Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of January 2019 [Best Recommendations]

January has come and gone, and it was a surprisingly busy season. The month following Christmas tends to be one of the quieter release periods of the year since everyone is all shopped out due to said holiday. But this year was a little different. We saw several major releases that had a lot of fanfare and hype surrounding them. Many were ports, but even more were hotly anticipated titles that people have been dying to get for years.

So we thought we should take a look at what were some of the biggest releases this past month. What came out and why were these games such a big deal?

10. Onimusha Warlords HD

  • System: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release Dates: January 15th, 2019

In an alternate timeline, Nobunaga Oda actually died at the Battle of Okehazama. One of his most trusted allies, Akechi Samanosuke manages to just barely escape the battle with his life. One year after the war, Samanosuke receives a letter from his cousin, Princess Yuki, saying her servants have gone missing and that it may be the work of demons. Not wanting to take the matter lightly, Samanosuke arrives at Yuki’s castle only to find her abducted and sets out to save her with the help of his kunoichi attendant, Kaede.

Fans of Onimusha have been past the point of ever hoping for a new game. These days, they’ve just wanted Capcom to acknowledge the series once, which seemingly disappeared overnight with the transition from the PS2 to PS3 and its sole recognition being a playable character in relatively obscure Tatsunoko vs Capcom. That’s why fans were absolutely thrilled to hear Capcom was finally reviving the series with an HD port to modern hardware. It’s no new game, but the groundwork is there to hopefully lead to more soon!

9. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey

  • System: 3DS
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: AlphaDream, Arzest
  • Release Dates: January 11th, 2019

An epidemic has sprung up! Toads are swelling up to such an extent that they can’t move! Mass hysteria has broken out, and Peach has called the Mario brothers to her castle to ask for their counsel. They discover that Fawful has been giving people Blorb Mushrooms to inflict the epidemic. But before they can do anything with that information, Bowser, apparently not caring, seizes the opportunity and comes to capture Peach yet again. They all get blown away, and after this happens, Bowser accidentally ingests a Vacuum Shroom. He ends up inhaling Mario, Luigi, Peach, and several residents of the Mushroom Kingdom. In order to fight Fawful, Mario & Luigi will have to control Bowser from within!

This is actually a remake of the third Mario & Luigi game from almost 10 years ago. Bowser’s Inside Story is often considered one of the best entries of the long-running series, so getting an update excited fans. There’s even extra content with an added scenario revolving around Bowser Jr, which is based around the gameplay sections they added with the previous Mario & Luigi remake.

8. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

  • System: Switch
  • Publisher: Grasshopper Manufacture
  • Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
  • Release Dates: January 18th, 2019

As Travis learned in No More Heroes 2, revenge just begets revenge. In Travis Strikes Again, that lesson is extended when Badman, the father of Bad Girl, comes a-knockin'. While the two are duking it out, they get absorbed into a strange gaming console Travis recently came into possession of called the Death Drive. There are 6 games on the Death Drive, and whoever can beat them all first is granted one wish. It’s a race to the finish! Who can finish first?

More so than being an all-new No More Heroes game, Travis Strikes Again is special due to it being the return of beloved game writer Suda 51 to the director’s chair. While he’s done some creative work on other games at Grasshopper Manufacture, he hasn’t actually been as a director since the original No More Heroes! That fact, plus the tantalizing notion that No More Heroes 3 might be happening soon, has got fans hyped up for Travis Strikes Again.

7. Walking Dead The Final Season: Episode 3: Broken Toys

  • System: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Publisher: Skybound Games
  • Developer: Telltale Games, Skybound Games
  • Release Dates: January 15th, 2019

Things aren’t looking great for Clementine. The Delta just attacked and her group is still recuperating. Still, they’re not going to just sit there and let the Delta get away with it. They’ve got the location of their main ship, and now the group is plotting a rescue mission to save their friends. There needs to be some prep work first, though. First, Clementine is going to have to scout it out and recruit a Whisperer to help with the initial assault.

Fans of Telltale’s iconic point-and-click adventure franchise were terrified that the Final Season was not going to see any resolution. After all, Telltale went under, fired almost the entirety of their staff, and said that their remaining work was going to be on adapting Minecraft: Story Mode for Netflix. At first, they confirmed that they’d be able to finish up Walking Dead The Final Season, that came into doubt when internal reports mentioned the extent of the layoffs. Luckily, Skybound Games swooped in and saved the last 2 parts!

6. Life is Strange 2: Episode 2

  • System: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Release Dates: January 24th, 2019

The Diaz brothers are having a rough go of it since Daniel started to develop his weird powers. Even after moving down south, the December weather is just getting colder and colder, and Daniel is getting sick. Sean, fearing for his brother’s life, sucks up his pride and asks his grandparents to take the two of them in. Thankfully, there’s a boy who lives just next door who’s Daniel’s age, and the two of them become fast friends. Sean decides to ease up a bit on Daniel’s telekinesis rules, but after doing so, he starts regretting it…

Fans were excited for this part thanks to it finally making the connection between the main game and the teaser demo, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, that came out last year. People knew that it was going to somehow, but finally, with the introduction of Chris Erikson to the main story, that connection has been established. Episode 2 is where the meat of the main plot of Life is Strange 2 really began, and fans were hotly anticipating this.

5. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe

  • System: Switch
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo EAD
  • Release Dates: January 11th, 2019

As per usual, Princess Peach has been captured by Bowser yadda, yadda, yada, you know the drill. This time though, you’ll have help from Toadette, who has her own power-up to turn into Peach! You’ll also get the ability to play as Nabbit in the main New Super Mario Bros U game that was once exclusive to New Super Luigi U, as well as said expansion pack bundled in. It’s a great deal for new Switch fans hungry for platforming and something new after Smash!

This is one’s a bit of a strange beast. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe got quite a bit of viral marketing due to Toadette’s strange exclusive power-up that transforms her into Peachette. This led to fans jokingly theorizing what would happen if other characters got the Super Crown, leading to a comic by twitter user @ayyk92 showing Bowser using the crown. From there, history was made with the internet sensation Bowsette, whom Nintendo is refusing to acknowledge. Nevertheless, it brought a huge amount of attention to what’s essentially just an enhanced port of New Super Mario Bros U.

4. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

  • System: Playstation 4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
  • Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
  • Developer: Namco Tales Studios
  • Release Dates: January 11th, 2019

Yuri Lowell and his best friend, Flynn Scifo, once dreamed of becoming imperial guards to escape his life of poverty and make things better for the people in his back alley section of town. However, Yuri quickly grew disenchanted with the lifestyle after seeing the rampant corruption while Flynn decided to stay in order to change the system from within. One day, the blastia core, which is used to shield people from monsters, is stolen from the center of Yuri’s district by a nobleman. Yuri is asked to see if he can look into it, and the change of events that sprouts from this may end up changing the course of the world as everyone knows it.

The last of HD remasters to make it onto this list, Tales of Vesperia is a bit more special than the prior entries. Years ago, people were enraged to find out that, after getting billed as a major Xbox 360 exclusive, that the game was not only getting ported to PS3 about a year after the fact but was getting substantial story content added to the game with 2 full extra playable characters. Even worse, this version never found its way overseas. With Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition though, Western Tales fanatics can finally experience the extra content that was once exclusive to the JP version!

3. Ace Combat 7

  • System: Playstation 4, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
  • Release Dates: January 18th, 2019

War has broken out between the Osean Federation and Eursea and, unfortunately, this conflict has begun to endanger the International Space Elevator. A Eurasean surprise attack catches the Osean forces off guard and manages to claim said space elevator after the attack. You’ll play as Trigger, a pilot in the Osean military to save Vincent Harling, the main engineer of the International Space Elevator who has become trapped in his own creation.

Ace Combat 7 is the welcome return of the long-absent franchise, as well as the surprisingly triumphant comeback for flight simulators. Let’s face it: would-be virtual pilots have been starved for new content since the PS3/XB360 generation where after Ace Combat 6 came out, the genre inexplicably disappeared overnight. It’s been a while since we’ve had such a high profile flight sim release, leading to some very ravenous fans getting incredibly hyped!

2. Resident Evil 2 (2019)

  • System: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom R&D Division 1
  • Release Dates: January 25th, 2019 (WW)

Leon Kennedy just has the worst luck. It’s his first day on the force and Raccoon City has already gone to the dogs. The G-Virus has broken out, and the city is going to hell. On his way to his first day of work, he gives a college student who’s worried about her older brother a ride to the station. This is Claire Redfield, who thankfully can take care of herself in a scrap. She’ll need to, as when they get to the city, they’re separated and will have to fight for their lives in order to escape.

This is the long-awaited remake of Resident Evil 2 that people have been anticipating since Capcom re-made Resident Evil 1 all the way back in 2002. Capcom actually stated at the time that the plan was to make similar style remakes for every single entry, only to just… not. So when Capcom finally confirmed that the Resident Evil 2 remake was finally happening, fans were ecstatic. So much so that when the limited time demo came out for it, it was downloaded over 3 million times.
Frankly, this would be an easy pick for the top spot of January. Except...

1. Kingdom Hearts 3

  • System: Playstation 4, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Square Enix Business Division 3
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release Dates: January 29th, 2019

Xehanort’s final plan has begun. He’s built up the dark army he’s wanted all this time, and people on the light side are in short supply. Not only that, but Yen Sid’s main man Sora is left without most of his strength after Xehanort tried to corrupt his body. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are ordered to go travel to other worlds so that Sora can reawaken his power while Riku and King Mickey search for Aqua in the depths of darkness.

Okay, this is the one that everyone was waiting for. Finally, after 14 years, what feels like dozens of spin-off games, and countless YouTube videos dunking on Kingdom Hearts’ indecipherable plot, we finally have the conclusion to the franchise. People have been looking for a resolution to the plot of Kingdom Hearts forever now, and frankly, everyone was starting to lose faith that it would ever happen. But thankfully, it finally came out and it came with some wonderfully extravagant and the showy gameplay that Kingdom Hearts is known for to boot.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps this loaded January means that publishers are wising up to the importance of releasing games outside of the usual holiday period. Maybe loading up all the major titles within the span of the 3 months leading up to Christmas isn’t healthy for the industry. Spacing things out can let a new release breathe and get more attention.

Or maybe we just lucked out and Capcom and Square Enix just couldn’t get their heavy hitters out in time for Christmas. Who knows!

Disagree with anything on our list? Were hotly anticipating YIIK and want to let us know? Tell us in the comments below!

Tales-of-Vesperia-Definitive-Wallpaper-700x394 Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of January 2019 [Best Recommendations]


Author: Matt Knodle

I come from Indiana, where I grew up near a video rental shop that proudly stated “The widest selection of anime in the state”, setting me on a course to enjoy as much anime as possible. I’ve devoted myself to over-analyzing various sports anime and video games probably more than they were ever intended. I currently co-host a weekly sports anime fan podcast called KoshienCast with my good friend, Matt.

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