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

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May 10, 2019

  1. Hypnospace Outlaw - The best reality I've inhabited all year. Also the best fake internet that's ever been in a video game. But it's so much more than that, with character stories that are equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. It's also packed with music believably of its time, anchored by an incredible original soundtrack featuring electronic songs by Jay Tholen (in a wide range of personas) and a collection of music by Hot Dad (portraying my NPC hero of the year, The Chowder Man). At the end of the day, this is a special game and I'm lucky to be alive to play it, and so are you for that matter.
  2. Death Stranding - To see a big budget adventure game center a protagonist dealing with personal isolation and disconnection, among other issues, was pretty stunning. That's divorcing it from the Kojima wackiness - which I find absurdly enjoyable (most of the time). That's also divorcing it from the gameplay loop - which pushes every button in my brain labelled "logistics", "load management", "orienteering", and "route construction". It was the connection to Sam and seeing him process the world, and seeing him work to make things better, outside of his own personal want - that's what's kept me going more than anything else.
  3. A Short Hike - It's tough for me to say but I don't think I've played another game that's put me in an absolutely happy and comforting place like this all year - from the characters to the dialogue to the humor to the freewheeling nature of everything you do and encounter to the completely beautiful ending moments. It's like if Animal Crossing was reimagined by Kaz Ayabe of the Boku no Natsuyasumi games. It's only about 80-110 minutes long, but's absolutely worth it.
  4. Judgment - It's still only my second favorite RGG game behind Yakuza 0, but there's two fascinating aspects about Judgment that have never come across in past Yakuza games. First, the procedural crime drama and investigation aspect, which pushes storytelling into a different direction and presents the closest thing yet to a full 3D AAA Phoenix Wright game. Second it's the story of the lead character vs. the world. When he's in Kamurocho, the game seems to present both Kiryu and Majima like "kind of a big deal", even in times of peril (and they are). Sometimes that's Kiryu/Majima themselves, and sometime that's the game world reacting to them. Here, Detective Yagami is just a guy that has to do things. In this regard it feels closer to when Akiyama and other lead characters show up in later Yakuza games or Kiryu in Okinawa. But more than that, this version of Kamurocho feels even more rooted in realism than ever. It seems like there's a lot more interactions with regular people, especially with regards to the relationship with Yagami's old office and side quest characters. It's almost a shame that Shenmue 3 (which is unfortunately still stuck in my backlog until I finish part 2) came out this year, because Nagoshi seems to be mastering the elegant-mundane aspects of his games in ways that Yu Suzuki could only dream of.
  5. No Man's Sky Beyond - If, after launch, Hello Games never did anything else for the game, I'd be okay, knowing the story of the struggle of even making it to launch, losing so much work after the studio flooded, and having to deal with deadline pressure from Sony after barely recovering enough for a release candidate. It was at the time, the perfect game for my life situation (just out of the hospital after a heartattack, and anxious from a red flag of early CLL-SLL detection). It was relaxation and exploration, and getting lost, wonderfully lost - who the fuck needs other people? I sure didn't. Then they added more to it, like base building and vehicles - I was even happier with that. Then the ARGs started, then Atlas Rises, then NEXT, then Abyss and Visions, and then Beyond. It's culminated into transforming the game into one of the greatest ever. And they just keep going.
  6. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - I could just post links to the Tim Rogers videos, but I'll just say that DQ XI S is like every itch of my love of classic JRPGs scratched, and all the new content to this version, from the side-stories to the QOL enhancements to 2D mode and Tickington quests, is wonderful. PS: Give me more Sylvando, by any means necessary.
  7. ETHEREAL - Discovered this via Humble Trove, which has sort of become a reliable source of neat esoteric hidden gems in the last couple of years. I know minimal and abstract block puzzle games kind of played themselves out, mostly because in the last decade everybody thought they could do one. It's a shame because it means this one was pretty thoroughly ignored. But this one is special - the puzzles are intricate and well crafted, there's secrets buried all over, and the audio design is high quality.
  8. Lonely Mountains: Downhill - Wonderful portrayal of what I like to call "nostalgia for the mundane". A perfect refection of childhoods of riding bicycles in the wilderness, and while we mostly had forests and smaller hills, the feelings are the same. Surprisingly mellow and cozy for a game where you race against a clock.
  9. ISLANDERS - One of those games that got under my skin in the first 10 minutes. It's super simple score attack Sim City - meaning no major resource management or stat gaming besides smart building placement. You get dropped on an island, and build a settlement, building by building. Absolutely brilliant with how concise the game plays and information is communicated. Not to mention, it has some amazing "one more go" energy. Hope this one gets some console ports, because I want everybody to be able to play this one regardless of platform.
  10. Untitled Goose Game - Even after all the hype and memes, this almost didn't make the cut. The puzzles with regards to the groundskeeper and the village shops had an inconsistent flow at first. Then I started looking at having them intersect in ways and everything with regards to playing and enjoying it clicked in a big way. The fact is, this game is also probably the most successful implementation of Keita Takahashi's design theory without being a shameless knockoff of Katamari.
Honorable Mentions: Sekiro - Shadows Die Twice, Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night, Elsinore, Deliver Us The Moon, APE OUT, Dicey Dungeons, Hardland, The Outer Worlds, Operencia: The Stolen Sun, Eagle Island, Druidstone: The Secret of Mehnir Forest, Cathedral, Gato Roboto, Frog Detective 2: The Case of The Invisible Wizard, Fit For A King, Tetris 99, Blasphemous, CODE VEIN, Eliza, Crying Suns, CROSSNIQ+, River City Girls, The Bards Tale IV Directors Cut, My Friend Pedro, Slay The Spire, Forager, Jenny LeClue - Detectivu, Pikuniku, Wilmot's Warehouse

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Aug 2, 2019
  1. Death Stranding - This is by far the best game of 2019. Gameplay was satisfying as hell. I could deliver packages all day long and additionally explore those beautiful landscapes. Topped by a compelling story and top notch visuals!
  2. Baba is You - This is the second best puzzle game right after The Witness. Easy to learn but hard to master. Reduced visuals but good art direction and there are some catchy tunes in there as well.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - This could have been the number one if there wasn't this insane difficulty. Additionally, although I am a huge fan of feudal japanese history, the game didn't resonate as well with me as e.g. Bloodborne did (but I cannot pinpoint why exactly because all the components are there). But still one of the best games this year and a very good game in general.
  4. Control - It is pure fun to use all the abilities to plow through enemy waves. They really nailed the gameplay mechanics of those super powers. The plot and world they created is one of the most interesting in video games. I would love to see a sequel (or movie or TV show).
  5. Days Gone - The gameplay was more fun than I expected. Hordes of Zombies are intimidating and fascinating at the same time. They should have compressed the length of the game by 25-30% though.
  6. Gucamelee 2 - This is one fun action trip Metroidvania. Playability is on point, art direction as well. Everything you achieve is damn satisfying. The combat style makes it really fun in comparison to other Metroidvania games where most of the enemies are simply cannon fodder. Lucha lucha!
  7. Astral Chain - It is fun and entertaining. The mixture of action packed sequences combined with the laid back detective parts works pretty good. The different Legions are nice to have but even on a harder difficulty you are not really forced to change your tactics. Controls are sometimes a bit clunky and it's a pity to have the limited hardware power of the switch.
  8. Resident Evil 2 - A real classic newly imagined. This was fun to play. Enemies look good and the shooting mechanics and ragdoll effects are very good. Mr. X raises my pulse and until now I didn't have the strength to complete the Claire run. Can't wait for the next entry.
  9. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - This is the best entry in the series since Modern Warfare 2. Multiplayer is darn good and I am going back to it every once in a while.
  10. Heave Ho - One of the most fun couch multiplayer experiences out there. The goofy sounds give me the chuckles, every time. The more people you have the more fun it becomes. Always trying to figure out which button can be released or not ends in funny situations.

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Oct 31, 2017
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - My favourite From Software game. I adore the fast-paced combat, gorgeous vistas, and constantly surprising boss fights.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - Never played much of the original as I hate tank controls, but this really clicked with me. Well paced, great inventory management, and a fun, campy story to boot.
  3. Death Stranding - Played the day after release but have only just picked it up again this week as I've been so busy recently. Really like the tense nature of travelling from base to base and the upgrades to your toolset are super satisfying.
  4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Not much to say about this that hasn't already been said. A stellar game that does almost everything well as well as feeling more than the sum of its parts.
  5. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Such a joyful experience from top to bottom with incredible animations and attention to detail. Played the entire thing co-op with my sister over a few weeks too, which was the first time we'd ever done something like that together.
  6. Kingdom Hearts 3 - 'Plays like a PS2 game' may be valid criticism, but this game is packed with so much joy and and kept me smilling from beginning to end. May also have the best soundtrack of the year.
  7. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - The house system was just what I needed for the series to keep me engaged for a 60+ hour epic. Almost all the characters are interesting and unique and the tweaks to the battle system make every fight engaging.
  8. Control - Definitely my favourite Remedy game so far. Oozing with style and atmosphere and one of the most enjoyable 3rd person shooters I've played. Wreaking havoc with the multi-tool gun and awesome powers makes you feel like such a badass.
  9. Apex Legends - The only battle Royale game that's clicked with me. Instantly recognisable as a Respawn game with punchy weapons and super smooth movement. Studio of the year?
  10. Link's Awakening - The original was the first game I ever owned as a child. The game still holds up great overall, but the performance issues bothered me more than I expected. A great game, but A Link Between Worlds remains the best 2D Zelda.

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Oct 25, 2017
1. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - immediately became one of my favorite games ever, will be thinking about this forever
2. Resident Evil 2 - probably the best game REMAKE I've ever played
3. Tetris 99- one of the coolest ideas ever in gaming
4. Deltarune Chapter 1 - I already can't wait for this, and I haven't stopped listening to the soundtrack since it came out
5. Outer Worlds- not especially unique or robust, but an absolutely stellar RPG nonetheless
6. Fire Emblem Three Houses- anime is good now wtf
7. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order- This game is so satisfying to play even if its not perfect. Really love all of the character designs too.
8. Baba Is You- I'm not smart enough for this game but I still love it
9. Mortal Kombat 11- I'm not good enough for the online and I didn't really like the towers at all, but the story was absolutely stellar
10. Pokemon Sword- not exactly great but it's still incredibly charming


Oct 27, 2017
I used to have a strange compulsion to try to play as many games as I could each year, as though there's some reason for me to have an opinion about as many games as possible. I sort of finally broke myself of that mindset last year, and I missed quite a few games because of it. That has persisted to this year, and rather than play games such as Death Stranding, Devil May Cry V, Sekiro, Gears 5, or The Fallen Order, I've played through Factorio multiple times, and I've spent a decent amount more time playing Spelunky, even though I've already played that game for hundreds of hours. I don't think I regret it, even though I know I would enjoy some of those games, such as Sekiro. But for what I did play, these are my top 10.

  1. Outer Wilds - I have a habit of playing games for just a few minutes and then dropping them if there isn't something that immediately grabs me. Sometimes I only play for a few minutes, or sometimes it's an hour. The first time I gave The Outer Wilds a try, it was on the Xbox because of game pass, and I played it for about five minutes before dropping it. I don't have any good explanation for why I dropped it so quickly, but I thought maybe it wasn't for me and it wasn't worth the hype.

    Here I am now, calling it my favorite game of the year. I don't think there's a lot I can add to the discussion about the game, except with respect to how I think this game compares to games as a whole. Many of the games on my list - especially this and number two - represent, to me, better representations of what games can aspire to be. I've always found it odd that games are limited mostly by the imaginations of the people making games, and yet the games selling the best and commanding the largest budgets are generally games where you're shooting people. This isn't me saying I hate shooters or anything, but video games can be so much more than that. They can, for instance, be about exploring a solar system and trying to piece together clues to solve a mystery. It's such a great idea, and I desperately wish more developers would challenge themselves to make games where you aren't shooting hundreds of people/aliens/zombies/whatever on your way to saving the day.

  2. Manifold Garden - I adore well-executed first person puzzle games. Antichamber and The Witness are among my favorite games ever, and I also greatly enjoyed Q.U.B.E. and The Talos Principle. Manifold Garden is similar to all of those, except I would say I didn't find it to be quite as difficult as any of those. What it may lack in difficulty, it makes up for with the atmosphere of the world. The tricks they play with scope and scale often left me idling to admire the various views the game presented. It's a really, really cool game if you're into that sort of thing.

  3. Control - The only Remedy game I had ever played prior to Control was Quantum Break, which I thought was fine. I could tell there was a nugget of a great combat system that was trying to break free in that game, but it never quite get there. Control, on the other hand, has great combat that I was never bored with - there were a few bosses I found to be annoyingly difficult, but after several attempts, I realized I wasn't learning from my mistakes and I wasn't varying my tactics. In addition to the excellent combat, there's the environment the game takes place in, which is oftentimes spooky and weird and unnerving and surprising.

  4. Untitled Goose Game - I've been trying for some time to put into words why I enjoy this game so much, and I think it's partially because the game puts a lot of effort into making a whole bunch of items you can interact with, and the interactions are usually silly and pointless. But trying to find as many things to mess around with as I could was supremely enjoyable. It has been a very, very long time since I played a game that was able to so consistently keep a smile on my face.

  5. Satisfactory - I have played an unreasonable number of hours of Factorio over the last few years, and Satisfactory is a pretty decent approximation of 3D Factorio. The only reason I'm not playing it right now, rather than writing this or doing something else with my life, is that it hasn't received a large update in a while. There's a part of me that's worried they'll drastically change something and everything I have built will need to be torn down, but there's also a part of me that hopes they will do so, which will necessitate more time spent with the game.

  6. Baba is You - This and Stephen's Sausage Roll are the games that are the best at making me feel like a genius one minute, and a complete moron the next. I appreciate the craft and the cleverness of the puzzles here, but I just wish there was some middle ground between banging my head against a puzzle for multiple days and being able to sit down a get through a few in a single sitting.

  7. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Game remakes are weird. I don't quite know how describe my opinions about them. I understand their existence: they're (presumably) less work to create, and if the original game is fondly remembered, they're much less risky than creating a new game. On the other hand, I'm almost always more interested in new games than in remakes. It had been so long since I'd played this game that I figured I'd actually purchase a remake for once, and I'm generally glad I did. I don't know if it's worth $60 because I thought it was pretty short and easy, but I don't know if that's because some small part of me remembered parts of the game from 25 years ago. But I can't deny having enjoyed my time with it, so here it is, on my top ten. I would rather they had made a brand new Zelda game, but this was fun, and this is an easy way for people who never played the original to experience it.

  8. A Short Hike - Part of me wants to put this game way higher on my list, but it was just so short. That's not a complaint, but it had very little time to make a significant impression on me. I had a great time for the short while I was playing it, because its world is small and things you need to do don't require all the busywork a game with a larger scope would require.

  9. Pikuniku - Another relatively short game, but very charming. I'm mostly including it on my list because the silliness of the characters and the dialogue put a smile on my face quite a few times. The gameplay isn't anything special, but it doesn't get in the way of making it through the game's silliness.

  10. Picross S3 - There's something weird about putting these games on top 10 lists, because S1, 2, and 3 are very nearly the same game, except for the new modes they add to each subsequent game, which I don't ever touch because I just want the regular Picross. But hey, if you like Picross, this game, and the two before it, are for you.

Would probably make my top ten if I were done with it: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - I've only played it for a few hours. I haven't encountered anything too bonkers yet, but it sure does seem a lot like Symphony of the Night. I generally prefer games that lean more toward Metroid and give you significant traversal powers over the course of the game, but this is cool, too.

Biggest disappointment of the year: Borderlands 3. I could talk about all sorts of things I disliked about this game, such as the interface improvements they didn't make, the abysmal performance, or the annoying inventory management. What I keep thinking about, though, is the awful and pointless story. I'm of the opinion that video games are generally bad at telling coherent and compelling stories - not because of the writers or the stories themselves, but because I don't think the medium is particularly good for telling traditional stories. Games are oftentimes significantly longer than the story they're trying to tell, with story portions being broken up by gameplay that doesn't always serve the story. I don't find this to be a problem when the game's story isn't aggressively bad. Sleeping Dogs, for instance, had a very forgettable story that was fine, but the gameplay itself was a lot of fun, so I have fond memories of it.

Borderlands 3, meanwhile, has gameplay I think is a lot of fun, but a story I find to be ridiculously awful - so much so that I wonder why they bothered. Link's Awakening shows that you can make a game with very little story and still manage to create something compelling. There isn't a lot to propel you forward other than the need to get to the next dungeon to get the next item, because once you have all of the items you can get off the island. I wish more games were willing to take a similar approach, because my opinion of Borderlands 3 will forever be that I had fun playing with my friends, but the story was terrible and I couldn't skip any of the cutscenes and holy crap was the performance terrible.

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Jul 23, 2018
1. The Outer Worlds - It's been a couple of years since a single-player game grabbed me and kept me up late like this. Just loved it, even with its flaws. As I get older and have less time for games I'm really excited to see more games of this type of scope and length.

2. Team Fight Tactics - I have not played other members of this new "autochess/autobattler" genre, and as I understand it, Riot was somewhat late to bringing League to the party so maybe I'm giving credit to the wrong place. But this is the version I played, and I love it. What has been most impressive to me about how Riot has handled this new genre is its ability to keep it fresh. The game I am playing today has a fundamentally different meta and "new"/different characters than it did 6 months ago. The game is easy to drop in and out of, and victories feel satisfying.

3. Resident Evil 2 - The polish on this game is just so damn high. This and Outer Worlds were really the only games this year that I found myself losing track of time in and seeing through over consecutive days.

4. Slay the Spire - similar to TFT, I'm just blown away by the creation of what is functionally a new genre of game that has an inherent replayability to it.

5. Apex Legends - there was a solid couple of months where this game just took over for me. Unfortunately the momentum of its seasons was lost on me, and I stopped playing several months before the second map. But for the month or so after this game dropped, I was all-in.

6. Untitled Goose Game - for me what really brings this game together is how well the music and sound design fit in with the art style. The various crescendos and lulls fit perfectly with the in-game action in a way that makes me feel like I'm playing a whimsical Pixar short.

6. Jedi: Fallen Order - I've actually skipped the entirety of the "Dark Souls" genre that people say the combat of this game is based on, so this was an interesting introduction. Gameplay is solid and I enjoyed my playthrough, but something about the pacing of this game's plot feels off, like there was supposed to be another Dathomir-sized planet before the end.

7. Civilization VI: Gathering Storm - so a major note here is that 2019 marked the first year I had a dedicated desktop gaming PC in over a decade, so a good deal of my playtime this year was "catching up" on PC games that were not 2019 releases. I suppose putting a 2019 expansion to a 2016 game on here is a bit of cheating given that I probably played more of the base game this year prior to this expansion dropping. That being said, this expansion felt like a good example of adding to and iterating on an existing RTS in a way that is interesting and adds replay value. It's not perfect, but it was the source of a lot of playtime for me this year.

8. Risk of Rain 2 - I really enjoyed this scifi take on the roguelike genre. Could use more level variety, but co-op multiplayer was a blast.

9. Luigi's Mansion 3 - I just find this game to be very tight all around, but I haven't really gotten enough hours into it or had it pull me in in a way to push it up my list.

10. Yoshi's Crafted World - I actually really struggled with the bottom of this list. There's a lot of games I played this year that are making Top 10 lists that I just couldn't get past a certain hump with. Yoshi's Crafted World was the opposite. I wasn't always clamoring to play it, but I never really would turn down playing it, wasn't frustrated with it, and just kept going and calmly enjoying what the game gave me. This game is just fun, simple, with a really neat art direction. Playing this game on the couch with my girlfriend felt like the gaming equivalent of two adults sitting down to watch a childhood movie.


Oct 27, 2017
Indianapolis, IN
  1. Resident Evil 2 - A beautiful, terrifying experience that stayed with me for months after I finished it. Already working up the nerve to play RE3. Mr. X is the villain of the year for me.
  2. Days Gone - Problems aside I absolutely loved my time with this game. Great characters and a decent, albeit basic, story made this world come to life. The hordes were terrifying until I got the hang of it. Then they were at my mercy and I felt like a god.
  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - This game really nailed the star wars feel. Great sound design and a fun world and story to navigate. I personally did not like the combat but I will absolutely be there day 1 for the next entry.
  4. Death Stranding - I had no idea what to expect from Death Stranding but I was left with a feeling of sadness and loneliness that was hard to shake. What do we play games for if not to feel emotion?
  5. Control - Remedy did great work establishing the world of Control and the feel of a governmental office. This game produced some great highs but also had some flaws that held it back.
  6. Tom Clancey's The Division 2 - Ubisoft didn't do enough to make this game truly special. That being said I had a ton of fun running around DC with my buddy and completing missions. There will no doubt be another Division game and I cant wait.
  7. Slay the Spire - Played this game as a part of XBOX Game Pass on PC. I like card based games and this one had a unique loop that really required some thought to succeed.
  8. The Outer Worlds - Had a lot of fun exploring this galaxy and enjoyed the corporate overlord tone that permeated much of the game. It did lose steam towards the end but I enjoyed my time with it.
  9. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - At times during that campaign I truly felt like I was playing a next gen game. Amazing visuals and the classic COD feel made the campaign's return in this franchise worth the wait.
  10. Devil May Cry 5 - Went into this game with absolutely no expectations and came out with an appreciation for this franchise and why people like it. Really cool characters and awesome action.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Death Stranding - Without a doubt another gaming milestone. 200+ hours and counting. And I'm still enjoying my time playing it.
  2. Days Gone -
  3. Anno 1800 -
  4. MediEvil -
  5. Tropico 6 -
  6. A Short Hike -
  7. Judgment -
  8. Cadence of Hyrule -
  9. Concrete Genie -
  10. Blood & Truth -

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PR guy at The Amplifier Group
Nov 29, 2017
  1. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - take everything fun about the first game, fix all the problems it had, add a fun story, exponentially expand the building options and you get this gem. The replayability is through the roof. Gameplay is as complex as you want it to be. Build a sprawling estate or just mess around. So much fun even my 8-year old daughter can pick it up and fall in love with it.
  2. Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition - another example of taking a game and making it better in almost every way. Plus, the ability to play through the entire game in old-school 2D pixels is genius and a lot of fun.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - the perfect example of how to take inspiration from the past and update it for a new generation of players. Tense, immersive and surprisingly deep. Can't wait for the remake of RE3.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I'm a huge Dark Souls fan, but really appreciate how From didn't stick to that formula and let Sekiro have an identity all its own. Extremely challenging, but fair, and there's no better feeling than finally getting past that one boss after your 50th try. Not for everyone, sure, but behind the challenge is a truly rewarding experience.
  5. Rage 2 - shoot, shoot, shoot. There's a lot to not like in Rage 2, but the gunplay and action hooked me from the start. It's a visually impressive world, albeit also a bit too empty. But, that's all easy to overlook when you're unloading round after round into everything that moves.
  6. Ring Fit Adventure - such charming gameplay that takes the whole exercise genre to a whole new level. It's engaging and encouraging, a rare combo, at least in my opinion.
  7. Deemo-Reborn - weird, ethereal, addictive, and profoundly touching. Combine that with the huge selection of great music and you've got probably one of the best music games out there.
  8. Borderlands 3 - the game has a lot of problems - multiplayer matchmaking, overall stability, awful story. But the guns! It's just too much fun blowing stuff up, setting things on fire, etc. Even despite its flaws I'm still playing months after release.
  9. New Super Lucky Tales - this is platforming at its finest.

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Oct 25, 2017

  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Man, remember when they finally showed Fire Emblem Three Houses in the E3 2018 direct, after announcing it during that weird FE direct in January 2017?I was obviously excited for it as Fire Emblem is my favorite Nintendo franchise, but something about the footage was specially intriguing in my eyes. I've seen a lot of other people being sceptical and not particulary excited for it, which was understandable more or less. Awakening and specially Fates left a really bad taste for lots of people and the trailer itself was neither descriptive nor was it particulary good-looking in terms of visuals. Moving forward to the February 2019 direct, where we finally got an extensive view on Three Houses. I really liked what they showed, it felt like a completely new chapter after the 3DS games and it seemed like IntSys were trying new stuff instead copying Kaga's template for the X's time. Looking at the general reception back then, and the distaste grew even way bigger. Not that I couldn't understand some of the concerns, but I thought a lot of scepcism was overblown.
    And looking at it now, Fire Emblem Three Houses turned out to be one of the most beloved games of 2019. It turned many doubter into fans and even I, who was very excited for it since day one, am surprised how the general reception changed so drastically.
    Though looking more at it deeply, it shouldn't be surprising, because Three Houses is indeed an amazing game. The cast is easily one of the games' strongest points. While, on a surface level, it seems like most of the cast concentrate on mostly on a few tropes (like it's often the case with FE characters), you slowly see that a lot of characters actually are much deeper and multi-faceted once you get to know them better. The tropes aren't there because "Haha funny xDD" without much to it, but they are caused by past experiences, wishes, fears etc. Not only are the characters a huge improvement over past entries, but the story and the general writing, too. In terms of lore and world-building, I think 3H is easily the best in the franchise. The first part of the game feels very reticent and secretive (almost like a mystery game), while the second half provides great medieval drama.
    The soundtrack is beautiful and criminally overlooked (looking at you, TGA) and the visuals are...well, let's move on.
    The gameplay is not only the most important part in my eyes, but also the part where I had some reservations. And yes, Three Houses doesn't offer the most demanding and overall best gameplay in the series, but I think some veterans doesn't give it as much credit as it deserves. The map design is surprisingly good overall with some neat twists, the game offers some (optional) victory/defeat conditions and they even brought FoW back. There is still some stuff I'm not really on board with, like the whole rewind system (there are way better safety solutions than that) or that a lot of the great and challenging stuff is found in paralogue chapters, but overall, I was pretty much pleased.
    I could go on and go on, seriously the game is just packed with content, but I will stop here and say that it may be not flawless, but it's still in the top 3 FE games for me and easily my GOTY 2019.

  2. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - First time I played a Dragon Quest game till the end. The game has some bigger flaws overall and I'm still not sure whether part 3 was really needed, but the games' high points were more than enough to make play through 130 hours in a few days. At its best, DQ XI is one of the greatest JRPGs in the last few years. Now release DQX over here, Square.

  3. Resident Evil 2 - Great remake overall. I hope they use the gameplay of REmake 2 as the baseline for RE8. No more of this FPS nonsense.

  4. AI: The Somnium Files

  5. Devil May Cry 5

  6. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

  7. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

  8. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

  9. Luigi's Mansion 3

  10. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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Oct 27, 2017


Oct 25, 2017
I didn't play that many new releases this year so it's going to be a bit sparse

  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - After the lackluster Fates, Three Houses is a return to form. While it drastically changes the standard Fire Emblem formula, the changes all play to the game's strengths with well written characters, fun and engaging battles and just a very addictive gameplay loop. Plus the music is just incredible.
  2. Baba is You - Probably one of the most brilliant games I've had the pleasure of playing
  3. AI: The Somnium Files - A great return to form after Zero Time Dilemma
  4. Astral Chain - This is Platinum at it's peak and I hope there's a sequel

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lvl 99 Pixel

Oct 25, 2017
  1. Sekiro - Its a Soulslike but with platforming and exploration that doesn't feel controlling a cyborg.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - RE7 was a return to form and RE2 was a return to the best game in the series in similar fashion.
  3. Devil May Cry 5 - The gameplay outside of fighting is bad, but the fighting and presentation are just that good.
  4. Astral Chain - Similar to DMC the fighting system carries this game with its unique 2 characters 1 controller system.
  5. Apex Legends - The first Battle Royale to truly feel as polished as the best single player FPS out there. That drop sequence is majestic.
  6. Baba Is You - The type of puzzle game that makes you wonder how this hasn't been done before. Would be much higher but the music and visuals were kind of forgettable.
  7. Death Stranding - The most unique AAA experience out there with some great music and asynchronous multiplayer elements. Some of the dialogue is off, but that wasn't unexpected and there are some great performances and impressive visuals.

    Im very poor and can't afford food let alone videogames so there are some big ones missing from that year. Half were gifts, free to play, indie or a shared purchase.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Supraland - Many aspects of the game are unrefined, such as the simplistic combat, the generic art style and the inconsequential story. All of those things should bother me, but the genre mashup offered is kind of irresistible: a 3d puzzle game with a lot of exploration, some combat and a metroidvania style progression system. Sounds like a nightmare to fuse all of those components together, but this game somehow succeeds. The puzzles themselves start out trivial, but there are some intensely pleasurable eureka moments to be had down the line. Many 3d puzzle games make you feel like a menial worker in a Rube Goldberg machine factory, but this game is more about understanding the exact properties of your gear and machines/materials in the world, which meshes really well with the metroidvania progression. I think this may be the best game I have played this year.
  2. Metro Exodus
  3. Code Vein
  4. Control
  5. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  6. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  7. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  8. The Outer Worlds
  9. Disco Elysium
  10. The Surge 2

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Oct 25, 2017
There are a bunch of quality looking games missing because I wasn't able to get around to playing them, but while I am certain some of them would probably have made this list, I doubt any of them would have hit me hard enough to unseat the top two. I should also mention that the games under the top two could probably have been swapped around depending on my mood. They are all great games. I played many more games from this year, but don't feel like they deserve to be listed among the games below.
  1. Sekiro - I was back and forth on this and the second game on my list, but I think Sekiro is special enough to get top billing.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - This is as deserving of a GotY as Sekiro. It is one of the best remakes we have ever seen.
  3. Judgment - Another Yakuza game that does enough differently that it earns a space in the top 10.
  4. Ring Fit Adventure - Top shelf fitness game.
  5. The Outer Worlds - The best implementation of companions in this type of game ever.
  6. Devil May Cry 5 - The best action game of the year. The combat engine is pure bliss.
  7. Links Awakening - The technical hiccups are SUPER disappointing, but it is still the best Zelda game ever made.
  8. Control - Great combat and a fun, quirky story. Nothin' wrong with that.
  9. BoxVR - Another amazing fitness game that I played a ton of.
  10. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - So, it is definitely a poor man's Sekiro. However, it still has the best Jedi duels we may ever see in a video game. Despite being rough around the edges, it is a damn fine game. It is also one of the more capable From imitations out there. With a little more polish it would have ranked higher.

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Oct 26, 2017
  1. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - Playtonic making up for the sins of the first game (though I liked that too, warts n' all), this is genuinely brilliant. Music graphics, gameplay, all perfect and none of the jank of the previous entry. More platformers need to do the overworld like this game does. It was almost as much fun unlocking the levels as it was playing them.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - The gold standard in how to do a remake. Capcom aback at their very best. Hoping Resi 3 can continue the trend.
  3. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - Never thought I'd be loving a COD again but here we are. I have non interest in multi-player but it has a terrific single player experience and decent co-op content. The shooting mechanics are just perfect, bettered maybe only by Bungie's efforts.
  4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - A big surprise. I expected a mere Dark Souls clone (I'm not a huge fan of the series), what I got was a mix of Dark Souls, Uncharted & Metroid Prime. Thoroughly enjoyed my playthough and even though it doesn't have a single original idea in it, it was a joy to go through the story and explore these worlds Respawn created.
  5. Luigi's Mansion 3 - A lovely little mix of part 1 & 2. Not as open as 1 and not mission based like 2, more of a halfway house between the two. Fully of fun gameplay and little secrets that make you smile at their ingenuity. If only there was something to spend all that hoovered-up money on...
  6. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - I never played this back in the day so this was all new to me. Makes me wich I had played it when I was growing up, now. An awesome Mario Kart clone that, dare I say, is even better than Mario Kart 8.
  7. Gears 5 - Another huge surprise since 4 was a bit poor. Everything from the previous game was improved upon, even the bloody awful DeeBees which almost ruined the first half of Gears 4.
  8. Control - Remedy continue their winning streak of never creating a bad game. This would be higher on the list were it not for all the technical problems that unfortunately plague the game.
  9. Mortal Kombat 11 - I'm terrible at these games, get absolutely hammed when I play online but I do love playing through the hugely entertaining story mode's that Netherrealm's games continue to give us.
  10. Link's Awakening - A like-for-like remake of my fav childhood Zelda game. There's nothing they could have done to make me like it any less and thankfully thee are lots of QOL improvements to bring it up to modern standards and make me like it even more!

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Monster Hunter World Iceborne - A phenomenal game just got way better with an incredible new are (possibly the best one in the game) and a fantastic surprise at the end. New fantastic monsters, new awesome music, new mechanics. Just the best entertainment of 2019.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows die Twice - From Soft show us again that they're the masters of level design, atmosphere, and incredible boss battles. I can't believe how fast these people put out excellent games with so many detail.
  3. Death Stranding - Probably the most original AAA I've played in a while, the trekking mechanics are fantastic, the sci fi lore and atmosphere is incredible too. While the action is not that great I got immersed in the world and avoided most conflict because that's how I felt it should be. The story is awesome but there are a lot of silly moments that make the game a notch below I wished.
  4. Apex Legends - My biggest surprise and also disappointment of the year. Super fun gameplay and mechanics, the game was awesome for about a month but the lack of nice art, the possibility to buy the stuff you want, boring content and even more ugly artwork (to my taste) put me off around Season 2 but I can't forget how cool that first month was.
  5. Kingdom Hearts III - The wait finally ended and it delivered! after cruising through spin offs, movies and such, KHIII was exactly was I hoped for and better (I was worried because I didn't like any of the games that came after 2), sadly it was extremely easy and I didn't like that most of the story developed towards the end but it still was a great journey.
  6. MediEvil - MediEvil was my favourite action/adventure/platformer game on PSX and after being frustrated by Crash remakes, and disappointed with Spyro simple design, Dan came up and was just what I remembered, great humor, fun gameplay, awesome music, imaginative and more complex level design. I wish people would have grown up with this instead of Crash or Spyro.
  7. Resident Evil 2 - The first few hours of RE2 are outsanding, the police station remains a masterclass of design and zombies, and Mr. X are more menacing than ever, sadly as you go on the game loses steam and by my second playthrough I was already done with the game. It's impressive but I feel they should have done more with this.
  8. A Plague Tale: Innocence - I sweet surprise of a game, a linear adventure with great storytelling and characters, the main actress surprised me as well with her performance. The chapters are quite varied and entertaining but the gameplay is too simple and the AI is a lot more distracting (by being too dumb) than I would have hoped for. Also I didn't like the supernatural plot but they handled well at least. Art direction is on point!
  9. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order - A good Star Wars game with a satisfaying story and score, good maps to explore and nice action against humans but I totally hated every bug and monster in the game from every point of view (mechanically and artwork), also it's one of the worst performing AAA games I've ever played and it blows my mind that an ip as big as Star Wars can have a game in such state. It needs a lot of improvements for a certain sequel but they have a good ground to start from.

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Raul Vargas

Nov 15, 2017
Newington, CT
  1. Luigi's Mansion 3 - I made great memories playing this charming game with my 8 year old son.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - A great remake of one of my favorite games of all time.

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Oct 25, 2017
Somewhere in Zanarkand
  1. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - There were two reasons I purchased a Switch when it first launched in 2017. The first was BOTW, and it was.... well, we all know how it was. The second was Dragon Quest 11. It was obviously available on PS4 long before this year, but reading impressions of the Japan 3DS and Switch versions left me hoping that the wait would be worthwhile for the Switch version. It was. I'd played through almost every mainline DQ before this, and I knew that portable versions were just far more approachable and accommodating when they were on a good system (sorry, mobile players). When I finally was able to play DQ XI S and enjoy full orchestration (with the far superior DQ VIII music), extended character vignettes, and a bunch of spoiler related changes (maybe not, but erring on the side of caution), it made the wait all the sweeter for what the game became. It's a grand story told magnificently well, and, even with its reliance on tropes and familiar scenarios, manages to feel like an old friend who knows that familiarity is part of what makes life worth living.

  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - God, what a game. Bloodborne wrecked me. Dark Souls III made me despair. This one made my twitch skills feel as old as I am. Still loved it.

  3. Resident Evil 2 - Never played the original game since I leaned RPG heavy in my PS1 days. Wish I had, but this game will do. For a latecomer to the series, this is the Best RE experience since RE 4 on GameCube.

  4. Luigi's Mansion 3 - If DQ XI S hadn't been released this year, this game would likely have been my Switch game of the year. As it stands, it's a boo-tiful addition to the series and console's library. Sorry for that pun. Next time, I won't be as hostel.

  5. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - As good as the original, but that dungeon builder needs work.

  6. Cadence of Hyrule - I play guitar and violin. It didn't help my sense of rhythm with this stupid, wonderful game.

  7. Shovel Knight: King of Cards - A fitting conclusion for the epic tale that is Shovel Knight.

  8. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Quite fun, but there's a nagging feeling that this is the Mass Effect 1 of a series that will become fully realized with its second iteration. A genuinely good game, and I can't wait for more.

  9. Apex Legends - Frantic? Chaotic? Purposeful? Tilt-arena, the game? Wasn't a fan of the shift to the new arena, but it's grown on me. A fun, enjoyable, team free-for-all, and that's all I can ask for.

  10. Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition - Still working my way through it, so it feels dishonest to place it anywhere else on the list. It's truly wonderful, but we'll call this an in-progress vote.

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Tonyk100 uk

Oct 30, 2017
  1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - fantastic art style really making me want to return to it, probably more than any Zelda since OOT
  2. Luigi's Mansion 3 - such detailed level design where you notice a detail mull it over and it turns out there was something there to do, interact with, magical
  3. Tetris Effect - wish I was more skilled, but sunk hours enjoying the whole package
  4. Baba is You - headbangingly clever and frustrating at once very enjoyable
  5. Untitled Goose Game - so much fun, and a great outlet for being a PITA to others
  6. Beat Saber - catchy music, and best vr experience that is child friendly - shame the living room smells like a school changing room after playing
  7. Ring Fit Adventure - good fun but illustrates how gaming has not kept me fit, and now I have it its silently tapping its watch waiting for me to return every day. (in my mind anyway)
  8. Tetris 99 - the thrill of getting to the last 25 is addictive enough, I'm sure the winners are all bots (that is my excuse anyway)
  9. Lonely Mountains Downhill - wonderful little game thanks XGP! one more go every time, and very unforgiving, but beautiful
  10. Outer Wilds - fantastic world and story telling unfolding in a brilliant new IP thanks XGP.

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Jun 1, 2018
  1. Outer Wilds - Unlock the secrets of the universe, 22 minutes at the time. The implementation of progress solely through knowledge is fantastic, I hope to see more games follow in Outer Wilds footsteps with that specific mechanic.
  2. Resident Evil 2: Remake - Old School RE2 was already my favorite game in the series, it was such a blast to get to enjoy it again with all the bells and whistles of 2019. Capcom managed to keep the atmosphere intact while adding a ton of cool new stuff, a perfect remake.
  3. Remnant: From the Ashes - Gunfire knocked it out of the park, great combat, bossfights, upgrade systems, co-op and world building. I just wish there was more of it to play since I cant get enough.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Its almost Dark Souls, with fun traversal and an even tighter combat system (and its quite a bit harder). I left exhausted after experiencing the world of Sekiro but it had me hooked for weeks.
  5. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - It has its problem but this game is just my jam, I love soulsey combat, metroidvanias and the occasional Uncharted so it was a great blend of genres for me. Deflecting blasters is almost as good as throwing Kratos Axe!
  6. Slay The Spire - This game ate up too much of my vacation this year, alot of variation on every playthrough and it does an outstanding job of mixing card game mechanics with a roguelikes and RPGs.
  7. Bloodstained: Ritual of the night - My favorite Castlevania at this point, it doesnt get the atmosphere as good but its better in all other aspects.
  8. The Outer Worlds - The music, companion storylines and general writing is really really good, some of the other stuff might leave for something to be desired but it did enough for me to put the game on my list. Im a huge Mass Effect and Firefly fan so everything that riffed on those franchises really worked for me.
  9. Gears 5 - Im not huge on gears, but this one kind of did it for me. Playing co-op with my buddy while having amazing performance on the One X was a really fun experience.
  10. Baba is You - Clever game that makes you switch to the programmer brain, I really adore it even though it frustrates the hell out of me at times.
Games I didnt play yet that Im almost certain wouldve made the list: Disco Elysium & Control

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - The game that keeps on giving. I took a long break from the game for most of 2019 but came back for Shadowbringers. I wish I had more time to put into this, as the game just has a ton of content, excellent writing, a great cast of characters and the GOAT soundtrack. Sometimes I wish it wasn't an MMO at all, just so more people would jump in and give it a go.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I didn't feel this was as strong as Bloodborne or even Dark Souls 3. However it is undeniably excellent and eventually mastering the rhythm of the sword combat elevates the game to top tier action game quality, while still maintaining the excellent sense of exploration and challenge you expect in the Soulsborne genre. It also helps that I will never forget some of those boss fights. Ever.
  3. Kingdom Hearts III - As someone who never played Kingdom Hearts, I binged hard on the series in the lead up to KH3. The game has some serious writing issues and the game lacks a fundamental sense of challenge. However I still thoroughly enjoyed the game. The combat clicked with me and I loved testing/upgrading the keyblades. The game looks and sounds fantastic. And the post-credits teaser has me HYPED.
  4. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - All I wanted from Monster Hunter World was more and more content. Don't change anything, just add more. And they did. And it is excellent.
  5. Devil May Cry 5 - One of the few games that I've completed and then immediately restarted on a higher difficulty. The game just feels so good to play. Unfortunately I find the controls overly complex to a fault, and so I don't think I can spend any more time trying to master all of the styles, switching and cancelling to SSS the higher difficulties. But if there was one game I'm tempted to do that for, it's DMC5.
  6. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep - This is a worse expansion pack than Forsaken, however with the release of Shadowkeep came a more steady flow of content via seasons, a battle pass setup, and more pinnacle/quest line weapons. I'm thoroughly enjoying Destiny in its current state and it's a great 'comfy' game to just run around a shoot things, both in PvE and PvP content.
  7. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - This feels like just the right mash up of Fire Emblem and Persona style school/social systems. It does start to feel a bit same-y over time, and I have trouble caring about half the characters, including the MC. However I still think it's the best that FE has been so far.
  8. Ring Fit Adventure - This was a slow burn for me. It initially felt like a chore, and to some degree it still does after a day at work. However it's great fun and I'm suprised that they've managed to build a fitness game around a really strong gameplay loop.
  9. Blood & Truth - I'm awful with VR motion sickness, but I managed to suck it up and power through for Blood & Truth. One of the best VR experiences I've played and I really hope we see a sequel.
  10. Days Gone - I'm not a big fan of open world filler, bikers/MCs or zombie genre. However this game clicked with me. Arguiably the worst part of the game is the main character, who talks to himself and has a volume control issue. The game also has pacing issues, particularly in the back half. But the story was great, taking out hordes/camps was good fun, and I really enjoyed clearing tunnels, turning on NERO checkpoints and exploring caves/mines. There was enough variety to keep the game interesting, and that post-game teaser has got me interested in a sequel.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Control - It's fun to fly and throw things.
  2. Katana Zero - It's fun going to therapy, doing drugs and slicing people with swords.
  3. Pokemon Sword & Shield - It's fun spending an hour catching a stupid Drampa only to catch one, forgetting to fucking save and spending another couple of hours doing it again.
  4. Death Stranding - It's fun to walk with a corpse strapped to your back while listening to low roar.
  5. Untitled Goose Game - It's fun being an asshole goose.
  6. Judgment - It's fun uncovering a massive medical conspiracy while beating people up.
  7. Life is Strange 2 - It's not fun being brothers desperately fleeing the country they've lived there entire life.
  8. Gears 5 - It's still fun shooting and chainsawing mole men while wind surfing.
  9. Fire Emblem Three Houses - It's fun teaching children how to murder more effectively while fighting a war against the other houses because they're idiots.
  10. Cadence of Hyrule - It's fun dancing while saving Hyrule.

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Oct 28, 2017
  1. Apex Legends - When Apex Legends released with little to no hype and as another Battle Royale in a crowded field, I honestly had low expectations going in. That all changed after one game though, where it was clear a lot of time and effort had gone into making it smooth and polished from Day 1, which can't be said for its competitors. After playing for over 150 hours this past year with 2 of my good mates, I can without question say that this was the greatest multiplayer gaming experience of 2019.
  2. Super Mario Maker 2 - After skipping the Wii U, I was craving a 2D Mario experience in 2019 and saw Super Mario Maker 2 as a way to fill that void. What I didn't expect was to be spending 2-3 hrs after work creating and polishing levels to publish for others to play, and feeling extremely accomplished with every 'like' and 'comment' I received for them. Having watched more hours of this game on Twitch than any other in 2019, I can't see this getting old anytime soon, especially with the meaty updates that have already come and those teased for the near future.
  3. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - Recreating the magical kart-racing experience that was the original Crash Team Racing on PS1 was an incredibly difficult task, however Beenox met that challenge and surpassed it with this remake. With gameplay that is easy to learn yet hard to master and gorgeous levels which hold multiple secrets if you take the time to explore them, CTR:NF was a very rewarding experience throughout its campaign and a joy to play in local multiplayer and online. With new levels and characters coming out consistently over the past year, I have continued to return to this game regularly, and although online players have far surpassed me now the gameplay is so fun I don't mind where I finish.
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Although one of the worst titles I could think of for a new CoD game, particularly after the original Modenr Warfare and its remaster were some of my most played games of all time, this was a good return to form for the franchise. With a campaign that isn't afraid to push the boundaries and online modes that present a refreshing change of pace for CoD, Modern Warfare is one of the strongest FPS games of the year and one that deserves your time, particularly for those disappointed with the similarity between recent entries.

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Sir Sonic

Jan 14, 2020
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I didn't expect this one to become THIS good! it wasn't on my radar until E3 2019 and boy, it delivers. the SRPG gaemplay loop is simply just addictive. going on handheld, it's hard to get bored when you're preparing all your units & strategies for different situations. on top of that, Story, Lore and Characters are really Top Tier. reading their paired endings while the Amazing Music plays in the background is one of my dearest moments of 2019. also Fear the Deer
  2. Resident Evil 2 - visually astounding, Great puzzles, great performance and on top of that, a real sense of nostalgia that doesn't feel cheap or forced. It actually feels very rich and fully realized
  3. Baba is You - harder than Sekiro, Let that statement sinks in!
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - on technical point, like any fromsoft games, it's average, but for artistic & atmospheric point of view, Holy Moly! this game took me by surprise again (as if fromsoft already didn't do that with DS3 and BB) The combat is really fun and engaging, The final boss is just epic and music is just pure Japan historic chorus. can't get enough of it
  5. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - after all these years and playing a TON of Mario Kart, getting used to this was hard, but that doesn't matter. It's the Best family game this year to play with friends. That's a Big plus.
  6. Astral Chain - They rubbed this game at Game Awards, especially its music. Story and characters are a bit meh, but cutscenes, direction, the fun side quests, amazing mechanics and the perfected Dual Action battles just do the magic for this game
  7. Civilization VI: Gathering Storms - a reason to get back to this masterpiece of a strategy game
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Charming from get-go until the finish line. also remember! having Marin in a game is enough for it to become great (it did for this one & Hyrule Warriors, so why not others)

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Dec 30, 2018
  1. Death Stranding - I didn’t care about the game before launch and didn’t even see any of the big trailers other than part of the official reveal trailer. The map was fun to explore, and the main story missions didn’t waste your time or impose problematic backtracking other than a few necessary sequences. Kojima’s fingerprints are all over this, from the fantastic graphics and smooth gameplay mechanics to progressively longer cutscenes and plot twists as the game progresses. I was completely hooked, and had to make it a priority to finish the game once I got halfway through Chapter 3. I am looking forward to checking out what Kojima does next.
  2. AI: The Somnium Files - I loved all the Zero Escape games, even the third one. I haven’t played many visual novels, but I wanted to try Uchikoshi’s next project. While there is some cringe, overall it’s a good story and does a surprisingly decent job of handling some complex themes like child abuse and dementia.
  3. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - Even though I have been playing RPGs for decades, this is my first DQ game and I really like it. I am sure it looks better on PS4, but it’s still impressive to play in handheld mode on the SwitcH.
  4. Astral Chain - Cool style and fun gameplay. I was looking forward to this Platinum game since the reveal trailer.
  5. Apex Legends - I never got into PUBG, Fortnite, or Overwatch, but I had fun with this in the month after launch and even managed to ”win” (survive) a match and almost win a bunch of others. I will go back to it at some point to see how it has changed.
  6. Return of the Obra Dinn - A great bedtime game for the Switch. At first it seems like we are given an impossible task, but things quickly fall into place.
  7. Resident Evil 2 - I have played other games in the series, but this is my first time playing RE2. It’s a fun game and the first section is designed very well. I liked the police station section more than the rest of the game. Tyrant (Mr. X?) was one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. I was hooked when it turned into a sick game of cat and mouse, and it actually inspired me to explore more and find all the secrets. The basement, sewers, and beyond weren’t as compelling, and I am not ready for a second playthrough with the other character. I will get back to it at some point. I need to get around to actually playing RE7 soon - I bought it for PSVR but was too busy for it.
  8. Slay the Spire - I gave up on rogue likes a few years ago, but this is a great reason to give the genre another try. It’s easy to get into, and no matter what hand you’re dealt you can use the knowledge and experience from previous runs to come up with a strategy.
  9. Baba Is You - Get this if you want a unique logic and puzzle experience. If you are serious about it, don’t even watch trailers or reviews because the footage will likely give away solutions.
  10. Tetris 99 - Since I don’t have much time to play, this lets me play Tetris in bite size sessions instead of marathons. I haven’t been able to play during any of the bonus theme weekends, but the core game is a great innovation on a classic.

I didn’t have much time for games in 2019, bit other than a few standouts this seemed like

Based on this thread I tried Outer Wilds, but it gave me some motion sickness. I will give it another chance.

Super Mario Maker 2, Trials Rising, and Untitled Goose Game were ok, but I didnt play enough of them or enjoy them enough to have them make the list. I bounced off Crypt of the Necrodancer. I finished Pokémon Sword, but while it is fun it was a personal disappointment as the first console Pokémon game so it’s not on my list. I will try the DLC when it comes out because I am still a fan of the series.

I want to play Control, The Outer Worlds, Sekiro, and Star Wars Jedi Order at some point, but I will wait until I have made more progress in my backlog and they are on sale.

edit: added games I have played more recently. Changed some of the order and added RE2 and Slay the Spire to the list.

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formerly Undead Fantasy
Oct 25, 2017
  1. Resident Evil 2 - Simply put one of the best Survival Horror games I have played. Whatever it's a remake or not is irrelevant. It's the best game of the year, hands down.
  2. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - A great spiritual successor to one of my favorite games of all time. It's been a blast playing it.
  3. Tetris 99 - Easly one of the best versions of Tetris. Very addicting.
  4. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Great sequel to a very charming series.
  5. Super Mario Maker 2 - One of the best Switch games of the year.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Devil May Cry 5 - Only 2019 game I've finished, so it wins by default. It's far from perfect. In fact, I could make a list many pages long of everything I can find at fault. But it's easily the best game I've played in 2019.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - It's more of the thing I like.
  3. Blasphemous - Great atmosphere and music, but the gameplay isn't quite what I'd hoped for. The concept appealed so much. Although, while the it's a refreshing take on a Souls-like Metroidvania, I hoped it would be closer to an Igavania. The platforming isn't great. As a Souls-like it falters as well. The death mechanic feels kinda token and different for the sake of it, quests are sparse and not really well designed or interesting. Still, a good concept wrapped in a beautiful package.
  4. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - Played it at a friend's, so it counts for 2019 plays and warrants a mention since there's nothing else. It's no MK8, but it's good.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Slay the Spire - I was highly anticipating this game and once it hit the Switch, I found myself having put 65 hours in like it was nothing. Highly replayable with card combinations and synergies more satisfying than anything else I played this year. Dipping into the PC modding scene (I rarely douple dip, but this game made me) brought even more joy from wonderfully crafted fan builds, easily implemented thanks to the devs' willingness to embrace them. The very recently added 4th character brings even more to the game ensuring it will be a 2020 staple for some time to come. Customisation options are insane with a huge list of modifiers to further make what is already an evergreen experience even more fresh and exciting. I hope this game is supported for a long time to come.
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I adore FE and Three Houses is just another in a long line of great games I immensly enjoy while also choosing to fundementally shaking up the formula. Characters are almost universally enjoyable with only a small handful of exceptions and the time skip is executed perfectly. While I'm not as big on the story as most impressions, the world building, lovely writing + voice acting and character interactions pick up the slack for lackluster villains and inane plot points. The core gameplay is strong as ever and individual unit customisation is a step up from the already sandbox style Revelations went for. Unfortunately, while novel the first time round, the monastery sections really kill replay value which is one of my favourite aspects of FE games. I do hope I will go back to this game in the future but the prospect of sitting through that accursed 1st gen again is making me question that. I perhaps foolishly played all four routes in like 2 and a half months...
  3. Wargroove - Scratching that Advance Wars itch was a real challenge for Chucklfish but I think they nailed it. Gameplay takes the best of what Advance Wars perfected over a decade ago and adds its own twists to not feel too derivitive. While still not amazing by any means, the story is not the complete throwaway present in the AW games and the characters mostly hit the right notes that made the AW COs memorable. Most of my time with the game though came from the robust map and event editor which I fell deep into and ended up making a full campaign revolving around Caesar the Dog (though most of the maps themselves remain unfisnished.) If Advance Wars is truly dead, I hope Wargroove picks up the mantle and continues to build and iterate on this already strong first entry.
  4. Shovel Knight: King of Cards - A truly perfect way to send off their now legendary hero, Yacht Club's final instalment of the Shovel Knight saga has enough creativity and new content to stand well on its own from the already packed-to-the-brim original campaigns. Even more wonderful is the humour, character interactions and spotlight given to some of the more forgettable characters from the original game. Shovel Knight himself is (almost) completely absent from this adventure with early supporting characters making up the bulk of the cast and they certainly shine when given the chance to. The Knights of No Quarter are some of my favourite ensembles in games and King of Cards continues to prove to me why that is. I'm happy that Yacht Club can finally take a break from this almost decade long journey and I look forward to see what they do next.
  5. Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield - Yeah it was rushed and devoid of a lot of what makes Pokémon games so great but on a personal level, the reason I keep coming back to these games year after year are not the characters, RPG elements or competitive play - its the Pokémon themselves and going into this game more blind than I have with any Pokémon before was an amazing experience. From seeing a new 'Mon for the first time and either laughing my head off (Eiscue) or loving how it looks (Rilaboom) or seeing a new evolution to a previous fav (Cursola), Sw/Sh proivded so many of those moments that I can't say I disliked it at all. The creatures are what has kept Pokémon as one of my favourites for so long and as long as Gamefreak keep up the strong designs, I will always welcome a new generation with open arms. As an aside, Falinks is the best Pokémon in years and I love them. Hope they have a prominent role in the anime at some point!
  6. Dreams - Technically not released yet but considering I've spent, God it must be close to 100 hours at this point creating levels and fine tuning them different levels of success, I feel it qualifies in some way. Unfortunately, despite it being a childhood dream to become a game dev and even holding a degree in the subject, I never ended up pursuing a job in the industry (and don't regret it.) However on a casual level, I still have a lot of enthusiasm for designing and so this game is almost perfect to fulfil my needs. I am sadly not amazing with the tools and despite putting in as much time as I have, my levels are close to unplayable and I'd never consider releasing them into the wild. Still, on a personal level I am deeply proud of what I have been able to achieve and hope to continue to slowly tinker away with my creations when the full game releases later this year.
  7. Yooka-Laylee & the Impossible Lair - I unfortunatelty fall into the category of people who were less than impressed by Playtonic's first effort but they've knocked it out of the park with their second effort. A Tropical Freeze-like Yooka-Laylee 2, as I'll call it here, is a testiment to doing a lot with a little budget. Despite reusing themes, enemies and hazards often, the variety of encounters and set pieces make each of the 20 stages stand out for eachother while building on ideas and techniques introduced earlier on. Each level has an alternate version which is easily my favourite feature of the game. Som levels change up the climate to make a layout accessable in different ways while others introduce a threat / hazard to change the pace. My favourite alternate stages were the ones which flipped the geometry to create a completely unique layout. The overworld is fun to traverse and the puzzles, while simple, feel satisfying to complete. Honestly, the only reason this game is as low as it is is due to the fact that I do not have the patience to defeat the titular Impossible Lair. Tried it once, didn't even get half way and haven't turned the game on since.
  8. Control - I LOVE the SCP mythos and this game actually got me even more interested in the series. While I think Control's spin on the concept is a bit too unambitious, I think it did very well for a first step into what will hopefully become a franchise. I would love to see some of the more out there SCPs adapted into this world beyond "spooky object does spooky stuff" that this game heavily leaned on but as set up, I appreciate and at time even loved Control for what it achieved. Gameplay is fast paced and cathartic but suffers from lack of evolution over the course of the game. The story itself is incredibly dull but the incredible world building and fun cast make up for it. Ash Tray sequence was definitely the highlight and the boss fights were the low points (mehanically, design wise they were often a treat.) I hope we see more of Director Jesse and the foundation Bureau in the near future.
  9. Ring Fit Adventure - Still slowly making my through this but Ring Fit succeeds on all fronts that Wii Fit ultimately failed for me. Its fun as a stand alone game and the excercise is a bonus on top of that. It does nothing as an RPG that hasn't been done before but the simple act of having all core moves in your arsenal be performend through varied excercise activites/poses is genius and where the game shines. Ideally, this game becomes a staple of my 2020 line up and I can actually finish it!
  10. Team Sonic Racing - Honestly ended up a bit disappointed in this one. Fundementally, it is just as bit as good as Sumo's other games regardless of roster choices. As probably the only person on this forum who prefers this roster to the other games' (I like them but I'm just not attached to other SEGA properties as I am with Sonic) that side ofthe game didn't bother me one bit. Ultimately it is the barebones support for this game that killed my enjoyment and by barebones I mean non-existant. It was sent out to die with Crash Team Racing showing how to support a Kart racer properly. The potential for robust post-release support exists with numerous staple characters absent but once again, SEGA shows they don't really care about modern Sonic games and released it as a one and done that has already been completely forgotten by even the diehards in the fanbase. Sigh, at least I have the music still.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Resident Evil 2 : Long awaited Remake Finally arrived , Glad how the Final product turned out despite there is room for improvement available , but I had fun and Cool time playing it
  2. Devil May Cry V : The long awaited Sequel , Despite Not my favorite entry in the Series but I also had a fun and Cool time playing it
I didn't play and Finish any other 2019 game

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Oct 25, 2017
Well, I guess it's time to finally get my two cents in.

I didn't play many games this year, but every game that I did play brought me a lot of joy in a year that I would call pretty difficult, if not the most difficult year of my life thus far. Fortunately, one of my favorite hobbies offered me a great amount of escapism and joy, and hopefully I can ride that wave of joy into the New Year.

Anyway, here's my list:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - To me, the original Link's Awakening stands as one of my favorite Zelda games, second only to Wind Waker. Koholint and it's inhabitants always felt so warm to me, even if the pixel count on their sprites couldn't exactly communicate the depth of that warmness. Here, that warmth is communicated in every aspect of play. Koholint and it's inhabitants ooze with charm thanks to the game's brilliant art style, and the game's wonderful score does an excellent job of blending woodwind instruments with chip music, complementing the quaint and mysterious island beautifully. Even with oftentimes obtuse puzzles getting in the way of things, the journey from dungeon to dungeon was, for me, the most joyous adventure of the year.
  2. Kingdom Hearts 3 - Having spent numerous years waiting for this games announcement, the prospect of playing an actual, tangible version of Kingdom Hearts 3 felt nil. Fortunately, the game actually came out, and while my expectations for it were impossibly high, I did enjoy it a great deal. It felt a great deal like coming home after a long trip and settling back into how things used to be. In many ways, the game feels like a product of an older time, likely due to it's long development cycle. This didn't bother me, however. The simple hack-and-slash gameplay coupled with the fun vignetted Disney stories was enough for me to get hooked, and while the overarching narrative didn't exactly do it for me, it'd be impossible for me to say that I didn't have a great time overall. Also, as a side note, Think Twice and Face My Fears are certified bangers.
  3. Mortal Kombat 11 - A very fun and focused fighting game with a truly wonderful story that celebrates the franchise's past, Mortal Kombat 11 was a truly memorable and engaging experience. While the game didn't exactly stick with me, I found a lot of fun playing Towers of Time, and Story modes. I'm very excited for the future of the franchise, because after this I feel like they could truly take it anywhere.
  4. Apex Legends - Easily my favorite game in the burgeoning battle royale sub-genre. Although I didn't stick with it for very long, I had so much fun playing with my friends and coming up with cool character combos in order to secure the W. Definitely something that I'll see myself coming back to once I am able to get a group together again.
  5. Pokemon Sword & Shield - A game that would not be on my list had I played more games this year. In my opinion this is easily the worst set of Pokemon games in the series. That being said, online play is still very fun, with Max Raid battles being a pretty fun new addition to the suite of online functionality. That, and there are a plethora of really cool and unique new Pokemon to catch and train. I'm hoping that the expansion pass will make this game into one that is more worth playing.
  6. Shovel Knight: King of Cards - A very fun and solid platformer, although I do find the level design to be lacking when compared to previous Shovel Knight games. An overemphasis on pits makes this an oftentimes frustrating experience, though there is plenty of fun to be had in the main game as well as Joustus. Ultimately, it does feel as though feature-creep got in the way of what could have been an excellent platformer.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Resident Evil 2 - My favorite game of the year, RE2Make is a masterclass in Survival Horror design. It is without a doubt the finest Horror title of this entire generation, and my favorite experience of 2019. It is not without it's shortcomings. While many things were improved over the original (particularly Mr. X and the zombies in general) there were also many things (mainly scenario design and story/worldbuilding) that I felt the original did better. There were also things that remained from the original that should have been expanded on more (the giant Gator is an example, it's an extremely cool moment that could've much more, the Gator should've been more than just essentially a QTE) compared to the original. In the end, I still consider REmake the best video game remake ever, but still, RE2Make is overall a great accomplishment, and Capcom should be proud.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Overall a fantastic accomplishment by FROM Software, and one of my favorite FROM games yet. With a unique setting and story, incredibly fun, challenging, and innovative gameplay, and a new focus on verticality, stealth, and mobility, Sekiro feels like a breath of fresh air compared to the fantastic, but now stagnant, Souls formula. It also has my favorite final boss fight in a FROM game to date. The co!any unfortunately doesn't have enough depth to feel fresh for the entirety of the game's runtime, and the replayability is limited compared to Spuls, but even so Sekiro remains one of my favorite games of the year.
  3. Devil May Cry 5 - One of the best games.of the series, DMC 5 fires on all cylinders. It has the best combat system of the series (and perhaps any game) to date. Dante in particular is an absolute marvel due to his ridiculous moveset. Combat has never been more fun or stylish, and the visuals are drop dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, the campaign does leave something to be desired. The environments are drab, repetitive, and ugly, and the story is overall a disappointing and not entirely satisfying conclusion to the "Sons of Sparda" storyline. Still, despite these letdowns, it's one of the best games of it's kind.
  4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the night - This is pretty much all I ever could have asked for in a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night. It has fantastic art direction, an amazing soundtrack, fun combat, and great level design and RPG mechanics. Admittedly, the story and characters are forgettable, the dialogue is cheesy, and certain things (like character models and animations) give away it's low budget nature. While the 2.5D artstyle is great, I also have to admit I still prefer SOTN's classic 2D sprites and visuals. Even so, this is one of the best Metroidvanias in years, and one of the year's best games.
  5. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Nintendo's best exclusive of the year (I'm choosing not to count Zelda as unlike RE2Make, it is nearly identical to the original, and not truly a new game). Luigi's Mansion 3 is the best of the series. It is endlessly charming, inventive, and filled with variety, and has quite possibly the best visuals of any game on Switch. Admittedly, it can also be a bit too easy at times, especially with the new slam move, and I still dearly miss the interconnected nature of the first game's mansion. Even so, this is a fantastic sequel, and well worth anyone's time and investment.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Resident Evil 2: My favorite game of the year, RE2Make is a masterclass in Survival Horror design. It is without a doubt the finest Horror title of this entire generation, and my favorite experience of 2019. It is not without it's shortcomings. While many things were improved over the original (particularly Mr. X and the zombies in general) there were also many things (mainly scenario design and story/worldbuilding) that I felt the original did better. There were also things that remained from the original that should have been expanded on more (the giant Gator is an example, it's an extremely cool moment that could've much more, the Gator should've been more than just essentially a QTE) compared to the original. In the end, I still consider REmake the best video game remake ever, but still, RE2Make is overall a great accomplishment, and Capcom should be proud.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: Overall a fantastic accomplishment by FROM Software, and one of my favorite FROM games yet. With a unique setting and story, incredibly fun, challenging, and innovative gameplay, and a new focus on verticality, stealth, and mobility, Sekiro feels like a breath of fresh air compared to the fantastic, but now stagnant, Souls formula. It also has my favorite final boss fight in a FROM game to date. The co!any unfortunately doesn't have enough depth to feel fresh for the entirety of the game's runtime, and the replayability is limited compared to Spuls, but even so Sekiro remains one of my favorite games of the year.
  3. Devil May Cry 5: One of the best games.of the series, DMC 5 fires on all cylinders. It has the best combat system of the series (and perhaps any game) to date. Dante in particular is an absolute marvel due to his ridiculous moveset. Combat has never been more fun or stylish, and the visuals are drop dead gorgeous. Unfortunately, the campaign does leave something to be desired. The environments are drab, repetitive, and ugly, and the story is overall a disappointing and not entirely satisfying conclusion to the "Sons of Sparda" storyline. Still, despite these letdowns, it's one of the best games of it's kind.
  4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the night: This is pretty much all I ever could have asked for in a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night. It has fantastic art direction, an amazing soundtrack, fun combat, and great level design and RPG mechanics. Admittedly, the story and characters are forgettable, the dialogue is cheesy, and certain things (like character models and animations) give away it's low budget nature. While the 2.5D artstyle is great, I also have to admit I still prefer SOTN's classic 2D sprites and visuals. Even so, this is one of the best Metroidvanias in years, and one of the year's best games.
  5. Luigi's Mansion 3: Nintendo's best exclusive of the year (I'm choosing not to count Zelda as unlike RE2Make, it is nearly identical to the original, and not truly a new game). Luigi's Mansion 3 is the best of the series. It is endlessly charming, inventive, and filled with variety, and has quite possibly the best visuals of any game on Switch. Admittedly, it can also be a bit too easy at times, especially with the new slam move, and I still dearly miss the interconnected nature of the first game's mansion. Even so, this is a fantastic sequel, and well worth anyone's time and investment.

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Tyrant Rave

Oct 25, 2017
  1. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - This was the last game I'd expect to have as my favorite of the year honestly, and all of my friends are just as surprised as I am. I've never been an MMO person at all (I've basically only tried F2P ones and bounced after a few hours) but I've found myself completely captured by the world of Final Fantasy XIV. I began playing in October, and since then I've completed A Realm Reborn and every expansion. Shadowbringers represents FFXIV at its peak and has the highest moments of the whole world yet. The story, music, and characters are all absolutely terrific and a step above everything before it. Since my completion of the Main Scenario, I've also dived into the world of raiding with the help of friends and my current FC in-game. It's proven to be one of the most rewarding non-competitive game experiences I've had in what feels like years. Going from E1S through E4S felt like a massive undertaking just to clear at first, and now I'm actively trying to improve on my own personal stats while helping others. It's very satisfying to see my own growth and progression and also it's a great way to highlight the strengths of the combat mechanics and actually test you on your own knowledge and skill. It's very different than the encounters the game mandates, and something I highly recommend anyone to give a fair shot.
  2. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes - I've been a fan of Suda for years now, and like many others I was a bit so-so on this game when it was first shown. I didn't really get it. Nothing Grasshopper has done since the first No More Heroes has felt really quite right (I say this as a massive fan of Shadows of the Damned too!), but I was still very interested in seeing Suda's return to a director position. The result was absolutely worth it. Travis Strikes Again in many ways feels like a return to GhM's roots as an independent and punk development team, and it's a really fascinating game. I've never played a game that's felt so personal and close to the developers, and it's honestly a must play to anyone who enjoys their stuff. It's a great look at the game industry and those who help power it. I can't think of the last time a game grabbed me like this.
  3. Devil May Cry 5 - Devil May Cry has always been one of my favorite series. I adore action games and I was very pleased with how this game turned out. I personally think it's the best DMC to date, and had a complete blast playing it. It boasts the best enemy design of Itsuno's games, and while aesthetically the levels can be a bit bland, they never become the same sort of tedious or frustrating scenarios you'd find before. Dante feels as open as he does in 4, but far more accessible and the new additions to Nero really help complete his playstyle. V unfortunately exists, but no game is perfect unless you're Bayonetta.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Like many others, I love the Souls games and Bloodborne, so I was very excited for this game from its reveal. It certainly lived up to my own hype, and I greatly enjoyed my time with it. Like its predessors, Sekiro has an impressive world with sharp level design, killer boss encounters, and an absolutely amazing art direction. The world is very immersive and gripping, and I found myself sucked in and stopping to look around at the various locations it pushed me through. The combat itself still retains a lot of the Souls DNA, but the removal of stamina, the implementation of the posture system, and the added verticality really shake things up and help it from being too similar. My only real nitpick is I wish the sidearms felt a bit more useful, but I still can easily look past that. This game has some really memorable scenarios that are hard to forget.
  5. Astral Chain - It's no secret that I'm a massive fan of Platinum, so I kind of had to play this ASAP. Astral Chain in many ways feels like Platinum's attempt at the Arkham series with the presentation, use of detective vision, and balancing out with combat to break things up. It's a bit rough around the edges in many areas (hitboxes, style ranking system), but the game just feels bursting at the seams with charm and heart when you look past the main plot. There's a ton of humor packed in and it's hard not to love honestly. For a first attempt, Taura did a great job at directing, and I can't wait to see where he goes next. He certainly knows gets the Platinum flair I've come to know and love over the years.
  6. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - While I didn't back the Kickstarter for this, I always had faith this would turn out good with Iga at the helm. Bloodstained is an Igavania through and through, and it features everything you've come to know and love from games like Symphony of the Night. It's a damn good Metroidvania and certainly one of the better ones out there.
  7. Resident Evil 2 - I'm awful with horror in media, especially with games. So it speaks volumes to the quality of Resident Evil 2 that I pushed through to complete it. RE2 feels like a proper turning point for Capcom after their last few years. It's a very striking game and has a real suffocating atmosphere. Wandering through its moody areas filled with monsters and Mr. X all over is stressful as hell and made me feel very anxious in a way a game hasn't done in years (I'd say the last one to do this was Demon's Souls on launch). While I'm still more of a fan of RE4/5's gameplay, I'm eager to see where this style of Resident Evil progresses with 3 and beyond. They've built a fantastic base for future entries.
  8. Control - Control's presentation is slick as hell, and a big part of why I love it. The big BOLD splashes of text, the way it intertwines its narrative into the gameplay, and the use of color and lighting do wonders for the aesthetic of its setting. It's powerful and hard to ignore. The actual gameplay is fun too! I had no idea it was a bit like a Metroidvania in its structure, so it made for a nice surprise. The combat mechanics feel pretty damn fun once you get used to how the game flows as well. It felt a bit uneven, but those moments were all pretty far and few in between. There's not much else to say except this is a cool ass game and worth jumping into blind.
  9. Apex Legends - I've enjoyed BR games for a bit now, but I've never really been grabbed by one like many others have. I liked PUBG and Call of Duty Blackout, but it was more of a social experience than something I really sought after. Apex is really the first one that I really fell in love with and felt that fever. I enjoyed Titanfall 2's gameplay a lot, but never got into the multiplayer. Apex feels like a perfect balance for me in terms of mechs, and it feels GOOD. The movement and gunplay are both great here, and it just feels so smooth compared to the competition. I do take breaks from it, but every time I return I remember how much I enjoy it.
  10. Sayonara Wild Hearts - I love Rez so when I heard this compared to it, I knew I had to jump in. Sayonara Wild Hearts is an interactive pop album and just a really stylish experience all around with some off-the-wall ideas in its encounters. Definitely worth a play for any fans of Mizuguchi.

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Oct 26, 2017
  1. Resident Evil 2 - This game is about as close to perfection as it gets to me. Fantastic level design and great gameplay. Loved every second of it.
  2. Monster hunter World: Iceborne - I thought base games was great, but Iceborne turned it into one of the best game ever made for me. It is now easily my second most played game this gen after bloodborne.
  3. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - This game brought me so much joy. honestly didn't expect the amount of tracks it has and I haven't played the new content yet.
  4. Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice - Not the best FROM game, but was pretty good. Needed a DLC tho.
  5. Devil May Cry 5 - This game had a chance to be the best game of the year, but sadly Itsuno improved so little while keeping some of the bad stuff from 4 like the lack of option to play with Dante all the way or sometimes downright downgrades like the terrible linear level design. This game could have been so much better.

Obvious lack on Nintendo games I know. Either lack of strong interest in some or not favorable word of mouth for at least one. also haven't played Sayonara and Outer Wilds and I just bought disco, but obviously won't have time to finish it before deadline.

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Control - What can I say about Control that hasn't been said? It's great all around and shows you dont need 100 million dollars to make a classic. Everything is so perfectly designed except for the loot system. My only gripe is I encountered a game breaking bug during the Ashtray Maze.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - I've been with Resident Evil since day 1. PSX I took the dive not knowing I bought an all time classic. Over time I grew to despise Resident Evil with 5 & 6 and all the spin offs. 7 won me back in a big way but for some reason I wasnt anticipating this remake. What the hell was wrong with me? This remake is the greatest remake of all time. Shadow of the Colossus was great but the way they improved this classic was enthralling. I loved every minute and I only played Leon's campaign. I still got more to get into and I'm back in love with Resident Evil.
  3. Slay the Spire - I thought I was over turned based combat. Playing this made me remember a time when turn based games were the only games I played.
  4. Children of Morta - So the year Dead Cells released I didn't play it. So a top 3 game for me went unnoticed. Therefore upon hearing of this game I made sure to play it and my god is it good. Dungeon crawling roguelike, with all the familiar trappings, yet with their own story twist.
  5. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - I wasn't digging the combat at first, but by the end of the game I felt like a damn jedi. Liked the exploration even if the rewards were trash. It could've been ranked higher but boy is this game buggy and janky as hell. The Star Wars license and budget balance it out, but freezing and being stuck in walls is unacceptable in this age.
  6. The Outer Worlds - Nice unique twist on the Bethesda game formula. Then even did a lot of things better. Same problem I have with all these games though, combat isnt dynamic enough to match the game length.
  7. Days Gone - Alot better than I thought it would be based what I heard people saying. Solid mechanics, but the story tries too hard.

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Oct 25, 2017
  1. Outer Wilds - What I think is the cornerstone of this game, and what helped form the unique perspective I had on its world, is how the games narrative is designed to unfold in any number of ways depending on where and when you experience the story. I came to this game knowing next nothing about it besides it being a space exploration game. I didn’t even know about the cycles. I started my first cycle exploring the local moon and brittle hollow until I was killed by what I thought was a local asteroid from the hollow’s lava moon. No biggie I thought, there’s a reload mechanic that’s nice. I then explored the hourglass twins and got crushed by rising sand. A bit bummed I went back to brittle hollow and explored some more until I missed a jump and fell straight into the black hole. This was honestly fucking terrifying. There are multiple points in this game where I had my breath taken away from me and this was the first. I had never panicked so hard in a game before now. I was spat out the other side and was face to face with the sun. With nothing to do as my ship was on the other side of the small galaxy, I pulled out my radio and listened to other travelers’ music as I waited for my oxygen to deplete. Before it could though I saw a brief flash and realized what was happening. We were all dead. This was the end of our universe. The sun was dying and so were we and as I was reanimated and looked around to the mechanic at the fire pit I was screaming to myself and at him that he was doomed. That this was it, get in a ship we need to go. But they can’t leave. No one could, this was the end and I felt some deep sadness, that this species, young and inquisitive was doomed just as they began to understand the world. I set out again to try and find purpose in this game and I found it in the company of the writings of the long dead Nomai and my fellow travelers. Each one offered such a unique perspective, not just on exploring but how to combat your anxieties, your melancholy, and need for meaning. That is this game to me. The search of a doomed species, both in the pre-history, and in the current time, for some way to avert doomsday, and find meaning in an ultimately doomed universe. This mirrored, so strongly at points, the short story “The last question” by Asimov, and the philosophies on Absurdism by Camus, that I’ve come to associate my understanding of these with the visual metaphors presented in this game. There’s the ultimate payoff here. The core of this game to me, is the affirmation of curiosity and personal connection. That these, ultimately, are the only meaningful things at the end of the world.
  2. Sayonara Wild Hearts - During my formative high school and college years I was often isolated, from my friends and family because of anti-social tendencies, anxiety, depression, and my shifting political and sexual identity. During this time I found pop music to be a refuge that I could turn to; as I walked from my late college classes on a dark winter night I would put on songs like “Run away with me” by Carly Rae making sure that no one was around to see me as I spun myself around on my way back to my car, or on long commutes to my awful internships I would play songs from lady gaga and katy perry singing as loud as I could. Over the course of four-ish years of college I built worlds in my head, narrated, colored, and acted out by pop music. Then I went to grad school and came out to pretty much everyone. And so did sayonara wild hearts. Initially I couldn’t really read the main characters gender, so immediately I read myself in the role. Watching the initial videos of the game it felt like those private worlds I had constructed for myself, the bubblegum electronic pop that kept me alive for four years, had been given the form I had found refuge in. And it was and is so beautiful, and lovely, and everything I had wanted it to be. To have something made that so captured an aesthetic that I’m now living with feels amazing and I still tear up at the ending as I think about it. That in all your past relationships that ended in such emotional heartbreak, sadness, distance, and pain, that there were pieces and shades of you left behind. And that you had to learn to love who you and they were then and accept what went wrong. That you could fall for years and years, feeling like you had no anchor and then fall suddenly into your groove.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Simply put this is the best melee combat system in any game ever and it has driven me to new game plus the game 5 times and finish it a total of 8 times. It is sublime and I can’t imagine playing a FROM game without this combat in it.
  4. Control - An enrapturing setting that I don’t want to spoil for anyone who hasn’t played and a combat system built on a duality of balancing your jedi powers and magic gun powers reintroduced my to the signature quirky house style I had bounced off of in earlier remedy games. Excellent, and I can’t wait for them to expand on their story and lore.
  5. Untitled Goose Game - Being a naughty goose is a lot of fun.
  6. Pokemon Sword/Shield - One of the more flawed pokemon games released but the one out of all the pokemon games that I’ve played that made me most interested in the future direction of the series. The wild area is the future of the series.
  7. Baba is you - I got stuck in the fourth or fifth area and I’ve never been more intrigued by a puzzle game. A beautifully simple concept stretched and extended in such interesting ways. Felt like learning how to program.
  8. Mario Maker 2 - Not much to say tbh.
  9. Links Awakening - The last dungeon should have been cut. Stopped me from finishing the game.
  10. Katana Zero - I was intrigued all the way till the end until it didn’t end. If I had played more games this wouldn’t be here.

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Aug 10, 2018
  1. Super Mario Maker 2 - My game of the year last year was Hitman 2, in large part because of how I got hooked by contracts mode, which allows you to create missions for other players to attempt. I really like creative tools in games, and Mario Maker 2 is a tremendous, robust platformer toolbox, which benefits from the internalized language of Mario games. I've spent close to 200 hours, mostly making rather than playing levels, and I expect to spend many more in the year to come.
  2. Fire Emblem Three Houses - It is saying something when a game can offer a whole new perspective on the whole background of the story 120 hours into playing it. But more notably, this is a game that held my interest for 120 hours and multiple playthroughs. Each of its characters is more than just the archetype they initially appear to be, and I found myself as interested in their conversations as the class systems and combat.
  3. Baba is You - This game eventually proved to be too tough of a nut for me to crack, but I still love the way it regularly expanded the boundaries of what is possible, both within the game and within a game.
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - I never played the original, so this was a charming new experience for me. It's characters and story are memorable in a way that isn't always the case in Zelda games, adding to a package of familiar gameplay and a wonderful art style.
  5. Ape Out - Speaking of wonderful art styles, Ape Out. This is a game oozing style; I would not have played it if not for its unique look and sound. I'm glad I did; it's an intense, two hours, with some good extras to encourage replaying.
  6. Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair - This is a combination of a lot of borrowed mechanics; you can see the influences of Donkey Kong Country and Rayman Legends and even some Yoshi's Island. I wouldn't say that it ever becomes more than the sum of its parts, but they still combine to create a fun, solid platformer with novel approaches towards difficulty and the overworld.
  7. F1 2019 - I've enjoyed the last few F1 games, but 2019's improvements to AI really change the experience. The starts of races are harrowing battles now, when they used to be an exercise in passing opponents on the inside. And despite this new intensity to the racing, there are still those meditative periods, when you're driving with some time between you and other cars, where you can zone out and just focus on putting in good lap times. A great racing sim.
  8. Untitled Goose Game - A funny idea for a game, delivered very well. The punchline when you beat it is the hardest I've laughed at a game in a long time.
  9. New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe - Mario's movement is so fluid compared to some other platformer characters, and that makes this a joy to play, even if it isn't doing too much that's new.
  10. Life is Strange 2 - This game sure doesn't pull its punches, I'll give it that much. It can often be hamfisted with its message, and there were times when it wallowed too much in its characters' pain for my enjoyment. Nevertheless, it holds a spot on this list for taking a genuine swing at weighty issues at a time when too many games are eager to avoid politics.

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Oct 28, 2017
  1. Disco Elysium - It’s Planescape Torment all over again, and at the same time, it’s so much more than that. So. Much. More. There’s nothing quite like it out there. It’s truly a breakthrough in both gaming and crowdfunded videogames.
  2. Outer Wilds - The thrill of exploration and the terrifying scale of the cosmos are both on display here in the tiniest solar system. Just, what?
  3. Ape Out - Cathartic.
  4. Resident Evil 2 - I can’t think of any other remakes that understand the original game as well. An incredible game, and I can’t wait for RE3, which I truly thought we weren’t getting for a few years.
  5. Ace Combat 7 - IT’S ACE COMBAT. A GOOD ACE COMBAT GAME. AND IT PLAYS JUST LIKE THE PS2 GAMES. Which I honestly do still prefer, but this was amazing all the same.

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Oct 28, 2017
  1. Control - I didn’t even bother touching Remedy’s previous game, Quantum Break. Something about that game’s promise of blending a TV show with a third person-shooter seemed like it was missing the point. Not to mention, I found the main character to be rather irritating to look at. Control doesn’t have any of these issues. Lengthy FMV and a cornucopia of in-universe documents are there if you want to engage with them but the game never shoves them down your throat. In fact, the more I played the more I found myself seeking out the paranormal paraphernalia, like the various video logs of Dr. Casper Darling, the Oldest House’s very own mad scientist.

    But the story and the various collectibles weren’t the only reason Control got it’s hooks in me. The combat in Control is easily Remedy’s best attempt at combining third person-shooter mechanics with reality-bending powers yet. The way the game forces you to switch between your gun and telekinetic powers is extremely satisfying. By the time I unlocked the game‘s levitating power, I felt like I had completely...well, taken control. My comfort level with the various powers was mirrored by Jessie Faden growing more comfortable in her role as Director of the FBC. “This place feels right,” she comments after taking out yet another room full of Hiss-infected FBC agents. So true, Jessie. So true.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro is another brilliant game from Hidetaka Miyazaki’s From Software. Maybe you’ve heard of them, they’re the makers of two of my favorite games of all time, Dark Souls and Bloodborne. On and off, it took me about 6 months to actually finish Sekiro. Sekiro is a challenging game, but it’s grueling bosses are not what kept it from going to the top of my list. Eventually I made peace with the fact that I had to approach the game on it’s terms - there was no way for me to “outlevel” the bosses or even the odds by changing up my gear. However, the spirit emblems (essentially a currency that drains when you use one of your prosthetic abilities) introduced one of too many unnecessary levels of tedium. It’s not quite enough to ruin Sekiro’s brutal combat and enrapturing world but it does make for a somewhat lesser game.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - What a remake. For the longest time, I was convinced that Capcom would go the safe route and remake RE2 with fixed camera angles and a slavish devotion to the original. What they ended up with couldn’t be further from that. RE2 feels like a beautifully modern horror game that scratches the (Itchy tasty) itch that very few of the post RE4 games could satisfy for me. Wether it’s rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy’s dorky charm, the adrenaline rush of Mr. X’s relentless pursuit, or the RPD’s maze-like architecture, this Resi redo hits just about all the right notes.
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
  5. Tetris 99
  6. Ring Fit Adventure
  7. Luigi’s Mansion 3
  8. A Plague Tale: Innocence
  9. Sayonara Wild Hearts
  10. Cadence of Hyrule

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Oct 27, 2017
  1. Ring Fit Adventure – As an action game oriented player, I’d be remiss to not have Ring Fit Adventure on my list. I mean what’s more action than literally getting your body moving? And boy does it, this game consistently kicks my ass even a month deep into the game. RFA is always coming up with interesting new ways to mix up the routine whether it be through new enemies, new exercises, clever minigames, new obstacles or even by putting a new spin on a boss battle.

    The average RFA level will start you off with some cardio and occasionally doing a new mechanic like opening a chest by doing squats, jumping on trampolines while doing squats, shooting air blasts at fans to open doors, running faster to get over conveyor belts, doing squats to swing from platform to platform. You’ll learn to love/hate squats fairly quickly. The point is there’s a lot to get you moving between each level through regular bursts of platforming. More often than not however, you’ll be interacting with the other half of RFA and that is via it’s rather novel turn-based RPG system.

    The way you attack enemies is by selecting an exercise and then following the instructions on screen to actually deal damage. Easier said than done, for sure. Battles are often the point where I really get tuckered out. But as you progress through the game, you’ll gain more abilities to add more strategy to fights like, attacking same color enemies with the matching color exercise for more damage, exercises that exist solely for healing yourself, attacks that deal AOE damage, drinks that change your attacks properties, and so much more.

    I’m still just shocked how deep the RPG elements go in this game. I feel like if it were any other developer tackling this kind of game it wouldn’t have gotten nearly the same amount of care. There’s also side quest’s to complete, stat boosts from level ups, skill trees, grinding for mats & money, gear with stats & set bonuses a la Breath of the Wild, healing items, stat buffing items, extra turn items, recipes and crafting systems. And you just keep unlocking more and more options.

    I’ve never played fitness games before so playing RFA was quite a new experience for me. However, after one session with RFA it was immediately apparent to me that Nintendo had nailed it. After every session with this game I feel great, because it just feels good to push your body past its physical limits and just go that extra mile in the name of good health. The game even has me looking at different aspects of my life in a new way. I’m counting calories, and watching what I’m eating, second guessing that soda, and just trying to be more active in my everyday life. That’s never happened to me with a game before. Sure, I’ve played a few games that have changed how I thought about things but never how I lived. And that’s such an unreal sensation.

    And I just can’t believe how it all…just works. Running feels natural, doing the actual exercises feels responsive and gives a ton of visual & physical feedback. The game will even give you helpful advice mid-rep for straightening out your form. It feels like they’ve been making this kind of game for years, but this is only their second outing and it feels like they’ve nearly perfected the craft. If Nintendo set out to create one of the most polished fitness games ever, they have succeeded. And while I find the cheesy dialogue to be somewhat annoying, I can still appreciate it for allowing me to catch my breath on occasion. As we close out the year, I fail to think of a better game that has influenced my life in such a short amount of time and that’s why Ring Fit Adventure gets my GOTY.

  2. Control – Control is a weird, weird game. Much like a certain other series, Control doesn’t have much of a strong central narrative but makes up for it by leaving tons and tons of lore scattered throughout the Oldest House. And only by digging through every nook and cranny of said House can you really get so much as a handle of the deeper world that lay just beneath its concrete walls.

    Alongside those lore dumps are a handful of interesting characters ranging from the strange, overexuberant employees of the FBC, seemingly omniscient janitors, and something as nefarious as an Old God running the whole show from behind the scenes. The star of the production being one Jesse Faden on a quest to uncover the conspiracy surrounding the disappearances of both her hometown of Ordinary and her brother, Dylan. I don’t often enjoy leaving spoilers out of things like this but this is game where I will gladly make an exception. Slowly piecing together Control’s world is part of the fun and I'd hate to ruin that for anyone.

    Jesse herself is also one of the most interesting protagonists I’ve seen in a game despite first impressions. She’s very introspective and clearly traumatized by the events of what happened during her childhood. It also explains why she doesn't bat an eye when you encounter the Hiss for the first time since she's already seen something like this happen before and she's probably become numb to it all. She’s not cocky or full of witty one liners with perfect looks like a Nathan Drake. She’s just a regular person who got wrapped up in a would-be unbelievable scenario were this not a video game. And untangling the messed-up weirdo can be just as difficult as deciphering the world itself. I also think she has a rather recognizable silhouette despite looking so plain. I'm not sure how Remedy pulled that off but like I said, she's interesting.

    The general gameplay found in Control isn’t particularly innovative but it’s fun in all the ways a video game should be. You’re encouraged to stay on the move and grab health dropped by fallen enemies. All the while air-dashing, shotgunning, and Jedi force-ing objects found in any office environment at your foes. It’s really fun stuff and I didn’t get tired of it even after I had finished the game. And that’s because everything has so much impact. Control has some of the most intense particle effects and destruction physics I’ve seen in a game period. Paper’s go flying, wood explodes into toothpicks, fire extinguishers spray chemicals all over the walls, sparks from damaged overhead lights burst with intensity, even the walls can be destroyed/ripped off/torn apart in so many unique ways. I’m not surprised the game ran as poorly as it did on base consoles at launch before a recent patch. It’s genuinely impressive and it’s a lot of fun to make a mess even when there are no enemies around.

    Puzzles in this game are rare but super well done. Leaving behind just enough clues to have the player slowly piece together the solution themselves. Not in a square circle, square hole way either (well...not always) but in a way where you’re making connections and wrapping your brain around logical scenarios that leaves the answer on the tip of your tongue until you finally reach that satisfying revelation where it all comes together. And that’s what a good puzzle should be.

    I’ve gotta say this is probably one of the most interesting settings I’ve seen in a video game. Control never stops feeling unsettling, I can’t think of a single moment where I felt at ease. The SCP inspired vibes, the almost kaleidoscope like visuals, and endless chanting made sure of it. And I loved it, the mysteries surrounding every aspect of the experience are equal parts weird, chilling, and interesting as fuck. The game gives you just enough to figure a couple things out but leaves others just vague enough to be viciously tantalizing. And I’m dying for those answers that Remedy surely has cooking up. It’s so rare that I get so engrossed in a game beyond being ‘just a game to play’ because I haven’t stopped thinking about this game since I saw the credits roll.

  3. Astral Chain – Just to be clear, I do think DMC5 has the better combat system by orders of magnitude. I’m not going to fight that, but I also spent more time with Astral Chain’s combat system because it’s so much more approachable. It’s so stylish on a superficial level but I found myself not really caring that it wasn’t as mechanically deep because I wanted to put time into it regardless. Because I wanted to see what Platinum’s games unique take had to offer. And man…this might be my favorite Platinum combat system next to Bayonetta 1.

    Astral Chain’s gameplay feels a lot like V’s combat from DMC5 albeit much more fleshed out. It’s worth pointing out however, the player character is much more capable than V is as you can switch through three different ‘styles’. Those being a light weapon, a heavy weapon, and a ranged weapon. All of which can wildly vary what kind of combo’s you’re able to output with your active loadout. Much like V, It’s a constant balancing act of repositioning and careful resource management and I love it.

    Because of this different approach, doing aerial combo’s can be a lot tougher than in your standard action game. In Astral Chain’s case you have to stun an enemy first, do a command input such as back+forward attack, then while it’s in the air send your Legion out to attack it with ZL, and while it’s got the enemy juggled Chain Jump (hold ZL, then press ZR) to join the madness. I love this approach because it makes even the most standard character action tech super exciting to pull off for a relative noob like me.

    Astral Chain’s entire combat system is full of little things like that. Like using Dodge Offset to chain together input moves or mashing together different Legions combos and finishers or running up to a stunned enemy to launch them solo. You can even Unchain your Legions to have multiple on the field ala W101’s Multi Unite Morphs, or even something as simple as repositioning yourself out of a crowd by Chain Jumping and Dive Kicking anything in your way. And that’s even before getting into all the different abilities each Legion has. Sword Legion gives you Metal Gear Rising’s Blade Mode plus Vergil’s Summon Swords, mounting Beast Legion allows you to auto dodge any incoming attack at the cost of meter and is basically just Blade Wolf, Arrow Legion can be used to snipe enemies from a distance or rain down time bomb arrows like Wonder Black. My personal favorite being Arm Legion who has Nero’s Devil Bringer ability, Snatch, which you can use to pick out any annoying support type enemies and bring them directly to you or simply JoJo rush punch enemies to oblivion.

    It feels like you’re bending the rules of the combat system when you try to mash these disparate parts together. And it really blends into a wonderful mix of spectacle, decisive button mashing, strategy and quick reflexes. All while riding the fine line of being accessible to a wider audience but having enough depth to not bore action game veterans.

    On top of all this, you have Platinum’s take on a Cyberpunk future setting which I am a total sucker for and of course the godlike soundtrack to go with it. Despite how the story and characters may fall flat, I stlll found it a rather ambitious game from Platinum, it’s not at all a Bayonetta-like we’ve become so used to and I love how quirky it is with weird gimmicky side quests, finicky at best investigations, Zelda-like puzzles and dungeons, and it’s unique take on character action. The game just oozes style and charm even when it doesn’t quite stick the landing. It really feels like a perfect blend of everything Platinum had learned up to this point about Action games but shows a lot of potential of where they could go from here.

  4. Resident Evil 2 – This was my first time experiencing the legendary game that is Resident Evil 2 and wow what an experience. It managed to convince me that ‘hey, despite being a huge coward I actually LOVE survival horror’. This is now my favorite RE game by far, handily beating out Resident Evil 1. RE2 is immaculately designed. From the enemies, to the winding level design of the RPD, to the sounds, moment to moment gameplay, every part of RE2 is designed by geniuses. It’s like a well-oiled machine. And soon you’ll know all the steps to get it going and get faster and better at it.

    The RPD is super well thought out. It’s a Metroidvania level poured into a survival horror experience that I cannot get enough of. After a certain point in most metroidvania’s you end up feeling in total control by the end of them and it’s a great satisfying feeling. However, I miss that tension of starting out and being uncertain about what’s around every corner or not knowing if I’ll be able to clear a room unscathed. But RE2 successfully manages to make sure the player isn’t ever fully in control and changes things up constantly through various systems. Zombies are dynamic and move almost unpredictably, old hallways have new enemies thrown in which require different strategies to avoid, accuracy plays a major role in your damage output, the player is constantly weighing every decision and dealing with the consequences of those decisions on the fly. And then he shows up…

    You can’t talk about RE2 remake without talking about the big man himself, Mr. X. And wow, wow wow wow. Mr. X changes everything about how you play the game. It takes the game from a slow, methodical experience into a frantic, messy one. Mistakes feel fatal, taking wrong turns feel distressing, every downed zombie brings you only temporary respite, and it feels like it’ll never end. He will chase you from one end of the RPD to the other without fail, he is relentless, and you’ll know when he’s coming. And god forbid if you have Mr. X and a Licker in the same room. The player is forced to make decisions quicker and under pressure thus causing them to make mistakes. Which in turn ends up making every bit of ammo and healing resources feel absolutely vital. It’s brilliant, hats off to Capcom.

    Even the charm is back after RE7 and oh how I missed those iconic RE protagonists. Hearing Leon/Claire say ‘what the fuck’ or ‘oh boy’ when a zombie gets back up gets me so good and makes the game just the right amount of goofy without compromising the experience. The 4[SUP]th[/SUP] Survivor is another highlight bringing a new kind of anxiety with it that I loved. You really get a sense of how desperate the situation is from Hunk’s perspective and just how fucked Raccoon City is. And I love how no nonsense he is. He’s such a stark but welcome contrast to the former duo. RE2 is such an irresistible and replayable experience that I came back to over and over, feverishly chasing those S Ranks and eventually succeeding in getting a sub 1:40 run. I was so hooked and I can’t wait for more.

  5. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – This game definitely flew under the radar for a lot of people. BFTG is one of the most lovingly crafted tag fighting games out there. And, despite not having watched the show in over a decade, a great Power Rangers game to boot! The game features 3v3 tag team gameplay not unlike the Marvel Vs Capcom series but has a free form tagging system ala Infinite or Blazblue Cross Tag. Combine this with a simplified control scheme akin to Smash Bros, rollback netcode, a well-rounded roster of Rangers/Villains from throughout the franchise and a comic book style Story mode. The gameplay is buttery smooth and finding matches is quick and easy especially since it has crossplay across every platform now, including PS4. That’s already ahead of most fighters this gen if you ask me. I've played around 100 matches or so at this point and have only had a couple issues and that was only due to the servers going down for maintenance for a bit.

    I know what you’re going to say. BFTG looks really budget, but I can guarantee you it’s anything but where it matters. This game is made with so much with love and care that it keeps getting updates, and even has straight references from Mahvel. Pink Time Force Ranger has a move called Not-So-Hidden Missiles and Vergil’s VA reprises his role as the Quantum Ranger and says “Now, I’m motivated!” when he tags in and "I need more Quantum power" when you do his super. He also get's Vergil's rapid slash assist from Marvel 3 when installed. It’s so good. BFTG at its core is a super fun and wild fighting game that fills the big empty hole in my heart for a new VS style game, joining the likes of Blazblue Cross Tag and Skullgirls.

    It’s my favorite fighting game of the year and possibly of this gen. Every time I boot it up it's such a thrill trying to be the first one to scum out the other player and get that sweet ToD (touch of death) combo that you've been practicing for hours. And with that team composition that feels like your very own or with that filthy mixup you were just dying to try out. Games are over fairly quickly and while the talk of ToD combos and fast gameplay may be a turn off to some. It's everything that I love about fighting games. BFTG is just an unapologetic love letter for Mahvel fans everywhere. Give it a shot if it sounds like your cup of tea and help support the developers that are already making the effort to put oft-requested features like rollback netcode into their fighting games.

Honorable mentions go to Devil May Cry 5 for being literally the best action game out there that I have zero time and currently zero drive to explore fully. Itsuno really exceeded my expectations with that one. Unfortunately it comes out at a time where I have no desire to get better at it's combat and would rather spend that time going through my backlog.

VA-11 Hall-A also gets a shoutout for being one of the most chill video games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. That combined with it's heartfelt story, charming characters, and amazing OST (that I've yet to stop listening to) makes for an experience that was unforgettable. As I am a gameplay first kind of person though, it left a lot to be desired in that department even if I did find the drink mixing interesting from a game design perspective. Would absolutely still recommend if you're in need of a relaxing game to play.

And Fire Emblem Three Houses for being an amazingly deep RPG with well realized and nuanced characters that I have yet to play enough of to really have much to say beyond that. I'm currently working my way through the Blue Lion's route on Hard mode and it's been such a blast figuring my way out of potentially fatal positions.

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Oct 31, 2017
Not America
Looking at the list, I played 3 games that qualify. I wouldn't pick the third even if someone threatened me.

  1. Death Stranding - Perhaps one of most important games of our time and I feel it will age well. While it has myriad issues and good god, Kojima-san could use an editor (if his ego allows for it) and learn the meaning of brevity, DS is the most consistent game that reconciles its narrative ideology with actual gameplay mechanics unlike many AAA games. Its emphasis on escaping, surviving, establishing links, nurturing bonds and doing all of it non-lethally with efficiency is remarkable. The politics of the game are truly relevant in our time.

  2. Gears 5 - Coming from Gears of War 4 (my first Gears game) I had low expectations. The game has certain archaic design elements and others that I wish are changed in the future. However, on the plus side, it is incredibly solid shooter with astounding visual and audio design. Playing as Kait was frankly refreshing, and game took time to build bonds among characters where the emotional reactions felt earned. Lastly on a non-diagetic tangent, it is very interesting to see the shift in culture within the franchise going from 360 days to Xbox One.

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TeraFlops May Vary
Oct 25, 2017
  1. Resident Evil 2 - The perfect balance of horror and action. This should be the blueprint for all 3rd person Resident Evil games going forward.
  2. Super Mario Maker 2 - I thought this would have been my GOTY but it hasn't been given the regular updates it needs to maintain a consistent player base. I love it all the same.
  3. Crackdown 3 - I couldn't stop playing this, it's just too much dumb fun. I understand why it got the critical reception it did but after a long day at work I don't always want an Oscar worthy plot and highly scripted set-pieces, sometimes I just want to be a totally overpowered superhero instead.
  4. Life is Strange 2 - I am very thankful to Dontnod for not shying away from certain issues.
  5. Devil May Cry 5 - Capcom really is back.
  6. Gears 5 - A great opening and closing act, sandwiching two acts that feature two different open worlds that don't always hit the mark.
  7. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Oppressive, miserable and utterly compelling.
  8. Blood & Truth - Fun little VR romp, even if it's a bit try-hard with the London gangster talk.
  9. Baba Is You - This would have been higher up the list but it gets too difficult too quickly.
  10. Ring Fit Adventure - Wii Fit but actually effective and with charm for days.
Games I wish I had played: Control, Judgment, Outer Wilds, Ai: The Somnium Files, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and The Outer Worlds.

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Nov 2, 2017
  1. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - FF14 was already one of the best entries in the franchise but Shadowbringers solidified its position as the best, in a just world this would be The GOTY, why haven’t you played it yet?
  2. Death Stranding - Kojima managed to make a gameplay mainly revolves around walking fun, that alone deserves recognition, combine it with a great world, story and music and you have one of the best games of this gen, it’s such a fresh experience that’ll live on for a long time.
  3. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - An expansion the size of the base game for a cheaper price, World was already amazing and this improves upon it even more.
  4. SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions - Surprise hit of the year, thanks to the era member that recommended it, despite its obvious low budget what they have been able to pull is impressive.
  5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I’ve only finished one of the routes so far but as a first timer to the series it was great, definitely will be doing the other route in the future, MC needs work though, that was one of the worst and blandest I’ve seen.
  6. Luigi’s Mansion 3 - My first Luigi game, I’m only halfway through it but it has been a joy to play.
  7. Sekiro Shadows Die Twice - despite finding it ultimately disappointing for me, it’s still a great title and it’s only fair I’d put it here.
I have Pokémon Sword, Astral Chain and Link’s awakening too but haven’t started them yet.

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Jan 15, 2020
  1. Super Mario Maker 2 - Fun game that rewards creativity with points when you create a level and even has a speedrun-like system where you have to beat levels made by others as well as some of Nintendo's official levels as quickly as possible. If you play official Nintendo levels rather than levels made by others, you can play with Ninjis which represent all the other players in real-time. I haven't had more fun with any other game, besides this one in 2019. Additionally, the game added features that were missing in the previous entry and that is something that I wanna support 100%.
  2. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled - Very fun game, about as good as any other Mario Kart game and far better than Mario Kart Tour and its predatory microtransactions.
  3. Luigi's Mansion 3 - The game expands the features of its prequel, Luigi's Mansion 2, and improves on it. You have a lot of new thrilling boss fights. Honestly, I had a lot of fun with this game, finding all the secrets, capturing all the ghosts. It is one of the better picks in my opinion.
  4. Shovel Knight: King Of Cards - I never played the first game because of how overrated it was at the time. Everyone talking about the game all the time and wanting every single developer to put the protagonist into their game as an easteregg or as an important character like back during the Sm4sh era with the ballot. It was one of the games I just couldn't stand and wish I could just snap out of reality. Those other games included Shantae, Five Nights At Freddy's, Undertale and Minecraft. However, I did play the sequel and the trequel which were both fantastic. I missed out on something for so long, but I definitely enjoyed King Of Cards and would recommend it to anyone who asks me about it.
  5. Borderlands 3 - Pretty fun game, it adds more weapons and more things in general compared to Borderlands 2 which is a good thing. The only personal issue I have with this game is that the director of the game is not a good guy.
  6. Metro Exodus - Being a fan of FPS, I wholeheartedly enjoyed this game. The game was a big open world with monsters to shoot and things to discover. The only issue would be that game is otherwise not very unique, I've seen some of the themes in Metro Exodus plenty of times before.
  7. Pokemon Sword & Shield - Despite having its flaws, the game was extremely fun and far less tedious than the previous entries (Gen 1 to 5) because you don't need to grind nearly as much in order to level up your Pokemons. To be fair, only gen 7 and now gen 8 were fun to me, gen 6 felt very bland. I can't understand why people throw a fit against Gen 6, 7 and 8 over the Exp Share when it's there to improve the experience of the games. I also approve the use of 30$ DLC instead of having a whole new game that would have cost nearly as much as Sword & Shield.
  8. The Legend Of Zelda: Links's Awakening - The game felt rather unfinished with tons of visual oddities and framerate drops, but it was fun nonetheless.
  9. Untitled Goose Game - Not the biggest fan of this game, it still manages to entertain me for what it is worth.
That's all the games that were released in 2019 that I played, there were other games I purchased and played in 2019, but they were released mostly between 2015-2018 and speaking of Untitled Goose Game, it reminds me of Donut Country which I bought back in early February.

Edit: I bought Borderlands 3 recently, I'm adding it into the top 10 immediately.

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Dec 13, 2017
  1. Luigi's Mansion 3 - The best game from one of my favorite series. Refined gameplay, clever puzzles, impressive animations and memorable music. What elevates this to my goty is the Hotel itself: it felt real, it felt alive.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - I have so much to say about this game that I'll just highlight its strongest point: level design. This is some Metroid Prime shit. Stellar. And I will always love how RE2 goes from horror game to cheesy action movie.
  3. Death Stranding - I came for a pretentious cinematic-experience and got a fucking AAA indie game. Loved the gameplay and the atmosphere. Story was ok, it had some super strong moments and I didn't expect all that positivity and talk about parenting. But boy, Kojima sucks in pure storytelling...
  4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - This is the first strategy game I've finished. I normally get bored, instead the fantastic cast and interesting gameplay got me hooked. I still have to take the other routes. GOLDEN DEER FTW!
  5. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - I'm still playing it so it's kind of a bet, but I'm loving this. There are some problems that I'm sure Respawn will fix in the sequel.
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - That ost... wow. The bittersweet ending...
  7. Astral Chain - Incredible combat system with an ok game built around.
  8. Pokémon Sword - Probably the best designed creatures in the series. Pokémon is always fun, but GF really puts all their efforts in making these games feel like mediocre rpg's.
  9. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes - This game is unique and it left something inside me that won't go away. I love you Suda! And also Travis!
  10. Yooka Layle and the Impossible Lair - surprisingly good. The overworld was like the best part... I have to finish it though.
Honorable mentions: Cadence of Hyrule, Untitled Goose Game, Tetris 99

Best games I've played but came from the past: Castlevania SotN, Undertale.

Disappointment of the year (doesn't mean the game is bad):

Sekiro Shadows Die Twice - This was my goty up until Genichiro. Then it became another fucking Dark Souls. I'm so tired of this series now, and the fact that this game wants you to use specific tactics against bosses, without the possibility to level up, makes me so angry. The fucking Ape sucked all fun away from it. Don't know if I'll ever want to come back.

Super Mario Maker 2 - Idk man, the ship sailed. Good levels from Era tho.
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Oct 28, 2017
  1. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - This expansion continues the Warrior of Light and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn's adventures across Eorzea and beyond. And it is still fun!

    I am baffled by the 90+ metacritic score, and I fail to see how it stands out from the rest. It is not the "best expansion". It has a good story, like the other expansions. It has good music from Soken, as with the other expansions. The dungeons are the best part of the game, like the other expansions. And I don't understand how some people think this is a "return to form after the disappointing Stormblood". It's just as good as Stormblood, which was only held back by the terrible Eureka maps.

    But it is worth checking out for the lore. It digs deeper into the Warrior of Light's backstory (not being too detailed here to avoid spoilers) than the base game and previous two expansions. In fact, it revealed much more about the Warrior of Light than I expected. It does not leave players speculating like Heavensward did. In fact, not only does it avoid leaving its players hanging with another teaser, it reveals what Heavensward's hint actually meant. Players who know what I mean will enjoy it.
  2. Super Mario Maker 2 - I wish I could say more about this game, but I still haven't tried out all of its new features. It is just as fun as Mario Maker 3DS, and it allows me to upload my own stages! I have not had time to make anything since holiday break, but the creation process sparked ideas for some new levels to make this year. And those levels will surely spark more ideas for more levels.

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