The last year before the next generation of consoles brought a number of solid titles. There were some surefire hits and a number of surprises. Below you will find a list of some the titles that made 2019 great:
Kingdom Hearts III
There were questions as to whether or not Kingdom Hearts III would ever release as it had been well over a decade since its predecessor. Games that generally have lengthy development cycles are usually rife with issues and their overall quality is a crapshoot. Fortunately, Kingdom Hearts III only real issue is that its narrative can be complex as it is filled with lore and a seemingly never-ending list of major players. The game itself is pretty great all things considered, fluid gameplay, gorgeous graphics, and a ton of content will keep you entertained until the credits roll. If you still aren’t satisfied with the game’s conclusion, there will be DLC dropping on January 23.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
It is damn near impossible to recapture the greatness in a remake. Sizable changes have to be made to ensure that the game is accessible to modern audiences while still respecting the originals design and intent. With that being said, this version of Resident Evil 2 isn’t just one of the best remakes of all time, it’s one of the best games out there, period. There is almost nothing that it does not nail; it is tense, unnerving, disturbing, action-packed, and a whole lot of fun. Being stalked by Mr. X throughout the halls of the Raccoon City Police Department is the stuff of nightmares. Easily something that will be talked about for years to come.
Devil May Cry V
With all due respect to Ninja Theory and their solid retelling of the DMC story, it was nice to see that Capcom was willing to return to the original series. Devil May Cry V is a fantastic addition with its stylish action, thrilling boss encounters, and varied gameplay from its three protagonists. It is linear, which may be a negative for some, but the game moves as such a quick pace that you won’t even notice. One of the best aspects of this entry is that the difficulty scales as the player begins to become comfortable with its mechanics. Enemy and boss encounters become more difficult as the game progresses and by its end, you will be more than an accomplished demon slayer.
Sekiro Shadows Die Twice
If you ever had issues with the combat in any of the FromSoftware titles, don’t fret as Sekiro Shadows Die Twice has you covered. This is a game that requires mastery of its mechanics as trying to take shortcuts will get you killed instantly. Unlike other titles from the esteemed publisher, you are on your own and the path to success requires patience, timing, and controlled aggression. Take everything you knew about the FromSoftware formula and throw it out of the window, as none of it applies here. This is considered the best title of the year for a reason, you will be challenged and you just might break your controller in the process.
Do you like trippy games? Do you want a title that slowly builds you up to be a telekinetic badass? Then Control is for you. This is one of my favorite titles of the year as everything is just so damn cool. The environment around you alters depending on where you are in the narrative and the game does a great job of making you feel powerful. It just so happens to feature one of the best sections in gaming this year and possibly in recent memory with the Ashtray Maze. Respect your janitor’s people.
Mortal Kombat 11
The fighting genre has had a resurgence as of late and while there weren’t that many released this year, Mortal Kombat 11 is a must have. On top of the deep roster and strong character customization to help emphasize kombo experimentation, there is a campaign that is surprisingly in-depth as it softly reboots the franchise. While the online multiplayer is fun, if you don’t feel like playing with others, there are plenty of offline challenges to partake in such as the ever shifting towers and aforementioned campaign. Did I mention that this has the best fatalities in the whole series? Because it does and they are awesome.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare
Regardless of your feelings toward the Call of Duty franchise as a whole. Modern Warfare is a winner. Yes, it is a reboot of the MW series, but this feels like a turning point for the series. There is less of an emphasis on micro-transactions even if there is an in-game store and battle pass. But these can be ignored as all major DLC content is surprisingly free. The campaign is grounded and while it has its typical COD moments, it feels gritty and this is refreshing as actions in the game feel like they have weight. The multiplayer is also one of the series best, with a number of great maps and modes to help tide you over until the eventual next entry. Hopefully, Activision doesn’t stray too far from the path.
Fire Emblem Three Houses
One of the best strategy titles to release this year, Fire Emblem Three Houses does the franchise proud with strong gameplay mechanics and a powerful narrative. It’s not all combat though as you will have to navigate the day to day life of an academy professor. This is where you will build and foster relationships with your students and fellow professors, which will then translate to the battlefield. You will only have the opportunity to choose one house per playthrough, so to get the full experience, you will have to play multiple times. Shouldn’t be a problem though, the game is great.
Monster Hunter World Iceborne
Iceborne is an expansion to the fantastic Monster Hunter World that features a lengthy campaign, new and diverse monsters to fight, and a new area to explore. You can sink hundreds of hours into this expansion because of all the unlockables and monster variants. It’s insane considering how large the main game was and Iceborne just throws more of that good Monster Hunter madness at you with no regard toward your personal time. How dare Capcom.
Untitled Goose Game
Ever wanted to be an asshole with no consequences? Then the Untitled Goose Game is for you, create havoc amongst the townsfolk as you complete objectives that lets you be a dick because reasons. This is a ton of fun and practically came out of nowhere. I highly recommend you give this a try if you want to blow off some steam.
Super Mario Maker 2
Listen, I have sunk over 150+ hours into this game and I plan on continuing to do so because this game is amazing. The creativity of the community is insane as there are always new levels daily for you to play. You can also create your own levels if you want too, the only limit is your imagination. With the new Legend of Zelda DLC, you can play as Link and that is awesome. Pick this up if you love Mario and own a Switch, you won’t be disappointed.
It seems like every year that Platinum Games releases a title that will knock you off your feet. Astral Chain is crazy, you have familiars that are tethered to you that can be interchanged to assist in combat and puzzle solving. While completing certain actions can be fairly complex, they are incredibly satisfying when you do, so I recommend mastering the combat when you can to feel as powerful as possible. Platinum Games just keeps quietly churning out great titles and Astral Chain is tremendous.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
In a year in which Nintendo has crushed the competition with its first-party releases, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of the best. A lengthy campaign, diverse gameplay, fun puzzles, and engaging boss encounters make this one of the most complete titles this year. While the mechanics can be a bit difficult to master, it is a ton of ghost-hunting fun. Luigi is the man and this is the game where he gets the respect he rightfully deserves.
Bloodstained Ritual of the Night
While the Castlevania series has disappointed due to Konami’s ineptitude and lack of respect to its customer base, Bloodstained Ritual of the Night is more than willing to fill that void. Created by the mind behind Symphony of the Night, this is the successor that fans have been clamoring for. Every enemy encountered in the game can become shards that can be used in combat, which allows for greater diversity in combat and it helps that the castle itself is filled with secrets and hidden paths. If you want to scratch that Castlevania itch, Bloodstained has you covered.
World War Z
Left 4 Dead 3 may never come. Fortunately, World War Z is really fun and does a solid job of filling in that zombie-slaying void. There are a number of different scenarios to tackle, each with their own objectives and challenges for teams to tackle together. Zombies in World War Z are diverse and the sheer number that fill the screen can create some really tense moments. It helps that Saber Interactive is constantly adding free content to keep their community entertained for years to come.
Remnant from the Ashes
More than just Dark Souls with guns, Remnant from the Ashes is unique in that the world can constantly be re-rolled to help players experience all the game has to offer through its procedurally generated dungeons. This is a game that can be punishingly difficult, but you don’t lose progress or experience like Dark Souls, you just have your ego damaged in the process. Bosses will challenge you because of ammo management, so know when to shoot and when to melee, otherwise you’ll be killed rather quickly. This literally came out of nowhere and is one of my favorite titles of the year.
Hideo Kojima did it again. This is one of the most unique titles in recent memory because of the emphasis on community without actually seeing another player. Every structure that is built can be utilized by other players who share your server so while you’re alone, you’re never really alone. While the terrain can be challenging, it’s always nice to know that there are other players who think just like you and are willing to leave something to help you along the way. In a sea of action adventure titles that force competition, Death Stranding wants you to cooperate with others and that is commendable.
The Outer Worlds
In what feels like a love letter to Fallout fans, The Outer Worlds is a tremendous title with brilliant writing and an excellent universe to explore. This is a title that you’re going to want to take your time in as thee is so much to take in and see. There are hidden secrets strewn throughout the game and while you may be tempted to shoot your way out of it, might I recommend talking for once? The results may surprise you, it’s also a ton of fun. Also, Parvatti is the best companion, there is no debate.
Gimme the loot and don’t stop until I say so, that, in a nutshell, is Borderlands 3. Featuring a number of quality of life improvements that modernize its gameplay for this generation, Borderlands 3 is a great looter shooter. There are a ton of guns to find and some even have legs and will chase enemies for you. Boss fights are a lot of fun and the new Moxxie DLC is pretty good too. This is a game that you can sink hundreds of hours with as each of the four heroes are unique and play differently from one another. I love this series and it was nice to see it make a comeback.
Have you ever wanted to play the Yakuza series but felt that it was too late? Well, besides that being a lame excuse, might I recommend that you play Judgment, a spin-off of the Yakuza series that has you on the right side of the law with a new protagonist who just happens to be a detective/lawyer? Seriously, the game is great, combat is fluid and fun, the city of Kamuroucho is dense and filled with side activities, and the campaign is enthralling. Plus, the game is super charming and is really accessible. I promise your head won’t spin because of all the complexities that come with the Yakuza series.
Just remember, this is a personal list, so I may have missed some titles that made your list. See you in 2020.