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#GOTY 2019

My number 1 this year was somehow even less shocking than last year. As usual, this will be a top five list, since, while I probably did play 10 new games this year thanks to the likes of GamePass, I don't think I played enough of them to warrant a spot on this list. Anyway, let's begin with the honorable mentions:

  • Rocket League
    Realistically, this is my GOTY. It just came out in 2015 is all. Between putting about 300 hours in this year alone, as well as getting to Champ 1 (and then Champ 2!) in ranked for the first time and running my 3rd successive annual Rocket League tournament at work, it's fair to say I played a lot of Rocket League this year. And, for what it's worth, I don't see that stopping soon.
  • Sekiro
    I enjoyed a lot of Sekiro. It created a world that to me was nearly as interesting to explore as the one from the original Dark Souls. Sadly, the immense difficulty stopped me from beating it in the end. After being frustrated for many hours at Lady Butterfly I finally managed to overcome my first hurdle, and breezed through the next swathe of bosses. But I hit another wall, and just haven't had the motivation to bash my head against it to learn what I'm doing wrong this time.
  • Dreams
    It's technically not out yet, so, hey, it could make my list next year still! I just wanted to give Dreams a mention because arguably it's one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in gaming. The tools they give you are mindblowing enough on their own, and seeing what people have already begun to create with them is even more so. Definitely one to keep an eye on in early 2020 (and onwards).

List items

  • Apparently we can't add expansions to a list, so you'll have to imagine this says Monster Hunter World: Iceborne instead. Iceborne came out after a significant cooling-off period (pun intended) for me with MonHun. I had tried the PC version but felt apathetic about repeating all the content I had already beaten, despite the vastly improved load times and framerate. But once Iceborne hit I was instantly hooked, and as of writing have nearly doubled my playtime in the game with another 100 hours played.

  • To me, Death Stranding is equal parts fascinating and tedious. In no other game (or form of media to be honest) have I seen intrigue and monotony woven so tightly. I haven't beaten it yet, because it's stupidly long, but I hope to over Christmas. The mechanics are tiring yet the constant drip feed of new abilities and story is just about enough to keep me wanting more. I mean, what kind of game gives you a _grenade_ as your first (and only, for about 10 hours) weapon!

  • It's the most fun I've had with a CoD single player campaign since, well, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Plus that raytracing is damn pretty.

  • For Sword and Shield I tried to go nearly completely media blackout. Sun/Moon was the first generation of Pokemon game where I didn't beat the main campaign, and I think I was just pretty tired of the franchise. Thankfully, Sword and Shield feel fresh, and despite not enjoying a few of the (surprisingly popular) new features (looking at you, Wild Area/raid battles) I was pleasantly surprised to find some enjoyment in stuff like Dynamaxing that I thought I would hate. The new Pokemon designs are great, I just wish they'd give up on trotting out hundreds of old ones I couldn't care less about anymore. Another one I plan to beat over Christmas.

  • This game should arguably be a lot higher. It was my first Anno game, and I had a fantastic time playing it with my partner. That is, until we hit a game-breaking bug in the campaign about 10 hours in. Still stings that one, but if you enjoy games like Civilisation, Total War and Sim City this will be right up your street. Or port, I suppose.