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Games that will blow you away in 2020

They say that good things come to those who wait. In that case, these games are going to be pretty darn spectacular. Multi-year development cycles are pretty common in the video game industry — games are hard to make, after all, and creating a truly great game takes a lot of time — but fans have been looking forward to the following titles for quite a while.

But the shape of 2020 is coming into focus, and it's looking gorgeous. With the next generation around the corner, many of these upcoming games represent the swan songs of their various platforms. But now that developers have figured out the current gen down to the last molecule, expect these games to squeeze every last ounce of power out of them, and possibly redefine how we even thought of them.

Here are the best games coming out in 2020.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps - Feb. 11

You don't need cutting-edge 3D graphics to create a beautiful game. Just look at Ori and the Blind Forest. At this point, development of Moon Studios' sidescrolling Metroidvania started over seven years ago, and yet the game still looks better than almost anything else on the market, modern or otherwise.

Somehow, its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, looks even better. The game's overall sense of style is roughly the same, but Ori's moody natural environments and mysterious creatures are even more vivid and detailed than before, making the plucky little forest spirit's world feel more vibrant than ever. Ori's platforming elements seem to be just as tight and compelling as they were the first time around, too.

Oh, and did we mention that Ori has an adorable owl pal this time around, too? It's almost too charming to handle. We can't wait to see what other surprises Moon Studios has in store for Ori and the Will of the Wisps' 2020 debut.

Gods & Monsters - Feb. 25

Like most big game publishers, Ubisoft has a reliable stable of established franchises that it tends to cycle through. Gods & Monsters, on the other hand, is brand new — to a point, anyway. The "storybook adventure" game clearly take a lot of cues, at least visually, from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with some of Nintendo's Kid Icarus thrown in for good measure.

The biggest influence on Gods & Monsters, however, might actually be Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, which also played with ancient Greek mythology. In fact, at E3 2019, Ubisoft confirmed that Gods & Monsters was created by the people behind Odyssey and was inspired by what they learned while making that game. Accordingly, it's an open-world adventure in which you play as a forgotten Greek hero who's on a mission to help the gods reclaim their powers. You'll do so with the help of your bow, your sword, and your telekinetic powers.

So far, Ubisoft has only unveiled a cinematic trailer, so it's possible that Gods & Monsters will change before release. It doesn't need to. Zelda with monsters from Greek mythology? We've already signed up.

The Last of Us Part 2 - Feb. 28

If you thought that Joel's journey in The Last of Us was brutal, you ain't seen nothin' yet. In The Last of Us Part 2, a direct sequel to Naughty Dog's award-winning action-adventure game, Joel's teenage charge, Ellie, takes center stage for a story that looks even more harrowing than the series' inaugural outing.

We're not kidding around. One of The Last of Us Part 2's early teasers kicked off with a woman getting strung up by the neck in advance of being gutted while her allies' arms are smashed with a hammer. It's just as gruesome as it sounds, and later promotional materials make it look like Ellie's experience will be just as harrowing — and we haven't even gotten to Ellie's new love interest, who looks like she meets a dour fate in The Last of Us Part 2's release date reveal video.

The Last of Us Part 2 will also ramp up the original's tense, survival-game style combat, and introduce a bunch of new characters and post-apocalyptic settings to explore. At least some familiar faces will be there to guide us through the horror: both Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson return as Joel and Ellie, respectively, while series creator Neil Druckmann is back as co-writer and co-director.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake - March 3

At long last, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is coming. Well, part of it is: at E3 2019, Final Fantasy 7 director Yoshinori Kitase confirmed that the first episode of Final Fantasy 7 Remake fills two Blu-ray discs' worth of content, and yet only takes Final Fantasy 7 Remake through Midgar, the original game's opening area.

Kitase doesn't know how many more games it will take to finish the whole story, nor how long they'll take to make. We'll play the first part anyway. Final Fantasy 7 Remake's battle system, which looks like a mash-up of Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy 15, and Final Fantasy 7's turn-based battles, works surprisingly well, and seeing Square Enix's most beloved characters rendered in such loving detail never gets old.

So, yeah, it's disappointing that we won't be able to re-acquaint ourselves with Cid and Yuffie quite yet, and that Final Fantasy 7's big plot twist — you know the one — is still years away. Still, Midgar is arguably Final Fantasy 7's best setting, and it's going to be great to get to know it a whole lot better. We just hope the rest of the story isn't too far off. We've been waiting long enough.

Watch Dogs: Legion - March 6

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs franchise has always been wildly ambitious, but it has also struggled to live up to its lofty goals. As a result, you can understand why some people are skeptical of Watch Dogs: Legion's big hook. Ubisoft claims that the game will let you recruit and play as any person in Legion's dystopian take on post-Brexit London, with the storyline adjusting accordingly.

Maybe that's too good to be true, but so far it looks like Watch Dogs: Legion will live up to the hype. Hands-on reports say that identifying and recruiting agents is just as fun as it sounds. Once you have a character on your roster, you'll need to use them carefully, too. Every character has a different skillset — some are good at hacking, for example, while others defeat foes through brute force — which opens up a variety of different ways to handle missions, but if they die they're gone for good.

Ubisoft knows how to make open-world games, and Watch Dogs 2 was a big step forward, so stay cautiously optimistic. If Legion works, it could be 2020's most impressive game. Besides, you can be a murder grandma. Who doesn't want that?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - March 20

In most Animal Crossing games, your avatar moves in to an established village that's already full of houses to explore and critters to meet. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you start with nothing. That's just one of the ways that New Horizons, the first true Animal Crossing title for the Nintendo Switch, is shaking up the series' long-established formula — but it's far from the only one.

Now, you can place your furniture outdoors. You can create a character with any skin color that you want, without resorting to weird "tanning" hacks. Instead of buying furniture, you can make your own using New Horizons' fully-featured crafting system — assuming that you've already gathered the right materials, of course. It has true multiplayer co-op that supports up to eight people at a time. It has an in-game cellphone, with which you can earn "Nook miles" by completing tasks, giving you rewards for doing things that previous games would've ignored.

And that's just the beginning. Animal Crossing is designed to last for years, and it should take us a while to discover everything that New Horizons has to offer. Honestly? We wouldn't have it any other way.

Doom Eternal - March 20

Doom didn't really need rescuing — 26 years after launch, its co-creator is still producing content for the original game — but 2016's reboot was a welcome addition anyway. id Software's modern take on its flagship franchise preserved all of the speedy brutality that made Doom an international sensation and added a few new wrinkles along the way. In Doom, you only get needed rewards like health and ammo if you're ultra aggressive. Either you take the fight to the demons, or you don't play at all.

Want more? You're getting more. Doom Eternal doesn't radically upend its predecessor's formula, although new gimmicks like zero-gravity environments and a grappling hook that propels you towards enemies for fast and brutal close-up kills should create even more opportunities to unleash carnage and chaos on Hell's unsuspecting forces. Besides, Doom Eternal is giving us new multiplayer modes, including Battlemode, which pits two player-controlled demons against a lone space marine.

Or, to put it another way: it's id doing what id does best. The company has been making Doom for a quarter of a century. Judging by everything we've seen, it has another hit on its blood-soaked hands.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - March 2020

If there has ever been a flawed masterpiece in video games, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is it. Released on PC in 2004, Bloodlines was praised for its script and its narrative design, which flooded players with meaningful and interesting choices, tackled adult topics like sex and death with actual maturity, and introduced fans to realistic, well-written characters. It's also, unfortunately, a technical mess, and it sold poorly, ultimately driving its developer out of business.

Still, over the past 15 years, Bloodlines has become a cult favorite among RPG fans, making a sequel an easy proposition. Even better, developer Hardsuit Labs seems like they're doing Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 right. The company has enlisted writer Brian Mistoda, who worked on the first game, to tell a new story about a newly turned creature of the night in Seattle. As in the first game, you'll have to navigate your afterlife while trying to keep your very existence a secret — but this is 2020. Camera phones and surveillance equipment are everywhere, and staying off of the radar is easier said than done.

You won't be making this journey alone, either. Bloodlines 2 is set just after an event called the Mass Embrace, during which Seattle's vamps bit a whole bunch of people and created a horde of so-called Thin-Bloods, while the supernatural community's age-old clans continue to battle for supremacy. Get ready. When 2020 rolls around, you would-be vampires are going to have your work cut out for you.

Conan Chop Chop - Q1 2020

It started as a joke. On April 1, 2019, Funcom dropped a trailer for its "next big Conan game." That game was called Conan Chop Chop, and it reduced Robert E. Howard's hulking barbarian into a cute widdle stick figure, who pranced around the screen killing enemies with a sword almost as big as he is.

It was a prank, but it was a nice change of pace after years of Funcom's grim (and notably janky) Conan games. The internet let the company know. And so, Funcom did the only thing it really could: it made Conan Chop Chop real. Australian developer Mighty Kingdom is handling the heavy lifting, which includes bringing Conan and three of his allies to life in super-minimalistic form.

Mighty Kingdom warns that while Conan Chop Chop might be humorous — and it's undeniably adorable — they're treating it like a real game. That means a fully functional roguelike environment and plenty of challenging hack n' slash combat. Thankfully, if Hyperborea proves too challenging for you, you can bring help: Conan Chop Chop supports four-person multiplayer. Clearly, Mighty Kingdom knows what's best in life.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Quarantine - Early 2020

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, the latest entry in Ubisoft's series of tactical multiplayer shooters, is going strong four years after release. So, now that it's time for a sequel, how can Ubisoft make the new game special without cannibalizing its existing player base? Easy: make the goals less competitive and more cooperative, and add monsters.

Rainbow Six: Quarantine is inspired by Siege's limited-time Outbreak event, but it's not an expansion. It's a stand-alone title. In it, teams of three government operatives will team up to take on an alien parasite that threatens all of humanity. It's a pretty far out there premise, even for Ubisoft's increasingly sci-fi-oriented Tom Clancy franchise, but Quarantine's first trailer does give us some major Dead Space and Prey vibes. That's a good thing.

Ubisoft hopes that Rainbow Six: Quarantine will do for player-versus-environment co-op what Siege did for PVP. It certainly has an excellent foundation to build on, and Ubisoft has learned a lot since Siege's rocky launch. Stay tuned for more very soon.

Nioh 2 - Early 2020

Before Ghosts of Tsushima, before Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and a mere week before For Honor, Nioh brought feudal Japanese action to consoles around the world. In 2019, Team Ninja hopes to recapture its past glory with Nioh 2, which will return players to Japan for another dose of punishing, Dark Souls-style combat.

That's good news for fans of the first game, and if you liked Nioh, expect more of the same. Team Ninja doesn't expect the sequel to diverge much from the original blueprint. That's fine with us. There are a few small alterations coming, of course. Nioh 2 will ship with a fully-fledged character creator, meaning that, this time, the main character's looks and personality are in your hands. Deaths will be "more satisfying," whatever that means. Oh, it's also going to be hard. Creative director Tom Lee says, "This time around, the gloves are off," so, y'know. Watch out.

Cyberpunk 2077 - April 16

CD Projekt Red hasn't said a whole lot about Cyberpunk 2077. We know that the game has been in development since at least 2012 and that it's a spin-off of Cyberpunk 2020, a pen-and-paper role-playing game. We know it's set in a sprawling and wide-open metropolis called Night City and its characters will speak multiple languages. If you want to know what everyone is saying, you'll either need to buy in-game translator implants, or load up on language courses at the local community college. Players will be able to experience other characters' memories using something called a "Braindance," and there'll be a Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer mode in addition to the single-player storyline.

Cyberpunk 2077 is supposed to be a number of orders of magnitude bigger than the developer's last game, The Witcher 3, but should also be just as densely packed with stories to experience, characters to meet, and things to do. That's a big undertaking, which is probably why over 400 people are currently working on the game. Cyberpunk 2077 sounds incredibly ambitious, but as The Witcher 3 proves, CD Projekt Red knows what it's doing. It's hard to follow up one of the greatest games of all time, but if any studio can do it, it's CD Projekt Red. Don't worry. They've got things under control.

Trials of Mana - April 24

It took 24 years for the sequel to Secret of Mana to reach the United States. Now that it's here, we're getting two different versions. With Collection of Mana, you can play the Super NES original in English, in America, for the first time ever (officially, anyway). If you'd rather play something a more modern, Square Enix has you covered, too: Trials of Mana is getting a 3D remake, and it's only a few months away.

Don't let 2018's lackluster Secret of Mana remake scare you off, either. Square Enix has learned from its mistakes. The Trials of Mana remake is a brand new game that shares a story with the original, but little else. The combat system has been totally revamped, the minimap now has waypoints to help track quest objectives, and the world map is full of new secrets to discover.

Narratively, Trials of Mana is interesting, too: as in the original game, you choose three characters (from six) when you begin, and your party's interpersonal relationships change based on who you select. It's been a long, long time since Square Enix delivered a legitimately good Mana title. In 2020, the series returns to form.

Genshin Impact - Spring 2020

Yes, at first glance Genshin Impact looks a lot like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but don't go smashing your PlayStation 4 just yet. Once you get beyond the similarities — and, to be fair, there are many of them — you'll find that Genshin Impact differs from the Switch's flagship title in a few key ways. 

Its combat is much faster, with a bigger focus on action. In Genshin Impact, you can switch characters, and its all-female cast should be a boon to players who dream of playing Breath of the Wild as Zelda. Genshin Impact looks like it'll have a more plot than Zelda, too, which should give you a good reason to venture out into the wilderness and explore.

Besides, Genshin Impact is coming to the PlayStation 4, PC, and mobile devices, none of which can play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (not legally, anyway). If you don't have a Switch, Genshin Impact is the closest you're going to get to Nintendo's masterpiece. Hey, it's better than nothing.

Minecraft: Dungeons - Spring 2020

Minecraft won't ever get a sequel. Quite frankly, it doesn't need one. Spin-offs, though? Keep 'em coming. In 2015, Mojang and Telltale Games teamed up to give the blocky sandbox title a plot — kind of, anyway — with Minecraft: Story Mode, an episodic narrative adventure, while in 2019 Minecraft is going old-school. Minecraft: Dungeons might look like another voxel-based building game, but it's really a retro-style dungeon crawler, complete with young men and fair maidens to rescue, waves of monsters to defeat, and plenty of loot to collect.

Mojang promises that Minecraft: Dungeons will be full of new content. Even if you're an experienced Minecraft player, Dungeons will introduce you to environments, mobs, and items that you've never seen before. Everything still has that good, voxel-y Minecraft flavor, though. As Mojang explains, Minecraft: Dungeons' combat system is the same one that Minecraft players have been enjoying for close to a decade. If you, like many others, prefer to play Minecraft with friends, you can do that here, too. Minecraft: Dungeons supports parties of up to four players, and will reward groups with bigger and better items that scale accordingly.

Even if retro-style dungeon crawlers aren't your thing, keep your fingers crossed that Minecraft: Dungeons delivers. Mojang says that the action-RPG is just the first of many Minecraft-themed titles in development, and we can't wait to see what shows up next.

Wasteland 3 - Spring 2020

It took 26 years for Wasteland, the late '80s role-playing game that inspired Fallout and its sequels, to get an official follow-up. Wasteland 3 is arriving a lot faster. Unlike modern Fallout titles, which combine role-playing games with a healthy dose of first-person shooting, Wasteland 3 takes place from a top-down perspective and features turn-based tactical combat. Don't let that scare you off. Every choice you make in Wasteland 3 matters, including how you position your troops and which weapons you use to battle your foes.

Thankfully, you won't be battling through Wasteland 3's apocalypse alone. As you work to strengthen your home base, both player-created characters and NPCs will help you gather supplies and fight off baddies. A brand new dialogue system, featuring writing from the team behind Torment: Tides of Numeria, promises to give you the deepest and most personalized Wasteland adventure yet. You can even play with a friend. Wasteland 3 comes with a complete multiplayer campaign in which you and a buddy lead separate squads on missions — but story choices still affect both teams, so make sure your travelling companion is trustworthy.

Meanwhile, Wasteland 3's setting is brand new. Instead of venturing through an arid, radioactive desert, Wasteland 3 plunges you into snow-covered, post-apocalyptic Colorado, where you're just as likely to freeze to death as meet your demise at the wrong end of a gun. Developer InXile's boss, Brian Fargo, plans on retiring once Wasteland 3 ships, ending an almost 40-year-long game industry career. 

"It seems like a good time to drop the mic," Fargo says, so get excited. From all indications, he's planning to go out with a bang.

Marvel's Avengers - May 15

Here's what we know about Marvel's Avengers: it comes out in May 2020. It has Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, and the Hulk as playable characters (sorry, Hawkeye). It stars some of the best-known voice actors in the game industry. It features an original plotline, which sees the Avengers fall from grace after a mission goes bad, and it'll be updated regularly after release. All new heroes will be free.

Here's what we don't know: what it actually is. E3 2019 demos confirmed that the game would be a third-person action title. Comments from staffers indicate that Avengers will be a live-services title like Destiny or The Division, albeit one with a bigger focus on story. Does that mean that we'll be able to grind either solo or with friends to earn new gear, alternate costumes, and stat upgrades? It sure sounds like it.

Yeah, Avengers doesn't look amazing, but Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot was great. We're reserving judgement until we know more. The dearly departed Diablo-like MMO Marvel Heroes was pretty cool, after all. A higher-budget, story-driven take on that general concept? Yeah, we'll assemble for that.

Empire of Sin - Late 2020

Designers Brenda and John Romero are as close as it gets to video game royalty. As a tester, writer, and game designer, Brenda helped make Wizardry one of the most important role-playing game franchises of all time. John co-created Doom. When the husband-wife duo announce that they're making a new game, you better pay attention.

Empire of Sin is set in Chicago during Prohibition and charges you with taking over the city's criminal underworld by 1933, when the 21st Amendment makes booze legal again. In order to do so, you'll take the role of a mob boss — most of whom are inspired by real people — and recruit from a pool of 60 underlings to establish underground casinos, brothels, distilleries, and speakeasies. Combat against rival gangs unfolds as turn-based, XCOM-inspired tactical battles, and your underlings' personalities affect how shootouts unfold.

Brenda Romero has wanted to make this game for 20 years, and publisher Paradox Interactive specializes in strategy-heavy historical simulations. Empire of Sin could be the best strategy game of 2020. All the pieces are there. The Romeros just need to put it all together. History suggests they very much will.

Avatar - Late 2020

Remember Avatar, the James Cameron movie that also happens to be the highest-grossing movie of all time? If not, you're not alone. Avatar might've made bank at the box office, but it hasn't really had much of a lasting impact. That's not stopping Cameron from producing a whole mess of sequels, however, or video game publisher Ubisoft from getting to work on another Avatar tie-in.

Ubisoft's new Avatar game will run on the company's Snowdrop Engine, which currently powers The Division, and is being presented as a companion to the new films, not a direct adaptation. At the very least, Pandora's lush jungles seem like fertile ground for the kind of open-world adventure games that Ubisoft is known for, and while the company didn't quite nail their first attempt, there's no harm in trying again.

Just don't expect to get your hands on Avatar any time soon. Ubisoft says that the game won't launch before the company's 2021 fiscal year (which begins on April 1, 2020, because accounting is weird), and that the release date will, ideally, be tied to one of the Avatar sequels' theatrical releases. Given that Avatar 2 currently has a December 18, 2020 release date — and that assumes that it's not delayed again — it seems like a turn of the decade arrival is optimistic at best.

Halo Infinite - Holiday 2020

What if you spent your whole life fighting a war, only to wake up one day to learn that you'd lost? That seems to be the premise behind Halo Infinite, which closed out Microsoft's E3 2019 with a plot-heavy trailer. No, we didn't see any gameplay, but, c'mon, it's Halo. We already know what that means: a first-person sci-fi shooter with a story-based campaign, along with some of the most compelling multiplayer in the business.

What we're more curious about is how Halo Infinite will take advantage of Microsoft's new console, codenamed Xbox Scarlett. As a Scarlett launch title (although it's coming to Xbox One and PC, too), Halo Infinite seems like the perfect place for Microsoft to show off what the device is capable of. We know that Xbox Scarlett will drastically reduce load times, that it has some ultra-powerful hardware under the hood, and that it's optimized for game streaming and the Xbox Game Pass.

That's all cool stuff, but none of it is a system-seller — yet. If Microsoft can trust anyone to bring the heat, it's Master Chief. The war with the Covenant is over, right? Chief has to find something to do.

A Total War Saga: Troy - TBD

In 2019, the Total War franchise flirted with fiction with Total War: Three Kingdoms, which had a mode based on the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In 2020, it's going full-on mythological. Total War Saga: Troy claims to "uncover the truth behind Homer's Iliad." There's the catch: there's very little evidence that the Trojan War ever actually happened.

That's not going to stop Creative Assembly from trying to make Total War Saga: Troy realistic. The Iliad's most famous characters, including Achilles and Hector, will appear in the game, and Homer's epic poem gives the campaign its basic structure. Otherwise, Creative Assembly is trying to make a game that's as historically accurate as possible. Your soldiers can pray to the gods and get bonuses, for example, but it's not clear if anyone is actually listening.

Naturally, you can expect Total War Saga: Troy to contain the same mix of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics that Total War is known for, streamlined in the same way that Thrones of Britannia and Fall of the Samurai were. Troy won't span an entire era, but it'll be epic just the same. Anything less would do the source material a disservice.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 - TBD

Creator Michel Ancel never envisioned his 2003 action-adventure game Beyond Good & Evil as a one-and-done deal. It was supposed to be the first part of a trilogy, kicking off a brand new franchise that Ubisoft could exploit for years and years to come. Then, the disappointing sales happened. Beyond Good & Evil has gone on to become a minor cult classic, but it deserved better. In fact, Ubisoft's North American executive director, Laurent Detoc, says that the game's failure is still his biggest mistake, business-wise.

Still, the fans who love Beyond Good & Evil — and there are quite a few — have been clamoring for a follow-up for ages. Ubisoft promised one back in 2008, and then went silent. It took almost a decade to learn more, but as of E3 2018, we know the following: Beyond Good & Evil 2 is a prequel (although the first game's hero, Jade, will still appear), features an open world and custom-made characters, will allow players to explore numerous planets, and, going off of the trailers, is certifiably bonkers.

It also won't be out for a while. Ubisoft says that it's hoping to get a Beyond Good & Evil 2 beta ready for fans by "the end of" 2019. That means that the full game won't be ready for mass consumption until 2020 at the earliest, and that's assuming that Ancel's team hits all of their deadlines. As Beyond Good & Evil 2's past history shows, that's much easier said than done.

Dual Universe - TBD

Dual Universe's alpha, which is open to Kickstarter backers, begins in November 2018, but the full game isn't scheduled to release until late 2020 — and that's if everything goes according to plan. Why's it taking so long? Just look at the game's feature list. If developer NovaQuark can deliver what its promising, Dual Universe should be very, very cool. At the very least, it's remarkably ambitious.

Too ambitious, perhaps. Like No Man's Sky, Dual Universe takes place in a procedurally-generated universe. Like EVE Online, it's an interstellar sandbox driven by players. Governments, corporations, and the economy? NovaQuark is leaving it all up to you. In addition, Dual Universe has a Minecraft-style voxel-based crafting and building system that'll let you make more or less whatever you want, and a Star Citizen-like blend of first-person and interstellar combat. In-game devices are programmable via LUA script, meaning that tech-savvy players will be able to create artificial intelligences and low-key mini-games.

Oh, and by the way: Dual Universe is a massively multiplayer online game in which all the players live on the same server. No shards. No instances. Everyone is in it together. If this all sounds too good to be true, well, maybe it is. If it isn't, though … well, 2020 seems awfully far away.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - TBD

Microsoft Flight Simulator was never sexy, but don't dismiss it as a niche title. It was published continuously from 1982 to 2006 and sold millions of copies along the way. Microsoft Flight Simulator's community is still thriving, too. You can understand why Microsoft decided to bring it back.

This isn't your daddy's Flight Simulator, though. While the old one was strictly a PC game, the new edition will also arrive on the Xbox One. More importantly, it looks amazing. The new edition of Flight Simulator sports 4K graphics that are so detailed that Microsoft reps worried that people wouldn't believe that its trailer was made from in-game footage. Microsoft also claims that it's leveraging two petrabytes worth of data, as well as its Azure AI system, to make Flight Simulator's world as realistic as possible. From what we've seen, we believe it.

Microsoft Flight Simulator won't be for everyone — it's complex and doggedly realistic, and its charms lie mostly in cruising around and taking in the scenery — but if you're one of Flight Simulator's legions of fans, its time to celebrate. The king is back.

Diablo 4 - TBD

You know it's coming. We know it's coming. Blizzard sure as hell knows that it's coming. The BlizzCon 2018 keynote might've ended with Diablo: Immortal's controversial reveal, and not Diablo 4 like fans had hoped, but c'mon. Blizzard responded to the Immortal backlash by confirming that there are multiple Diablo projects in development. Kotaku confirmed that a Diablo 4 promotional video was produced, although it wasn't shown at the convention (and, according to some reports, wasn't ever supposed to be). Blizzard job listings are full of Diablo references, and not just for Immortal. Clearly, something is in the works.

It's just not clear when we'll see it. Diablo 3 is only seven years old, it's still coming to new platforms (Diablo 3 hit the Switch as recently as fall 2018), and it's still receiving regular updates. Besides, there was a 12-year gap between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. As far as Diablo 4 is concerned, the time still isn't right. Blizzard's games are great for many reasons, but a big one is that the company doesn't rush its products through development. They're ready when they're ready, and not a second sooner.

It'll be here eventually, though. Loot-hungry action-RPG fans are just going to have to wait. In the meantime, check out Torchlight: Frontiers and Path of Exiles. Those should help tide you over — at least until the real deal arrives.

Starfield - TBD

Bethesda revealed its next big single-player role-playing game, Starfield, at E3 2018. The company didn't share a whole lot of information — the brief announce trailer isn't much more than a planet, a distant space station, and a logo — journalists and fans have managed to uncover together a few pieces of information. In short: Starfield sounds really, really good.

Starfield will have sci-fi trappings. It's Bethesda Softworks' first new intellectual property in a quarter century. While Starfield's setting might be new, the game reportedly stays true to the "publisher's role-playing foundation," offering players an open world to explore and the freedom to make choices as they see fit. In other words, if you've played the later Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, you're going to get more of the same.

Similarly, while Bethesda hasn't said when Starfield is coming out, it's possible to make an educated guess based on the existing facts. Bethesda tends to work on only a few games at a time, and as of Starfield's announcement, they're still perfecting Fallout 76, which arrives much sooner. Bethesda's Todd Howard also hinted that Starfield may not launch until the next console generation, which would put it at 2020 at the earliest. That might feel like a long time, but it's been 25 years since Bethesda created a new franchise. You can wait just a little bit longer.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel - TBD

Forget Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem. After Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation, people were only talking about one thing: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel. Nintendo didn't reveal a title, or a release date, or any plot information. It didn't matter. The Breath of the Wild sequel stole the show anyway.

Since then, fans have analyzed every frame of Nintendo's Breath of the Wild sequel trailer for clues. Zelda can be seen adventuring alongside Link sporting a stylish, shorter hairdo, leading many to assume that she'll be a playable character. A mummy featured in the video looks a lot like Ganondorf. People think they've caught glimpses of the Twilight Mirror in a few shots, and it sure looks like Link is infected by an old, ancient evil. That can't be good.

Meanwhile, series producer Eiji Aonuma claims that the sequel will be darker than Majora's Mask, the creepiest game in the Zelda series, and might be influenced by games like Skyrim and Red Dead Redemption. The next chapter of the Breath of the Wild saga is probably years away. If it's even half as good as the original, we're willing to wait.

Psychonauts 2 - TBD

It's hard to describe what makes Psychonauts so special. It's not just the premise, which throws a bunch of psychic-powered kids into an otherwise normal summer camp, mixing up superpowered-shenanigans with all kinds of cartoony teen angst. It's not just the inventive levels, which use the environment itself to explore Psychonauts' quirky characters. It's not just Psychonauts' weird sense of humor, and it's certainly not the game's sales — these days, Psychonauts is a cult classic, but it absolutely bombed at release.

Psychonauts is all of that combined, and it's no wonder that fans have been clamoring for a sequel for a decade and a half. In 2019, they're finally getting one. Back in 2015, players hungry for more Psychonauts contributed almost $4 million to help fund the long-awaited sequel, and if developer Double Fine follows through on its promises, it looks like Psychonauts 2 will be worth the wait.

As in the first game, you'll play through the game as Raz, the freshly-minted Psychonaut agent who uses abilities like telekinesis and pyrokinesis to solve puzzles and tackle platforming challenges. The summer camp is gone, but many of its occupants will return, including Raz's girlfriend Lili. You'll still be diving into the minds of various agents in order to unravel the mysteries hidden in their psyches, but you'll also learn more about Raz and his unique family. Obviously, the graphics will be better than in the last Psychonauts, and the 3D platforming is getting some much-needed tweaks, but all in all Psychonauts 2 is simply going to be more Psychonauts. That's great news, and it's about time.

Bayonetta 3 - TBD

A catsuit-clad, lollipop-sucking witch who loses her clothing when she attacks seems like a weird mascot for family-friendly Nintendo, but then there's nothing normal about Bayonetta. The glammed up, hair-flinging action hero might've been designed as creator Hideki Kamiya's "ideal woman," but don't let the Bayonetta series' fanservice-heavy presentation turn you off. It's more style than sleaze, and besides, there's a vastly compelling action game lurking underneath all that camp.

If you've never played Bayonetta 1 or 2 or you only know her from her role in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, here's a little bit of what you can expect in Bayonetta 3: High heels that double as guns. Arms-dealing bartenders. Weapons named after classic folk ballads. Shape-shifting powers. Hordes of demons. Levels inspired by Dante's Inferno, of all things — the work of classic literature, not the polarizing video game adaptation.

It's basically Devil May Cry with the absurdity (and sex appeal) cranked up to 11, and it's glorious. Not that we'd expect anything less from PlatinumGames. Fast-paced madness is Platinum's bread and butter, as evidenced in games like Mad World, Vanquish, and NieR: Automata. We're not sure when the Switch-exclusive Bayonetta 3 will see the light of day, but we can understand why Nintendo would want to be in the Bayonetta business. We do, too.

Ghost Of Tsushima - TBD

There are two games on the horizon set in feudal Japan. One, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a third-person action adventure game by FromSoftware, the people who brought you Dark Souls. The other, Ghost Of Tsushima is a third-person action adventure game by Sucker Punch, the people who brought you Sly Cooper and Infamous. Both combine stealth with more straightforward action. Both put a big premium on swordplay. Both feature grappling hooks.

Confused yet? Here are a couple of ways to keep the two games apart. While Sekiro seems to be a relatively linear experience, Ghost of Tsushima is an open-world game. Sekiro is set in a stylized, surreal world with few links to reality. Ghost of Tsushima goes out of its way to be as realistic as possible, to the point where Sucker Punch hired a "historical sword-fighting expert" to make sure that the combat was kosher, and took a trip to Japan just to record native bird songs. When playing Ghost of Tsushima, you can even switch the dialogue to Japanese-only (with English subtitles) to squeeze out a little more historical accuracy.

The biggest difference between the two games, though? While Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a firm March 2019 release date, Ghost of Tsushima is still a ways away. That's probably for the best. Both games look great, and we'd hate to see Ghost of Tsushima get lost in all of Sekiro's Souls-fueled hype. Best to keep them far apart. That way, it'll be easier to enjoy both.

Persona 5 Scramble - TBD

When Nintendo revealed that Joker was coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, fans assumed that his flagship game, Persona 5, was headed to Nintendo's red-hot console as well. Their hopes seemed all but confirmed just a few weeks later, when a mysterious Switch game called Persona 5 S snuck onto Atlus' release schedule. "S" as in "Switch." Get it?

Well, surprise! Persona 5 S isn't a Persona 5 port at all. It's a spinoff called Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers. While the core Persona games mix dungeon-crawling with social simulation, Persona 5 Scramble is an action game that puts Joker and the rest of Persona 5's heroes against never-ending hordes of enemies, which they can decimate with their of flashy powers. If the trailer looks kind of familiar, there's probably a good reason for that, too: Persona 5 Scramble is developed by Omega Force, the company that makes Dynasty Warriors and spinoffs like Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes, and it doesn't look like the studio is venturing too far from its roots.

The Persona series has a long history of popular and quirky spinoffs and there's no reason to think that Persona 5 Scramble won't be one of them. Atlus hasn't confirmed a Western release for Persona 5 Scramble just yet, but given the franchise's rising profile on these shores, we're guessing it's only a matter of time. And hey, at least Scramble is a real surprise. We never saw it coming.

Skull & Bones - TBD

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is one of the best Assassin's Creed games ever made thanks almost entirely to its pirate theme, which let Ubisoft's developers take Assassin Creed III's well-received ship sections and bring them to the next level. In fact, Black Flag's naval battles are so fun that Ubisoft decided to give them their own game. It's called Skull & Bones, and it looks great.

Want to hit the seas solo and build a pirate empire all by your lonesome? You can. Despite the focus on epic five-on-five sea fights during Skull & Bones' big reveal, the game will have a dedicated single-player campaign. Even better, the solo missions will be fully integrated with Skull & Bones' multiplayer content. Basically, Skull & Bones will have something for everyone, no matter whether or not their friends are online or how they like to play.

It'll also have a whole fleet of different ships and an arsenal full of weapons like cannons, mortars, and rockets to choose from. You'll be able to board other people's ships, conquer enemy territory, and scour the Indian Ocean for hidden treasure. All that, and Skull & Bones will constantly improve, too. Ubisoft Singapore says its been listening to fans since the game entered development, and plans to keep that back-and-forth going for as long as possible.

If you want to live out all of your swashbuckling dreams, and find Sea of Thieves just a little too cartoony? Skull & Bones is for you.

Spelunky 2 - TBD

Yes, we're getting a legitimate Spelunky sequel. That's all you really need to know. In 2008, Derek Yu's free, procedurally-generated platformer arrived and helped kick off the indie 2D platformer renaissance, making roguelikes (or, at the very least, roguelike-likes) into a major thing. Now, Yu, Mossmouth, and Blitworks want to give us more? All we have to say is: yes, please.

Spelunky 2 isn't just more of the same, although honestly, we'd be pretty okay if it was. It's got a new hero in Ana Spelunky, the daughter of the original's iconic lead. Levels will be split into two "layers," adding a third dimension to exploration (don't worry, though: all movement still takes place on a 2D plane). New liquid physics make transversing Spelunky 2's underground labyrinths more fun — and dangerous — before, and Yu promises that Spelunky 2's levels will feel more interconnected, interesting, and polished than before.

If you're a Spelunky veteran, Yu hopes that you'll be able to jump right in and pick up where you left off. Spelunky 2 should be more friendly for newcomers, too, although if you haven't played the original yet, you've still got some time before Spelunky 2's 2019 release rolls around. Like we said, the game is free. Why wouldn't you give it a shot?

Disintegration - TBD

You know who knows a little something about making best-selling, crowd-pleasing first-person shooters? Marcus Lehto. The former Bungie creative director didn't just work on Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo: Reach. He's credited with co-creating the entire Halo universe. If you've enjoyed the Halo games, novels, comics, or any of the other spin-offs, you have Lehto to thank.

So, yeah, it's exciting that Lehto is back with a brand new, wholly original franchise. It's even better that Disintegration looks like a worthy Halo follow-up. Disintegration takes place in a world where human brains have been implanted into robot bodies and stars Romer Shoal, a rebel who's struggling to maintain the last vestiges of his humanity. As Shoal, you'll face down mechanical opponents in a quest to "reboot humanity." Expect a whole lot of shooting.

Shoal isn't your typical FPS star, though. As a former Gravcycle pilot, Shoal is just as at home on a vehicle as he is on foot, which will help mix up Disintegration's run-and-gun gameplay. Shoal doesn't fight alone, either, and you'll need to give orders to your fellow freedom fighters, giving Disintegration a tactical element. Watch out, Master Chief: Romer Shoal is coming for you.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Yakuza 7) - TBD

It took almost 15 years, but thanks to the one-two punch of Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami, Sega's long-running series has finally broken through in the West. Now that Yakuza is a global sensation, what's next? Why, changing it completely, of course.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon isn't an action-heavy brawler. It's a turn-based RPG. Yep, that's right: instead of punching, kicking, or throwing your opponents directly, you'll select your moves from a menu. The action doesn't stop during combat: pedestrians will go about their business as you fight, and characters involved in combat will move around, making positioning a key strategic element. Still, the move to an RPG-like battle system is a major change.

Like a Dragon is also the first entry in the main Yakuza series that doesn't star Kazuma Kiryu, whose story ended in Yakuza 6. Instead of Kazuma, you'll control a new character, Ichiban Kasuga. At least Yakuza's other signature features — the dense, explorable neighborhoods, the glut of silly minigames, and so on — are back for the latest installment. Yakuza is often compared to Grand Theft Auto, but it's really an RPG at heart. Now, it finally plays like one, too.

Shovel Knight Dig - TBD

Shovel Knight is the biggest 8-bit gaming icon that wasn't. While his flagship title didn't come out until 2014, it was absolutely dripping with retro charm. Its NES-inspired graphics, its DuckTales-like platforming, and its Mega Man-inspired level layouts mined your old-school nostalgia for all it was worth.

So, yeah, it's big news that there's a brand new Shovel Knight on the way, and that's before you realize that Shovel Knight Dig isn't just another 8-bit platformer. It's a procedurally generated Shovel Knight adventure that borrows liberally from Spelunky, SteamWorld Dig, and Downwell, three of the most addictive platformers of the modern era. Co-developed by Nitrome (Bomb Chicken), Shovel Knight Dig moves its titular hero into the 16-bit era with a new art design, new challenges, and a bunch of your favorite old abilities.

Yacht Club Games hasn't given Shovel Knight Dig a release date yet, but the game has been in development for over a year, and it looks like it's pretty far along. A 2020 debut seems likely.

Project Resistance - TBD

After Resident Evil 7 reinvented Capcom's defining horror franchise and the Resident Evil 2 remake proved that there's still life in Resident Evil's classic formula, Project Resistance seems like an odd choice for the next big Resident Evil game. It's not a survival-horror adventure. It's an asymmetrical competitive game that pits a team of four survivors against a single player-controlled opponent called The Mastermind, similar to Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th.

Well, okay, kind of similar. In Project Resistance, the team of four never meets the Mastermind directly. Instead, the Mastermind sits behind their ultra-powerful control panel, following the survivors' progress via security camera and unleashing traps and monsters as they see fit. For the team, it's a virtual Resident Evil escape room controlled by a human intelligence. For the Mastermind, it's a "Resident Evil-maker" and supervillain simulator.

Traditional? No. Interesting? You bet. The Resident Evil franchise is full of mediocre spinoffs, but Project Resistance shouldn't be one of them. Fingers crossed that Resistance lives up to its potential.

Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise - TBD

You either love Deadly Premonition or you hate it. Some people adore Deadly Premonition's oddball cast, bizarre murder mystery, and compelling (if unusual) open world. Others couldn't stand the terrible graphics, shoddy controls, strange soundtrack, and uninspired combat.

If you're not sure which side you fall on, you can download the game on the Nintendo eShop right now. However, Deadly Premonition's re-release is just a harbinger of things to come. Deadly Premonition 2 is currently under development the original Deadly Premonition team, and it looks like it'll be just as strange as its predecessor. 

In Deadly Premonition 2, you'll play across two timelines. In the earlier story, you'll control the first game's protagonist, Francis York Morgan. In the latter, you're FBI agent Aaliyah Davis. Working across time, the two investigators will explore a small community in New Orleans in pursuit of a serial killer, hoping to solve the case. So far, we don't know much more than that. Still, though, it's Deadly Premonition. Rest assured, it's gonna be weird.