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The Ultimate 2019 Holiday Game Compilation

Black Friday is right around the corner and with it comes an exorbitant amount of new games to buy for the holiday season. Wallets around the world tremble at the mere thought of how many games people seek to purchase. Which games should you get? That’s entirely up to you, but this article hopes to comprehensively detail every major game release from September to December of this year. So sit back, relax, and grab some snacks as this is going be a long ride! 

Release dates are subject to change, so this article may represent inaccurate information after publishing. Ports and remasters will not be included in this list.

 

September

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Release Date: September 6th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Capcom

Image result for mh world iceborne

An ambitious expansion to the critically acclaimed Monster Hunter: World heralded in the fall 2019 gaming season. While not necessarily a holiday release Capcom will heavily promote during Black Friday, it will undoubtedly serve fans with delightful gameplay and a beautiful world to explore. The expansion acts as a standalone game and was treated as a full release by Capcom, despite costing less than the base game. Keep an eye out for some price drops during Black Friday weekend! Note: you will need to own Monster Hunter World to play Iceborne.

 

Gears 5

Release Date: September 10th, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios

Image result for gears 5 cover art

The newest installment to Microsoft’s Gears of War franchise arrived shortly after Capcom’s offerings. Gears 5 is available on multiple Microsoft platforms instead of a single console. You can get this juggernaut on Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft Windows, or Xbox One. Many consider this to be the best Gears of War game to date, so if you’re interested in the franchise, this could be a solid starting point. Given it is on Xbox Game Pass, we recommend nabbing that $1 promotion so you can play the game for practically free.

 

Greedfall

Release Date: September 10th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Spiders/Focus Home Interactive

Image result for greedfall cover

This game will likely earn the title of hidden gem consider it’s sandwiched between two giant releases (Gears 5 and Borderlands 3). However, don’t let this one slip through your radar, if you’re into this type of game. It’s an open-world RPG similar to old-school Bioware games with a touch of The Witcher. Considering it’s already overlooked, this has the potential of being a nice bargain pick-up in Target or Walmart during or after Black Friday weekend.

 

Borderlands 3

Release Date: September 13th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Gearbox Software/2K Games

Image result for borderlands 3 cover

Everyone likes Borderlands, except for those who hate it. In a climate in which every major publisher is jumping into the “looter shooter” genre, gamers are hungering for the franchise that nailed it: Borderlands. With this latest entry, folks can expect a myriad of weapons, characters, locales, missions, and a bunch of other wacky activities to engage in. Critics applauded its exhilarating gameplay and Gearbox is supplying Borderlands 3 with a plethora of post-launch content that will keep you playing for hours on end. This won’t drop in the 20 dollar range during Black Friday, but it’s brimming with content so a ~40 dollar price isn’t a terrible deal.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Release Date: September 20th, 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Developer/Publisher: Grezzo/Nintendo

Image result for link's awakening cover art

The Legend of Zelda is an iconic franchise in gaming, so even a cutesy remake of an old Game Boy game has people in love. Critics praised Link’s Awakening for its refined gameplay and gorgeous graphics. As it is a Nintendo game, don’t expect the price to drop much at the height of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal. However, if you’re getting a friend or family member a Switch or Lite, this is one of the best exclusives you could bundle it with.

 

The Surge 2

Release Date: September 24th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Deck13 Interactive/Focus Home Interactive

Image result for the surge 2 cover art

Focus Home Interactive has been doling out hidden gems lately, and The Surge 2 is no exception. While the original didn’t quite steal the hearts of millions, there is a decent following for The Surge. With the over-the-shoulder hack-and-slash gameplay, gamers have likened it to the original to Dark Souls having a kid with Horizon Zero Dawn. The review scores are marginally better than the original, so there’s no harm in buying this if you wish to support double-A game developers.

 

Code Vein

Release Date: September 27th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Bandai Namco Studios/Bandai Namco Entertainment

Image result for code vein cover art

Speaking of Souls-likes, Code Vein is an anime Dark Souls-style game that has been revealed years ago. After long delays, Bandai Namco finally released the game and it received pretty positive reviews. Fans of niche Japanese games should find Code Vein being sold at a reasonable price during holiday shopping.

 

October

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

Release Date: October 1st, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia

Developer/Publisher: Bungie

Image result for destiny 2 shadowkeep cover art

Another Destiny 2 expansion? When will Activision learn–wait a minute, there is no Activision! Yes, for the first time in Destiny history, Bungie has taken the franchise from the grasp of Activision and has full creative freedom and autonomy over the series and future endeavors. This expansion aspires to prove to the gaming community that Bungie still has talent. Additionally, Destiny 2 and all of its previous expansions went free-to-play to garner greater player interest in Shadowkeep. Reception has been relatively positive, but not glowing. However, for casual Destiny players looking to jump back in the universe, now seems to be the perfect time!

 

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Release Date: October 4th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft Paris/Ubisoft

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Ubisoft loves Tom Clancy games, and gamers feel likewise. Ghost Recon Wildlands hasn’t been the best Tom Clancy game in recent years, but it successfully generated a dedicated community like the rest of the franchise. Breakpoint wasn’t the critical or commercial hit Ubisoft was hoping for. Fans have also felt disappointed in this entry of the series, but if you’re somewhat curious to see why it’s been given such lukewarm reception, you could wait until it goes on steeper sales or gets a meaty expansion.

 

Concrete Genie

Release Date: October 8th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4

Developer/Publisher: PixelOpus/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Image result for concrete geniecover art

To platforming fans, Sony isn’t considered the best. Many of their platformers often don’t get the marketing push they deserve, and Concrete Genie is no exception. Concrete Genie is the second project from PixelOpus, an open-world platformer following a boy named Ash and his magical paintbrush. Ash uses his artistic talents to create friends in a place where bullies hunt him down. Despite the rather depressing premise, Concrete Genie is a pleasant adventure that will put a smile on your face. It’s short and not difficult, so this is a more relaxing and meditative game in a field of intense action and violence.

 

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

Release Date: October 8th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Developer/Publisher: Frozenbyte/Nobilis

Image result for trine 4cover art

Trine is a relatively successful action puzzle-platformer game, which explains why it’s getting a fourth entry this year. The franchise has been consistent in quality and has certainly done well enough to be available on practically every platform. Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince is no different and returns the franchise to its roots. It received very positive reviews, so fans of the franchise can definitely have a good time with this gem!

 

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Release Date: October 8th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Developer/Publisher: Playtonic Games/Team17 Digital Limited

Image result for yooka-laylee and the impossible lair cover art

Yooka-Laylee isn’t necessarily the most beloved game, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a franchise. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair pays tribute to the Donkey Kong Country days of Rare and people love it! The level design, music, graphics, and gameplay have all been lauded for their quality. Seriously, give the soundtrack a listen. Thank me later. The Impossible Lair is commonly compared to the likes of Retro Studios’ Donkey Kong Country games, so don’t forget about this when you’re shopping on Amazon.

 

Grid

Release Date: October 11th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Developer/Publisher: Codemasters

Image result for grid 2019 cover art

Codemasters have proven themselves to be the masters of racing games. Grid is technically the tenth game in the TOCA franchise, though it behaves as a reboot of the Grid IP. What makes this racing simulator stand out from the rest is the introduction of a nemesis system, taking a page from Shadow of Mordor. Players can expect the same solid foundation that encouraged them to stick with the franchise for the past several years. Grid 2019 should be no stranger to recurring fans, without causing fatigue within the franchise. Also, if you bought Google Stadia (I’m sorry), you can play 40-player races online, which is unheard of in the genre.

 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Release Date: October 25th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Infinity Ward/Activision

Image result for modern warfare 2019 cover art

With Infinity Ward at the helm, Modern Warfare hoped to recover the lost trust from longtime fans of the Call of Duty franchise. Have they succeeded? Well, it broke sales records and is the biggest Activision launch in the generation, so I’d say so!

 

MediEvil

Release Date: October 25th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4

Developer/Publisher: Other Ocean Emeryville/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Image result for medievil 2019 cover art

From the biggest name to a lesser-known one, MediEvil stands next to the goliath known as Modern Warfare. However, its size should not adjudicate its quality, as MediEvil looks to be an awesome blast-to-the-past for longtime PlayStation fans. Using gameplay mechanics now popularized by the likes of Dark Souls, MediEvil delivers a classic Tim Burton-style Halloween aesthetic in addition to a deliciously entertaining story to engage in. Retro PlayStation fans should enjoy this faithful remake whether it’s on sale or not.

 

The Outer Worlds

Release Date: October 25th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Obsidian Entertainment/Private Division

Image result for the outer worlds cover art

Fallout: New Vegas is a beloved game and gamers have been clamoring for another game in that universe from overlooked studio Obsidian Entertainment. We didn’t get that. We got something better. The Outer Worlds is a Game of the Year nominee and has perhaps stolen the title for best Fallout game of the generation. It’s already dropping in price in a lot of holiday catalogs, so jump on this if you’re itching for a Western RPG.

 

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Release Date: October 31st, 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Developer/Publisher: Next Level Games/Nintendo

Image result for luigi's mansion 3 cover art

Luigi’s Mansion has never quite met its potential. The original 2001 game was a great starting point, whereas Dark Moon on the 3DS felt like an intrinsically inferior product. Fortunately, Nintendo and Next Level Games appeared to have figured out what makes this franchise so well-liked among many. Now with a massive ghostly hotel to explore with a myriad of weapons at Luigi’s arsenal, this is an easy prediction for us to make. Critics lauded Luigi’s Mansion 3 as a major step forward in the series, some marking it the best Luigi’s Mansion game to date. Again, since it’s a Nintendo product, the price will be stagnant come Black Friday, but given the high marks this game has seen, why not pay the 60 bucks?

 

November-A Month That Keeps On Giving

Death Stranding

Release Date: November 8th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4

Developer/Publisher: Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Image result for death stranding cover art

Kojima is back, everybody! Rejoice! Death Stranding is perhaps his strangest project yet and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. We noted the publisher just to showcase how truly hands-off they are when it comes to Hideo Kojima.The game follows the events in which apocalyptic cataclysm devastated the Earth, and Sam Porter Bridges (played by Norman Reedus) searches for the meaning of the Death Stranding. Most critics love this game, but others had harsh things to say about it. Personally, I’m having a blast with it right now. I keep unknowingly playing the game for hours on end because the gameplay loop is so refreshing. However, your mileage may vary with this. There’s a lot of walking and tedium, so it’s recommended you actually play a little bit of it first at a friend’s house before breaking out the wallet.

 

Need for Speed Heat

Release Date: November 8th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Ghost Games/Electronic Arts

Image result for nfs heat cover art

Could this Need for Speed game revive what made the series so special in the PS2 days? It’s not Underground good, but it’s by far the best NFS game EA published in a long time. There’s no gacha schemes, the racing is satisfying, and the game is jump plain old fun. This is one of the great games EA has released this month, so why not support quality to send EA the right message? It’s already plummeting in price, so cost should be of little concern.

 

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Release Date: November 15th, 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Developer/Publisher: Game Freak/Nintendo

Image result for pokemon sword and shield"

Sword and Shield are in a tough spot right now. The lack of a National Dex, unappealing graphical assets, recycled animations, and overall weak attempts at innovation has many diehard fans revolting this game. Casual players such as myself honestly don’t mind the omissions as Sword and Shield is going to be a massive endeavor during Thanksgiving break. Sword and Shield went on to break sales records with ease, so congratulations to the massive corporation that released this game! God bless The Pokemon Company! Weird corporate adoration on social media aside, Sword and Shield is a perfectly fine addition to the franchise and should satisfy anyone who plays it.

 

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Release Date: November 15th, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts

Image result for star wars jedi fallen order cover art

This is another high-profile triple-A game that had skepticism surrounding prior to launch. Fortunately, Respawn proved the dissenters wrong by making one of the best Star Wars games ever made. With the excellent gameplay and intuitive level design, Jedi: Fallen Order is an exhilarating time that provides a compelling narrative that easily overshadows Disney’s latest films in the franchise. It is the perfect time to pick up Jedi Fallen Order, especially if you haven’t gotten an Xbox One yet as there is a bundle that has both the console and the game for just $200. Like Need For Speed: Heat, buying this sends EA the message that quality makes a profit.

 

December

 

Life is Strange 2: Episode 5

Release Date: December 3rd, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer/Publisher: Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix

 Image result for life is strange 2 episode 5 cover art

The finale for the emotionally distressing Life is Strange 2 will come weeks before Christmas break kicks in. Fans will get their tissues ready, have their romantic partner aside them or at least imagine one, and press the start button hoping for the worst. Dontnod isn’t afraid to enter truly disturbing territory when it comes to the Life is Strange franchise. Critics may complain about the dark material, but applaud the game for telling a provocative story. The game will have appealing sales for both Square Enix and Dontnod.

 

Phoenix Point

Release Date: December 3rd, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC 

Developer/Publisher: Snapshot Games

Image result for phoenix point logo

 

This is also a game releasing on December 3rd. This is an Epic exclusive, but that shouldn’t bother PC gamers too much, right? To pique your interest further, this is a spiritual successor to the XCOM series and aspires to be a worthy alternative to the notoriously difficult strategy game. Hopefully it’s good and is beloved by fans of the genre!

 

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

Release Date: December 10th, 2019

Platform(s): PC

Developer/Publisher: Piranha Games

Image result for MechWarrior 5 cover art

Mechwarrior is a game series PC gamers may be somewhat familiar with. We have little to comment on it other than the fact that it populates the month of December. We sincerely apologize for disrespecting the MechWarrior franchise.

 

That’s every announced 2019 game releasing from September to December. December may look a little barren at the moment, but things can certainly change. In the meantime, our backlogs will undoubtedly bloat with the influx of titles from September alone. Let’s hope we have enough money to survive the holiday season! Which game are you most looking forward to? Please let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more news and updates right here on Sick Critic!

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