Top Games Mike Played in 2019
Long time listener of the GB crew, first time list-creator.
I finally have the energy and time to come up with a list of games I had fun playing throughout the year. As a parent, these items are a rare commodity, so I'm taking advantage of them while they're still available.
This list is also self-serving catharsis as I make peace with how I now interact with one of my favorite hobbies. It's a tale as old as time: parent of a toddler barely has time for anything besides work and parenting, let alone video games. There was this looming thought in my mind that was insistent that total hours played = commitment to the hobby. "Am I even a fan of video games if I hardly get to play them?", I asked myself. The answer is obviously 'yes', but it's tough to see that when everyone around you finds more time to play than you do.
What ended up allowing me to get past the time commitment thing was the context in which I was now playing games: my son. He just turned four, so most of this year has been spent introducing him to games. At first, he was just interested in watching me play games. That quickly turned into wanting to actually hold the controller and play for himself. It spiraled from there.
We started with simple games on the SNES classic and eventually moved onto more complicated games on the Switch. Besides loving 'Paw Patrol on a Roll' (toddlers, am I right?), he was smitten with everything Mario. We played Mario Kart, Mario Odyssey, Mario Bros Wii U Deluxe, Mario Maker 2. All this year. I even found a decently priced GBA SP on eBay for him, so he could play Super Mario Advance 4.
Watching him explore games and get excited made me realize that, just because I couldn't sink 50-60 hours into an RPG (as I am want to do), didn't mean I wasn't having fun with the hobby. Yes, I spend less time playing games by myself. I'm a 'gamer', though, and now having a ton of fun with my son.
That all said, here are the games I played in 2019. You'll notice most aren't from 2019 (my backlog is daunting, gigantic and embarrassing). These are the games I played the most and made the biggest impact on me.