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Top 10 Games 2019

Introduction

Here are my top 10 games 2019. Note this is a list of games I played in 2019 and includes a few that weren’t released this year. I also missed out on a few games I wanted to play, so if you’re favourite isn’t on there I probably ran out of time, sorry! Now, let’s do this.


10. Rage 2

I had a lot of fun with Rage 2, even if that fun was slightly short lived. The gunplay, traversal and abilities are almost flawless leading to a first-person shooter which is incredibly satisfying to play through. The campaign mixed things up with some good linear sections and bosses, but the crux of the game revolves around ticking off the ludicrous amount of activities littered across its open world. After a while this got extremely repetitive and even though the huge world was visually impressive, it all felt a bit bland and lifeless. Read my full review here.

9. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

As a Star Wars fan who grew up playing great Star Wars games it was hard not to form an emotional connection with Fallen Order. As soon as I heard the swooshing sound of my lightsabre I was reminded of being a kid again, pretending to be one with the force. While I said the story and big ‘wow’ moments were great, I couldn’t help feeling like I’d played it all before. There’s so many mechanics ripped from the heart of other games and transplanted straight into Fallen Order (seriously the swimming is almost a one to one copy of Sekiro: Shadows die Twice). I can’t be the only one who wanted something fresh, revolutionary and bold rather than an entry which plays it extremely safe. Read my full review here.

8. Star Wars Battlefront 2

As just mentioned I grew up playing games like the classic Star Wars Battlefront 2, which is why I was so disappointed by the loot-box fiasco of the new Battlefront 2’s launch in 2017. When I picked up the game for a cheeky £6 on this year’s international Star Wars day I could see clearly just how much difference almost two years can make.

As soon as I started a 20 vs 20 match of Galactic Assault I was bombarded by spectacle as a flurry of lasers flew past me and explosions boomed in the distance. This, combined with the photorealistic presentation of each map, instantly grounded me in the Star Wars Universe. I was having a surprising amount of fun and remembered happy memories playing the original game over a decade ago. Read my full review here.

7. Diablo 3: Eternal Collection

Coming from a looter-shooter background I was pleasantly surprised playing Diablo III for the first time on my Nintendo Switch. The game constantly makes you feel powerful and gives you over the top abilities and legendary gear to boot. For example a piece of legendary armour makes the grenades of my Demon Hunter bounce. If they bounce up to a maximum of five times the damage is increased by 800%. 800%! This is the kind of crazy loot I want in Destiny 2.

I also love the fact that you can play  couch co-op using up to four joy-cons. It actually plays incredibly well using a single joy-con and the fact you have to shake your controller to roll adds a nice element of fun. There’s a lot of miles left in this one and I can’t wait to play some more. I also may be addicted…

6. Metro: Exodus

The third entry in the Metro series was a polarising experience. On one half it was fully immersive and genuinely terrifying with excellent implementation of psychological horror. On the other it was poor writing and bizarre facial animations that were so bad at times I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

This lead to some of my favourite moments though where the game dipped a toe into ‘so bad it’s good’ territory. Look at Miller for example, who only has two facial expressions; he either looks like he’s about to murder somebody or like he’s in a daze, eyelids drooped probably craving sugary snacks. He looked so unnatural that I wouldn’t be surprised if he was an alien sent to Earth trying to blend in with society. On the opposite end of the spectrum there were moments I couldn’t put my controller down, faced with fear, knowing I must venture deeper into the lair of whatever horror awaits. Read my full review here.

5. Borderlands 3

Playing Borderlands 3 I went from loving to hating and back to loving it over and over again. The gameplay was outstanding with satisfying combat, brilliant creativity and an almost endless amount of variety. But the writing was abysmal with most characters being cringe worthy stereotypes. Over the past seven years the gaming industry has matured significantly, but Borderlands has not.

In some ways this was great. The gameplay stuck to its bazillion guns and only improved accessibility and I never felt like I was being funnelled towards an in-game micro-transaction bundle. But if the writing doesn’t change I’m not sure I can put myself through another Borderlands game anytime soon. I would definitely listen to the soundtrack though – it was banging. Read my full review here.

4. Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of the most creative and charming games I’ve ever played. Each hotel floor was presented with great artistic flair and I loved exploring the mix of grounded locations, like the Hotel’s fitness centre, and wacky areas like the full scale pyramid on the ancient Egyptian floor. Injecting ghosts with humanistic personalities also added to the overall charm as I accidentally walked in on a ghost doing bench presses in the Fitness Centre or saw a couple of ghosts getting their daily caffeine fix at the hotels coffee shop (only to see the liquid fall straight through their translucent bodies).

I was smiling until the very end of the game. Read my full review here.

3. Detective Pikachu (3DS)

I’m as surprised as you are that Detective Pikachu is number 3 on my top 10 games 2019 list, but hear me out. 

Firstly, I found the experience incredibly charming and even cathartic as I became lost in the brilliant story. Secondly, the writing, voice acting and presentation (including cut-scenes) are all of an incredibly high standard which in my opinion, elevate the game to greatness. The character of Detective Pikachu was also genius. He is arrogant, narcissistic and deluded, but he’s ultimately lovable with an almost oblivious confidence and charisma. Over my twelve hours with the game I formed a strong emotional connection with our titular character and I can’t wait to play the sequel coming to Switch soon. Read my full review here.

2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro is pretty much as close to objectively flawless as any video game can be. It has flawless sword combat, liberating traversal and surprisingly deep exploration motives due to an in-game economy. I was consistently in awe throughout my 40 hours with the game as I explored it’s creatively imagined fantasy locations like the tranquil, but horrifying Fountainhead Palace.

I will never forget the boss at the end of this section, the Divine Dragon. Channelling lightning strikes only to be pushed backwards by a gust of air creating a feeling of actual flight is quickly becoming one of my all-time favourite moments in gaming. Very well deserved GOTY at this years game awards indeed. Read my full review here.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

It’s unfortunate for the other games on this list that I played Breath of the Wild for the first time in 2019 as it may be one of the greatest games I have ever played. It combines everything I love about gaming in one huge package; exploration, freedom to do whatever you want, rewarding progression, an intriguing open world and above all relaxation. 

Climbing to the top of a mountain you saw in the distance many hours ago, hearing the wind blow past you and simply admiring the beautiful world below will never get old. And who knows if you’re feeling even more adventurous you can attempt to shield surf down the mountainside to get back down. Or do whatever you want, in any combination. It is a masterpiece in every sense and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to play it. Nice one, Nintendo!


Honourable Mentions

The Outer Worlds

I ran out of time to play The Outer Worlds through fully this year and ended up only scratching the surface at around ten hours played. But if I had finished the game it would definitely be in my top three. It is everything I loved about Fallout: New Vegas and more with brilliant writing, outstanding characters, solid RPG elements and an intriguing world that I can see myself getting lost in for a long time. I’m so happy Obsidian are making RPGs again!

Sea of Solitude

At roughly 3-4 hours, this tiny indie game packs a huge emotional punch. Not only is the world presented with beautiful artistic direction, but it’s themes of mental illness are handled with incredible grace. For someone who suffers with poor mental health, the game resonated with me on an emotional level I rarely feel in gaming. And while the gameplay was slightly lacklustre, the overall examination of these awful conditions and an ending filled with hope was enough to win me over. Read my full review here.

Overcooked and Overcooked 2

Playing both Overcooked games for the first time this year with my girlfriend, we were both in hysterics, even more so when watching my brother and sister-in-law fail spectacularly in an early kitchen by setting the whole place ablaze.

It’s such a simple premise; you work together to cook meals across a variety of kitchens, but it also has so much to offer. It can be a bit of instant fun as you laugh at the absurdity of chopping vegetables in a video game to a deep almost puzzle-esque experience which requires a surprising amount of mastery to complete.  It is a must play in my opinion and another great entry for couch co-op.


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