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The 10 biggest video games launching this holiday, from an all-new ‘Pokémon’ to the hotly anticipated ‘Death Stranding’

With new, "next-gen" Xbox and PlayStation consoles scheduled to arrive in 2020, the coming holiday season is the last hurrah for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — and they're going out in style.

Between the mysterious, hotly-anticipated "Death Stranding" on PlayStation 4 and the thrilling new "Star Wars" game coming to both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it's going to be a big holiday!

Here are all the biggest games arriving in the back half of 2019:

10. "Shenmue 3"

Shenmue 3

Deep Silver

On the cusp of the millennium, Sega launched an ambitious third-person action game for its similarly ambitious new game console, the Sega Dreamcast. That game was "Shenmue," and it went on to become a cult classic. 

The game — and the subsequent franchise it spawned — are known for offering players a level of freedom previously unseen in a console game. 

In 2019, "Shenmue" is back with a brand-new entry from the original creators: "Shenmue 3." 

Release Date: August 27, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PC

Check it out in action right here:

9. "Gears 5"

Gears 5


Are you ready to chainsaw some more Locust? With "Gears 5" in the works, Microsoft's betting that the answer is a resounding yes.

The next entry in the gruff and grisly "Gears of War" third-person shooter series was announced by Microsoft in June during the company's annual E3 media briefing. A new character is at the forefront, introduced during a short trailer — her name is Kait, who previously debuted as a supporting "Gears" character.

Like previous games in the series, "Gears 5" features third-person shooting with a focus on movement and cover.

Release Date: September 10, 2019

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC

Check it out in action right here:

8. "Borderlands 3"

Borderlands 3 Claptrap

"Borderlands 3"/Gearbox Software

Finally, after years of waiting, "Borderlands 3" is here.

The game franchise that helped popularize the loot-shooter genre is back with a new entry, and it seems like more "Borderlands" in every way: new character classes, new planets to explore, and new guns to fire. 

Perhaps most notable is what "Borderlands 3" isn't — an online-only loot-shooter along the lines of "Destiny" and "The Division."

Release Date: September 13, 2019

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

Check it out in action right here:

Check it out in action right here:

6. "The Outer Worlds"

The Outer Worlds

"The Outer Worlds"/Obsidian Entertainment

The creative duo behind the original "Fallout" are working together again on a new series that feels suspiciously familiar: It's called "The Outer Worlds."

The kitschy first trailer for "The Outer Worlds" is a delight, and follows in the tradition of irreverent role-playing games like "Fallout."

The story is simple: "You awake from hibernation on a colonist ship lost in transit to its destination on the edge of the galaxy, only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the colony." How you play out that scenario is seemingly up to you.

Release Date: October 25, 2019

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

Check it out in action right here:

5. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare"

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare"/Activision

Another year, another "Call of Duty" entry — and this time, the game even has the same name as a previous entry in the series!

In all seriousness, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" promises a return to the thematic era of "Call of Duty" games that catapulted the blockbuster series into worldwide popularity.

This year's entry puts the game's single-player mode back at the forefront, with a campaign that's promised to "[push] boundaries and break rules the way only 'Modern Warfare' can."

With an October 25 release date across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, we've still got a bit of time to hear more about the next "Call of Duty" ahead of launch.

Release Date: October 25, 2019

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

Check it out in action right here:

4. "Luigi's Mansion 3"

Luigi's Mansion 3

"Luigi's Mansion 3"/Nintendo

If you're old like me, you may remember playing an early Nintendo GameCube game named "Luigi's Mansion." It came out way back in 2001!

It wasn't anything like a typical Super Mario game — instead of jumping on Goombas and clearing treacherous gaps, Luigi was sneaking around a haunted mansion with a flashlight and a vacuum. His goal: Stun the villainous ghosts with his flashlight, then vacuum them up. Naturally!

The game got a sequel, many years later: "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon" for the Nintendo 3DS console. But the series has been absent from a Nintendo home console since that original game. Soon, in 2019, a third entry in the series is finally coming: "Luigi's Mansion 3."

Release Date: October 31, 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Check it out in action right here:

3. "Death Stranding"

Death Stranding

Kojima Productions

"Death Stranding" is an open-world, third-person action game with a heavy emphasis on stealth and puzzle solving. Its main character Sam Bridges is played by Norman Reedus, of "The Walking Dead" fame — and Reedus is doing a lot of exploration in "Death Stranding."

He explores on foot, and he explores on a motorcycle. Sometimes he uses gadgets to traverse a particularly perilous bit of terrain — a cliff face or a mountain ridge or a snow-covered peak. Moreover, he's exploring America.

The game is the latest work from "Metal Gear" series creative lead Hideo Kojima, a legendary figure in the video game business. Reedus, as Sam Porter Bridges, is the main character. Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor best known as the bad guy from "Casino Royale," appears to be the antagonist.

Since "Death Stranding" is funded by Sony, the game is only coming to the PlayStation 4.

Read more about "Death Stranding" right here.

Release Date: November 8, 2019

Platform(s): PlayStation 4

Check it out in action right here:

2. "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order"

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

EA/Respawn Entertainment

A huge new "Star Wars" game was revealed earlier this year: "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" is expected to arrive November 15 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

It's a single-player action game focused on lightsaber combat and Force powers.

Even better: The game is being made by Respawn Entertainment, the same studio behind the excellent "Titanfall" series and the recent blockbuster "Apex Legends."

Release Date: November 15, 2019

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

Check it out in action right here:

1. "Pokémon Sword & Shield"

Pokemon Sword and Shield Scorbunny

"Pokemon Sword and Shield"/Nintendo

Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch — prepare yourself!

Indeed, Nintendo is developing "Pokémon Sword" and "Pokémon Shield" for the Nintendo Switch. Not spin-offs, like "Pokémon Stadium" or "Pokémon Snap" way back on the Nintendo 64, but a full-on main series entry. As is typical for main series "Pokémon" games, there are two versions ("Sword" and "Shield").

The game is set in a new region, known as "Galar," and it features the new art style that looks similar to the "Pokémon Let's Go!" games that arrived in late 2018. It also features new Pokémon, new trainers, and a totally new story. 

With a launch set for November 2019, "Pokémon Sword" and "Pokémon Shield" are likely to be the biggest games of the holiday.

Release Date: November 15, 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Check it out in action right here:

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Pokémon Sword and Shield

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