Google Stadia's 12-game launch lineup is surprisingly weak

Google Stadia
(Image credit: Future)

Despite Google Stadia being vaunted as the future of gaming – a future in which you don't need expensive consoles or regular PC upgrades to stay at the forefront of video game technology – the streaming game platform's newly-announced launch lineup is a surprisingly weak offering.

Of the 12 titles being offered with Google Stadia's launch on November 19, 2019, only a fraction could be considered particularly demanding on most gaming PCs, and some of the titles are a year or more old. 

Here's a complete list of the games that will be available to stream on Google Stadia when it arrives next week: 

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Destiny 2: The Collection
  • GYLT
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Kine
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Thumper
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
  • Samurai Shodown

As you can see from the list above, few of Google Stadia's launch titles were even released this year (Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was released in 2014), which seriously undermines one of the cloud gaming platform's key selling points – the ability to play the latest games at 4K resolution, 60fps and ultra settings right off the bat.

That said, if there's one beacon of light within the lineup, it's the inclusion of Red Dead Redemption 2, which only just released on PC and reportedly requires a beefy gaming rig to achieve decent performance.

More to come

Thankfully, more games will be arriving on Google Stadia in the coming months, with the search giant announcing a number of titles that will arrive throughout the remainder of 2019.

That includes titles such as Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle, Borderlands 3, Darksiders: Genesis, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Farming Simulator 19, Final Fantasy XV, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Grid, Metro Exodus, NBA 2K 2020, Rage 2, Trials Rising and Wolfenstein Youngblood.

While it's good to see a big recent release like Borderlands 3 on its way to the service, the absence of 2019's other big holiday releases, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is certainly disappointing.

Hopefully, game releases will start to arrive in a more timely fashion as the Stadia platform becomes more established. 

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.