The last two years represented a windfall of great game releases. Every gamer I know now has a backlog of titles (either owned or on a wish list), some long enough to last several years. But now that it’s January, there should be a lull in releases so we can catch up, right?
The unprecedented flow of great games shows no end in sight, with new games coming throughout the winter and into spring. So here are just a few of the games due over the next few months to keep you busy.
The fun starts on Jan. 11 with three amazing remastered games: “New Super Mario U Deluxe” (Switch), “Tales of Vesparia: Definitive Edition” (Switch, PS4 and Xbox One) and “Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey” (3DS).
If you haven’t experienced these three gems, the chance to play them on the latest-generation hardware should be enough to convince you, particularly with “New Super Mario U,” which was woefully neglected on the Wii U and deserves a fair shake. The release even comes with the second full game, “New Super Luigi U,” which was later added as DLC.
These releases are barely a warmup, though, for the rest of what January has in store.
The long-awaited “Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown” (PS4, Xbox One, PC) lands … er … takes off on Jan. 18. The latest entry in Bandai Namco’s flight simulation series follows a war between two fictional countries and is set in 2019. Thanks to the Unreal Engine 4, graphics shine like never before while the action remains as frantic as ever. Plus, pre-orders will get players a bonus “Ace Combat” game (varies by system) to keep the action going strong.
Jan. 25 brings a healthy dose of terror with the completely remade “Resident Evil 2” (PS4, Xbox One, PC). Some 21 years after its original release, the game not only receives a spectacular visual upgrade, but also modern controls and a few surprises. Anyone who loves this franchise must play through this amazing ground-up reworking of one of the series’ best installments.
January’s biggest release hits at the end of the month with the Jan. 29 release of “Kingdom Hearts III” (PS4, Xbox One). Fans have waited for 13 years for the mainline finale to Sora’s saga. The series mixing Square Enix RPG characters and the best of the Disney universe is finally here. The graphics look like you’re watching a Pixar animated movie, while the number of beloved Disney characters included has expanded to include the “Toy Story,” “Frozen” and even the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. Be sure to look for a complete review of this epic soon.
The release love continues in February and beyond.
Those waiting for a solid Xbox exclusive will be pleased when “Crackdown 3” (Xbox One) finally releases on Feb. 15. This way-over-the-top action game has been delayed a few times, but it seems like the level of polish was worth the effort. If all the usual madness of Crackdown isn’t enough, this installment stars “Brooklyn 99’s” Terry Crews in a role that promises to be as insane as the new game deserves.
And while “Crackdown 3” may be the highlight of Feb. 15, it’s far from the only game releasing that day. In fact, it looks like the day after Valentines could be the single biggest release day of the year (assuming nothing gets delayed further).
Other games dropping that day include, “Dead or Alive 6” (PS4, Xbox One), “Far Cry New Dawn” (PS4, XBO), “Jump Force” (PS4, Xbox One) and “Metro Exodus” (PS4, Xbox One).
Whatever style of game you prefer, there’s a good chance you will find it that day.
Finally, Feb. 22 will see Bioshock’s grand experiment, “Anthem” (PS4, Xbox One) make its debut. This hyper-kinetic shooter comes from a developer best known for RPGs, and it comes with relentless action, unforgettable settings and the kind of strong characters Bioware is known for.
Winter will fade into spring, and the amazing stream of games will flow on. Other notable releases before summer starts to heat up include: “Devil May Cry 5” (PS4, Xbox One), “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” (PS4, Xbox One), “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4, Xbox One), “Mortal Kombat 11” (Switch, PS4, Xbox One), “Days Gone” (PS4), “Rage 2” (PS4, Xbox One) and “Team Sonic Racing” (Switch, PS4, Xbox One).
So many games, and that doesn’t even include the surprises that Nintendo has in store for us. So you may not want to pick up any new hobbies anytime soon. Seems like being a gamer will be keeping us busy for quite a while.