2019 GOTY

2019 was a great year for video games despite what some people might say. This is probably the first year for a while that I truly enjoyed everything I played and felt like I got my gaming groove back. Before getting into my actual list I have a couple of honourable mentions:

The Messenger

If I had of played The Messenger in 2018, it would have been my Game of the Year. The Messenger is truly a fantastic experience and one of the greatest games I've played this decade. I cannot understate how enamoured I was with this title, everything was perfect. A masterpiece of video games.

Persona 5

I'm a pretty casual Persona fan, I played and loved 4 but missed the hype of 5. I finally played it in 2019 and turns out it's one of my favourite games. The gameplay is much refined compared to previous entries and the story and cast of characters is my favourite. I'm sure it's been said countless times before but this is an amazing experience.

Tekken 7

Tekken continues to be the king of fighting games for me. I've never had more fun with a fighting game than Tekken 7, and 2019 was no different with a bunch of new characters and balance patches. Without a doubt this will continue on into 2020 and beyond, and as always I can't wait to play more.

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And now on to the games of 2019!

List items

  • KOF Allstar released outside of Japan this year. I wasn't too familiar with it, but I saw a number of ads pop up for it on twitter (thanks to Cesaro and Austin Creed). I can safely say this is the best mobile game I've ever played, and a game I've played daily for the last 3 or 4 months since it's release. The art is great, and the gameplay is good for a mobile beat-em-up style fighter. An easy pick for my top 10 this year.

  • I enjoyed MKX for what it was, but fell off pretty hard and fast after the first month or so of release. For some reason it just didn't grip me particularly despite really liking the visuals. MK11 released this year and was a really fun experience, slightly marred by the terrible PC port. For weeks there were issues with lobbies crashing and general performance problems. But when the game worked, it worked great. The fighting felt the best for me personally out of any MK game sans UMK3.

  • I haven't actually played Pokemon yet, but I spent a lot of time watching my SO play it. I think the game looks really good, the gameplay looks solid and I really like the wild area. The music is also really good! I think this generation's new Pokemon are the best for a long time, and I'm looking forward to playing it myself at some point (after I finally finish ORAS...).

  • Since the release of Tekken 7 I struggled to stick to any other fighting game for an extended period of time. DoA6 changed that however and I spent a good portion of this year playing it. In terms of fighting mechanics, it's easily the most fun I've found a fighting game for years. The game is absolutely gorgeous as well. Koei Tecmo is continuing to support the title making it a game I hope to continue playing into 2020 and beyond as well.

  • I was a fan of the original CTR but mostly enjoyed a quick playthrough of the story and nothing more. CTR: Nitro Fueled introduced a service style mechanic similar to a battle pass that brought with it new characters, tracks, karts, cosmetics etc etc and for one reason or another it hooked me. Out of games released in 2019 this is probably the one I played the most. There was a couple month stretch where I put in 2-3 hours every night just to keep unlocking things, and I enjoyed every minute particularly understanding the deeper mechanics of the game.

  • My 2018 GOTY was Black Ops 4 which was solely down to how much fun I had with the "Blackout" battle royale mode. Apex Legends came out of left field this year and was an amazing experience. Nothing quite beats the feeling you get winning a battle royale game, or even just getting a few kills. I'm a big fan of the overall aesthetic and music in the game as well, and grew to really like the character roster. While I haven't played it for a few months, in the first few months following it's release it was a nightly mainstay in my gaming group.

  • I played a lot of DMC in 2019. I played through all of DMC1 to 100% completion, and played through 4 to refresh on the story. I wasn't particularly excited for 5, but on a whim I got it on the day of release and thoroughly enjoyed my time playing through it. The gameplay is solid as you'd expect, and the soundtrack is one of my favourites for this year by far. DMC5 was a pleasant surprise and not something I would have thought I'd have time to play this year, let alone make it this high on my list.

  • From Soft games are often among some of my favourites. Bought and played Sekiro on release, and got possibly around a quarter through before bouncing off of it hard. Some of it was due to the difficulty and some of it was down to me just not enjoying the overall gameplay flow. However I picked it up again around September, and for some reason everything just clicked. From that point on, I adored everything about Sekiro. The moment I knew it was one of my favourite games this year was when I landed an accidental air deathblow to an enemy and had a "holy shit that was awesome" moment, which are few and far between for me. I breezed passed the rest of the game (even the "true" final boss) and thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. Well deserving of the accolades it received this year.

  • FFXIV Shadowbringers is one of the best Final Fantasy games, period. The fact that an MMO can deliver a story of this calibre while providing amazing and engaging gameplay, bombastic encounters, and wonderful soundtrack is amazing. I enjoyed every moment I spent playing through the main story, and had a great experience playing through the Nier Automata raid on the day of release. I can't wait to see what 2020 has in store for FFXIV as it continues to be one of the best games out there, and my personal favourite MMO ever.

  • As a lifelong Resident Evil fan, RE2 was one of my most anticipated games ever. The fact that they managed to deliver a game with this level of quality and polish and absolutely blow away all expectations is astounding. I rinsed everything I possibly could out of this game including doing some fairly surface level speed and challenge runs with much enjoyment. I don't remember the last time I felt genuine fear playing a video game, but the first few run ins with Mr. X were terrifying. RE2 is a fantastic game, and my game of the year for 2019. Needless to say I am incredibly excited for RE3 in 2020!