ResetEra Games of the Year 2019 - Voting Thread (READ THE OP) [Ends Jan 26th 8:59am EST]

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Oh well, what the hell?
General Manager
Oct 25, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of year! Time to spread the holiday cheer and vote for ResetEra’s Games of the Year!

Huge thanks are due to Muzy, Rösti, tgr_williams, ratrosaw, Hecht, and OneAndOnly, all of whom are reprising roles from previous years; their magic makes this tradition possible. Cerium, ColdSun, and B-Dubs also helped organize things this year.

The official rules and sample ballot are below. Please read carefully to assure your vote goes through.
If you do not follow the rules, your vote may not be counted. You have been warned.

Your post needs to look like this:
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Crunchyroll isn’t on Switch so this is the best I’ve got.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Bloodborne was robbed.
  3. Death Stranding - Die Hardman.
  4. Gears 5 - They changed the name so it’s no longer “the other GoW.”
  5. Control - A game so good it’s impossible to Google.
  6. Resident Evil 2 - I liked this game in ‘98 and I haven’t grown much as a person since then.
  7. The Outer Worlds - It’s like the ResetEra of New Vegas.
  8. Apex Legends - Fortnite but with half the employee stress and a tenth of the success.
  9. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - The third best piece of Star Wars media this year.
  10. Untitled Goose Game - HONK.
Not like this:
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  3. Death Stranding
  4. Gears 5
  5. Control
  6. Resident Evil 2
  7. The Outer Worlds
  8. Apex Legends
  9. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
  10. Untitled Goose Game

  • You must have at least one comment on your ballot or it may not be counted. The comment must be more substantial than "best game ever LOL" etc. Posting without comments may subject you to a ban. Do NOT post a ballot without any comments.
  • Lists must be created using the ordered list option in RTF OR using "list=1" if using BBCode editor
  • The game title must be bolded.
  • You can use anything to break between a bolded game title and your comment. Hyphens, semi-colons, colons, etc.
  • You may vote for any playable content released in 2019.
  • The current spreadsheet of nominated games can be found here.
  • You can list up to any number of games for your ballot. 1-10 will receive vote points. 11+ will be considered honorable mentions.
  • Games must be listed using their full title. Abbreviated entries will not be counted. Copy-and-paste from the spreadsheet to be sure. Voting for "KH3" or "RE2" will result in your vote not being counted. You must use the full title.
  • No reserving posts to hold your ballot until later. This clogs up the thread with wasted space and ensures that fewer people will actually see your list. Such posts will disqualify your ballot, even if edited later.
  • No posting unofficial, preliminary results. This may influence voting.
Voting Ends: Sunday, January 26th, 2020 at 5:59am PST / 8:59am EST. No extensions. No exceptions. Here's a countdown clock and here are worldwide times.

Sample Ballot
Ready to vote? Get started quickly by copying and pasting the ballot below into your reply.
To ensure the parser correctly tabulates your ballot, please follow this format as closely as possible. Don't actually post "Game A" or "Your thoughts on Game A," etc

[*][B]Game A[/B] - Thoughts on Game A
[*][B]Game B[/B] - Thoughts on Game B
[*][B]Game C[/B] - Thoughts on Game C
[*][B]Game D[/B] - Thoughts on Game D
[*][B]Game E[/B] - Thoughts on Game E
[*][B]Game F[/B] - Thoughts on Game F
[*][B]Game G[/B] - Thoughts on Game G
[*][B]Game H[/B] - Thoughts on Game H
[*][B]Game I[/B] - Thoughts on Game I
[*][B]Game J[/B] - Thoughts on Game J
[*][B]Game K[/B] - Thoughts on Game K
[*][B]Game L[/B] - Thoughts on Game L 

Ballot Scoring
This year, all playable content is eligible for GOTY and Genre Award consideration, in addition to Platform Award consideration. In a change from previous years, there will be no distinction made between "new" releases and re-releases, ports, etc. If a port or re-release earns enough votes to make the list, that result will be respected.
  1. Game A - 4 points
  2. Game B - 3 points
  3. Game C - 3 points
  4. Game D - 2 points
  5. Game E - 2 points
  6. Game F - 2 points
  7. Game G - 1 points
  8. Game H - 1 points
  9. Game I - 1 points
  10. Game J - 1 points
  11. Game K - 0 points
  12. Game L - 0 points
------ Vote Bot ------

Returning again this year will be VoteBot. Once your vote has been posted, VoteBot will parse your list and provide you a receipt that looks like the below.

Please use VoteBot to help ensure that your posts are formatted correctly. If VoteBot is reading your post incorrectly, you likely have formatting errors in your post!

------ Game Eligibility -------

Eligible games:
  • Playable content released this year is eligible. This includes new games, remasters, ports, and so on.
  • DLC, including expansion packs, are eligible to be voted on as long as it's playable. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is eligible. Horse Armor is not.
  • Episodes of games released this year are eligible.
------ FAQ ------

Is (insert game here) eligible?
1. First, check the speadsheet of eligible nominated games Note that this list isn't exhaustive, but if it's on there, you're good.
2. Not on there? Check the confirmed eligible and ineligible games listed above.
3. If a game you want isn't listed there either, and you're SURE about it, just post it in your ballot. We'll automatically add it to the list. If you're not sure, shoot me or Hecht a PM and we'll get it sorted out.

Are Early Access games eligible?
No, Early Access, beta, demo, and Greenlight games are not eligible. PC games must reach full release, or version 1.0 in order to be eligible.

Can I talk about somebody else's list?
Discussion is encouraged! Want to talk about another poster’s list? Quote it.

Can I use images in my ballot? I want it to be BEAUTIFUL!
Absolutely you can, but all numbering and formatting must happen as indicated in the sample ballot above, meaning your numbers cannot be within the image itself, and you must make the images work within an ordered list. Images should be posted AFTER the bolded title. ex: "1. Game A (img) - comments" or "1. Game A - comments (img)" You can use carriage returns and the like are fine for spacing out images.

My ballot is too long! Can I split it into two posts?
You should NOT split your ballot into two, because the parser won't read it correctly.

I want to change my list. Do I have to make a new post?
No, you can simply edit your original vote up until the deadline. Please note that ONLY your posted list will be read by the parser. If you wish to make ballot changes, please edit your already posted list!

My ballot was disqualified! Why?
Most likely, you didn't follow the rules above. What you probably did: You didn't number things correctly. You didn't write any comments. You listed the same game more than once. You didn't follow the formatting rules.

Can I order my list from 10 to 1?

OMG what about Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts III? Lots of people are using Arabic numerals. Will they be counted?
We'll be fairly lenient on variations, but the only way to guarantee that your vote will be counted is to copy-and-paste from the spreadsheet. But again, just because a game isn't listed doesn't mean you can't vote for it if you're sure it's a 2019 title. Just use the most complete and official title available.

When will the results be posted?
As soon as is possible given the copy-paste technology at our disposal.

Happy voting, everyone!
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Jan 24, 2019

  1. Resident Evil 2 - Kickstarted my love of the entire RE series. Atmosphere is off the charts.
  2. Control - its super trippy and a fantastic art style and gameplay. I can throw concrete with my mind!
  3. Disco Elysium - Beautiful story driven game. Loved the characters and reactivity.
  4. Yuppie Psycho - superbly creepy yet funny indie horror game.
  5. Goose Game - I blame it on the juice baby, I blame it on the Goose baby
  6. Later Alligator - The cutest game I've ever played. Actually 33 mini games in one
  7. Star Wars Jedi : Fallen Order - Metroid + Souls + Uncharted. Still a good single player star wars
  8. Tetris Effect - it came out on pc this year and it's a very relaxing and chill time.
  9. Plague Tale- Discount Last of Us but the rats were awesome
  10. Death Stranding - A new and interesting take on the 'walking simulator'. Had interesting enough gameplay but the story was all flash and no substance

My preliminary list!
2019 is a bit of a down year. 2018 I was pretty meh on as well though.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Nov 8, 2017
  1. Death Stranding - Fantastically unique experience that might not click for everyone but is fully realised for those it does. Amazing themes of isolation and loneliness and some of the most satisfying and meditative gameplay this gen.
  2. Control - Phenomenal world building and art direction combine to make a gripping new action-adventure IP that has one of, if not the, best moments in gaming this gen. Ashtray maze is 👑
  3. Slay the Spire - Wonderful little hole you'll fall down filled with great synergies and quality gameplay. One of the only times I've been hooked on daily challenges in a game.
  4. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - Destiny keeps being great. Fantastic raid, great weapons, great activities, amazing community. 2019 was a great year for Bungie and D2.
  5. Katana Zero - Brilliant little package oozing in style and with gameplay that's as addictive as that chronos you keep chasing. When you get into the rhythm of it reflective bullets and rolling without slowdown just feels so damn rad.
  6. Apex Legends - Came out of nowhere to offer a refreshing take on the BR genre, impactful QoL changes and really satisfying play even with randoms.
  7. Sekiro - Didn't click like the Soulsbornes for me but was still a brilliant game offering something new and some of the most sweaty battles in a SP game that year.
  8. Zelda Link's Awakening - Adorable one and done. Very well brought into 2019 and such an adorable art style. The house interiors are best of gen, too cute.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Life is Strange 2 - Lovable characters, gut-wrenching decisions, relevant political issues and emotion from start to finish
  2. Tetris 99 - One of the best versions of a classic, with multiplayer that doesn't feel tacked-on
  3. The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa - It's the closest video game equivalent to Takeshi Kitano's Kids Return
  4. Eliza - A visual novel that tackles contemporary issues surrounding technology, with credible situations and excellent writing without being pretentious
  5. Heave Ho - The perfect party game. Simple concept, failure will happen but everyone will laugh
  6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Loads of content, enough characters to please everyone, good time-waster
  7. Judgment - A sign of renewal for the Yakuza expanded universe - new main character, new mechanics, graphics finer than ever for the Ryu Ga Gotoku studio
  8. Deadly Premonition: Origins - The return of one of the memorable games ever, this time on Switch
  9. Baba is You - Simple yet original concept, endless possibilities
  10. Super Mario Maker 2 - Super Mario Maker, this time on Switch, with thousands of Mario levels

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Oct 25, 2017
Love this tradition. I recently went and started collecting all my previous years of voting; it's pretty fascinating to look back and see what I held in high regard 7 years ago.
Oct 25, 2017
Love this tradition. I recently went and started collecting all my previous years of voting; it's pretty fascinating to look back and see what I held in high regard 7 years ago.
Yeah. These threads are nice little time capsules and pretty fun.

I'm happy with the change to re-releases and remasters. Thought it was goofy that Kiwami 2 didn't count last year.


Community Resetter
Oct 25, 2017
  1. DOTA 2 Autochess - Never thought I would enjoy a game mod so much. Literally crack mixed with Mahjong and poker elements - like playing Dota 2 except in a much chiller and sparklier edition. No need to buy $1000 cosmetics or deal with idiot team mates.
  2. Dota Underlords - Valve's version of Autochess, not as good, but it's getting there

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Vagrant Harlot
Oct 25, 2017
I'll have to think carefully about my list.
  1. Life is Strange 2: Lovable characters, gut-wrenching decisions, relevant political issues
  2. Tetris 99
  3. The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa
  4. Eliza
  5. Heave Ho
  6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  7. Judgment
  8. Deadly Premonition: Origins
  9. Baba is You
  10. Super Mario Maker 2
Add reasons for your picks, please. ^^


Oct 25, 2017
  1. Death Stranding - UPS x MGSV. A flawed but beautiful game, somehow it convinced me that planing and executing deliveries across hostile terrain is the most satisfying gameplay of the year. The story is strange, convoluted, but ultimately lands with some incredible emotional punches. You deliver some materials, a person, a pizza. Hundreds of people like your bridge and it's weird how good that makes you feel. A baby crawls through someone's windpipe and giggles at you. This is Kojima Pro unchained, and it's bizarrely glorious.

  2. Disco Elysium - What's that... words, in some kind of order... this might take some effort and remember you asked for it...
    Inland Empire (Medium: Success) Your head splits like a canyon, the walls tumble beneath you as you fall upwards toward the ground. The world feels strange, you don't remember your name, and why is your necktie giving you awful advice?
    Suggestion (Heroic: Failure) This game is special! Something in your gut tells you... Wait, maybe you're just going to vomit...
    Logic (Legendary: Success) Hideously beautiful, terrifyingly intelligent, oh, there's little left to say! Well, maybe you got a little carried away, but in the face of such wonderful design no one is going to blame you. They might blame you, but they're not going to disagree.

  3. Control - Or the lack of it. It's fitting that this game both handles so beautifully and surrenders reality so readily. A tight and challenging third person shooter that feels kind of like The Matrix and The X-Files took David Lynch out for drugs and used a Ouija board to summon the ghost of Lovecraft to ask him where the best club is. World building is off-the-charts good. Throwing pieces of the floor at a giant eyeball snake spider happens. You will never look at your fridge in the same way again.

  4. Slay the Spire - This game is a meal that doesn't look very tasty, but before you can stop yourself you've gone back for seconds. And thirds. And suddenly you've forgotten all about clumsy metaphors and you've spent days in front of your PC and your boss calls to tell you not to bother coming in tomorrow. Well, maybe it doesn't get quite that bad (I hope)... but it's definitely that good.

  5. Resident Evil 2 - Imagine you're at a party where people are passing around wraps of grade-A nostalgia and the punch has been spiked with T-Virus. You get super high and everything looks really beautiful. Then people start eating each others' brains and some huge jerk in a snazzy hat smashes through a wall and begins stalking you around the house. You can't get out the front door because someone replaced the bloody lock with a puzzle of a unicorn, so you have the awful idea to run into the basement where you discover a secret underground lab full of people eating plants. Having a horrible time hasn't felt this good in decades.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Oct 25, 2017
I think the only game I've played that released this year was My Friend Pedro.

This will be an easy list to compile.

I'm not making a list chill out.


Nov 22, 2017
  1. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Despite it's many technical flaws, this was the most fun I've had with a game all year.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Gruelling, tense and ultimately satisfying combat. So many memorable moments and boss fights - the *best game this year.
  3. Luigi's Mansion 3 - This one took me completely off guard. Having no prior exposure to the franchise, I went in with moderate expectations looking for a good game to play around Halloween. What I got was an endlessly charming and entertaining adventure - one that I savoured over several weeks because I didn't want it to end.
  4. Metro: Exodus - A gripping ride from start to finish. Looked absolutely stunning on the One X and had a great blend of gameplay with engaging characters.
  5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - This has to be a Top 3 COD campaign. In addition, the gunplay and soundscape has never better. If only the MP had a more satisfying progression system...
  6. Days Gone - I feel like this one really gets a lot of unjust hate. I got around to playing it a couple months after release and noticed none of the technical hitches that were being so widely reported (not to take away the significance of them happening). It had a compelling story that only improved over time, and will be looked back on as one of the under-appreciated gems this gen.
  7. Resident Evil 2 - What a masterful game. I think the only reason why it's not higher is because it was so damn stressful!
  8. Mortal Kombat 11 - I only dabble in a couple of fighting games, and Mortal Kombat is one of them. With a surprisingly great story mode and absolutely savage fatalities, this one did not disappoint.
  9. Gears 5 - This was a blast to play though co-op, although persistent technical issues during the opening weekend was a downer. It tried desperately to break out of the standard Gears mould, and at the end of the day I think it succeeded in more ways than it failed.
  10. Blood & Truth - When I first played the London Heist demo on launch day, all I could think about was how awesome it would be if they made a whole game expanding on this, and that's exactly what we got.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**

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Baby, Pink is my favourite part
Mar 30, 2018
I'm not even sure I have played enough games to make up a top10 because one game in particular kind of took over everything else for months, heh...


Apr 16, 2018
I'm still playing some games, so it'll take a while.

Btw, the winner is counted at GOTY Picks?


Oct 25, 2017
I am mildly tempted to commit fraud and vote for Divinity Original Sin 2, despite having it played on the PS4 (released in 2018) and not the Switch. The game is just that good, OK?

Otherwise my list will be fairly short with only 3 games I played that were also released this year. I might do a second list (without the official markup) with games from other years I played for the first time and enjoyed a lot.

Pirate Bae

Sexy Chess Afficionado
Oct 25, 2017
Everyone make sure to go support our lord and savior, Empress Edelgard, and vote for Three Houses as your number one!



Apr 6, 2018
Honestly been an extremely poor year in terms of new releases for me, spent almost all my time playing games from previous years. If I was to go with something new from this year it would be:
  1. Fortnite Chapter 2 - Coming up to the release of this season the game was just an absolute bloated mess. It was clear that Epic hadn't been ready for the massive success Fortnite would become. In Chapter 2 Epic was able to pretty much rewrite the game by standardizing all of the additions over the past 2 years, making it way more balanced. Epic also seems to have changed their attitude when it comes the patches now, with smaller tweaks rather than biweekly gamechanging modifications. The new map is where I see the biggest change though, and is clearly waay more thought out and built to last than the old one.
Bring on next year, it's gonna be like a river of honey compared to the games released this year.

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Oct 25, 2017
Everyone make sure to go support our lord and savior, Empress Edelgard, and vote for Three Houses as your number one!

Easily my GOTY. Will be posting a list tonight probably.

Edit: On second thought, there's no need to rush and there's a few candidates I want to put a little more time into before giving my final results
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Oct 25, 2017
  1. No Man's Sky: Beyond - A game that started off rough but with free huge content drops has become even better than it's original vision.
  2. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - D2 is in the best place now than it's ever been, with something for everyone.

I didn't play very many games this year and the two I would place at the top (Odyssey and RDR2) came out last year. Still a few games this year that I won't get to until next, like Control and Outer World's.

Hoping to play more new, interesting games next year. Just been too busy lately and D2 sucks up most of my free game time.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Oct 25, 2017
Las Vegas
  1. Devil May Cry 5 - 11 years since DMC4 Itsuno and Capcom Dev 1 created a fantastic, pure action game where player skill is the primary vehicle of game depth and replayability.
  2. Bloodstained Ritual Of the Night - Satisfies my itch for a good SoTN clone.
  3. Ace Combat 7 - Arcade air combat with an anime storyline. First Ace Combat game I ever played.
  4. Resident Evil 2 - Perfectly paced action horror game. Does the original justice.
  5. Borderlands 3 - Loot and shoot. It was fun.
  6. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - Satisfies that itch to play something quick and competitive online.
  7. Death Stranding - Unique, meditative experience.
  8. Sekiro - One of the weaker From Software games, but I appreciate it's dedication to defensive based gameplay. Felt unique.
  9. Samurai Shodown - Felt like classic Sam Sho.
  10. Monster Hunter World Iceborne - A valuable and sizeable expansion to an already great foundation.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**
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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Control - Control is my favorite game of the year. This is also my favorite game Remedy’s ever made, where it feels like they brought in the best pieces of each one of their awesome games. Gameplay is as fun and impressive looking as Max Payne, the world and writing is as strong as Alan Wake, and the presentation beats Quantum Break by a good margin (and it's as rad as Death Rally I guess?). I was enthralled by this weird fiction world they created, where I read every piece of collectible I could, explored every corner of this kinda 3D metroidvania building they designed and fought every weird-ass and awesome special fight or boss they offered. Yes, it has issues like severe technical hiccups or some useless crafting systems, but I was so in love with this universe that I didn't care about those that much. I can't wait to see how Remedy will grow this IP into something even more awesome and weird.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro is the best game of the year. This is their least ‘’souls’’ game since Demon’s Souls came around (apart from Deraciné of course), leaving behind the western looking environments and RPG character sheet and adding in some action/adventure vibes by bringing more set-pieces, a bigger focus on traversal and stealth and more straightforward storytelling. Apart from that, yes, it's still that kind of game that made From Software one of the most beloved developers this gen, a beautiful and interconnected world, challenging combat cycle with a lot time spent figuring out enemy behaviour and filled with weird and awesome unsettling moments.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - The RCPD portion of Resident Evil 2 is my favorite chunk of any game this year. Its masterfully designed to be explored and re-explored many times. I just loved not knowing that place to then 5 hours later, after feeling so overwhelmed by the challenges, just dominating that space and knowing every crook and cranny of the environment. It also bolsts a good gameplay loop that married well aspects of every generation of Resident Evil. It's kind of a shame that the next two areas are definitely not on par (the lab is very mediocre), but still, Resident Evil 2 is an amazing game.
  4. Life is Strange 2 - Different from the original, but just, if not more impacful, Life Is Strange 2 proves that Dontnod bolsts one of the best writing teams in videogames. This time, the game is more a vision into some of the current issues our society is too coward to deal with it, and its great that in an age where many devs and publishers try to say their games are apolitical, Dontnod reminds us, in game, that everything is political. Its not only a great game, its a very important one.
  5. Baba is You -It's probably the most innovative and mind blowing game mechanically-wise this year. Starting from the very ancient (but also brillant) Sokoban premise, Hempuli built a game that is all about mixing and matching the game’s very own rules. Im sure the game is even more impressive than what I experienced, but Im too dumb to solve the later puzzles
  6. Death Stranding - Kojima Productions built a special game, that could have been even better with some editing, especially on the cutting side. Even more focus on the traversal mechanics and less bloated similar content is what I would have hoped to see during my 50h with Death Stranding. I really loved whenever the delivery journeys felt unique, demanding, meditative and surprising, but sadly some of them also feel like copy pasted busy work. Also, I think the game uses too much some of its worst aspects like combat and stealth sequences. They feel fine for most of the deliveries, they are usually obstacles that you can either face or countourn just like a hill or a big hole in the ground, but when story beats are built around very long sequences of these mechanics, they sure suck. Seeing the environment change around us both by our own actions and also the community collaboration was awesome, and it's one of the aspects of the game alongside presentation and art direction where I don't really have any meaningful complains around. And while some of the writing is nonsensical and straight up bad, there are some really powerful moments in the surprisingly straightforward tale Kojima told here, especially by the end where the actor’s deliver such an impressive performance. Kojima didn't hit everything he went for here, but it's a very valid and solid effort for the type of strange and bold game it is.
  7. Gears 5 - This is the best Gears made in terms of gameplay. The additions Coalition made to its already great base set of mechanics made the game have more tactical depth and variety in its combat. And while I was not a fan of the story beats and open level of the first half of the game, I think they managed to bring the story back up in the second half, going to great heights by the end, and at least make a more interesting open-level in the second try too, where side-activities were a little more interesting and the usage of a huge environment for set-pieces was awesome. I really liked Gears 4, and 5 was an even greater follow-up.
  8. Untitled Goose Game - It's not only a super charming and funny game, Untitled Goose Game is a stealth puzzle game that reminded me a lot of a lite version of this gen’s Hitman (which I love a lot). While kinda simple, the levels, situations and tasks had a good balance of creativity and absurdity both from the problem and solution perspective. Honestly, I just wish there was more because I did every single task I could in this game.
  9. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - This is basically a Minecraft-like where you have compelling story and systemic reasons to build things with a combat that resembles 2D Zelda, but in a 3D environment. The writing is very charming, even if a little too basic at times. I just wish they hadn't made the campaign a 45h tutorial to all the game’s mechanics. I loved the first third of it a whole lot, and if the game managed to condense all it had to teach us in those first 15 hours, this would’ve have been way higher in this list Im sure, but the more I went on, more annoyed by the padding I was. But still, its my most played game of the year by hour count, so I clearly liked it a whole lot.
  10. The Outer Worlds - I started loving The Outer Worlds a lot from the jump, but as I played more of it, I actually liked less and less. That’s because while the writing and characters maintain great throughout, the worlds and gameplay became less interesting and deep as I got through the story, so the more I played, the more I became tired of doing basically the same thing. It's awesome to see how far their system’s go when it comes to how many different approaches you can take for each situation, and exploring the different planets environments was a joy, but the shooting was just ok, stealth wasn't fun and the story overall mostly didn't matter. It set out to be a more contained Fallout-like, and while I think it has some issues, it still delivered that on a satisfying enough level.

**VoteBot: Thanks for participating in ResetEra GOTY 2019! You vote receipt is available here.**

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Jun 17, 2019

  1. Sayonara Wild Hearts - Not too long ago, my heart was broken by a certain someone. It took me an embarrassingly long time to get over it. Longer than I would have liked, anyways. It took a few years for all the wounds to heal, and after that point, it was smooth sailing. In fact, even though I never got closure, I had always looked back at that whole experience fondly, because I genuinely grew tenfold from it, and I’d been in a good place since then. I was okay.

    I then played Sayonara Wild Hearts.

    During the game’s first incredible set piece level (all 23 levels in this game are incredible set pieces, mind you, but the ones with vocal tracks are usually bigger and better, and usually mark the end of a chapter), “Begin Again,” I started bawling because of the lyrics. I’m not going to state what they are in fear of spoiling the experience for someone else, but my all of my wounds, that I thought were healed, opened right back up. It broke me. “Sayonara Wild Hearts is a game about heartbreak,” I thought at the time, and continued playing. I flew through the game’s absolutely mesmerizing levels (Sayonara Wild Hearts is only about an hour or so long, which is the length of an actual pop album, but the whole experience feels like it’s over in 5 minutes because it’s so damn amazing) and its absolutely fantastic music (which is easily the soundtrack of the year, and it’s not even close), with each song eliciting different emotions in me, and cried myself to the end of the game, with only one level left. While playing the final level of the game, which is easily the biggest and best set piece the game has to offer (and easily one of my favorite ending sequences of any video game ever), I had an epiphany. While crying both euphoric and emotional tears, I realized what the game was truly about, and it hit me like a brick.

    Sayonara Wild Hearts is not only a game about heartbreak, it’s also game about restoring a broken heart.

    Now, my interpretation of the admittedly vague themes and story of the game could be completely wrong, but I don’t think that ultimately matters. This game, in my opinion, is the golden example of the “video games are art” argument (which is completely true, by the way) and art, and the way it’s interpreted, is almost always completely subjective. I’m not saying Sayonara Wild Hearts is better than closure or therapy or anything outlandish like that, but the final moments of the game are a strong reminder that having your heart broken isn’t the end of the world. It’s a strong reminder that everything’s going to be okay. With that, all my wounds that opened up at the start of the game went right back to how they were before. It reminded me that I got over it. It reminded me that I was okay. It reminded me that, no matter how much heartbreak humans have to endure, their wild hearts will never die <3

  2. Outer Wilds - I don't like not knowing what to do in video games.

    Don't get me wrong, I love games where you're basically dropped into a world and have to slowly piece the narrative together and solve puzzles, but only when they have structure. This is one of the many reasons I dislike Breath of the Wild so much, because it amps up the freedom a little too much for my taste. Knowing that that type of game isn't usually up my alley, I avoided Outer Wilds for the longest time, even with all the praise it was getting. Little did I know that Outer Wilds has perhaps the most perfect balance of freedom and structure of any video game I've ever played.

    Outer Wilds' gameplay loop (heh) is utterly fantastic. You wake up, have 22 minutes of complete freedom, then bam. Rinse and repeat. I was a little intimidated at first, because you can literally go anywhere, as progression in this game is completely knowledge based, but with the help of a little thing called the Ship Log (especially the Rumor Mode), I never felt lost. That tiny little feature completely changed the game for me.

    Outer Wilds is also the scariest game I've played this year (which is a bit strange, considering Resident Evil 2 is on this list). It's not a horror game by any stretch of the imagination, but the developers managed to perfect the atmosphere of space, as well as the atmosphere of every single planet in the game. Flying into Giant's Deep for the first time is something that I'll never forget. As a person who's scared shitless of both the sea and tornadoes, my heart was beating out of my chest. It was absolutely haunting, and will stay with me forever.

    I'm trying to be careful and not say too much in fear of spoiling the game (it's very, very easy to spoil) so I'll stop, but Outer Wilds is absolutely fantastic and worth every single bit of the hype.

  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - in 2013, Star Wars 1313, a high-budget, single-player Star Wars game, was cancelled. In October 2017, Visceral Games’ untitled Star Wars game, which was also a high-budget, single-player game, was cancelled. A month later, Star Wars Battlefront II was released with an abysmal, rushed single-player campaign. It seemed that, under EA, a high-budget, well made single player game based on the Star Wars IP would not and could not be made.

    Enter Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

    If just two years ago you had told me that in 2019, we would get a single player, high budget Star Wars game that also happens to be a Metroidvania and has combat inspired by From Software titles, while also sporting a solid Star Wars story with great characters and dialogue, I would not have believed you. Yet, here we are. I have beaten and 100% completed it, and I still cannot believe this game exists.

    That’s not to say the game’s without faults, however. It is incredibly buggy (on Base PS4, at least), especially for an AAA release, and is overall rough around the edges. However, its positives far outweigh its negatives. The story, combat, music, level and boss design and environments are all absolutely incredible, but most importantly of all, it feels like a Star Wars experience, and captures the spirit of the original movies wonderfully. This is easily the best Star Wars game since Knights of the Old Republic, and it might even triumph over it. I loved it that much.

  4. Heaven's Vault - This is a game that, sadly, I’m not expecting to see in lists a lot, if at all. It came out in April and flew under the radar HARD, which is a shame because it’s an incredible game.

    Heaven’s Vault is a very tough game to talk about. I’m usually a blabbermouth, especially when it comes to video games, but I’m currently at a loss for words. I don’t think it’s because I don’t know what to say, but because I don’t want to understate how incredible this game is. On paper, it sounds so simple: you play as an archaeologist that travels to different moons (small planets) to piece together an ancient language. But the game is so, so much more than that. I can’t even remember the last time a world has grabbed me as much as Heaven’s Vault’s did. There’s this…air of mystery surrounding every single inch of its world. Even months after beating the game, I still can’t get Iox and Renkai out of my head. I still want to know more about their histories, even though I feel like I’ve exhausted most lines of dialogue and searched every nook and cranny.

    The hook of the game is piecing together the language, and my god is it addicting. I never thought translating would be an itch of mine I needed to scratch, but the satisfaction I felt whenever I translated a word correctly was otherworldly. Obviously, this game would not have worked had it not been for the absolutely wonderful, almost poetic writing the game has. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the game was made by the incredible folks at Inkle, of 80 days fame.

    There’s really no other way to end this other than to urge people to play this game, so please play it. Hopefully, the upcoming Switch release shines a spotlight on it, because I can’t think of another game that’s more deserving of that right now.

  5. Resident Evil 2 - REmake 2 is, in my opinion, the best remake of all time. Not the best video game remake of all time, but the best remake in the entire entertainment medium. That title was previously held by Resident Evil (2002), which also happens to be a Resident Evil remake. To me, Capcom has mastered the art of remaking, and REmake 2 is concrete proof.

    Every single area has meticulously recreated with some improvements, like adding the stairs in the police station/museum area instead of that weird ladder, and new areas were added alongside new segments for Ada and Sherry. The game’s quite the looker, too. The biggest improvement, however, was the revamped Mr. X. In the original, Mr. X would rarely pop up, so much so that it got to the point where most players would even forget he existed for most of the game. Mr. X in the remake, however, is a completely different beast. From the moment he’s introduced, he relentlessly chases you around the entire map, creating an ever-present sense of dread.

    It’s awesome to finally have a remake that manages to both capture the spirit of the original and improve on it. REmake 2 fires on all cylinders and is an absolute triumph.

  6. Kingdom Hearts III - Oh boy, here we go.

    I’m aware this is somewhat of a controversial choice, and I completely agree that, when viewed at critically, Kingdom Hearts III is the “worst” game on this list by a long shot. However, this isn’t a review. This list is my personal GOTY list, and as a fan of the story and character parts of Kingdom Hearts more than the gameplay parts, this game delivered.

    During the first 70% or so of the game, I was having a blast from a gameplay perspective. KH3’s worlds are easily the best the franchise has to offer, and because Kingdom Hearts skipped the previous generation of consoles, the jump feels insane, especially when you go from Kingdom Hearts 2 or Dream Drop Distance to Kingdom Hearts 3. Every single world aside from one (we don’t talk about Arendelle) was expertly designed with a lot of care and love, and it shows. Toy Box is now my favorite world in the franchise, and Corona as well as The Carribean were also incredible. The combat, while still not as good as KH2’s, was great. You can tell the Osaka team really learned from their work on everything since Birth By Sleep (I know some still have issues with the combat such as it being “floaty” but it personally never really bothered me). The music was also absolutely wonderful but that shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the incredible Yoko Shimomura helmed a lot of the soundtrack.

    What I was not having a blast with during the first 70% of the game, however, was the story, because it was non-existent. I was devastated, because it mostly revolved around the Disney worlds, not the overarching narrative. This game was supposed to conclude the current saga on the franchise (aptly named “The Xehanort Saga”) and it just…wasn’t doing anything. During the final Disney world, I really thought that they were either not going to wrap everything up, or they were going to rush everything related to the overarching story, and I didn’t know which option was worse. And then it happened.

    The last 30% of the game hit.

    The sheer amount of (good) fan fiction-level events that occur during the final 5 hours or so of the game is absolutely insane. I won’t be talking at length about this section to avoid spoilers, but this game made me cry SEVEN TIMES during its final hours, and it ends with an insanely climactic boss rush. Would I have liked for everything that happened to have been peppered throughout the game? Yes. Did I like that they just dump it all on you during the game’s final hours? Also yes.

    Bonus points for the KILLER cliffhanger/tease for the next saga, whatever it may be. I’ll be there day 1.

  7. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is my least favorite Miyazaki-directed Soulsbornekiro (sorry) game. It’s also better than 90% of the games I played this year. Miyazaki casually delivered a masterpiece once again, with ridiculously good world building, out-out-the-world combat, gorgeous art direction, fantastic level design, fun, blood-pumping bosses and pretty much everything you’d expect from a quality From Software game.

    The only reasons this game isn’t in the top 3 or my GOTY is that I never really had a good grasp on the combat, even though I enjoyed it. It always felt like I was cheesing whenever I was doing good, even if I wasn’t. The other reason, stupid as it may be, is the setting. I’ve got nothing against Feudal Japan (heck, I’ve been begging for an Assassin’s Creed game set in Feudal Japan for a while now) but I’ve always preferred settings where you could do weird shit, like a Dark Fantasy setting (Dark Souls) or a Lovecraftian setting (Bloodborne). There’s a lot less room to do weird shit in Feudal Japan, although this game does try but it doesn’t end up hitting as hard, in my opinion.

    I went into the negatives a little bit, but that’s because literally everything else is sublime. It’s incredible to me that From Software and Miyazaki keep producing masterpiece after masterpiece, and with the announcement of Elden Ring, it doesn’t look like they’re stopping anytime soon.

  8. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Fire Emblem: Three Houses is easily my favorite “new” Fire Emblem game. Heck, it might even be my favorite Fire Emblem game overall, and that’s because it changes the formula, and manages to mostly succeed at doing that.

    I’ve liked all of the Fire Emblem games (yes, even Fates) but I’ll be the first to admit that before FE3H, they’d gotten a bit stale. Not bad, but just kind of…the same? You always knew what you were getting into, kind of like the Pokemon franchise currently. Echoes: Shadows of Valentia managed to change things up a bit, but not by much.

    The introduction of the school setting, as well as the semi Persona-esque calendar system (Persona is my favorite franchise of all time, so you know I ate that shit UP) are far from the only new additions FE3H brings to the table, but they’re the ones that stick out the most. The ability to spend more time with the characters you yourself chose (Black Eagles forever!) feels great, and it helps that the characters themselves and the writing are the best they’ve been in a while. The music is, as always, fantastic.

    If there’s one thing that has remained incredible throughout all of the titles, it’s the combat (the maps, not so much), and that remains the case. The removal of the weapon triangle and the addition of battalions introduces a new layer to the already incredible depth the combat has. There’s not much else to say, it’s just more SRPG goodness!

  9. Control - Control is easily Remedy’s best game to date.

    The setting, The Oldest House, completely dwarfs everything they’ve done before in terms of pure creativity. There’s a moment that happens very early on that’s not a story moment but a very small, missable gameplay moment that that made it very apparent that the setting was something special. The idea of a “shifting” building sounds fantastic on paper, but gets a little worrisome when you start thinking about the execution. It’s mind blowing to me that Remedy managed to perfect it on their first go-around.

    That’s not to say that The Oldest House is the only special thing about Control, because there’s a lot to love here. The visuals, combat, music, narrative and performances are all spectacular, and the fact that all of that was achieved with an AA budget makes it all the more impressive. The Ashtray Maze is easily one of my favorite sequences of the year, and encompasses everything that’s special about Control.

  10. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (2019) - As someone who isn’t particularly pleased with the direction Nintendo’s taking the Zelda franchise in, playing Link’s Awakening was incredibly bittersweet. I was having a blast, while fully knowing there’s a great chance that this is quite possibly the last time I get to experience a new Zelda game the way I like them. It was a very interesting experience.

    One can’t obviously talk about this game without mentioning the thing that sticks out the most, which is the visuals. When the remake was announced, I wasn’t feeling them, because Link’s Awakening is one of the darker Zelda games, and I felt like the visuals just didn’t fit the world. I’m glad that I was wrong, because the cutesy, toy box like visuals breathe new life into Koholint Island. The Depth of Field effect gets kind of annoying after a while, and the performance takes a hit because of it, so I wish there was an option to turn it off. Other than that, everything about the game visually is fantastic.

    I don’t want this to turn into a post about Link’s Awakening, but the remake itself. I find talking about remakes immensely difficult, so I’ll just leave it at this: Link’s Awakening is a quintessential Zelda game, with all of the series’ (older and better) staples intact. It’s incredible.

  11. Borderlands 3 - Fun.

    If there’s one word to describe the Borderlands series, it’s “fun.” And Borderlands 3 is brainless, mindless fun. It might not be as good as Borderlands 2, or have writing as sharp as Tales from the Borderlands (which is objectively THE BEST Borderlands game), but it’s a blast to play through.

    Borderlands’ writing, and especially Borderlands 3’s, has been quite controversial, but I find it funny, even if jokes fall flat sometimes. It was also quite nice to see Borderlands characters all the way back from 1 appear and have major roles, with most voice actors reprising their roles, except Claptrap’s (which I had no issues with, they sounded very similar) and Rhys’ (which I had MAJOR problems with. The new VA doesn’t even TRY to sound like Troy Baker and it sucks).

    Borderlands’ DLC campaigns are usually better than the main campaigns, so I’m ridiculously excited for what comes next! If Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot is any indication, it's going to be a fun time.

  12. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Boo!

    Luigi’s Mansion 3 is easily the best Luigi’s Mansion game, and trust me when I say that that’s saying a lot, since the original holds a very special place in my heart.

    The hotel is a major upgrade from Dark Moon’s setting, and I’m glad they did away with the mission-based structure that game was plagued with. The amount of creativity on display here is plentiful, as every floor of the hotel feels distinctly different, yet somehow they all feel connected. It’s the original’s mansion on steroids. Portrait ghosts are back after their removal from Dark Moon, and they’re better than ever. Every single boss fight (except for one) was creative, unique and actually fun, which is quite a feat considering the series’ history with boss battles and the like.

    Honestly, I was afraid for the series’ future after Dark Moon (If you couldn’t tell, I did not like that game very much) but after 3, I’m confident that whatever Nintendo decides to do with the franchise, it’s going to be great. They listened to the feedback and it shows.

  13. Death Stranding - I have to give Death Stranding a nod, because while the gameplay wasn’t quite up my alley, I genuinely adored the world, narrative, characters and performances. Kojima gets a ton of flak (and sometimes rightfully so) for his overly pretentious writing, but I personally thought Death Stranding has some of his best writing so far, and thought the message behind the game was lovely. Had the gameplay been as strong as Metal Gear Solid’s, Death Stranding would have easily landed in the top 5.

  14. The Outer Worlds - I made it a rule for myself not to include any games I haven’t beaten on this list, but I’m willing to make an exception just this once, because The Outer Worlds is fantastic. Yes, I have technically “beaten” the game, but I missed out on a ridiculous amount of side quests and I feel like this game truly shines in that department, so it doesn’t feel like I've really beaten it. Still, from what I’ve played, The Outer Worlds is an Obsidian game, which is the biggest compliment it could possibly get. Fantastic quest design, sharp (and often hilarious) writing, great characters and world building, etc… it’s all there. I can’t wait to spent more time in it.

  15. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is easily the best 2D platformer since Rayman Legends (which is, imo, the best 2D platformer of all time. Yes, I'm counting Tropical Freeze). It's also interesting that it's a follow up to Yooka-Laylee, which I personally enjoyed but it didn't really stand out in the 3D platformer space and was met with a resounding 'meh' upon release. the team really knew what they were doing with this one and it shows, especially in the immensely creative overworld the game has.

  16. Telling Lies - Sam Barlow's follow up to Her Story is almost as interesting, almost as creative, almost as incredible, and ridiculously more ambitious. I say 'almost' because I truly believe this type of gameplay and storytelling is more compatible with with Her Story (searching through police interview footage, where every single video is at least a bit interesting) than Telling Lies (searching through webcam footage, where a good amount of videos are boring, and rightfully so). Still, it was an incredible experience and I cannot wait for his third project.

  17. Ring Fit Adventure - I was initially going to end this list at #16, but I have to give Ring Fit Adventure a nod. It's admittedly a bit of a weird choice, but it's the first game that truly made me understand Nintendo's weird (but cool) obsession with fitness games. Mashing the RPG genre with the Fitness genre (if that's even a thing) was a genius idea, and made working out kind of addicting for a bit. It's most definitely not a gym replacement or anything of the sort, but I still give it a whirl whenever I need to work out for as bit, because it genuinely feels like it gives you a real workout, unlike Nintendo's previous outings in the genre.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Death Stranding - Kojima's return to gaming knocked it out of the park. Amazing experience.
  2. Kingdom Hearts 3 - A really satisfying conclusion to over 10 years of story buildup.
  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - My surprise of the year. Really enjoyed my time with it.
  4. Gears 5 - Didn't think that I cared about the Gears franchise anymore but Gears 5 really hit it out of the park for me.
  5. Astral Chain - Another solid game from Platinum Games. The most overlooked game this year IMO.
  6. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - A really solid return after a fairly mediocre expansion in Stormblood.
  7. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - My favorite FROM game to date. Really captures the feel of swordplay very well.
  8. Mortal Kombat 11 - Takes the franchise in some interesting directions. Extremely fun to play.
  9. Devil May Cry 5 - Dante is back! A pretty solid return to form for Dante and friends.
  10. Super Mario Maker 2 - A charming game with seemingly endless reasons to go back and play.

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Oct 30, 2017
  1. Astral Chain – Very fun combat and variety of different move sets, has such stellar soundtrack.
  2. Days Gone - A game starts really slow but once it takes off, it really is an amazing experience. I love the world, the characters and how it comes together towards the end. Tackling on the hordes is such a unique fun experience and the game also has amazing music to accompany it.
  3. Sekiro – Might be the biggest love/hate game I’ve ever played. Sekiro has amazing artstyle, had a lot of fun navigating within the world and levels, there are times when the difficulty makes for such frustrating experience almost despising the game until you pull a victory which feels really satisfying.
  4. Devil May Cry 5 - Has the best combat system in any game I've played this year.
  5. Gears 5 – I really enjoyed how much of a difference the game improved on the predecessor. Was quite nice navigating on the skiff, enjoyed the story beats better and had a lot of fun with the MP.
  6. Total War: Three Kingdoms - Total War series might be the last kind of Strategy game I enjoyed and found they did excellent with the setting which was one of my dream settings I wished they would have years ago.
  7. Resident Evil 2 – Really fantastic survival with enjoyable level puzzles coming together.
  8. Unruly Heroes – A really beautiful game, I love the setting of the Journey to the west, a found the mechanics solid and a really nice music to accompany it as well.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. AI: The Somnium Files - Putting this at #1 because so many people slept on Uchikoshi (of 999 fame) latest mindscrew. I dont think I've seen it in any GOTY lists or nommed for any awards. The plot veers from laugh out loud funny to genuinely emotional, and the English and Japanese VA are both top notch.
  2. Disco Elysium - So ridiculously in-depth and well written. Being a washed up alcholic has never been so fun. You can be anything you want to be. The soundtrack is incredible too.
  3. Hypnospace Outlaw - What I thought was just a "LOL 90s internet sucked" meme game actually turned out to have a really engrossing story attached.
  4. Super Mario Maker 2 - It's Mario Maker with slopes and ice levels! The new Zelda DLC adds even more options.
  5. Sayonara Wild Hearts - This rhythm game has so much creativity, with every single level offering new mechanics that work perfectly in sync with the outstanding soundtrack.
  6. What The Golf? - What starts out as a golf game keeps shifting in weirder and weirder directions. So much creativity! Probably the closest thing to Frog Fractions 2.
  7. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I've barely scratched the surface of this game but I've enjoyed every moment I spent with it.
  8. Untitled Goose Game - Being an asshole goose will never not be entertaining.
  9. Tetris 99 - Tetris battle royal. Addictive, compelling, and the themes mean I'll keep returning. Probably the only truly good thing to come out of Nintendo's online scheme.
  10. Pokemon Sword and Shield - This game was clearly rushed and suffers from some bizarre design choices, but the core gameplay loop is still incredibly fun, Pokengland is exciting to explore and the new Stadium gym battles are epic.

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Oct 30, 2017
  1. Slay the Spire - Ingenious card roguelike, which has already spawned countless copycats and will influence similar games to come.
  2. Disco Elysium - In a time where "Role Playing Game" is often nothing more than an umbrella term for a collection of gameplay-elements like Experience Points, Disco Elysium manages to be the first game that truly embodies the original meaning of assuming a character and having the freedome to play him however you like. It stays entertaining despite having no traditional battles. We'll be talking about the influence of the game for years to come.
  3. Super Mario Maker 2 - It was my most anticipated game I'll probably never play! Nevertheless I already have hundreds of hours of fun with it, since I watch it being played almost daily.

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Oct 25, 2017
I dunno did I do it right? I'm not sure what the deal with the vote bot thing is?


Baby, Pink is my favourite part
Mar 30, 2018
Ok so I counted, I played 7 games released in 2019, 3 of which I surely wanna nominate to GOTY, 2 of which I'm iffy about nominating but probably will do so anyway so that my list doesn't look fucking tragic, and 2 of which I can't even be arsed to mention at all because they're not good enough to do so.


Oct 25, 2017
  1. Disco Elysium - One of the few crowning gems of the CRPG Renassaince, Disco Elysium combines dialogue importance and comedy in a fashion that makes it the biggest surrpise and most creatively successful title of the year. From changing your partner in crime fighting to having new mental labels for the type of cop you are, Disco Elysium encourages player expression in many fashions. It's the greatest ideal to detective work in a CRPG instead of simply using vague directions on where to go and who to speak with. There are a few typos, but in such a narrative heavy game from an indie studio, it is understandable.

    The skill system is a bit lacking in terms of utility for the amount offered and is the closest thing to an unncessary addition in the game. The raw stat progression system, however, is outstanding and creates the backbone for the game. Your attributes are personalized in the game as somewhat "mental demons" that speak to each other and the player to influence action and speech. It's all very diegetic and superb in adding a fresh layer to the game world.

    The worldbuilding makes the whole package even more impressive with a wartorn, politically complex universe. Science fiction elements are also introduced for even more flavor, which can be ignored or engaged at the player's leisure. I wasn't entirely certain what quality I'd expect from this title with its prior trailer, but dialogue focused character building is something I adore when done properly (a la The Witcher 3). This title takes dialogue and physical flags to a whole new level that remains only more hilarious and wonderful to envelop yourself with as more pieces to the mystery reveal themselves. That makes it easily the best new title to release in the year 2019.

  2. Resident Evil 2 - Capcom's return to Resident Evil 2 is a spectacular one. The visual and user interface updates make this not only a title that is great as a standaloen experience for newcomers. The remake also returns to very replay friendly campaign experiences that are encouraged through collectibles, extra outfits and short playtime. The Racoon City Police Station is an enjoyable major area to begin within that has made the translation to modern consoles with grace. Mr.X does end up being more of a slight annoyance than a threat later on, an issue avoided in Resident Evil 7. However, the overall package is tight and entertaining which are the traits peak Resident Evil has to offer.

  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - To tackle the worst aspects first, I hate how hideous this title looks and runs. The environments are bland, the framerate chugs constantly whether in the schoolgrounds or battlegrounds. Even the pre-rendered cutscenes are miserable in their poor animation quality. It's a mess of a combination not even mentioning the mediocre soundtrack. However, what Three Houses loses in visual fidelity it makes up for in character interaction. Never before has Fire Emblem had such a great focus on interchanging characters and their bonds fully voiced. Seeing characters make a connection with another of your favorites, or even your bland player insert character, makes the series' past entries look like a joke in this respect.

    I'm excited to see Fire Emblem embrace its newfound capabilities on more powerful hardware to make the most of player interactions and story (while that's also a bit of a mess in focus and pacing in every house's route). For Fire Emblem to take home the character drama and development in such an enjoyable fashion and gameloop with its return to home console mainlines (unlike other titles like Pokemon Sword/Shield released this year), shows the dormant strength it still has as a series. As it stands, it's likely my second favorite only to Path of Radiance due to the feeble legs the story walks on while split into several perspectives. Even then, it shines in many ways the Gamecube titles simply could not. It's great to see and I will give credit where it's due on the sheer amount of voiced character content on display.

    Though I hope they take the story criticisms (lacking engaging unique content with one path feeling rushed altogether) and most of the presentation criticisms to heart for the next one.

  4. Untitled Goose Game - My only issue with this title is that it had the space to be longer for even more satisfaction! As a physics-related puzzle title, it's charming to honk as a rude goose that has made a name for itself in a small village. The stages flow together nicely and aside a couple of bugs, the experience of trying and retrying different approaches to complete my naughty checklist was all laughs and smiles. The music is simple and weaves itself into different actions and reactions to the player's goose making an immersive storybook setting for about 2.5 - 3 hours of bliss. Once you pick up the title, it really is difficult to let go as you quickly pick up the quirks of controlling the goose and evading the rightfully disgruntled innocents that you reign light terror upon.

  5. Devil May Cry 5 - Returning to fast-paced combat as Dante was as enjoyable as it ever has been in this latest installment. Best of all, there was no full-on backtracking in the story mode! Nero plays much better here than in Devil May Cry 4 while making his options better to experiment with while dealing damage. V is a new playstyle that is more ranged and potentially defensive, but it works and is very powerful. It's not the best idea for a new fighting style from an engagement standpoint honestly, but they have done worse (such as in the previous mainline title with Nero's introduction).

    The weakest parts of this game are the mob enemy designs/types. I've expected better from this angle for a while and it disappoints to see most of them are as uninteresting as ever. The bosses are a little better, but not by much from a visual design perspective while some have great moments while fighting. On top of this, the selfish combatant in me wishes there was also a return to Lady's fighting style atop the largely expert handling of the other fighters. I'll hold onto that hope for another day and will certainly approve of this title in the meantime. Devil May Cry really made the quality comeback it desperately needed.

  6. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Luigi's latest ghost hunting adventure was a decently good time. I played the entire title cooperatively with a play partner and we had a fair time with the game. The animations are lovely and the art style works to its favor with the Switch's constant limitations rather than crumbling under the pressure. It's not a gorgeous game, but it consistenly looks pleasant and runs satisfactory (which is unfortunately too rare in the console's larger first party offerings). My main issues with the game lie with its controls and economy. With the latter, moving the Poltergust-G00's vacuum in three dimensions feels awful to control while also moving Luigi. The controls should have allowed button mapping and a smoother variant overall as either option provided you is lacking in someway or another.

    The second is that you get tons of coins and gems. These feel great to pick up at first until you find that there are no upgrades to purchase. So all you buy are extra lives or hints to track down the collectibles of the game which both lead to severely underwhelming, mindless prizes. I cannot fathom why money couldn't have more of a use in the title, but they give you more than enough of it to do nothing with. Boss fights are largely rather fun and require using different tools in your arsenal to compete with. However, the final boss can be a struggle due to the mediocre controls and as such becomes a pain for all of the wrong reasons. Overall, Luigi's Mansion 3 is good for a playthrough with or without a friend, but could have done more to make the active movement/combat catch up to the solid visual presentation.

  7. Life is Strange 2 - In short, this story of two brothers escaping the law after a supernatural misunderstanding has finally concluded. The release schedule was awful and much too extended, but leaving that aside to judge the game itself, this was a positive yet mixed experience. Visuals have been upgraded greatly since the original Life is Strange and even the latter prequel title. DONTNOD continues to push the beauty of these narrative adventures with great detail to the environment and character models.There seems to be less focus on vocal music in this story as nature is a great element and nature makes music without human voices. Where the title falls short is that the political message can be a bit too heavy-handed making it difficult to take seriously as an organic story at times (while the messages about American foreign relations, casual racism and unfortunate incarceration system are valid).

    Sean is the older brother and main character, given many chances to help his younger brother, Daniel grow through your actions while also affecting the ending. Daniel, sadly, is an awful character that remains insufferable and given little personal consequences despite all of the trouble he causes making his age only a small factor. By the end, while he is certainly a living figure within the game, I found his redemption arc unsatisfying and not necessarily deserved regardless of which path is taken. The writers simply did a poor job of characterizing Daniel as a child who, while potentially erratic, has a real heart and learns from the lessons taught to him. That is set aside for convenient spots in the narrative where they can show off flags showing he paid attention to "that one" action Sean did in the past several times throughout. As a major character, the base narrative demands that he causes levels of chaos for the main character that should be impossible with some directions to educating him and they are almost never properly addressed for all of the episodes.

    This major oversight and the fact that the brothers are always on the move meeting new people make the story, while better fleshed, also thematically weaker than the original Life is Strange (and Before the Storm). I will say the ending cutscenes in terms of breadth and variations are the best the series has to offer to date. It's too bad that the intimate story leading up to those events almost never made proper sense. If I were to choose a best episode, I'd say Episode 3 embraced the idea of meeting new people and adapting to life on the road while balancing attention paid to your younger partner best. I wish more of Life is Strange 2 shared that thoughtfulness rather than the slapdash concepts laid throughout the latter portion of the game. As it stands, Life is Strange as a series continues sporting the strongest presentation in modern interactive adventure games today.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - The best game of 2018 somehow gets better. I have about 800 hours in this game on PS4, another couple hundred on PC and anticipating its release there too. This is the Smash Ultimate "everyone is here" version of Monster Hunter and remains the best and most accessible way to jump into this franchise
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - A strong return to form for the series with a great cast of characters
  3. Pokemon Sword - It's probably the weakest generation in the series, but it's still fun and a decent timewaster
  4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - It's not amazing, but it's good enough, bringing back that Jedi Knight series fun of swinging a lightsaber at stormtrooper

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Oct 25, 2017
Yeah I didn't play a lot of games this year. Also to whoever is taking care of the spreadsheet: Pokemon Sword/Shield is misspelled and I'm not sure how to record it on my vote.

Mikey Jr.

Oct 25, 2017
Man, what an absolutely ho-hum year this has been for me.

Everything was riding on death stranding, and I really did not enjoy it much at all.


Oct 27, 2017
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - The absolute best Fire Emblem in well over a decade, and possibly ever.
  2. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - It's everything I ever wanted and more.
  3. Judgement - A murder mystery? In my Yakuza?! It's more likely than you think!
  4. Untitled Goose Game - HONK
  5. Cadence of Hyrule - The crossover absolutely no one expected, but it's a damn good time.
  6. Tetris 99 - They turned a goof on the idea of a Tetris Battle Royale game into an actual game?!
  7. Daemon X Machina - Sweet, sweet mecha action. And ice cream!
  8. Kingdom Hearts III - It isn't perfect, but it's a wild ride.
  9. Gris - Colorful and poetic.
  10. Yakuza 3 Remastered - It's not Kiryu's most renowned outing, but the remaster is much more enjoyable than the original release.

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