2019 Top 10

2019 was a tough year. But it was also a year with some amazing games in it. The following games made the year a lot better.

Side note: several games were left off the list because they are showing different release dates on the site and I am using my game of the year voting for this list. These include Slay the Spire, which released in January but has a 2017 date on the site and Dota Underlords which is showing 2020 on the site.

List items

  • Sekiro is a riddle. You try to figure out the answer and bang your head against it over and over, losing to lady Butterfly or the ogre over and over. And then the solution comes to you and everything fits into place. It's a game about pressure. About knowing when to attack and keep attacking. Parries are important but the attack is more so. And then it is a game that rewards you for solving its riddle. Sekiro never lets up, but you feel so powerful when you beat a boss. Everything comes together on that run and you parry and attack in perfect unity. From Software continues to deliver.

  • There was a time in Death Stranding when I was driving a truck back and forth on roads I had built, delivering packages back and forth between towns and individuals, that the game is at its best. After every delivery I would get hundreds of likes that had built up from people driving on my roads. My link level with each location would level up. Eventually, they would give me a star to put on my uniform to show that I maxed them out. Death Stranding is at its best when you are delivering, and that aspect is good enough to hold up the pieces that are lacking.

  • One of my gaming shames is still having never played Symphony of the Night. Bloodstained presents a game in that style, with more choices in how to play. But even with the choices there is nothing more fun than using shards to run at full speed, jump infinitely in the air, and speed through locations to go get some ingredients to make some more potions so you can fight one of the difficult end bosses.

  • My last Pokemon game was Red/Blue, so everything since I haven't been able to experience. My pokedex were only 151 deep. So having the old pokemon I remember mixed with all new pokemon was enough for me. For a first mainline Pokemon game on a console compatible system, I was finally brought back into the fold.

  • Since the original Mortal Kombat I have been a Scorpion player. And he is at his most fun here. The other kharacters aren't too bad either. From Johnny Cage's finishers to the really nasty stuff the game suprises and keeps itself fun. I enjoyed setting up AI teams and sending them to fight other players' AI teams and try to get a good group to dominate with. And the story is at the most ridiculous levels which only makes it more fun.

  • I have been slowly playing through Grindstone for months now. Apple continues to get my money. One day I will beat Grindstone and have paid $60 for it. I will not be sad about this.

  • Battle royales and Tetris, two great games that work much better together than they should. The games stay fast paced as you try to clear lines, stave off attackers, and collect medals by knocking out other players. At its base you are playing a simple game of Tetris. But the added competitive mechanic turns it into a stressful breakneck fight every game.

  • The Outer Worlds removes most of the fluff that plague Bethesda rpgs. Its replaced by a tighter story and companion characters that are interesting and you can actually care about. The combat can still be a bit iffy, and I wish they wouldn't show me dialog options I cannot choose, but the game still feels like an improvement on much of this style of game.

  • Drink a smoothie and then fight a dragon. If Ring Fit had been just an exercise game it would have been another piece of junk that takes up part of the room and never gets played. But as it is you are constantly moving the story along, building various rpg mechanisms, and making smoothies. These add enough game to a workout to make you want to come back for more.

  • You are an adventurer turned into a die and sent into a dungeon to die. You fight back with the power of dice. Fight on.