008's unique tactical RPG. In an attempt to test the waters, Sega remastered the original for the current generation, but the PC version's success was presumably a vital factor in the franchise's console comeback. Valkyria Chronicles is still a niche property, but fans of the original are likely to love the fourth entry.
14 Wolfenstein: Youngblood
With Fallout 76, Rage 2, and Doom Eternal all suspected to hit relatively soon; Bethesda Softworks' lineup looks absolutely mouth-watering! Considering the sheer volume of games set to be published by the company, there is always a risk that something might slip through the cracks. For example, the Wolfenstein franchise is set to receive two new games in 2019. While Cyberpilot is a VR spin-off, Youngblood appears to be a proper sequel to 2017's enjoyable Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, although Blazkowicz's daughters are set to take over as the new protagonists.
13 Doom Eternal
2016's Doom reboot revitalized the influential FPS franchise and took the gaming community by storm. It was only a matter of time before Bethesda announced its successor, and Doom Eternal is expected to land sometime in the next two years. Featuring meticulously crafted levels and satisfying combat, Doomguy's big comeback was about as close to perfect as a reboot can get. Frankly, Doom Eternal merely needs to expand upon its predecessor's success, although id Software might not be happy to simply retread familiar ground.
12 Devil May Cry 5
For more than a decade, Capcom has been wasting Devil May Cry. Ninja Theory's reboot garnered a positive reception but split fans down the middle, while Devil May Cry 4's immaculate combat deserved to be surrounded by a more complete game. Announced during E3 2018, Devil May Cry 5's trailer required a bit of warming up to, but the initial outrage has gradually been replaced with enthusiasm. A demo was made available for Gamescom 2018, and first impressions have chiefly been rather positive.
11 Trials Rising
Ubisoft's Trials Rising is definitely not going to be for everyone, but fans of the quirky racing platforming series should be more than excited for 2019's sequel. Hard but engrossing, Trials Fusion is a thoroughly enjoyable romp that toes the line between controller-shattering frustration and unrelenting satisfaction. Developed by RedLynx and Ubisoft Kiev, Trials Rising should benefit from a lengthy development process, as Ubisoft has opted against turning this unique franchise into a yearly outing. For those searching for something a tad different, Trials Rising is a good place to start.
The optics aren't great for Amazon