2018 was a fantastic year for the gaming world at large, but for PC gamers, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the best games released last year (God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2, for example) were console exclusives, and there's little chance that they'll ever receive PC ports. To make matters worse, several of the AAA titles we did get our hands on, such as Sea of Thieves, Darksiders 3, and State of Decay 2, were widely considered average at best and downright boring at worst.
It wasn't all bad, of course. Kingdom Come: Deliverance launched in February to great success, and Far Cry 5 -- despite being the fifth entry in a somewhat formulaic franchise -- managed to capture the attention of many players due to its unique setting and charismatic villains.
Other non-exclusive games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Forza Horizon 4 and Vermintide 2 were received to excellent user impressions and let's also not forget of games that received content updates and remained relevant and at the top of our minds, including GTA V and League of Legends.
The good news is, despite the hiccups of the past, the future is looking considerably brighter for PC players in 2019.
- Release Date: TBA
- Genre: Cyberpunk RPG
- Buy if you like: Blade Runner, The Witcher 3, GTA series
To say Cyberpunk 2077 is highly anticipated would be a gross understatement -- the hype for CD Projekt Red's upcoming first-person, sci-fi open-world RPG is off the charts. Based on what we've seen so far, this may be one of the few games that could live up to its fanbase's lofty expectations.
In Cyberpunk 2077, players will create their own character (complete with skill, perk, and attribute customization) and explore a densely-packed, breathtaking futuristic city. Think Blade Runner, but with more of an emphasis on the "rock 'n roll" punk lifestyle. The game aims to combine elements of several genres, including RPG, shooter, and immersive sim.
Players will be able to approach missions and encounters from a variety of different ways (both in and out of dialogue), all while upgrading their body with special ability-granting pieces of Cyberware.
Give yourself cyber legs and run on walls, double jump, and slide under barriers - or just cruise through the city in your own motorcycle or car, enjoying the atmosphere during the day or the night. The choice, CD Projekt Red promises, is yours. We don't know for sure when the game will release, but 2019 seems like a somewhat safe bet.
- Release Date: TBA 2019
- Genre: FPS, RPG
- Buy if you like: Fallout, BioShock, futuristic worlds
Obsidian's latest RPG "The Outer Worlds" could not come at a better time. It was unveiled during 2018's "The Game Awards" event, hot on the heels of the disastrous launch of Bethesda's multiplayer survival-focused Fallout 76. For fans who were disappointed after expecting Fallout 76 to be a traditional single-player, first-person Bethesda RPG, The Outer Worlds was a godsend.
Set across several gorgeous alien planets being settled by futuristic corporations, The Outer Worlds is essentially Fallout: New Vegas in space (without one large open world, however). Players will create their own unique character, befriend (but not romance) a wide array of eccentric companions who can follow them throughout the game, and play however they please.
Want to kill everyone you meet? Go for it. Feeling merciful? Talk your way through encounters or sneak by enemies instead. Perhaps best of all, The Outer Worlds won't take itself too seriously. The visuals are stylized without being over-the-top, and the game appears to be filled to the brim with a less-ridiculous version of Borderlands' humor.
- Release Date: May 23, 2019
- Genre: Historical strategy
- Buy if you like: Grand strategy, political intrigue, epic battles
Fans of strategy games are likely familiar with the Total War franchise. Developed by Creative Assembly, the series is best known for its many unique historical settings and epic, multi-hundred soldier battles. The latest entry in the franchise, Total War: Three Kingdoms, is set in a romanticized version of medieval China.
Players will recruit and command massive armies, regularly switching between overworld map city-building or diplomacy and intense strategic battles. During gameplay, you'll be taking control of various well-known lords and heroes from China's history, such as Cao Cao, Guan Yu, and Liu Bei.
Unlike other purely-historical Total War titles, Creative Assembly is pulling inspiration from their fantasy-themed Total War: Warhammer games this time around. Instead of being flanked by large "bodyguard" units, generals in Three Kingdoms will act as their own solo unit. They'll be able to take on dozens (if not hundreds) of enemy soldiers by themselves or provide their army with powerful buffs using their unique abilities.
If honor is everything to you, you can even pit your lord against an enemy's in intense, beautifully-animated 1-on-1 duels. The armies of both factions will, by default, stay out of these engagements until one character prevails or runs away.
- Release Date: September 13, 2019
- Genre: FPS, RPG
- Buy if you like: Cell-shaded graphics, post-apocalyptic mayhem, Borderlands 1 & 2
After years of waiting, fans of Gearbox Software's chaos-infused Borderlands franchise have finally seen their patience pay off. The studio announced the fourth entry in the series, Borderlands 3, at Pax East 2019. Boasting fast-paced battles, a new selection of "Vault Hunters" (the game's classes) to play as, and some outlandish-looking new environments to explore, Borderlands 3 will be an adrenaline junkie's dream.
In typical "looter shooter" fashion, Borderlands 3 is an FPS-RPG hybrid, with an emphasis on progressing your Vault Hunter's class-specific abilities and acquiring as many guns as possible. Players will be able to equip rocket launchers, revolvers, assault rifles, laser weapons, and even suit up in giant mechs as they progress through the game's post-apocalyptic world with up to three friends.
Speaking of guns, there's going to be an awful lot of them this time around: over "one billion," if the game's marketing is to be believed. Best of all, Borderlands 3 is including a "personal loot" system -- a franchise first -- which means you won't have to fight with your buddies over who gets that awesome new legendary.
- Release Date: TBA
- Genre: Survival, FPS
Buy if you like: The Walking Dead, survival games, zombie killing
If there's one video game genre that virtually every FPS gamer knows about, it's zombie survival. And much like the genre's primary antagonists, it refuses to die. However, with excellent-looking titles like Dying Light 2 on the horizon, that may not be such a bad thing.
Dying Light 2 is the sequel to 2015's Dying Light, taking its predecessors' first-person action, RPG, and parkour systems and upping the ante, bringing players to a bigger and more dangerous post-apocalyptic region simply known as "The City."
The City of Dying Light 2 is crumbling skyscraper-filled open world with violent faction conflicts (which players can choose to get involved in) and terrifying new undead archetypes around every corner. Much like the original Dying Light, Dying Light 2 will emphasize relatively safe daytime resource gathering and mission runs with intense, parkour-rich nighttime escapes from zombies who grow far stronger as the sun sets.
While it isn't promising any brand-new innovations that the first game didn't have, developer Techland is focusing on polishing up the gameplay experience in Dying Light 2 and expanding on existing systems. That means players will be able to learn new parkour moves (even tackling all-new "parkour puzzles") and make more meaningful story choices that have a real impact on the game's world.
- Release Date: 2019
- Genre: FPS
- Buy if you like: Doom franchise, Quake, heavy weapons
If Borderlands 3 is an adrenaline junkie's dream game, Doom Eternal is their wildest fantasy. The demon-slaying franchise is over two decades old now, and it's only gotten better with time. Each entry offers increasingly visceral, gory action with an arcade-y approach to combat. Strategy and tactics rarely matter, but fast-paced twitchy action and big guns always get the job done.
Doom Eternal is no different. It's the sequel to 2016's "Doom" franchise reboot, and as such, features similar visuals and a nearly-identical combat system (complete with brutal melee finishers). However, Eternal will stand out due to its new movement mechanics (such as wall climbing and dashing), several new weapons (including armor-attached flamethrowers), and the inclusion of "twice as many" demon types.
If that's not enough for you, Doom Eternal also promises to take the player to "never-before-seen" worlds, though precisely what that means is unknown.
- Release Date: 2019
- Genre: FPS
- Buy if you like: Halo games, killing aliens, space
Though technically not a new game in and of itself (the MCC launched for consoles back in 2014), Halo: The Master Chief Collection still deserves mention on this list. Recently, developer 343 Industries announced that the Collection would be coming to PC, bringing the entire Halo franchise (up until 4) to the platform for the first time. For reference, the last true Halo game to come to PC was Halo 2, and that was roughly 15 years ago.
At any rate, the MCC's games are set to release in a somewhat-staggered manner on PC throughout 2019 (Halo: Reach will be first), and they will bring a number of enhancements over their console counterparts. For example, each game will feature a progression system "inspired by" Reach, dedicated servers, revamped menus, text chat, and adjustable keybindings.
Gameplay-wise, though, the MCC's games will likely be pretty similar to how you remember them from your childhood. You'll still be slaughtering (and eventually working alongside) aliens in droves through several single-player or co-op missions and goofing off with your buddies in online competitive multiplayer. The main draw is that soon, you'll be able to do all of that with a keyboard and mouse.
- Release Date: May 14, 2019
- Genre: FPS
- Buy if you like: Borderlands, big guns, open-world chaos
If you've never heard of 2010's Rage -- a linear, post-apocalyptic FPS from id Software -- you can be forgiven for it. Though it wasn't a bad game (it even received some high review scores), a somewhat uninspired story and dull color scheme didn't make Rage exactly memorable.
The upcoming sequel, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. Rage 2 is loud, colorful, and explosive in every way, which is mostly a result of the game's new priorities: humor, chaos, and sandbox freedom. In that sense, one could argue that it's drawing inspiration from the Borderlands franchise; you need only watch Rage 2's official trailer to see some of the similarities.
However, a few thematic similarities do not a copycat make, and Rage 2 is very much its own beast.
Rage 2 will toss you into a wide-open world with diverse environments, wild mutant enemy types, and plenty of outlandish guns and vehicles to wreak havoc with. Rage 2 also gives you special "overdrive" abilities, such as a powerful-looking ground pound, a telekinetic blast, and an anti-gravity "vortex" power that sucks enemies toward its origin point.
- Release Date: November 15, 2019
- Genre: Action, Adventure
- Buy if you like: Star Wars, swinging lightsabers, using the Force
A single-player Star Wars game from EA in 2019? Be still, my beating heart. Jokes aside, Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment's latest project got an official reveal recently at Disney's annual Star Wars Celebration in the form of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The game will be a solo, microtransaction-free action-adventure title that puts players in the role of Cal Kestis after the events of Revenge of the Sith.
Kestis is the last surviving member of the Jedi Order after the "purge of Order 66." After narrowly escaping said purge, Kestis' primary goal will be to escape the Empire and its Inquisitors and eventually rebuild the Order from the ground up. You'll have to accomplish that task with only your Jedi training a trusty droid companion, and an aging former Jedi at your disposal. Oh, and you have a lightsaber, of course.
We don't know much else about Fallen Order's gameplay, as both EA and Respawn have remained fairly tight-lipped about specifics. However, E3 is mere weeks away, so we're bound to learn more then. For now, we know the combat system will feature blocking, dodging, and striking with both force powers and lightsabers -- pretty standard Star Wars fare, but exciting nonetheless.
- Release Date: 2019
- Genre: Action, RPG
- Buy if you like: Kung-Fu, mutants, post-apocalyptic worlds
Described as an "open-world, post-apocalyptic, Kung-Fu fable RPG" by developer Experiment 101, Biomutant is easily one of the most unusual games we've ever seen. Everything from its adorable-yet-dangerous-looking mutant NPCs and enemies to its vibrant, lush world seems wholly unique.
This appears to be evident right from the start when you create your own personalized mutant character. Your mutant's overall appearance (including its fur color and length) will change depending on the stats and traits you choose for them. For example, if you focus on strength, your mutant will get bulkier, whereas if you opt for charisma or agility, you'll be looking at a slimmer body type.
Biomutant's combat system could almost be considered a character in and of itself. It's incredibly varied, both in terms of weapon types and combat maneuvers. You'll be able to generate a large ball of mucus around you so you can bowl through enemies, pick them up and slap them around like a fish, or shoot them with a grappling hook launcher for a lightning-fast kick to the face.
Though it doesn't have quite the same massive following that some of the other games on this list boast, we're still excited to see how Biomutant plays when it launches sometime this year.