top 10 games of 2019

Wow, I agonized about this a lot. I honestly didn't think I played a lot of games in 2019, yet this ended up far more full and rich in options in years. And, of course, continued my tradition of being absolutely horrible for finishing any of them.

Some quick honorable mentions:

Destiny 2 - Finally sat down with it with the release on PC. I think a lot of the changes were very smart, I always had a ton to do, and was even easier to go join friends in crucible matches or a raid.

Pathologic 2 - The game is giving me some stroooong S.T.A.L.K.E.R. vibes, but I honestly have barely scratched the surface of it.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - I actually beat Symphony of the Night for the first time this year, and Bloodstained hit Gamepass literal days after. While this appears to be exactly the vibe I'd want after it, it came too fast and I've only been able to put in a couple hours.

* https://www.twitch.tv/videos/503833719?t=05h41m00s

** https://www.twitch.tv/videos/503450938?t=01h33m45s

¹ https://www.twitch.tv/videos/503833719?t=01h33m45s

² https://www.twitch.tv/videos/503833719?t=03h02m57s

³ https://www.twitch.tv/videos/503833719?t=06h16m51s

ǂ https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Unseen

List items

  • Card games are wonderful. They quickly can introduce variety and strategy into whichever game system they are used in. Slay the Spire uses that and a run-based meta to then turn that into a desperate drafting roguelike that I can't stop playing.

  • I'm terrible at Apex, I forget how guns handle all the damn time, making anything long or mid-ranged useless in my hands - which is why I got most of my kills with the dreaded Mozambique before the hop-up. But even with my clear lack of skill, I always have fun playing it. With super smart systems like pinging, the group drops, good character variety, and just it being a damn fun Battle Royale game, had me coming back with all sorts of friend circles.

  • Most any other time I've had a Pokémon game on here I mostly put "POKÉMON" in all caps like that and left it be. This time around, its really worth mentioning some of the (many) changes that they made, as nearly all of them have been for the better.

    First and foremost the Wild Area feels as dangerous as its name suggests. Pokémon usually plays off of a familiar leveling ramp, making for a very comfortable ride for a majority of its gameplay. The Wild Area instead hints at the dangers, uncertainty, and excitement that the rest of the franchise nearly bathes in. To top it off the social space it creates when online, while rough in presentation, does give an element of life that the series so desperately needed.

  • You got your Doom in my Bioshock! You got your Bioshock in my Doom! And its run-based and has a salty Scotsman alien that will cuss me out, and I think that's beautiful.

  • I love Magic, and I think this may be the best way to get into Magic in 2019, unless you want to play with friends, because the interface to do that still sucks.

    But its saying something that I can come back to this time and time again and get a lot out of it every time with new deck strategies, or drafts.

  • So a friend group I regularly play 4X and grand strategy games with went hard on RTS this year, and of all the ones we played, AoE2 was the one we came back to the most. Funny enough, Definitive Edition came out just weeks after the highest of our frenzy (we had been playing the HD edition) but the changes they made made me come back to it again and again even when it wasn't our regular Tuesday and really dig into the meat of the game. Suffice to say: AoE2 is a classic for a reason.

  • I can't say much about Can Androids Pray without going into its narrative, and since that is so much of the game, I'm not going to say much at all. Please play it, or you can check a bit of it out when I streamed it for Extra-Life*

  • (its a 2016 game, but bite me) So on that same note, this year I decided to take part in Extra Life for the first time as a participant, each day was to have its own little theme to help mix things up, some stuff familiar and some not. The first day was horror themed, and was largely games I owned and never played. Anatomy was one of them, and holy bajesus was it an experience.

    Much like the above its hard to really talk about it when so much of it is about narrative. And just like the above you can watch me go through my run of it from my Extra-Life stream.**

  • If you've seen some of my previous lists, the¹ aforementioned² streams³ , and earlier entries to this list, you know that I love Mechs, specifically the Battletech kind. And with that love comes love for MechWarrior. MechWarrior 5 is a continuation in all things: a continuation of MechWarrior Online's very good mech combat sim, with a sort of dated feeling interface and cheap story that kinda ties back to what fans would expect. Its amazing that such a game is being made in this day and age, and its damn fun to play.

  • Harebrained Schemes' BATTLETECH from 2018 really sparked my imagination of the whole series and brought that love front and center, and this year they dropped their biggest expansion yet: Heavy Metal. It adds a lot of new mechs, many of which are previously Unseen(ǂ), some new events, some new missions, and really added some neat new equipment that both made each and every one of them sought after, but also really made me rethink some tactics that I had never used in the 2018 game prior to this. I don't think I'll ever stop recommending this damn game to people.