2019 Game of the Year
2019 was a fantastic year for me personally. Also, there was some really great video games that came out! While I didn't play quite as many as I would have liked to, I did play enough to make my annual Top 10 list.
10. Crackdown 3
Crackdown 3 is not a good video game. But it is a fun distraction that brings back memories of the first game and lets you just run around an island blowing everything up. I spent way too many hours playing this game and hunting agility orbs for no good reason. I had a good time with the senseless story and just doing Crackdown things. It's a shame they won't make another.
9. Super Mario Maker 2
Hey, it's more Mario Maker! I was never as crazy for the first one as a lot of my friends are, but it's fun to have an endless stream of levels to play. The new mechanics and 3D World tileset are welcome additions, but it's just more of the same for the most part.
8. Ring Fit Adventure
This game is way better than it has any right to be. Ring Fit Adventure does a great job of gamifying exercise and motivating you to mix up your workout. I'm looking forward to making this game a regular part of my weekly routine next year.
7. Assemble With Care
I picked this up on Apple Arcade when I was subscribed to it, and this was such a cute little game. The stories were sweet, the atmosphere the game creates will calming, and the puzzles were fun even though they weren't difficult. If you are still on Apple Arcade, you should seek this one out.
6. Baba is You
While Assemble With Care was full of calm, easy puzzles, Baba is You is are pain in the ass. I've had to bang my head against a lot of these levels to figure out how to make the logic work in my favor in the most unexpected ways. This game is cool as hell, but be prepared to get mad. A lot.
5. Untitled Goose Game
4. Cadence of Hyrule
I was never great at Crypt of the Necrodancer, but I always had fun playing the few levels I could get through. This is a more accessible version of that game wrapped up in The Legend of Zelda's dungeon and overworld format, and it works so damn well. It was really difficult at the beginning, but as I got more upgrades it became more and more fun, and I never felt like I was getting killed because I couldn't get my head around mechanics and patterns. I've had so much fun with this that every now and then I jump back in to try the mode where you only have one life and dying sends you back to the very start. I probably won't ever beat that, but it's fun to try!
3. Tetris 99
The idea of making every game into a Battle Royale has been a joke for the past couple years. But then Nintendo went and made a Tetris Battle Royale, and it WORKS. Tetris is awesome on its own, but seeing all the other 98 boards around you and being able to target opponents with a really clever system feels great. They later added more modes to flesh the game out more and did timed events for new skins. This whole package is just fantastic, and free to get into if you have Nintendo's online service. Tetris is still rad.
2. Sayonara Wild Hearts
This game is COOL AS HELL. It's dripping with style in the visuals and the audio, constantly bombarding you with pop-ful bliss and nonstop action. The levels may be auto-runners, but the mechanics change each time and get more and more over-the-top as you go on. Does the story make sense? Probably, I don't care. I want to ride this motorcycle and shoot down this wolf Megazord while moving and firing to the beat of a CHVRCHES-like soundtrack. I played this on Apple Arcade, but I'm likely going to get this game on more platforms when it's on sale. This rules so hard and is extremely my jam.
1. Pokemon Sword/Shield
What a surprise! The guy who has Pokemon Red in his Top 5 All-Time, Pokemon Let's Go very high on his list last year, and is still constantly playing Pokemon Go put the new Pokemon game at the top of his list. I absolutely hated Sun/Moon and all the changes they brought with the badge system. This game went back to just having gyms but with a more sports focus, and it worked really well. The game does have some shortcoming with framerate issues in the Wild Area and some missing Pokemon from the past, but the actual gameplay is still fantastic, the new Pokemon added are neat, and bringing over raids from Go works surprisingly well. I've dumped a lot of hours into this and completed the PokeDex, and it doesn't seem like I'm slowing down anytime soon with the hunt for shiny Pokemon just beginning. I'm very happy to have this be my 2019 Game of the Year.