My Top Ten Games of 2019

Hey. Hello. I guess 2019 is basically over and I guess I basically played a lot of games this year, both new and old. In fact, I managed to beat 42 games this year. Gadzooks. So yeah, I feel pretty accomplished in regards to both clearing backlog stuff and having complete experiences with the games that I enjoy.

Personally, it was a transitional year for me and my family (and gaming in general?), so gaming was a nice escape from all of that "busyness". While this year wasn't a 2018 or anything in terms of awesome releases, I still found a lot of enjoyment in what was provided.

So without further ado, here's a couple of categories along with my "favorite" video game things of the year.

Honorable Mentions:

Man of Medan - I loved Until Dawn quite a bit. It was my kind of adventure game, with fun characters and cool branching moments. Man of Medan is a bit less than that game, but it still scratched that same itch in a lot of ways. The story was a weird letdown compared to how crazy Until Dawn got, but I'm glad that same team is still churning out unique experiences like this one. Here's hoping the next "Dark Picture" is even better and longer than this one.

Katana Zero - A fun game with a pretty insane storyline. The gameplay is fast paced and challenging at times. Definitely scratches that Hotline Miami itch that I got on my lower back.

Favorite Non-2018 games:

Darksiders II - It's like they took most of the Zelda influences out of the series and replaced it with Diablo! Loot system + more RPG influences made this one hell of a sequel. Death was a much more interesting and compelling character than what we get from War in Darksiders 1. The score by Jesper Kyd is honestly mesmerizing at points. Excellent game all around.

Dishonored 2 - Between this game and Prey, I find myself in love with Arkane Studios. Those guys really know how to deliver immersive first person experiences that stick with you long after you hit the credits. I enjoyed going through Dishonored 1 this year, but Dishonored 2 fixed a lot of my issues with that game. It allowed you to embody a fleshed out and enjoyable protagonist this time in Emily Kaldwin and gave you a fun, branching story of revenge. The world is wholly unique and I sincerely hope that Arkane returns to this universe at some point.

Ass Creed Odyssey - This is basically Ass Creed: MOREigins, but I felt like it had a more compelling story than Origins did. Plus, I love Greek mythology and this game really goes ALL THE WAY in that regard for an Assassin's Creed game (which usually play things straight). Odyssey is (probably) my favorite Ass Creed game now. I love this new style of RPG Ass Creed games and I can't wait for the Viking sequel.

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus - Holy shit, did I miss out on these games back in the day! I would've loved this stealthy take on 3D platformers. While I also loved playing through Sly 2 this year, I really really loved the first game and it's more focused take on it's stealth gameplay. I think this was the year I became a big fan of stealth games and it honestly feels pretty cozy. Gotta beat Sly 3 and Thieves in Time in 2020!

Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando - After going through the original PS2 trilogy this year, I am all done on completing mainstream Ratchet and Clank games. Going Commando is easily the strongest of the original 3 games in terms of story and gameplay. Up Your Arsenal is also great, but it has a couple odd design choices that hold it back a bit in my eyes. If you love 3D platformers and Sci-Fi stuff, then do yourself a favor and check out the Ratchet and Clank games! Yeah, ALL OF THEM!

Dead Space 1/Dead Space 2 - My favorite "replays" of the year, these two action horror games hold up extremely well. I especially enjoyed going back to 2, which is very much the "Aliens" to Dead Space 1's "Alien".

List items

  • Fallen Order has everything that I love in video games. A satisfying souls-like combat system along with exciting exploration elements and fun locations + a compelling Star Wars story with characters that I cared about. Damn it Respawn, you really hit it out of the park this year in terms of great new releases. I sometimes hate when people say shit like this, but Fallen Order honestly "made me care about Star Wars again". Hell of a video game and I was genuinely sad to see it end after 100%ing most of the planets. Give me that fist bump, BD-1!

  • A REmake done right, Resident Evil 2 feels like the masters of survival horror have come home to roost! Or something? That phrase probably doesn't work here, whoops. I'm just really glad that Capcom is making their own games again and they're doing an awesome job at it. I can't wait to see what they do with Resident Evil 3's remake. THE CAP IS BACK!

  • Respawn came out of nowhere to deliver the most compelling Battle Royale on the market. I easily spent dozens of hours with this game and I still enjoy going back to it after all this time. Smoke it up, Bangalore!

  • This game sucked me in and it wouldn't let go of me for weeks! I got so addicted to crafting insane decks and trying to beat that damn HEART! Easily the best "podcast game" of the year.

  • This longtime fan of the Devil May Cry series is pleased! While I loved DMC, it's awesome that they decided to go back to the classic characters of the older games. This game just got better and better as I went along and unlocked better moves and BETTER characters. Rad game, good job once again Capcom! YOU'RE BACK BABY!

  • If Dark Souls was a third person shooter with solid co-op, then it would be called REMNANT. I guess? I dunno, this game was a surprise hit for me and my good buddy and we had a blast going through it. That butterfly boss on the bridge was bullshit, but whatever, we had FUN!

  • Probably the best Luigi's Mansion game? I enjoyed and appreciated the first Mansion game on Gamecube, but this one felt much more creative and fun compared to that game. Every floor was a theme park and I was there for it! Final boss was kind of an ass!

  • Yakuza meets detective drama! Yes, please! These types of games are a bit too long for their own good, but I still enjoy them a lot. Yagami is a great new protagonist and he gets into some goofy shit. Combat is fun, but can get a bit mashy and repetitive as the game goes on. I wish they would either get an editor for these games to trim them down to 20-30 hours or expand the damn combat system. Ah well.

  • First time playing a Mario Maker game and it's pretty rad! I was honored that former Giant Bomb newsman turned pro-YouTuber Patrick Klepek played through my (bad) Mario Maker 2 level. One of my favorite moments from the year. I still need to finish my 2nd level!

  • It's like Fallout in space, but without a lot of the fun exploration and "wow!" moments that come with those games. I honestly loved my first 10 or so hours with this game, but it fell off for me after that point when it started feeling pretty repetitive and a bit uninspired in places. There just wasn't enough to it at the end of the day and I don't see much replay value in terms of builds. Still a pretty decent alternative to the mainline Fallout games. Parvati is great!