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

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deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,465
  1. Outer Wilds - Just an incredibly cool experience all around. Time looping, a world on a schedule, all of this is my shit to begin with and it all worked so well together. I never felt stuck (though I played after lots of QoL changes, I know) so I could always just keep pulling at threads and feel like I discovered something huge. Ending maybe didn’t strike me as strongly as it did some people, but if nothing else it provided a strong sense of conclusion to a game where you can kinda do anything in any order, which is definitely an achievement.
  2. Control - I can always appreciate a cool fellow Jesse. A lot of style and thankfully the substance behind it mostly sticks the landing. I am someone who *always* seeks out every bit of writing in games by default, so I cannot say the thing others have said about it, but: sure has better writing in its collectibles than most other games do. It also got me to build a desktop, finally, so it had that sentimental feeling as well.
  3. Disco Elysium - A bizarre tale of this mess of a sorrycop. Was extremely pleasantly surprised by most of the writing. Expected something a little too bitter/grim, and it has that at times, but not enough to overpower everything else. Just lots of wonderful little moments with various characters and bits of world building that will stick with me. Kim rules.
  4. Zenki Zero: Last Beginning - The actual gameplay is a bit simplistic but as someone who doesn’t play many dungeon crawlers, I was happy to dip my feet in like this. It has a surprisingly strong cast that I grew pretty fond of - exceeding my feelings for any Danganronpa cast, I’ll specifically say, given the vague advertised connection between them. And after spending forever getting the Platinum, the fact that the ending is just suddenly incredibly strong hit me hard out of nowhere. Absolutely knew the cast was its main strength and aimed went right for something sentimental rather than generically hopeful, when I’d not expected them to realize that, and so it somehow landed amazingly well despite rushing through covering a couple twists and timeskips. It’s getting ranked this high mostly because I’m still thinking about that every so often, damn.
  5. AI: The Somnium Files - Uchikoshi did it again, restoring my faith after the disaster that was ZTD. Just wish they toned down the needless pervy jokes, as the Somnium humor worked way better for me.
  6. Hypnospace Outlaw - Amazingly ridiculous but sincere nonsense. So much love is put into its world and characters and music, making this completely bizarre alternative internet feel like it could totally be a real thing people used and posted on. I will never forget Chowder Man.
  7. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Maybe played like 3 hours of Dark Souls ever, but this really really worked for me. Lack of having to care about stats/builds is means freedom from anxiety over that for me, so it’s only a gain. Made me feel cool as hell when I finally took down a boss, suddenly getting into a flow and barely getting hurt after many fuckups. Made me actually approach bosses in other games more intelligently too, being more observant of attack patterns, a skill I appreciate growing after Hollow Knight started me towards it soon before this.
  8. Kingdom Hearts 3 - A little bit of a mess but it’s mostly what I wanted it to be. A wild, personally meaningful culmination of not only the entire series so far, but also of the prior half of a year in which I replayed/played the entire rest of the series, after playing most of them back at their release.
  9. Dicey Dungeons - A really neat take on a deck building/rogue-lite that clicked with me immediately. Very intuitive and easy to get yourself thinking (for better or worse) about new equipment combos every run. Art, music, and writing all serve to make it even more charming. I often cannot stick with run-based things, or find myself going “I love this and find it relaxing, I should play this every so often” and never do (Heat Signature, I will return to you one day...), but I have actually kept coming to this during streams and podcast every so often.
  10. Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space - Forgot this could probably count so I can go for it, oops. After avoiding gacha for so long - and still being kinda morally opposed - and also having drifted away from phone games (after following them closely for a good number of years), it was weird to stick with this along with Dragalia Lost for the entire year such that it merits being ranked to represent that part of my daily life now. Started mainly doing login bonuses for a while, but have been playing daily for months and months now... to vastly varying degrees of “this was worth the time for what I gained in-game”, unfortunately. But I’ve enjoyed it a lot overall; it’s got a fun cast and the story additions haven’t ever disappointed me. The combat mechanics are a little simplified but in a way that let me understand it enough to actually take on harsh fights. Some of the harder boss fights that give access to new characters... I spent hours perfecting my strategy for them, and it was cool to feel that challenge in an RPG even if I’d have appreciated it going a bit faster. I wish my gacha luck in this was anywhere close to my Dragalia luck given the rather low amount of free currency, even when I’ve begrudgingly paid for the guaranteed 5* stuff, but I’ve gradually gotten what I need to get by just fine.
  11. Death Stranding - I cannot tell you if this game is good, or what my final thoughts are, so it’s here (EDIT: was 10 but I remembered I could put Another Eden...), but I can tell you I played like 150 hours and do not really regret most of that time? I can tell you that the satisfaction of placing a zipline that connects to 3 other ziplines when I thought I may have blocked myself into 0 feels more satisfactory than most experiences in most other games on this list. I have only played MGS1 and my other Kojima reference points are vaguer or tangential (Boktai, ZoE: Fist of Mars), and otherwise I’ve just heard about other MGS plots, so it was interesting to come into this with that perspective. I sing BB’s theme to my cat.
  12. Baba is You - I had this at like 8-ish but I saw someone say Dicey Dungeons at the last minute and it ranked instead. Amazingly intuitive puzzle game that my brain unfortunately became bad at approaching reasonably, eating way way too much time per level on bad approaches. I have few puzzles left but cannot let myself spend hours bashing up against them. Would love to finish it and honestly probably someday will, but it’s hard to ramp my brain up to the bizarre logic required for the remaining levels. Still feels super cool to finally solve a puzzle, though. BABA IS HELL.

Probably 100% forgot some huge game I loved because it’s 6 AM and I mainly looked at the spreadsheet. Still playing or have yet to play some things like: SaGa Scarlet Grace, Raging Loop, Code:Realize Wintertide Miracles, Sayonara Wild Hearts (I love Simogo and yet have just failed to set aside an hour or two that I feel like I can really enjoy it in...), Heaven’s Vault, etc. that could have ranked. Lots of honorable mentions like Three Houses, Link’s Awakening, etc. Sorry for my bad time management...

well I absolutely need some sleep, got plans in the morning, but my brain got going so I hope this was worth it; listing also feels so arbitrary so most of this could be in any order, but...

(EDIT: hmmmmmm now I’m just debating editing in Another Eden... yeah)

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Templeusox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
559
  1. Death Stranding - Coming off two straight Kojima games I didn't like, MGS4 and 5, I wasn't particularly invested in DS. But the gameplay loop sunk its teeth into me early and I ended up sinking over 100 hours into this game.
  2. Days Gone - In a similar vein, DG looked like a slog to me in its preview coverage. But the story is what kept me going. Even if the game overstayed its welcome by about 10 hours.
  3. MLB The Show 19 - Nothing surprising here. The best baseball game gets better.
  4. Concrete Genie - The perfect pallet cleanser in between Death Stranding and Days Gone.
  5. Control - Although I had some issues with the gameplay, Control nailed the tone it was going for.


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u_neek

Member
Oct 28, 2017
107
  1. Steins;Gate Elite - My first experience with this legendary VN. While the plot takes a while to really get going, when it does you are in for a ride!
  2. Shenmue III - While I can totally understand some players' complaints about its archaic design decisions, this is exactly the game I wanted as a fan of the series. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for a fourth entry.
  3. Jenny LeClue Detectivú - A charming and surprisingly long adventure. The cliffhanger ending kind of came out of nowhere.
  4. Devil May Cry 5 - Stylish af!
  5. The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Happy to see the series get a worthy conclusion despite Telltale's closure.
  6. Astral Chain - Once it clicks, it's fun as hell.
  7. Luigi's Mansion 3 - This game has so many brilliant ideas making it fun to explore the nooks and crannies of the hotel. A few questionable bosses aside, it was probably the biggest surprise of the year for me.
  8. Outer Worlds - Accessible and, at times, genuinely funny Fallout-like with just the right amount of content.
  9. Yooka-Layle and the Impossible Lair - Brilliant mix of Zelda-like overworld and classic 2D platformer. I couldn't be bothered with the Impossible Lair because... you know... I have better things to do.
  10. Kingdom Hearts III - I have given up on the overly confusing main plot, but I still appreciate the Disney worlds and separate sub-stories.


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CarlSagan94

Member
Nov 3, 2018
359
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I am still quite new to the Fire Emblem franchise, I've only played all FE games released since Awakening, yet Three Houses is the kind of game that has had such an impact on me, I kept thinking about it long after finishing the game. I loved it so much I played 400 hours finishing all the stories it offered. The game is not perfect, its ugly and map repetition can be very annoying. Despite that, the story is fantastic and it offers some of the best characters in any game (special mention to Edelgard and Dimitri). I adore this game and its easily my GOTY of 2019.
  2. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - My first Dragon Quest, I was unsure what to expect. In the end I came out loving the game, really cool (though a rather traditional) story that was extremely well told and presented. The members of your group were really good and I just had such an enjoyable ride with some story moments really surprising me.
  3. Shovel Knight: King of Cards - I thought I was fatigued of Shovel Knight after playing all three stories and I wasn't even sure I was going to finish it. In the end though, the gameplay, pure charm and attention to detail from Yacht Club sucked me right in the adventure. I loved the game and the Shovel Knight game finishes on a bang.
  4. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - I liked Yooka Laylee, I backed it on Kickstaters, but I can't deny that the game didn't reach the potential I hoped it would. I was unsure what to expect of the sequel but Playtonic convinced me they indeed still have the old Rare magic in them with this game. Excellent platforming, inventive and great overworld and an epic finale, the game has a lot of charm and I played the game with a smile on my face all the way through.


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eisschollee

Member
Oct 25, 2018
145
  1. Grim Dawn - Forgotten Gods - Final Expansion for one of the finest ARPGs, this year came a rogue dungeon , a endless horde mode , a new class and many many item only for the price of one DLC. This game deserves so much more exposure!
  2. Control - First single player game I finished within the last four years.
  3. Baba is You - Best game for non-gamers :)
  4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I want to return to it so bad to sink many more hours in this tactical dating sim
  5. Katana Zero - 2D action platformer par-excellence
  6. Slay the Spire - Once the card machine work it goes and goes and goes a long way
  7. Outer Wilds - Best narrative driven form of storytelling within a game for years to come
  8. Phoenix Point - Best X-com long war experience and no more 98% missing shots!!
  9. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - A mech game ,'nuff said!
  10. Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition - Maybe I finally play the second entry of this wonderful games on the switch
 
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Oct 25, 2017
13,418
Sweden
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - From Software faces a bit of a challenge in trying to satisfy the long-time fans of their Souls output. While far from being the only thing we enjoy about their games, difficulty is an important factor. But as we play more of their games, we start to understand them better. The dodging skills we acquired in Dark Souls 2 carried over into Bloodborner and Dark Souls 3. We know how to min-max our character build. Management of spacing and the stamina bar became second nature. In short, we got gud. As we get better, the difficulty level needed to be steadily increased. As junkies looking for our next challenge fix, the original dosage no longer does it for us. Can the developers keep increasing the challenge sufficiently to keep long term fans happy, without making it too inaccessible to new players? Sekiro showed one way out of this dilemma: make it difficult for seasoned players by changing the core systems into something sufficiently different to throw us off balance. As someone who got real gud at souls, Sekiro felt like a new beast. The dodging play style that made Dark Souls 3 easy did not work here. I had to actively unlearn what I thought I knew in order to adapt to this new style of play oriented around parrying and deflecting. For the first time in a long while, I felt as lost and helpless as I once felt when playing Demon's Souls for the first time. Just like then, I needed to use all of the tools at my disposal to tease out any edge I could get. This was the good shit right here that got me into these games
  2. Dicey Dungeons -
  3. Heaven's Vault -
  4. Death Stranding -
  5. Kingdom Hearts 3 -
Got my ballot ready on time, but didn't have time to write stuff up for the other games. I'll go back and do it later. I assume it's ok to add text after the deadline?


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Naga

Member
Aug 29, 2019
3,796
Before I write down my list, may I ask why Dead Or Alive 6 isn't among the eligible games in the spreadsheet?
It's eligible, don't worry
------ Game Eligibility -------

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

Is (insert game here) eligible?
1. First, check the speadsheet of eligible nominated games Note that this list isn't exhaustive, but if it's on there, you're good.
2. Not on there? Check the confirmed eligible and ineligible games listed above.
3. If a game you want isn't listed there either, and you're SURE about it, just post it in your ballot. We'll automatically add it to the list. If you're not sure, shoot me or @Hecht a PM and we'll get it sorted out.
Released in March 2019 and a brand new release. Not sure why they didn't put it in the spreadsheet as it's bigger than many others, but other people already voted for it.
 

Gale Moran

Member
Jun 1, 2018
104
  1. Grim Dawn - Forgotten Gods - Final Expansion for one of the finest ARPGs, this year came a rogue dungeon , a endless horde mode , a new class and many many item only for the price of one DLC. This game deserves so much more exposure!
  2. Control - First single player game I finished within the last four years.
  3. Baba is You - Best game for non-gamers :)
  4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I want to return to it so bad to sink many more hours in this tactical dating sim
  5. Katana Zero - 2D action platformer par-excellence
  6. Slay the Spire - Once the card machine work it goes and goes and goes a long way
  7. Outer Wilds - Best narrative driven form of storytelling within a game for years to come
  8. Phoenix Point - Best X-com long war experience and no more 98% missing shots!!
  9. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - A mech game ,'nuff said!
  10. Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition - Maybe I finally play the second entry of this wonderful games on the switch
Your votebot is missing, so something's not right.
 

Silencerx98

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
995
It's eligible, don't worry

Released in March 2019 and a brand new release. Not sure why they didn't put it in the spreadsheet as it's bigger than many others, but other people already voted for it.
Ah, okay. In that case, I'll put it on my list too, thanks very much! Was worried to put an entry that ultimately wouldn't be counted in the votes, heh
 

cyba89

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,941
  1. Resident Evil 2 - As someone who never played the original this remake felt like a completely modern game to me. And this is how a remake should be. It’s just a great complete package with the best zombies in a videogame yet, tense Mr.X sections (can’t wait for Nemesis next) and just all around an incredible atmosphere. I will probably replay the game a lot in the coming years because the pacing is so good.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  3. Super Mario Maker 2
  4. A Plague Tale: Innocence
  5. Baba Is You
  6. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  7. Luigis Mansion 3
  8. AI: The Somnium Files
  9. Astral Chain
  10. Slay The Spire


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Lotus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
52,070
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: - Crazy to think that I almost missed out on what ended up as my GOTY. This was the first FromSoftware game I've ever played, and it absolutely did not disappoint.
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I've always loathed SRPGs for the longest time, with there being only one exception from when I was much younger. I planned to keep it that way, wanting nothing to do with the genre. But after this game came out, people just wouldn't shut up about it. They kept singing its praises, and there was even a brief period where it hard to actually buy a copy. Eventually the hype broke me down, and I bought it to try it for myself, only to find out that I loved it. Like, a loooot.
  3. Pokemon Sword/Shield - Gen 8 wasn't perfect, but it was really fun all the same with a really cool selection of Pokemon. Obviously I loved the openness of the Wild Area, but the biggest surprise was falling in love with the Dynamax feature. I underestimated the sheer appeal this gimmick gave to gym battles, making them feel the most badass they've ever been in the entire series. And as for Raid Battles, those were surprisingly addicting as well.
  4. Kingdom Hearts III - My first ever Kingdom Hearts game, at least that I've beaten by myself. I didn't go into it blind, I prepped myself as much as possible with previous entries, and then I dived in. The story was just as nonsense as the fandom had informed me, but it had its charm at times. Combat-wise, I found it to be really cool as a first-timer.
  5. Apex Legends - This game completely took everyone by surprise with its release, myself included. I don't play it nearly as much these days, but for those first few months, it was a really cool, free game to play with my friends.
  6. Control - This game was very atmospheric, and I loved the powerset, especially how impactful it felt to throw objects at enemies. Could've been higher, but the ending fell a bit flat for me.
  7. Astral Chain - Not Platinum's best game, but an enjoyable one all the same. Didn't care much for the first, but I'll always remember the fun times I had with its unique combat system.
  8. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - A game that really suffered by coming out the same year as Sekiro, but it was still a fun time just for the simple fact that I got to wield a lightsaber.
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Very charming game and artstyle. It was nice to play an older Zelda title, as I became a fan through the newer (relatively speaking) titles.
  10. Cuphead - This came out on the Switch this year, so I finally got a chance to see what the fuss was about. The game was very challenging, that's for sure. Also I'd be remiss to not point out how crazy good the art style is.
This list could've looked very different if I had the time to finish a few other games, but alas, it is what it is.


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V0ltg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
938
Not sure who is winning. At least this years GOTY voting is more varied than the last 2 years, where the winners were pretty much obvious.
 
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Gray

Member
Oct 25, 2017
544
My list contains all the 2019 games I actually finished. I didn’t nominate games I haven’t played to their conclusion, so it’s missing a few key titles.
  1. Death Stranding - A very unique game created by the master himself. I enjoyed it greatly, though I fully understand those who do not. Definitely not a game for everyone, it turned out to be just what I wanted to play, and even more.
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Glad to finally be able to play this. An incredible journey from beginning to the end, charged with a very emotional story set in the most detailed and carefully crafted world in a game yet. The only reason this is not at #1 is because it didn’t originally come out in 2019, and I felt a 2019 title deserved the spot.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - The only game I’ve finished eight times in a row. I liked it that much.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  5. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
  6. Blasphemous
  7. Days Gone
  8. A Plague Tale: Innocence
  9. A Short Hike


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Andvari

Member
Oct 30, 2017
249
  1. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - quite simply the best FF since FFXII great story, great characters, great environments and just a great FF game in general, ashame people skipped it because its an mmo.
  2. Days Gone - Sleeper hit for me, couldn't stop playing once the game gets going. Slow start which I can see why some dropped it, and maybe a bit too tedious for some aswell but it was a gem in a mediocre year of gaming.


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Neiteio

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,249
Posting at the last minute here!
  1. Death Stranding - After an eternity of cryptic teases, I'm astonished at how well this game turned out. Here we have a IP that is all new — not a sequel, spinoff or licensed game — yet it has the production values of a long-running series. And here we have a new style of gameplay — a style of gameplay both tactile and tactical — yet it has the polish and precision of something refined by decades of familiarity. It starts with you taking an order and surveying the map to get a read on the terrain. Then you take the cargo to be delivered, and you fabricate gadgets from limited resources — ladders, climbing pikes, etc. All of it must be balanced on your character's body, and it encumbers them accordingly. The trek ahead is long and perilous, and you must carefully manage your stamina, hydration and blood levels if you're to reach your destination. It can be psychologically daunting, a feeling compounded by the alien atmosphere of a lonely landscape haunted by oily black ghosts and patrolled by bandits. But you plod on, wading through raging rivers and knee-deep snow, up steep inclines and down sheer cliffs, through dense foliage and high-speed winds that batter your cargo like a sail. You clamber up and over rocks, the smallest pebble of which can send you tripping and falling, damaging your haul. You steady yourself, squeezing the left and right bumpers to shift your weight to and fro, gently feathering them as you thread your way around obstacles, each breathtaking vista a pathfinding puzzle to unravel. As you connect each scattered outpost to this game's version of the internet, you also activate the game's online component for that region, peppering the map with vestiges of other players, from thoughtfully placed bridges to a patchwork of ziplines. This helps trivialize certain obstacles on subsequent trips, but the game's miniature recreation of the U.S. continues to ramp up the complexity with harsher terrain, trickier foes and more grueling deliveries. The gameplay loop just works, though. There's an engrossing sense of tension and release, from the planning stages of a delivery to the moment you hand off the goods. And oh, the story is actually very well-done — Kojima's best to date. It's surprisingly digestible and understandable -- not nearly as esoteric as the previews would suggest -- and it's anchored by a heartfelt cast of characters and strong emotional core dealing with themes of human connection. And for all its appearance of pretension, I must emphasize this is a GAME, and thankfully so. Death Stranding is a AAA title with an indie's soul. I can't help but think that the biggest thing working against this game is the perception of Kojima the Outsized Ego. If you look past the director's name and star-studded cast, you will see find something truly original — a precious rarity in an industry of endless iteration.
  2. Sayonara Wild Hearts - A short but highly replayable game of exceptional artistic vision, pitch-perfect pacing and elegant structure, with a story buildup and resolution that will raise your spirits and the hair on your arms. SWH offers a mix of high-speed vehicle chases, shooting, sword-fighting, QTE dance-fighting and more, and it's all controlled with a stick and a single button — yet there is real depth and mastery offered by the precision and timing of the controls. The story and setting is dreamlike, depicted in neon hues and set to an all-original pop soundtrack tailored to the gameplay. There are some spectacular setpieces in this game, and real magic in the way each gameplay moment is synced to the music. It was my Game of the Year, until Death Stranding.
  3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - The high-stakes strategy gameplay is a well-oiled machine in Three Houses, but the real star of the show is the scenario design. You have multiple branching paths, and within each path ample opportunity to develop and explore interpersonal relationships among the massive cast of characters, bonding over each other's backstories, fears and dreams as they question the morality of war. Everything is well-written, and everything is fully voiced, for an experience not unlike an absorbing audiobook, only with beautifully rendered anime characters that are attractive without feeling exploitative. And the flexibility with which you can develop these characters' skills, setting study goals for them and certifying new classes, creates a strong sense of progression amid your monthly routine of exploring the monastery on foot and taking your students to the battlefield. It's a slow and methodical game, but a richly rewarding one that spreads over you like a warm cozy blanket, and leaves you eager to see where Fire Emblem goes next.
  4. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - Of all the games I played this year, this one was the most compulsively playable, and incredibly difficult to put down. You are constantly rewarded for everything you do, with the townsfolk in each community showering you with collectible Hearts of Gratitude as you build them shelters, bedding, bathrooms and more. And those hearts level up your town, which teaches your townsfolk new skills that automate routines such as irrigating farmland, while also attracting new villagers to lend a helping hand. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the storytelling, however. This is not a Minecraft clone; this is a proper JRPG with well-written characters and impactful arcs. And in between the story beats are moments of therapeutic calm, surveying a torch-lit town in the rain at night, your people asleep in their beds. Just lovely.
  5. Dragon Quest XI S - The other Dragon Quest title that released this year. While enormous in scope, it's never overwhelming — the environments reward you for going off the beaten path but also mitigate the frustrations of getting lost by funneling you forward via the lay of the land. It's also simple enough to avoid the many enemies roaming the field, although battling them is a treat, with each monster boasting a memorable design, and the actual battle mechanics are brisk and punchy. The game is a visual delight, and a musical one too, thanks to the new orchestral soundtrack. But the best part is the cast of characters — the protagonist may be silent but everyone else is not, and the sense of friendship and affection is so strong between the lot of them that I cherished their company whenever I resumed my travels.
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - A nearly flawless remake of a childhood favorite. The map design's economy of space is without peer, engineered with a clockmaker's exacting precision, which lends the game a propulsive energy that makes it difficult to put down. The dreamlike depiction of toy-like villagers inhabiting a diorama-style island imbues this already iconic world with even more heart than it already had. Hopefully the twin Oracle titles are remade next.
  7. Yoshi's Crafted World - My favorite Yoshi title, combining the creative complexity of the original Yoshi's Island with a modernized take on the hand-crafted aesthetic of Yoshi's Story, and with a new 2.5D gameplay twist where you can interact with the foreground and background, and even explore the flip-side of a stage for additional challenges (and insights into the level's arts-and-crafts construction). The game is immediately fun with the nimble controls of Yoshi's flutter-jumping, ground-pounding, tongue-lashing and egg-throwing — staples of the series that are smoother than ever. And everything has gratifying feedback, from the plink of a collected coin, to the shower of pinwheels that rain down on a world completed 100%.
  8. Luigi's Mansion 3 - One of the most gorgeous games on any system, LM3 is a Pixar movie come to life and boasts all the cleverness of Disney's Imagineers, with ingenious puzzles and one-off sight gags set in handsomely detailed environments that are thoroughly interactive and destructible down to the last cupboard and curtain. The menagerie of boss ghosts are varied and rich in personality, and the sense of progression as you ascend the increasingly elaborate and exotic floors of The Last Resort cements this as Luigi's most epic adventure to date, leaving one to wonder where a hypothetical LM4 could possibly go next.
  9. Untitled Goose Game - You can't help but grin as you swim across the pond and waddle ashore, honking on command and raising your wings for no particular purpose, other than to startle the innocent townsfolk and ruin their days in increasingly inspired ways. The stakes are low, with no Game Over condition to speak of in the main campaign, but there is plenty of drama regardless, with dynamic piano music accentuating your stealthy maneuvers and subsequent escapes. The game also deserves more credit for its art direction, striking a fine balance between clean shapes, bold colors and fine details, in this picturesque depiction of a quaint English town.
  10. Resident Evil 2 - Resident Evil is possibly my favorite series, and on paper this game does just about everything right, yet it didn't quite capture me the way it captured many here. Still, the RE2 remake is undoubtedly a highlight of 2019, making zombies scary again for the first time in ages, with your limited resources encouraging you to engage them via "strategic dismemberment," shooting off arms and legs, but then remembering where you maimed them and how, so that you don't trip over the still-living threat on a return trip through the area. This is doubly important when the unstoppable stalker Mr. X is following you. Also praiseworthy is the masterful level design, in particular the police station; the fact I memorized its pretzeling pathways well enough to elude Mr. X without a map speaks to just how memorable this location is.


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bemms

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1
From 2019 games, i only played 2 of them.
  1. Death Stranding - MGS series is my favorite game series but i dislike MGSV due the lack of the story. For this game i hesitate a lot fearing a missing story or a boring gameplay.
    Following the feedback of the players here, i finally took the game and didn't regret a second.
    Kojima didn't disappoint and in some ways (the artistic direction?) the game remind of MGS.
    I loved the game and it enters my all time favorites with some exceptionnal gameplay memories.
    Only small critique is the lenght which i found on the long side (my time is limited).
  2. Shenmue 3 - I played Shenmue for the first time some years ago and i found it exceptionnal.
    When the kickstarter was announced, i backed a project for the first time. The final game didn't disappoint and all shenmue fan will normally love it.


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NightShift

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,317
'straya
  1. Resident Evil 2 - This game is so good it felt like it came from an alternate universe. A universe where survival horror did not die for a decade and instead kept evolving over time. Before it came out, I thought making RE2 a standard, over-the-shoulder third person shooter could not replicate the feeling of the original but I was happily proven wrong. The tightness of the camera behind the back of the character recreates the feeling of the fixed camera obscuring the player's view as well as adding a sense of claustrophobia. The movement is also finely tuned to keep weaving around enemies a challenge and the deliberately sluggish gunplay that insists you stay still with aiming and taking strategic shot at the enemies that feels both similar and better than the original. The only thing I think the remake doesn't do better however is the B scenarios which felt like they were added late into development. However, the callbacks to the original and and just having and new way to play the game makes me happy they put the B scenarios in there at all. I also have to mention Mr X who when I first encountered him, I was too scared to leave Chief Irons' office that I stood behind the door just listening to his thunderous footsteps walking around the station. That was by far my favourite moment in a game this year because I was simultaneously terrified and happy that the developers fucking nailed it.
  2. Outer Wilds - I'm a sucker for everything this game achieves. Exploration, physics, lore and smart, unique game design are all things this game is outstanding at. I don't what to get into specifics so I'll just describe all the feelings this game gave me. It made me feel the terror of drifting into an endless void of nothingness, the mind blow of discovering something that was always in front of me, the immense satisfaction of my curiosity being rewarded, the joy of being in a galaxy that feels so lively and the excitement of finding a concept the game hands that is so unique and interesting. More people need to play this masterpiece.
  3. Death Stranding - Seriously? How the fuck did this game get made? It feels like a weird experimental indie game that somehow got a ridiculously high budget that, considering all the advertising I saw, may have been bigger than God of War. At first I was expecting another open world shooter like MGSV but with a weird ass story but I got the opposite where the gameplay was weird and the story was surprisingly tame and easy to follow. I didn't know if I would enjoy a game that's nothing but fetch quests but I do. I hell of a lot. I may even 100% the game at some point. There's something about the way moving through the world feels that is so expertly designed and cements Kojima as a top tier game designer. The story however is where Kojima cements that he is not a good writer. The world and its concepts may be interesting but the dialogue is laughably bad and certain plot points leave me baffled by how anyone thought they was a good idea. Although despite how hard I cringe when Fragile says "I'm Fragile... but I'm not that fragile", I can't help but like it. Maybe I'm the problem but I just don't feel like the game takes itself as seriously as what a lot of people think it does.
  4. Devil May Cry 5 - When the director said this game would exceed your expectations, he was absolutely right. DMC5 is the first in the series that I seriously liked enough to play multiple times and learn higher level stuff. Bringing back my favourite character, Nero, as the central protagonist and giving him a bunch of crazy robotic hands to play around with added some much needed variety to his gameplay as well as keeping his versatile moveset made me so happy. But better yet was what they did to Dante as the problem I had with him in 3 and 4 was that he always had options that were better than others. Re-working royalguard, replacing rebellion with devil sword dante and making every weapon great made his moveset feel more balanced than ever. V was fun and interesting however his moveset was so limited that I got bored of playing as him on my second playthough. I also controversially liked the level design since I hated the awkward platforming and bad puzzles of previous games so the less of that, the better.
  5. Control - This game's just damn good. I've never played a Remedy game since Max Payne but if the ones since are this well presented and feel good to control than I need to get right on them. When you get all the upgrades, the combat becomes one of the best third person shooters I've played unless when the framerate drops to single digits like what happened to me a few times on PS4 unfortunately. The writing is also excellent which it should be for a SCP inspired game that requires a lot of documentation reading although I wish the "objects of power" and "altered world events" were more creative. Despite that, this game was a blast with its great pacing and memorable moments I'll remember for a while.
  6. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Just like Hellblade a couple years ago, this game continues the trend I love of AA games showing that you don't need an insane budget to make a AAA game and nails it so hard. Once you get past the admittedly janky looking animations, it looks like it could have been made by Naughty Dog with how beautiful and obsessively detailed the visuals are. The story is also beautiful but what is not is the swarms of rats that were so effectively digusting, they made my skin crawl many times. Speaking of, this game also has the greatest late game over-power up I've seen which is weird to say considering how serious and cinematic it is.
  7. Sayonara Wild Hearts - I have not much to say about this game with it being so short and simple. It's a beautiful audio-visual experience and feels like it takes a lot of inspiration from Rez and Tetris Effect creator Mizuguchi by how it manages to create what feels like a playable music album. It says a lot that I've gone back to it to play specific levels without even bothering to get a higher score. I just wanted to experience it again.
  8. Judgment - As somebody who has played all the mainline entries of the Yakuza series now, it was half refreshing to have a spin off that is disconnected to the adventures of Kiryu of the gang. I say half refreshing because this is still very much a Yakuza game even from the story that is still very much connected to Kamurocho and the Tojo Clan to the point where I don't even know why they were bothering to ignore events from the other games so hard. Overall the story is mediocre but the characters were great and the side content with the emphasis on making friends was really cool.
  9. Borderlands 3 - I still really liked this game and it was refreshing to play a loot game I actually enjoyed looting in but it was my most disappointing game this year. I don't know if I've grown or the writing is just worse but I got nothing out of the story unlike Borderlands 2 which I still stand by my opinion that it was actually good. I think that biggest issue I had were the Calypso twins who just not as charismatic, threatening and funny as Handsome Jack. However the gameplay is a major improvement from the added movement options and better feeling guns that play with sound depending on rarity and manufacturer in a really clever way. Also this is the first time I liked playing as every character in a Borderlands game.
  10. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I loved this game at the beginning and it was even starting to beat Bloodborne as my favourite FromSoft game for a moment but unfortunately I fell off of it hard towards the end. It wasn't the difficulty because I managed to get past the Guardian Ape, which apparently is the hardest boss, but I think it's because I lost motivation to keep pushing myself forward. I'm still not sure why but I think a big part of it was the story which I thought was just boring. In Dark Souls and Bloodborne, I generally loved piecing the story together and learning the mysteries of the world but Sekiro had none of that. It could have also been the common complaint that the gameplay lacks variety too. I hope it give it another chance so I can experience that final boss though.
  11. Astral Chain - Honourable mention. I only recently finished it and am really enjoying the more action oriented post-game but the game itself is very hit or miss. While the combat is high quality like you should expect from Platinum with JoJo inspiration, everything else is at best passable. The writing is not good and relies too much on anime tropes and the investigation sections are just not interesting. I'm really looking forward for the eventual sequel to make a ton of improvements and hopefully have better pacing because it feels like I'm just on the verge of really liking this game.
  12. Metro Exodus - Honourable mention. I don't know why they made most levels more like mini open worlds with this game. I don't believe it plays with any of the strengths of the Metro games and it makes it feels more generic. However the continued focus of immersion does still set it apart and the one this this game does better than the other two is create a memorable cast of characters who follow you throughout the course of the game and you spend a lot of time just getting to know them. I just wish I didn't dislike those open world levels so much.
  13. Indivisible - Honourable mention. A deeply flawed game that feels like it could be something really great once all the updates are over with. The combat is unique and really interesting but a lot of character are unfinished and the balancing is a mess. I look forward to trying it again when Red from Transistor gets added as a party member.


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J2 Cool

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,160
  1. Resident Evil 2 - Ratcheted up horror, oozing with atmosphere. Zombies that break apart and feel the best yet. Me and my friends had a blast (re)playing through this game, with certain moments they were afraid to even encounter. Hope RE3 is as good
  2. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Visually brilliant, fun, easily accessible, and lots of character. Just pitch perfect


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s_hyperion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,189
  1. Devil May Cry 5 - It took a 11 year wait and a few wrong turns, but we finally got it. And it turned out to be one of the greatest action games ever with the best and most fluid combat ever.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - From and Miyazaki are just amazing, they modified souls formula just enough to feel fresh. The combat is one of the most thrilling experiences this generation. It was challenging, but it never felt frustrating or unfair. And I love the setting.
  3. Astral Chain - It's just Platinum doing their thing. And doing it very well.

That's it. I haven't played much games this year, but I think these were the ones that deserve a mention. I think you can guess what my favourite genre is, it was a good year for me ;)


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Ramsiege

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
448
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - this was my first time playing a FE game and I loved every second of it. Also the game I put the most hours in this past year.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - Great remake of a classic game.
  3. Mortal Kombat 11 - I honestly play it solely for the story mode. It's that good.
  4. Pokemon Shield - despite the controversy, I really enjoyed my time with the game.
  5. Shenmue III - It was more Shenmue, and that's exactly what I wanted.
  6. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Fun game with great animations.
  7. Super Mario Maker 2 - a great game made even better with some awesome additions.
  8. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - a little more back tracking than I would've liked, but enjoyed my time with the game.



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Casper

Member
Oct 29, 2017
712
Britannia
  1. Resident Evil 2 - I never played the original so this was all new to me. A perfect balance between classic spooky house survival horror and modern Resident Evil explosiveness. Standout performances for Claire Redfield and Ada Wong led to a surprsingly emotionally gripping story as well.
  2. Outer Wilds - Much like trying to land your ship on a planet for the first time, I bounced off pretty hard on my first attempt with this game. Luckily the subsequent hype convinced me to return, and once slowing down to properly focus on the central Nomai story I became obsessed. Truly one of the great journeys to be had in video games this generation.
  3. Control
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  5. Disco Elysium
  6. A Plague Tale: Innocence
  7. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - Staight up the most fun gameplay of anything I played this year. Video game-assed video game, pure and simple. Stunning.
  8. Devotion - Sadly no way to download anymore (at least not legally), without doubt the most narratively interesting horror game since probably Silent Hill 2.
  9. Pathologic 2
  10. Sunless Skies - Disco Elysium got the headlines, but Sunless Skies was very much treading the same ground months earlier. Beautifully gothic world brought to life with truly original characters and dark humour.


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Silencerx98

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
995
  1. Resident Evil 2 - Modernizing a timeless classic to suit contemporary AAA standards, Resident Evil 2 sets a new bar not only for remakes, but the survival horror subgenre as a whole. Boasting extremely smooth controls, visceral impact behind every shot, impressively unnerving atmosphere around every corner, outstanding level design and state of the art visuals, Capcom has easily delivered one of the best games this generation. Simply put, Resident Evil 2 is the perfection of the survival horror formula that Capcom has been iterating for over 23 years.
  2. Devil May Cry 5 - A prime example of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" principle, Devil May Cry 5 understands what put its predecessors in the spotlight and builds heavily upon them while introducing many quality of life improvements. The end result is a game that is so mechanically complex that even after 100 hours, you would still be learning the ropes and having a blast while accompanied by a surprisingly effective story revolving its incredibly charming characters, standing tall as one of the best action games ever made.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Introducing verticality into the Souls formula was a stroke of genius, providing an experience that feels fresh yet familiar at the same time. In addition, other aspects maintain From Software's expected quality, especially the combat, level design and world building which culminates in another strong entry in From's seemingly spotless track record in recent years.
  4. Death Stranding - Death Stranding is one of the rare cases of a AAA game that experiments on new gameplay concepts and perhaps even more surprisingly, manages to pull it off well. While its core gameplay loop may initially seem off-putting, understanding the core mechanics goes a long way in providing a very addicting experience bolstered by Kojima's typical brand of weird yet exciting narrative beats and an excellent choice of soundtrack which accompanies its sensation of overcoming isolation by connecting with others very well.
  5. Kingdom Hearts 3 - With its vast array of Disney worlds to explore and gigantic cast built over 17 years worth of games, Kingdom Hearts 3 has much to prove and largely delivers on the anticipation. Its combat system is simple to get into yet shows itself to be very fun and a visual splendor. Its visuals are a technical achievement in real time rendering being able to match CG films from 15 years ago with its art direction faithfully recreating the art styles of various Disney worlds. There is a wealth of content to go through with many exciting side quests which bring in even more Disney/Pixar characters. Despite all these strengths, Kingdom Hearts 3 ultimately suffers from feeling too bloated and a lack of focus in building upon said strengths while its narrative often feels rushed and fails to stick the landing.
  6. Apex Legends - In a sea of endless battle royale games, Apex Legends stands out with its well thought out roles to fit its more teamwork oriented action, solid combat mechanics leaving each match impactful and a wonderful sense of accomplishment from achieving victory royale thanks to great coordination with the team. However, even if the overall package is more satisfying to play than its competitors, Apex Legends suffers from a slow release of new content, which will easily cause many players to leave the game entirely after playing some time.
  7. Control - Despite the lack of polish and questionable design choices in some areas, Control shines among its contemporaries by featuring unparalleled destruction physics in any game thus far, great free flowing combat with much verticality and industry leading visuals. Control further distinguishes itself from other shooters by taking inspirations from the Souls games, particularly in its intricate level design with a focus on exploration and puzzle solving.
  8. Code Vein - While it may not bring much innovation to the oversaturated Souls like market, Code Vein is nonetheless a strong contender. Featuring perhaps the most robust character creation system, an energetic cast and stellar art direction, Code Vein is an enjoyable experience throughout that manage to make up for its shortcomings in combat and level design.
  9. Dead Or Alive 6 - With a combat system that is easier to grasp than those in the fighting game giants yet just as addicting and satisfying, Dead Or Alive 6 provides great fun in short bursts alongside a well choreographed presentation to accompany its heart pounding action and slick animations to appease both casual and hardcore players alike, but unfortunately, like many other fighting games in recent years, Dead Or Alive 6 suffers from a lack of content and subpar story mode.
  10. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Brilliantly building upon its core gameplay mechanics into a variety puzzles, A Plague Tale: Innocence has more to give in the form of eye catching visuals, interesting setting and poignant narrative although the overall package is also let down by an uneven pacing and inconsistent portrayal of its characters.


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Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,970
  1. Cadence of Hyrule - I wasn't sure if I'd like this game or not, but it's still the most fun I had with a game this year. It also lifted my spirits during a difficult time where I found it difficult to enjoy anything at all. :>
  2. Life is Strange 2 - DontNod managed to make yet another game that ruined me emotionally. I grew so attached to the brothers that I felt actually pained when making some decisions. I greatly appreciated the thought they put into challenging difficult yet important themes and issues, too. I don't really know what else to say without spoiling things, but this is a game that I would without a doubt recommend to anyone. In some ways, I think this is their best game yet. I definitely think the actions and resolutions were more realistic compared to the first game, at least. Really anticipating their upcoming games, and looking forward to seeing where the LiS franchise goes next.
  3. Katana Zero - This game... it really exceeded my expectations, by a long shot. I'd definitely recommend going into this blind, but the gameplay, plot, characters, aesthetic, music... everything was fantastic. I was gripped from start to finish, basically. The most pleasant surprise in gaming for me this year.
  4. Sayonara Wild Hearts - Another game that I was not expecting to love as much as I did. Very fun, creative and charming rhythm game. I kept listening to the soundtrack on Spotify and reminiscing about the great time I had with this game long after I'd finished it.
  5. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Another game I played this year where I got really invested in the characters and story. Hugo really felt like my little brother. I felt sad when he was sad, and grew fiercely protective of him. I have to give props to the devs for the work that they put into these areas. Great game.
  6. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - IS did a good job with reinventing this franchise after the 3DS era. I was terribly disappointed in Fates, but this one managed to make me hopeful for the future of the series. Great strategy and interesting characters. It's all I really need from a Fire Emblem game.
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Best Star Wars thing that came out in 2019. 'Nough said.
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - A charming Zelda experience. It was my first time playing this Zelda game, so I'm glad I got the opportunity to do so. Plus, two Zelda games in one year, even if not new mainline ones, was such a treat.
  9. Slay the Spire - God, this game is addictive, isn't it?
  10. Baba is You - This game is hard, but really, really clever. Couldn't finish it, but enjoyed what I played of it a lot.
Honourable mentions:
Control - I didn't get the chance to play Control in time, despite purchasing it. I imagine it would have definitely made my top 10 otherwise.
The Outer Worlds - Started it, but didn't get too far, unfortunately. I enjoyed what I played, however.


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Acquiescence

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
7,101
Lake Titicaca

(Mutazione)​

  1. Resident Evil 2 - A middle finger to the open-world bloatfests swamping the AAA market as far as I'm concerned. Linear, tightly-designed and expertly-paced, Resident Evil 2 Remake is the poster boy of quality above quantity. It also manages to recapture both what was great about the original and the survival horror genre as a whole. It's scary, it's tense as hell due to inventory management and limited supplies and the standard zombie enemies pose a threat right to the very end, just how it should be. It even pulls off a couple of emotionally-resonant scenes that had me genuinely invested in the story. That's a first for Resident Evil surely. Good job Capcom.

  2. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Always nice to see a Kickstarter success story. Bloodstained is the Metroidvania formula pulled off to a tee. It doesn't reinvent the wheel and mostly exists to satiate the fans clamouring for another Castlevania, and that's perfectly okay. If it ain't broke don't fix it, and Bloodstained serves as a reminder of how inherently satisfying it is to progress through these types of games, slowly revealing the map, unlocking abilities to reach previously-inaccessible areas and growing more and more powerful as the difficulty increases. Hardly revolutionary, but familiar-yet-brilliantly designed gameplay will always top raw innovation.

  3. Mutazione - A crying shame how overlooked this game has been. I think I might actually be the only person in this thread who has voted for it. The devs pitched Mutazione as an interactive soap opera and that's honestly the perfect description for it. It basically amounts to a slightly-more-interactive-than-usual visual novel, but stands out due to its chilled, dreamy ambiance and a steadfast commitment to its world building and central cast. There is a lot of dialogue in Mutazione, much of it optional, but it is a joy to pour through it all and get to know better the tight-knit, mutated residents of Mutazione, what makes them tick and how they affect each others' lives. It also has one of the greatest video game soundtracks I've ever stumbled upon. Anyone who's a fan of blissed-out downtempo indie and electronica needs to play Mutazione and soak in the spacey vibes that it delivers in spades.

    Fun fact - it's a six hour game with over four hours of musical content.

  4. Judgment - Yakuza in all but name, where Judgment excels is in its story. Even the best Yakuza entries inevitably devolve into a flurry of preposterous plot reveals and ripped off shirts, but Judgment just about manages to maintain narrative coherence right up to the end credits, delivering a wholly satisfying and unrelentingly grim murder mystery that kept me guessing until the end. I'd happily slot Judgment into my list of essential video game stories to be experienced, up there with the likes of Broken Sword, Grim Fandango, Silent Hill 2/Shattered Memories, The Longest Journey, Max Payne 2 and The Last Guardian. The story is that good.

  5. The Outer Worlds - Aka Fallout 4 for people who wanted an actual good dialogue system. Very safe, but punchy combat, smart writing and a wide variety of different approaches to each mission make it a winner.

  6. Death Stranding - I'm the biggest Kojima naysayer going, and the last game I played by him that I enjoyed was the first Metal Gear Solid, but there was just something about Death Stranding that worked for me. When the reviews dropped and confirmed that Death Stranding was essentially a hiking simulator, I scoffed and shook my head like the rest of the cynics, yet as I play this game I am now firmly rooted in the belief that the HIKING IS THE BEST PART! A relaxing and (intentionally) stressful game in equal measure, there's just something so inherently satisfying about reaching the end of a route and delivering the goods in order to make this fractured world a better place. A real sense of accomplishment. For me this game isn't repetitive (yet), it isn't frustrating and it isn't insufferable in the way a Kojima game usually tends to be. It just works.

  7. Samurai Shodown - Lacking in its single-player component maybe, but this fighting game has flawless presentation, gorgeous visuals, a consistently excellent soundtrack and mechanics that rely less on stringing combos together and more on timing and patience, making it an accessible entry point for anyone put off by the time and skill usually required to git gud at these types of games. Tonally wild as well; I love that it doesn't take itself too seriously.

  8. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - I enjoyed this game enough to tear my hair out attempting the titular Impossible Lair over and over again until I beat it, so it must have done something right. Seriously though, a must for any platforming aficionados. The first game might have a poor reputation, but don't let this much improved sequel pass you by.

  9. Apex Legends - Had almost written off the Battle Royale genre completely prior to playing this. Apex Legends is designed in such a way that it provides added balance and gives the player more of a fighting chance when pitted against everyone else. Definitely a nice antidote to the sudden one-shot kills and just general bad luck that seemed to follow me everywhere in Fortnite. F U Fortnite.

  10. MediEvil - Faithful to a fault? Definitely. But this remake of a cherished PS1 title of mine is a nostalgia-loaded warm blanket. The combat is braindead, but the Tim Burton-esque gothic world and colourful cast of characters are so charming and just about make up for its shortcomings. And Sir Dan remains one of the great unsung protagonists.


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Xarius

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,144
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - As usual, From's latest offering is my game of the year. The new battle system was a refreshing change of pace, and the world was a joy to explore. The final boss is also a contender for the best boss they've ever made. It's just a shame we didn't get any DLC.
  2. Path of Exile: Conquerors of the Atlas - While there are still many improvements to be made, Path of Exile's latest expansion reinvigorated my interest in the game after taking a break from it for about a year. Path of Exile 2 can't come soon enough.
  3. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - One of the best stories I've experienced in a Final Fantasy game. The raid was also quite enjoyable; fighting Titan never gets old.
  4. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition - This was on my GotY list for 2018, and it's back in 2019. The game oozes charm and is pure joy to play; the new QoL features and additional content were a nice bonus, as well.
  5. Kingdom Hearts III - This didn't live up to the standard set by KH2FM, but it was still an enjoyable experience, and it was satisfying to finally play the final game of the trilogy.
  6. Pokemon Shield - Despite all of the missing features and Pokemon, I still had a good time with this game. Many of the new designs were great, and finally playing Pokemon on the big screen was a treat.
  7. Borderlands 3 - This wasn't able to top Borderlands 2 for me, but it was still a fun ride. All of the Vault Hunters felt pretty unique and had enjoyable play-styles.
  8. Devil May Cry 5 - The only Devil May Cry game I had completed prior to this one was DmC, so it was interesting to see how this one differed. I'm not the biggest fan of this genre, but I still liked the game. Nero in particular was quite fun to play.


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Nouzka

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16
  1. Resident Evil 2 - Maybe my favourite PS4 game, just an amazing experience. Gameplay, graphics and atmosphere were all great. I also love that normal zombies were a serious threat, really felt like a true survival horror game.
  2. Death Stranding - Really liked the gameplay mechanics and the overall story. Excited to see what Kojima does next.
  3. Slay the Spire - Surprise of the year to me, very addicting gameplay and many hours spent for "one more game".
  4. Control - Been a fan of Remedy since Max Payne days, and really enjoyed this game. Great atmosphere through all game, and gameplay was great. Shooting felt good and all the powers were fun to use. Also Ahti was extra hilarious to me as a Finn.
  5. Devil May Cry 5 - Excellent return from the main series. Let's hope we don't have to wait sequel for long.
  6. Judgment - Great "Yakuza" game.
  7. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled - Good remake of one of my favourite childhood games.
  8. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - My first Ace Combat game since Air Combat on PS1, and I really liked it. It just feels good to fly around and fight other planes.
  9. Baba is You - Great little puzzle game.
  10. DiRT Rally 2.0 - Good sequel to amazing Dirt Rally, although some of the online requirement are annoying.


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Cecil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,565
  1. Disco Elysium - Manages to be an RPG without combat focus, and adventure game with a bit of a challenge and a story focused game where your choices actually does matter.
  2. Outer Wilds - Somewhat tainted by that it dragged on a bit, but still a fantastic game.
  3. Knights And Bikes - A COOP puzzle adventure games, set in a fantastic setting with this years best art style. Without a doubt this years most overlooked game.
  4. RAD - An underrated rougelike/rougelite. Fantastic graphics and very fun combat mechanics.
  5. Oxygen Not Included - Extremely addictive.
  6. The Outer Worlds - Very meh. Included here just because they deserve credit for trying this, even if it bored me so that I stopped playing before 10h.


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White Glint

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,095
Estonia
  1. Disco Elysium - I've only played 5 hours of Disco Elysium but based on everything I've read about it, heard from my friends and from what I've experienced thus far it would be disingenuous of me to put anything else in the #1 spot.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Whenever there's a new Miyazaki game on the horizon I figure that he can't just keep on smacking out masterpiece after masterpiece. Well, he can. Sekiro justifiably takes away build variety to go for tighter swordplay. It takes away grinding to make you better master the game's mechanics. Sekiro wants you to hit every mikiri counter, jump every sweep, dodge every grab, parry every blow and of course swing at your enemy when you have the chance. Learn to deal with all that and you're almost close to feeling what I bet a good Devil May Cry player feels in proper character action games. Sekiro can easily stand proud alongside Demons Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
  3. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - Wasn't expecting much after Stormblood. But like many have already said countless times - Shadowbringers brings the narrative and music back up to Heavensward levels. I can now say that FFXIV, in its entirety, is one of my favorite video game stories of all time. Previously I would have just said Heavensward.
  4. Noita - I've found that the thing I enjoy most in roguelikes are crazy item synergies. That's the only thing that would explain Binding of Isaac being my favorite in the genre when there are clearly better games available. Noita scratches that itch with its vast array of spells with interactions that can range from ending your run in a single click, making all your enemies fall in love with you, eating away all the land in your sight and beyond, playing music that attracts world eating snakes to slither your way and of course most importantly magic that slays your foes. Noita also includes dozens of mysteries and secrets that are fun just to hear about
  5. Death Stranding - I can't think of another AAA game off the top of my head that could be described as 'serene' for most of its playtime. Death Stranding feels more like Journey or an obscure world exploration game you might find on itch.io than something Sony published on the tail end of a generation where they turned from producing imaginative games to producing sad dads with guns or axes or guns and axes. Kojima Productions also brought all their might to play here by managing to make the mere act of walking something that is laden with involved gameplay mechanics and an ever present risk-reward struggle.
  6. Resident Evil 2 - Just beautiful, tense and satisfying the entire time. The police station has to be one of the greatest levels ever made.
  7. Devil May Cry 5 - I waited 14 years for this boss fight. It was glorious.
  8. Judgment
  9. Bloodstained
  10. Control
  11. Ace Combat 7


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Oct 27, 2017
4,191
  1. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order


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nihilence

nothing but silence
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
3,789
From 'quake area to big OH.
  1. Control - It was AWEsome.
  2. Gears 5 - The ride was fun. Except for the bugs and decision.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - Who doesn't celebrate an apocalypse?


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Tennis

Member
Oct 27, 2017
383
  1. Untitled Goose Game - This game is the perfect example of what kind of comedy often works so well in video games — player-induced chaos in a reactive world. Everything from the game's music and animations to the closing bit magnify its comedic vision. Even the relatively short length of the game elevates the humor. So so good.
  2. Control - The world-building is top notch and so is the gameplay. Story left me wanting for more and the performance was sub par on my base ps4. However the many pros overshadow the cons for me. I read every document I found in the world so that should tell you something.
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Never played the original so I went in fresh. The classic Zelda formula still holds up even though I got frustrated a couple of times during my time with the game. The soundtrack is beautiful and the game is just full of charm. It's Zelda alright.
  4. Outer Wilds - Now hear me out. This WOULD be my goty if it wasn't for the game breaking crash I had midway through the story that corrupted my save file and send me back to square one. It really sucked and I'll hate the game forever for it. But I also deeply love this game. The sense of wonder is unmatched. No Man's Sky feels kind of generic after experiening the intimate, hand-crafted solar system of Outer Wilds. I don't love the art tho.
  5. eFootball PES 2020 - The name of this game is something else but the gameplay still offers the best virtual football experience money can buy.
  6. Grindstone - It's pure fun. I love the concept, the art style and the world they've crafted. There is none of that f2p crap other similar mobile games are filled with. Its the best game on Apple Arcade.
  7. Apex Legends - For the brief time I had with the game it was a great deal of fun. Fortnite is still my br game of choice but this one's a worthy contender. A bit generic looking art style is my main nitpick.
  8. Baba Is You - A charming and a truly original puzzle game. I didn't finish the game completely due to me getting too frustrated with some of the puzzles but I appreciate the concept a lot.
  9. What The Golf? - I first thought they were going for absurdity with the style of humor but it turned out this is a parody game. So the comedic focus is a bit all over the place. It's still a funny game but not always fun to play. Also the humor loses a bit steam towards the end but holy crap when you get to the super putt levels I lost it.
  10. Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - I mean the game is totally fine and can be a lot of fun to play with your friends. It just all feels so calculated and by the books. I don't even know what the story was in this one. And who are these people again I'm shooting at?


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Dakath

Member
Oct 26, 2017
393
  1. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - The king of the night is back.
  2. The Outer Worlds - Have you tried new and improved diet Fallout?
  3. My Time at Portia - It's pronounced Portia.
  4. Darksiders Genesis - The only thing that makes War laugh is Strife.
  5. Children of Morta - Sword Dad needs food badly.
  6. A Short Hike - A sweet little micro game.
  7. Apex Legends - Who's ready to die on a zipline?
  8. ASTRONEER - Dig too greedily and too deep.
  9. Timespinner - Who let all these birds in here.
  10. Void Bastards - The deadly vacuum of space is preferable to bureaucracy.
  11. Blasphemous - Dark Souls but the obscure lore references are Catholicism???
  12. Ape Out - What if homicidal gorillas really liked jazz?


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krossj

Member
Dec 4, 2017
51
  1. Etrian Odyssey Nexus - Farewell 3ds game releases! The series of 3ds releases was incredible! In the sense of exploration through the map involvement and the tactile turn based combat it has stood out among the other rpg series introduced over the same period. The aspects of the series which stand out are so well developed that the games have really took an identity of their own which sets them apart from most streamlined rpgs which has been refreshing and in terms of gameplay a welcome challenge.

    You can consider this entry a mega mix of previous titles, shorter dungeon structure for the most part and side dungeons which keep things interesting. Yes I have some misgivings over some of the character designs throughout the series which put a damper on the experience and I would have liked to see a bit more variety in the environments and enemies in this but like it acted as a mega mix of everything the series offered gameplay wise with the customisation of classes and skills and party layouts and a not to disasters reskill option it allowed for a number of approaches and interesting mix ups. This entry brings what it was to a nice compact ending and brings more anticipation to whats next! The series offered some unique features with the dual screen format that I don’t think can be replicated easily but perhaps new methods of exploration or even some online asynchronous multiplayer component could be the future of the series.

  2. Dragon Quest XI S - Its so good, in its presentation, characters, gameplay and town vignette story telling it just offers so much of what the series has in the past but with more bells and a bigger bow attached. The characters are very well done, I’m not that often fussed with characters in rpgs, I’m more in it for the world building but the characters in this are very well written and actually all contribute interesting story beats throughout the story at least so far. Im not finished I’m around 45 hours in so by the time some people have spent I still have a ways to go but the package is s well crafted that I’m happy to put this at number 2 on my list.

  3. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - I usually have a rule about not voting for games I’ve played before in my top ten but this is my first time with the zodiac job system version and the game overall introduces things that make the game a lot different and more fun and thank fuck for that speed up option!

    The battle system isn’t why this stands out to me, I like what it does but its very passive even in strategy for the most part but that actually allows me to focus more on what I enjoy so much about this entry, the world design. The game looks incredible today with the designs and creativity at play in the game it still holds up in terms of art direction and identity in ways a lot of games lack these days. The judges, espers, sky ships, they all offer such a well crafted and detailed sense of design that I find beautiful! Had a great time replaying this and wouldn’t object to going back and doing some hunts or more espers battles to see more of the game.

  4. Super Mario Maker 2 - My first time with the maker as I didn’t have a wii u and it is a fun package. Huge catalogue of levels and intuitive creation tools, it offered so much within the format that its a very unique game covering multiple play approaches in game and design. I do wish there was a better way of finding levels your interested in, following creators is good for this but some more highlighting of very specific things would be great and regular Nintendo made levels (they could have added this?) Would be great to see more like the introductory levels (story mode), thoroughly enjoyed them.

  5. The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening - The original on Gameboy still remains in my favourite game collection with it being the first game I was hugely invested in and this remake is incredibly faithful to the otriginal. Great dungeon designs while still being simple, fun flow of gameplay. The main gripes about it are the performance and I actually remember the music from the original more fondly, nothing wrong with the new soundtrack just a fondness for the previous approach.

  6. Resident Evil 2 - I’ve surprised myself with this one! Disclaimer - I think zombies are one of the dumbest concepts in fiction, slow moving people that claw to eat you.. its just bad! But I found myself really enjoying this tense, horror, over the shoulder, shooterish, puzzler sort of game.

  7. Tetris 99 - fun but fuck if ill ever get 1st, lot of top tens and a few seconds but sheesh, you guys are monsters!

  8. Boxboy! + Boxgirl! - Great puzzler, like the change ups but something new for this guy and his crew would be great!

I have SaGa: Scarlet Grace but I’ve just not got round to it yet! heard such good things but I guess i'll be playing that this year at some point after DQ11.


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daxmedflax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
37
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - The first playthrough of a new FromSoft ARPG is my very favourite thing to do in gaming. Sekiro didn't disappoint. The world, lore, creatures and bosses were all wonderful. I will say though, I do think this game was a bit too hard. RIP gamer cred.
  2. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - My GOTY last year is almost my GOTY this year too. So much to do and see!
  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Had a great time with this. If they keep the structure of Fallen Order, expand on it and polish, a potential sequel could be really special. Very exciting.
  4. Outer Worlds - Comfort food. Felt like Mass Effect 2 2.
  5. Gears 5 - There's still nothing else that feels like Gears.


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crepuscule

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,226
  1. Outer Wilds
  2. Disco Elysium - The only reason you shouldn't buy this game is if you really don't like a load of reading in games. Easily top 3 contender for best writing in a game.
  3. Slay the Spire - Played on Gamepass, got so addicted I bought on Switch. All systems interact with each other well and sometimes in non-obvious ways with plenty of different viable strategies per charecter. This together with the good mix-ups from the artifacts mean that the replay value is absolutely insane. Presentation is also top-notch. Only downside is a couple of crashes on Switch.
  4. Pokemon Sword/Shield - Though dissapointing in many ways, the core collecting and battling still gets to me in a way no other game has.
  5. Life is Strange 2
  6. Baba is You
  7. A Short Hike
  8. Eliza
  9. Luigi's Mansion 3
  10. The Outer Worlds

The you-did-loads-of-things-great-but-the-dialogue-and-surface-narrative-brings-you-down award goes to Death Stranding and a dishonourable mention goes to Mario Kart Tour for its atrocious controls and predatory monetisation.


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wbloop

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,249
Germany
Last year was kinda weird for me in terms of games. Due to landing in the hospital and having to go unter an operation last February and then staying at my parents' place for almost half a year to heal out I did not have access to my gaming PC and my Switch because I left it home. I brought my PS4 with me, so I managed to play some high-caliber games right after I was out of the hospital, but my real hardcore gaming phase started just in September. I did not finish much, but I think I have played enough to form an opinion what might be my Game of the Year.

Honorable mentions go to:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (good singleplayer campaign, spectacular graphics, but the MP and Spec Ops mode were thoroughly disappointing)
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (good looter shooter with much better core gameplay than TD1, but if a had to include one looter shooter game this year, look at my top 5.

Games that did not end up in my list because I haven't played them enough:
Devil May Cry 5, Seikro: Shadows Die Twice, Astral Chain, Control

Now onto my Top 5:

  1. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - I'm already cheating with my Game of the Year, because while I began playing Final Fantasy XIV this year and managed to play right up to the beginning of Shadowbringers, I never actually started it due to time constraints at that time. I began FF14 in May as my very first MMO and right from the start I was mesmerized by the setting, soundtrack and world design. I was initially worried that I had to go to LFG chats to get stuff done, but the matchmaking system worked flawlessly, even though I had to wait quite some time because I play DPS. The dungeon design was so damn fun and I always felt motivated to go on, especially from Heavensward onward because the characters really started to grow on me. Characters like good old Alphy, for example, who I initially heavily disliked, managed to get some well-deserved character development and in turn made him a great character. The story is the main draw here. It is excellently written and just gets better and better. And from what I've heard ShB is a highlight in terms of story, so I am very excited to finally catch up on it next month. To put into perspective how much it got me, I played FF14 on a six year old laptop with integrated graphics. I was happy when the game got to the mid-20s on the lowest setting. Even though I had to play it like it was an N64 game it gripped me so much that I sank over 300 hours into it in the course of about two months. I can't wait to get to ShB on my main PC in all of its graphical glory. Truly one of the best games I have played in years, especially with friends, who at that point last year, started it together with me.
  2. Death Stranding - Now this is an odd one. I love Hideo Kojima's work, but after all of the gameplay that was shown at gamescom and especially after the reviews came out I initially was very wary of the game. It seemed to be a love-hate affair for lots of people and I did not know if I was ready to drop 60 bucks into a game I might hate. But after all of the pre-release hype and the gist of even the negative reviews being "Hey, play this for yourself to find out if you like it because it's so unique in its design that it should be played rather than seen" I took the plunge. And after finishing it at the beginning of December with about 46 hours on the clock I can safely say that I did not regret playing it. It actually was very motivating for me to improve my standing with all the NPCs to get the needed upgrades like the exoskeleton. Or to raid the MULE camps to get the neccessary materials to build roads, which in turn made the game much easier and made me drown in likes thanks to the online system. Same thing goes for the ziplines. It was so much fun to find the optimal way to place the zipline network. The graphics are another highlight: Playing it in "4K" HDR was jaw-dropping at times. Especially the rock formations and the mossy vegetation as well as the mo-capped faces (looking at you, Die-Hard Man) looked nearly photorealistic. The story - as crazy as it was - was pretty okay for the most part, but the last few hours really got me. One of the best finales Kojima has ever done. It helps that the cast he got together really gave their all, especially Tommie Earl Jenkins as Die-Hard Man and of course Mads Mikkelsen, who obviously had lots of fun with the role. And the freaking soundtrack... god, it was so good at times. Probably the biggest suprise for me last year, especially after the reviews.
  3. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - I'm technically cheating with this one, too, because I played the PC release that just came out a few weeks ago, but for what it's worth, it's the same to the console version in terms of content, so I'll include it here. Iceborne is the definition of what a proper expansion should be for me. It has freaking tons of content, the new (and old) monsters are thoroughly challenging and have some great varied movesets which always required me and my squad to adapt. The new areas are absolutely beautiful to look at and have such a comfy atmosphere, especially the hub world Seliana. The soundtrack is better than the one from the main game, with the Seliana theme and the credits song ("Tales Spun through Song") being some of the most beautiful music coming out of games that year. My squad and I got through it after a few days in insanely long sessions, some going up to twelve hours, which is an indicator that I really want to sink my teeth into the game. Iceborne is some really great stuff and it leaves me very excited for the eventual next-gen sequel.
  4. Katana Zero - The best indie game of the year for me. I'm a huge fan of Hotline Miami and the gameplay of Katana Zero hits the right spots for me. Easy to learn, hard to master, with a good difficulty curve. And when you die you're instantly back in the level without having to wait. The synthwave soundtrack was one of the best OSTs of the year and got me pumped up every time. The length of the game is also perfect. 5 to 6 hours is a campaign length that sadly gets rarer and rarer, with more games recieving content to bloat the playtime, but not offering more meaningful ways to play the game. ZERO cuts out the fat and leaves what is neccessary. And the story is suprisingly gripping. The dark places that the story tends to tread make it truly uncomfortable at times, but I was always interested in what would happen next.
  5. Borderlands 3 - I loved Borderlands 2 back in the day and BL3 is more of exactly that, with much better level design than what The Pre-Sequel had to offer. Granted, the story was way worse than in BL2, but the actual gameplay was just as engaging. The core gameplay loop is so much more satisfying than in other looter-shooters because of the huge variety of playstyles the weapons offer. Contrast what guns can do in Borderlands 3 with the blandness that Ghost Recon: Breakpoint offered and you know what I mean. I finished the entire thing in co-op and it was fun all the way to the end. It did not get higher on the list because of the lacking story and because in the end it pretty much plays like BL2 did eight years ago. Sure, the gameplay still is great in its core, but it didn't change much overall.


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Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,407
UK
  1. Outer Wilds - Having played the demo many years ago in 2015 and being impressed with the time loop structure to hopping around from ground to space in seamless transitions, the final release surpassed my expectations for this bittersweet, nostalgic, isolating, and existential space odyssey. The small-scale Americana of camping, forests, folksy music, and connecting to people gives way to wildly imaginative and surreal worlds where dynamic systems such as cyclones around an ocean in a gas planet or meteorites destroying a whole planet as you go deeper and deeper into an ancient civilisation's abandoned city. You are not the hero where the world and systems revolve around you. It's a non-linear approach to storytelling as you can explore different planets, moons, or comet at your own leisure that then leads up to an awe-inspiring climax. As a game about archeology, history, music, connections, discovery, this is a truly special game where systems, mechanics, and storytelling merge perfectly to make for unpredictable, mind-blowing, and silly moments. You parked your ship on the surface, but a few minutes later, the piece of land it was on was destroyed so the ship is now descending into a black hole where it has now ended up by a tiny station far far away! Whole towers can fall into black holes. However, because of the 20-minute loop, it's never too frustrating and you can find tricks to deal with the worlds' quirks. As a space game, this is far more interesting and fulfilling than the likes of Mass Effect, Star Citizen, and other big-budget fares that get limited in some storytelling aspect because of their technical ambitions. There are so many moments where you're just observing the systems at play like the best parts of an immersive sim to wondrous displays of space oddities.
  2. A Short Hike - I had no idea I'd find a short excursion into a hometown island where through the goal of hiking up a mountain to connect with your bird mom to be so emotionally resonant and bittersweet nostalgia. On a gameplay level, something as simple as climbing and gliding would bring me such joy and peace. I was continually impressed with the contiguous world as you glide to different parts of the islands, towns, and mountainous areas. Anyone who's into trekking, hiking, and even parkour, will surely find something to enjoy here. If you've had a stressful or distressing year, this nostalgic and relaxing trip that lasts a couple of hours will make you smile from ear to ear as you make connections to others along the way. It's the ultimate feel-good game of 2019, and the less said about it but the more experienced the better.
  3. Control - Employing Remedy Entertainment's strengths of psychological storytelling, surrealism, innovative physics technology, and refreshing shooting gameplay possibilities, into a more open world with upgrade elements and brutalist architecture makes for their most consistent and confident experience yet. Jesse enters into a mysterious building to find out about her brother Dylan and as soon as the layout changes and she unwittingly holds the gun that killed the former director, she's in for an empowering, bewildering, and tragic extravaganza. From the moment I launched objects at enemies, I knew I was in for some of the most fun and freeing third person shooter action. Unlike previous Remedy games, Jesse as a protagonist is faster, more mobile, and adaptive during the chaos of destruction and particle effects. The powers along with the smart enemy AI make for a zippy cacophony that's enjoyable and because of the metroidvania approach, can keep on coming back to (which their previous Quantum Break sorely lacked). The world is fascinating and satisfying to explore and discover at your own pace. There's something comforting about the way narration and character writing works in a Remedy game, where it can be unreliable, personable, and not didactic. Remedy's narration techniques and dreamy tangents (along with their bullet time combat) would go on to influence many other narrative games like Uncharted, God Of War, Hellblade, and while the narrative interplay with what you're experiencing in the moment isn't as playful as in Alan Wake, the peripheral storytelling through documents and audio diaries make for interesting post-facto discoveries that can be as small-scale as finding out what Samson's favourite character in a novel was after you see him live and die within seconds in front of you. It's worth mentioning that this is easily Remedy's funniest game thanks to the new weird story, colourful cast of characters (Dr Darling is one of the best characters of 2019) and Jesse's responses where banal everyday life is made fantastical like rubber duckies and haunted fridges to clocks littering a whole level to beautifying effect. Ashtray Maze is to this game as the concert was to Alan Wake as a perfect fusion of music to memorable gameplay moments. While I would have loved there to be more to Jesse and Dylan's story as it ramps up towards the end, the nostalgic feels of learning about their hometown, fighting in a miniature mock-up and dump of their town, and an absolutely mind-blowing office prison are still satisfying to experience.
  4. Ape Out - In an age of environmental despair through burning rainforests, the looming destruction of global warming, and fascist establishments, here comes a game where you play as an ape escaping from slavery to overthrow humans' destructive influence. Humans need to be stopped, and this ape is up to the task. Pleasing to the environmentalists and misanthropes in equal measure, this viscerally pleasing and jazzy jaunt in various urban locales to procedural drums is supremely satisfying. It starts simple from just grabbing and throwing humans around to eventually blocking shots with a piece of cover, using human shields, and the enemies' weapons like bombs and fire to scare and thin off the crowd. Then there are the excellent stealth sections when the lights go out, and you can sneak around enemy flashlight cones, where it feels so good to get through without detection. The art direction and style is immediately arresting and the immensely satisfying jungle conclusion makes for one of the best endings in a 2019 game.
  5. Vane - From former Team Ico developers and seeming like Journey, the focus on epic storms in an ancient civilisation give way to a more unpredictable story. Joining the tiny leagues of dark fantasy coming-of-age journeys with the likes of Toren, this is a severely underplayed, sometimes buggy, but haunting and unforgettable experience. You start off as a bird in a desert and get used to flight, which is viscerally pleasing as you dive-bomb into desert valleys. Then you take the form of a human kid, and realise you can switch between both seamlessly; jump off a ledge and you'll automatically transform into a bird, land into gold particles and you become a kid. The ultimate reveal of what the crow-masked tall people are is sobering and crystallises this coming-of-age is about children becoming older and becoming slaves to the doctrines of adulthood. With one of the most intense endings of a 2019 game, the scale and impact of the dialogue-less story is felt much longer after the credits roll.
  6. A Plague Tale: Innocence - From the first reveal alongside AAA shoot-em-ups, this intrigued me immediately that here is a narrative stealth companion game that is less about killing and more about thinking on the fly with a sling, rocks, and fire against militaristic religious zealots and armies of land-gobbling rats. Was this a reaction from Asobo Studio from having to make a Ratatouille game among other licensed Disney-Pixar ventures? Either way, plunging us into a medieval melancholic and horrific adventure that is also about friendships and strength-building in a bleak world with gorgeous production values for a AA studio was apparently up their sleeves all this time. Changing up challenges, gameplay loops, scenarios, perspectives, and locations throughout in an era where many AAA games overstay their welcome in terms of mechanics, scenarios, systems, and gameplay is refreshing.
  7. Void Bastards - As someone not into roguelike games but really into immersive sims, I was curious how this would work with named inspirations of Looking Glass games. It's not quite an immersive sim evoking the design goals of those games, but the focus on choices through various weapons, items, skills, and unpredictability gave way to a hilariously British, darkly capitalistic, satirical space romp. It's the first time I've cared for the story in such a randomly generated game and the darkly nihilist comedic atmosphere stays consistent to the very end. This is one game I gave myself a break to just have fun so I bumped down from the hardest difficulties and wanted to experiment as much as I can, which made for a shorter but sweeter journey. Hunting across space for various weapons, items, and upgrades while strategising on the map where to go through your own cost-and-benefit analysis really earned that one-more-go pull. These are some of the funniest and most memorable enemies of any game this year, from the tiny, chavvy, insulting Juves to the interminably annoyed Senior Scribes made for the funniest game of 2019.
  8. Sayonara Wild Hearts - As someone not into rhythm games but heard great things about this, I had no idea I'd fall in love with a seamless narrative rhythmic adventure of heartbreak, gang fights, and learning to love again with stunning angular production design, memorable dreampop soundtrack, and Queen Latifah's booming narration to package it all up. Full of new ideas, mechanics, perspectives, modes of transport, every step of the way made for an engrossing dreamy trip all the way through enough for me to want to try the full album in one go with no level transitions.
  9. Pilgrims - An hour-long card-based medieval journey that is really just about obtaining a bird to satisfy the boat lady to take you on a river ride away. Amanita Design's familiar strengths of unique interactions, charming Czech humour, lovable characters, and innovations are in full display here. Card-based games are not at all interesting to me, especially in a battle context, but here they're just a substitute for the items you'd have in an inventory of an adventure game, and characters you collect on the way become part of your deck. Each character has their unique animations and reactions to the items which makes for a lively and funny journey. You have the generic moustached traveler but then you have a poor woman who has a beef with a crooked nose lady stealing her house, and a drunkard hunter who is just chaos, but in a good way as he can scare off the lake monster that bothers the poor woman by cannonballing half-naked into the water. A memorable journey that left me wanting more, which is what the best games should be about.
  10. Lovely Planet 2 - A trial-and-error score-based FPS that tests your twitch skills but happens to be wrapped in a cute hometown Japanese childlike aesthetic is still enthralling in a sequel. Each world comes with new ideas and challenges enough that when you're doing really well, you're in the zone of dodging bullet-fast evil faces, zipping between the angel faces mid-air without ever touching the ground, shooting the apple, and landing on just the right spot to then knock out a few angry faces and hurtling past the finish line. No other FPS this year has come close to the level of frustration, rage, satisfaction, and achievement than getting 3 stars on the tougher levels of this game.

I noticed a trend in my favourite games this year: seamless worlds with hardly any loading screens from small games to big (Outer Wilds, A Short Hike, Control); lovable characters; connecting to to others (Outer Wilds, A Short Hike); melancholic stories (Vane, Control); short and satisfying experiences; and innovations abound.

Now I'm off to fly again.



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Delphine

Baby, Pink is my favourite part
Moderator
Mar 30, 2018
2,362
France

  1. Journey
    Ok so, I know this one is old, but it just came out on PC this year, and I replayed it, and goddammit, is it as beautiful, touching and heart-warming as ever. I'll never get bored of this game, of what it conveys, of how well it conveys it. I'll never not be touched and emotional in front of those amazing landscapes, I will never not chirp with sheer joyfulness whenever I'm realizing I'm not alone anymore, I'll never not feel utter sadness when I'll see my companion quitting on me. I'll never not be in awe of this final chapter that is just perfection. Journey is my favorite game ever, so it is, to me, GOTY every year, hence why it's on my list this year (except I have a legitimate reason to put it on the list this year while the other years I couldn't haha).

  2. Apex Legends
    Playstation probably lied when it told me that I only spent 200 hours on this game in the end-of-the-year wrap-up, because having maxed-out all battlepass from all 3 seasons, I'm pretty sure I have at the very least 1500 hours on this. This game is the main reason why I haven't played a lot of games that came out this year, Apex Legends sucked me into its own vortex of sheer fun, of awesome gameplay, with lots of great people met along the way. I fucking love this game a lot, and seeing it being overruned by shitty marketing decisions from EA is kinda ruining it at the moment, but I still come back to it regularly, because the core gameplay is just THAT great. Heck, I even reached Diamond this season!

  3. A Plague Tale: Innocence
    Ok, I may be biased about this one, because my SO worked on it. Still, I played it twice, entirely (once on PS4 and once on PC), and each time was an amazing experience, full of awe at the environment design, full of love I have for all the characters (Amicia & Hugo are my children and I'll fight anyone who want to harm them!), the story had me going from beginning to end, and while it ended with a boss fight that I'll forever find anti-climatic and unnecessary as hell (probably because one didn't wanna end the game without A Boss Fight , which frankly is quite the boring and narrow game design decision), it managed to wrap up nicely, was just about the right length, made me care deeply about its many characters, and left a positive mark on me.

  4. Kind Words
    This game was exactly what I needed when I needed it. under its sugary lovely aesthetics, is a game that cares deeply about you, and allows strangers from all over the world to genuinely help you with your worries and problems, and make you feel heard, listened to, and less alone in front of it. It also allows you to give back to the community, and be that helping hand and that ear & shoulder some desperately need. It's a game that bring people together in amazing ways, that makes you feel better about life, that brings positivity and wholesomeness in important ways. Basically, this is a self-care game, and when I feel down, I can count on the players over there to help alleviate those feelings by being empathetic caring human beings showing me that life is hard for everybody, but that we can at least have each other, give each other good energy to face it all.

  5. Life Is Strange 2
    This game truly brought great things to the table. It managed to be incredibly emotional, made me care deeply about Sean & Daniel (they also are my sons now, and I'll fight for them forever). But it managed to be politically on point, in ways that I sincerely had never seen any games be, at least no AA games for sure. It's the one game that properly stated in a dialogue "Everything is political", it's the one game that didn't shy away from showing how racism could manifest in modern USA, it's the one game that made me feel raw anger, fury and deep feelings of unfairness, upon seeing the main character having to burn their own pride in pieces in order to escape the wrath of racist assholes. It's a game that says a lot, and says it well. It's an important game to play, and I think while it didn't succeed as well as the first one in terms of plots and having a wide cast of characters you care for, it succeeded way more than it when it was about being political and not shying away from it.

  6. Sayonara Wild Hearts
    This game is too short. That's my only grievance about it here, really, it's just too short. But it's perfect in any other way, truly. What a ride, what a joy, what an experience! I felt exhilarated while playing this, the music is amazing, the aesthetics and animations are truly perfect, the mood, the story, the meaning and messages are all working so well together, that you can't help loving this game. I bought the soundtrack right away after finishing it, and I'm listening to it over and over again, it's just honestly such an amazing musical video game experience that everybody ought to try!

  7. A Short Hike
    I didn't expect much launching this, but what an great time I had! It is a lovely and super chill game, with lovely characters and amazing artistic direction, that just wants you to have a good time while hiking a mountain, and meeting lovely cute people, and help them a bit too. It's the kind of game that appeases you while playing it, that makes you smile and at peace, and it's precious like that.

  8. Ring Fit Adventure
    Boy I didn't think my fat ass would love a fitness game so much but oh boy here we fucking are? Ok I may only be level 40 or something, but boy is it fun to play this, and incredibly engaging! I honestly don't see time passes by and sometimes end up having soreness for 2 whole days because of it, but I keep coming back for more. It's cute, it's fun, everything is just well though-out, they designed it so well in all the details, it is also an incredibly supportive and wholesome game to play, and every time I made friends play it, they ended up being wowed at how engaged they were in it, at how physical it gets, and would just be like "Damn, I need to buy this!". This game truly makes working-out fun, they achieved THAT.

  9. Night Call
    A short indie game I may be partial about, but that I definitely thoroughly enjoyed playing. While some mechanics are a bit messy at times, the film noir aesthetics meshed well with the narrative design, and allowed you to connect and be touched by many strangers and their life stories, in ways you didn't think would be possible. It is very well-written, and that is the core strength of this game, truly. I know I haven't even met half of the clients this game has, and that makes replayability a huge asset as well, I'll probably go back to it at some point in order to discover more stories.

  10. Heave Ho
    This one is last on my list because I haven't played it much, and because it is also the last game of 2019 that I played. But I really enjoyed my time with, which was at a party with friends, with which we had huge fun while playing this. It is clever, entertaining, super cute, and will definitely provide hours of laughter for you and your friends!


With that being over, here's the list of 2019 games I haven't played yet but am most definitely exciting to play in 2020:

  • Control - Heart too much great things about it, I just can't wait to do it whenever It'll be available.
  • Untitled Goose Game - I mean this one is a no-brainer, I've been hyped for it way before it got released, even bought an official T-shirt and 2 enamel pins about it. I just need it to get released on Steam, and then I'll get on it PROPER for sure!
  • What The Golf - This just looks right up my alley in terms of cute-looking nonsensical fun game, and I'm expecting it a lot!
  • Disco Elysium - Definitely very interested in this, especially with all the great things I've read about this.
  • Outer Wilds - I do not know much about this one, but the feedback has been amazing, so I'll be here for it, for sure, I'm interested!
  • Ooblets - Aesthetics of this game are right up my alley. I don't know if the gameplay will be to my liking, but I'm defo willing to try!
  • The Outer Worlds - Maybe the last on this list because hype isn't TOO high, but I'm still very curious nonetheless.


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Kiro

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,118
Ottawa, Canada
  1. Baba is You - What an amazing mind-bending puzzle game that literally never stops. There are so many levels it is insane.
  2. Outer Wilds - I guess I am in an indie part of my life. This game knocked out of the park. Relaxing, adventurous, mysterious and addicting. Loved every second of this game.
  3. Control - Reminded me of PsiOps and they need more games like this. Ash Tray Maze was the pinnacle of 2019 gaming for me. Must play for anyone who likes sci-fi shooters.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - My first FROM games were this year. I played all of the Souls series and then this masterpiece. A total change of formula but felt so amazing. That second Owl boss was one of the best boss fights of all time. And yes, I am working on Bloodborne.
  5. Resident Evil 2 - Sublime. I never played the original RE2 and have been wanting to finally complete my collection. Resident Evil 2 was so well made and one of the best remakes of all time. Can't wait to have the last missing main-line game on PS4 with RE3 in April.
  6. Luigi's Mansion 3 - It is like playing a Pixar movie it looks so good and feels so good to play. It is a little easy and simple (but again, I'm not playing it for challenge) and I would've loved more puzzle and multiple directions as opposed to simply going through one floor at a time.
  7. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I didn't love the school stuff. I am a bigger fan of a single huge party and each character has a unique role, forces you to develop attachment to characters because you need them for their roles. But, the gameplay is pretty awesome in this one and we definitely need more console FE titles. Path of Radiance is my favourite one, keep them coming!
  8. Ring Fit Adventure - Still playing this game but dang if this isn't addicting! Winter is cold here, so having a fun way to get cardio done indoors for free (besides the initial cost) is great. Would recommend this to any Switch owner.
  9. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Almost finished with this but it looks absolutely stunning, even on my base PS4. The characters, world-building and story are awesome. The gameplay falls short at times but it really drew me in, especially since I often don't care about story in games.
  10. Super Mario Maker 2 - I haven't played this as much as I'd like simply because of business. However, I have been watching a lot of YouTubers play this game and it is great background entertainment so I think I need to recognize that.


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Amakusa

Member
Nov 2, 2017
276
2019 had a lot of games I consider best of the gen and while I have to put them in order for the voting, the actual order is in an constant flux. :)

Anyway, here‘s me list:

  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I can already easily immerse myself in a game world. RDR2 provides me with a huge, vibrant environment and a story that moved my old heart. It’s online world started rather plainly but is also a lot of fun now.
  2. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - I waited a few months before I upgraded to Iceborne because I knew it will pull me in just like the main game did and I wanted to play some other games first. A masterclass of an add-on.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - Great controls, beautiful graphics and, at least for me, high replay value. I have a huge backlog of games but RE2 made me play it over and over again, even made me watch speed runners rushing through it.
  4. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - This one improves on the 1st game greatly and sucked up a lot of my time. Every second well spent!
  5. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Amazing world, insanely tight controls and some of the best bosses FromSoftware ever created.
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - I love the Gameboy original and this remake fills me with much joy.
  7. Judgment - There aren’t many games so well written, RPG’s included. If Yakuza’s story is just too wacky for you, you have to try this one.
  8. No Man’s Sky: Beyond - I’m glad this one is eligible, because the Beyond update basically transformed NMS into a new, much better game.
  9. Ghost of a Tale - I’ve watched the pretty trailer on the PS4 store during a sale, bought it and got an awesome action RPG out of it. One of the games I will never forget, making it eligible for my list, even though mine might be the only vote it receives, since it’s barely talked about.
  10. Songbird Symphony - A wonderful 2D Jump‘n‘Run/Rhythm game that oozes charm. Great OST, cute sprites and a sweet story.


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Serene

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
41,026


  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Prior to Three Houses, I had never completed a Fire Emblem game. Part of that has to do with not owning a 3DS in recent years, but another part of it is just not usually gelling with the series. I tried it a few times, but it never completely grabbed me. So when Three Houses was revealed, I decided I would give Fire Emblem a chance one more time. I was intrigued by the school aspect and the way in which you evolved your class of characters. It was both a setting a narrative that resonated with me more than Awakening and Fates did. When I started the game, I almost immediately knew I was in on it and every hour I spent I fell more and more in love with it. While the narrative itself is relatively simple and nondescript, the characters and minute-to-minute gameplay loop grabbed onto me and never let go. I loved talking to every character every weekend and finding out what their troubles were, who they were feuding with, or what they thought of the latest developments. I loved having dinner with my friends, developing the relationships between them, watching them grow and change throughout the story. There are characters I despised in hour one that I wouldn't trade for the world by hour 40. It really felt like the characters involved in this story were affected and changed by it, and that is never more apparent than after the timeskip. Both the design and the presentation of the characters changes at that point and the story really finds momentum in those changes. This also is enforced by the three distinct branches of the story depending on the choice of house. Each house has its own archetype of characters, whether it's the outcasts of the Golden Deer or the preppy socialites of the Blue Lions. The game crafts a collection of characters that really feel unique and fun to interact with in every scenario. All of that is to say nothing of the combat system, which I really enjoyed despite never feeling super challenged by it. I loved building my characters into the different classes and deciding early on what path I wanted each to take. Seeing the development of my troops was really rewarding and made the story progress really hit harder as my characters grew both in and out of combat. All in all, Fire Emblem Three Houses succeeds in every way a game can succeed for me. It hit every note that I wanted, whether it was the cast of characters I grew to love, the combat systems that kept me engaged, or the simple act of fishing at the monastery. The game kept me hooked as hard as possible from the first minute to the last and for that reason it is undoubtedly my game of the year.

  2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - A metroidvania-esque Star Wars game made by Respawn where you play as a Jedi is about as close to a "dream game BINGO" as it gets for me. One of my favorite developers tackling one of my favorite genres within the wrapper of one of my favorite franchises. With all that, it's no wonder at all this game ends up so high on my list because not only is this game all of those things, but the game succeeds at being all of those things above and beyond my expectations. The metroidvania aspects of the game, from the exploration to the ever-evolving skill set to the combat additions as things escalate, are all executed well. The way the game encourages finding shortcuts and alternate paths is aided by the fact that just the simple act of moving around in the game feels great. Wallrunning, sliding down slopes, and swinging on ropes (sometimes combining all three) all feel great and the best parts of the game mix and match these mechanics well enough to make the traversal consistently enjoyable. I was constantly going back to old planets and exploring the new paths, not really because I wanted what was at the end of them but just because the act of using the new skills I had was so much fun. On that note, I thought the map of the game was excellent. The way it elegantly communicated if you were at a path you couldn't cross was appreciated as someone who has a tendency to try anything and everything before giving up on something. I loved the combat system, as it felt like a great pared-down version of something like Sekiro. It had the same enjoyable guard-breaking mechanics without the punishing timing that put me off of others like it. The force powers added enough variety to keep the combat interesting the whole time, and I felt myself constantly improving throughout my time with the game. The Star Wars aspect of the game doesn't disappoint either as the game presents one of my favorite Star Wars stories in recent years, with some genuinely enjoyable characters and twists along the way that kept me engaged from start to finish. The latter half of the game's story is especially strong, as you investigate the Nightsisters and learn the fate of Eno Cordova and Jaro Tapal. The final mission of the game escalated in such a great way that left me wanting more from this world and these characters. My only minor complaint with the game is that I thought the collectibles were very bad. The idea of making the lightsaber was super cool but most of the new parts were so minor that I feel like the game needing something else to find on top of those things, and I thought most of the cosmetic collectibles were pretty underwhelming as just palette swaps of existing things. As I said earlier though, traversing the paths was so much fun that this was less of an issue than it could have been. But it definitely stands out as the big thing that needs improving on in a sequel. All in all, a game that delivered on every hope I had for it and more.

  3. Slay the Spire - Slay the Spire is a game I had my eye on for a long time as it went through early access development. I knew a lot of people who sung its praises and it always struck me as something I would enjoy but I just never got around to checking it out until it released in full earlier in the year. Even though I expected to love it, it exceeded even my highest expectations. Weirdly, while a lot of the games on this list are here because of the strength of a bunch of different aspects (art, music, gameplay, story, etc.), Slay the Spire earns this spot based almost exclusively on the superb battle system and the way in which the game so excellently executes and iterates on it every single time you make a run. The tons of different cards, enemies, and encounter modifiers ensure that you are constantly on your toes and thinking up new deck strategies, while the three different characters all play very differently and further differentiate the various playthroughs. The game succeeds at presenting its different paths and forcing the player into difficult decisions, whether its which cards to upgrade, which routes to take, and the risk/reward of choosing some encounters over others. With the recent addition of the fourth character, I am ready to jump back into the game and fall in love with it all over again. Just don't ask me to tell you how to beat the final boss, as I'm still working on that one.

  4. Hades - Supergiant is a developer whose games I've always appreciated but never loved. Bastion was great in the way it presented its story, Transistor had an interesting combat system, and Pyre was a very unique thing to play. However none of these games grabbed me at the level they had some others, but with Hades I finally saw all the things Supergiant does well coalesce with a structure and gameplay style that I absolutely fell in love with. Hades is one of my favorite roguelikes in years because it both succeeds at keeping the gameplay interesting with the endless combination of boons from the myriad of gods while also crafting a charming narrative full of tons of well-written and realized characters. The world the game builds feels so legitimate and the connections between the game's various characters is sold well through the writing and interactions. The variety of the styles of play presented from the five different weapons in the game is yet another way the game succeeds at keeping itself fresh. And to top it all off, the art in the game is downright tremendous, with gorgeous renditions of the Greek Pantheon and the related characters set in a world that is filled to the brim with interesting creatures to fight and environments to explore. The game isn't completely finished yet and has been updated a ton, but the game is firmly in a special place already that I am confident in saying it deserves this spot on my list and it might even climb higher in my mind with the continued additions going forward.

  5. Control - A far cry from some of the other games on this list, I was 100% sold on Control from the moment it was revealed. Remedy in my mind succeeds most when they embrace the creepy and unsettling aspects of their storytelling chops. It was those things that made me love Alan Wake and much of that DNA is found here in Control. Where the game takes it to another level is with the combat system. The surplus of powers and weapons means that you are presented with a plethora of options on how to approach any given combat scenario. I know people who used a ton of powers I barely touched, while I relied on strategies some never even considered. The narrative succeeds at being interesting enough to lead me along and keep me engaged, while the world-building is absolutely second-to-none. This was one of the first games in a long time where I felt compelled to collect every single collectible I saw because they all filled out the world so well and most of the notes and videos were some mix of funny, interesting, or downright unsettling. Casper Darling is a wonderfully weird character that does a great job of presenting vital story information in a way that keeps with the game's overall vibe of things just not being quite right. I have my issues with some of the game's systems, such as the mods feeling mostly useless, but overall Control was a tremendous success in my book and I'm hoping we get much more of it from Remedy in the future.

  6. Apex Legends - Respawn was late to the battle royale party, but when they arrived they definitely put their best foot forward. Apex Legends takes everything I loved about Titanfall (besides the titular Titans) and combines the best-in-class gunplay with a ton of new and interesting mechanics that made Apex one of the best BR games around, mechanics that would later be copied by every other BR on the market. Things such as the ping system and revive mechanic presented a new aspect of strategy, while the distinct characters meant that team composition was just as important as which weapons you found when you dropped. The ping system especially made playing with random players much, much more palatable than in any other BR game. A coordinated team that knew their characters and synergized effectively could always stand a chance. I was disappointed at the initial lack of updates and support, but Respawn has gotten into a good groove as of late and has succeeded at keeping the game fresh, including the addition of an entirely new map and frequent new characters. After going through phases with both PUBG and Fortnite, Apex has become my go-to battle royale. When I want a BR fix, I look nowhere else but Apex.

  7. What the Golf? - Warioware Golf. What a wonderful and surprising thing this game was. Games going for puns and comedy usually falls very flat, but What the Golf succeeds so well at staying entertaining and fresh throughout. With every new area, the game seamlessly introduced its latest homage to gaming history or its wacky new way to get a ball (or a car or a horse or a golf club) to a tee. The result is a game that never once overstays its welcome and constantly feels like it is giving you a new way to play. Most of my time spent playing this game was done with a dumb smile on my face at the absurdity that this thing both exists and executes on its premise as well as it does.

  8. The Outer Worlds - Not to start off on a negative note, but I am actually surprised The Outer Worlds didn't end up higher on my list. I think that is a combination of two factors, one simply being other things impressed me more. But I also think the game presents its best side upfront and the latter half of the game doesn't quite live up to the former. The game makes a fantastic first impression as you meet the irreverent characters of Phineas and the ship AI ADA before making your way to Edgewater and meeting a great character in Parvati. The first few hours of the game are filled with moments of discovery and hard choices to be made. Unfortunately the game kind of sputters in the middle and never really recovers. The main story never really feels urgent and the mechanics of exploration and combat begin to wear thin without a ton of variation. Many of the companions just don't feel as interesting as Parvati and their relationships to the main character only ever feel skin deep, despite the dialogue telling us otherwise. Add to that a perk system that feels superfluous and the result is a game that loses its momentum well before you hit credits. I did end up finishing the game and overall I did love a lot of it, as there are a ton of side quests that paid off great and there wasn't much in the way of filler with the maps being closed off, but it definitely struck me as a game that could do with some refining the next time around.

  9. Dicey Dungeons - Every year there is a game that comes completely out of nowhere to make my GOTY list. Something I've never even heard of that makes its way onto my radar and I end up loving more than most games I was hyped for from the very first day of reveal. This year that game was Dicey Dungeons. As a big fan of roguelikes, this game does a fantastic job at both bringing forward the core tenants of that genre while also providing something new and interesting with its unique combat system involving cards and dice. Every character in the game feels very distinctly different and requires an entirely different strategic approach to succeed. Add to that the exquisite presentation of it all and the game really is a complete package. The "game show" nature of the story presents a lot of fun scenarios to play with and the game takes advantage of that both in the characters and in the progression itself. Since release the game has continued to be updated, and it is one that will remain on my rotation for the foreseeable future.

  10. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - The original Link's Awakening is one of my favorite games of all-time. I played through it over a dozen times as a kid and I always loved the story and how it differed from the traditional Zelda narratives. The melancholy and bittersweet nature of the tale is told wonderfully by the colorful cast and the dungeons offer just enough challenge and thought-provoking puzzle mechanics to keep things interesting throughout the game's relatively short playtime. When Nintendo announced this remake earlier this year, I was both surprised and delighted. Both that I could experience this game again in a new way and that an entirely new audience could see it for the first time. Aside from performance issues, this remake delivered 100% on everything I wanted. This remake gave us a beautiful artstyle, the same wonderful soundtrack slightly remixed, and most importantly the same eccentric and haunting story of the inhabitants of Koholint Island. When I replay this game again going forward, this will be the definitive version of it and I'm glad it exists.


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Oct 25, 2017
8,115
Underground
  1. Death Stranding - Incredible, unique game unlike anything I've ever played. An experience I'll never forget. I loved nearly everything about it. The gameplay, the soundtrack, the characters, the story, and so on. It's only the second Kojima game I've beaten and it's made me a fan. This is now one of my favorite games of all time.
  2. FAR: Lone Sails - Enjoyed every bit of this little game. Love this unique gameplay loop. It's similar to something like INSIDE with some light resource management added in for good measure.
  3. Sayonara Wild Hearts - A joy to play and listen to.
  4. Borderlands 3 - Very fun game. Has its flaws, but I can't stop playing.
  5. Blood & Truth - It's like being in an action movie. Really enjoyed this.
  6. No Man's Sky: Beyond - Fantastic update that made I game I already enjoyed even better. I'm glad the devs stuck with and kept improving on it.
  7. Arise: A Simple Story - Beautiful little game.
  8. Untitled Goose Game - A HONKing good time.
  9. Gears 5 - It's another Gears, and while it doesn't do much of anything new and exciting, I still enjoyed my time with it.
Honorable mention:
  • Anthem - Yeah. I played the hell out of this at launch and for a good couple of months after, but haven't touched it since. Still, the gameplay loop was super fun. Shame the rest of the game has so many issues.


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FFObsessed

Member
Oct 28, 2017
193
  1. Death Stranding - People have been asking for more risks in AAA games that are less about just shooting people and Sony/Kojima Productions delivered.
  2. Days Gone - One of the most dynamic open worlds. So many spontaneous epic moments. Also loved the combat, story, characters. At times felt like an open world The Last of Us.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  4. Judgement
  5. Kingdom Hearts 3


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SofNascimento

Member
Oct 28, 2017
6,805
  1. Control - Remedy's best game is also my favorite game of the year. With an incredible setting, fantastic protagonist and characters, fun and exciting gameplay it's not hard to understand why. But the thing that surprised me most about this game is it great level design and especially it's narrative. How well it builds its world through dialogue, documents, audio and videos files and beyond.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - Resident Evil 2 is fantastic remake that manage to recreate the original game in a totally new framework, while still managing to keep its essence intact. The RPD never looked better.
  3. The Surge 2 - With excting combat and a fantastic level design, this game was much more than the Souls clone I thought it might have been. And it led me use a Sharpened Helicopter Blade analogue. That's huge.
  4. Ion Fury - In a way this is an 20 year old FPS done today, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Fast paced and with ton of secrets and room for exploration, this games still manage to fell more fresh than a lot of modern FPS.
  5. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - I only played Simphony of the Night this last year. Imagine my surprise to know that this game existed. It was a great love latter to that old game but still manage to find its own identity with improved loot, combat, bosses and magic.
  6. Pathologic 2 - Not an easy game to get into to. And even harder to keep playing. I'm still not sure how I feel about this game, but I'm still thinking about it. And that's why it's here.
  7. Devil May Cry 5 - My first DMC game, I still have absoutely no idea what I'm doing. But I'd a lot of fun doing stuff. This game is crazy and one day I'll learn how to play it properly!
  8. Gears 5 - Gears 5 might not have been the huge step foward many were hoping it would be, but it was still a Gears of War game, and that means it was still a great TPS with a hard to match gunplay.
  9. The Outer Worlds - I expected much more of this game, yet when it worked it worked very well. The dialogue was fun and some of the quests were very good. And I also enjoyed the combat.
  10. Rage 2 - Rage 2 does a lot of stuff right, but doesn't quite manage to land of its feet. Still, it has a lot of good ideas for a FPS and some great firefights. And even good bosses, something not very common in this kind of game.


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BBboy20

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,945
  1. Death Stranding

    "Life isn't just about passing on your genes. We can leave behind much more than DNA. Through speech, music, literature, and movies...what we've seen, heard, felt...anger, joy and sorrow...these are the things I will pass on. That's what I live for.

    We need to pass the torch, and let our children read our messy and sad history by its light. We have all the magic of the digital age to do that with.

    The human race will probably come to an end some time, and new species may rule over this planet. Earth may not be forever, but we still have the responsibility to leave what traces of life we can.

    Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing."

  2. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

    My will. My fill. My thrill. Cast thee into thou embellishment of cold and frost. Claw your victims, wound what must be hunted. Focus your inertia, then let go with your newfound rhythm. Create your own zero sum game to maximize your winnings. Double down the rod to double up the punishment. Plant the demise of your opponent with explosive results. Scatter and bash monolithic crowns into shattered bone. Spin and turn with melody and savagery to victory. Unleash the power of dragons upon dragons. Gun down danger with upgraded bangers. Utilize the balance of block & snare.

    Greater threats emerge from frozen caves, but if one master this other world, one will put them in their graves.

  3. Resident Evil 2 Remake

    Evolution. Mutation. Whatever you want to call it, the third attempt in making the second game is a formula worth studying & replicating (as you know, of this writing, that is already happening this April). Despite turning undead skulls into bullet sponges, Capcom did figure out a combat & damage system that doesn't make this fact an blunder though RE4's bullet stun and crafted animations that can be good tells of where to run away from yet not too obvious for you to just zip by. Characters maintain their core traits but how they emote them have been reversed (for example, Chief Irons was a mustashio villain in original but is a suspicious uncle in remake). Combat uses RE4's dexterity but without the marksmanship to create a more authentic horror surviving experience (something that was hinted at with the Tall Oaks portion of RE6). All of that polished together and you have a title that can stand alongside with RE1's remake.

  4. Devil May Cry 5

    The Return.

    What may as well be the Omega to the Sparda pentalogy, after a 11 years absence, the king comes back like a warrior returning from the mountain being deadlier, meaner, faster, stronger. Playing Dante alone is a reminder that he is the best controlling avatar in all of video games. Add in Nero's advanced combat making you wish that Elite controller was the standard, and a challenging yet unique take of making melee and projectile combat into controlling characters, Capcom has taken smokin' sexy stylish action to the next level.

  5. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

    What was thought to be just some return of a series has turned into a potential linchpin on the future of Grasshopper Manufacture. From sweet beats to spicy novellas, what appears to be an indie take from a big studio has garnered obsession from old and new fan alike, uncovering and connecting treasure troves of lore and secrets, the likes that we haven't experienced since Killer 7 in 2005.

  6. Luigi's Mansion 3

    Woohoo, in the spotlight after being in my brother's shadow for so long. Look at all this praise I'm getting, wowing wowed with all the blinking 'n' cleaning that people been missing on console after 18 years (Well, also a continuation on handheld when you think about it!)! Best looking Nintendo game ever? Woohoo, you betcha'! Now....hey, where did my bro go? Mario?MARIO!?

  7. Astral Chain

    In the absence of in-house Capcom's Devil May Cry, Platinum Games have been holding down the fort in the extreme-action genre through out the 2010s, from Bayonetta to Metal Gear Rising to even Transformers; due to the studio being ex-Capcom, most of their games have followed the DMC formula but with bullet-time triggered dodging. This changed this year where the primary attacks were Switched to the shoulder buttons and Platinum's signature "Witch Time" became an aim assist. Despite what is seemingly inspired by God of War (2018)'s scheme, it makes sense once you start controlling apparitions that are important in assisting you in combat. This gimmick has always been a troubling one as the balance of keeping you and an AI governed side kick has always had mix results but I do believe that these new bloods of the Nier Automata team has found the balance to craft an satisfying challenge without the headaches of babysitting. Add in the sexiest hub music of 2020, charming compadres, and living out your Jojo fantasies, you are going to have a good time.

  8. Judgment

    A spin-off that is as ambitious as the series it's spawned off from, the sleuthing adventures of Takayuki Yagami takes a more collected approach in utilizing the Yakuza formula of testosterone-fueled action and hyper spazzed-out hijinks. Due to being a detective, you'll have to spy and deduce your way to beat the game than just beat up thugs, all the while getting to know a slew of folks who most are not career criminals as you experience life on the good side of the law (usually). With a peculiar mystery that lures you along the arcades, bars, and wig snatching, you should Judge with your own Eyes on playing this title, experience or knowledge of other Yakuza titles not necessary to gain the full experience.

  9. Katana Zero
    There is a possibility that this game has the best boss fight of 2019, waiting at the end, anticipating your conditioning to the rhythm and expectations where failure is borderline expected. This expectation negates one's typical pull from it's world as usually game over screens do as death is tied to it's narrative which then entails the slurry of spoken tragedy and the personal stakes that the song "Full Confession" consists of.

    I suppose, to this bookend, Sword 0 is the accumulation of what Hotline Miami started in 2012: taking hold of synthesizers but modernizing (or futurizing it? I don't know) them, making Press R part of a cohesive experience than just a quality of life implementation, giving the typical voyeuristic murder extravaganza a bit more pathos, and, once again, reminding folks that you don't need extravagancy to astonish the living fuck out of audiences.

  10. Ace Combat 7: Unknown Skies

    When stone-cold professionalism can get emotional though immersive combat scenarios, tight controls, and the daring experience of dog fighting, you know you are in for something special. Featuring some of the best in the biz in musical composition, this eighth main entree balances the tight rope of authenticity and accessibility all while giving you the emotional highs of dramatic conflict and cooled breaks via music. It also features an Aircraft Tree, a type of progress structure like one would find in plenty of RPGs so if you got an arcade streak yet also like being lured by a carrot on a stick, you can take it to the skies.


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Monumma

Member
Oct 25, 2017
136
Top 1 game I could not spend enough time with in 2019: Anodyne 2.
Top 2 trends Nintendo should continue doing: Tetris 99, Cadence of Hyrule.

Top 10 games of the year 2019:
  1. A Short Hike
  2. Dicey Dungeon
  3. Eliza
  4. Baba is You
  5. Sayonara Wild Hearts
  6. Ape Out
  7. Slay the Spire
  8. Forager
  9. KIDS
  10. bobo robot

A Short Hike
The greatest game of 2019 is a small, unassuming game released without fanfare in one of those summer days* so hot I was longing for the refreshing rains of the beginning of autumn. The beginning of autumn colouring the trees in the game is probably a small part of why A Short Hike resonated so much in me throughout the following months.
The friendly, relaxing hiking and camping mood masterfully constructed with the help of every NPC, animation, and new vista of the Hawk Peak Provincial Park also echoed deeply in me.
Then you add the greatest flying feeling a game was able to pull off since at least Breath of the Wild, great pacing up to a touching ending, the conversations with the fellow campers, etc.
An indie scene has always existed alongside the gaming giants, and the indie boom started before this decade even begun, but the 10s turned the spotlight on it. ASH is the latest example, and one of the greatest at that, of how the scene, and gaming as a whole, is finally mature enough to create deep, personal projects without compromising any side of the medium. Everything in ASH is there because it was needed and helps creating and narrating the best experience possible.
I'm excited to see what gaming will be like 10 years from now if this is any indication of things to come, in the meantime, you will find my heart hiking the Hawk Peak Provincial Park.

Dicey Dungeon
A game with dices is the greatest card game in the year in the year where the seminal Slay the Spire was finally released.
The latest project by gaming legend Terry Cavanagh is the single-player game I spent most time on, both on early-ish builds and then on the finished game.
The soundtrack for this game is also fire.

Eliza
The first non-Zachtronics game from Zachtronics is an intriguing visual novel about the symbiosis of tech and capitalism, and the life of people of an industry that produces and cultivates millionaire visionaries.
At its core It is also a story about mental health, the struggles of deciding your career path, and the cost to the help that technology provides.

Baba is You
Everyone is trying to make you believe that you are not smart enough for Baba is you. The game is trying to do that. Thing is, the game is not easy and you are not supposed to solve every puzzle immediately. Make a tea on a Sunday morning, sit down in front of Baba is You and let your brain do its things. It will take you a while, but in the end you will be able to solve the puzzle. That feeling will be amazing, that achievement will be yours forever.

Sayonara Wild Hearts
Sayonara Wild Hearts is a banging game with a banging art style and a banging ost.

Ape Out
Ape Out is Jazz. The font work is sublime, the music and the way it intertwines with the gameplay is stellar, and the colour work is impeccable.

Slay the Spire
It's the most prominent game in the perfect podcast/Youtube/Twitch/Netflix/television companion genre. Deckbuilding games are roguelikes that don't require you to follow a story that removes you from the sport event you are watching, are turn-based without timers so the game essentially auto-pauses if you need to watch the action on the television/second monitor, and after you have invested a bit of time they can be played almost automatically, without reading the various cards effects.
Slay the spire finally came out in 2019 and it's a great game.

Forager
is the best Idle game of the year.

KIDS
It is a 30min game about peer pressure, going against current, and human relationships. Its Matissian-ish look is a welcome departure from most visuals and the sound design is inspired.

bobo robot
This game is my favourite game from Sokpop collective, a group that, thanks to itch and Patreon is able to release a game every 2 weeks. They have given me a lot of fun games in the past year and I want to acknowledge them, and every other indie developer that is able to find alternative ways of finding money to make their visions.
bobo robot in itself is a small Metroidvania game, with blaster master elements.

That is all, find me on itch looking for weird games, here's to another 10 years of good games.


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GrayFox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
132
  1. Death Stranding - Amazing game, innovative online functionality, good actors performance, addictive gameplay loop and excellent soundtrack. For me, it was an experience that I can truly say was unlike any other I remember.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - The combat system is masterful and the boss fights are great.
  3. Astral Chain - Another fantastic Platinum Games title with an excellent battle system.
  4. Resident Evil 2 - Great remake. Can't wait for Resident Evil 3!
  5. Metro: Exodus - Amazing game, which combines exploration, survival skills, stealth and combat. Great graphics, atmosphere and gameplay. Nice weapon customization and the story is good. I loved the post apocalyptic scenario.
  6. Control - Remedy has made an awesome job. The story is interesting and the atmosphere is amazing.


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