Brendan’s Ten Best Video Games of 2019
The last but hardly the least of the personal favourite video games of 2019. Here is Brendan’s Ten Best Video Games of 2019:
10. Apex Legends
A fantastic surprise entry into the battle royale genre, Apex Legends could very well be the best in the genre so far. While initially fun despite its many flaws, Respawn has continually listened to feedback and improved upon the game’s weaknesses. With new weapons, characters and maps keeping things fresh, I am always thrilled to come back to Apex.
9. Katana Zero
Another surprise for me this year (can you sense a theme?) coming from the good old boys at devolver digital. To me, this publisher has understood what games its core audience will enjoy and has given them a platform to truly shine. Both visually stunning with its retrowave-esque aesthetic and incredibly tight, Katana Zero was an absolute joy to play from start to finish.
A word of warning, the story is a bit of a brain melter, I’m still not entirely sure what was even real.
As a backer, I was very excited to play this. Skull Girls is one of the best playing and most visually appealing fighters in existence and this was to be even more in my wheelhouse. I am pleased to say that this delivered exactly what was promised. A world full of life, colour and detail and characters who you will enjoy engaging with.
Indivisible never really AMAZED me, nor did it ever exceed my expectations, but sometimes all you need is an incredibly solid game to experience one of the best games of the year.
7. Outer Worlds
Outer Worlds came with all the hype to an audience rabidly searching for a new fallout experience. Despite consistent reminders that this is NOT a fallout game, Obsidian still wears their inspirations on their sleeve. This, in my opinion, is wholly to their benefit. Outer worlds takes the best of fallout, condenses the open-world down to concise chunks and presents it all in an almost whimsical fashion. All of the satirically bleak late-stage capitalism is yours to engage with thanks to the fantastic writing team at obsidian.
Also, I did not encounter a single bug in my entire playthrough. Now, who thought they would be saying that? Not me.
6. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars is not a franchise I love anymore, and because of that, Fallen Order is a game I did not want to enjoy. However, I could not do anything but love this game. Fallen Order opens itself in a very linear way, and your first 6 hours may feel that way. But as you continue to explore, the world opens up more, and more, and even more. I am blown away by the vastness of the world Respawn has created,
With beautiful vistas and environments backed by the most nostalgic Star Wars soundtrack, this may be the best Star Wars game ever made.…..(I lie, that is totally KOTOR)
5. Resident Evil 2
From here on out on the list, every game is an absolute 9/10 or above. 2019 really spoiled me with great games.
I have never played Resident Evil 2. In fact, I have never played any of the numbered Resident Evil games. So you can imagine my confusion at the absolute hype and veneration this franchise receives. Well, not anymore.
Resident Evil 2 may be a remake, but honestly, I am so happy to have had my first experience this way. The level of accessibility, coupled with the beautifully atmospheric visuals, has made this an experience I will never forget. Zombies may be an entirely over-used medium, but sometimes, they just work. Capcom has really done this game justice for both old and new players. Also if mr. X could stop derailing all my best laid plans that would be real swell…. Great game, play it.
4. Outer Wilds
Want to talk about surprises? Let’s talk about surprises. Before the end of 2019, I had no understanding of what Outer Wilds was, or if it was meant to be any good. For the sake of completeness, I chose to dedicate 2 hours to this, just to see what it was about. Well a full 12 hour session later and let me tell you, it is phenomenal.
Outer Wilds is the game I wanted no man’s sky to be. Though it doesn’t make an amazing first impression (My first hour was spent walking around talking to NPCs about things I didn’t really care about), Outer Wilds is a game full of wonder and mystery. With each discovery, the galaxy becomes more and more alive, weaving a tapestry of your existence in the universe and what came before.
Outer Wilds is the game I could not stop thinking about this year. I loved Outer Wilds, and as time goes on, I think I will remember this game more than the others on my list. Maybe that means it deserves more than just 4? We’ll see in time.
I was one of the few people who enjoyed Remedy’s last attempt at “shooter with super powers”, quantum break. So I was expecting a rehash of similar concepts and themes from Control. Boy was I wrong. Control nails a lot of things, but what makes it truly special is not the shooting or the fact that you feel like an all powerful being by the end of the game. No, it’s actually the world itself. Remedy have once again created a world that is alive and full of flavour. From book clubs to redacted descriptions of SCP events, Control will immerse you like no other game can.
Of course, Control was also the first game that really demonstrated the capabilities of ray tracing which can’t go unspoken. Control looks like no other game at the moment, it’s easily one of the best looking games of the last decade. Except the weird mouth movements, what’s up with that?
2. Devil May Cry 5
DMC 5 is not for the braindead masses, oh no. It is for the upper class, the truly cultured among us. Streaks of blue and red paint your screen like a tapestry to the worship of dance and violence taking place in front of you. Poetry readings, a tale of brothers fated to meet and to die. It is truly an art.
Looking at my list, DMC 5 keeps jumping out to me as out of place. Like the distant cousins at Christmas time, it does not feel like it belongs. Every other game at this point in my list has done something truly special, something I rarely see or have not seen before, except DMC V. So why is it here?
Because DMC V remembers one thing, one simple little thing that even I forget when making these lists. It’s fun. DMC 5 is pure, unadulterated fun. Like feeding your children a bag of skittles and letting them loose at the park, DMC 5 is just as insane to watch as it is to join in. DMC V is the perfect DMC game and a much needed injection of life back into the series.
Wow. Just wow. My game of the year this year is a point and click adventure. Wow.
Disco Elysium is a game that excels at many things, but none of those individual things are what makes it special. I could talk about the beyond superb writing, how it evokes not only sensory, but emotional responses to even the most mundane activities. I could also talk about the physical world, and how the despair and isolation of ravachol pervade everything and everyone you interact with. I could talk about the voice acting, that feels so real and guttural you lose the barrier between the game world and yourself. Or I could speak to the ensemble of characters, who bring the raw themes of the game to life and force you to engage with questions you know the answer to, but don’t want to. I could do all of these things and more. But I won’t.
What I will leave you with, is this.
Disco Elysium is a dirty, raw, disgusting, hopeless, macabre and ultimately isolating experience feeding dark thoughts into my reptilian brain. I can’t get enough.
And that, my friends, is Disco.
- Yooka laylee and the Impossible Lair
- Untitled goose game
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
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