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

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Damn Silly

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,290
  1. A Plague Tale: Innocence - I do love a good surprise, and I certainly got one with A Plague Tale. What could have felt like an annoying escort mission between two kids -- who are often written poorly -- was a moving story with two great performances from Charlotte McBurney and Logan Hannan, is beautifully bleak to look at and some satisfying gameplay. Also, rats!
  2. Life Is Strange 2 - Speaking of kids that could've been written poorly, Dontnod continued to prove that they are the best character writers with a diverse cast of characters for Life Is Strange 2. In addition, in an era where "apolitical" has become the favourite word of bigger developers, Dontnod takes the political climate head on. And it certainly has the best put together ending of all three Life Is Strange games. Honestly, this was fighting with A Plague Tale for top spot, but the only thing holding it back was the weight of expectation it had in previous Life Is Strange games and the out-of-nowhere surprise A Plague Tale.
  3. Resident Evil 2 - As someone who never played the original, this remake was equal parts terrifying and charming in ways that only a Resident Evil game can be. While the most of the rest of the game is equally excellent, a particular nod should go to the impeccable audio design. Capcom is well and truly back!
  4. Judgment - While main character Takayuki Yagami is not quite as memorable as Yakuza's Kazuma Kiryu, this spin-off is equally as delightful as the main games, with a gripping main plot, enjoyable (and usually wacky) side-stories and Kamurocho still remains one of the best places to explore in gaming.
  5. Cadence of Hyrule - Perhaps a little overshadowed by the Link's Awakening remake later in the year, this mixture of the Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer was something that nobody would have predicted, but made for a perfect marriage of the two.
  6. Pokemon Sword/Shield - It certainly isn't perfect, but the Pokemon formula is so damn strong, with some absolutely inspired new 'Mons and new takes on old friends, that all the issues just faded away into the background while playing.
  7. Tetris 99 - A Tetris battle royale was a concept that was laughed at by many -- including myself! -- when it was unveiled. As it turns out, the perfect puzzle game could adapt and became the best multiplayer game of the year.
  8. Devil May Cry 5 - A great character action game marred slightly by fairly dull level design and one of the three characters losing their lustre after that delightful opening playthrough. Still, Capcom can pull my Devil Trigger whenever they want.
  9. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - Released on Xbox One and Switch earlier this year, this easily remains my favourite Final Fantasy of those I've played. Still, it is "just" a remaster so I can't place an experience I've already had before above those that provided something new.
As you may have noticed, this list is awfully first half of the year heavy, and that's simply because I haven't got round to much front the latter half yet. If I have to the time before the deadline, hopefully I may be able to fit in some games from the second half (because of their quality, not because of their timing!)


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Raza

Member
Nov 7, 2017
1,031
Ohio
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Great game. Great exploration and wonder, as well as combat.
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Probably my favorite Fire Emblem game.
  3. Judgment - Probably one of the best stories in a game this year.
  4. Doraemon Story of Seasons - Probably will be the only person with this on their list. I had a lot of fun with it in a year without any other farming games.
  5. Yoshi's Crafted World - Co-op...it's a great game.
  6. Luigi's Mansion 3 - I played this with my wife and it was a ton of fun co-op.
  7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - Not as good as the first IMO, but still had some great moments.
  8. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Great metroidvania.
  9. Pokemon Sword/Shield - I know this game was divisive, but I hadn't played through a full Pokemon game in years and had a blast.
  10. Super Mario Maker 2 - It's just a lot of fun.


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Torpedo Vegas

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,821
Lexington, KY
  1. Borderlands 3 - Most Fun I had with a game this year
  2. Jedi: Fallen Order - A really good single player Star Wars Game
  3. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - You can't play this one or the first one and stay in a bad mood. They are digital joy.
  4. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - Fuck Kirin
  5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - 3 points to Gryffindor
  6. Remnant: From the Ashes - Undying King is an asshole
  7. Greedfall - One of those Final Fantasies Bioware likes to make.
  8. Luigi's Mansion 3 - I would have left Mario
  9. Days Gone - Greater than the sum of its parts


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LoFiLoon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
609
Minneapolis, Minnesota
  1. Resident Evil 2 - Goddamn this is a good game.
  2. Slay the Spire - Best digital card game I have played in recent memory.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - My least favorite of the Souls games but still a masterfully crafted game.
  4. Gears 5 - They changed the name so it’s no longer “the other GoW.”
  5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - we finally answer of what if chess were horny.
  6. Katana Zero - The stylish spirtual successor to Hotline Miami I have been waiting for.


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Necron

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,779
Switzerland
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Rarely has combat needed this level of precision. I thank Activision and FromSoftware for the amazing craft they've now shown not only here but with other projects. Elden Ring may be their masterpiece in the near future but they've already proven they have the talent with Sekiro and others. The final boss fight is undoubtedly the best in ages in both atmosphere and testing your skillset. One of the few platinum trophies I managed to acquire over the years, the last being Bloodborne. I look forward to eventually replaying Sekiro once I have a PC.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - Capcom are definitely back: Resident Evil is here in all its glory with both 7 and 2 Remake. We've had several great remakes this year but this is amongst the best one.
  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Despite its flaws (bugs/glitches) an overall great game by Respawn. I hope this will be a series and continues refining the systems. It may be termed a "Tomb Raider/Uncharted + Sekiro Light" mixture of ideas but I had a lot of fun with this despite lacking originality. What's here is executed very well. The best EA game in ages too.
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - A remake of one of my favourite Zelda's on the portables. Now we need a remake of Oracle of Seasons/Ages, maybe it's time to contact Capcom...
  5. Control - Remedy brings the tech, art design and gameplay in a satisfying way. Powers are fun to use and the game is steeped in atmosphere. Congrats all the way to Finland! Now about that Alan Wake remake/remaster...
  6. Untitled Goose Game - Short and sweet. Also, I would like to mention the impr... HONK! HONK! HONK!
  7. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Nothing new but well executed. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous for an indie title. So many rats... oh god...
  8. Erica - A FMV title in some regard. Need to replay it a 2nd time. I'm glad Sony made this and I hope more titles follow.
  9. MediEvil - I cannot mention Sir Dan's return. Yes, it could have been better, unfortunately. I'm not sure MediEvil needed a remake, honestly. I can't fault Other Ocean on what they did here, however, I would have wished we'd just have gotten a MediEvil 3. Moreover, MediEvil 2 should have been part of the project, if nothing else as that many people haven't played it! It doesn't feel like a concerted effort to really bring this IP back, sadly.
  10. Observation - I loved the atmosphere and it being new/innovative. I liked the perspective change and being the AI. It has a lasting impression despite it being a chore sometimes to play. It comes in last as there were too many frustrations involved. But hey, at least that's better than Kingdom Hearts 3 (of which I was very disappointed by).


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Jaoox

Member
Oct 27, 2017
207
  1. Sekiro Shadows die Twice - It's not often when the credits roll, the only thing I want to do is start over again, 4 times. Congrats Fromsoft.
  2. Kingdom Hearts III - After such a long wait, and despite glaring pacing/writing issues, I just freakin' love playing Kingdom hearts. Can't wait for the DLC.
  3. Katana Zero - Gorgeous artstyle accompanied by killer sound design and a banger of a soundtrack. There's something about dying in one hit that makes you think on your toes like nothing else.
  4. Control - Remedy does it again. Probably my favorite lore this year. Every aspect of this game is focused on a strong vision. It's just so cool and unique. Also, love myself some creepy SCP and they nailed it.
  5. Observation - After Stories untold I was wondering how they could expand the scope while maintaining the atmosphere. Well, here's how. I'm so happy these games can exist.
  6. Tetris 99 - I already was a big fan of Tetris. Now here's a version where I can have everyone around the world kick my ass at the same time. It might be a meme to make a battle royale out of anything, but this one works SO WELL it's kinda crazy.
  7. Luigi's Mansion 3 - I still remember getting a GameCube on Day 1 and spending months exporing the mansion to find every secret. Nostalgia sure might have painted my view here, but man, this game is fun. Also, probably the most beautiful game on switch, it truly looks amazing.
  8. Death Stranding - There was no way it'd be as good as it was in my head. However, despite the MANY issues I have with it, I can't deny how Kojipro made this crazy special unique game in such a short time. The gameplay is also much more engaging than I would have thought.
  9. Yuppie Psycho - I don't even remember how I came accross this game. I'm usually not really into horror games, but the vibes of this game are just so weird... Corporate horror is a thing, and it can be so disturbing.
  10. World of Warcraft Classic - Kinda cheating here but... I'd lie if I said I didn't enjoy my time playing this again. Ended up playing to level 60. Met some people I knew from back then. I don't think it'd work again a second time. But that fresh start where everyone was as naked as everyone else, where people would go out of their way to help each other... Good times

Honorable mentions :
Frog Detective 2 - I don't know, I love this game's humor, it's so dumb but oh boy does it work.
Devil May Cry V - I gotta respect. I'm not super crazy into the franchise, but this game is incredibly well made.
Indivisible - Was waiting for this one for a while... The character design is so cool, and the combat has a lot of potential. However I don't think it came together all that well. But still very enjoyable !
Gato Roboto - Super short and cute. This game has amazing game feel though, gotta love that screen shake.
Afterparty - I love myself some quirky characters and well written dialogue. Better to roleplay this one and drink along.


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ItchyTasty

Member
Feb 3, 2019
556
I did not play that many games released this year when I try to think back on the year!
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I've put over 200 hours into the 4 different campaigns and had a lovely time! So many characters that I loved in this one. A lot of value in one game.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - This game kicked of my year with a bang! Incredible remake of an already incredible game. They changed so much but still somehow kept everything the same.
  3. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Very nice for being an indie title.
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Great reimaging


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Orb

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,092
USA
  1. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - I know some people will think I'm crazy, but I really, really enjoy this game. It has flaws, sure. But it's maybe my favorite Call of Duty multiplayer ever and I can't stop playing it. I have a few hundred hours already in the game and I expect to be playing it daily well into the new year.

I only played 4 other new games this year but I don't really care about them enough to put them on this list.


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Moirayn

Member
Nov 7, 2018
1,143
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - An amazing game with immense replay value, some of the best characters in JRPGs in decades, and some great innovations in an already great franchise.
  2. Slay the Spire - One of the most addicting games I've played in a while. I love how every playthrough feels different & working on certain pet strategies to pull off ridiculous combos. When it starts to click it's amazing.
  3. Resident Evil 2 Remake - I am pretty new to the Resident Evil series, but if this is the future of the franchise, then I'm on board.


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Mugen

Member
Oct 28, 2017
702
Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Slay the Spire - I will for sure play Slay the Spire for years to come. A masterpiece already, and with more hours in the future it might even start to threaten FTL as my favourite game of all time.
  2. Tetris Effect - Got this just last week for PC and was completely hooked instantly and it is clearly one of the best gaming experiences I have had this year.
  3. Control - A really awesome game with great combat action and a pinch of Twin Peaks.
  4. Shenmue 3 - Despite having waited 18 years Shenmue III delivered enough to satisfy me.
  5. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - The best metroidvania of 2019, on my second playthrough currently.
  6. Resident Evil 2 - REmake2 was essentially all I wanted, but some dents stopped it from being higher on my list.
  7. Red Dead Redemption 2 - Really relaxing game, happy it came to PC finally.
  8. Outer Wilds - I expected a bit more from the hype, but Outer Wilds was still very good.
  9. Eliza - Light visual novel, not amazing by any means but quite alright.


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Descendant

Member
Nov 2, 2017
441
  1. Shenmue III - Against all odds this game released and overall I enjoyed the game flaws and all. Beautiful environments, great music, and just more Shenmue goodness.
  2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Probably my favorite SRPG of all time. Despite some minor shortcomings, this game has so much going for it: multiple paths, great music, fun combat, interesting characters, good story, etc. It has all the tools needed to be a fantastic RPG.
  3. Resident Evil 2 Remake - One of the best remakes of all time. Graphics are great, gameplay is pure survival horror goodness, and it has a lot of replay value. I wish the alternative paths were a bit more varied from each other, but this ended up being one of my favorite survival horror games.
  4. Devil May Cry 5 - The best DMC game to me, and one of the best action games period. The presentation was nailed between the visuals in the cutscenes, in the gameplay, the music, art direction, etc. Some of the later levels looked a bit too samey, but that's a minor complaint to an extremely fun action game, with a surprisingly interesting story too.


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Bigkrev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,380
Are we allowed to vote for games that aren't on the Spreadsheet? For example, the version of Superhot VR that launched this year on Occulus Quest is pretty different from the other versions of the game, and is going to make my list if i'm allowed to put it.
 
Nov 1, 2019
157
  1. Disco Elysium - One of the best written game of all time. The humor is on point, and the world building is expansive and excellent.
  2. Outer Wilds - Best sense of exploration of any game I played.
  3. Sekiro Shadow Die Twice - Great combat system and bosses hindered by repetitive areas.
  4. Resident Evil 2 - My first ever RE game that I finished. Scenario A was remarkable but B needed a bit of work.
  5. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown - A nostalgic title for me, despite the short development time it turned out just what I wanted plus the music kicks ass.
  6. Devil May Cry: V - Really great gameplay, really bad level design. I was in for killing demons, and that's exactly what I got so eh.
  7. The Surge 2 - yes it's a ripoff of From's titles, but it's one damn good ripoff.
  8. Halo: Reach - Best Halo campaign, and the remaster just made it even better.
  9. Control - The story fell a little short, but everything else was good to great.
  10. AI The Somnium Files - Not as engaging as ZE (the fan service is a lot more and worse), but the story was decent and the plot twist at the end wasn't rehashed from ZE so bonus point for that.
  11. Total War: three kingdoms: Same formula with small changes, but since it's been quite som time since I played a TW game I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Please change Devil May Cry V to Devil May Cry 5 otherwise it won't count.
 

SunBroDave

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,464

  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Just as with Bloodborne four years ago, Sekiro is a game of deliberate nips and tucks at the now iconic mechanics of the Souls series, accentuating some and minimizing others, in order to provide a less sprawling but overall much more refined experience. And just like Bloodborne, From has absolutely nailed it with Sekiro. There's just so much to love about it: The animation and sound design are top notch and used to enhance not just visual spectacle but also playability. The addition of a new grappling hook mechanic allows the level design to be much larger and more vertical. The evolution of trick weapons into metroidvania-lite prosthetic weapons, each with their own set of upgrade trees, makes for plenty of hidden strategies against what could otherwise be extremely challenging encounters. The storytelling focus this time is on plot rather than just lore, putting the player character in the middle of the most interesting events of the story, and giving the player the option of 4 extremely different endings that could all equally suggest a sequel. The increased attention to cutscene direction that gives each of the many story beats so much more weight. The quality of life improvements, like making it more difficult to fall off ledges, and if you do, respawning back on the ledge with only minor health loss as opposed to totally killing you. And all of these improvements and more lay atop the foundation that From established all those years ago with the original Dark Souls - a fully realized world with incredible level design, full of amazing sights to behold and monsters to overcome, which constantly forces the player to make a difficult decision: is the reward that might be around the next corner... worth the risk that is almost certainly around the next corner?


  2. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - This might be the most improved video game sequel I've ever played. As an old school Banjo fan, I was so immensely disappointed by the original Yooka-Laylee, with its dated game design and poorly controlling camera and player character. The Impossible Lair on the other hand I could barely put down during the 20 hours it took me to finish it. It's everything I want in a 2D platformer - great level design with plants of secrets to find, an actual sense of challenge, a pleasing visual aesthetic and amazing music. But it's also got so much more than that. Rather than making each level an arbitrary detour on the way to the final challange, The Impossible Lair takes a page out of Breath of the Wild's book and allows you to challenge that final level at any time. The reward for each of the rest of the levels is powering up your character to make that final level more manageable. As a result, there isn't anything forcing you to play through them all. Even still, I wanted to play through them all because they were all just so good, both in their original forms as well as the alternate forms that have substantial changes, triggered by solving puzzles and finding secrets in the game's overworld. The entire game is just so smartly designed, it was a joy to play from start to finish. And when I finally was able to overcome that final level - the titular Impossible Lair - oh what an amazing sense of accomplishment that was.


  3. Resident Evil 2 - My second Resident Evil game, and wow, it was everything I loved about RE7 and more. Fantastic level design. Story was surprisingly coherent (during the Claire route, at least), and the Mr. X section ranks among my favorite sequences of the entire year thanks in large part to how good the audio design was. Overall I loved the game, and can't wait to dive into RE3 next year.


  4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Whenever Respawn makes a new game, you expect the "game design" part of it to be superb - everything from the level design, to the way new mechanics are introduced to the player, to the way the player character feels to control. So when Jedi: Fallen Order had all of these elements in spades, I wasn't surprised. What was surprising however was just how well Respawn nailed everything else. Jedi: Fallen Order's story is so good, and so well told, with a good script and great characters that are both excellently voiced and animated. And not only is the music great, but it's also used in fantastic ways, underscoring even the moment to moment exploration in a way that keeps the player feeling firmly rooted in the world of Star Wars at all times. It's ironic - Respawn obviously had to release Jedi: Fallen Order when it did to capitalize on all of the hype for Episode IX and The Mandalorian, but even in the currently released build, the game is so good that it's actually had the opposite effect on me - the quality of the game has actually made me more excited for those other Star Wars media, rather than the other way around.


  5. Outer Wilds - What an incredible debut game for Mobius Digital. Solving the mystery of the Outer Wilds solar system was a delight, thanks to a fantastic blend of exploration, platforming and puzzle solving, with no shortage of holy shit moments. All of this was of course held together by a great artstyle and even greater soundtrack. If you haven't played Outer Wilds, do yourself a favor and play it without learning anything mote about it. Going in fresh was absolutely the best way to experience it, because Outer Wilds will continue surprising you until the very the last moment.


  6. Luigi's Mansion 3 - When you look at how much variety, how many unique scenarios and bosses and animations there are in Luigi's Mansion 3, it becomes obvious why Nintendo gave Next Level Games so much time to finish the game. LM3 absolutely oozes quality and polish, with not just a large variety of individually themed levels, but a large variety of scenarios within each of those levels. As a result, the pacing of this game is just phenomenal, and it's easy to become so immersed in the game when it feels like there really be anything around the next corner. A joy from start to finish, Luigi's Mansion 3 is absolutely not a game to be missed if you have access to a Nintendo Switch.


  7. The Outer Worlds - The Outer Worlds is an excellent blend of Mass Effect and Fallout. Extremely well-written (as all Obsidian games are), I loved the cast of characters and the planets they got to explore. Despite the obvious budget constraints in which the game was developed, Obsidian delivered a very good RPG here, and I feel like they're next project with Microsoft money can be something incredibly special.


  8. The Walking Dead: The Final Season - It's a miracle that this game even exists, and yet somehow it managed to be amazing. A great story in it's own right, but also a fantastic conclusion to Clem's story that had me on the edge of my seat until the very last moment. If you're a fan of any of the prior Walking Dead seasons, or even just a fan of this style of narrative adventure game, you owe it to yourself to check this final season out.


  9. Death Stranding - After all of the much hyped celebrities involved and insanely weird plot details that have slowly trickled out over the years since this game was originally announced, I was pretty surprised to find that nothing about those elements of the game are what hooked me. Instead, it was the incredibly addictive open world survival game that held it all together, and it's incredibly innovative asynchronous multiplayer system. One part Breath of the Wild, one part Minecraft, but instead of building your own base of operations, you're building out infrastructure all over the world to make it not just easier for you to get around, but easier for other players too. Not only does this add a whole new feeling of being rewarding to help others, but comparing the state of the world at the beginning of the game to the end, seeing how you and other players have transformed this initially hostile and expansive wilderness into a habitable and easily traversable network of roads, safe houses and other helpful gadgets is pretty incredibly to behold.


  10. Control - With Control, Remedy punches far, far above their weight class when it comes to production values. Visually it is spectacular, with a plethora of raytracing effects and physics, with some really amazing art direction and animation work. The player character feels great to control, with the audio design especially contributing a ton to how good the telekinetic abilities feel to use. Level design and combat scenarios are fairly well designed, contributing to the overall feeling that Control is a pretty fun game, which looks and sounds amazing, that never quite lives up to it potential narratively. Looking forward to seeing what Remedy can do with a sequel which, given the critical reception, seems to safe to assume will come sooner rather than later.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Telling Lies
  • Gears 5
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Manifold Garden
  • Blood & Truth


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Seabag

Member
Nov 30, 2017
86
I've had no message from Votebot so I'm assuming something is wrong with my post. Is it because Void Bastards isn't in the spreadsheet?
 

Gold Arsene

Member
Oct 27, 2017
23,837
  1. Death Stranding - Gorgeous unique game that just completely captivated me. The patented Kojima craziness I love.
  2. Astral Chain - Cyberpunk Jojo by Platinum. Nothing more to say.
  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Love Star Wars and I surprisingly like it's "diet Souls" style.
  4. Devil May Cry 5 - It's more DMC but that's exactly what was needed.
  5. Kingdom Hearts III - Only this low because of the DLC coming next year but still a fun crazy romp.

I'm reminded just how many games from this year I still need to play. I've barley touched Fire Emblem or Bloodstained.(Sigh)


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Spazerbeam

Member
Oct 26, 2017
412
Florida
  1. Outer Wilds - One of the best, and most unique games I've ever played in my life. Such an incredible sense of exploration and discovery. I really want to say more but saying anything else about the content of the game does a disservice to anyone playing the game for the first time.
  2. Devil May Cry 5 - An incredible return to the series by Capcom. Not only does it return us to the main DMC universe, but in just about every way it surpasses almost every action game that came before it. This is now the new textbook example about how to make an action game.
  3. Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown - most of what was said about DMC5 can also be said here. An incredible arcadey dogfighting game I can recommend to everyone. Incredible visuals, setpieces, and music to elevate every moment of the game. I don't ever think I'll forget how the swelling music and events of the final mission made me feel.
  4. Death Stranding - Yay! Kojima is back and actually was allowed to finish a game this time! I know this one is divisive and it's a love it or hate it situation, but I fall on the latter half. Something about the tedious by comparison gameplay hooked me, and the story beats and characters enraptured me even more. Great acting, great visuals, and great world building.


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Akabeko

Member
Oct 27, 2017
455
  1. Death Stranding - Never thought a game about delivering packages would be my favorite game of the year but it made basic movement feel so good and rewarding. The writing was not very subtle, but I feel like it nailed most of the big emotional beats. Mads, Tommie Earl Jenkins and Troy Baker put in excellent performances. It's rare for a game to make me feel something, and this one did.
  2. Control - I loved every minute of this game. One of the few platinum trophies I've earned. Does a great job at being a power fantasy. The aesthetic is amazing, and the story kept me intrigued through the end. There were some difficulty spikes, and the check-pointing could have been more generous, but I can't wait for the two story DLC coming next year.
  3. Days Gone - Days Gone delivered everything it promised. Sons of Anarchy meets Walking Dead, a big open world, giant hordes of freakers, and interesting systemic interactions between different groups of enemies. I ended up really enjoying my time with Deacon. The game does a great job with power progression. At the beginning, a few freakers can ruin your day, and by the end you are mowing down hordes of them.
  4. Judgment - A great side story in the Yakuza universe which did an awesome job of introducing a whole new cast of memorable characters. I don't think the detective elements added too much to the game. There were too many tailing missions and pixel hunting, but overall I can't wait for a sequel.
  5. Kingdom Hearts 3 - Kind of a let down, but I still enjoyed it. The pacing of the story was strange, like 90% of the interesting stuff happens in the last 10% of the game.
  6. Concrete Genie - A short but memorable game. Really neat aesthetic, drawing was fun, and I liked the positive message. Great for families.
  7. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition - Pretty standard JRPG (with Tales combat), elevated by a great cast of characters.

The only other new game I played this year was Outer Wilds, but to be honest I hated playing it. Maybe if I hadn't played it right after Death Stranding I would have enjoyed it more, but it was so hard going from a game that felt great to traverse to one where movement was excruciating.


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mazi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
31,406
1. Disco Elysium - Some of the best writing I've seen in a video game. Shout out to Marx and Engles
2. Pathologic 2 - A beautiful game. It's unlike any game that's come before it besides Pathologic 1
3. Sayonara Wild Hearts - It's hard to nail an Aesthetic. Sayonara Wild Hearts makes it look easy
4. Baba Is You - Brilliant game design. It's extremely unique.
5. Devil May Cry 5 - It's one of the best DMC games of the series. It easily rivals DMC 3
6. Resident Evil 2 Remake - An absolute blast of a game. The tension it creates is near perfect.
7. Sekiro - It takes the Dark Souls formula and adds a completely different feel and it works.
8. Untitled Goose Game - HONK! Screwing with the English had never been so much fun.
9. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Beautiful aesthetic, fun bosses, and the drive to find all the secrets. It's one of the best games for the switch.
10. Death Stranding - This game deserves a higher spot on the list. It makes me question the usefulness of a top 10 list. I can't even compare it to the other games of 2019. I platinumed it and enjoyed every second of it. And yet here it is. At the bottom of the top 10 list.
11. Control - This is at number 11 because I haven't started the game in earnest. If I played the game for real I imagine it'd be higher on the list for sure.
12. Fire Emblem Three Houses - This would be higher on my list if they included ACTUAL GAY RELATIONSHIPS.
you should fix the formatting so your vote for sayonara wild hearts counts.

I've had no message from Votebot so I'm assuming something is wrong with my post. Is it because Void Bastards isn't in the spreadsheet?
maybe it's the extra line breaks between each game?
 

StarPhlox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,843
Texas
2019 ended up being a perfectly decent year for games where I played nearly everything I wanted to aside from Disco Elysium (looking forward to the console release next year!) and Judgment (there's just not time for everything). These are my ten or so favorites in order:


  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - It took a long time for me to learn how to play Sekiro properly, but right when I stopped playing it like Bloodborne and finally accepted that I would have to parry (the Genichiro fight) I became a different player. My first time through the game took me about 40 hours and my most recent play took about 5. The bosses are some of FromSoftware's best, the mechanics have never felt better, and I think it's easily a top 3 game of the decade. Masterpiece.
  2. Resident Evil 2 - It is such a pleasure to see Resident Evil back. I was so hopeful after the fantastic REVII and Capcom just blew me away with this one. I have replayed the game several times now to see each permutation of the scenarios and each time I am drawn in by the horrifying atmosphere (level of the year goes to Raccoon City Police Department), the tension of being followed by Mr. X, and the inventory management! Couldn't be more hyped for the franchise going forward and that definitely includes RE3 in just a few months.
  3. Tetris 99 - Somehow, I put more hours in this relatively simple take on the battle royale genre than anything else this year. Turns out I adore competitive Tetris and I never saw it coming. A simple shadowdrop during a February Direct completely justified my Nintendo Online sub.
  4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - I have only played through 1.5 of the 3 (well...4) campaigns but I am so happy to see Fire Emblem become a major Nintendo franchise after the fairly dreadful Fates disappointed the hell out of me. I had low expectations for this game going in but I was blown away by the level of detail put into the characters and their conversations. This will be an easy game to go back to in 2020.
  5. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - Again a game I had little interest in based on the the prior game in the series, however once reviews started trickling out and it was getting compared to my favorite platformer of all time (Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze), I Had to see for myself what Yooka-Laylee was doing. This game definitely feels like a DKC game and yet it innovates in terms of level design and overworld design with each stage having two completely distinct versions depending on what the environment is like in the overworld. The movement mechanics, stellar level design and collectibles, and the Impossible Lair itself (made it through with 10 bees left!) are so memorable to me. Very fun game to 100%.
  6. Ring Fit Adventure - This is the most exhausting RPG I have ever played! Only game on this list I haven't finished however it's the only one I am guaranteed to put a lot of time into in 2020. RFA is way more fun than any exercise game I have ever played and is a hell of a tough workout, too. I hope more people give this a fair chance because it is special and healthy!
  7. Control - Quantum Break was not a good game, but I sensed it was something special from its trailer at E3 2018. Glad to see I was right! While the game does have flaws (performance, iffy combat, enemies that respawn too frequently), those problems are far outweighed by the ambience, the acting, the sound design, and some of the setpieces.
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Out of all of the 2D Zelda games, this is the one that was most deserving of a remake just due to the limitations of the original Game Boy hardware. It is great playing this classic with beautiful new graphics and a lot more buttons available (which makes a huge difference)! Biggest downside is that Dampe's Dungeon stuff which is not fun and is required to get all the heart pieces and stuff. Oh, and somehow they haven't fixed the framerate as of this post.
  9. Devil May Cry 5 - I never really liked the Devil May Cry games that much. I played the entire series in the lead up to V and must say that this one is by far the one I had the most fun with. That's not to say the other games (specifically 3) aren't superior in some ways, but the style and flashiness in this one, the gorgeous graphics, fun characters, and diverse mechanics of the three main characters really put this one over the top for me. Hard to imagine a fan of character-action games not having a blast with DMCV.
  10. A Plague Tale: Innocence - Plague Tale came out of nowhere to deliver a gorgeous world (covered with rats) and a heartfelt story of a brother and sister in terrifying circumstances. This was a pleasant surprise for sure. Long live the AA game!
  11. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Maybe the best graphics on the Switch and certainly among the most charming. Despite how diverse each floor is from the last, I do think the game overstayed its welcome for me. Really fun core gameplay as there is nothing else that feels like Luigi's Mansion. Definitely the best game in the series.
  12. Death Stranding - I am super conflicted on this game and expect my feelings to change with time. I applaud this for being something different and it certainly has my respect for being so risky and unique in the AAA space.


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Vexingsruzz

Member
Oct 29, 2017
111
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - “Though fierce as tigers soldiers be, Battles are won by strategy. A hero comes; he gains renown, Already destined for a crown.” – Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Fire Emblem: Three Houses was my most anticipated game of 2019. The last time we had a console release was Radiant Dawn on the Wii in 2007 and with the divisive nature of Fates story quality, the fantastic Echoes remake and the rise of the mobile Fire Emblem Heroes, I was worried about the mixed history and that most importantly, we would not have a good story to carry us through a massive RPG. This game put my fears to rest and gave me one of my favourite tactical RPGs to date. You are the child of the renowned mercenary Jeralt and through a stroke of luck, are able to assist the heirs to the three major powers on the continent of Fodlan. Afterwards, you and your father are recruited to the Garreg Mach monastery as a professor and knight respectively. From there, you select which of the three houses you wish to teach and that one choice will shape the world and have cascading consequences for everyone. To avoid spoilers, I will say no more but each house presents an amazing cast of characters that are worth getting to know. The strength of this game lies with its character interaction. Each House gives you a starting class of students that are eccentric to put it mildly. You have Dorothea, the former opera singer/gold digger and Ferdinand von Aegir (whose name you will not forget), heir to Aeigr family and upholding the strictest ideals of nobility in the Black Eagles. The Blue Lions have Felix, an exceptionally powerful swordsman and loner and Annette, a sweet clumsy girl who is also an accomplished mage. The Golden Deer have Marianne, a shy girl who thinks poorly of herself and is constantly praying and Lorenz Hellman Glouscter, a cassanova wannabe and aspires to undermine Claude and become the next leader of the Alliance. These are more characters and each of them fleshed out by the frankly ridiculous number of supports between them. Each student supports with everyone in their house at a minimum and usually a few people outside of it. I wanted to see as many of them as possible and while they vary in quality, each of them offers a little more insight into their history and motivations and help round them out from the anime caricatures they initially appear to be. The game being fully voice acted helps brings these characters to life and I must commend the localisation team for both the script and dubbing. Intelligent Systems and Koei-Tecmo have crafted an intricate world and histories for each of these characters and it is a delight to discover what each of them is about and provides extra motivation to keep them alive. The gameplay in Three Houses now has two distinct phases. The first is the school phase before most major battles. You are able to explore the monastery, interact with the students and staff, purchase weapons and items and teach your students. This is new to the series and it reminded me of running around Shibuya in Persona 5. Every student has something new to say after each chapter/story event and there are a few small activities, such as gardening or fishing, that allow you to gain resources to invest into your students. You want to keep your students motivated so that they can be trained to become your ideal unit. While each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, the free form class system means each student can be whatever you want them to be. Want your mage to punch people with their fists? Make your physical tank a healer? Have your Pegasus knight use axes? All this and more are possible and by the end you will have crafted an elite team that truly is your own and also allows for high replay value. You can also grind your units to make them stronger, provide a seminar to give a few units a large boost to their weapon ranks or just rest to motivate all your students at once. Figuring out the optimal course of action each month is a fun little puzzle, but can become repetitive once you figure out what the optimal tasks are for your goals. Overall, it is a welcome addition for those of us who like to dig into all the systems and character development, but be warned it can become repetitive on subsequent playthroughs. The combat phase is where all your training comes to fruition. The battles are an extension of the classic Fire Emblem turn based formula, where you move your anime chess pieces against the enemy army. Each map is a puzzle where you and your ragtag bunch of misfits must typically slay all the enemies that obstruct your path. While the main battle goal rarely changes, the map design is good and the late to endgame maps provided a good challenge that forced me to take advantage of all of my unit’s strengths. The animation is smooth, the music is fantastic and makes playing and replaying this game a joy. A variety of quality of life improvements over older titles keeps frustrations to a minimum and the built-in divine pulse mechanic allows you to undo a bad choice a limited number of times per map. These help you keep your favourite characters alive and minimize replays if you get a plot-critical ally killed. My only complaints that flying units dominate due to their versatility, movement range and available skills, but that is nothing new for the franchise. Also, there are certain enemy types that feel like giant punching bags instead of legitimate challenges. Still, I sunk in nearly 200 hours into the game so they must have done something right. Overall, this game is a fantastic evolution of the franchise that I hope continues. It certainly has its flaws, but the characters, world, music and gameplay sucked me in and gave me everything that I wanted from the franchise. There is upcoming DLC that will bring me back for at least one more playthrough and I am looking forward to it. This is my game of the year and now the wait begins for the next entry in this franchise.
  2. Resident Evil 2 Remake - “You hear the door slam/And realize there's nowhere left to run/You feel the cold hand/And wonder if you'll ever see the sun/You close your eyes/And hope that this is just imagination” ― Michael Jackson, Thriller Resident Evil 2 Remake sets a new bar into what a video game remake should be. Having only seen LP’s of the original 1998 classic, I was looking forward to experiencing the story for myself and was not disappointed. Playing as either Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield, we are thrust into a zombie outbreak that has overwhelmed Racoon City and will do everything in its power to add you to the body count. The atmosphere of this game is second to none this year. The police department is immediately foreboding and going into a new room for the first time was nerve-wracking, as I did not know whether respite or more danger awaited me. The sewers and lab, while not quite as strong, were still great areas to explore and avoid/destroy the enemies I encountered. My one major gripe with the game is the repeated boss fights in the Leon A/Claire B and Claire A/Leon B. Essentially whoever you pick first in the A scenario explicitly encounters most enemies and bosses first and engages them and I have no issues there. In the corresponding B scenario, the character arrives at the police station after the first and has to solve different puzzles and deal with different enemies. My problem lies with the fact that most bosses are fought by both characters, leading to some confusion over who canonically fought what. From a development perspective, it saves time and resources, but I would have appreciated unique bosses for both the A and B scenarios, designed in such a way that they did not contradict each other. Besides that, the extra content being very arcade with minimal story content didn’t really appeal to me, but it was free DLC, so it’s just a bonus. One thing that elevates this game is the responsive gunplay, supporting cast and fantastic enemy design/A.I. All of guns had an appropriate heft as my pistol barely slows these creatures down and my shotgun/grenade launcher stop them in their tracks. Making the standard zombie very resilient to gun fire and having them get back up if the head wasn’t destroyed made retracing my steps in any area a tense encounter as I did not know how many enemies would be there to greet me. The more advanced enemies inspired fear as I had to quickly learn how to fight/avoid them or I would be dead. However, the star of this show has to go to our favourite Tyrant in a Trench coat, colloquially known as Mr. X. This unstoppable force of nature shows up and you know you’re in for a bad time. Bullets barely make him flinch. Magnum rounds give him pause for about 30 seconds. No matter where you are in police station, he will find you. If he catches you, he’s gonna give it to ya. While he can be easily avoided when you learn his A.I. patterns, having him surprise you in a small room is a recipe for a panic attack and encountering another enemy takes on whole new level as any noise you make can and will give away your position to him. He was a persistent threat in the RPD and having him serve as the final boss in Leon’s route made him the highlight of the game for me. He also gives me hope that the inevitable RE3Make will iterate and improve upon him for Nemesis. Finally, the supporting cast was great. Ada Wong returns in all her super spy glory and Leon gets credit for seeing through her deception at the end of his route. Sherry Birkin manages to avoid being an annoying child that hampers gameplay and incidental characters like Chief Irons, Anette and the MVP Marvin Branagh all added to the world and helped me get invested in it. Fantastic game and a must play for any fan of survival horror.
  3. Devil May Cry 5 - “I come from a place, I long to return to” ― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy My first foray into the long running DMC franchise was full of cheesy one-liners, ridiculous cutscenes and a surprisingly decent story that provided just the right narrative beats to keep me invested. The main star of the show was the combat. The combos, the move cancelling and momentum and having three unique characters makes this game a joy to play and style all over your demonic opponents. Nero is a fantastic introductory character, being easy to learn but with MAX-ACT and EXCEED making him difficult to master. The devil breakers gave me customization to my playstyle and counters to particularly difficult enemies and bosses. V, my personal favourite of the trio, allows me to be a demon summoner, assaulting my foes from afar and then closing the gap for the killing blow. His slower, more deliberate playstyle is what really started endearing this game to me. Finally, the Legendary Demon Hunter ® Dante returns in all of his overpowered glory. Style switching, melee and ranged weapons for every occasion, the Dr. Faust hat turning the camp up to 11 and his devil trigger means Dante has the tools for every enemy, only limited by your own skill. I must also give Urizen/Vergil recognition for being a fantastic villain. Going from a take-over-the-world kill them all monster to a regenerated son of Sparda was great to experience, even with minimal context on my part from DMC 3 and 1. Dante’s dedication to stopping his brother, V’s unyielding will to reunite with his demonic half before he dissolves into nothing and Nero’s intrinsic desire to prevent his Uncle and Father from killing each other elevated this game into something truly special. Combine this with fantastic music (Devil Trigger and Crimson Cloud being standouts) and you have an easy game of the year contender.
  4. Apex Legends - “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” ― Sun Tzu
    When Apex Legends was first announced, I mourned the death of Titanfall. I feared Respawn had been forced by Papa EA to develop a battle royale to chase a bandwagon and while it would have good gunplay, it would quickly fall into obscurity. Little did I know that this game would become my go to game to kill some time and tempt me with just one more game. Apex Legends is Free to Play but all gameplay content is free or can be unlocked with in game currency. This is a game brimming with personality thanks to the playable legends. Gibraltar is a giant fun-loving guy who comes with a deployable shield and can call down a defensive bombardment. Wraith is an escaped test subject trying to find the secrets of her past. Caustic is a sociopathic chemist who wants an arena to test his weapons and does not care who gets hurt so long as he gets results. He’s also my physical appearance in 10 years. Lifeline is a combat medic competing to fund her non-profit group. Mirage bamboozles everyone, including himself. Each character is bursting with charm and they are all worth playing just to see what they all say. Beyond that, Respawn added convenience features to the genre that were quickly copied. The ping system means I don’t have to deal with the cesspit of online chat when playing with randoms but I can still point out loot, enemies and locations of interest at the push of a button. The guns all feel familiar from Titanfall (RIP Mozambique) and the gun play feels fantastic. While character abilities provide a slight advantage, teamwork, superior tactics and aim are king. While they stumbled a bit with their season one battle pass rewards, from season 2 onwards they added fantastic gameplay additions and changes to keep things fresh. My favourite was the Halloween event that allows you respawn as a glass cannon shadow to hunt down the living and has provided some of my tensest and exhilarating games yet. Respawn has proven they deserve a piece of the battle royale pie and for my part, I will be chasing the elusive Apex Championship for some time yet.
  5. Plague Tale: Innocence - “They’re eating her. Then they’re going to eat me. OH MY GOOOOOOD” ― Arnold, Trolls 2 Plague Tale: Innocence is my sleeper hit of the year, made by the wonderful folks at Asobo studios tells an engrossing story backed up by beautiful and disturbing environments and competent gameplay. You are Amicia del Rune, a young girl who is a member of French Nobility in the middle ages. Long story short, you are forced to flee your home with your younger brother Hugo, avoiding both your pursuers and a voracious rat plague that will kill you if you’re not careful. Gameplay alternates between stealth sections where you either avoid or kill guards and set pieces where you are typically in a high stakes chase and the occasional boss fight. This game is at it’s best when you are sneaking around or exploring your environment. Figuring the best way to take out all the guards or avoid the rats never gets old as the game provides you new abilities at a good pace and create interesting puzzles that force you to think cleverly about the best way to apply them. Its weakest bits are the straight up combat sequences. While the checkpoint system is generous, you basically have one chance to kill/distract an enemy that is charging at you as you go down in one hit, due to it being a grown man versus a young girl. So, it can be annoying until you find the right sequence of actions to stay alive, though the generous aim assist helps alleviate the issues. The core of this game is Amicia and Hugo’s relationship and the allies they encounter on the way. Amicia does not know Hugo very well and has to learn quickly the best way to protect and connect with her brother. The supporting cast are likeable enough, the villains are a little generic but perform their roles well and it all comes together in a quaint package you can get through in about 8-10 hours. I was pleasantly surprised by this game and I am looking forward to the sequel or whatever Asobo does next.
  6. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - “You like Castlevania, don’t you?” ― Psycho Mantis, Metal Gear Solid Bloodstained: ROTN is the culmination of Koji Igarashi’s vision and dream to make another Castlevania in spite of Konami, the talented staff who developed and marketed this game and the incredible fans whose generosity brought the Kickstarter to life and showed the world that this genre of game is still popular. Four years after the Kickstarter, we finally have the game in our hands and it is fantastic. Full Disclosure: I am a Kickstarter backer and have had limited experience with metroidvania titles. With that being said, let’s delve into what makes Bloodstained special.
    You play as Miriam, a young woman who is one of two known shard binders, people who have been treated with alchemy and magic to harness the power of demons. After awakening from a 10-year slumber, you are thrust into pursuit of Gebel, the other shard binder who has apparently gone mad with power, summoned a demonic castle and threatens the world. From here, you explore the castle and surrounding area, defeating powerful foes, slowly growing stronger and start to unravel what exactly is happening with Gebel. Along the way, you find out you are not the only person exploring the castle and must contend with their possibly conflicting goals. Nothing mold breaking here, but the story is executed well and both Erica Lindbeck (Miriam) and David Hayter (Zangetsu) and a few others who I won’t spoil do a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. The real story is told through the enemies and environments.
    Miriam is introduced to us on a ship that is assailed by demons and the art, music and enemy design all coalesce to suck you into Bloodstained’s world. These demons feel unnatural, traverse the environment in odd ways and most importantly are fun to fight. The bosses always have some environmental gimmick or set piece that force you to adjust your tactics. The music, prepared by a variety of composers, easily strike the right tone for each environment and bring the castle to life. Gaining new abilities by slaying your enemies, crafting new food and equipment and more importantly exploring this castle create a wonderful gameplay loop that I can only hope is the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] of many for this franchise. The game quickly gives you access to one of every weapon type and you are free to experiment to determine what works best for a given enemy/environment. For the collector’s, grabbing every enemy shard, weapon and completing all the side quests will keep you busy for a long time. For me, I dabbled into it, crafted what I thought was interesting and was able to complete the game without feeling underpowered. While the game can be obtuse about what you need to do to proceed, exploring the castle will unlock new abilities and backtracking and combing old areas with new capabilities is part of the fun. This is just a fun game to play and a great introduction to the metroidvania genre.
  7. Untitled Goose Game - “The early Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit 'the wild goose.' And the reason why is they knew that you cannot tame him.” -John Eldredge While there are many fantastic games that allow us to explore our morality, none present this so eloquently as the untitled goose game. Despite being a relatively short indie game with minimal text and no dialogue, the charm, visuals and puzzles craft a sublime experience that I recommend everyone play on their platform of choice. You are Goose and unbound from the fragile human notions of morality. You are a chaotic force and descend upon a quaint village for no other purpose than to increase entropy. Are you a trickster, darting in and out of the shadows, leaving discord in your wake? Or are you a god-emperor, amusing yourself at the expense of these pathetic mortals who temporarily bar your path? Both interpretations are valid and make this a great game to play with friends as you collaborate on the best way to achieve your objectives. The goose waddles in an adorable way and having a dedicated button to honk never gets old. It is mandatory to spread your wings, rotate in a circle and honk repeatedly after achieving an item on your list. The graphics are smooth and invoke a storybook/cartoon aesthetic that helps you become Goose. The music is minimal but invokes micky-mousing whenever the goose is chased by a human or achieves one of its goals. The puzzles are clever, and you are motivated to complete them for no other reason than annoying the townsfolk or furthering your own inscrutable goals. The slapstick gags made me smile and show the care that went into making this game accessible for everyone. It is a perfect game to spend an afternoon with and a perfect introductory game for anyone who is interested in the hobby.
  8. River City Girls - “This life is right in front of me/You think you can beat me but now you see/I don't really wanna let you live, baby/Come around, I'll knock you down, touch me and I'll break your face” – Mick Gordon, Killer Instinct Way Forward has prepared a charming game detailing the (mis)adventures of Misako and Kyoko as they tear River City apart looking for their kidnapped boyfriends. The plot doesn’t get any more complicated but the smooth gameplay, gorgeous environments, amazing music and lighthearted tone make this an easy recommendation, especially for people like myself who have limited prior experiences with beat em ups. This game is best experienced with a friend in couch co-op. You and a friend are quickly introduced to our heroines and their punch-first, ask questions later mentality. The few cutscenes are either brief animations or manga style panels that are wonderfully done and convey the quirky world that they live in. Apparently, there are plenty of call backs and easter eggs for prior River City games, but the game is fine as a standalone title. You are quickly introduced to combos, blocking, special moves and the combat system lets you experiment in the best way to take down all the mooks that bar your path. You can even recruit some of them to temporarily fight for you as an assist. The animations for the girls and enemies alike are gorgeous and this game is a visual treat. You venture through the entire city, starting at a high school then eventually battling through a mall, beachfront, uptown and downtown. Special mention must be given to the soundtrack which is a combination of synth, pop and a little bit of rock that perfectly capture the spirit of the genre and the main characters. You get stronger, purchase more moves and make your way through a revolving cast of supporting characters. A lot of them are clichés, but so over the top and hammy that they fit this world like a glove. The 8-10 hours you spend beating the game are fun from start to finish and leave you ready for new game plus. If you like to brawl or just want another high quality Way Forward experience, this is the game for you.
  9. The Outer Worlds - “Commander! You've rained on my glorious parade! For this, I'm sending everything I got at you, but I won't let you have the satisfaction of catching me. I'm escaping to the one place that hasn't been corrupted by capitalism... space!” – Tim Curry as Anatoly Cherdenko, Command and Conquer The Outer Worlds stands as a shining beacon of competence in a genre dominated in recent years by games of varying quality by Bioware and Bethesda. Obsidian has produced an engrossing game about a future where rampant unchecked capitalism has left the Halcyon cluster in dire straights. The corporations that run the sector are amoral and the people who live there rarely challenge the status quo. All this is told through a lens of humor, heart and the freedom to rebel against the corporations or join them. The writing is top notch and characters like Parvarti (played by the wonderful Ashley Burch) make the world come alive and give you a reason to care about the plights and trials of the many citizens. The gunplay is satisfactory and you get enough customization to have the weapons that work for you. Normally, I might have passed on the Outer Worlds, but the recent mediocrity of the Fallout and Mass Effect series made it feel like a breath of Fresh Air. It’s amazing what strong writing, likeable characters and minimal bugs can do for a game. Can’t wait to see where Obsidian goes next with the franchise.
  10. Luigi’s Mansion 3 - “Last thing I remember, I was/Running for the door/I had to find the passage back to the place I was before/'Relax' said the night man,/'We are programmed to receive./You can check out any time you like,/But you can never leave!” – Hotel California by the Eagles Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a simple game, polished to a mirror sheen, with creative levels and puzzles making your ghost hunting adventures a blast. After a quick introduction and tutorial and you’re equipped with your trusty flashlight and Poltergust and ready to defeat some ghosts and save your friends. The true standout however is the introduction of Luigi’s stand/duplicate/abomination Gooigi, which allows co-op and creative puzzle solutions. The basic gameplay flow is that you go to a new floor of the haunted hotel, solve some puzzles, fight some basic ghosts then fight the boss at the end. Every level is overflowing with charm, collectables and fun puzzles. It was a treat to explore each new level and decipher the secrets it holds and the game offers optional help if you want to collect everything. Gooigi, who dissolves instantly in water, is unphased by the laws of men and traps that would harm Luigi. Figuring out how to use him in tandem with regular Luigi is a blast. In co-op, the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] player controls Gooigi and while it only has 25 health to Luigi’s 99, he regenerates and can respawn, making him an ideal option for new and/or casual gamers. I’ve played through a couple levels with a co-op partner and being able to speed up puzzles and take down the bosses together is fantastic. There is also competitive and cooperative multiplayer if you can round up a few friends for some ghost-busting. Overall, This is a solid game with no glaring flaws that is worth your time.


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McNum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,599
Denmark
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses – “Though fierce as tigers soldiers be, Battles are won by strategy. A hero comes; he gains renown, Already destined for a crown.” – Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Fire Emblem: Three Houses was my most anticipated game of 2019. The last time we had a console release was Radiant Dawn on the Wii in 2007 and with the divisive nature of Fates story quality, the fantastic Echoes remake and the rise of the mobile Fire Emblem Heroes, I was worried about the mixed history and that most importantly, we would not have a good story to carry us through a massive RPG. This game put my fears to rest and gave me one of my favourite tactical RPGs to date. You are the child of the renowned mercenary Jeralt and through a stroke of luck, are able to assist the heirs to the three major powers on the continent of Fodlan. Afterwards, you and your father are recruited to the Garreg Mach monastery as a professor and knight respectively. From there, you select which of the three houses you wish to teach and that one choice will shape the world and have cascading consequences for everyone. To avoid spoilers, I will say no more but each house presents an amazing cast of characters that are worth getting to know. The strength of this game lies with its character interaction. Each House gives you a starting class of students that are eccentric to put it mildly. You have Dorothea, the former opera singer/gold digger and Ferdinand von Aegir (whose name you will not forget), heir to Aeigr family and upholding the strictest ideals of nobility in the Black Eagles. The Blue Lions have Felix, an exceptionally powerful swordsman and loner and Annette, a sweet clumsy girl who is also an accomplished mage. The Golden Deer have Marianne, a shy girl who thinks poorly of herself and is constantly praying and Lorenz Hellman Glouscter, a cassanova wannabe and aspires to undermine Claude and become the next leader of the Alliance. These are more characters and each of them fleshed out by the frankly ridiculous number of supports between them. Each student supports with everyone in their house at a minimum and usually a few people outside of it. I wanted to see as many of them as possible and while they vary in quality, each of them offers a little more insight into their history and motivations and help round them out from the anime caricatures they initially appear to be. The game being fully voice acted helps brings these characters to life and I must commend the localisation team for both the script and dubbing. Intelligent Systems and Koei-Tecmo have crafted an intricate world and histories for each of these characters and it is a delight to discover what each of them is about and provides extra motivation to keep them alive. The gameplay in Three Houses now has two distinct phases. The first is the school phase before most major battles. You are able to explore the monastery, interact with the students and staff, purchase weapons and items and teach your students. This is new to the series and it reminded me of running around Shibuya in Persona 5. Every student has something new to say after each chapter/story event and there are a few small activities, such as gardening or fishing, that allow you to gain resources to invest into your students. You want to keep your students motivated so that they can be trained to become your ideal unit. While each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, the free form class system means each student can be whatever you want them to be. Want your mage to punch people with their fists? Make your physical tank a healer? Have your Pegasus knight use axes? All this and more are possible and by the end you will have crafted an elite team that truly is your own and also allows for high replay value. You can also grind your units to make them stronger, provide a seminar to give a few units a large boost to their weapon ranks or just rest to motivate all your students at once. Figuring out the optimal course of action each month is a fun little puzzle, but can become repetitive once you figure out what the optimal tasks are for your goals. Overall, it is a welcome addition for those of us who like to dig into all the systems and character development, but be warned it can become repetitive on subsequent playthroughs. The combat phase is where all your training comes to fruition. The battles are an extension of the classic Fire Emblem turn based formula, where you move your anime chess pieces against the enemy army. Each map is a puzzle where you and your ragtag bunch of misfits must typically slay all the enemies that obstruct your path. While the main battle goal rarely changes, the map design is good and the late to endgame maps provided a good challenge that forced me to take advantage of all of my unit’s strengths. The animation is smooth, the music is fantastic and makes playing and replaying this game a joy. A variety of quality of life improvements over older titles keeps frustrations to a minimum and the built-in divine pulse mechanic allows you to undo a bad choice a limited number of times per map. These help you keep your favourite characters alive and minimize replays if you get a plot-critical ally killed. My only complaints that flying units dominate due to their versatility, movement range and available skills, but that is nothing new for the franchise. Also, there are certain enemy types that feel like giant punching bags instead of legitimate challenges. Still, I sunk in nearly 200 hours into the game so they must have done something right. Overall, this game is a fantastic evolution of the franchise that I hope continues. It certainly has its flaws, but the characters, world, music and gameplay sucked me in and gave me everything that I wanted from the franchise. There is upcoming DLC that will bring me back for at least one more playthrough and I am looking forward to it. This is my game of the year and now the wait begins for the next entry in this franchise.
  2. Resident Evil 2 Remake – “You hear the door slam/And realize there's nowhere left to run/You feel the cold hand/And wonder if you'll ever see the sun/You close your eyes/And hope that this is just imagination” ― Michael Jackson, Thriller Resident Evil 2 Remake sets a new bar into what a video game remake should be. Having only seen LP’s of the original 1998 classic, I was looking forward to experiencing the story for myself and was not disappointed. Playing as either Leon S. Kennedy or Claire Redfield, we are thrust into a zombie outbreak that has overwhelmed Racoon City and will do everything in its power to add you to the body count. The atmosphere of this game is second to none this year. The police department is immediately foreboding and going into a new room for the first time was nerve-wracking, as I did not know whether respite or more danger awaited me. The sewers and lab, while not quite as strong, were still great areas to explore and avoid/destroy the enemies I encountered. My one major gripe with the game is the repeated boss fights in the Leon A/Claire B and Claire A/Leon B. Essentially whoever you pick first in the A scenario explicitly encounters most enemies and bosses first and engages them and I have no issues there. In the corresponding B scenario, the character arrives at the police station after the first and has to solve different puzzles and deal with different enemies. My problem lies with the fact that most bosses are fought by both characters, leading to some confusion over who canonically fought what. From a development perspective, it saves time and resources, but I would have appreciated unique bosses for both the A and B scenarios, designed in such a way that they did not contradict each other. Besides that, the extra content being very arcade with minimal story content didn’t really appeal to me, but it was free DLC, so it’s just a bonus. One thing that elevates this game is the responsive gunplay, supporting cast and fantastic enemy design/A.I. All of guns had an appropriate heft as my pistol barely slows these creatures down and my shotgun/grenade launcher stop them in their tracks. Making the standard zombie very resilient to gun fire and having them get back up if the head wasn’t destroyed made retracing my steps in any area a tense encounter as I did not know how many enemies would be there to greet me. The more advanced enemies inspired fear as I had to quickly learn how to fight/avoid them or I would be dead. However, the star of this show has to go to our favourite Tyrant in a Trench coat, colloquially known as Mr. X. This unstoppable force of nature shows up and you know you’re in for a bad time. Bullets barely make him flinch. Magnum rounds give him pause for about 30 seconds. No matter where you are in police station, he will find you. If he catches you, he’s gonna give it to ya. While he can be easily avoided when you learn his A.I. patterns, having him surprise you in a small room is a recipe for a panic attack and encountering another enemy takes on whole new level as any noise you make can and will give away your position to him. He was a persistent threat in the RPD and having him serve as the final boss in Leon’s route made him the highlight of the game for me. He also gives me hope that the inevitable RE3Make will iterate and improve upon him for Nemesis. Finally, the supporting cast was great. Ada Wong returns in all her super spy glory and Leon gets credit for seeing through her deception at the end of his route. Sherry Birkin manages to avoid being an annoying child that hampers gameplay and incidental characters like Chief Irons, Anette and the MVP Marvin Branagh all added to the world and helped me get invested in it. Fantastic game and a must play for any fan of survival horror.
  3. Devil May Cry V – “I come from a place, I long to return to” ― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy My first foray into the long running DMC franchise was full of cheesy one-liners, ridiculous cutscenes and a surprisingly decent story that provided just the right narrative beats to keep me invested. The main star of the show was the combat. The combos, the move cancelling and momentum and having three unique characters makes this game a joy to play and style all over your demonic opponents. Nero is a fantastic introductory character, being easy to learn but with MAX-ACT and EXCEED making him difficult to master. The devil breakers gave me customization to my playstyle and counters to particularly difficult enemies and bosses. V, my personal favourite of the trio, allows me to be a demon summoner, assaulting my foes from afar and then closing the gap for the killing blow. His slower, more deliberate playstyle is what really started endearing this game to me. Finally, the Legendary Demon Hunter ® Dante returns in all of his overpowered glory. Style switching, melee and ranged weapons for every occasion, the Dr. Faust hat turning the camp up to 11 and his devil trigger means Dante has the tools for every enemy, only limited by your own skill. I must also give Urizen/Vergil recognition for being a fantastic villain. Going from a take-over-the-world kill them all monster to a regenerated son of Sparda was great to experience, even with minimal context on my part from DMC 3 and 1. Dante’s dedication to stopping his brother, V’s unyielding will to reunite with his demonic half before he dissolves into nothing and Nero’s intrinsic desire to prevent his Uncle and Father from killing each other elevated this game into something truly special. Combine this with fantastic music (Devil Trigger and Crimson Cloud being standouts) and you have an easy game of the year contender.
  4. Apex Legends – “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” ― Sun Tzu
    When Apex Legends was first announced, I mourned the death of Titanfall. I feared Respawn had been forced by Papa EA to develop a battle royale to chase a bandwagon and while it would have good gunplay, it would quickly fall into obscurity. Little did I know that this game would become my go to game to kill some time and tempt me with just one more game. Apex Legends is Free to Play but all gameplay content is free or can be unlocked with in game currency. This is a game brimming with personality thanks to the playable legends. Gibraltar is a giant fun-loving guy who comes with a deployable shield and can call down a defensive bombardment. Wraith is an escaped test subject trying to find the secrets of her past. Caustic is a sociopathic chemist who wants an arena to test his weapons and does not care who gets hurt so long as he gets results. He’s also my physical appearance in 10 years. Lifeline is a combat medic competing to fund her non-profit group. Mirage bamboozles everyone, including himself. Each character is bursting with charm and they are all worth playing just to see what they all say. Beyond that, Respawn added convenience features to the genre that were quickly copied. The ping system means I don’t have to deal with the cesspit of online chat when playing with randoms but I can still point out loot, enemies and locations of interest at the push of a button. The guns all feel familiar from Titanfall (RIP Mozambique) and the gun play feels fantastic. While character abilities provide a slight advantage, teamwork, superior tactics and aim are king. While they stumbled a bit with their season one battle pass rewards, from season 2 onwards they added fantastic gameplay additions and changes to keep things fresh. My favourite was the Halloween event that allows you respawn as a glass cannon shadow to hunt down the living and has provided some of my tensest and exhilarating games yet. Respawn has proven they deserve a piece of the battle royale pie and for my part, I will be chasing the elusive Apex Championship for some time yet.
  5. Plague Tale: Innocence – “They’re eating her. Then they’re going to eat me. OH MY GOOOOOOD” ― Arnold, Trolls 2 Plague Tale: Innocence is my sleeper hit of the year, made by the wonderful folks at Asobo studios tells an engrossing story backed up by beautiful and disturbing environments and competent gameplay. You are Amicia del Rune, a young girl who is a member of French Nobility in the middle ages. Long story short, you are forced to flee your home with your younger brother Hugo, avoiding both your pursuers and a voracious rat plague that will kill you if you’re not careful. Gameplay alternates between stealth sections where you either avoid or kill guards and set pieces where you are typically in a high stakes chase and the occasional boss fight. This game is at it’s best when you are sneaking around or exploring your environment. Figuring the best way to take out all the guards or avoid the rats never gets old as the game provides you new abilities at a good pace and create interesting puzzles that force you to think cleverly about the best way to apply them. Its weakest bits are the straight up combat sequences. While the checkpoint system is generous, you basically have one chance to kill/distract an enemy that is charging at you as you go down in one hit, due to it being a grown man versus a young girl. So, it can be annoying until you find the right sequence of actions to stay alive, though the generous aim assist helps alleviate the issues. The core of this game is Amicia and Hugo’s relationship and the allies they encounter on the way. Amicia does not know Hugo very well and has to learn quickly the best way to protect and connect with her brother. The supporting cast are likeable enough, the villains are a little generic but perform their roles well and it all comes together in a quaint package you can get through in about 8-10 hours. I was pleasantly surprised by this game and I am looking forward to the sequel or whatever Asobo does next.
  6. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – “You like Castlevania, don’t you?” ― Psycho Mantis, Metal Gear Solid Bloodstained: ROTN is the culmination of Koji Igarashi’s vision and dream to make another Castlevania in spite of Konami, the talented staff who developed and marketed this game and the incredible fans whose generosity brought the Kickstarter to life and showed the world that this genre of game is still popular. Four years after the Kickstarter, we finally have the game in our hands and it is fantastic. Full Disclosure: I am a Kickstarter backer and have had limited experience with metroidvania titles. With that being said, let’s delve into what makes Bloodstained special.
    You play as Miriam, a young woman who is one of two known shard binders, people who have been treated with alchemy and magic to harness the power of demons. After awakening from a 10-year slumber, you are thrust into pursuit of Gebel, the other shard binder who has apparently gone mad with power, summoned a demonic castle and threatens the world. From here, you explore the castle and surrounding area, defeating powerful foes, slowly growing stronger and start to unravel what exactly is happening with Gebel. Along the way, you find out you are not the only person exploring the castle and must contend with their possibly conflicting goals. Nothing mold breaking here, but the story is executed well and both Erica Lindbeck (Miriam) and David Hayter (Zangetsu) and a few others who I won’t spoil do a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. The real story is told through the enemies and environments.
    Miriam is introduced to us on a ship that is assailed by demons and the art, music and enemy design all coalesce to suck you into Bloodstained’s world. These demons feel unnatural, traverse the environment in odd ways and most importantly are fun to fight. The bosses always have some environmental gimmick or set piece that force you to adjust your tactics. The music, prepared by a variety of composers, easily strike the right tone for each environment and bring the castle to life. Gaining new abilities by slaying your enemies, crafting new food and equipment and more importantly exploring this castle create a wonderful gameplay loop that I can only hope is the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] of many for this franchise. The game quickly gives you access to one of every weapon type and you are free to experiment to determine what works best for a given enemy/environment. For the collector’s, grabbing every enemy shard, weapon and completing all the side quests will keep you busy for a long time. For me, I dabbled into it, crafted what I thought was interesting and was able to complete the game without feeling underpowered. While the game can be obtuse about what you need to do to proceed, exploring the castle will unlock new abilities and backtracking and combing old areas with new capabilities is part of the fun. This is just a fun game to play and a great introduction to the metroidvania genre.
  7. Untitled Goose Game – “The early Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit 'the wild goose.' And the reason why is they knew that you cannot tame him.” -John Eldredge While there are many fantastic games that allow us to explore our morality, none present this so eloquently as the untitled goose game. Despite being a relatively short indie game with minimal text and no dialogue, the charm, visuals and puzzles craft a sublime experience that I recommend everyone play on their platform of choice. You are Goose and unbound from the fragile human notions of morality. You are a chaotic force and descend upon a quaint village for no other purpose than to increase entropy. Are you a trickster, darting in and out of the shadows, leaving discord in your wake? Or are you a god-emperor, amusing yourself at the expense of these pathetic mortals who temporarily bar your path? Both interpretations are valid and make this a great game to play with friends as you collaborate on the best way to achieve your objectives. The goose waddles in an adorable way and having a dedicated button to honk never gets old. It is mandatory to spread your wings, rotate in a circle and honk repeatedly after achieving an item on your list. The graphics are smooth and invoke a storybook/cartoon aesthetic that helps you become Goose. The music is minimal but invokes micky-mousing whenever the goose is chased by a human or achieves one of its goals. The puzzles are clever, and you are motivated to complete them for no other reason than annoying the townsfolk or furthering your own inscrutable goals. The slapstick gags made me smile and show the care that went into making this game accessible for everyone. It is a perfect game to spend an afternoon with and a perfect introductory game for anyone who is interested in the hobby.
  8. River City Girls – “This life is right in front of me/You think you can beat me but now you see/I don't really wanna let you live, baby/Come around, I'll knock you down, touch me and I'll break your face” – Mick Gordon, Killer Instinct Way Forward has prepared a charming game detailing the (mis)adventures of Misako and Kyoko as they tear River City apart looking for their kidnapped boyfriends. The plot doesn’t get any more complicated but the smooth gameplay, gorgeous environments, amazing music and lighthearted tone make this an easy recommendation, especially for people like myself who have limited prior experiences with beat em ups. This game is best experienced with a friend in couch co-op. You and a friend are quickly introduced to our heroines and their punch-first, ask questions later mentality. The few cutscenes are either brief animations or manga style panels that are wonderfully done and convey the quirky world that they live in. Apparently, there are plenty of call backs and easter eggs for prior River City games, but the game is fine as a standalone title. You are quickly introduced to combos, blocking, special moves and the combat system lets you experiment in the best way to take down all the mooks that bar your path. You can even recruit some of them to temporarily fight for you as an assist. The animations for the girls and enemies alike are gorgeous and this game is a visual treat. You venture through the entire city, starting at a high school then eventually battling through a mall, beachfront, uptown and downtown. Special mention must be given to the soundtrack which is a combination of synth, pop and a little bit of rock that perfectly capture the spirit of the genre and the main characters. You get stronger, purchase more moves and make your way through a revolving cast of supporting characters. A lot of them are clichés, but so over the top and hammy that they fit this world like a glove. The 8-10 hours you spend beating the game are fun from start to finish and leave you ready for new game plus. If you like to brawl or just want another high quality Way Forward experience, this is the game for you.
  9. The Outer Worlds – “Commander! You've rained on my glorious parade! For this, I'm sending everything I got at you, but I won't let you have the satisfaction of catching me. I'm escaping to the one place that hasn't been corrupted by capitalism... space!” – Tim Curry as Anatoly Cherdenko, Command and Conquer The Outer Worlds stands as a shining beacon of competence in a genre dominated in recent years by games of varying quality by Bioware and Bethesda. Obsidian has produced an engrossing game about a future where rampant unchecked capitalism has left the Halcyon cluster in dire straights. The corporations that run the sector are amoral and the people who live there rarely challenge the status quo. All this is told through a lens of humor, heart and the freedom to rebel against the corporations or join them. The writing is top notch and characters like Parvarti (played by the wonderful Ashley Burch) make the world come alive and give you a reason to care about the plights and trials of the many citizens. The gunplay is satisfactory and you get enough customization to have the weapons that work for you. Normally, I might have passed on the Outer Worlds, but the recent mediocrity of the Fallout and Mass Effect series made it feel like a breath of Fresh Air. It’s amazing what strong writing, likeable characters and minimal bugs can do for a game. Can’t wait to see where Obsidian goes next with the franchise.
  10. Luigi’s Mansion 3 – “Last thing I remember, I was/Running for the door/I had to find the passage back to the place I was before/'Relax' said the night man,/'We are programmed to receive./You can check out any time you like,/But you can never leave!” – Hotel California by the Eagles Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a simple game, polished to a mirror sheen, with creative levels and puzzles making your ghost hunting adventures a blast. After a quick introduction and tutorial and you’re equipped with your trusty flashlight and Poltergust and ready to defeat some ghosts and save your friends. The true standout however is the introduction of Luigi’s stand/duplicate/abomination Gooigi, which allows co-op and creative puzzle solutions. The basic gameplay flow is that you go to a new floor of the haunted hotel, solve some puzzles, fight some basic ghosts then fight the boss at the end. Every level is overflowing with charm, collectables and fun puzzles. It was a treat to explore each new level and decipher the secrets it holds and the game offers optional help if you want to collect everything. Gooigi, who dissolves instantly in water, is unphased by the laws of men and traps that would harm Luigi. Figuring out how to use him in tandem with regular Luigi is a blast. In co-op, the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] player controls Gooigi and while it only has 25 health to Luigi’s 99, he regenerates and can respawn, making him an ideal option for new and/or casual gamers. I’ve played through a couple levels with a co-op partner and being able to speed up puzzles and take down the bosses together is fantastic. There is also competitive and cooperative multiplayer if you can round up a few friends for some ghost-busting. Overall, This is a solid game with no glaring flaws that is worth your time.


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General Manager
Oct 25, 2017
18,092
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tim1138

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,816
  1. Untitled Goose Game - HONK! The most fun I've had with a game in ages, and a game that delivered exactly what it was advertised as.
  2. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - JRPG goodness, it was well worth the weight for the Switch port
  3. Astral Chain - Probably my favorite game from Platinum to date!
  4. No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again - a love letter from SUDA that somehow encompasses all of his past work into one budget top down hack and slash game.
  5. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - not a perfect game by any means, but one I had a lot of fun with. It managed to tell a good story with the blandest main cast ever.


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Viceratops

Member
Jun 29, 2018
1,995
  1. Resident Evil 2 - There have been a few games this generation which have changed my outlook and enjoyment of certain types of games. Resident Evil 2 is one of those games. I had never played through any Resident Evil game before so I was hesitant about even trying this game. But I bought it due to wanting to take a chance on the franchise. I'm so glad I did because I was rewarded in every way that gamers want. I got interested in a new universe, found new characters to care about, and new gameplay mechanics to enjoy. Claire and Levi are fantastic. The weapon upgrades and the feel of the gameplay made better by those upgrades give reason to replay this over and over, which I did, 20 times. Yes, 20 campaign completions. The art, the graphics, music, tone, they all give this game a presentation that most other games are simply just lacking in. There are so many things I love about this game: the amount of ways you can play it, Mr. X and his maneuvers, the boss fights, the deep seeded story in the background, the customization options, the thrill of shooting a zombie with your last bullet and making his head explode, the puzzle solving, I could go on and on. All that needs to be said is that this game is near and dear to me. After playing through it so much and getting the platinum trophy I immediately went and tried Resident Evil 7, which I also got a platinum trophy for, and Resident Evil 4 which I played to completion. It is safe to say that anything Resident Evil does in the future will be on my radar.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro simply had the best moments in gaming. And there are many of them. The Guardian Ape is second to none when it comes to thrilling moments in a game for 2019. But Sekiro has more to offer than From Software's usual output. The deathblow mechanic coupled with the posture mechanic is the most enjoyable combat design I've seen in a game from 2019. It is incredible how satisfying it can be to get timing of your parries and dodges mixed in with your sword strikes. Add in stealth and this game just becomes my favorite flavor of experience. The game has many riddles and paths towards completion and they are all satisfying. I know some people were put off by the lack of weaponry and customization but to me it was perfect because all I had to focus on were the mechanics and the enemies in front of me. It is a pure game in that regard. I hope another game can duplicate the fun of parrying and striking back that Sekiro offers. A huge interconnected world, an entertaining enough story, and a combat design that stands above all others, and a hero that conquers all in his path are enough to make me ask: what else could you possible want in a game?
  3. Days Gone - I know some people will roll their eyes when they see this game in a game of the year list but I really thought it was the premiere story/action game of 2019. It had a setting that resonated with me because I too am from the Pacific Northwest. I also was a huge fan of Sons of Anarchy and the Walking Dead which were clear inspirations for this game. I think people had a fun time talking shit about this game and downplaying the things it does well. But to me it was thoughtful in how it created and developed characters, especially Deacon. He is an all star in the Sony characters line up. And his story is told and written well. I thought the freakers, the rival militias, and the world gave purpose to the gameplay and character developments. A lot of games struggle tying all of those together but Days Gone does not. The breadcrumbs left at the end were intriguing enough to have me beg for more from this universe. I suspect we'll see a great sequel on the PS5.
  4. Devil May Cry 5 - As a fan of DmC and DMC4, this was one of my most hyped releases for this year and it mostly delivered. I think Dante and Nero are amazing characters to play as but V was absolutely terrible and boring. This would have been my game of the year had V’s sections not been such a hindrance on my enjoyment. Maybe the next game will stick to one awesome character (Nero please)
  5. Judgment - I was more than happy to indulge in this game when I saw that it would not be tied to Yakuza directly. It had great action, a fun story, and some pretty interesting characters, along with the silly side content you expect. Please let there be a sequel.
  6. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - Monster Hunter World was my first entry and I fell in love with it. More of that formula is enough to earn a spot in my top 10. Capcom delivers once again.
  7. Pokémon Shield - It’s not even close to the Pokémon game I want to see but it was still a lot of fun for 40 hours. I hope the criticisms are taken to heart and made better for the next generation
  8. Oninaki - This was a quite a rebound from the previous game made by Tokyo RPG Factory. I loved I am Setsuna and thought Lost Sphear fell dramatically short. The new action oriented combat was great. I would love to see a follow up to this.
  9. MediEvil - Sir Daniel Fortesque shall be remembered in these hallowed grounds of my top 10 game of the year votes
  10. Luigi’s Mansion 3 - I haven’t finished this game yet but it’s notably better than anything else I’ve played from this year that didn’t make the list.




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lord_of_flood

Member
Jan 1, 2018
1,041
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Arguably the best Fire Emblem game ever created. The cast of characters is truly what makes it shine; their dialogue and VA really shines through the myriad of support conversations and throughout the game's story, which is also the best Fire Emblem has to offer. The soundtrack is also one of FE's best, and last but not least, it's also incredibly fun as a Fire Emblem game. The presentation may not be particularly great, but the rest of the game holds up so well that I will gladly look past its visual flaws.
  2. Katana Zero - This was a surprisingly really fun game. It's an action game that really plays out more like a puzzle game with how you plan out cutting through everyone in a room. It was honestly really exhilarating to play. I just wish that the story didn't end on the cliffhanger that it did.
  3. Astral Chain - This is a game that both surprised and disappointed me, strangely enough. At its core, the combat is the most unique of any of Platinum's titles, since it truly makes you consider every option available to you in combat, especially as you learn more skills that have true value in combat. It's really unlike Platinum's myriad of other action titles in that regard. The game also has a pretty interesting visual style, even if some places are kind of drab, and exploring the Astral Plane is actually sort of fun given how Zelda-like it is. However, the game's plot devolves into complete nonsense towards the end of the game (even more so than Bayonetta 1 did, and I'm not sure how that's possible). Also, any portion of the game that happens during the investigation segments is so slow and boring that I would never want to replay them. Platinum always seems to have really good core concepts that get screwed up by deviating too far away from them for the sake of variety, while executing said variety pretty poorly. Astral Chain is unfortunately another victim of this, and I would hope that if this game gets a sequel, it does away with everything related to being a cop so they can just focus on the combat and improving the dungeon design.
As you can probably tell, I didn't play very many new games this year (though I am sitting on a bunch of them). I mostly finished older titles and dabbled in a couple of new releases, though didn't dive deep enough to vote on them. I hope to finish one or two more games before the deadline for voting is up.


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Lead

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,378

  1. Outer Wilds - A brilliant, unique space exploration game with a sense of discovery unlike most other games I’ve played. You explore a small, but wonderfully crafted solar system full of unique planets and puzzles to solve all for the pursuit of knowledge. Uncovering the mystery of the time loop was enthralling, and the pay off was well worth it.
  2. The House in Fata Morgana - A tragic, emotional story with excellent writing and a beautifully haunting soundtrack. The art is also good, which is rare to see in most VNs.
  3. AI: The Somnium Files - Somnium Files may have a less extravagant story than Zero Escape did, but the cast is the best Uchikoshi's ever written with fantastic humor all around and top tier voice acting. Kaname Date is my favorite protagonist of the year.
  4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Excellent combat, intense bosses, and great level design as usual for FromSoft. It’s second only to Bloodborne for my favorite of theirs.
  5. Resident Evil 2 Remake - Capcom has been killing it with RE as of late. Incredible remake.
  6. Death Stranding - Kojima managed to make a game based around delivering packages into something truly memorable. The gameplay loop was surprisingly great, and atmosphere/music were wonderful. The online integration was also really unique, and it really did feel like you and other players were making an impact on each other. I only wish the writing was better, and the combat felt unnecessary overall.
  7. The Outer Worlds - This was basically Fallout: New Vegas in space, which was exactly what I wanted. The writing and quests were great, and I loved the characters. It did have some notable flaws, such as the easy combat and the lack of weapon variety, but it was a great game and I’m glad we still get RPGs of this caliber.
  8. VA-11 Hall-A - Cyberpunk Bartender Action is all I needed to know. Great little game with a cool style and a killer soundtrack.
  9. Gris - A short, but great platformer with a gorgeous art style and excellent music.
  10. Return of the Obra Dinn - I wasn’t the biggest fan of Obra Dinn’s art style, but it’s uniqueness can’t be overstated. Learning about each crew member and what happened to them all was very engaging, and it felt like actual effort needed to be put into solving it since it doesn’t hold your hand.


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thelongestj

Member
Oct 27, 2017
275
  1. Tetris 99 - One of my best gaming moments this year was when I finally achieved a Tretris Maximus for the first time. I've played a lot of Tetris over the years, but this has been by far my favourite iteration.
  2. Hypnospace Outlaw - I was originally skeptical of this game when I saw the campaign on kickstarter because it didn’t seem like a traditional adventure (which it isn’t) and I also didn’t really like Dropsy because I don’t like wordless adventure games (wordless puzzle games on the other hand I have no problem with) so I didn’t end up backing it. However, I did eventually come around to it and ended up getting it on release and it ended up being a really unique experience. I really love the late 90’s style web page designs and the whole vaporwave aesthetic. Also it has one of my favorite tracks in a video game with the track that is supposed to sound like Linkin Park.
    I was impressed with how they executed uncovering the mystery of what happened with hypnospace through navigating websites. It was a really novel mechanic. There were times when I got stuck, but luckily the in game hint system was there to help. It’s also just so enjoyable “surfing the information super highway of the world wide web” in the game, that there was always something to do even when you were stuck. It was a truly special game, and I can’t believe that a game so specific to my tastes was created.
  3. Sumatra: Fate of Yandi - This game really surprised with me with how good it was. I wasn’t really expecting much because the visuals were so simplistic, but it was my favorite traditional adventure game of the year. I love that the setting is modern Indonesia where the main character is Indonesian and it deals with real world issues (logging) and the relationship between the main character and his wife felt genuine. The puzzles were all implemented really well, where most puzzle centered around a different animal. The second half is stronger with keeping you interested in wanting to uncover more of the mystery. The close ups are great, but it would have been nice to have more detailed faces to help make the characters feel more distinct.
  4. Pokemon Sword/Shield - It's a new Pokemon game so of course it was going on the list. Some features prevented me from putting it higher on the list (dex cuts, weak second half, but the feeling of seeing new Pokemon for the first time is one of the greatest feelings in gaming. Playing raid battles is fun and the quality of life changes they've added are a great new additions, but something still felt lacking. We'll see how things change when Pokemon Home comes out, but I still have the Battle Tower to complete so I still have a few more hours to put into it.
  5. Untitled Goose Game - Played this game over a weekend with my partner and we had so much fun with it. An enjoyable experience the whole way through.
  6. Slay the Spire - Super addicting card game. It took a few tries, but I did finally finally slay the spire. I will come back to it in the future when they add a new character.
  7. Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders - Another kickstarter game I didn’t back, mostly because I wasn’t impressed with the simplistic visuals. However, in the end the game turned out to have a pretty interesting plot with some good twists to the mystery. I also really enjoyed the puzzles in this one and it had some nice logic and password puzzles that were really rewarding to solve. However, what really carried this game for me was the setting. I loved that it was based on actual historical characters and the setting in the Zhou Dynasty was super interesting. It definitely delivers on its promise of a solid detective game.
  8. Life is Strange 2 - I’m still working my way through this one, but so far it has been a really great experience, still have to finish the last chapter. I know a lot of people were disappointed at the lack of Max and Chloe, but I’m glad they’re focusing on different characters. I really liked the characters of the first game and the time reversing mechanic, but the high school setting made a lot of the character interactions in the first game were over the top high school drama.
    In Life is Strange 2 it feels like the emotional stakes are much higher and so far the game is managing to mostly stick the landing when they attempt to tackle serious issues. I also like that since the setting is changing each episode it feels like more of an actual adventure this time around. There is less gameplay this time around, but so far I am not missing it because the plot and characters have been so compelling.
  9. Whispers of a Machine - I was really looking forward to this game because I loved Kathy Rain and the Samaritan Paradox, but ultimately this game came up short in comparison to those two. The post-apocalyptic Scandinavian setting was cool and the ability to gain different powers depending on your character’s personality were a nice way to add variety to play throughs. However, the characters and plot just didn’t quite click we me. The voice acting was of course great for Vera, but something was just off. Maybe because I played her as analytical she came across as not having much personality, I’m not sure, but the rest of the characters weren’t interesting enough for me to want to replay this game any time soon.
  10. Kind Words - I only played this for a little bit, and could probably put more time into this, but I am glad that this game exists and I do enjoy giving people advice and helping with their problems. I'm going to put more time into it in the new year.


Games I didn't finish, but could have possibly been on the list: Dragon Quest XI (NSW), The House in Fata Morgana (PSV), Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (NSW).


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J 0 E

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,013
  1. Death Stranding - Metal Gear series is one of gaming's greatest but I've always wished we would see something entirely new from Kojima and his team and they delivered (pardon the pun) a masterpiece with DS. The amount of originality and direction is explosive especially for a AAA game, I loved everything about this work of art from the unique world with its own rules to the gamification of walking and traversal and the story with the stellar cast of characters.This is my GOTG.
  2. Days Gone - Whenever I think about DG, I remember its survival aspect in its dynamic open world and weather and the Freak-O- System.Bend did something great for a small team and their first AAA title in years, the best U4 game imo with interesting story and music. I can't wait for what they do next.
  3. Sekiro - This game proves From Software can make something outstanding beyond the Souls formula. The best sword combat ever with amazing encounter & world design as usual.
  4. Devil May Cry 5 - The true sequel to DMC4 powered by RE engine, the results aren't surprising. This is the new benchmark for action games with the best Dante ever.
  5. Control - I fell in love with Control the moment I saw it at Sony's stage, a visual and audio treat from start to finish with Sam Lake's amazing writing.
  6. Resident Evil 2 - Capcom are the kings of remakes and this game proved this again. How can you improve one of all time's best games without losing its core design? This is the answer.
  7. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - How can you improve a near-perfect game like MHW? With rich expansions like Iceborne that deserve the full price on its own.
  8. Blood and Truth - Bombastic campaign full of cinematic / interactive moments you'll experience firsthand. This is a game that you have to play to appreciate (like any VR game).If you want to know what it feels to be James Bond in a 007 movie, this is the way to go.
  9. Judgment - While it's still in Kamurocho, the team managed to give the game its own flavor with detective and tailing missions. Yagami is a great character too, interested to see where they go next.
  10. A Plague's Tale: Innocence - One of 2019's sleeper hits that I wish more people played and experienced.


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Aswitch

Member
Nov 27, 2017
2,450
Los Angeles, CA
  1. Devil May Cry 5 - Such a magnificent return to form for the Devil May Cry series. Great improvements on combat and the story was pretty great. The graphics? Stunning. By far my Fave game of the year.
  2. Resident Evil 2 Remake - Capcom really knocked it out of the park with this one. a remake that stays true to the original material while deviating enough to make yet another quintessential remake.
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Infinity Ward did it again. Rebooting Modern Warfare could've went south but for all intents and purposes They knocked it out of the park with this reboot. The graphics are astounding, audio is perfection and the new inclusion of the new close encounters was pretty enthralling to play. The gunplay is impeccable. Guns feel weighty and powerful as usual. I have to give Infinity ward a lot of respect for incorporating crossplay (and progression) as well as making all maps free! Sure there are microtransactions still, but for the stuff you really care about at least it's still earnable without paying a penny.
  4. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - I was really surprised by this DLC. The only reasonable downside to MHW was the lack of actual monsters to hunt which this game solved greatly. The new monsters are fun to play and new locales are pretty great. Also we finally have legit transmogging. Not to mention the inclusion of continued dlc of new monsters and patches and changes to the game.
  5. Judgment - This game is proof that Ryu Ga Gotoku studios can do games outside of Yakuza (Fist of the North Star aside). Judgement was a great diversion of the Yakuza loop norm which is still existent, but the inclusion of detective aspects was a pretty fresh and welcomed spin on the series. The combat is just as deep as expected along with the engrossing story all led me to really favor this title.
  6. Gears 5 - One of the best stories in the series since Gears 3. The Multiplayer is pretty solid as well.
  7. River City Girls- A pretty fantastic Beat em' up with a lot of beloved references. the expansive moveset leads to a lot of experimentation which is essential for a beat em' up nowadays.
  8. Apex Legends - One of my favorite Battle Royale games to date. Having Battle Royale mixed with the tight gameplay of Titanfall is the gameplay I didn't know I needed.
  9. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - A worthy addition to the Soulsborne games. Had the same highs and lows as a typical Souls game. The emphasis on learning the game's mechanics was a sight to behold. Overall, a wonderful painful exhilarating ride.
  10. My Friend Pedro - This game honestly took me by surprise. A perfect blend of Max Payne and Hotline Miami in a lots of ways makes for this game to be not ignored. I honestly feel that this game is pretty underrated this year and deserves more attention than what it's getting. Awesome gunplay and mechanics that would Make John Woo swoon. The Soundtrack is perfection and totally fits the vibe of the game as well. Overall a wonderful experience to behold.
  11. The Ninja Warriors: Once Again - One of my favorite games from the SNES has come...again. This game basically feels like a substantial patch to the snes version of the game. Added co-op, characters, mechanics,redesigns and animations all lead to a magnificent remaster.
  12. Control - Remedy's Strongest Original IP since Max Payne. This game makes you feel like a telekinetic badass and couldn't put this down until I finished. The world is pretty engaging as well as the story. Overall this was a great, fun, and powerful ride.
  13. Astral Chain- Pretty exceptional graphics with some unque and interesting gameplay. A solid Platinum title.
  14. Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order - A welcomed entry to the Star Wars Lore. Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order was a magnificent entry to the star wars series. Pretty much everthing you want to do as a Jedi you can do in this one and then some.
  15. Untitled Goose Game - Man, this game was a delight. Who knew being a dick to common folk could be so fun? The creativity and ingenuity of this game was a great experience to engulf myself in. The game didn't overstay its welcome and was just a delight to play.
  16. Death Stranding - I didn't really know what to expect going into this game, but was pretty surprised that I saw it through since on paper, I shouldn't necessarily enjoy this game, but I found myself enthralled by the environments which helped trekking the lone expansive distances that much more enjoyable ultimately seeing the game to the end. Overall was a great experience that i'm glad I went through.

Didn't get around to playing the following so far in time for voting(may update If I manage to before cutoff) as these are games that i'm interested in playing, but haven't gotten around to playing or haven't played enough to form a solid verdict:
The Outer Worlds
The Outer Wilds
Disco Elysium
Astral Chain
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Shenmue 3
Days Gone

Edit: Played River City Girls and Astral chain. Updated

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Shinrou

Member
Oct 28, 2017
762
Lahti, Finland
Going with top 5.
  1. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - The best state Monster Hunter franchise has been in. Iceborne brings a lot of my favourite monsters back from the older titles, while having absolutely great additions. The game feels very complete now.
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - From's best work up to this point in my opinion. Very intense swordfighting and agile movement combined brings a new refreshing evolvement to the table from them.
  3. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - The best story of XIV yet. Mostly great pacing as well, with the exception of few parts at most. Great ride from beginning to the end. Extremely satisfying last stretch.
  4. Control - Atmosphere like no other. They really nailed the mysterious feeling overall. Absolute looker as well.
  5. Borderlands 3 - It was really great co-op experience for the most part. It certainly has it's flaws but it was mostly very enjoyable ride.


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filkry

Member
Oct 25, 2017
823
  1. Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers - It's nice to have an ongoing saga with stewardship you trust. Eureka and Baldesian Arsenal were also a surprise highlight of the last year's patch cycle.
  2. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - A great sequel to Dragon Quest 2 and a great building game.
  3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - The first Souls-lite. Burnt out on the genre, I found this easier take a very satisfying romp.
  4. Super Mario Maker 2 - The best maker game. I only wish I loved 2D Super Mario more!
  5. Disco Elysium - I've only played 90 minutes of this but I can tell I'm going to love it.
  6. Cadence of Hyrule - Super amazing for one playthrough, but little to offer afterwards. I wish it had been an even bigger campaign.
  7. Sekiro - After Genichiro I felt I had seen all the game had to offer and stopped. However, that offer included the best From Software combat to date.
  8. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Charm all the way through. Great in co-op.
  9. Astral Chain - a weird hybrid of a PS2 JRPG and platinum action game. Fun, but I never really internalized how to be good at it and healing-potioned my way through the last boss.
  10. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - This is the second Fire Emblem game I actually liked, after Sacred Stones. So high praise from a series hater!
  11. Devil May Cry 5 - Excellent action and style marred by non-optional V sections.
I also played Kingdom Hearts III but it does not merit a spot on the list :P.


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Dany1899

Member
Dec 23, 2017
1,992
Two premises for my GOTY list are needed.
The first is that, even though it is a ranked list as it must be, I really enjoyed all these ten games. It was difficult to orderthem. The final ranking which I decided to present is maybe not the correct one, but I could have spent more time and I would have still doubts about the ranking.
The second is that, since I really like Visual Novels, this preference had an impact on the ranking. I however admit that games, which are lower than some visual novels in this ranking, are however better games.
Now, let's proceed with the list:


  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - When you spend seventy hours in three weeks, and you fully enjoy every single minute, you have the definitive proof that the game you are playing will be your game of the year. This game for me has been Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The lastest installment in this SRPG series is the best of the recent iterations (Awakening, Fates, Shadows of Valentia). It combines the traditional, engaging and addictive strategic gameplay with a Person-esque Academy setting where you can raise your students' skill, establish relationships with them and find out more about their backstories. The characters are one of the strongest point of the game, without doubt: you relate with each one of them, at the point that when you have to kill someone you are a bit unsure about your actions. Among all the characters, the best is Edelgard in my opinion: she is also the most divisive, but that is a positive aspect, because it means that she is not a "goor or evil" character a-priori, she feels like a real human being who suffered and had to take decisions. The story reflects this aspect and make you question her behaviour, alonside with the behavior of the other two lords, many times. The soundtrack perfectly suits this game, and again it is the best of the last Fire Emblem settlements. (To conclude, a personal anecdot: this game was releases the same day of my Master's graduation: before going to the ceremony, I went to buy the Limited Edition at Gamestop, formally dressed, because I was fearing it could be sold to others. I was already feeling GOTY's vibes)
  2. AI: The Somnium Files - Uchikoshi strikes again. From a single murder where the victim's eye has been removed from the corpse, the investigation performed by Kaname Date, with the assistance of the artificial intelligence Ai-Ball, first pushes the players into believing that they have immediatley understood the solution to the mistery, then pulls them back subverting their expectations. The thrilling road to the true end is enriched by a variegated character cast, a very good soundtrack and nice gameplays ections where you have six minutes to solve mysteries in other people's mind. The best design choice about this section is that the six minutes are noy real, but they simply depend on the actions you decide to take.
  3. Pokemon Sword/Shield - Let's be honest, the real, big flaw of this game (for me, but also for a major part of the fanbase) is the absence of the National Dex. If we go over that aspect, we can find a really nice game, with a clear story where no plot holes are still present at the end, with new wonderful Pokémon designs, a varied region and a new mechanic (Dynamax and Gigamax) which completely subverted by not so positive opinions about it. I really enjoyed finding all the Gigamax Pokémon and completing the Raids with other people online. I also tried some competitive battles for the first time - I am terrible, but I want to try again in the near future. For all this reasons, Pokémon Sword and Shield deserve the third place in my ranking.
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Despite being a remake, this game was so ahed of time that it is so enjoyable today. The graphics is beautiful, I think the best looking game of the year. The short campaign is compensated by entertaining dungeons and boss fights where you cannot relax since otherwise you are soon left without any heart.
  5. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition - This definitive version game me the possibility to enjoy for the first time this evergreen JRPG. It has been the perfect way to start this year, with a compelling story and fantastic characters. The star is undoubtedly Yuri, the most atipic main character of any JRPS I have ever played. The combat system is not my favourite one, I am honest about it, but thanks to all the in-game bonus it didn't represent a strongly negative factor.
  6. Worldend Syndrome - This visual novel came as a real surprise. Even though it could seem the traditional VN where the girls fall in love with the main characters, it is really something more. Behind that appearance, in fact, a story about how deaths of loved people have an impact on the life of the others is hidden. It is really a small gem who any VN lover should not overlook.
  7. Astral Chain - PlatinumGames never disappoint. World building, combat systems and level design find a perfect mix in this game. Managing the five Legions in a bit more difficult than performing all the different combos in Bayonetta, but at the same time it is quite rewarding.
  8. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Unfortunately I didn't spend so much time on this game because it came out just before Pokémon. Besides, the slam soon becomes too dominant in the gameplay. However, even though I only played 10 hours, I will continue it as soon as possible because it is anyway quite an enjoying game.
  9. Steins;Gate Elite - If this was the first time I experienced the story, I would have put this game in my top3 of this year. But is isn't, so I fell this position is much more appropriate.
  10. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Finally, a platformer needed to be mentioned. Between Maker 2 and NSMPUDeluxe, I chose to include the latter, because of such an amount of levels designed by Nintendo, in two different campaigns.


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HueyFreeman

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,019
  1. Resident Evil 2 remake - Count me among one of the folks who was pretty disappointed that this would not be using an updated RE1 remake engine and fixed camera angles. So I was surprised when this was revealed - and then when I played it - to see that the devs absolutely made the right call. This is a masterpiece, beginning to end. Yes, it has flaws - some of the boss encounters don't work as well as they should and the RC streets parts are not as good as the police station and other areas... but those do nothing to take away from who overwhelmingly this game gets it so so right. Walking back from the action RE focus, they truly capture a survival horror feel while updating the zombies to be much more challenging, dangerous and frightening, but still very classical zombies. All of this while making the game look absolutely spectacular and run at 60 goddamn frames (blessed RE engine) truly made for, IMO, the year's best game.
  2. DiRT Rally 2.0 - although I suspect this will be one of about 10 votes in this thread lol, I loved every minute of DR2.0. CM greatly improved the handling model and visuals from DR, and although I think course design was slightly inferior to last year's entry, the availability of those courses through the SP made up for it. The OT for this is still active folks, get into this :)
  3. Outer Wilds - admittedly I haven't finished this, but it's so clearly such a spectacular and novel achievement, and doubly so for a small team. I am absolutely obsessed with the concepts of astronomy, the cosmos and the big ideas that fall out of all of it and I adored what is a very small game attempting and it seems generally succeeding at tackling it.
  4. Control - again, haven't quite finished this but Remedy has done it again, creating an atmosphere that at once entirely unique and unmistakably remedy. All the elements - interesting powers, amazing architectural design, great characters - are woven together beautifully. My only complaint is that there's just not very much to do besides the action aspects of it and I would have loved some additional gameplay elements. But the game they made is outstanding.
  5. Sayonara Wild Hearts - what more needs to be said about this other than it is sheer, unbridled creative joy, and one of the great soundtracks in the history of this medium. Wonderful to see a mainstream game emphasize both female and LGBT representation too.
Overall, a really weird year for me. First, it was a bit atypical in terms of the releases: amazing diversity of games but less of the blockbuster standouts that we're used to (I think this is a positive). But more personally, I spent most of it either catching up on/replaying old games on PC or playing retro games via emulation, so I didn't play most of this year's big new releases (particularly on Switch, though I have one), though I have both Death Stranding and Disco Elysium sitting on hard drives waiting to be tried. So, as is always the problems with these threads, my list doesn't really reflect a true ranking of the years' games.


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ThreepQuest64

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
3,594
Germany
Resident Evil 2 says PS4 and XBO in the sheet and misses PC, B-Dubs

I finished only 16 games in 2019 and the majority wasn't even released this year so I won't be able to name 10.

  1. Control - A Remedy game through and through with brilliant action combat, beautifully graphics and best ray tracing implementation to this date, badass heroine, cool level design and great world building and story. The gameplay is not that focus like their previouis games but still more than most of the games these days that want to cater to everyone and a mass audience with convoluted features. Control doesn't. It's simply a blast to play and such a unique and fresh idea and setting.

  2. Resident Evil 2 - Never played the original beyond the police hall entrance because I never owned a PS1 until a few years ago and preferred to wait for the modern approach. Wasn't disappointed. Graphics are awesome, the blend between oldschool gameplay and puzzles and modern look and controls is amazing. Finished it twice consecutively and I'm still at my third playthrough. This happens not often. Atmosphere is grim, puzzles and action are fun. Great game.

  3. Gears 5 - My first Gears (of War) game because I wanted to play another game with a strong female lead and was positively surprised. The shooting mechanics feel dated at first and I usually avoid cover-based shooters especially since Max Payne 3, Quantum Break and now Control. Playing it, or any other shooter, after Control really makes you miss destructible environment or at least particles flying around when you the environment that is so not interactive that Control make almost every other shooter feel like from the last generation in that regard. Fortunately the combat is still lots of fun, the Unreal 4 engine really shines and renders beautiful visuals. I enjoyed the often light-hearted bro-attitude of the characters and the campaign length was spot on. Gears 5 made me play Gears 4 because I wanted to see more of the characters. I plan to play it again once they release the promised photo mode.

  4. F1 2019 - Every year again and every year Codemasters managed to improve on their game since they got their act together with 2017 which would mark the beginning of best official F1 games released ever. The details are maybe only obvious to the avid player who play every yearly iteration but I like the little and maybe sometimes less obvious improvements. In any case, the gameplay is great and they really delivered that F1 circus and experience on screen. Races can be tough and exciting, with dynamic weather and accidents, requiring you to adjust your strategy on the fly and on track. Practice programs and developing your car is motivating and feels rewarding when you learn tracks not only for race sake but to feel involved in the car development. Amazing racing game with lots and lots of hours of fun.

  5. Red Dead Redemption 2 - I probably could write a post that exceeds the character limit so I make it short. Beautiful and one of the most believable and alive open worlds with impeccable character design with characters are depicted in such a nuanced way they really come to live. The gameplay, despite people reduce it to shooting and delayed controls only, is actually fun: you ride and, you steal and rob, you hunt, buy and sell, explore and shoot. And everything looks visually great. Gun fights look phenomenal and popping enemies is fun. The game is a subversion of common mainstream trends of consuming everything a game has to offer has fast as possible for flashy rewards. RDR2 takes it time and you to slow down with it. Going on a hunt does have an effect on the gameplay when you sell pelts and carcasses or bring them to your camp in order to improve it. But the visual clues and real effect feel so subtle it almost makes no difference save for the experience you have while you're doing it. You take in the atmosphere and escape. But you don't have to and can shoot your way through the story, though still not as fast as you usually accustomed to. The conclusion of this story is one of the greatest ever and the game does feel like an epic journey. The detail obsession of this game is overwhelming and it's one of the very few huge and epic open world games I've finished and still want to spend more time in it. Only three games, including RDR2, managed it so far.

  6. Call of Duty Modern Warfare - Despite its many flaws and detestable practices of microtransactions in a full price game I have to admit that it's sheer fun to play. The gunplay is a blast and after Apex Legends and CODMW I tried Rainbow Siege again, after years, and couldn't play it longer than two matches until I uninstalled it again. Both games, Apex and CODMW really raised the bar in hit feedback and gun look and feel and sound. CODMW offers so many different game modes instead of relying on one mode only, offers such a variety of weapons and is getting new maps, the real content because it's playable, free of charge. If they want to increase their income with digital crap that has no real meaning inside the game, so be it. I still don't like it, but I can look past it. I mainly play Search & Destroy and therefore avoid the clusterfuck modes and matches have been so tense and exciting it's just so much fun to play.

No GOTY material for me but as honorable mention:

Apex Legends - It's the first BR game that manages to make me play it more than a few hours without uninstalling it with disgust. Apex is about shooting and it does feel great. Most legends are memorable and you have to give Respawn lots of credit for ever expanding on a basically free to play game. My only gripe with this game and why it comes after CODMW, the embodiment of corporate greed, is because like almost all BR game it rests on its BR game mode only. While other fully fleshed multiplayer games packed with modes include battle royale, these BR games don't do the same: with Apex offering such impeccable gunplay it would be staggering to play a proper TDM mode, or objective-based modes like conquest, Search & Destroy or Rush modes like in Battlefield. At least they now have a objective-based game mode, but it's time-limited. Why, though!? It feels fucking great and is awesome! Running around for 10 minutes without any sight of enemy and then get wasted by surprise within one minute doesn't respect the game's awesome gunplay and feel. Nor does the gambling if you drop early for the action. So I highly anticipate and would enjoy more game modes and I'd even pay for it. In any case, what they done with a free to play game is only outclassed by Warframe. But we will see where Apex Legends is going the next few years. I hope they stick around and improve on an already great framework the game provides.



Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - It's not the first FS game I've played but the first I've finished. Finally there is character interaction and visible character agency and the plot doesn't feel so disguised, playing "hard to get", like previous FS games. The game doesn't resolve around lame looking rolls or turtling behind a shield but instead offers amazing sword fights. You could simply mash that block button if you want, but it still looks great when swords are crossed, with the clang sound of metal hitting metal. Then you have those fantasy and weird elements that doesn't make much sense as you watch it. The dark and gritty atmosphere is great combined with the setting of feudal Japan. Unfortunately at no point I felt like a bad-ass ninja except for assassinate unaware trash mobs. But with every boss fight going on an hour and 34509 tries until I beat them I never felt like a capable sword master due to its difficulty. Most fights I only won by cheesing them to death and whereas I managed to kill many bosses first try in Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3, I only did so with exactly three bosses in Sekiro and I'm not even sure if one of them count as a real boss (that armored dude on the bridge). The endings felt too abrupt and the conclusion, after all those hours felt lackluster. I played it for 60 hours which, measured by that time alone, seems great but I can't say I enjoyed every single hour of it and, to be honest, maybe only enjoyed a third of it. The "git gud" attitude won't help to make it my personal GOTY but I'm sure many people will think differently and I can understand why this game will be the GOTY for many people. The lack of hand holding and usual AAA-tropes aren't present and puts the player back into spotlight.




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Dartastic

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,918
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Why did I enjoy this as much as I did? I dunno. *shrugs*
  2. The Outer Wilds - Probably the most innovative, interesting game I've played in years. A true adventure game.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Go ninja go ninja go.
  4. Resident Evil 2 - I never actually played the original all the way through.
  5. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Glad my backer dollars weren't a complete waste, for once.
  6. Death Stranding - While this game is a fucking mess at times, the overall gameplay loop was so relaxing I just couldn't help but love it.
  7. Cadence of Hyrule - I can't believe Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer smashed together worked so well.
  8. Apex Legends - Pew Pew Battle Royale that was good Pew.
  9. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - Buggy, unpolished game that still somehow is the best Star Wars game in years.
  10. Fifa 20 - I love soccer, and I think this FIFA is the best FIFA in ages. Maybe I'm just getting better at it, who knows.
Old games I played this year that I'd put on here if I could...
Persona 5
Slay the Spire


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skittzo0413

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,479
  1. Ring Fit Adventure - I have waited over 4 years to play Dragon Quest XI on "NX", DQ being one of my favorite franchises of all time, and XI being easily one of the best entries of all time. Yet it's somehow not my game of the year. That's because Ring Fit Adventure would've probably won my GOTY any year it came out, and it's not particularly close. This game is the real deal, the holy grail of fitness gamification. I have worked out regularly with this game for about 2 months straight now, and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. The key to its success is that the game is addicting and fun as hell, making me actively WANT to exercise, rather than just NEED to exercise. This is probably my game of the decade too, or maybe just under BotW.
  2. Dragon Quest 11 Definitive Edition - One of the best JRPGs ever made in the best JRPG series ever made. I had heard all of the praise for this game for the past couple years but I didn't really give into it, I just figured it was due to the shiny new HD graphics and awesome monster animations. But the story, the writing, the combat, and yes, the visuals all took a remarkable leap forward for this series and I think it's fair to say this is the best entry now. DQ3 is a close second still.
  3. Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition - Well the best JRPG in years got #2, so I guess the best WRPG in years gets #3. Seriously, I don't understand why more people aren't high on this game, the combat is absolute turn-based bliss. I could never really get into TBWP games like Baldur's Gate so this being fully turn based makes it right up my alley. The story and dialogue is great too, but this game shines due to the absolutely blissful gameplay more than anything else.
  4. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Absolutely engrossing journey. The majority of my game time comes at night in bed after my wife and daughter are asleep, so playing this game in the dark with headphones on (especially that part) was an intensely immersive experience. The only negative is that it made it VERY hard to fall asleep due to how intense it was.
  5. Return of The Obra Dinn - Definitely one of the most unique games ever made. It's a puzzle game, but very different from any other puzzle game. It really made you think in unconventional ways. When it clicks, it really clicks. Short but sweet.
  6. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - I had played this on PC a few years back but I was never really able to give it the time it deserved until it came to Switch this year. Definitely one of the best ARPG combat systems I've experienced, I love how much feedback you get with all of your attacks. The magic system is also great but the limited amount of magic attacks does get old after a while IMO.
  7. Alien Isolation - Finally a horror game that doesn't make me wet my pants TOO badly. Something about the space station setting makes it just unrealistic enough to keep me from getting sucked in too far, which is a legit problem for me in other horror games so I'm counting it as a positive. Except those god damn facehuggers. Screw them.
  8. Super Mario Maker 2 - Though short lived, the burst of creativity this game gave me was extremely satisfying. I'm very proud of the levels I made in this game but I do wish it was supported better to keep me coming back more often.
  9. Cuphead - I was honestly expecting a bit more difficulty from this but I did really enjoy the time I spent with it. The animation is fantastic, and the quick loading after each death made it really straightforward yet satisfying to learn each boss's patterns.
  10. Observer - I absolutely love "surreal" type games that have you traversing dreams/thoughts/memories and the implementation of that in this game was fantastic. I'm not a huge cyberpunk guy but I really liked the world they built for this game. The story was actually quite intriguing too, full of really nice twists that I honestly didn't see coming.
  11. Ori and the Blind Forest - I would have ranked this higher but I really, really disliked how short this game was. The upgrades you get make movement SO fun and satisfying, but then there is so little to actually do with those upgrades once you get most of them that it felt really lacking for me. I managed to 100% the game in under 8 hours without any guides. Compare that to Hollow Knight which took me closer to 50 hours. I know length isn't the end-all-be-all for games but for me it's pretty crucial in a Metroidvania. Getting all of those great upgrades isn't very fun if there's not much game left to use them in.
  12. Baba Is You - This is a game that either makes you feel like a genius or an idiot. And towards the end I was feeling much more like an idiot than a genius, which kinda soured the experience. But the nature of the puzzles was absolutely brilliant and during the portion of the game where the challenge felt just right it was a really, really satisfying puzzler. It just got a little too obtuse for me towards the end.
  13. Deadly Premonition - I can't not mention this game. I had never played it (or really heard of it) before it released on Switch this year, and hoooo boy was I in for a ride. Again, another game that is very awkward to play before bed time (specifically the "other world" sections) and while it was absolutely riddled with technical bugs, the story, characters and especially the dialogue made this easily one of the most memorable games of the year for me. In a generally good way.
  14. Cadence of Hyrule - I'm usually not very good at rhythm games so when I learned this would have a non-rhythm mode I immediately bought in. It was a good, satisfying game but I'll always take handcrafted Hyrule over randomly generated Hyrule.
EDIT: fixed game titles to match the spreadsheet names (well, the ones that were in there)
 
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Aaronrules380

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
11,801
  1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Why did I enjoy this as much as I did? I dunno. *shrugs*
  2. The Outer Wilds - Probably the most innovative, interesting game I've played in years. A true adventure game.
  3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Go ninja go ninja go.
  4. Resident Evil 2 - I never actually played the original all the way through.
  5. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Glad my backer dollars weren't a complete waste, for once.
  6. Death Stranding - While this game is a fucking mess at times, the overall gameplay loop was so relaxing I just couldn't help but love it.
  7. Cadence of Hyrule - I can't believe Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer smashed together worked so well.
  8. Apex Legends - Pew Pew Battle Royale that was good Pew.
  9. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - Buggy, unpolished game that still somehow is the best Star Wars game in years.
  10. Fifa 20 - I love soccer, and I think this FIFA is the best FIFA in ages. Maybe I'm just getting better at it, who knows.
Old games I played this year that I'd put on here if I could...
Persona 5
Slay the Spire


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Slay the Spire technically did come out this year, it was in early access before January, so you can totally include it
 

Late Flag

Member
Oct 27, 2017
222
  1. Resident Evil 2 - Sure, the second and third acts weren't as good, but the RCPD section of this game was sublime. Fantastic replay value.
  2. Control - Original story, fun combat, cool powers, and awesome visual effects.
  3. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - Rough around the edges, and need a fast travel system. Good start to a promising franchise though.
  4. Days Gone - Open-world zombie game that ended up being better than it really had any right to be. Another new franchise with promise.
  5. The Outer Worlds - For the first 6-7 hours, I thought this might end up as my GOTY. Then all of the sudden I was completely overpowered and steamrolling everything. I enjoyed my time with this game, but overall it was a disappointment considering the potential.


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Applebite

Member
Oct 27, 2017
261
  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Feels like a pretty natural progression for FromSoft. Initially wasn't that interested in the setting but the developer got me on board and ended up loving it. Cool world and great gameplay combines for the best game I played this year.
  2. Devil May Cry 5 - I've never beaten a DMC game before, but this was just too fun not to. Full of style, wackiness (in a charming way and not in a DmC way) and great gameplay, this shouldn't be missed by fans of games that are focused on combat.
  3. Life Is Strange 2 - I would maybe agree that this wasn't as good as the first one in some aspects (Rewind mechanic > powers), but the setting and moods DontNod can create are great and pretty much only found in their games. Good voice acting from the main cast, fitting music and a pretty solid narrative made this a really good game that I won't forget easily.
  4. Observation - Cool story and a very interesting game. However, I felt pretty lost at times and it could be pretty vague what you were supposed to do on a few occassions (one case was particularly egregious). I'm glad I played it, but I could't help but feel it would've been better off as a good sci-fi movie.
  5. Pokemon Shield - Tons of problems with this one (Pokedex, really nasty graphics and animations in areas), and the Wild Area wasn't that captivating for me to be honest, but as far as just being a medium for building a squad of Pokemon I like after not touching the franchise for years, it's good enough.


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Jonnykong

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,949
  1. Sayonara Wild Hearts - A perfect combination of music and visuals came together to form a stupendously good game that filled me with sheer joy.
  2. Katana Zero - The best 2d indie I played on the Switch this year.
  3. FAR Lone Sails - A damn right lovely game that I wish more people would try
  4. Mario Maker 2 - This game had a superb single player mode filled with excellently fun levels
  5. Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair - A damn good, charming and fun 2d platformer
  6. Cadence of Hyrule - My word, THAT soundtrack
  7. Life Is Strange 2 - Whilst I don't think it hit the same heights as the original, I still really enjoyed it, and I'll miss the two brothers
  8. Luigi's Mansion 3 - Very fun game with some excellent level design
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - It may have had some annoying dungeons towards the end, but it was still a very fun game
  10. Knights and Bikes - A beautiful throwback to childhood


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Tapiozona

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,132
  1. Gears 5 - I had low expectations because the previous iterations just didnt do it for me but loved the new direction while keeping the same feel of what made Gears, Gears.
  2. Alex Legends - Best shooter which came out of no where. Very friendly to newbies like myself
  3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection - The nostalgia! I know it's divisive but having controller against mouse and keyboard in an actual fair fashion allows an old schooler like me to actually be competitive while still using PC which I enjoy more
  4. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Great story and combat. Finally Jedi combat which felt weighted and real.
  5. Untitled Goose Game - Probably the most fun I had in any game this year. Just can't put it higher because the games above it are more of an achievement. Same reason why I couldn't make Goat Simulator the best game of the year in the past.


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