After a lengthy lean period where we got one, maybe two good video games per month, September's release schedule is absolutely stacked. We're entering the holiday season—yes, the holiday season now extends all the way back to September—so you can expect some of the best games of 2019 in the final quarter of this year.
September has everything from realistic sports simulators to classic remakes to sci-fi shooters on deck, along with a hardware budget option of a near-perfect console. What better way to kick off the back-to-school season?
Here is our video game news round-up for September 2019.
PlayStation Plus Free Games
'Batman: Arkham Knight' (Sept. 3)
This is the critically acclaimed fourth installment in Batman's Arkham franchise. In addition to battling classic villains in an open-world format, Arkham Knight features a fully drivable, tank-like Batmobile to get from Point A to Point B.
'Darksiders 3' (Sept. 3)
In this, the third installment of the Darksiders series, you play as Fury, the sister of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You fight incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins, which is just as epic as it sounds.
'River City Girls' (Sept. 5)
A classic beat 'em up, River City Girls is an entry in the popular "Kunio-Kun" franchise, and sequel to the NES cult classic River City Ransom (1989). In that game, you played as a high school boy who beat up and robbed bullies, and then used that money to upgrade his skills and save his girlfriend. In River City Girls, the genders are reversed; you're still beating up bullies, but now you're the girlfriend saving the boyfriend.
'NBA 2K20' (Sept. 6)
The latest entry in the NBA 2K series, NBA 2K20 improves the dribbling and ball handling mechanics. MyCareer mode returns, starring Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson. And for the first time, all 12 WNBA teams will be represented in-game. To get a head start on the newest player design features, download the free 2K20 demo on PS4, XBox One, or Switch, available now.
'Gears 5' (Sept. 6)
The next chapter in the Gears of War franchise, Gears 5 continues humanity's never-ending battle for survival. A third-person sci-fi shooter with a beefed-up Horde Mode, Gears 5 will also feature exploration and open-world elements, according to Coalition's studio head.
Tokyo Game Show (Sept. 12—15)
A four-day massive game convention, the Tokyo Game Show is now in its 23rd year. If you're into Japanese action-adventures and RPGs, TGS is your event. We can expect to see a lot of new demos and fresh previews. We might even see some more Avengers game footage, as Square Enix is confirmed to be attending the event.
'Borderlands 3' (Sept. 13)
It took seven years for us to finally get a sequel to Borderlands 2, which helped set the standard for loot-driven first-person shooters. Handsome Jack is dead, but the battle for the Vaults continues. Borderlands 3 expands the established formula. You'll be traveling to new planets via spaceship and taking advantage of brand new elemental attacks.
'Destiny 2: New Light' (Sept. 17)
If you're not yet hooked into the Destiny 2 craze, September would be an excellent time to get started on that. Destiny 2: New Light is a free-to-play version of the main game. If you want the additional levels, missions, and DLC, you'll pay extra. But "absolutely nothing" is the perfect price for hours of great content.
Sega Genesis Mini (Sept. 19)
Following in the footsteps of the NES Classic Edition, the Super NES classic edition, and the PlayStation Classic, the Sega Genesis Mini is a jolt of nostalgia. It comes preinstalled with 42 classic Sega games, including Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition, Sonic the Hedgehog, Comix Zone, ToeJam & Earl, Streets of Rage 2, and more.
Nintendo Switch Lite (Sept. 20)
Although the Nintendo Switch includes the option to play it via handheld or TV, there are many players who play it via handheld exclusively. For those players, and for players in the market for a new handheld console, the Nintendo Switch Lite is an excellent choice. It is a solely handheld Switch that is lighter and more portable, with controls that are not detachable and thus, feel more sturdy. It also comes with an extra 30 minutes of battery life so you can game for longer on the go.
'The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening' (Sept. 20)
The original Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was one of the franchise's best entries, with one small problem: it was only available on the Game Boy, instead of as a full console release. It's since been re-released in color, but only on handheld. But this month, we'll get to play a full-length remake of the original game, in glorious, retro-modern graphics. It even comes with a dungeon editor, which allows you to mix-and-match the dungeon rooms you've already beaten to create new levels.
'The Surge 2' (Sept. 24)
In The Surge games, you take control of an artificially augmented human in a world where technology dominates every aspect of people's lives. The draw of the franchise is its limb targeting, which allows you chop off and co-opt the technology of the enemies you kill. If you want to give the gameplay a try before the sequel comes out this September, you can test out the first Surge game on Steam for free until Aug. 29, and buy it on extreme discount after that for less than $10.
'Mario Kart Tour' (Sept. 25)
Several years ago, it would have been a pipe dream (pun intended) to imagine Mario as a mobile app. But in 2016, Super Mario Run came out, and retained the character's inherent charm. This September, Nintendo will release Mario Kart Tour for mobile, which takes inspiration from both the console versions and arcade versions of the long-running racing franchise.
'FIFA 20' (Sept. 27)
The new FIFA game comes with a bunch of shiny bells and whistles: better defensive play, and better animations make the gameplay more fluid than before. But the standout, must-buy selling point of FIFA 20 is the new, customizable "Volta Football" mode, which focuses on the streetball style play made famous by 2012's FIFA Street.