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

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FliXFantatier

Master of the Reality Stone
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,787
Los Angeles
Ok, time to jump in on this. I only played three new in 2019 games though. 😝
This is me for the most part, buying games on sale a few years later is the best. 😁



  1. Anno 1800 - Just an amazing city builder, building on decades of experience the team has made the best Anno yet with a game play loop that never lets you go and before you know it 4 hours have passed while you tried to optimize the production chain of some resource to make you population happy.
  2. Guacamelee 2 - Guac 1 is probably my favourite indie game ever and Guac 2 does not disappoint. It's very much an evolution not a revolution, but that is all the tried and tested tight formula needs!
  3. Erica - Really, really well implemented interactive movie. Interesting story, but more importantly a technical marvel in how seamless it combines a movie with video game mechanics.


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Altrich

Member
Apr 5, 2018
231
  1. Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition - Best CRPG I played this decade hands down, so satisfying to create the builds that I wanted and making it ridiculously OP (Fane with green tea doing blood storm > grasp >mosquito > blood storm > grasp > mosquito obliterated everything). Amazing companions, villains, story, side quests and your choices do matters.
  2. Disco Elysium - This is it. Its the spiritual successor of Planescape for me. The entire gameplay mostly consist of 1/ choosing dialogue options and 2/ passing the options' skill check (can be done by equipping the right skills/ outfits/ thoughts/ doing other dialogues first). Sounds simple but its actually quite sophisticated and the quality of the dialogue are superb. I also enjoy the way the game track the main characters actions and how it affect the world and the NPCs. Only thing that annoy me is that a good number of NPCs talk too similarly and too hipster-ish (like harvey pekar or carlie kaufman kind of hipster) which kinda ruin the immersion.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - Never beat the original PS1 game and I'm so happy that I beat it now. Can't stop playing this game after I bought it and think I completed it in three sittings, so intense and its my second favorite RE after RE4.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice -
    My second least favorite soulsbornekiro games and the first ever that I cannot beat (yet) but it's still amazingly good that it's landed on my top 5 this year. Memorable bosses and top notch exploration/ verticality. Although the core swordfighting loop is satisfying, I just wish there are more tools, weapons, and equipment to keep the gameplay interesting and more replayable.
  5. Astral Chain - Platinum Games has done it again. This time with bold experiment on the combat system and IMHO it paid off. Controlling your character and your chosen legion at the same time feel satisfying and intuitive. There are a good variety of different actions that you and your legions can do which make it a joy, although sometimes the mechanics can feel a bit repetitive. If there's ever a sequel I can only hope they flesh out the story and characters more as everything here feel a bit 2 dimensional.
  6. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - Probably the coolest game this year, it feel so bad-ass wreaking havoc at 1,800 mph. The gorgeous vistas also make it some of the most relaxing, almost therapeutic level gaming experience I ever have. Kinda make me feel bad for not getting into the series sooner.


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JoetheGamer

Member
Apr 3, 2019
3
  1. Metro Exodus - crazy ride through russia with varying, interesting locations and characters. good gunplay and exploration as well as gun customization. what made the difference for me in this game is the immersion you get when you are crawling around in hostile environments and need to change your gas mask filter every few minutes.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - great atmoshpere in this game. I remember carefully taking my first steps through a dark corridor. The most memorable are the first few hours when you feel vulnerable and are not sure what to expect.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - a well crafted game with an interesting story, great visuals and very good unforgiving combat system. you have those rage quit moments one day and the next day you feel top of the world when you have beaten the boss you tried for hours. great level and character/mob design. incredible blend of Nioh/Bloodborne for me.
  4. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - at first i did not want to play this at all, but once i returned i really enjoyed the new area and monsters. learning new weapons was super fun and the grind to upgrade them is what we all are looking for!
  5. Rage 2 - a great breezy shooter with AMAZING gunplay and character powers. i liked the characters but the story not too much. but that gunplay never gets old!!
  6. Tom Clancey's The Division 2 - kept me going quite a while, enjoyed the hunting for better loot and the massive fights in some of the levels. great mp fun.


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Ursine Ultra

Member
Oct 28, 2017
42
  1. Disco Elysium - Quite simply the best game I have played in as long as I can remember. Actual proper writing, a deep and clearly thought out world, real consequence and reasons to replay. A masterpiece. Also music by the best band ever and deep cut references to their work that the tiny cross-section of people who are going to get makes me feel like this game was designed for me, personally. So, thanks for that.
  2. Slay the Spire - Tuned to perfection, it's like the card game I've wanted to play for years without even realising it. One more run forever and ever.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Aesthetically more my thing than any other From game but I didn't enjoy the combat nearly as much, and some of the bosses were just too annoying. Kept getting bored but will finish it eventually.
  4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Very much like a new Symphony of the Night which was a pleasant surprise. Gets the feel of SotN right in a way so many of its imitators doesn't. Also, cooking.
  5. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - I've played more of this multiplayer than any COD since the original BLOPS and I did not expect that at all. Single player is lol but also pretty at times.
  6. The Outer Worlds - Not as good as the first few hours had me thinking but still a competent enough thing, and proof that Obsidian can still do New Vegas. Hopefully with MS money they can do it properly next time and not just sort of give up half way through.
  7. Demon's Tilt - I would like it more if the W10 version didn't have some weird lag because I very rarely wanna play pinball on my xbox on the tv.
(also wanted to say that Hollow Knight is better than everything in this list other than Disco Elysium and I played it more than anything else this year, but I'm a bit late.)


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Honolulu Blue

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,848
  1. Resident Evil 2 - I had almost 2 decades of expectations about what an RE2 remake would look like, spanning 3 console generations and assuming it would never happen. That the game even exists, nevermind being as good as it is, is an extraordinary achievement.
  2. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - I was all set for an off year from buying COD games, and after reading so many negative impressions about the multiplayer I'm still not sure why I bought this. I'm so glad I did though. This is easily the most I've enjoyed Call of Duty multiplayer since.. well, probably the original Modern Warfare.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I think this is the only time I've ever nominated a single player game that I've not completed. The overall quality of Sekiro is absolutely superb, and is probably only second to Bloodborne to me in terms of the best games From have made.
  4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Enjoyed this a lot despite some technical issues and variable levels of polish. A fun, breezy adventure with an engaging story that provides an excellent foundation for future sequels.
  5. Dirt Rally 2.0 - I had some early reservations about this games structure and overall presentation compared to the very finely tuned and "compact" predecessor, but the sheer thrill of driving in this game is absolutely exhilarating. It's the only game on this list that makes me feel like I haven't blinked for 10 minutes at a time.


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OrochiJR

Member
Oct 29, 2017
117
  1. Death Stranding: The Norman Reedus X UPS simulator kept me hooked with its interesting story and gameplay that differs from other AAA games. At times it may have needed an editor, but nonetheless this game will stay with me for a long time.
  2. Astral Chain: The combination of late 80s/ early 90s anime aesthetic and vintage Platinum action delivered. I found the concept with the dual stick controls of your Legion especially well done. All hail Taura.
  3. Mortal Kombat XI: A fighting game with production values, tight gameplay and seemingly endless single player content. Have a look, Capcom!


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Ralemont

Member
Jan 3, 2018
2,370
  1. Resident Evil 2 - This game had a whole childhood's worth of expectations and memories riding along with it. Somehow, it managed to not only match those expectations but exceed them. Perhaps it's biggest triumph is making base zombies scary again - a feeling the series has not had in a long time. While it deviates in some areas like the zapping system, the improvements, reimaginings, and straight-up changes are largely for the better. Resident Evil 3 can't come soon enough.
  2. Death Stranding - Never has a game made the simple art of walking so enjoyable, nor a mastery of traversal so rewarding. By the end of the game I felt like a M.U.L.E., totally addicted to the dopamine rush of a well-done delivery, zipping around the stage to 5-star NPCs and figure out better routes. This is a game where people come together to thank each other for PAVING ROADS. Kojima's next game can't come soon enough.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I'm not exactly a From Software fan. I bounced off the Souls series and, despite getting all the trophies, found too many of Bloodborne's design choices hindered my enjoyment more than they assisted. Sekiro is a different beast. Gone is the questionable combat and enemy moveset design of typical From games. Gone is the poorly-placed checkpoint system and asinine runs through a stage back to the boss. Gone is the possibility of picking the wrong build, fucking up your entire playthrough. In its place is an expertly crafted swordfighting system, with Posture being a hopefully revolutionary idea to shake up the standard hit points system. With experience and time to polish the finer aspects of the action/adventure experience, Sekiro is From's most enjoyable game to date.
  4. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - Shadowbringers continues to prove that not only do SE still have competent writers, but that they have the best in the JRPG business in this team right here. Sporting a complicated tale with complicated heroes and villains, ShB carries with it an edge of maturity seldom seen outside a Matsuno game. While the gameplay is also the best it's ever been thanks to a largely successful re-rehaul of the jobs, the story is definitely the selling point. It's just a damn shame that its status as an MMO expansion will prevent so many Final Fantasy fans from enjoying it properly.
  5. Kingdom Hearts 3 - A decade and a half of waiting did this game no favors, but despite the immeasurable hype, KH3 still does enough right to merit praise. While the combat balance is laughably off, Critical Mode's ability to turn off Disney attractions to focus on other aspects of combat does much to mitigate the somewhat uninvolved feeling of the vanilla's fights. The worlds are much better this time around, with new-to-the-series verticality and platforming that puts the previous games' bland zone arenas to shame. Kingdom Hearts 3 is a good one, and with Critical Mode sometimes even a great one. It'll do.


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Dabi3

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,472
  1. Death Stranding - Two thumbs-up to Kojima Productions for delivering a fun game unlike anything I've played before. They managed to game the act of walking from point A to point B by forcing you to have an acute understanding of the type of terrain your traversing, the steepness of the terrain, the weather conditions, the weight of the cargo, the balance of the cargo on your persons, the implements you have at your disposal, your stamina level... the factors to consider go on and on - but it's all FUN. Underneath this layer of brilliant game design is a substratum of an interesting open-world and a theme of connection that was reinforced every single time I built or used a structure in the world.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  3. Catherine: Full Body
  4. Control
  5. Resident Evil 2
  6. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  9. Super Mario Maker 2
  10. Trover Saves the Universe


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cryophantom

Member
Dec 21, 2019
27
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - It's been a while since any one game has taken hold of me so completely. I did 3 straight playthroughs with no breaks in-between and was never bored. Planning on going back in to play the 4th route once all the DLC has been released.
  2. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Could not have asked for a better Castlevania successor. Absolutely great from start to finish. Was so enjoyable that I did another playthrough immediately after getting the Platinum Trophy.
  3. Pokemon Sword/Shield - While the game does have flaws, I feel like it deserves this spot purely on hours played. I found the wild area and raids quite fun. I also did a 180 on the Dexit issue. I loved the trimmed down Pokedex in retrospect. That combined with the wild area made this the first Pokemon game that made me want to 100% my Pokedex since Ruby/Sapphire.
  4. The Outer Worlds - A second amazing spiritual successor in the same year? Holy cow. Not perfect - but better than anything Bethesda has put out in a while. I like the game's slightly more condensed structure, not just having one big open map, but I do wish there had been another planet or 2. I felt like the game was just ramping up into the 3rd act when it ended. Highly recommend doing a "dumb" character playthrough.
  5. Forager - SUPER addicting little game. Pulls mechanics from "clicker" games in an interesting way. A little on the shorter side, but it was a very unique experience that was executed incredibly well.
  6. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - Not the best Destiny expansion ever - but a solid all-around first outing for post-Activision Bungie. I found all the new content to be pretty engaging and fun. Going back to the Moon is great. I really hope they continue adding back all of the Destiny 1 locations.
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Very solid remake of my 4th favorite Zelda. The control re-mapping is a HUGE quality of life change. However, it does make the game a bit easier overall. That combined with some framerate issues, and an art style that is good, not great keeps this one from ranking higher for me.
  8. World of Warcraft Classic - Amazing nostalgia-fueled experience. Those first few weeks were amazing. Nostalgia can only fuel so much though, and my friends and I fell off pretty fast. Absolutely worth a spot here for the time we did have, though.
  9. Borderlands 3 - An enjoyable-enough experience for what it is. I wish they had done more to evolve the series, but as it stands, I still had a pretty good time with it. Much better than Pre-Sequel.
  10. Baba is You - Best new game mechanics of 2019 for sure. Very unique concept with very fun puzzles. I just can't really play this for extended periods without getting frustrated, though. I feel like the difficulty spikes WAY up a little too early on. For most people, I think they will bounce off around the time "float" is introduced. The early levels are brilliant due to the number of possible solutions, but as all the additional mechanics and difficulty is added, I feel like there are far less possible solutions, leading to much more frustration, and way more time needed on each puzzle. Would love to see a sequel that is a bit more refined.


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Oct 25, 2017
1,121
  1. Death Stranding - Walking(delivering packages)..., on the edge, of the crater like the prophets one said. Not much to add from what people were saying, is a really cool concepts, but i wouldn't call it a new genre, even though the gameplay is quite simple and repetitive is really addictive.
  2. Control - Best game from remedy so far, the ambience of the game is awesome, the really makes feel a total lack of control and lost most of the time, you barely understand what's going on until the very end, really fun to explore and get access to new places with new abilities.
  3. Kingdom Hearts 3 - 2nd best in the series, after waiting so long at least we have a partial closure, but still so many questions remain.
  4. Oxygen Not Included - I expend so much time on this game that i don't even know what to say, just don't kill your duplicants, they're irreplaceable.
  5. Disco Elysium - Haven't finished it yet, but having lots of fun trying to understand this weird story, really cool stuff happens base on your decision.
  6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Like a mix between fire-emblem and persona, I do miss having relationships and children, lol.
  7. The Outer Worlds - Most fun i had since fallout new vegas.
  8. No Man's Sky: Beyond - Never could tried the multiplayer, it only connected once with a friend for me, but submarines and cars are a really good addition.
  9. Darksiders Genesis - Haven't finished it yet, but playing as Strife so far is quite fun, not the usual Darksiders game but i'm glad they're using the franchise to make games.
  10. Astral Chain - Really cool action game, the animations gets a little repetitive after a while but is the best action game on the switch by far, after you master swapping by fighting it became incredible good.
  11. Days Gone - This game start a little slow, but it growths on you, planning and killing the hordes is the best it has.
  12. Resident Evil 2 - I wish i could stop Mr X, like in the old one, but an excellent remade anyway!
  13. Katana Zero - Honorable mention, short story, but really good gameplay, dead, rewind, re-aproch, dead, rewind..

WIP list, i made add more comments later with more time.


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Violet

Member
Feb 7, 2019
3,115
dc
  1. Death Stranding - Years ago, we knew what we we were in for. Zany story, memorable characters, nutty humor, ruminations on technology and the supernatural, all of the Kojima hallmarks have been there from the jump. But no one could've predicted the gameplay being so addictive, or the music cues, or the masterful multiplayer. The best work ever produced by one of gaming's defining creators.


  2. Disco Elysium - Friend once told me that the games that stand out the most in 2019 are games with heart, because so many titles are mass produced, playtested, and ironed out of any creative vision at all. Game design is thankless work, and no one can blame a developer for making games for the fans, and not for themselves. But some creators are still out there just pouring themselves into titles. This is the case with Disco Elysium, a title that feels transported out of the weird and wonderful brains of its creators and onto your screen. Probably a title where the less is said the better, but don't be dissuaded by the supposedly despairing world contained within, there is a lot of hope and love here, especially in the game's conclusion.


  3. Pathologic 2 - If the first title was Demon's Souls (an arrow of absolute weirdness compelling any player to tell everyone they know about it) than this is Ice Pick's Dark Souls. It's sharp and polished in all the right ways, without ever sacrificing the sense of discovery that anyone downloading fan-made translations years ago experienced on their own.


  4. Devil May Cry 5 - Simply the greatest combat system ever created, in any game. Insanely deep and rewarding, chock full of variety, and perfectly challenging. The window dressing is no slouch ever. Every character gets their hype moment, and the story beats wrap up perfectly.


  5. Resident Evil 2 - Man it sure feels weird playing an actual survival horror game again. RE2 is basically a loving tribute to one of the greatest works of level design in the history of gaming while also thoughtfully and beautifully building on that work.


  6. Apex Legends - The Overwatch/PUBG of 2019. Everything should be wrong. The monetization has ranged from passable to abysmal, the bugs are aplenty, communication has been frustrating........ but shit does the game just WORK. Sometimes there's just a perfect little gameplay loop that you can't put down. I'm really only into story based singleplayer games, but Apex basically sucked months out of my life because I just couldn't stop.


  7. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - A very noble expansion, delivering little in the way of surprise but providing a lot of needed variety, new content, and renewed interest in the game. It also features some of the best monster scenarios in the history of the series, so that alone will earn it a spot here.


  8. Astral Chain - Feels like this has been sort of overshadowed in most conversations, with heavy criticism aimed at it's ending and overall presentation or unfavorably comparing it to something like DMC5. I think that's a little unfair, as this is still yet another fine Platinum experiment. It still has some genius gameplay surprises, some incredible great setpieces and story beats, and an overall gorgeous art direction.


  9. What the Golf? - The surprise of the year easily. It didn't need to be anything other than a kind of funny experiment, but it instead provides surprise after surprise, tons of challenging bonuses and side content, and lots of little secrets and jokes to find. And unlike other unnamed indie games trying to be funny, it's actually funny, and the gameplay is actually good.


  10. Indivisible - I really, really admire this game. I've been in the industry for a while, and I've seen really difficult development cycles, and I know this game went through some deep shit. And the end product is just beautiful. Tremendous character design, superb animation, a rewarding battle system, compelling little stories, this is such a lovely success story.





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Sloane Ranger

Member
Oct 27, 2017
609
New Albany
  1. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Original and interesting story telling and character relationships - loved every minute of it.
  2. Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition - Wow. Best CRPG I can remember playing in a very long time. So Many fun ways to approach problems/puzzles!
  3. Resident Evil 2 - Beautiful remake + new upgrades. Couldn't ask for more!

Lots of "Good" games out there in 2019 like The Outer Worlds & Days Gone & Borderlands 3 & Jedi Fallen Order - I enjoyed them all, but they didn't knock my socks off. Also, I caught up on a lot of 2018 titles I had not gotten around to so many of my top titles would have been from last year.

If Disco Elysium had been on PS4 - I bet that one would have made my list as well.

Oh and Sorry Sekiro - after Bloodborne the stick is much higher.


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AleeN634

Member
Oct 27, 2017
57
  1. Resident Evil 2 - For years Capcom avoided remaking/updating Resident Evil 2. There were a lot of things that could have went wrong with updating one of the greatest Resident Evil games but Capcom managed to hit it out of the park. They absolutely nailed keeping the atmosphere of the original while updating the gameplay to almost modern standards (limited inventory slots still remain). The story remains mostly the same with a few updates to the secondary characters which was a nice change of pace. The star is the updated Mr. X who will relentlessly chase the player throughout the police station and loud footsteps make the player no longer feel safe anywhere. I can only hope that after such a strong follow up Capcom is able to do the same for Resident Evil 3.
  2. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - Almost 12 years after Ace Combat 6 we finally got a proper follow up to the a mainline Ace Combat series game. Despite the gap, the Project Aces team hasn't lost their touch and absolutely delivered a great action game. Set in the world where drones change the face of aerial combat and how warfare changes as a result. Oh yeah, Keiki Kobayashi nailed the soundtrack and it is one of my favorites of the year.
  3. Untitled Goose Game - Honk! Honk! I'm a very naughty goose and this is a very fun game.
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - It took a long time since the last entry but Modern Warfare is back. A soft reboot of the series, Modern Warfare maintains the series current day setting while revisiting characters from the original series (although a lot are hinting as coming in the sequel). Everything else remains classic Call of Duty, from the gunplay to the movement systems. One thing that was greatly improved are the sounds effects for the guns and explosions. A great return for the Modern Warfare series, I'm hoping they approve a sequel to re-integrate the rest of the characters.
  5. Anno 1800 - Anno 1800 is an absolute gem of a city building strategy game. There's something about managing a city in the Victorian themed area that feels refreshing. From the towering cities to the coal belching dirty factory districts, the game captures the look and feel of the era.
  6. Total War: Three Kingdoms - It took forever but the Total War series has finally covered Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Three Kingdoms refines the Total War formula that match the source material. Learning from the Warhammer series, they offer both a historical (more classic Total War experience) and romance option (hero based experience) on the battlefield. Another stand out are the advanced diplomacy options that allow loose alliances and even triggering proxy wars. Add in a period appropriate art style (the water color menus are lovely) and musical score that help lock in the era that maybe hasn't seen this much interest from game developers since Dynasty Warriors.
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - A Star Wars games in recent memory that wasn't too bad. Glitchy in places but was still pretty good. Set shortly after the Empire has taken over from the Republic, Fallen Order covers a lot of expanded universe stuff from the Inquistors, Night Witches of Dathomir and how some of the remaining Jedi live following Order 66. After EA's last 2 Battlefront games it's nice to play a Star Wars game that has good single player content and mostly works.
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Just like Resident Evil 2, Link's Awakening was a remake that was long overdue. It includes the updates from the DX color version but maintains the classic overhead Zelda view. Outside a few performance issues, Link's Awakening is still a fun romp through a strange land.
  9. Hypnospace Outlaw - Hypnospace Outlaw is a strange game. One of the strangest released last year. But behind its alternate 1990s internet are the stories of the users of hypnospace and near the end a big story that ties the events together. A must play for those who miss the early era of the internet or those who like a good mystery.
  10. Death Stranding - Hideo Kojima made a package delivery simulator with bad combat. But man, the package delivery part is great. Hiking through the countryside is a nice relaxing experience and in the second half of the game there is something satisfying about mass loading goods and using the highway networks to deliver in bulk. The story in intriguing but in the end wasn't the draw for me.
  11. Cadence of Hyrule - This was a crossover I wasn't expecting. Cadence of Hyrule is a musical mashup of the Legend of Zelda and the Crypt of the NecroDancer series. Simple to get into but hard to master.
  12. Super Mario Maker 2 - Super Mario Maker 2 still keeps the charm of Super Mario Maker but lacks the updates that helped keep Mario Maker fresh and interesting after release.


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SizzleBiz

Member
Dec 26, 2019
4
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses- I poured so much time into this game, and I never got sick of it. The maps could've been better and there are some (minor) problems I had with the monastery and other things, but I loved the flexibility I was able to use to prepare my units for battle, and just calling them units is a disservice to these characters because I love them all. Even if I don't agree with everything they do. I still love you Edelgard. You're still my fave. The multiple storylines and seeing the interactions between different characters made me want to keep playing and I just came to care so deeply about everyone in this game. I still think about it, I still go back and listen to the soundtrack. I am keenly waiting for the story DLC, I just cannot wait to go back to this world. I honestly think this is one of my all time favourite games. This is my Game of the Year, no doubt.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - I played RE4 for the first time earlier this year and that was a great game, so I went and played this and honestly, it blew me away. The atmosphere, the tension, the actual fear! Mr. X never really scared me as much as the lickers did, but the tension he was able to create was so good. I love that he comes in partway after you know the layout and just, ugh. Honestly love everything this game did and I cannot wait for the RE3 remake.
  3. Astral Chain - I am a fiend for PlatinumGames so this became one of my most anticipated games when it was announced, and it honestly delivered on my hype. It's funny because when I was playing, there were things that bugged me a bunch such as the plainness of the Astral Plane (no pun intended) and some of the side activities, but after finishing the game and sitting on it, those really did not effect my overall enjoyment of the game in any significant way. The combat was sick, and I actually enjoyed the ending, lol.
Never done this before, but these were my fave games. Didn't play too many new games this year, but it's fine.


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Dever

Member
Dec 25, 2019
221
  1. Death Stranding - This game basically took some of my favorite games and put them in a blender. It's got the crazy story of Metal Gear, the hauntingly beautiful world of Shadow of the Colossus, and a focus on complete player freedom and agency with an insane amount of tools akin to BotW. At the same time, it's got more brand new gameplay ideas than it almost knows what to do with. From the focus on traversal and delivering to the massive asynchronous multiplayer, it might be the most innovative and risky AAA game ever made. On top of that, I just love the entire theme of this game, of playing as this mostly non-violent, blue-collar delivery boy facing impossible odds to reconnect a post-apocalyptic world. A lot of big AAA games these days like to have deep stories and big themes, but these themes are mainly expressed in cutscenes, while the gameplay consists of shooting people in the face. In DS, the theme of connection is expressed (a bit heavy-handedly) in cutscenes, but also in every facet of the core game design. No other game lets me sit my tired Norman Reedus down under a shelter constructed by some kind stranger and play harmonica for my BB as rain pours down from the sky. As for criticism, I would have liked for the game to be a bit more challenging at times, or an extra difficulty mode to unlock after beating the game. There's also a ton of those small animations you see over and over again, with the worst offender being the Odradek spinning.
  2. Outer Wilds - I just recently bought this game, thinking that a comfy space adventure would be just what I needed to pass the holidays. I was a bit skeptical though, thinking it would be one of those moderately over-hyped indie titles. In short, I did not at all except this game to blow my mind in the way it did. It's like a Metroidvania where the only tool you need to traverse a previously blocked path is knowledge. There were parts in this game where solving a puzzle gave me legit chills, and I honestly didn't know a puzzle game could do that. That said, there's quite a bit of frustration to be had in playing this game. For a comfy space adventure, I found some parts to be excessively punishing, like how a single slip-up while doing some first-person platforming can cost you minutes of precious time. The time loop mechanic is a bit of a double-edged sword, where in some parts it accomplishes utterly fantastic puzzle design, but in others it forces you to just wait for stuff to happen.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Just another masterpiece from From Software. Though the Soulsborne franchise is great, I felt the combat was in need of some innovation, and the Posture system delivers just that. The story is nothing to write home about though, and maybe I do agree with some of the criticism regarding the game's difficulty... Like I feel I would recommend Dark Souls to just about anyone who's at least decent at third-person action games, it's such a unique game and the difficulty largely comes down to patience. But I feel like I can't in good conscience recommend Sekiro to friends and acquaintances, knowing there's a good chance they might find it an impenetrable slog and a waste of their money. It's a game for people who've played the Souls games so much they've become accustomed to the difficulty and want something even more challenging... So in other words, me.


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NMFried

Member
Oct 25, 2017
321
TX
  1. Pokemon Sword/Shield - Controversy be darned. These two games open up an exciting future for the Pokemon franchise, one that learns from other games in the space and truly rewards its players for not only training Pokemon, but catching them. This was the first time in a long time I had the motivation to complete the entire Pokedex.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - I am not a horror game fan, but Resident Evil 2 made me one. The game is so unbelievably polished and curated, from its incredible map system to its amazing sound design, it's night perfect. Capcom worked its magic here, and I can't wait to see what's next in their Resident Evil 3 remake.
  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - I've been waiting for a really great Star Wars game for a quite a while. And sure, Fallen Order has its issues, but it's leagues above anything we've really seen since the early 00s as far as compelling Star Wars gaming experiences go. The story is beautifully told, with great lightsaber customization and a likeable cast of characters.
  4. Control - Remedy really knows how to do atmosphere. From the moment it starts, you can never shake the creeping feeling that Control gives you. And even in its final moments of not-so-great difficulty spiking, it still manages to stick a landing. I'm glad this game exists.
  5. Afterparty - I was able to fit this one in in the final days of the year, and I'm really happy that I did. After loving Oxenfree, I expected great things from this studio, but what I didn't expect was something enough like what's come before and just different enough to be exciting again. The writing in this game is funny and pointed, and if you haven't beaten the devil in a drinking game yet, please do.
  6. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - I really wasn't sure if Infinity Ward could bring the magic back to this series, but they absolutely did. From its Avengers-esque main story to a fully loaded multiplayer suite that I'm still playing, it's exciting to see the franchise in top form and iterating in the genre space again.
  7. Kingdom Hearts III - I had no real stake in the Kingdom Hearts franchise outside of the 30-minute YouTube video I played before this game, but it sure was a valuable experience. It's kind of an exploration of antiquated game design, but in a way that still totally works. I'd love to get more out of the Disney worlds, but there's enough fun here to stick with it until the end.
  8. The Outer Worlds - I really, really enjoyed the first half of this game. And I'm thankful that that sheen carried me through the rest of it. With a bigger budget seemingly in the wings, I'm excited to see what Obsidian can do next with this (hopefully) franchise.
  9. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I loved everything about this game, but it somehow never hit the highs that I felt playing Fire Emblem: Awakening. Nonetheless, Fire Emblem is in great form these days, and I'll gladly defend whatever land we play in next.
  10. A Short Hike - This was my total surprise of the year. I bought it on a whim after hearing some good things, and totally fell in love with its art style. It really made me feel some feels about the Nintendo DS's unique style of 3D, especially when it veered close to Animal Crossing territory.


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Gartooth

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,006
  1. Resident Evil 2 - This game completely took me by surprise. I got it as I was pretty bored in January, but before this game I wouldn't have considered myself a big Resident Evil fan. The mix of horror, action, and exploration got me hooked with great presentation and replay value. I have this game to thank for getting me to check out other greats like REmake and RE4 this year.
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - After Fates I wasn't feeling big on Fire Emblem as a series, but this game completely reinvigorated my love for it. I really loved the new gameplay mechanics, player choice, and huge amount of content this game had to offer. With over 150 hours into it, this game consumed my life over the summer and I don't regret a second of it. Blue Lions Forever
  3. Luigi's Mansion 3 - By melding the best parts of the first two games, Next Level Games has created the best Luigi's Mansion game. There is a staggering amount of unique level designs and scenarios using only a small set of simple mechanics. From overgrown gardens to ancient pyramids and movie studios, this game offers a huge variety. The art direction and animation also stand tall amongst the best ever from a Nintendo game.
  4. Super Mario Maker 2 - This is my favorite game ever to make user generated content in. Even more tools and game styles to pick from and the chaotic fun of multiplayer elevate this one above the original for me. I also appreciate the new story mode for helping to spur some creative thinking for my own levels.
  5. Devil May Cry 5 - This is my favorite pure action game of the generation. Even without being a master at action games it is fun to just experiment with all the different tools you have across the three characters. Nero's devil arms in particular were a joy to use. The RE engine again makes for some incredible looking battles too.
  6. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - This game went far and beyond what was expected of it by including all the tracks and characters from Crash: Nitro Kart in addition to incredibly strong post-launch support. It's the same great mechanics and tracks from CTR but everything has been maxed out.
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - It's the Gameboy classic reimagined with several new quality of life features and one of the best art styles ever for a Zelda game. The soundtrack was also incredibly on point, and the chamber dungeons gave a fun look into the possibilites of a user created Zelda game.
  8. Untitled Goose Game - This game is more than a mere meme. It has incredible art direction and music, and shows full commitment to the game's hilarious concept. It's also one of the most fun games to play with other people in the room as eyes are immediately drawn to the goose's mad escapades.
  9. Kingdom Hearts III - This game is a must play for fans of Disney and Pixar, with incredibly well realized worlds and fun pick up and play combat.
  10. Cadence of Hyrule - A roguelike meets rhythm games meets Zelda, what's not to love? The game has a great soundtrack and beautiful spritework, with a lot of fun to be had from replaying the game again in a newly generated world.


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Mandos

Member
Nov 27, 2017
7,732
  1. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 - what can I say, it has the second most play time on my switch, only Xenoblade Chronicles 2(with torna dlc included) surpasses it. Best roster yet in the series with more to come, an addictive core loop and all the characters play loyal to themselves. There’s a good chance that if it’s solid the Fantastic Four Shadow of Doom expansion pack will get this back on my list this year too. Curious to see what else to come but I’ve already had a great journey with it
  2. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid - a little barebones at the start this has evolved into the best fighter of the year(from someone who sucks at fighting games), with a great cast and awesome movesets, I’ll be very disappointed if it doesn’t make the next Evo

  3. Astral Chain - solid adventure with plenty of side content I still need to complete and an appropriately cheesy story
  4. Daemon X Machina - Giant robots, tons of customizations and a plethora of explosions. Nuff said... oh and randomly Geralt from Witcher, don’t know why tho
  5. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition - after having a good time with a grand adventure and some convention twists I can see why this is considered a classic
  6. Super Robot Wars T - still need to actually beat this but from the few levels I have played the amount of care in the accuracies of the mobile suits are awesome and I really need to dive into this more
  7. Chroma Squad - again I’ve only completed a season in this but it’s a cute quick strategy game that’s full of loving homages to power ranger... what is with me and taking forever to finish strategy games
  8. Luigi’s Mansion 3 - cute little adventure my only regret is I wish it had lasted longer
  9. Cadence of Hyrule - only bought this a week ago so I still have half a map to explore, but these remixes rock
  10. Spyro Reignited Trilogy - this on the other hand I beat in a week and 100%(ish, those Spyro 3 races suck). A return to a beloved childhood series, only places so low because I place the new adventures a bit higher


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Splendy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
101
  1. Slay The Spire - As a fan of almost any and every form of roguelike Slay the Spire served as a secret gateway into more card based games for me. I didn't know a magic card from a yugioh card but Slay The Spire took deckbuilding and presented it as an RPG build like system that suddenly made me understand how people can spend hours drafting and playing. It got me to play almost daily for over a year now so I have to give my game of the year. An incredible example of how a game can come out of nowhere and capture your imagination.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - A game that feels too good to be real in a lot of ways, Resident Evil 2 represents what I feel is a near perfect melding in the various eras of Resident Evil. With the wonderful environment of RPD, shooting that is intuitive but with enough stiffness to add tension and some genuine scares, Resident Evil 2 is hard to put down and offers a replay-ability that remains unique to RE when it comes to the horror genre.
  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Fire Emblem has to serve many masters when it comes to pleasing it's fanbase but three houses seems more interested in being its own thing rather than catering to any specific era of FE, and it is all the better for it. With some of my favorite characters of the year and 3 campaigns that all offer unique insights into the world Fodlan, I spent much of 2019 thinking about my time at Garreg Mach Monastery.
    BlackEagles4Lyfe
  4. Pokemon Sword/Shield - A game that almost certainly took years off my life thanks to the pre-release cycle, the good news is that the things that make Pokemon good are still readily available in Sword and Shield. I love the region of Galar and all the new creatures I find imminently charming (especially my boy Falinks!). The story is very milquetoast which is a bit of a bummer after I enjoyed Sun and Moon's narrative quite a bit, but what suprisingly replaced it to me was the multiplayer. Max Raid Battles offered the first co-operative online Pokemon experience that I have ever really engaged in and I spent hours catching those giant mons with my friends, some of whom were mega hardcore and others who had not played since Red and Blue.
  5. River City Girls - A wonderful aesthetic and an absolutely killer soundtrack were my entry point for RCG but I found it to be my favorite game in the River City franchise to date. The RPG mechanics add just enough progression to keep me engaged in the beat em up action and I played the game over 4 times to enjoy each character's moveset. It also lets me do the most stone cold stunners in rapid succession the most successfully of any game this year so it that's means it gets its own award.
  6. Luigi's Mansion 3 - I now see why the ladies love Luigi so much.
  7. The Outer Worlds - A game I was so happy to see could still be made and have me enjoy it, The Outer Worlds is obsidian making a very obsidian game but that's frankly all I wanted from it. The more contained environments actually helped me enjoy the narrative in a more strong way than I have in a lot of games of it's ilk and while I don't love some of the story beats I can't help but feel satisfied at what the team created.
  8. Super Mario Maker 2 - Mario Maker 2 is a straight up upgrade on the first, but I found myself making less levels than I had in Mario Maker 1, but from time to time I will get struck by the desire to try something new and see what I can create. What I found myself doing instead for over 100 hours was going online and just trying levels over and over, I feel like with the time in between MM1 and 2 a lot of the top level creators really learned what makes a good mario level and so MM2 really feels close to that promise of Infinite Mario that lies at the core of its premise.
  9. Tetris 99 - A game that sounds like a passing joke at first turns out to be my favorite multiplayer experience this year. While the core tetris is as fun as ever the way the multiplayer strategy unravels with time and you learn when to target various opponents really adds another layer on top of one of the greatest games of all time.
  10. Dragon Quest XI S - The actual best game to come out this year but hey I put it as my number 1 last year so I would have to be an absolute hack to do it again. If you haven't played it the switch version truly is definitive, its an amazing rpg and one of my favorites of the decade.


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DMVfan123

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,737
Virginia
  1. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Respawn are a top 5 studio in the industry and this game was a prime example why.
  2. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3
  3. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
  4. Days Gone - SANDRO!


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kamineko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,248
a Coney Island of the mind
here goes..

  1. Resident Evil 2 - This turned out way better than I expected. I do wish the Scenarios would have differed more, but it's still an exceptional remake. I took the time to get the platinum, and I hardly ever bother with that kind of thing
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - lol I beat that thing four times
  3. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - An incredible leap from the first game
  4. Control - This is my favorite aesthetic, game-wise, this year. What a strange and fascinating setting
  5. Judgment
  6. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
  7. Days Gone - it doesn't do much that's new, but it's kind of like a good cheeseburger. I know what I'm getting when I order a cheeseburger. I don't always want a wild new take on a cheeseburger, you know?
  8. Untitled Goose Game
  9. Astral Chain
  10. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3


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Oct 25, 2017
5,406
Ireland
  1. Disco Elysium - I've a lot of games, and I mean a lot. I've never experienced anything like Disco Elysium, it is truly unique and profound. From the art style to the writing, every aspect of this game is outstanding. I've never witnessed something done so well that's so out there. It's not only the best game of the year, it's one of the most important games of the entire decade.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Every time Fromsoft release a new game, I don't think it can possibly surpass their previous entry and they defy the odds every damn time. It's nothing short of a pleasure to be able to experience games at such a high level from Miyazaki and his team. They're in a league of their own.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - I wasn't sure what to expect from the remake, but the team at Capcom managed to please every type of Resident Evil fan with how they designed the game. I'm ready for Resi 3 now.
  4. Apex Legends - This game simply goes to show how much pure and raw talent they have over at Respawn. To release a battle royale that still feels somewhat unique in such a crowded market, is fantastic. I'm sure Jedi: Fallen Order would have been in my games of the year if I had gotten around to it.
  5. The Occupation - Rarely in video games do we get actual games like this, with absolutely zero combat and all you are is a reporter who's trying to get to the bottom of a story that he can break. I thought it was done really well, and wish more people gave it a chance.


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Volian

Member
Nov 27, 2017
12
  1. Astral Chain - Loved the game from beginning to end, the combat is what made made me fall in love with this game and the story was straight out of an anime
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Only played one route, but for me my favourite Fire Emblem game to date and can't wait to play the other routes in the future.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Toughest Fromsoftware game for me but as always the games they create always satisfy my action and hard difficulty itch.
  4. Luigi Mansion 3 - Finished the first one back when I was a child and loved it. I never did beat the 2nd one as It was too different, however Luigi Mansion 3 brings it back to its original idea and loved it as much.
  5. Death Stranding - I don't how a basically walking simulator kept me entertained for hours and in the end a emotional journey.


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SELIG

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,991
  1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - A beautiful and splendid return visit to a place of my youth. Koholint Island, it's dungeons, peoples, creatures and seashells buried in the sand, is a place that formed my gaming brain. This is one of my most cherished games of all time. Fortunate enough to have a Gameboy as a child and with this game on long journeys during family vacations, this was a favored companion, carrying me away into an adventure all my own as I discovered the magic of gaming. I'll forever be grateful that this adventure was recreated with such care and craft, now I can share it with my kids, and return to it more frequently.
  2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - I'm just glad that a quality Star Wars action adventure game was made. This game has lots of edges that are rough, but all the positives far outweigh the minor grievances. Inspired by Prince of Persia, Souls games, and Metroid, this game hits the right notes for me.
  3. Untitled Goose Game - What a pleasant and delightfully goofy game. Being a nuisance has never been so much fun.

I don't really get around to a lot of games, so this is basically what new things I played this year. Just wanted to get in the tally.


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Dr Pears

Member
Sep 9, 2018
1,346
  1. Death Stranding - A very unique masterpiece, an open world game that is truly open in that you can tackle obstacles however you want, feels so refreshing. The asymmetric online component felt very good as well and I would like to see more of it. Music is also outstanding.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Probably the most satisfying combat system in recent years and the whole game was designed masterfully around that system.
  3. Control - Great mysterious story told really effectively with the environment.


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Elixist

Member
Oct 31, 2017
794
  1. Death Stranding - A wholly unique big budget game, a unicorn these days. Audiovisual masterclass with original mechanics and atmosphere for days. Alot of missed potential, too easy a bit janky (praying for some updates to combat, endgame, more toys etc ) but i cant be honest with myself and give it anything but a 10.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Miyazaki and From unsurprisingly do it again, combat is intense and satisfying, great world building as usual with some truly fantastic memorable moments. Ninja prosthetic and skill tree are failures imo.
  3. Control - Best 3d metroidvania ever. Enjoyed the story and flying around uzi'ing some fools. World and atmosphere are fantastic and fresh, decent challenge and the destruction is awesome. Enemy variety lacking in the last half and an afterthought loot system.
  4. Resident Evil 2 - Some good scares, great graphics and cinemas, wee bit short tho.
  5. Days Gone - Good looking and playing open world game, solid story: enjoyed the characters. Bike has some weight and is fun. Sound is excellent gun sounds in particular: also <3 deacons psychotic narrations
  6. A Plague Tale Innocence - the GOAT cinematic game for me. Characters that are completely believable and heart felt, excellent VO performances and dialog. gameplay is meh, but i didn't care i was experiencing a new Goonies


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Wollan

Mostly Positive
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,632
Norway but living in France
  1. Death Stranding - Very inspiring and feels unlike anything else. It is the opposite of comfort food in some ways and it's probably the most wholly original AAA-budget game released in the last decade with an impressively cohesive design that's not just different for the sake of being so ("I made a random thing"). Yet it can be relentless and ask a lot from the gamer so it will definitely deter a good amount of people. I'm actually surprised that all of its many concepts came together so well and that the game was as polished as it was upon launch. It feels like the first realistic-platformer in a way in that Sam's moveset is that of a normal human obeying everyday physics with the gameplay being all about the 'texture' of the environments down to the smallest pebble as well as the weather, fatigue, weight on your back, the balance of your gear setup etc. Another aspect, one I feel was under-communicated prior to release, was how large the online community crafting aspects were. On top of all this you have a very complex narrative that jumps between worlds and contexts with some amazing characters, great reveals and music. Ultimately most summaries won't be able to cover all the stuff you experience in Death Stranding.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - 60fps gameplay without auto-aim makes you carefully consider every bullet fired. The whole Police station is a lovely labyrinth of intense action and item-management dripping in atmosphere.
  3. Asgard's Wrath - We have had larger RPG experiences in VR before like the competent if not slightly messy ports of Skyrim and Fallout as well as some smaller more polished experiences like Vanishing Realms and some liter Zelda-like titles in Journey of the Gods and Chronos. But Asgard's Wrath is probably the first designed-for-VR RPG that's large in every sense of the word from production values to the amount of content. It's polished and uses the medium really well and I'm looking forward to be spending even more time with this.
  4. Stormland - Insomniac Games latest VR effort pushes the boundaries for the medium in terms of scale (vertical open world) and mobilty (fps shooting, flying, free-form climbing). It feels like an open-world Ratchet & Clank and Unreal Tournament had a child. It even has a Metroid Prime-like scanning ability where you press your temple to activate. It might not have enough micro-management for some tastes in a gaming world where everything is a RPG lite (this included) but the colorful visuals, the open world with lots of small islands to explore and the cool techno music does convince.
  5. Control - Still playing this one but I really like the directing so far and the mystery.
  6. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I really enjoyed this until it started taking too long to progress further. I prefer the Souls games where I can choose to co-op if I'm stuck as well as the richer RPG aspects but the combat in Shadows is very sharp with some great hitbox porn.
  7. Blood & Truth - Great modern take on Time Crisis with a witty and cool London narrative. Only let down by the PS Move controllers.


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blairjs

Member
Aug 23, 2019
2
  1. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Surprise of the year, do I dare say best for this ghost gooey hunting of a game?!
  2. Super Mario Maker 2 - The new Zelda DLC is great and I hope they add more.
  3. Astral Chain – Under-rated gem for this action game. Innovative.
  4. Wargroove - If only Nintendo would update the Advance War Series. This game is better than Fire Emblem.
  5. Gears 5 - An improvement from 4, but not as good as the past.
  6. Halo: The Master Chief Collection - The best of Halo finally arrives on PC. Now if I only didn't already have it on XBOX1.
  7. Shovel Knight: King of Cards - Better late than never, even includes SmashJr mode.
  8. Pokemon Sword/Shield - The worst of Pokémon is still better than most other games.
  9. Apex Legends - Something different than Fortnite
  10. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Crunchyroll isn’t on Switch so this is the best I’ve got.


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Sams

Member
Oct 27, 2017
149
  1. Death Stranding: Kojima and the team did it again. I thought mgsv was such a special game and we would never get something that’s so strange and fun to play but damn they did it. The music, story, world were all amazing.
  2. Kingdom Hearts 3: A grand finale that made me happy. Also a blast to play.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: One of my favorite Zelda games got a wonderful and charming remake.


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Nov 8, 2017
250
  1. Katana Zero - I loved this game LOVED this game.
  2. Shovel Knight: King of Cards - One of the greatest platformers EVER.
  3. Sayonara Wild Hearts - Played this pretty much nonstop for 3 days.


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Aug 16, 2018
316
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - It was only Pokemon that stopped me from playing this game and beating it for the fourth time. Granted, how the developers implemented replayablility is both staggering in its achievement (each playthrough offers a unique perspective and outcome of the same war) and intimidating as all get out (because good Lord who has time for four 40 hour playthroughs?). The use of a school as a central hub works brilliantly to give Three Houses its own character and identity, and the "Hogwarts of Fire Emblem" works as its own character to interact and invest in. But of course the real stars of the show are the characters, and your relationships with them are the glue that tie Fire Emblem together. Bernadetta, Marianne, Lysithea, and Flayn are my favorites, and I'll stan for them any day. Fire Emblem has been with me since the GameCube days, and Three Houses continues the esteemed franchises unique and wonderful path in the gaming world.
  2. Pokemon Sword/Shield - Pokemon has always been a social game for me. Despite being a single player game, it's never been a game I've ever played alone. Friends, roommates, family, and even strangers have helped to make Pokemon a community experience each and every time I walk into a new world to explore. With Sword and Shield, that lovely experience continues on. (Although this time, there's only one Switch and two siblings who wanted to play!) But playing *with* them, watching as they picked their teams, struggled against their rivals, and ultimately reigned as champion... those are memories and experience I'll likely not soon forget. It's a shame that the game is met with such anger here and elsewhere around the internet, and I understand that frustration to a point. The game is proof that potential exists and greater proof still that Pokemon has yet to meet such potential. But I also can't ignore the smiles, laughs, losses, triumphs, and awesome experiences both in game outside of it. (As I write this my Switch is by my side, just making one Surprise Trade after another)
  3. Luigi's Mansion 3 - There has been no game that I have played this year that has the charm, whimsy, and sense of frightening fun that Luigi's Mansion has. Next Level Games has created a world, well... a hotel, in which magic lays in every speck of dust and shiver of Luigi. Each floor is simply drowned in character, details, and love, and the bosses are simply a recreation of that magic that these developers have poured into the haunted hotel. It's been quite some time since I've seen this clearly a development team showcasing their love and passion for all to see.
  4. Ring Fit Adventure - I hate exercising. I just really struggle with the motivation and discipline to get started with any sort of regimen, let alone work long enough to see any sort or positive results. So when Ring Fit Adventures came out, it was the most excited for a game launch I had been this year. To gameify exercise, and to make it encouraging and helpful and still be legitimately good exercise... well that's something worth being excited about in my humble opinion. And today on January 3, I'm still working at it in my quest to stop Drageaux. More than P90x or any gym, RFA has kept me engaged, encouraged, and focused... and still having fun! That's worth so much more than a simple game experience for me.
  5. Terraria - The moment it was announced for Switch waaaaaaay back at launch I was excited. I've dabbled and played the game on PC, Mobile, and Wii U... and Switch was perfect for the game! Two years later the game finally arrived (and a bit more expensive than I would have liked), but Terraria is Terraria. And Terraria on the go with classic controls is a beautiful thing indeed. 120 hours later, I feel like the world in which I made and tamed is about over. But what an adventure it was once more.
  6. Catan - A weird choice to be sure. It's a simple board game turned video game, which is a dime a dozen now-a-days. And it's, well, Catan. Nothing more or less. But Catan means a lot to me, along with my family and friends. A close friend of mine, who would get together for board game nights once or twice a month, moved away early in December. We played Catan CONSTANTLY, and it was something that forged our friendship and provide so many fond memories. So when he left, it would leave a hole that couldn't properly be patched. But for one more hurrah, we bought Catan on Switch and played a game while he was states away. I'll still play a game or two once in a while, but Catan means a lot more than just a simple board game. It's a bridge that helps to make a long distance seem a little smaller.
  7. Super Mario Maker 2 - I've always been of the mindset in these "Creator games" that the development should be left to the experts. After so many troll levels and gimmicks, that opinion has not been changed Mario Maker 2. But finding that diamond in the rough, playing Nintendo's own levels in the single player, and watching your own creation come to life is still something special. Bring on the next 2D Mario adventure Nintendo!
  8. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition - I've played this on XBox back when it first came out, but playing this huge, expansive game on a tiny cartridge on a tiny Switch is a marvel. I've just started the adventure, having gotten it for Christmas, but the fact that this game exists in any capacity is something worth celebrating as a gamer. The Witcher on the go, what a world.
  9. Ori & the Blind Forest Definitive Edition - A similar experience to the previous game on my list. I played and loved it when it first came out, and I couldn't resist double dipping when it released on Switch. Another excellent, magical game now on the go. Just as good as I remembered it, and I can't wait for Will of the Wisps!
  10. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - A Diamond in the Rough indeed. I've loved Castlevania ever since Circle of the Moon on GBA. I own every single IgaVania title, and Bloodstained was the first game I've ever helped to kickstart. It will also be the last. Extensive development times, a feeling of being ripped off (Wow a... crappy cover for paying you 60 bucks instead of 40), and a less than stellar release (especially for Switch owners). Still... there is that IgaVania game we all love in here. And as improvements are made and the sting of frustrations lessen, I do still enjoy this game and the adventures of Miriam. Just next time, I'll wait to pay until the game is out...


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Com_Raven

Brand Manager
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
791
Europa
  1. Control – I can’t point to that one single element that made me fall in love with Control. Instead, Remedy has a unique way of combining graphics, combat, world building, voice acting and music in their games into incredibly atmospheric action masterpieces, and Control is easily one of their best!
  2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – After years of waiting, we finally get another fantastic Star Wars single player game. Fun combat, great graphics, surprisingly great NPCs (much love to my man Greez) and top tier level design make this one of absolute best games of this year. It seems that whatever Respawn touches is great, definitely making them one of the best developers this generation.
  3. The Outer Worlds – An all-around fantastic old-school rpg. Great world building, some loveable characters, fun quests and combat that feels better than most first-person rpgs. Plus, I really appreciate that they did not drag the game needlessly out, and settled for having a shorter, but packed experience. Also, finally proof that Obsidian definitely can deliver polished games if given the time and resources!
  4. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep – This one is cheating a bit, as I am not only counting Shadowkeep (which had a fun if uneven campaign), but all the improvements that 2019 brought to Destiny, such as cross-progression and armor 2.0. It’s still the game I love to hate, and I expect to spend another 200h in 2020 while complaining about all the little things that drive me mad.
  5. Darksiders Genesis – This felt very much like a video game, in the best sense. Fun combat, a ton of gear and upgrades to grind for and unlock, lots of collectibles and secrets, and badass (cheesy?) one liners. And of course, that evergreen Joe Mad art style that first got me interested in the series <3
  6. Gears 5 – Gears 5 felt like a massive improvement over GoW4 and showed that Coalition has really made the series their own now. It looks and runs fantastic, gameplay is as tight as ever, and I really liked how they stepped up their narrative game.
  7. Apex Legends – I never liked Battle Royal games, and the first leaks about a Titanfall game without titans sounded dumb. I still tried it, and after 70+ hours played in 2-3 weeks, I was starting to see why people love BR games…
  8. Wolfenstein Youngblood – This is a weird game. On the one hand, I dislike many of the new elements, like the bullet spongey enemies and the endless backtracking to previously explored maps. On the other hand, I really like the new characters and their dynamic, the vibe of occupied 80’s Paris is pretty unique and well realized, and shooting Nazis is always fun.
  9. Rage 2 – Also a weird game. On the one hand, the open world feels largely pointless and with little incentive to explore beyond the map markers. But once you reach a location and get out of your car, it offers fantastically frantic gunplay, and some of the most fun shooting encounters this generation.
  10. Anthem – Anthem is by far my #1 disappointment of the year, because all the ingredients of a great game are here: the combat is fun once a few freelancers start throwing spells, flying feels great, the world is mysterious, and the game looks stunning. I really hope that a rumored Anthem Next can improve the variety, loot and progression next year and help the game realize its undeniable potential.


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hughesta

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,067
  1. Death Stranding - Divisive though it may be, I thought the game was brilliantly assembled in almost every respect. Sure, some of the dialogue might be aggressively hamhanded or cheeky, but the 90 hours I spent with this game were, more than anything else, FUN. Walking, running, sneaking, and climbing across America turned out to be more engaging than any activity I've played in games all year. It's not for everyone, but it was certainly for me. Add to that a fantastic score, the best acting in the medium, and a whole lot of genuine emotion, and you get one of the best games of the entire generation. Time will be kind to this game.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - RE2make is about as perfect as video games can get. Perfectly paced and stuffed to bursting with absolutely juicy tension, this game is not only fun to play, it's fun to play over and over and over and over again and again and again and again. RE2 is a remarkable achievement.
  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Only played one of the campaigns and it's number 3. I imagine if I had actually had time to dive into the rest of what this massive game has to offer, it'd be number 1.
  4. Astral Chain - While its story was eye rolling and its pacing could be remarkably uneven, the world of Astral Chain was a delight to explore. Couple that with extremely unique combat mechanics and a bountiful harvest of postgame challenges and you're having a lot of fun for a long time. One of Platinum's very best.
  5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - FromSoft's finest adventure yet. Not nearly as replayable as the rest of their works, and it might not hold up in my heart for that reason, but the adventure itself is the greatest they've made. I had to take a shower after some of these bossfights, my blood was running white hot. This combat system is truly special, and I hope to hell we get a sequel someday.


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_Malus_

Member
Oct 25, 2017
277
Japan
  1. Resident Evil 2 - This is how you remake a classic masterpiece and modernize it‘s gameplay properly. I wasn‘t ready for the greatness RE2 would bring me. I must have replayed it over 20 times by now and I am still having fun with this game. Thank you Capcom! And thank you also for giving me RE3R so soon in 2020! :)
  2. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - The best JRPG this Gen. I still haven‘t finished it with almost 60 hours clocked in. The cast is super memorable and gameplay is very fun. I can‘t wait to experience the finale.
  3. Devil May Cry 5 - I never liked the old DMC games, but this one resonated with me very well! Having three characters to control was a blast and the soundtrack was outstanding as well.
  4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - An excellent cast of characters and well written story make this one of the best strategy RPGs I‘ve ever played.
  5. Astral Chain - This one got me be surprise. I loved how diverse the gameplay was!
  6. Luigi‘s Mansion 3 - This could have been right out of a Pixar movie. LM3 is not only a joy to play through, but also the most visually stunning game I‘ve ever seen on Switch.
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Link‘s Awakening - A dream I didn‘t want to end... this is a remake that stays true to it‘s original but also improved a lot on it. I hope this treatment will be done to the Oracle games as well!
  8. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Though I couldn‘t beat the last boss, this Igavania experience was a joy from start to the end and made me crave for a new Castlevania.
  9. Kingdom Hearts 3 - Oh, how long I waited for this. Though the plot remains a mess, I enjoyed visiting all the different Disney worlds. Not as great as part 2, but still very good!
  10. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I have a love-hate-relationship with Sekiro, to be honest. I loved the exploration and well crafted world, but once the game got further to the end, it evolved into a literal boss rush mode, which I disliked. Sure, it was satisfying to learn all the boss patterns and defeat them, but in the end I lost my patience, due to the incredible difficulty spike.


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Bedameister

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,839
  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Replaying it this Year made me realize it's the greatest game I've ever played
  2. Gears 5 - Gears is back!
  3. Nier: Automata - Game of the YoRHa - totally unexpected masterpiece
  4. Outer Wilds - Most unique and fascinating experience all year
  5. What remains of Edith Finch - Dat tuna factory scene, oh man...
  6. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - My first DQ game. A little too bloated but I loved it
  7. Life is Strange 2 - The ending just killed me
  8. Metro Exodus - at least one good SP FPS this year
  9. The Outer Worlds - Obsidian layed a solid foundation for a potentially amazing series
  10. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - My childhood love
 
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HMS_Pinafore

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,737
Straya M8
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I played through Awaking and thought it was okay, but I was wrapped up in this game and characters.
  2. Luigi‘s Mansion 3 - The best LM game, filled with a ton of charm. WOOWIE ZOOWIE!
  3. Untitled Goose Game - One of my most anticipated for the year, does everything it sets out to do almost perfectly.
  4. Ring Fit Adventure - Plenty of games have advertised themselves on making workout fun, this might be the first that succeeds.
  5. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - My most played game of 2019 after Fire Emblem, a remake of one of my favorite games with a bunch of new stuff. However bad online and scummy micro-transactions keep it from 2nd place.
  6. Baba Is You - A brilliant puzzle game that I am awful at and dropped pretty quick, but it's a great idea.
  7. Cadence of Hyrule - A neat Indie take on Zelda with unique mechanics, but was very much a one and done game for me.
  8. Astral Chain - Another good game that I dropped, not for me but I want to reward its creativity above the other games on the list.
  9. Super Mario Maker 2 - I see this more as a tool then a game, but I can't think of anything else I would rather vote for over this, so it's on the list.
  10. Garfield Kart-Furious Racing - If others can vote for meme games like Kingdom Hearts, I can vote for this.

Dishonourable mentions including: Links Awaking, The outer worlds and Pokemon s&s, not bad games, but all ones I was looking forward to that did nothing for me.


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Wouwie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
317
  1. Arise: A Simple Story - Truly memorable and up there with the best in the genre. A visual and audio delight, neat gameplay concepts and a touching story. I have a feeling this game will end up amongst my all-time favourites over time. With better platforming and even more ideas and ways to use the concept of time, this would have been pretty much perfect.
  2. Lonely Mountains: Downhill - Gameplay wise, the most fun i had this year. This game looks great, sounds great and is pure fun, in a Trials kind of way. Pity there wasn't more content for the average player. After 15 or so hours, i stopped playing because i ran out of content i could finish. A level in between beginner and expert would have been nice.
  3. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - A solid and good looking platform game. Not as good as Rayman, Celeste or Splasher but solid fun.
I played some other decent/good games this year (most notably Gris, The Sojourn, Concrete Genie, Far: lone Sails) but i felt the 3 games above stood out the most. Two of my most anticipated games this year, Trials Rising and Dirt Rally 2.0, ended up being a dissapointment for various reasons. In fact, 2019 was the first year i really struggled with motivation to play games. I hope this is only a temporary thing due to things happening in life.


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Sep 27, 2019
113
  1. Halo: The Master Chief Collection - runs well, and still as much fun as I remember!

I haven't played any other 2019 games due to knocking several games off my backlog...


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newgamewhodis

Member
Oct 28, 2017
783
Brooklyn
Hey folks! I've been out of the game (heh) for a while. This year has mostly involved me getting back on my feet professionally (it's amazing how many video games you can play when you're jobless!). In April, a couple of days after buying Heaven's Vault, the graphics card on my PC went kaput. I still haven't fixed it up, instead getting a hand me down PS4 original from a friend (who had since moved on to PS4Pro) and reacquainting myself with the joys of couch gaming.

These developments led to a pretty strange year in gaming for me. One where I finally beat Riven (!!) and played Rocket League on 640 resolution on my Macbook Pro. But a leaner year in gaming doesn't mean a bad one. I'm only going to present 5 games in my list this year (out of the 20 or so I played), but I'd vouch for them all.

  1. Control - Finally, a game that realizes my late 20s fantasy of flinging shit across the office. Control's visuals, powered by a beefy physics and lighting engine, feel a bit like peeking behind the curtain for what lies ahead in the next generation. This game is vivid, weird, and drip feeds you story and atmosphere in Remedial fashion. It's the best superhero game of the generation, a power fantasy in a place that feels volatile but never unconquerable. See what happens when developers pivot away from the Hollywood aspirations of Quantum Break and instead lean into the absurdity of game worlds?
  2. Outer Wilds - It's a bit strange to say now, but I think Outer Wilds will outlast every other game on this list. It has that it factor. That indelible combination atmosphere, charm, and incredible design that keep games like Psychonauts or Myst on the collective conscience. I confess that it took me a while for my eyes to acclimate to the developers' vision. This generation of games so often tell us what to do and where to go that being handed the keys to a spaceship in a sandbox of galactic proportions was a bit overwhelming. I'd crash my ship and die. Step out on a new planet without my helmet and die. Fiddle with alien technology and die. But with each stumble came new knowledge, slowly building a hunter's web of knowledge that inevitably leads us to the big questions that echo in the emptiness of space. Who knew science could be this fun?
  3. Devotion - "Keep politics out of videogames!" /s I'm writing a piece (or rather, I'm currently procrastinating on a piece) about identity and videogames. The assumptions we make about what a "gamer" is, that traces the twisting roots of Gamergate to the alt-right and shows how, fight as they may, games are consistently telling more varied, interesting, and better stories than ever before. But sometimes, the clamor against politics in art can swallow a piece whole, and so the biggest shame of the year is how many of you haven't (and may not ever) have the chance to play Devotion, a game that tells a story about misinformation, about how people rebottle hope to prey on the desperate, a game that is bolted down to Taiwanese culture in the 80s, but still feels immediate in the anti-vax, political hellhole we find ourselves in today.
  4. Sayonara Wild Hearts - No write up could top this quip from Polygon's review: "Sayonara Wild Hearts is basically Give Carly Rae Jepsen a Sword: the Game." I love this game for many reasons, but the best experience it gave me was playing through it with a friend, switching controllers between levels, and having her give me a breakdown of the tarot symbolism that was peppered throughout the game. It's nice to play a game that is this clear in its ambitions and executes it perfectly.
  5. Hypnospace Outlaw - Mmmm, we love our nostalgia laced with vaporwave, pop art and futurism. The Hypnospace is sharp in its satire, but also feels like a love letter to a bygone era. When the internet was both more innocent and sinister. It reminded me of how, in my middle school days, Ebaumsworld would present you with funny videos, porn, and gore, unblinkingly. It reminded me of the songs that I autoplayed on my Myspace page, and how long I fiddled with the HTML to get a black background that complimented my emo bangs. It reminded me of AOL chatrooms, the fun and danger of asking "asl?" You'll feel like a frontiersman of the internet again, bundled in a sort of absurdist charm and humor that help keeps the game from getting as dark as the internet of yore.


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Duxxy3

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,572
USA
  1. Resident Evil 2 - This and Control have gone back and forth. Resident Evil 2 wins here because of the amount of content and replayability that the game has. When I'm not sure which game I want to play, I play Resident Evil 2. I have over 100 hours played in the game. For a game that takes me less than four hours to beat, well you can guess how many time I've finished the game at this point.
  2. Control - There are not many developers that I trust enough to blindly buy their games. Remedy is one of those developers. And boy oh boy what a game Control is. The gameplay, graphics, sound and world are all phenomenal. The story is weird and has incredible depth to it.
  3. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - I wasn't sure what to put here, but Bloodstained scratched an itch that nothing else I played this year was able to scratch. No game since Monster Tale or Dawn of Sorrow, has been able to scratch my metroidvania itch like Bloodstained did. I played the hell out of the game and played long after I finished the game, just so that I could become overpowered. I can't wait to see more for Iga in the future. There's not doubt that he still has it.
  4. Gears 5 - There are some parts of the game that I'm not overly fond of, and other parts of the game that I wish there was a lot more of, but as a whole campaign I can't deny that I loved it. Easily more so than Gears of War 4.
  5. Metro Exodus - I can't wait to buy this game on Steam. I played it on game pass (after it was patched). It was a gorgeous game with ray tracing enabled. I will always remember the desert level. I loved driving around in the crappy truck with a pipe for a steering wheel.
  6. A Plague Tale: Innocence - There is some recency bias here. It was the last game I finished in 2019. It was janky and sometimes frustrating, but it was also beautiful and fun to play. Can't wait to see what the developer makes next.
Honorable mention to Devil May Cry V and The Outer Worlds. DMCV was just too long ago to remember clearly and The Outer Worlds didn't quite have the staying power with me.


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Litigator

Member
Oct 31, 2017
96
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - The comically difficult (even by From Software standards) spike in difficulty on the final boss soured the experience for me a little at the end. Classic From Software input lag, framerate and frame pacing issues and N64 level of camera jank should not be happening in the type of fast-paced, twitchy, reflexive game that Sekiro tries to be. All that said, it was still the best game I played this year. It was the next step after Bloodborne of From building on and improving its gameplay formula. The technical issues need to be addressed in the future though.


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MultiMoo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,028
Silicon Valley
  1. Death Stranding - One of my games of the generation. Gameplay is sublime, characters really made me curious, and I cried like a baby. May not be for everyone, but anyone dismissing the gameplay aspects of this are flat out wrong.
  2. Judgment - A refreshing spin (though very familiar in certain aspects) on the Yakuza series, and makes me excited both for the sequel and the JRPG format of Yakuza 7.
  3. Control - Only played a few hours of this, but it is much better directed than Quantum Break and I'm enjoying the gameplay far more. Love the brutalism, too.
  4. Blood & Truth - One of the absolute best VR experiences I've had all year. Excellent production value, incredible gameplay mechanics, and just a lot of fun to be had. The free DLC content has been great, too!
  5. Days Gone - Despite a couple of technical hiccups (only a few times during 60+ hours of playing it) it was one of the best written games this year, with very mature themes that were handled well and a gameplay loop that didn't bore me after a few hours.
  6. No Man's Sky Beyond - The other most incredible VR experience this year (I don't count Beat Saber because I was playing it in 2018) so much so that I had to stop playing it, as it was consuming my life.
  7. Shenmue 3 - This game is flawed. Heavily, even. It is also an almost perfect follow up to a game series very near and dear to my heart. Its a shame some players are so high and mighty about what transpired with EPIC to not even give it a go anymore "ever". I'm loving it.
  8. The Outer Wilds - This is the game I was least expecting to love so much this year. What a fantastic collection of dynamic playgrounds. It stands above my experience with a similarly titled game, though I still enjoyed that one too.
  9. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - Unfortunately this game only has limited VR missions, but the 2D experience was still outstanding to start out, and I look forward to continuing it. Dog fights feel incredible, both ways.
  10. Concrete Genie - Again, limited VR modes came with this, but the main game itself was such a charming experience. Love the technology that allows me to create living paintings, and free paint in VR is neat too.

Honorable mentions go to Star Wars The Fallen Order, Erica, The Outer Worlds, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, and Observation.

Alas, I've been playing The Witcher 3 + the expansions the most this year, with 124 hours already put into it lol. Death Stranding is in second place, with nearly 90 hours.


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teague

Member
Dec 17, 2018
1,010
  1. Disco Elysium - I don't think I've played a more truly philosophical game in a while. People have written a lot about the political aspects of this game and the explicit work it's doing, but the gameplay structure is doing at least as much interesting stuff. The fact that it dramatizes the decision-making process better than basically any other game doesn't hurt, but the real star of the show is just how interconnected everything is. This is a game about how everything matters, and literally everything in the game helps to make that point. No matter what you do in this game, you're getting a thoughtful, interesting, meaningful story, and that alone makes it the game of the year.
  2. Control - Control should be here just for the art design, holy crap this game is gorgeous. But it also manages to be fun and to tell a really interesting story that's sort of about believing in yourself and learning to be independent, and sort of about how what you believe in really really matters. And also it's about being a janitor, which is great.
  3. Death Stranding - Death Stranding is unapologetically itself, and itself is really weird but also wholesome and way more coherent than the internet wants you to think. Basically, it's a game about how being nice to people and talking to them is good, specifically the people who carry packages and do other kinds of unglamorous work. And it made me think really hard about logistics. And there's a lot of other stuff in it too, but mostly that stuff is just hella cool-looking but doesn't really matter as much as the stuff about being nice and helpful, so that's ok too.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro makes you feel like a real ninja, which is worth $60 if anything is. In Dark Souls, when you play the game right you sometimes look like an idiot rolling on the ground, but in Sekiro when you beat a boss you pretty much always look really cool (cheese strats get out of here). Plus, it has the greatest boss fight of all time in it, and the prettiest video game area ever. The only reason this game isn't higher is because we had some games that aimed for something more ambitious than just being video games this year, but Sekiro is one of the best pure video games I've played in a long long time.
  5. Devil May Cry 5 - I feel really bad about putting DMCV this low because it's basically the most fun game of all time, but it also knows it isn't art, and that's ok too. This is a beautiful pulp game where you say and do dumb shit and kill demons, but very stylishly. You can hit them with not one but two motorcycles. You can throw your hat and do a Michael Jackson pose. You can shoot a mega man arm. Someone makes a joke about using one of your bionic arms as a sex toy. It's the best designed action game of all time.
  6. Gris - Gris is (a) the prettiest indie game since Journey (b) a very well-designed platformer (c) actually pretty deep. Everyone please play it.
  7. Sayonara Wild Hearts - A game good enough to deserve having Queen Latifah as its narrator.
  8. Resident Evil 2 REmake - I love my dumb son Leon
  9. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Black Eagles 4 life
  10. Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Not sure if this counts, but I hadn't played it before and wow this game is good
  11. MHW: Iceborne - Give me Untitled Poogie Game you cowards
  12. Untitled Goose Game - I love my grumpy son (?) goose


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Nov 1, 2019
117
  1. Disco Elysium - I don't think I've played a more truly philosophical game in a while. People have written a lot about the political aspects of this game and the explicit work it's doing, but the gameplay structure is doing at least as much interesting stuff. The fact that it dramatizes the decision-making process better than basically any other game doesn't hurt, but the real star of the show is just how interconnected everything is. This is a game about how everything matters, and literally everything in the game helps to make that point. No matter what you do in this game, you're getting a thoughtful, interesting, meaningful story, and that alone makes it the game of the year.
  2. Control - Control should be here just for the art design, holy crap this game is gorgeous. But it also manages to be fun and to tell a really interesting story that's sort of about believing in yourself and learning to be independent, and sort of about how what you believe in really really matters. And also it's about being a janitor, which is great.
  3. Death Stranding - Death Stranding is unapologetically itself, and itself is really weird but also wholesome and way more coherent than the internet wants you to think. Basically, it's a game about how being nice to people and talking to them is good, specifically the people who carry packages and do other kinds of unglamorous work. And it made me think really hard about logistics. And there's a lot of other stuff in it too, but mostly that stuff is just hella cool-looking but doesn't really matter as much as the stuff about being nice and helpful, so that's ok too.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro makes you feel like a real ninja, which is worth $60 if anything is. In Dark Souls, when you play the game right you sometimes look like an idiot rolling on the ground, but in Sekiro when you beat a boss you pretty much always look really cool (cheese strats get out of here). Plus, it has the greatest boss fight of all time in it, and the prettiest video game area ever. The only reason this game isn't higher is because we had some games that aimed for something more ambitious than just being video games this year, but Sekiro is one of the best pure video games I've played in a long long time.
  5. Devil May Cry V - I feel really bad about putting DMCV this low because it's basically the most fun game of all time, but it also knows it isn't art, and that's ok too. This is a beautiful pulp game where you say and do dumb shit and kill demons, but very stylishly. You can hit them with not one but two motorcycles. You can throw your hat and do a Michael Jackson pose. You can shoot a mega man arm. Someone makes a joke about using one of your bionic arms as a sex toy. It's the best designed action game of all time.
  6. Gris - Gris is (a) the prettiest indie game since Journey (b) a very well-designed platformer (c) actually pretty deep. Everyone please play it.
  7. Sayonara Wild Hearts - A game good enough to deserve having Queen Latifah as its narrator.
  8. Resident Evil 2 REmake - I love my dumb son Leon
  9. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Black Eagles 4 life
  10. Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Not sure if this counts, but I hadn't played it before and wow this game is good
  11. MHW: Iceborne - Give me Untitled Poogie Game you cowards
  12. Untitled Goose Game - I love my grumpy son (?) goose
Please change Devil May Cry V to Devil May Cry 5 or it won't count.

Also, pulp is art. The art of Devil May Cry is that it knows exactly what it is and revels in that.
 

solis74

Member
Jun 11, 2018
3,698
  1. Gears 5 - an epic experience
  2. The Outer Worlds - had so much fun playing.
  3. Disco Elysium - gripping game.
  4. Metro: Exodus - great action.


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tgr_williams

Member
Oct 25, 2017
505
Utah

  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - There is something about Fire Emblem as a series that keeps me coming back to it. I have never been in love with tactical turn-based games, I mean Fire Emblem is pretty much it, might always be. Yet, Fire Emblem seems to grab my attention release after release. I loved Awakening quite a lot but Fates had lowered my expectations. Three Houses was a surprise in that sense, I didn't expect it to be as relentlessly charming from start till finish as it was. That is no small feat in a game that can last as long as seventy-three hours, I would know. Each of those seventy-three hours saw me slowly but surely fall in love with the game. There is so much here. It is without question my favorite game this year and I love it.

    Piece by piece the game puts into the shoes of a new, very young, professor at Garreg Mach Monastery. They do actually make comment on how Byleth is practically the same age as her students. Basically, its fine don't worry about it she is very skilled its not a problem. Either way, the story is played out in a really old school way, a phrase here meaning cheap to produce, that fills it with this sort of hominess that many games lack. There is a charm in each conversation, animated inside a cardboard box it seems, that is brought entirely by the characters. The characters breath life into this world and make a compelling case for the whole experience. Even if sometimes that experience looks a bit half-assed. Although when you get a real produced cutscene you can bet your ass it’s going to be something cool. There is one in which you, a medieval knight in a castle are suddenly under fire from sky laser missiles and it is some crazy shit. I love it.

    Built on classical European imagery, don't let the sky laser missiles mislead you, the nation of Fodlan is filled to the brim with a rich history that builds out this world. All of this not to even mention that with the varied paths which the player can take that it expands that much more. I have yet to play the Blue Lions, Black Eagles, or the Church path but I really want to. If I had the time I would have certainly been through it more than the once. Just to get to know a few more characters if nothing else. There is a huge cast of characters that each have their own stories to tell. The characters can all seem a bit one-note at first but as you begin to learn more about them and build support relationships these individual character threads really begin to unravel. For example, there is the archer Bernadetta who is at first played off as an off-kilter shut-in but as the player builds a relationship with her they begin to learn about her abusive father and the development of her reclusive behavior as a reaction to his treatment of her. It is a little thing, but it is just one aspect of one character in an extensive cast. Every character has a decent amount going on and they play off each other well.

    For my playthrough, I sided with the Golden Deer and honestly, that seems like the best path. The Golden Dear have fewer noblemen instead focussing on characters who come from the lower rung like merchants and mercenaries. Their house leader is a young man named Claude who is the snarky son of a bitch who calls you Teach and plays pranks. He is a reluctant leader but nevertheless makes a compelling case for a connected world without fear of the other. His motivations are nice and your role in helping him build towards a unified Fodlan is quite complex. I can’t say much more without really divulging the twists and turns of the plot. The war that takes over the country of Fodlan is inevitable, who you side with and who sides with you determines the path ahead. Those who slither in the dark must be defeated, no better way than with the Golden Deer.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - I don’t typically play horror games, but after getting into Resident Evil earlier this year with 5 and hearing the glowing praise this game was getting I figured it wouldn’t be a bad time to jump in. As one might expect I got scared. Real fucking scared. I mean, at no point did I feel totally safe and at ease and I suppose that means the game did its job right.

    When Mr. X showed up first in my Claire A it made the few hours before seem peaceful comparatively. That is because Mr. X is the worst. He is an awful, awful man who stomps in my general direction and does not want me to experience any joy in my life. At one point on my Leon B run-through, I had just gotten the keycard from the jail cells and was on my way to leave, carefully checking the cells for supplies, when Mr. X materialized out of thin air to hit me so hard I was near certain I was about to die in real life. Mr. X fucked me up and he doesn’t go away, he just haunts you endlessly until finally mercifully he is blown to hell. Even then I fear he will return one day when I least expect it.

    Between my Clarie and Leon playthroughs, I don’t think I have ever had as great a time with a horror game as I had with Resident Evil 2. Leon has some interesting moments but I think Claire’s story is just better overall. Sherry provides a much better motivation than Ada does. I really enjoyed it all, and am excited about the Resident Evil 3 remake next year. Although I do not wish to ever lay eyes on that trenchcoated bastard again.
  3. Death Stranding - What a beautiful fucking mess of a game. It has huge glaring problems throughout and yet maintains a core that is well and truly genuine. Kojima basically made a game that accentuates the monotony of walking and talking with the occasional fights that are weighed down by clunky movement mechanics. A game that is monotony for a bare minimum of thirty hours. Yet, despite everything this game has going against it, and there is an itemized list, it works out quite well because it communicates a message of connection.

    Over the course of its convoluted bullshit plot, there is a build towards this central idea that life is bad, awful sometimes, it’s not always bad because we have others. That life is worth living because we have each other. Death Stranding tells us that the troubles that we face are made easier because of the people we have and the people we will come to know. Sam, played flatly by Norman Reedus, develops through the course of your journey from a man allergic to the touch of others to becoming the man who gives Guillermo del Toro a big hug. His isolation is transformed into something new because of the journey he goes on. A journey Kojima desperately wants us to understand as well, and you will. As you trip over your feet and fall down mountains you will feel the pain of loneliness and inevitability. That there is no god because no god would allow this game to exist. Or perhaps there is a god if you can bullshit the bike over every obstacle as I did.

    Sony wrote Kojima a blank check and he used it to paint a heavy-handed metaphor for the world he sees. One in which the world is divided, where the internet can bring us together but also drive us apart, where our ideals and goals define us, where we are better than our worst parts, and where all of Norman Reedus’ fluids are turned into grenades for combat against umbilical ghost people.
  4. Control - The most striking thing about Control is its brutalist-style. A style that goes beyond architecture. From start to finish it has a flair that is often sensational. Style defines this game from start to finish, its visual elements make up for most of its failings. The key fault being the plot. The plot is purposely vague and mysterious echoing the likes of Twin Peaks. For me it doesn’t really work, being vague for vaguenesses’ sake just makes the game feel pretentious at worst and silly at best. Although that silliness is often actually one of the games greatest strengths. Because on the whole, the concepts delivered in Control are silly. Places, people, and objects that are somehow otherworldly and uncontrollable become controlled and familiar. A randomly teleporting wisp takes the shape of a rubber duck, an ancient evil beast hides inside a fridge that must be stared at to be kept at bay, an entity that kills you if you move wrong takes the form of a stoplight. These things are silly but in the world of Control, they work quite nicely.

    I mean at its core the game is just some nice simple fun with a few powers to spice up an otherwise plain third-person shooter. The powers and supernatural shit makes this game. Wandering around the Oldest House can be as frustrating as it is fun, the whole world design folds in on itself in more ways than one. I mean artistically its great, level design-wise maybe a bit more convoluted. I got lost more than a few times but hey at least the world I was lost in was damn pretty. Sure I couldn’t care less about Jesse Faden's accession to Director of the Federal Bureau of Control or her psycho brother or the Hiss... but playing as Jesse in the Ashtray maze? That was really, really awesome. Like that is how you do spectacle. Take note other games. When all is said and done Control is all about visual flair and game design which more than make up for a sluggish story.

    Also, you ever notice how they just like name this shit in one-off memos and then its cemented forever. One dude called them the Hiss once and now forever these evil corporeal beings are just the Hiss. They just are, why? Memo guy. The Hiss forever. Thanks, guy who wrote one memo.
  5. Sayonara Wild Hearts - So the sales pitch for this one is simple as hell, it is an album with neat visuals that you play through. Yet, that is really all it takes to make a nice neat game. It is just a chill experience as you kick back and ride through level after level. There is some semblance of a story here, I don’t know exactly what it is but it seems nice. A girl gets her heart broken and goes on a journey through a dreamscape to set right the broken hearts of the past. I think. Throw in some symbolism about the masks somewhere in there, I am sure they mean something. Interpretations of it have ranged from it being a coming out story to just a story about coping. I think that is for the best, that it is flexible in what it means to each individual player. But in the meantime, you, the player, get to hear some good beats and watch a vibrant dreamscape come to life before your eyes. It’s more pop album than game but it is a game. A game with some great tracks that are just lovely. I listened to the tracklist more than a few times after putting down the game. I played it a few times and it’s solid go play it.
  6. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Asobo Studios doesn't really have a history of strong narrative games, shoutout to Fuel, but they clearly have the talent because this game is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it from start to finish. Set in France in the early years of the Hundred Years War the game features a cast of young men and women who are the victims of war and sickness that has stripped them of their youth. That loss of youth, loss of innocence as it were, is what this game does best. Many games tackle loss of innocence differently. For example, the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot features a young Lara Croft killing in self-defense for the first time. She is rattled to her core, and then without much thought, she proceeds to kill hundreds. Most action games do that, so when A Plague Tale continued to touch on Amicia's actions throughout the game.

    At one point Amicia threatens the life of a wounded soldier at her former home. He is protected by a small amount of light and Amicia angrily tells him he deserves to suffer and then the game gives you the chance to extinguish the light. So I did, and then Amicia's companion, a young alchemist named Lucas, criticizes that he was no threat with Amicia snapping back that he deserved it. The game is filled with those moments, with player choice often being a factor, where Amicia is shown struggling with her innocence. The same is true for the other young people in the game. Each has an arc defined by loss; of family, mentors, home, or as you might guess their innocence. There is clear purpose in the entire central cast being young people, they are still coming of age and war and plague will have a huge impact on who they become. I wish they spent a bit more time fleshing out the downtime with character moments, but it doesn't matter it is still held up by the characters all the same.

    The gameplay is reflective of this youthful angle. Amicia starts the game with nothing more than a sling and ends with a slightly better sling, a half dozen ammo types, and strategies that are less about hiding and more about strafing around much larger enemies using your surroundings to stop them in their tracks. It is pretty straightforward game, which I appreciate. These smaller games offer a more focused vision, Asobo made a distinct coming of age story using their cultural history as a backdrop. They are a studio I will be sure to keep an eye on in the coming years.
  7. Sea of Solitude - There is something about Sea of Solitude that elevates it, if I had to name it I would say that it feels like a game that comes from the heart. The story of Kay is one that is familiar. She has lost people, not in the sense that they are dead but that the course of life has seen them drift apart. This loss has grown into isolation and the grip of depression has seen Kay transformed into a monster. Whether it is in her mind or if it a supernatural experience I simply don’t know. Either way, the message is clear, the feelings of isolation can be destructive to both ourselves and the world we live in. The entire world that Kay inhabits is just a wreck, submerged in a great ocean with heavy rainfall turning the skies gray. It is only when Kay addresses the watershed moments in her past that led to her depression do the skies begin to clear and the sun begins to shine. It is about confronting the past and learning what we did wrong, and sometimes how we are simply the victims of circumstances we cannot change. Kay is learning to accept her past and her problems as part of who she is. The journey she goes on here is the start of a new tomorrow avoiding the same choices that led her so far astray in the first place. All of this is done with a simple gameplay loop and some really beautiful visuals that are just nice to look at. This game isn’t perfect, but it has a message that is meaningful. It is personal and I am glad that Cornelia Geppert was able to make this.
  8. Days Gone - I don’t think Deacon St. John is a real name. Nonetheless, the time you spend with this Deacon St. John in Days Gone is nice. He makes a gruff but likable protagonist in a rough but likable game. Sure this game doesn’t set the world on fire, it repeats trends that have worked in the past and that work here as well. You have the open world, skill tree, third-person shooting, basic crafting, etcetera. The gang is all here and they are familiar old friends. Like the kids on your block when you were a kid that were only together because of economic factors but still were your best friends. Except here it's because near every AAA Playstation IP is a third-person action game with skill trees and an open world.

    All the same, it is still fun because these basic elements make a fun game (more often than not at least). Though there is one gameplay aspect that does set this game apart and that is its horde tech. The zombie hordes in this game are absurd and can get your blood pumping like nothing else. I took on the sawmill horde way before I was ready and it saw me making dramatic runs through the ditches and rooftops to escape what may very well have been my doom. Just when I would think I had thinned out the horde I was hit with yet another wave of bodies. Many of the hordes are like this, massive crowds of freakers (that's Oregonian for zombie) just coming for you no matter what you throw in their path. It gets the blood pumping and makes for a very exciting gameplay experience. Each horde is an exciting moment, hopefully, a Days Gone 2 doubles down on hordes as they are easily the biggest highlight of this game.

    Story-wise there is not much going on, it feels like it is just two acts. Act one is focused on Deacon and his best bud Boozer doing odd jobs until Boozer gets injured and Deacon is forced to return to old allies for help. Act two is sending Deacon out to find his lost wife, who is actually a nice character, and overthrowing a dangerous evangelical leader. Act three doesn’t really exist, there is kind of like a setup for a future story there but it isn’t in this game. There are some moments in the story, each highly character-driven. I think that is the thing with this game, characters are better than the story they are in. It is fine, Bend Studios is taking their first steps back into the larger AAA space. Days Gone as a return to that space is an excellent first outing.
  9. Metro Exodus - The Metro series has long been a favorite of mine, it offers this persistent sense of place which I don't see in many other games. The game is a contradiction of itself but it works all the while. It is both foreign and familiar with its Slavic roots but with the intimate message of family and the search for a home. The games have never been perfect masterpieces but in their mistakes and bugs, they find an earnestness. Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light were both fun games with plenty going on but Exodus changes the game opening up on the previously tight corridors with hub areas that you are free to explore. These areas are oppressive places with danger spread throughout. Nevertheless, they beckon you to explore and find resources to help you on your way. That desperation for stuff is what always kept me searching finding new places and people as a made my way through the story. The early chance to find a guitar as you wander pays off when you later return the guitar to your allies on the train who provide a bit of tenderness in the downtime.

    The story in many ways seeks to capture that kind of tenderness, it is a personal story about finding a home. Artyom is on a mission to prove there is life outside of the Moscow metro and standing by his side is a cast of characters that are like one big family. They are soldiers, from Artyom's wife Anna to the American ex-pat Sam, each filling a role in the greater story. No matter how small a role that is. Each stop along the tracks offers new hope of home just on the horizon. Though rarely do things pan out peacefully. By the end of the game, there is this sense of finality and closure that things are ultimately turning the corner. I was happy with the conclusion here. The Metro series stands out in a sea of first-person shooters for being foreign and messy but using those aspects as strengths rather than weaknesses.

    Also, it still bothers me that Artyom talks in loading screens but never, ever in the gameplay. Does he just stand there staring, or am I meant to imagine he is saying words in response? This man is a character! Let him speak in gameplay you sons of bitches.
  10. Wolfenstein: Youngblood - The new Wolfenstein games have been some of my favorite first-person shooters of the last several years. There is an irreverent nature to these games that is bolstered by some solid action. Those games asked a lot of questions but those questions were never "Hey sis, ready to fuck some Nazis up?" This game does. Featuring the twin daughters of previous series protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz, you and a friend are given the keys to a new journey to fuck up some Nazis. This game adds a few new elements to the gameplay with leveling systems and power-up abilities. These are a bit half-baked, but they do add a bit more to the moment to moment gameplay. The level design also surpasses the first two games by a mile. This is presumably the direct effect of Arkane Studio's involvement in development. There is a bit of a difficulty curve, not dissimilar to Wolfenstein II, that is unforgiving. I think that is a result of them working on scaling, hopefully, they can sort it out by the next game. All the same still fun, a lot of fun.

    The story is another fight against the Nazis, which in essence is business as usual for this series. Yet, the game takes this business as usual story and makes it feel new by introducing some of the most lovable video game protagonists this year. These two girls are the heart and soul of this game. They are a couple of goofballs who in between killing Nazis dance in elevators and crack jokes. Jess and Soph are lovable as hell. I would argue if it wasn't for their inclusion this game would be rather drab but they liven it up tremendously. Their relationship with one another, as well as their best friend Abby, builds a sisterhood at the foundation of this game. Which is rather unusual for the action genre typically dominated by the male perspective. I truly hope they return for whatever the next Wolfenstein game is. They are sincere and goofy and they make the game.

2019 has been a strange year for games, I wrote a bit more about it here, but will spare the thread the few thousand more words.


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