As we’ve already seen in 2019, hot new games can come out of nowhere to take the gaming world by storm. But, based on what we do know about the games scheduled for release this year, there are a bunch of titles which stand out as ones which will become the most popular.
Here, we’ll be excluding the annual sports titles as they’re rarely fully new games, merely repackaging for loot boxes.
Apex Legends off to a supernova start
As if we didn’t have enough battle royale gaming going on in Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Apex Legends suddenly launched earlier in February. Within eight days, the latest free-to-play title of the buzzing genre boasted 25 million players and 2 million concurrent players. It looks to be the most complete battle royale game out there, with creators Respawn releasing it as a spin on their cult-followed Titanfall franchise. As its popularity inevitably grows, not only could it knock Fortnite off of the top spot, but it could become the most popular game of the year.
Metro goes from the underground to the sunshine
The Metro series has been a sleeper across its first two games – Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light – but the intriguing story that’s based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novels, unique setting, and superb game mechanics have enabled the series to hold and develop a die-hard fan base. Now, with Metro Exodus, the series steps out of the underground and into the sunshine, both in-game and in the eyes of the industry, with the latest edition set to be the biggest and best yet. Despite being scheduled for release on the 22nd February 2019, the game went gold on the 13th December 2018, and so its creators brought the release forward to the 15th February 2019.
A Switch title will be up there
Continuing to reinforce their innovative console with smash-hit games, Nintendo has a huge line of games set for the Nintendo Switch, ranging from artsy indies to triple-A blockbusters. This year will see so many huge games for the console that it’s difficult to say which will come out the highest. First came Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, next will be Yoshi’s Crafted World, and then Super Mario Maker 2, a new core Pokemon game, Animal Crossing, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Of all of these superb titles, due to the long wait and avid fan base, Animal Crossing will most likely be the biggest of the bunch.
Upstart browser gaming will continue to increase in popularity
As was the case with the battle royale genre, online bingo has shot up in popularity over the last year. It wasn’t long ago that the popular pastime looked to be on its way out, but then it came back in a huge way online, conveniently reintroducing the thrills of the game to everyone. Now, the best online bingo games constantly have players competing across the many types of live games, including the 0p, 6p, and big-money 50p buy-in games. This revitalised trend isn’t going anywhere in 2019 and will be one of the most popular forms of online gaming at the end of the year.
EA’s last chance with the biggest licence in the world
Despite having the coveted Star Wars licence for six years now, Electronic Arts have only produced two triple-A games and a few mobile games. Battlefront and Battlefront II were massive disappointments, with the first lacking any real depth or replay value, and the second being mired in loot box controversy and hosting a very meek story mode. So, with Respawn releasing a Single-Player Star Wars Game – under the EA banner – there is hope on the horizon. But, over the last couple of years, EA has become a much-hated entity among the gaming community, and as the movie The Last Jedi led to fans boycotting the Solo movie to the point that it flopped at the box office, the success of this game is in a shroud of mystery. A lot could depend on how Episode IX is received, or if this game, Jedi: Fallen Order, comes before the theatrical release, but if it gives Star Wars fans what they want, it certainly has a chance to become the biggest game of the year.