GotY 2019

List items

  • Easily the best part of Final Fantasy 14; Shadowbringers is in the upper echelon of Final Fantasy, overall. It builds on the story, takes 14 to new places and tells it exceedingly well. Remove the MMO trappings and this would be a solid, if short (relatively), Final Fantasy.

  • I had to play this, if only to see what it was going to be. As I write this, I have not finished Death Stranding, but I don't know that I need to. Death Stranding the game is wrapped up in the journey. The "game" part of it comes from how you get from A to B, the path you take and the means you use to take it. The point of completing the journey is so you can take that next step. Whatever the ending is, good or bad, coherent or not, is less important than how you get there.

  • I bought this on a whim and a promise of "persona + xcom". It has lived up to that.

  • I haven't touched this as much as I want to yet, but I am a mark for Shenmue and even if it isn't "good" by 2019 standards, I am glad and amazed that this came out and can't wait for 4.

  • Abstract rhythm platforming. Straightforward in a way that Cadence of Hyrule isn't.

  • Rhythm action/adventure. Fresh and innovative in a way that Vectronom isn't. In a lot of ways, Vectronom and Cadence are interchangeable on this list. They're different takes on a concept.

  • This came out and left in a way that I was surprised about; given how everyone lost their shit over the first.

  • I played a lot of this in early access, but its 1.0 release was this year, so it counts. I'm not crazy about some of the things that they did between early access and the later builds, but few games give a sense of exploration like this one does. Little was explicitly dangerous, but that sinking feeling in your chest as you push into a cave, or out of sight of your home base is unmatched.

  • Probably the most "one of those games" of a lot of "one of those games". Does it do anything new/original? Not really. Is what's there interesting and well written? Yes.

  • Baba is difficult and amazing. It has the problem that I have with all puzzle games where I hit a wall when they get smarter than me and I fall off of them, but getting to that wall was good fun and has some of the best "aha!" moments when the level clicks in your head and you complete it after banging your head against it for however long.

  • This missed my top 10 because I'm kinda over random run based games. Not that this isn't a good one of those, but they all feel like I get so far into the cycle, hit my skill ceiling, and upgrades are either too expensive to obtain or don't do enough to help me get past that ceiling and I fall off. That happened here. Shoutout to game pass though.

  • Another game that I fell off of when it got smarter than me. The wave of nostalgia from the interface to the content is wonderful and I'm told that there's more to it beyond the nostalgia.

  • Honorable Mention because building cities is fun. I'm new to the series, so it feels like the late game gets bogged down in systems that I haven't quite wrapped my head around.

  • Another year another Tetris game. Tetris Battle Royale is a hell of a concept and fun to boot, even if the people still playing are way better than me.